[Foundation-l] board candidacies

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Sat Aug 12 13:17:04 UTC 2006

On 8/11/06, Erik Zachte <erikzachte at infodisiac.com> wrote:
> Anthere quit/lost (no idea which) her job while being a board member, as she
> professed publicly some time ago, so I can quote that. She also told she
> works nearly full time on the project and given her omnipresence, this might
> well be an understatement. I think we should be grateful she is putting so
> much time in the project. And I am sure everyone is. But maybe we ought to
> taken a moment to discuss the consequences.
> If I remember correctly Anthere responded to a question from the audience.
> Candid as she always is, she explained her financial situation (again). So I
> feel I can comment on that some more.
> I don't know many mothers with three young children who can afford to spend
> so much time pro bono. Of course there must be more Wikimedians in a similar
> situation, who show as much commitment. Still I feel the organisation has a
> special obligation towards its official representatives. If only people who
> are financially independent can afford to work for the organisation in
> central positions, and others do it to their own detriment, I think the
> organisation (not on purpose but still) puts a bias on its central workforce
> which is unwanted. These issues have been discussed before. But we have
> grown from a small village to a large city, and our budget has increased
> with it. We can even afford to delay fundraisers so it is not that we are
> entirely unable to even discuss this due to lack of funds. Brad commented to
> this effect.
> I have no idea how other non profit organisations handle this, but frankly I
> think we should make up our own mind.
Well, I think we should follow the lead of other non-profit organizations.

Being a board member shouldn't require a lot of time - a couple hours
a week at the most.  If a board member wants to spend more time
voluntarily, that's fine.  But if someone wants to spent 40 hours a
week helping Wikimedia, and isn't in a financial position to do that
for free, and Wikimedia agrees to pay them for this, then they
shouldn't be a board member.  It's too much of a potential for a
conflict of interest.

I don't mean to say this as though it's a simple change to make.  But
it's extremely important that the change be made.


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