[Foundation-l] board, babysitting, speaking engagements, etc.

Daniel Mayer maveric149 at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 12 17:24:25 UTC 2006

I endorse Danny's proposal below.

-- mav 

--- daniwo59 at aol.com wrote:

> This conversation had jumped back and forth from single-instance expenses  
> (eg. babysitting costs) to much larger issues such as speakers fees. With the  
> number of speaking requests pouring in to the Foundation (and they come in at 
> an  ever increasing rate), I want to suggest the following guidelines for board 
>  members and others giving talks about the Foundation. Much of this is based 
> on  my belief that it is possible to say no to speaker requests too. We are 
> big  enough to set the terms by which we offer to send speakers, and the 
> benefits of  participating in various conferences etc. should be weighed against the 
> real  needs and interests of the Foundation. My proposal is as follows.
> 1. Requests for speakers from the Foundation will be approved by a  
> subcommittee of the Communications Committee to be known as the "Speakers  
> Subcommittee.".
> 2. The Speakers Subcommittee will determine whether and how fulfilling the  
> request furthers the goals of the Foundation. This will be called Speaker  
> Objectives.
> 3. The Speakers Subcommittee will then determine whether the Speaker  
> Objectives are equal or greater to the costs involved in sending a speaker to  the 
> event.
> 4. The Speaker Subcommittee will then determine which representative of the  
> WMF is best suited to deliver the talk, based on considerations of language,  
> geography, skills, conference needs, availability, etc.
> 5. Basic costs for speakers will include 
>     a. transportation
>     b. per diem (hotel, food)
>     c. ancillary (babysitting, formal wear such as  renting a tux, other)
> 6. The Speaker Subcommittee will negotiate with the requesting organization  
> to ensure that they cover as much of these costs as possible. Should the event 
>  be deemed worthwhile, but the requesting organization is unable to cover 
> these  basic costs, the Speakers Committee will determine a budget for the 
> speaker to  participate.
> 7. The Speaker Subcommittee will also request an honorarium, to be paid to  
> the Foundation, for providing a speaker.
> 8. A calendar of speaking engagements and speakers will be maintained  in a 
> public space, such as wikimediafoundation.org. 
> 9. Only speakers approved and appointed by the Speakers Subcommittee will  be 
> entitled to speak on behalf of the Foundation in such public forums and to  
> make use of Foundation property such as logos, registered tm's, etc. in their  
> presentations.
> 10. Upon completing their speaking engagement, speakers will provide a  
> written report to the Speakers Subcommittee in which they describe whether and  how 
> the Speaker Objectives were met.
> 11. The written report will include a summary of the talk, major questions  
> asked, and a copy of handouts, PowerPoint presentations, etc. as  necessary.
> 12. These materials will be made easily available to other speakers so as  to 
> enhance their own presentations.
> 13. Upon completing their speaking engagement, speakers will also  submit any 
> receipts for *approved* expenses.
> 14. Upon submission of receipts, the written report, and ancillary  
> materials--and only upon their submission--the speaker will be reimbursed for  any 
> out-of-pocket expenses.
> While this may seem bureaucratic to some, I believe that it is a common  
> sense approach to dealing with the growing influx of requests for speakers that  
> the Foundation is facing. It will help us to avoid what Mr. Merkey wisely 
> called  "poaching speaking engagements," and ensure that previous experiences as a  
> speaker are shared with others.
> Rather than dwell upon what happened in the past, let's move forward by  
> improving this initial proposal and submitting it to the Board for vote.
> Danny
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