[Foundation-l] bylaws (second call)

Elisabeth Bauer elian at djini.de
Mon Aug 14 15:14:31 UTC 2006

Ray Saintonge wrote:

> I have yet to see a clear rationale for a memberless Foundation.  

and I have yet to see a clear rationale for a foundation with members.

For not having members, I see several reasons:
* adds one more organisational burden on the already strained office 
resources of the foundation (it would need a membership management then, 
letters to the members, lots of paperwork)
* what about the chapters? Should their members become automatically 
members of the Foundation? How do you deal with the injustice of 
different membership fees then (polish chapter has no fees, germans 
pay)? Or should they have to choose between single memberships and 
double memberships? What would be the incentive for becoming a member of 
a local chapter then?
* How do you deal with the injustice of membership fees in general? One 
dollar is much more money in Pakistan than in the US...
* Would people in Pakistan even think of becoming members in an US based 
foundation? Or would it turn into a totally US centric organization, 
contrary to its international and multilingual goals?

and last but not least, what would be the relation between the countless 
members of the projects and the paying foundation members? Should only 
the latter have the right to vote for board members and influence 
foundation decisions?

Originally, I was undecided about the membership issue, but more and 
more I have the feeling that it would not work well with the 
organizational structure we developped over the last years.

We have a large community from all over the world and they constitute 
the members of the foundation. If the next board elections show that the 
community is unable to fullfill this role (by electing someone 
unsuitable), we can think about a different setup, but honestly, I trust 
the people to elect a responsible new board member. In the future, we'd 
have to think about how to make sure that the smaller projects get 
adequate influence and that the foundation is not dominated by the 
english wikipedia. But even this, I think, is better accomplished by 
letting members of all projects have their say instead of just those who 
   bothered to mail a membership form to the foundation and pay 100$.


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