[Foundation-l] Fundraising season launch

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Wed Oct 11 05:50:15 UTC 2006

On 10/11/06, SJ Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> I firmly believe that the foundation should be focusing on reducing the
> annual cost and complexity of running core operations, and that the
> Wikimedia server cluster needs an endowment.  This becomes more true
> when people within the community start to feel Wikipedia is 'old hat'
> and a solved problem, and become fixed on attacking new problems before
> wrapping up that old one.

Responding briefly, more later.

1) If we agree that we need a very large amount of money for hardware,
and if we do agree that we want to raise that money from the community
at large, then we should of course communicate that, using clear facts
and figures.

2) Even so, it remains true that:
- There are now several Foundation employees or equivalents, including
a CEO, who all get salaries. We need to communicate what our staff is
doing, besides taking care of the hosting and administration.
- Money going to chapters will not necessarily have to go into
Foundation-level investments, but could also support local projects
and salaries.
- Hardware is not something people generally get very excited about.
Jimmy's personal appeal in the last fundraiser was very effective.
However, if we repeat the same kind of appeal, we also need to have a
little more to show for it this time. Hence my plea for reports and
information, which we should collect in any case, regardless of the
specific strategy we follow.

3) It may not necessarily be the best thing to raise all or even any
of the money for hardware from the community at large. An endowment,
as you say, grants, or partnerships may carry us a long way. $1M is a
lot of money for us -- but for some who might support us, it is very
little indeed. The question, of course, is -- can we raise the
necessary funds from other sources as quickly as we require them?

Peace & Love,

Member, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

DISCLAIMER: Unless otherwise stated, all views or opinions expressed
in this message are solely my own and do not represent an official
position of the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

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