[Foundation-l] Fundraising and site notice

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Tue Jan 9 15:04:29 UTC 2007

On 1/9/07, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> Anthony schreef:
> > On 1/9/07, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Anthony schreef:
> >>
> >>> Ant didn't say anything about the issues which were delayed being
> >>> *necessary*.  Framing it that way seems unfair.
> >>>
> >>>
> >> Hoi,
> >> Anthere is quiet explicit: "Limited means we'll go delaying certain
> >> issues". It means that things that are deemed to be necessary by the
> >> board will be postponed.
> >>
> >
> > Well, I don't see where you're getting the fact that those "things"
> > were "deemed to be necessary by the board".
> >
> Hoi,
> I am sorry that this is not obvious to you. The Wikimedia Foundation has
> a budget. This budget includes what is deemed to be necessary. The WMF
> does not borrow money, so when there is not enough money for what the
> WMF plans to do, it cuts back to the bare essentials. It is quite
> elementary ...

According to this budget, how many months can Wikimedia operate for $900,000?

What I see online is a wish list, not a budget.

> >
> >> In my opinion it is unfair that you do not
> >> accept that the lack of funding inhibits what the Wikimedia Foundation
> >> is able to do.
> >>
> >
> > I do accept that.  Well, probably.  It's always possible that the lack
> > of funding will instead cause the Wikimedia Foundation to spend its
> > money more intelligently.  For instance, instead of continuing to
> > acquire brand new $3000 servers they might instead choose to rent less
> > expensive ones.  That wouldn't inhibit anything.  But that's more of
> > wishful thinking than a real prediction.
> >
> Hoi,
> This is pure wishful thinking. What is intelligent in buying less
> expensive servers when our own developers recommend specific hardware.
> Do you really think that the specifications are in a way that cheaper
> alternatives do the same quality job? Mind you, our servers are pushed
> hard.

Forget about changing the server at all.  Looking at dell.com, a
36-month lease on a $3000 server is around $99/month.  I'm sure a
better deal could be negotiated with a different company and for a
larger quantity.  The last time I suggested leasing I was told that
leasing was for companies that didn't have enough money, and the WMF
had plenty of money.  Well, that argument just went out the window
now, didn't it?

> >> It is quite obvious that lack of funding is holding us back.
> >>
> >
> > "Lack of funding" (failure to reach an arbitrary goal) is certainly
> > going to hold some people back from whatever it is they would have
> > otherwise done with the money.  That's quite obvious.  What effect
> > it's going to have on the foundation is much less clear.  In fact, it
> > doesn't seem to have been decided just yet.
> >
> > Anthony
> I think you badly underestimate the efforts that have gone into creating
> a budget when you call them "arbitrary goals". You assume that there is
> no planning, that no time was spend on what is needed for the Foundation
> and why.

Feel free to try to show otherwise.  What I've seen is a wish list,
not a bottom up analysis of the actual costs.

> Your observation that the effect on the Foundation of
> continually being underfunded is unclear is correct, that is something
> that only the future will learn, but how do we compare? You do not have
> to be Einstein to understand that things that are beneficial will not
> happen. I am also surprised that you think it will hold some "people"
> back. It holds US back; we are the Foundation, they are our efforts, it
> is our projects that will be held back.

I was stripped of my membership in the Foundation a month or so ago.
It's not US.  It's them (the board).

> When you mean that some people
> far away will be held back, then sure.. I do not want to argue what I
> think of that.
> The problem is that the underfunding of the foundation is consistently
> belittled.

As of the last audited financial report, the foundation was quite
overfunded, not underfunded.  If it is now underfunded, that is a new

> This is made worse because no credible alternatives are
> provided that will help us raise funds in the future, a future that will
> only require more money.
Feel free to change that by providing a credible alternative.

Of course, I think leasing servers is an alternative to buying them.
And I think that's perfectly credible.


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