[Foundation-l] [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Sat May 19 14:01:07 UTC 2007

On 5/19/07, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> > This is horrible.  The foundation is having enough trouble trying to
> > run a charity, and now you're trying to run a business on top of that?
> >  The chair of the board doesn't even have a good idea where the
> > revenue is coming from, save an old yearly financial statement which
> > admittedly didn't provide enough details?
> >
> > This is getting pathetic.
> The WMF is a business, it's just a business that works to make free
> information for the world, rather than dividends for its shareholders.
> The operations side of things is exactly the same.
Whether or not "the WMF is a business" is a matter of terminology, but
the operations side of a business and a charity is by no means exactly
the same.  The goals are different, so the operations are different.

For example, if the goal is to make free information for the world,
shouldn't the task of the foundation's employees be to "analyze the
price asked for certain services and implement a *decrease* if

> It does, however, seem rather bad that the chair of the board doesn't
> have access to regular accounts. I know it's normal to only publish
> accounts on a quarterly basis, but the board should be given them as
> often as they have board meetings (which is apparently weekly).  The
> point of the board meeting is to decide what the foundation should do
> in the future - it is impossible to do that well if you don't know
> where the foundation is now.
Moreover, doing all your accounting at the end of the fiscal year is
*more work* than doing it on a regular basis, and if your books are
clean and up-to-date printing out financial statements once a month is

My apologies if calling things pathetic was over-the-top.  But this is
a serious matter which is long overdue to be resolved.


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