[Foundation-l] Putting the Foundation back in WMF

GerardM gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Fri Nov 16 22:16:28 UTC 2007

If you take last years money and had converted it to euros, the money would
be more valuable in dollar terms then the 4% interest that you indicate.
Also on euro you can get 4% interest. My point is not about the dollar or
the euro; when you spend when you get it, the difference is not that
relevant.  At this moment in time we are raising more money then in the
previous round from donations. We are still growing rapidly in many
projects. Wiktionary for instance is doing really well (check Alexa) :) and
it is not the only project that does really well. There are many untapped
possibilities for getting funding. It needs effort, it needs money to make

Last year some people made a lot of ugly noises during the fund drive. It
may be the reason why we do not have matching donations. I think it shows
how irresponsible this has been.

When we are going for the defensive measures you suggest, we will not have
enough money for our current budget. We will not be able to expand into
sourly needed capability. I do not know how to defend the defensive
financing that you propose.

On Nov 16, 2007 10:41 PM, Lars Aronsson <lars at aronsson.se> wrote:

> Already from the start, the word "foundation" in the title of the
> Wikimedia Foundation has caused confusion.  In Florida, you
> register a corporation, and "foundation" is just part of a name.
> In some countries in Europe, there are completely different laws
> for corporations, associations and foundations (German: Stiftung).
> In short, a foundation (Stiftung) is an immutable long-term,
> self-governing holder of money.  A typically example is the Nobel
> Foundation, which holds the money inherited from Alfred Nobel, and
> every year spends the interest on the Nobel Prizes.
> Apparently, the WMF has a problem to foresee how much each year's
> donation campaign will bring in, and how the coming year's budget
> can be made to fit this.  Perhaps each year will raise less and
> less money, and that we already have the best years behind us.
> Is there a way we could reach better long-term stability?  Should
> the WMF set up a long-term fund and move some of this year's money
> there, as a reserve for future meager years?  If the interest rate
> is 4% then a fund which is 25 times bigger than the budget can
> support it in whole for ever.  But even a smaller fund might be a
> good help.  Should donors be given the option of giving to the
> current budget or giving to the fund?  Has this been discussed?
> (Some people would claim they can easily earn more than 4% annual
> interest.  Obviously, they should start savings banks.)
> --
>  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
>  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se
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