[Foundation-l] Putting the Foundation back in WMF

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Sun Nov 18 19:34:20 UTC 2007

On Nov 18, 2007 5:27 AM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:

> On Nov 18, 2007 1:34 AM, Robert Rohde <rarohde at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Nov 17, 2007 7:54 PM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
> <snip>

> > Soliciting donations with a budget you know is misleading constitutes
> > fraud.
> A budget is by definition a forward-looking statement.  Obviously it
> is dependent, among other things, on actually receiving the money
> requested.  Proving fraud would be impossible.  Besides, the $4.6
> million dollars doesn't even call itself a "budget".
> If the percentages are known to be misleading, that might constitute
> fraud, although proving it would still be impossible.  But asking for
> way more than you need and more than you ultimately get is not
> fraudulent even if it could be proven.
> <snip>

"Proving" fraud is essentially a legal problem, and not one I am very
interested in.  Personally, I care more about whether these planned spending
guides are misleading for ethical reasons.  I don't want the WMF to be the
kind of organization that would mislead the public about their fiscal needs
and how donations would be spent.  If these statements have been
intentionally grossly inflated, that would be very frustrating to me, in a
"Don't be evil" sort of way.  I'd prefer to believe that the WMF really does
have needs and plans for how to use $4M that consist of more than a gimmick
to increase donations.  And hence, I'd prefer to believe that having only
$1.5M in fund drive income would be a bad thing and not what everyone was
secretly really expecting.

-Robert Rohde

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