[Foundation-l] Putting the Foundation back in WMF
meta.sj at gmail.com
Thu Nov 22 01:58:56 UTC 2007
On Fri, 16 Nov 2007, Lars Aronsson wrote:
> 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?
This does come up from time to time. It is tremendously important.
Being able to choose to give to a limited fund or trust for core
sustenance would be a great thing.
I would fundraise aggressively for a trust to support core Wikipedia
sustenance for the next century. [ditto for a supporting trust for
public.resource.org -- Carl Malamud, call your office.]
As it stands, I am anxious that we don't talk every season about reserves
and contingencies. When I had limited input into budg discussions in 2004
and 2005, I cared primarily that reserves were always budgeted for and
that they increased over time. I have no idea whether this has continued...
back then we were targeting a reserve to cover 3 months of operating
expenses, as a bare minimum. It hadn't yet reached that mark by the
time quarterly budget details stopped being transparent.
Having a proper trust set up would be far better. But this takes work
to cleanly define its scope and structure.
Two related tangents :
* we as a community should be able to bring down the cost of core
maintenance each year, through innovations in technology and the good will
of dozens of global partners; making our collective work as robust as
possible to bankruptcy, war, greed, and other human quirks. Focusing on
what that core costs may help highlight good work in this area.
* true robustness requires maintaining and caring about reliable full and
incremental dumps. image and full-history en dumps are hard to come by
these days... and these immediate issues receive much less air time than
discussions of new R&D (which are more exciting as news; there's nothing
very exciting about spectacular uptime and trouble-free maintenance).
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