[Foundation-l] Putting the Foundation back in WMF

phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki at gmail.com
Fri Nov 23 10:25:39 UTC 2007

On Nov 21, 2007 5:58 PM, SJ Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> Lars,
> 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.

I completely agree with this.

While I don't doubt that if the announcement was made that "Wikipedia
was going off the air tomorrow", a few wealthy donors would probably
step up, it's awfully hard to be fully independent under those
circumstances. And being able to guarantee baseline minimum operation
would free up fundraising for other areas, as well; many grants, for
instance, don't fund day-to-day operating expenses. It would also
lessen the potential for having to make hard choices when the
fundraisers didn't do well.

A long-term Wikimedia Endowment, specially for keeping the sites up
and backed up and nothing else, could conceivably be of interest to
many donors that wouldn't normally consider giving, as well; academic
institutions, perhaps, or groups concerned with the preservation of
information. Such a project deserves a separate, thoughtful, dedicated
fundraising effort until it happens.

-- phoebe

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