[Foundation-l] An article to read

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Tue Apr 15 05:11:00 UTC 2008

Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>  I figure the WMF would excel at that. Maybe still too small to avoid
>>  fluctuations, I would nevertheless put this number out, track it over
>>  the years, and compare it with other charities.
> The way the WMF works, pretty much all the money goes on
> administrative stuff - everything else is done by volunteers. You'd
> have to decide what administrative stuff directly furthers the goals
> of the foundation and what stuff just keeps the foundation going (the
> hosting would probably fall into the former category, and is a very
> large proportion of spending).

We might be slightly unusual, but aren't entirely unique. A lot of 
organizations have their main aim donated---for example, a lot of 
hunger-relief organizations get all their food donated, so aren't 
spending money purchasing food. That still leaves separating expenses 
that directly further the goals of the charity from overhead, which of 
course can get tricky, which is why you get different numbers from 
different charity-watchdog groups. Someone could probably come up with a 
number for the Wikimedia Foundation that would be similar in reliability 
(for better or worse) to the numbers that are gotten for those other 


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