[Foundation-l] Report to the Board: December 23 to January 29

teun spaans teun.spaans at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 06:18:15 UTC 2008

Thank you, Sue and Danny. It helps at least me to feel involved in what is
going on :-)

2008/1/31, Sue Gardner <sgardner at wikimedia.org>:
> You may know that I send regular reports to the Wikimedia board.
> Starting this month, I'm going to experiment with sending them here as
> well.
> Why am I doing this? I generally want the work of the staff to be
> visible & transparent to anyone who's interested. I don't see a really
> compelling reason _not_ to send the reports to foundation-l, and I'm
> assuming people here will appreciate being kept in the loop.
> The arguments against it: It means I'll need to strip out from the
> reports anything confidential - but this would mostly just be
> information related to individuals, so I don't expect it to be much
> work. I am a little leery it will stimulate long time-consuming
> conversations with members of the staff, so I'd ask you to try to
> respect that the staff needs to spend the majority of its time working,
> rather than talking about its work :-) And, I won't be customizing or
> reworking the content of the report - which means, for example, that
> some links may not be accessible to everyone (e.g., on the office wiki).
> I'd like to try this out for a couple of months and see what happens.
> Let me know if you find it helpful :-)
> Thanks,
> Sue
> Weeks of: December 23 – January 29, 2008
> Prepared by: Sue Gardner, Executive Director
> Prepared for: Wikimedia Board of Trustees
> Current priorities:
> 1. Establishing the new SF headquarters, including orientation of new
> staff
> 2. Planning major donor dinner & Wikimedia welcome party (both early
> March)
> 3. Financial reporting and audit wrap-up
> 4. Bits and pieces (Kennisnet, further hires, partnerships, etc.)
> Starting soon:
> 1. Davos follow-up
> Recent weeks
> New San Francisco headquarters:
> Although it is still very much a work in progress, the San Francisco
> office has been up and running since Wednesday, January 23. Most
> furniture has been delivered and set up, and the new VOIP phone system
> is working, with calls now going to San Francisco rather than St.
> Petersburg.
> Our mailing address:
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> P.O. Box 78350,
> San Francisco, CA
> 94107-8350
> Our phone number:
> 415 839 6885
> We are planning a welcome-to-San Francisco party for ourselves, likely
> at the beginning of March. (The date is not yet locked down.)
> Invitations will be sent to board and advisory board members, in case
> anyone happens to be in the Bay Area, as well as to the Wikimedia San
> Francisco mailing list, our friends at like-minded organizations, etc.
> If you have people you would like to see invited, please e-mail me or
> add them here http://office.wikimedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Welcome_Party
> .
> Staffing:
> * Veronique Kessler will be our new CFOO, starting February 4. Veronique
> joins us from the non-profit Jewish Community Center of San Francisco,
> where she was Director of Finance and, before that, Controller. Prior to
> JCCSF, she has 15 years of managerial/financial experience with a wide
> variety of organizations, including Stanford University, brokerage firm
> Charles Schwab, the venture capital and investment firm Berkeley
> International Capital Corporation, the Walden International Investment
> Group, The Fremont Group, Wells Fargo bank, and Deloitte & Touche. She
> is a CPA (certified public accountant) with lots of international
> experience, who speaks and writes French. Veronique is just returning
> from maternity leave and is spending this week wrapping up some work at
> the JCCSF: for most of February, she will be with us only three days per
> week. Her top priorities, in the beginning, will likely include: 1.,
> hiring the fundraiser and the accountant, 2., ensuring the relocation
> basics are okay (e.g., payroll is undisrupted, bank accounts set up,
> etc.), and 3., getting to know her direct reports, Kul, Cheryl, Erica
> and Oleta, and the areas they are responsible for.
> * The Foundation has begun advertising to hire a software developer / IT
> support person
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings/Software_Developer_/_IT_Support
> .
> This is a relatively-junior position, based in the San Francisco office.
> The advertisement has been sent to various mailing lists, and will
> remain open until February 15. Please feel free to send it around.
> * We plan to announce the head of development in February, and the new
> accountant in March. For the time being, the position of head of
> partnerships is on hold. (You may recall: this is partly a financial
> decision and partly a "letting the team shake out before filling the
> final position" decision.)
> * Recapping the rest of us: Mike Godwin begins work in the San Francisco
> office January 30. Jay Walsh, the new head of communications, started
> January 10. Kul Takanao Wadhwa, the new head of business development,
> started January 3. Erik Möller, deputy director, started December 31.
> Erica Ortega and Cheryl Owens (formerly Steffen) have been on the job
> as, respectively, office manager and PA, since December 10. Brion Vibber
> (CTO) and Cary Bass (Volunteer Coordinator) arrived from St Petersburg
> in December. Delphine Menard, Mark Bergsma and Tim Starling continue to
> work normally from, respectively, Frankfurt, Eindhoven and Sydney. We
> expect to be fully staffed by the end of March.
> * We will be having a two-day staff orientation event with facilitator
> Pat Hughes, February 11 and 12. You can see the agenda in development,
> here
> http://office.wikimedia.org/wiki/Planner/February_2008_Orientation_Meeting
> .
> Fundraiser:
> We've created a postmortem/summary report covering the 2007 fundraiser,
> which ran from October 23 to January 3. In total, the fundraiser brought
> the Wikimedia Foundation more than 45,000 donations totaling USD
> 2,112,251.73 (unaudited figures). This includes a contribution of USD
> 500,000, stock valued at USD 49,768, and a donation of USD 10,000.
> The amount raised in the 07-08 fundraiser, compared with 06-07 which
> raised just over USD 1 million, overperforms the traffic increase of
> that same period. This is likely because the 07-08 fundraiser ran
> significantly longer, initially picking up more slowly, but sustaining
> donation growth better than the 06-07 fundraiser.
> In addition, this fundraiser saw the most significant participation thus
> far from the Wikimedia chapters, with active participation from Germany,
> Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, and Poland. Wikimedia Germany's
> participation enabled it to purchase 15 servers for the Amsterdam
> cluster: in the end, the German chapter will contribute to the
> Foundation a total of approximately EUR 70K worth of goods and services
> (the chapter will retain ownership of any purchased equipment). Also,
> the Swiss chapter has made a contribution of CHF 5K. Many thanks to the
> chapters :-)
> The report makes a series of recommendations for the next fundraiser,
> including: 1., Change the sitenotice regularly to avoid 'banner
> blindness'; 2., continuing to refine the Media-Wiki-based landing page;
> 3., improve donor thanking; 4., improve reporting and data capture; 5.,
> enable recurring donations; 6., encourage community fundraising efforts
> with network effects; 7., begin planning earlier. The full report is
> here http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2007/Notes.
> Major donor dinner:
> As you know, we've been on a tour of potential major donors. We continue
> to follow up individually, and are also beginning to plan a dinner,
> which will likely take place in early March. It won't be extravagant –
> we just want to bring together ten or so interesting philanthropists to
> the San Francisco office, to talk about Wikimedia's goals and plans.
> Audit:
> The audited 2006-07 financial statements have been released by the audit
> committee to the board. Once they are approved, we will release them
> publicly. We owe a huge debt of thanks to the staff, particularly Oleta
> McHenry, who worked long hours to get the audit completed.
> Also:
> * We announced a partnership with the Collaborative Creativity Group at
> UNU-MERIT to conduct the first-ever comprehensive Wikimedia survey.
> * We announced a beta program with Kaltura and WikiEducator to allow
> users to collaboratively edit video and other forms of rich media.
> * We signed the contract launching the PediaPress wiki-to-print project.
> * We deployed new parser code that makes wiki syntax more consistent and
> scalable.
> * We established peering arrangements with several new networks to
> reduce the cost of traffic.
> In coming weeks:
> * The audited 2006-07 financial statements will be released publicly
> once approved by the board.
> * The board is also expected to approve the credit card usage policy
> January 31. The final two "check cards" were retired last week, and
> Foundation credit cards have arrived and are in use by a few staffers.
> * As planned, 2007-08 financial statements will be released to the board
> February 1. This will include a statement of cash flow, balance sheet,
> income statement, overall comparison of budget-to-actuals plus some
> detail, and a cash flow projection for the remainder of FY 2007-08. This
> package will also include a text summary of the year so far.
> * The head of development will be announced in February, and the
> accountant in March. We will also soon begin interviewing software
> developers.
> * There will be a two-day staff orientation February 11 and 12.
> * We continue to explore consortium options in Amsterdam and have
> rescheduled our meeting with Kennisnet for end of February.
> * There will be a welcome-to-SF party, and a major donor dinner, in
> early March.
> The St Petersburg office will shut down Thursday, January 31, and at
> that point, we will say goodbye to Barbara Brown (office manager), Sandy
> Ordonez (head of communications) and Vishal Patel (business
> development). Our accountant Oleta McHenry will be with us until the end
> of March, and Rob Halsell will remain as server tech out of Tampa. I
> want to convey the organization's deep gratitude to the entire staff who
> worked for us in St. Petersburg: Barbara, Sandy, Vishal, Oleta, Rob,
> Cary and Brion. It was not an easy year: thank you for sticking it out.
> We owe you, and we know it :-)
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