[Foundation-l] 2010-11 Annual Plan Now Posted to Foundation Website

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Wed Jun 30 16:12:53 UTC 2010

When we raise money, we have a choice; either we spend the money and we
communicate what we plan to do or we build reserves for a rainy day. In the
Netherlands there are several charities that find it much harder to raise
funds for any purpose now that they are known to build huge reserves. This
was made worse when they wanted to raise funds after many of their
investments went sour.

As I understand our finances, we forecast a great need and at the same time
are frugal spending realising the communicated goals. Consequently there is
an operational reserve. The Wikimedia Foundation is not a university and
consequently it does not operate along those lines. Mind you, an American
university is a completely different beast then for instance a Dutch
university and our universities have as respectable reputation while their
funding is not reliant on huge endowments.

In my opinion we are on a mission and we should share this mission as widely
as possible. This is why it is not acceptable that so much of the our
finances rely on USA donations. We need chapters that take part in
everything that makes the WMF possible. This includes fund raising and
operating programs that benefit our projects and free knowledge in general.

When people, organisations want to contribute to an endowment, they should
do so separately from our fund raisers. These are to enable us to do what we
aim to do. This will gain us more contributions then building large

PS you is "the reader"

On 30 June 2010 17:38, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 12:48 AM, Gerard Meijssen
> <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hoi,
> > When you consider the source of much of the donations, you will find that
> > they have been coming mainly from the United States. Chapters are
> becoming
> > more and more active in fundraising. The Dutch chapter for instance plans
> on
> > professionalising its operations and fundraising staff has the highest
> > priority. It performed much better, one of the reasons is that IDEAL, a
> > payment method for the Internet in the Netherlands, was implemented. I am
> > sure that with increased support from the WMF not only but also the Dutch
> > will raise substantially more money this time around.
> >
> > When you ask for an endowment, you indicate an opinion that the current
> > levels of support for our projects suffice. I do not share that opinion
> and,
> > I am happy to find indications in the planning that this opinion is
> > supported in the plans for 2010/11. Milos and myself will talk in Gdansk
> > about the need to improve technical support for our smallest projects
> (think
> > Hindi, Malayalam... hundreds of million people will benefit..). Some of
> it
> > is hard core language support and some are changes to operating projects
> in
> > order to raise traffic and usability for readers.
> Hi Gerard,
> A small point -- I don't know who the "you" refers to here -- me? --
> but when *I* ask for an endowment, it is not because I think the
> current levels of support suffice; that's a different question. It's
> because I don't want the long-term support for Wikimedia to be
> dependent on our ability to fundraise increasingly large amounts from
> year to year. Fundraising above and beyond such an endowment is fine
> and good and necessary as well. I have heard that raising an endowment
> was rejected by the strategy process because it was hard; I don't know
> what that means, exactly, but raising an extra $20M in a recession is
> hard, too.
> Someone was talking to me the other day about the differences between
> Wikimedia and large universities, such as the one where I work. "You
> don't mind criticizing the university governance", he said; "in part
> because you can't imagine it ever going away, no matter what."
> It's true, and I want Wikimedia to be that stable. In fact, I want it
> to be *more* stable than most American universities are at the moment
> -- certainly more than mine!
> -- phoebe
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

More information about the wikimedia-l mailing list