[Wikimedia-l] proposed urgent Board of Trustees resolution without a meeting

Liam Wyatt liamwyatt at gmail.com
Mon Dec 24 06:42:28 UTC 2012

Whereas I'm confused.

On Monday, 24 December 2012, James Salsman wrote:

> Kat Walsh
> Chair
> Board of Trustees
> Wikimedia Foundation
> In accordance with your discretionary power to divert from the Board
> deliberation procedures approved July 8, 2010,[1] and because of
> certain recent serious misleading and contradictory statements from
> senior Foundation staff and obvious financial accounting regularities
> concerning the Board's direction that the Foundation maintain a six
> month cash reserve, and for the other reasons stated below, I ask that
> you and the Board approve the following or a substantially similar
> resolution without a meeting in accordance with Article IV, Section
> 4(f) of your Bylaws[2] as soon as possible, and no later than this
> week:
> Whereas the Foundation's mandatory fiduciary duty of care requires
> that trustees act on a fully informed basis;[3]
> whereas the trustees were led to believe on May 12, 2012 that senior
> Foundation staff were in doubt as to whether they could significantly
> exceed last years' fundraising;[4]
> whereas in fact senior Foundation staff knew on May 11, 2012 that they
> were already able to exceed the performance of the best performing
> fundraising message from 2011;[5]
> whereas based on the information pertaining to Fundraising provided by
> senior Foundation staff, the 2012-2013 Annual Plan was proposed and
> adopted with a revenue target increase of $7.2 million, or $900,000
> less than the previous Annual Plan's revenue target increase;[6]
> whereas actual fundraising far exceeded the stated expectations of
> senior Foundation staff, so much that the nominal fundraising goal
> based on the stated expectations of senior Foundation staff was
> achieved in about nine days of unlimited fundraising messaging to
> Foundation project readers;[7]
> whereas ceasing Fundraising prior to the last four business days of
> December in unprecedented in the history of the Foundation;[7]
> whereas the last four business days of December have over the previous
> five years yielded fundraising performance typically about triple the
> performance of the median fundraiser day's performance;[7]
> whereas senior Foundation staff have proposed fundraising next year in
> part during April, which this year was in fact the last month that
> senior Foundation staff were not able to produce a fundraising message
> outperforming those of the prior year's fundraiser;[8]
> whereas the tax code of the United States and other countries provide
> an incentive for wealthy donors to determine the optimal amount of
> their donations during the last week of December;
> whereas the Foundation staff has failed to maintain a six month cash
> reserve as directed by the trustees, even with lower than expected
> expenses and higher than expected revenues;[9]
> whereas junior Foundation staff are compensated substantially below
> that of typical advanced information processing technology workers in
> San Francisco;[10]
> whereas because of their low levels of compensation, the retention of
> foundation technical staff has been substantially below optimal
> levels;[11]
> whereas because of their low levels of compensation, junior foundation
> technical staff are often unable to afford housing which does not
> involve a lengthy commute from unsavory neighborhoods;[11]
> whereas the ratio of the compensation of Foundation executives to
> junior foundation staff and contractors has substantially widened in
> recent years;[10]
> whereas Foundation staff have been unable or unwilling to effectively
> staff programs such as the very successful Wikimedia Education Program
> at levels preventing serious problems for the editor community, such
> as, for example, including sufficient information to discern which
> articles are currently pending in the Education Program;[12]
> whereas the Foundation Annual Plan as amended lacks sufficient funding
> to explore telepresence options for those who can not attend events
> such as Wikimania or chose not to attend for ecological reasons;
> and whereas senior Foundation staff have recently discontinued major
> programs of the Annual Plan and the Strategic Plan without consulting
> the community,[13]
> therefore, be it resolved, that the Foundation will resume fundraising
> at maximal levels immediately until such time as sufficient funds are
> raised such that:
> staff salaries and contractor compensation can be increased so no
> contributor is compensated less than 50% of the amount of the highest
> compensated executive staff member, calculated on a per-hour basis for
> contractors;
> a one year contingency cash reserve can be maintained;
> sufficient staff can be added to the Education Program so that program
> article talk page templates can be provided with their correct
> academic calendar dates;
> the Wikimania program can include a telepresence pilot program;
> and the recent discontinuation of programs approved in the Annual Plan
> such as the Fellows program can be put to a question of the community
> with sufficient time for thorough consultation.
> Please let me know your and the trustees' decision on this matter.
> Best regards,
> James Salsman
> [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Board_deliberations
> [2]
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Bylaws#.28f.29_Action_Without_a_Meeting
> .
> [3]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_manual#Fiduciary_duties
> [4]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fundraising_2012/We_Need_A_Breakthrough&diff=3741759&oldid=3741756
> [5]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fundraising_2012/We_Need_A_Breakthrough&diff=prev&oldid=3739753
> "...we can feature Jimmy, editors, staff, donors and others and make
> as much as with our standard money-maker, the Jimmy appeal...."
> [6]
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2012-2013_Annual_Plan_Questions_and_Answers#What.27s_the_revenue_target_for_2012-13.2C_and_how_does_it_compare_to_previous_years.3F
> [7] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:FundraiserStatistics
> [8] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fundraising_2012#Questions
> [9]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WMF_Revenue_%26_Expenses_October_2012_-_Actual_vs_Plan.png
> [10]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Forum#Wikimedia_employee_salaries
> [11]
> http://www.glassdoor.com/GD/Job/jobs.htm?clickSource=searchBtn&typedKeyword=&sc.keyword=wikimedia&locT=&locId=
> [12]
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_Ambassador_Program_student_projects
> [13] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sue_Gardner/Narrowing_focus
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org <javascript:;>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l

Peace, love & metadata

More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list