[Foundation-l] Resolution:Developing Scenarios for future of fundraising

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 04:03:49 UTC 2012

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM, Ting Chen <tchen at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Following consultation with the Wikimedia community on meta, the
> Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees is now releasing the guiding
> principles below, which are intended to govern Wikimedia fundraising and
> funds dissemination practices.
> We now ask the Executive Director to develop for the Board a
> recommendation for fundraising and funds dissemination practices that
> will align as well as possible with the guiding principles while
> consulting appropriately with stakeholders and interested parties. The
> Board asks that the recommendation be ready to be shared with the Board
> for discussion at the February 2012 Board meeting.
> ==== Guidelines for Fundraising Scenarios ====
> * Consistency with mission, vision and values. All Wikimedia fundraising
> activities must be conducted in a manner that's consistent with our
> overall mission, vision and values. They must not create unnecessary
> legal exposure for the projects, or otherwise unduly interfere with our
> ability to achieve our mission.

The only problem I have with this is that it is put directly under the
heading starting with the word "Guidelines". I don't think it is one.
I think it should be hammered in stone.
> * Transparency: All Wikimedia fundraising activities must be truthful
> with prospective donors. We need to tell people what we intend to use
> their money for, before they donate. And we need to report in a timely
> fashion on how it was actually spent.

This is a very new and novel concept. I don't know of any charity which
does this in the history of mankind. I would be very interested to hear
the reasoning behind it. There have been special cases where such
prior earmarking of funds has been promised, but the experience has
infact produced the worst charity-funding disasters of all-time (I can
give you chapter and verse, but this is going to be long enough as it,
ask me in private E-Mail, perhaps.)

All we really need to convince them of is that we are working for a good
cause and have a record of doing so. And actually work at keeping it
that way. Partially through showing we are working towards the genuine
mission and not being able to be bought off by temporary considerations.

> * Internationalism: Our movement is international in scope, and our
> fundraising practices must support the easiest possible transfer of
> money internationally in support of the movement's priorities.

Um, do you mean out from the direct foundation control, or towards
the direct control of the foundation?

> ==== Guidelines for Funds Distribution Scenarios ====
> * Protect the core: Core activities that ensure the continuity of the
> projects need to be funded first.

I think If I had to pick one bit of this statement, I think this is the one
I am in the strongest agreement with. (Do not fall into the trap of
thinking I don't agree, or disagree with something just because I
do not comment on it. I comment when I can add something to the
conversation. Or at least I hope I do.)

> * Responsibility and accountability: Funds must be distributed in ways
> that enable the Wikimedia movement to confidently assure donors that
> their donations will be safeguarded appropriately, and that spending
> will be in line with our mission and with the messages used to attract
> donors.

Okay. I will ask the question. (And no, don't have an answer; just
think it is a legitimate question.) What if messages used to attract
donors and
spending being in line with our mission are in conflict? Which comes up
trumps? And if it is our mission that comes up trumps should we
confidently tell the donors that is the way it is going to be for
ever, and that our view of our mission is going to define what is
appropriate, not theirs. Or is there some other way to speak to them

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

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