[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Report, September 2012

Tilman Bayer tbayer at wikimedia.org
Thu Nov 1 09:17:06 UTC 2012

Hi Pine,

although these questions fall outside my area of expertise, I can
provide some quick partial replies.

On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 1:46 AM, ENWP Pine <deyntestiss at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I appreciate the comprehensiveness of this report.
> I have a few questions about the finance section. Some are more basic than
> others.
> Does WMF use the calendar year for its fiscal year?
No, the Foundation's fiscal year runs from July to June.
> Is the financial plan for WMF to run a YTD deficit until the annual
> fundraiser?
As I understand it, yes. It seems a very obvious decision to me. This
is no reason for concern, cf.
: "The Board of Trustees has established a rule of thumb that it would
like the WMF reserve to never drop below six months of total spending.
The 2012-13 plan therefore calls for the reserve to stay at a minimum
of six months of total spending at the low point of the year."
> Why were recruiting expenses higher for the July-August timeframe? I thought
> that WMF eliminated a recruiting contractor recently, so I would have
> expected recruiting expenses to be lower rather than higher.
> Was August an unusually expensive month? If the total YTD expenses were
> $5.2MM and August alone cost $2.6MM, I would be interested in knowing why
> August was such an expensive month.
YTD (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year-to-date ) here means the
timespan from July to August, see also the introductory remark "All
financial information presented is for the period July 1, 2012 -
August 31, 2012."

So the answer would appear to be "no". As the report says, the
expenses for August were actually slightly (3%) under plan.

> If in the July-August time period WMF "Completed our report to the Stanton
> Foundation and received our second grant installment of $1.8 million", why
> is there only $1.75 million of revenue shown in the table which includes
> $1.0MM from the Sloan Foundation? These numbers don't seem to add up
> correctly. I would have expected the revenue total to be at least $2.8MM
> when including both of the grants.
> Thanks,
> Your finance and metrics enthusiast,
> Pine
Don't forget that today you will have the opportunity to watch our
Garfield, our Chief Financial Officer, explain the new (September)
numbers live in the Foundation's monthly metrics and activities

Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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