[Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Anders Wennersten mail at anderswennersten.se
Fri Nov 2 11:28:26 UTC 2012

As a newly appointed secretary of FDC and just back from San Francisco 
after a four days deliberation session, where these thing has been in 
focus I can give you some facts from what I have understood.

The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for 
30,3 MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly 
engineering and thing like fundraising support.

The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be 
disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big 
part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.

The narrowed focus in practice means that The WMF part funded through 
FDC is changed in composition, so less in direct activities by WMF 
personnel and more money in Grants to be allocated to chapters and 

The narrowed focus is only a issue for WMFs internal budget. The planned 
funds dissemination to chapters is not effected and the actual result of 
the the implementation of the Narrowed focus is that more money will be 
used by community/chapters via grant then was earlier planned

Anders Wennersten

Lodewijk skrev 2012-11-02 12:05:
> Thanks Bishakha,
> while I can understand the move of the WMF to do what they are best at, for
> me it is always a bit confusing when the Board (or Sue) is talking about
> the Foundation, and when about the movement. I hope I'm correct in my
> assumption that this narrowed focus is mostly a Foundation thing.
> The question I am missing in this analysis (but perhaps it was discussed
> orally) is 'which organization/group/individual is best placed to execute
> this' and then I definitely agree that many events etc are probably better
> executed at a chapter level than by the WMF. I do hope that freeing up
> these resources does mean that chapters and other groups will be supported
> more in taking over these tasks and where necessary, a transition process
> is considered.
> I do have one more specific question. In discussions previously on meta,
> there were some insinuations (maybe only my interpretation) that the
> organizational support (so not just money) for chapters and other
> affiliated groups would be reduced as a consequence of this narrowed focus.
> I sincerely hope the opposite will be true - and that more effort will be
> put in enabling these organizations to take over tasks where possible and
> take on new initiatives as much as possible. As long as the Chapters
> Association is not active (it seems to me it will be another year before it
> will be fully functional) I think it would be a waste to reduce this
> enabling capacity (for example the great networking function that is being
> provided by Asaf - but he could use some help!) while there is no other
> organization yet to take over those functions. Could you elaborate a bit on
> this?
> Best,
> Lodewijk
> 2012/11/2 Bishakha Datta <bishakhadatta at gmail.com>
>> Dear all,
>> At its in-person meeting on 26 October, the board unanimously agreed to
>> accept the recommendation to narrow focus as presented by the Executive
>> Director.
>> This vote has been published at:
>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus
>> Best
>> Bishakha
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