[Wikimedia-l] WMF core and non core expenses

Tilman Bayer tbayer at wikimedia.org
Mon Oct 8 17:57:06 UTC 2012

Here's the relevant part of the Annual Plan FAQ:
in particular the items "How are core and non-core defined?" and "Why is
non-core defined the way it is? Doesn’t it make more sense to define core
as the rock-bottom costs of operating the projects (e.g., bandwidth and
servers), and define everything else as non-core?")

On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 5:08 AM, Sue Gardner <sgardner at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> On 8 October 2012 12:18, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> > It seems clear to me, based on the end result and what foundation board
> and
> > senior staff have said, that they decided an account of money they wanted
> > to request from the FDC and then decided what to designate as non-core so
> > that it added up to that amount.
> >
> > Rather disingenuous of them, but Sue has been very clear that she only
> sees
> > the foundation's application as a way of testing the process rather than
> as
> > actually being the right way to determine the budget.
> > On Oct 8, 2012 11:14 AM, "Itzik Edri" <itzik at infra.co.il> wrote:
> Hi Thomas & Itzik,
> There's FAQ material on the wikis about how core versus non-core were
> determined -- I think it's part of the annual plan FAQ. (I'd link you
> to it, but I'm in a bit of a rush. Maybe somebody else can point to
> the right place?)
> The Board and I had a number of discussions about core versus non-core
> -- to very swiftly recap, we decided that we did not want core to mean
> the rock-bottom base costs of operating the site. We realized that in
> making that decision we'd risk being confusing, and that people would
> likely end up sending inquiries like the one Itzik just sent, because
> they'd likely be operating on the assumption that core did indeed mean
> base costs. We considered whether to label it as something other than
> "core" in order to avoid being confusing, but in the end went ahead
> with core for lack of a better word.
> Going from memory -- core is intended to represent the ordinary costs
> of running the global sites -- so for example, it would include all
> the costs of maintaining the trademark portfolio, providing legal
> defence where necessary, doing media stuff and internal global
> movement communications work, etc. For example we decided that
> internationalization & localization are part of "core," because our
> core work includes providing a service in multiple languages.
> We did not want core to represent the base, rock-bottom,
> non-negotiable costs of operating the sites on a shoestring, because
> that's not the purpose of this exercise, because we're not in a
> position where we need to make extraordinarily difficult choices about
> whether to preserve, for example, internationalization & localization
> versus site performance. If we were in that position (needing to make
> very painful choices due to financial necessity) of course we would.
> But that's not where we are.
> Thomas, it's not actually true that I see this as purely an exercise
> in testing the FDC process, although I do definitely think running
> part of the WMF budget through the FDC will help us be sensitive to
> fund-seeker needs as we iterate the process. I do also see value in
> the process itself -- getting community input on the WMF's non-core
> activities, etc., will be useful.
> (Just FYI -- I won't be able to reply any more to this thread for much
> of the rest of the day, by the way -- I'm swamped and doing a bunch of
> things.)
> Thanks,
> Sue
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Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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