[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Thu Mar 14 19:47:22 UTC 2013

Aha, a welcome topic :)

MZMcBride writes:
> I think we need to decide, as a community, whether this is something we
> want. If it is, we should set up an endowment fund sooner rather than
> later, so that people willing to donate to such an endowment have a place
> to put their money, I think.

Yes, let us build an endowment.
It makes practical sense: As a community institution that aims to
serve our society for the next 100 years, it matches our scope and
vision.  And as a respected and visible global project, we can raise
the funds we need.

It also makes financial sense: Some donors prefer to donate to one.
And there are economies of scale: the flexibility of long-term
investments let them generate better average returns, and large funds
can invest significantly more effectively than small ones.

Anders Wennersten <mail at anderswennersten.se> writes:
> I was marginally involved on this issue two years ago. And by then the
> focus/priority was to ramp up the Fundraising activities.
> As this now has been successfully done, I believe this discussion is
> now much better in timing, and worthwhile to work through

Right.  When we first considered an endowment, the WMF didn't have the
financial expertise to set one up; later, in 2010, fundraising was
growing quite quickly and took priority.  Now we are in a good
position to plan longer-term investments.

This is good timing for another reason as well.  These issues were
raised at the WMF Audit Committee meeting last week, and the WMF is
considering what an endowment might look like.  Strong community
support would speed that consideration.

Samuel Klein          @metasj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266

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