[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Fri Mar 15 00:45:02 UTC 2013

On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mar 15, 2013 12:21 AM, "MZMcBride" <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>> Erik Moeller wrote:
>> >On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM, MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>> >> It costs about $2.5 million to keep the sites operational for a year.
>> >
>> >How did you come up with that number?
>> I used to say $2 million, but Roan recently told me that it had probably
>> gone up since that estimate (from 2009). So now I say $2.5 million. It's
>> advertised on Meta-Wiki here:
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/?banner=money_or_die>. ;-)
>> As I recall, the $2 million (now $2.5 million) figure came from
>> discussions with technical staff about what it would cost to keep the site
>> running for a year and an examination of relevant Wikimedia-related budget
>> breakdowns that were split out between non-technical staff costs, overhead
>> costs, etc. However, following Cunningham's Law, if you have a better
>> figure, please share. :-)  We can certainly say it's far less than $35
>> million to only keep the sites up and running (barebones hosting support
>> and related tech staff costs), the question is how much less.
> Last year's financial report shows almost exactly $2.5m for "Internet
> hosting". I'm not sure quite what that covers, but I expect it is all
> necessary for bare minimum hosting of the sites. There will then be some
> salaries for the people maintaining the site. Some legal and accounting
> people. An ED (although not as well paid as Sue, since they would be
> running a much smaller organisation). Then various operational and
> administrative costs. My finger in the air estimate would be a total of
> about $4m-$5m.
> I think the foundation should include such an estimate in their financial
> planning. It is important to know how much money is going on essentials and
> how much on nice-to-haves. (That ought to be how the core/non-core split
> works, really...)

I'm not sure on that definition of core / non-core, but I think the
general idea would be useful.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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