[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Fri Mar 15 02:16:12 UTC 2013

On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 8:45 PM, George Herbert
<george.herbert at gmail.com> wrote:
>> [Hosting...] Then various operational and administrative costs. My finger in the
>> air estimate would be a total of about $4m-$5m.
>> 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 think a useful breakdown is
{([<hosting> + core operations] + core projects) + additional
projects} = budget

The boundaries get fuzzier, moving out.
 Hosting :    Bandwidth and hardware; has two line-items in the budget.
 Core ops :  Everything needed to make hosting work with [reasonable]
uptime / disaster response / critical updates.
 Core projects :  Everything needed to make the Projects and
Foundation work with [reasonable] efficiency and accessibility.
Including fundraising, financial and legal project support,
development of major features, mediawiki platform innovation, support
for community tech innovation.
 Additional projects A :  Efforts to upgrade "reasonable" service to
"excellent".  Support for new Projects. Experiments in engagement /
collaboration / governance.
 Additional projects B :  Work to bridge gaps in current projects,
research to find solutions to unsolved problems, outreach to new
audiences.  Other exploratory work, e.g., in design / communication /
education / dissemination / translation.

There are other ways we could classify our work.  There are options
for in-kind donations or volunteer-run versions of many costs, though
this is not always sustainable.  There are options for degrading the
quality of services rather than dropping them entirely.

This classification isn't perfectly tied to long-term importance: it
focuses on things we've already done and want to protect.  Something
supported by an "additional" project today may become a core project
tomorrow, or key to the future of the movement... or it may be spun
off or handed off to a partner.

Last year, our definition of "non-core" WMF projects was I believe
similar to group "B" above.


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