[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

Federico Leva (Nemo) nemowiki at gmail.com
Mon Mar 18 10:24:29 UTC 2013

Dariusz Jemielniak, 18/03/2013 10:33:
> It is not about being a business or not  - it is about basics of
> strategic planning. Comparisons for endowments undoubtedly should be
> made to non-business organizations, but the horizon for strategic
> planning is not determined as much by the profit/non-profit nature of
> our organization, but rather by the nature of the industry we're in. It
> just does not make much sense to create strategies and visions 100 years
> into the future in our case.

I disagree. The "horizon for strategic planning" in the case of business 
is just making profit, so you can build dams or power plants with a 50 
or 100 years timeframe in mind, sell them all ten years later to buy 
banks or other big factories in a new sector and start again (cf. 
creation of Enel as told by Paul Ginsborg). That's exactly the opposite 
of what donors want for an endowment, and the point you're missing in 
your last reply to his point: it's reasonable to be unable to produce a 
meaningful long-term strategic plan for the sort of activities and 
objectives that the WMF has, but not for Wikimedia in general.
In fact in <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Trust> I defined 
the aim as *negation* (or rather, the complement) of the 5-years 
strategic plan; more on the page.


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