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> WMF Annual Report (2010-11)
thekohser
post Tue 20th December 2011, 9:21pm
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If you can stand reading it.

(link)
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Shalom
post Tue 20th December 2011, 10:45pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Tue 20th December 2011, 4:21pm) *

If you can stand reading it.

(link)

I can't stand reading the colorful crap. The financials are on page 12. Seriously, what is WMF supposed to do with $23 million in donations per year? On the expense side, they spent more than $1 million on "travel".

Talk about an organization that really doesn't need your money.
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EricBarbour
post Tue 20th December 2011, 11:10pm
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I would post the financials here, but this forum has no way to make a readable table.
So I'll just put down the highlights.

QUOTE
Total expenses $17,890,000

Increase in net assets 6,895,000

Total current assets 20,785,000

Total liabilities 1,974,000


Total liabilities and net assets 26,166,000


They are sitting on more than $20 million in cash, and could shut off ALL fundraising tomorrow--and keep going, for at least TWO YEARS, just on savings. But they keep begging for more and more.

And the WMF isn't even an important nonprofit, or a well-endowed one.
This list shows the top 100 foundations in the US. The WMF doesn't even chart.

No wonder they get away with being a bunch of trolls and flakes.
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Cla68
post Tue 20th December 2011, 11:34pm
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Tue 20th December 2011, 11:10pm) *

I would post the financials here, but this forum has no way to make a readable table.
So I'll just put down the highlights.

QUOTE
Total expenses $17,890,000

Increase in net assets 6,895,000

Total current assets 20,785,000

Total liabilities 1,974,000


Total liabilities and net assets 26,166,000


They are sitting on more than $20 million in cash, and could shut off ALL fundraising tomorrow--and keep going, for at least TWO YEARS, just on savings. But they keep begging for more and more.

And the WMF isn't even an important nonprofit, or a well-endowed one.
This list shows the top 100 foundations in the US. The WMF doesn't even chart.

No wonder they get away with being a bunch of trolls and flakes.


I can predict a few things they will do with the extra cash:

- Hire a bunch more people to work on various projects that are on their "to do" list. Even if some of the projects haven't been adequately critically evaluated, they will throw money at them anyway because they have money to burn.

- Buy more furniture, workstations, and other office equipment to support the expanded staff.

- Pay some expensive consultants to do some work for them, like surveying Wikipedia participants and readers.

- Give the executives raises. They won't be big raises to avoid backlash, probably around 5-10%.

- Do a lot more traveling. They will all travel to any and every conference, symposium, and presentation anywhere in the world that has anything at all to do with social media, the free content movement, and the like.

This post has been edited by Cla68: Tue 20th December 2011, 11:36pm
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gomi
post Tue 20th December 2011, 11:55pm
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There are a couple of remarkable things:

1) They spend well over $7m on salaries, for a total of 80 employees;

2) They made only $37,000 on investment return on investable assets of $5.8m, an investment return of 0.6%;

3) As noted, they have (at year-end) over $12m of cash that is NOT included in "investments". Even on a short-term basis, this is a quasi-endowment that should be invested;

4) $5.9 for "operating expenses" and travel seems very high for 80 employees. Only $1.8m of nearly $18m in expenses is for hosting -- they spend $1.7 on the Board, and 18% of their total expenses, or $3.6m on administration;

5) Hilariously, the alphabetize their donor list by first name, making it virtually impossible to find specific individuals on it.

It is a very unusual profile for a "charitable" organization with only 80 employees.

It is instructive to compare Wikimedia with the Mozilla Foundation and Corporation.

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Cla68
post Wed 21st December 2011, 12:25am
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QUOTE(gomi @ Tue 20th December 2011, 11:55pm) *

There are a couple of remarkable things:

1) They spend well over $7m on salaries, for a total of 80 employees;

2) They made only $37,000 on investment return on investable assets of $5.8m, an investment return of 0.6%;

3) As noted, they have (at year-end) over $12m of cash that is NOT included in "investments". Even on a short-term basis, this is a quasi-endowment that should be invested;

4) $5.9 for "operating expenses" and travel seems very high for 80 employees. Only $1.8m of nearly $18m in expenses is for hosting -- they spend $1.7 on the Board, and 18% of their total expenses, or $3.6m on administration;

5) Hilariously, the alphabetize their donor list by first name, making it virtually impossible to find specific individuals on it.

It is a very unusual profile for a "charitable" organization with only 80 employees.

It is instructive to compare Wikimedia with the Mozilla Foundation and Corporation.


The high travel expenses is one of the most glaring items inviting further inquiry.
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melloden
post Wed 21st December 2011, 2:07am
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QUOTE(Cla68 @ Wed 21st December 2011, 12:25am) *

The high travel expenses is one of the most glaring items inviting further inquiry.


Unsurprising, considering the number of people they paid to fly around to India and other places (Brazil?) to expand their university program.
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Malleus
post Wed 21st December 2011, 5:53am
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QUOTE(gomi @ Tue 20th December 2011, 11:55pm) *

There are a couple of remarkable things:

1) They spend well over $7m on salaries, for a total of 80 employees;

That does indeed seem remarkable.
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Cla68
post Wed 21st December 2011, 6:33am
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Wed 21st December 2011, 5:53am) *

QUOTE(gomi @ Tue 20th December 2011, 11:55pm) *

There are a couple of remarkable things:

1) They spend well over $7m on salaries, for a total of 80 employees;

That does indeed seem remarkable.


Does that include health benefits and the like?
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gomi
post Wed 21st December 2011, 6:47am
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QUOTE(Cla68 @ Tue 20th December 2011, 10:33pm) *
QUOTE(Malleus @ Wed 21st December 2011, 5:53am) *
QUOTE(gomi @ Tue 20th December 2011, 11:55pm) *
There are a couple of remarkable things: 1) They spend well over $7m on salaries, for a total of 80 employees;
That does indeed seem remarkable.
Does that include health benefits and the like?

In the U.S., employee "benefits" (chiefly health insurance) add an average of $15,000 to employee compensation. In addition, taxes that include (I'm approximating here) 6.5% for Social Security/FICA, 1.5% for Medicare, 5-6% for unemployment insurance, and some other costs. Most of these (excluding Medicare) end after the first $70k or so of income.

Now, if 80 employees get $7.2m, that is an average of $90k per employee. The first thing to realize is that they pay Sue Gardner $500k or whatever, so really it is $6.7m for 79 employees, or an average of about $85k each. Take $15k from that ($70k) and then another 15%, and you are at base pay of perhaps $60k. It's not distributed like that, of course -- the engineers make $100k and the admin staff make $30k.

The real question is what in the world 80 Wikimedia employees are doing with their time?
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Cla68
post Wed 21st December 2011, 11:17am
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QUOTE(gomi @ Wed 21st December 2011, 6:47am) *

The real question is what in the world 80 Wikimedia employees are doing with their time?


Has the WMF published an org chart? If not, we should ask for one. We should make sure to ask that it include every paid position, including any contractors.
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Eppur si muove
post Wed 21st December 2011, 11:30am
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QUOTE(melloden @ Wed 21st December 2011, 2:07am) *

QUOTE(Cla68 @ Wed 21st December 2011, 12:25am) *

The high travel expenses is one of the most glaring items inviting further inquiry.


Unsurprising, considering the number of people they paid to fly around to India and other places (Brazil?) to expand their university program.


Does it include non-staff? I'm thinking of funding relatively poor people to go to Wikimania.
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thekohser
post Wed 21st December 2011, 2:40pm
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QUOTE(gomi @ Wed 21st December 2011, 1:47am) *

The first thing to realize is that they pay Sue Gardner $500k or whatever...

Last year's total salary and bonus compensation to Sue was $222,550, which was 2.23% of all expenses. This is according to Charity Navigator, and the figure was corroborated by other WMF financial discussions I've seen. Although, my numbers posted at about $240,000.

The "$500K" figure that became a meme a few years ago was budget for Sue, Erik, their personal assistant, benefits, taxes, and some relocation costs.

This post has been edited by thekohser: Wed 21st December 2011, 3:23pm
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GlassBeadGame
post Wed 21st December 2011, 3:01pm
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In terms of raw scale something like $20,000,000/yr employing 300 FTE staff would be seem reasonable. This level of staff would permit a cadre of employees assuring that admins carry out out project objects with the kind of dispatch and control only found in the employment relationship. These 300 ought to be directed toward BLP, child, protection, medical article accuracy anti-pornography and other areas of policy identified by the Board of Trustees. Although this is not reflected in how Sue currently applies staff positions she has come a long ways from the days of Danny and Florence D. sneering at each other in a strip mall in Florida. This higher level of staffing is a prerequisite for WMF behaving as responsible member of the non-profit community and good neighbor toward innocent third parties.

Sue is not WP's Lenin but she might eventually he look back upon as its Peter the Great.
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SB_Johnny
post Wed 21st December 2011, 3:11pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Wed 21st December 2011, 10:01am) *

In terms of raw scale something like $20,000,000/yr employing 300 FTE staff would be seem reasonable. This level of staff would permit a cadre of employees assuring that admins carry out out project objects with the kind of dispatch and control only found in the employment relationship. These 300 ought to be directed toward BLP, child, protection, medical article accuracy anti-pornography and other areas of policy identified by the Board of Trustees. Although this is not reflected in how Sue currently applies staff positions she has come a long ways from the days of Danny and Florence D. sneering at each other in a strip mall in Florida. This higher level of staffing is a prerequisite for WMF behaving as responsible member of the non-profit community and good neighbor toward innocent third parties.

Sue is not WP's Lenin but she might eventually he look back upon as its Peter the Great.

Catherine would probably work better, if she frees the serfs and gets rid of the old Tsar.
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gomi
post Wed 21st December 2011, 7:31pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 21st December 2011, 6:40am) *
The "$500K" figure that became a meme a few years ago was budget for Sue, Erik, their personal assistant, benefits, taxes, and some relocation costs.
Thanks for the correction. I regret the error.

I should add that the $200k salary range is not inappropriate for an executive of a non-profit of this scale. I am not trying to defend WMF, but I do think it is important, when criticizing them, to know what is typical in the non-profit world.

When I have more time I will try to work up the comparison with the Mozilla Foundation and Corp, which seems the most apposite.


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Cla68
post Wed 21st December 2011, 11:38pm
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QUOTE(gomi @ Wed 21st December 2011, 7:31pm) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 21st December 2011, 6:40am) *
The "$500K" figure that became a meme a few years ago was budget for Sue, Erik, their personal assistant, benefits, taxes, and some relocation costs.
Thanks for the correction. I regret the error.

I should add that the $200k salary range is not inappropriate for an executive of a non-profit of this scale. I am not trying to defend WMF, but I do think it is important, when criticizing them, to know what is typical in the non-profit world.

When I have more time I will try to work up the comparison with the Mozilla Foundation and Corp, which seems the most apposite.


I agree. $200K for a senior executive is a reasonable salary. For that salary, however, the CEO is expected to successfully identify and resolve all the major issues facing the organization.
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dogbiscuit
post Wed 21st December 2011, 11:43pm
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QUOTE(Cla68 @ Wed 21st December 2011, 11:38pm) *

QUOTE(gomi @ Wed 21st December 2011, 7:31pm) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 21st December 2011, 6:40am) *
The "$500K" figure that became a meme a few years ago was budget for Sue, Erik, their personal assistant, benefits, taxes, and some relocation costs.
Thanks for the correction. I regret the error.

I should add that the $200k salary range is not inappropriate for an executive of a non-profit of this scale. I am not trying to defend WMF, but I do think it is important, when criticizing them, to know what is typical in the non-profit world.

When I have more time I will try to work up the comparison with the Mozilla Foundation and Corp, which seems the most apposite.


I agree. $200K for a senior executive is a reasonable salary. For that salary, however, the CEO is expected to successfully identify and resolve all the major issues facing the organization.

IOW what have the board really achieved under her direction?
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thekohser
post Thu 22nd December 2011, 2:44am
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QUOTE(gomi @ Wed 21st December 2011, 2:31pm) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 21st December 2011, 6:40am) *
The "$500K" figure that became a meme a few years ago was budget for Sue, Erik, their personal assistant, benefits, taxes, and some relocation costs.
Thanks for the correction. I regret the error.

I should add that the $200k salary range is not inappropriate for an executive of a non-profit of this scale. I am not trying to defend WMF, but I do think it is important, when criticizing them, to know what is typical in the non-profit world.

When I have more time I will try to work up the comparison with the Mozilla Foundation and Corp, which seems the most apposite.


Gomi, I recognize your points, but we should also remember that many legitimate non-profits: (a) actually provide a recognizable humanitarian benefit, rather than erode centuries-old processes that sustain scholarship and knowledge, and (b) don't have 99% of their mission being fulfilled by non-paid volunteers who require virtually no direction from the corporate entity.

I.e., the Wikimedia Foundation's 11 projects are hardly any different now than they were 6 years ago when the entire Foundation budget was under $500,000.
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melloden
post Fri 23rd December 2011, 12:00am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 22nd December 2011, 2:44am) *

QUOTE(gomi @ Wed 21st December 2011, 2:31pm) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Wed 21st December 2011, 6:40am) *
The "$500K" figure that became a meme a few years ago was budget for Sue, Erik, their personal assistant, benefits, taxes, and some relocation costs.
Thanks for the correction. I regret the error.

I should add that the $200k salary range is not inappropriate for an executive of a non-profit of this scale. I am not trying to defend WMF, but I do think it is important, when criticizing them, to know what is typical in the non-profit world.

When I have more time I will try to work up the comparison with the Mozilla Foundation and Corp, which seems the most apposite.


Gomi, I recognize your points, but we should also remember that many legitimate non-profits: (a) actually provide a recognizable humanitarian benefit, rather than erode centuries-old processes that sustain scholarship and knowledge, and (b) don't have 99% of their mission being fulfilled by non-paid volunteers who require virtually no direction from the corporate entity.

I.e., the Wikimedia Foundation's 11 projects are hardly any different now than they were 6 years ago when the entire Foundation budget was under $500,000.


The WMF is a big supporter of the free culture/FOSS, etc. community. They are rather similar to Mozilla, but obviously there are some big differences as well.
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