The Wikipedia Review: A forum for discussion and criticism of Wikipedia
Wikipedia Review Op-Ed Pages

Welcome, Guest! ( Log In | Register )

2 Pages V  1 2 >  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Whose Money Is It Anyway?
dogbiscuit
post Thu 16th February 2012, 4:08pm
Post #1


Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
********

Group: Members
Posts: 2,972
Joined: Tue 4th Dec 2007, 12:42am
From: The Midlands
Member No.: 4,015



From the minutes:

QUOTE
Second tranche of WMF grant (AT)
AT would like the authority to pay a second tranche to the WMF. CK expressed the view that the sooner we give the WMF the grant, the better: however, MP expressed an opposing viewpoint, that we wait until certain key agreements are signed before finalising the payment.
JD wants to know if they have formally applied for a grant from us: AT said that we do have an official letter from the WMF asking for a grant. The third tranche will wait until the accounts are finalised.
DECISION: To pay the remaining £200k grant to the WMF and follow up with Barry Newstead re: the fundraising agreement. AT also has authority to transfer a third tranche once the accounts are finalised, as long as that amount is less than £45k.
ACTION: RB and AT to pay the second tranche and contact Barry Newstead.

So having been gifted a large chunk of money by virtue of a website diversion to their own fundraising page, Wikimedia UK contemplate playing hardball over lack of finalising agreements.

Intriguing that Wikimedia UK think in terms of it being their money to grant to the WMF. I wonder what WMF think about such debates.

I also wonder about this grant application business, seems like glorified money laundering to me. I wonder what HM Customs and Revenue think about these schemes. Just to be clear, WMF do fund-raising on their website. They divert UK clicks to a UK based company who nominally are in receipt of the moneys and are able to get tax back based on the UK based company being a charity but in practice have to hand the money back to the WMF. So the UK based company has not actually sought the donations, it has not provided any significant labour or effort to garner these donations. It has simply processed them, with a bit of paperwork to claim the tax back on behalf of a US company. Probably worth a chat with a friendly tax accountant or two that I know.

Thinks, it should also be fun to nitpick and worry through all the minutes so they get so paranoid that they hold everything in secret. Then they might learn why information does not like being free after all.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
lilburne
post Thu 16th February 2012, 4:26pm
Post #2


Chameleon
*****

Group: Contributors
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu 17th Jun 2010, 11:42am
Member No.: 21,803

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 16th February 2012, 4:08pm) *


Thinks, it should also be fun to nitpick and worry through all the minutes so they get so paranoid that they hold everything in secret. Then they might learn why information does not like being free after all.


I think they are already learning that lesson.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
HRIP7
post Thu 16th February 2012, 4:32pm
Post #3


Senior Member
****

Group: Regulars
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat 6th Feb 2010, 3:58pm
Member No.: 17,020

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 16th February 2012, 4:08pm) *

From the minutes:

QUOTE
Second tranche of WMF grant (AT)
AT would like the authority to pay a second tranche to the WMF. CK expressed the view that the sooner we give the WMF the grant, the better: however, MP expressed an opposing viewpoint, that we wait until certain key agreements are signed before finalising the payment.
JD wants to know if they have formally applied for a grant from us: AT said that we do have an official letter from the WMF asking for a grant. The third tranche will wait until the accounts are finalised.
DECISION: To pay the remaining £200k grant to the WMF and follow up with Barry Newstead re: the fundraising agreement. AT also has authority to transfer a third tranche once the accounts are finalised, as long as that amount is less than £45k.
ACTION: RB and AT to pay the second tranche and contact Barry Newstead.

So having been gifted a large chunk of money by virtue of a website diversion to their own fundraising page, Wikimedia UK contemplate playing hardball over lack of finalising agreements.

Intriguing that Wikimedia UK think in terms of it being their money to grant to the WMF. I wonder what WMF think about such debates.

I also wonder about this grant application business, seems like glorified money laundering to me. I wonder what HM Customs and Revenue think about these schemes. Just to be clear, WMF do fund-raising on their website. They divert UK clicks to a UK based company who nominally are in receipt of the moneys and are able to get tax back based on the UK based company being a charity but in practice have to hand the money back to the WMF. So the UK based company has not actually sought the donations, it has not provided any significant labour or effort to garner these donations. It has simply processed them, with a bit of paperwork to claim the tax back on behalf of a US company. Probably worth a chat with a friendly tax accountant or two that I know.

Thinks, it should also be fun to nitpick and worry through all the minutes so they get so paranoid that they hold everything in secret. Then they might learn why information does not like being free after all.

On a somewhat related topic, there was this from John Vandenberg earlier today:
QUOTE
Erik, you should be ashamed of that memo, published with so many errors (data and logic) and the spin is so transparent that it makes the errors seem intentional.

The memo referred to is the Fundraising and Funds Dissemination WMF staff memo. So what exactly is going on there?
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
dogbiscuit
post Thu 16th February 2012, 4:54pm
Post #4


Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
********

Group: Members
Posts: 2,972
Joined: Tue 4th Dec 2007, 12:42am
From: The Midlands
Member No.: 4,015



QUOTE(HRIP7 @ Thu 16th February 2012, 4:32pm) *

QUOTE
Erik, you should be ashamed of that memo, published with so many errors (data and logic) and the spin is so transparent that it makes the errors seem intentional.

The memo referred to is the Fundraising and Funds Dissemination WMF staff memo. So what exactly is going on there?

My reading of that is that the WMF don't see that there is great benefit from fund-raising through Wikimedia UK. It is interesting because if you switch off the WMF page switcheroo, you switch off Wikimedia UK funds and they rapidly burn their funds on all their employees which they simply could not fund if they had to fund-raise for themselves without the Wikipedia site.

Who is the driver for chapters anyway? All that effort to set up Wikimedia UK and Erik is basically saying that they are a waste of time (financially at least). I guess the other side is that he is suggesting that they could centrally fund-raise and give grants out in the other direction, but I don't see that they'd be interested in funding the large back office that Wikimedia UK have built up on the pretence that they are a multi-million pound charity.

There is an interesting footnote that they think that they have compliance issues in the UK with Wikimedia UK funding WMF, and there is less of an issue the other way round. (Isn't this where I came in?)
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
HRIP7
post Thu 16th February 2012, 5:07pm
Post #5


Senior Member
****

Group: Regulars
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat 6th Feb 2010, 3:58pm
Member No.: 17,020

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



The minutes mention two interesting new Wikimedia UK policies: the Friendly space policy, and the Participation policy (draft).

The striking thing about the friendly space policy is that it expressly states that
QUOTE
Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue or talks. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event at the discretion of the event organiser.

Isn't that rather hypocritical, given the widespread view that there should be no suppression whatsoever of sexual imagery etc. on Wikimedia websites for any reason, and that people who have uploaded sexual images of themselves, their partners, their former partners (possibly without their consent) should not have the right to ask for these to be removed again?

In fact, Commons is a complete mess for never asking for model releases the way professional outfits like istockphoto do. (They also pay their contributors, provide online training, and guarantee customers that their images do not infringe anyone's rights ... but I digress.)

The participation policy seems to be an effort to ensure that Wikimedia UK members can remain totally anonymous, as it forbids

QUOTE
Persistent intrusion into the privacy of people who choose to participate in Wikimedia UK activities under their Wikimedia username or other pseudonym (regardless of whether their identity has been disclosed to the activity organisers or partner institutions)

Shouldn't this really just be a matter for UK law? How does that compare to other UK charities? Are there any other UK charities that have rules like that?

Prosecutable privacy intrusions are one thing; but is someone's name now private? For example, if you say out loud that a volunteer for the Red Cross who insists on being called "The King" by everyone is really called John Smith, does that mean the Red Cross don't want you no more?

Again, it seems hypocritical. In Wikipedia, efforts are made to locate whatever embarrassing thing can be found in some notable person's history, down to the level of a driving offence, and to make sure that thing is permanently visible under the top Google link for that person's name. But God forbid that there be any scrutiny of the people who accomplish that effort.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
dogbiscuit
post Thu 16th February 2012, 6:07pm
Post #6


Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
********

Group: Members
Posts: 2,972
Joined: Tue 4th Dec 2007, 12:42am
From: The Midlands
Member No.: 4,015



QUOTE(HRIP7 @ Thu 16th February 2012, 5:07pm) *

The striking thing about the friendly space policy is that it expressly states that
QUOTE
Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue or talks. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event at the discretion of the event organiser.

Isn't that rather hypocritical, given the widespread view that there should be no suppression whatsoever of sexual imagery etc. on Wikimedia websites for any reason, and that people who have uploaded sexual images of themselves, their partners, their former partners (possibly without their consent) should not have the right to ask for these to be removed again?

I think the really hypocritical thing about that is that people like Fae appear to define themselves to some extent in terms of their sexuality - it leaks out of their communications all the time, it is part of their WikiPersonality - yet they see it as an intrusion to note this. I think they would probably argue it was unfair that they were expected to suppress their personality or some such argument, yet the point about Wikipedian anonymity is that the editing is supposed to be such a well-proscribed process that personality should not be part of it. Presumably David Gerard would be banned because he is a walking fetish display from the pictures he displays of himself.

There is a challenge - to turn up and complain that anyone dressed in an extrovert fashion is being sexually threatening and you feel threatened by it. Somehow I think the policy would melt away then.

Of course, taking that policy wording to its Wikipedian extreme, we seem to being told that we cannot use he/she; we cannot allude to gender, we cannot talk of our spouses; we cannot discuss the problem of overtly sexual content at Wikimedia UK.

If Wikipedia anonymity really worked, then we really wouldn't be interested in editors at all because they'd just be worker drones sifting through sources to make wonderful articles, and we would not really be aware of their interests.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Kelly Martin
post Thu 16th February 2012, 6:28pm
Post #7


Bring back the guttersnipes!
********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 3,270
Joined: Sun 22nd Jun 2008, 4:41am
From: EN61bw
Member No.: 6,696



QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 16th February 2012, 12:07pm) *
Of course, taking that policy wording to its Wikipedian extreme, we seem to being told that we cannot use he/she; we cannot allude to gender, we cannot talk of our spouses; we cannot discuss the problem of overtly sexual content at Wikimedia UK.

If Wikipedia anonymity really worked, then we really wouldn't be interested in editors at all because they'd just be worker drones sifting through sources to make wonderful articles, and we would not really be aware of their interests.
To be fair, I was told (way back when) that, as an admin, I ought not be friends with anyone else who is also an admin. I believe it is formally Wikipedia policy that all Wikipedians ought to be faceless, personality-free drones with no emotional attachments to anyone or anything, except, of course, Wikipedia.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
TungstenCarbide
post Thu 16th February 2012, 6:52pm
Post #8


Allegedly shot down by stray Ukrainian missile
******

Group: Regulars
Posts: 1,405
Joined: Sat 14th Mar 2009, 6:12am
Member No.: 10,787

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 16th February 2012, 4:54pm) *
Who is the driver for chapters anyway? All that effort to set up Wikimedia UK and Erik is basically saying that they are a waste of time (financially at least). I guess the other side is that he is suggesting that they could centrally fund-raise and give grants out in the other direction, but I don't see that they'd be interested in funding the large back office that Wikimedia UK have built up on the pretence that they are a multi-million pound charity.

I think Anthere was one of the driving forces behind setting up chapters. It's not just the money but the board seats. Anthere was always prickly about Wikipedia being US-centric.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Peter Damian
post Thu 16th February 2012, 7:40pm
Post #9


I have as much free time as a Wikipedia admin!
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 4,400
Joined: Tue 18th Dec 2007, 9:25pm
Member No.: 4,212

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



Note the very emotional objections on the talk page are from WMUK directors and from John Vandenberg (WMAU). Philippe wrote the doc in his new capacity as head of Advocacy or whatsit. Summarising the doc:

1. The first bolded point is that donors prefer their contributions directly to support Wikipedia, not these weird chapters. Precisely bearing out my point about misleading advertising.

2. Central fundraising is better than 'local' fundraising, given Wikipedia's global model. True again.

3. Local payment processing is more expensive than the global model.

4. Advertising local tax-deductibility does not have significant impact on donations (I'm surprised by this).

5. Transfer of funds to local chapters no worse than the other way round.

The implication obviously is that they want to move to a global fundraising model, which WMF having discretion about funding local operations such as WMUK. They want to take power away from chapters.

That's clearly why 'The Land' (WMUK director of fund raising Chris Keating) is so pissed off.

QUOTE

I'm very disappointed with this document. This really feels like a document drafted to reinforce prejudices rather than contribute to the debate.
I am particularly irritated to find the answers to the 2010 Editor Survey question "Next time you donate, would you say you would rather donate to the Wikimedia Foundation that operates Wikipedia, or to the national chapter representing your country?" wheeled out yet again to justify Sue's proposals when it is such a patently biased question. This has been highlighted a number of times and it is deeply regrettable that it is still in use.
I do not get the impression, on a quick reading, that the rest of the document is any less selective in its interpretation. The figures presented in the appendix are basically made up. There is still very little attempt to assess the value of tax-deductibility to donors, and none at all to consider the synergy between the annual fundraiser and other opportunities from fundraising.
Frankly it is documents like this one that cause the problem of trust between the Wikimedia Foundation and chapters.
I hope we will be able to have a sensible debate this weekend in spite of this document. Otherwise I might as well cancel my Eurostar ticket right away. Regards, The Land 20:13, 15 February 2012 (UTC) (Edited to add: Just for the avoidance of doubt, these views are my own, not those of my chapter. The Land 21:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC))

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
EricBarbour
post Thu 16th February 2012, 9:08pm
Post #10


blah
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 5,919
Joined: Mon 25th Feb 2008, 2:31am
Member No.: 5,066

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 16th February 2012, 8:54am) *

Who is the driver for chapters anyway?

That is a very profound, and nasty, question. And I have yet to see a proper discussion of it, anywhere.
(Especially not in public WMF documents. This is yet another aspect of the WMF that is utterly opaque
and mismanaged, I have to suspect they are abusing local chapters for their own dirty uses, such as
heeling Wikipedias that are written in languages Erik Moeller and Sue can't read.)

I defy any of you to read the "official fundraising chapter agreement" and try to parse it.
It looks more like a series of threats than an "agreement".

QUOTE
Anthere was always prickly about Wikipedia being US-centric.

That's another comical aspect of the WMF. It slowly grows more anti-American with every passing year,
yet is based in America, was invented by Americans, is still run by a staff that is mostly Americans,
is dominated by the English-language Wikipedia, and raises most of its donations from Americans.

Image

This post has been edited by EricBarbour: Thu 16th February 2012, 9:19pm
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
SB_Johnny
post Thu 16th February 2012, 10:11pm
Post #11


It wasn't me who made honky-tonk angels
*******

Group: Regulars
Posts: 2,128
Joined: Mon 15th Sep 2008, 3:10pm
Member No.: 8,272

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



It shouldn't be surprising that the WMF would move towards clawing back the fundraising power, given the state of things at WMUK.

What are the "key agreements" MP was referring to regarding whether to finalize the payment?

QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Thu 16th February 2012, 4:08pm) *

QUOTE
Anthere was always prickly about Wikipedia being US-centric.

That's another comical aspect of the WMF. It slowly grows more anti-American with every passing year,
yet is based in America, was invented by Americans, is still run by a staff that is mostly Americans,
is dominated by the English-language Wikipedia, and raises most of its donations from Americans.


Years ago (2008, maybe?) a few of us were trying to start a chapter for Pennsylvania. We were vehemently opposed because there was paranoia about there being 50 state chapters that would cause "enfranchisement issues" for the European chapters. I think it has since been swallowed up by the New York chapter.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
dogbiscuit
post Fri 17th February 2012, 12:20am
Post #12


Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
********

Group: Members
Posts: 2,972
Joined: Tue 4th Dec 2007, 12:42am
From: The Midlands
Member No.: 4,015



QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Thu 16th February 2012, 9:08pm) *

I defy any of you to read the "official fundraising chapter agreement" and try to parse it.
It looks more like a series of threats than an "agreement".

It is probably unenforceable. One thing I note is the attempt to claim that the only juristriction that counts is California. A legal entity in the UK is incapable of dismissing UK law by signing a contract.

The whole thing comes across that you have a bunch of idealistic chapter members who believe in The Cause, and then they discover that the WMF are actually a bunch of cynical money-grabbers. Quelle surprise.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
HRIP7
post Fri 17th February 2012, 2:10am
Post #13


Senior Member
****

Group: Regulars
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat 6th Feb 2010, 3:58pm
Member No.: 17,020

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 17th February 2012, 12:20am) *

QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Thu 16th February 2012, 9:08pm) *

I defy any of you to read the "official fundraising chapter agreement" and try to parse it.
It looks more like a series of threats than an "agreement".

It is probably unenforceable. One thing I note is the attempt to claim that the only juristriction that counts is California. A legal entity in the UK is incapable of dismissing UK law by signing a contract.

The whole thing comes across that you have a bunch of idealistic chapter members who believe in The Cause, and then they discover that the WMF are actually a bunch of cynical money-grabbers. Quelle surprise.

Well, at any rate, it is a new development to see Wikipedians arguing about the money. It used to be that there wasn't any to speak of.

But as annual donations have increased tenfold over the past five years, now having hit $20m and rising, it seems like a few people can see a gravy train forming in front of their eyes – microgrants, grants, paid chapter jobs, paid Foundation jobs, £30,000 GLAM/Wikipedian-in-residence jobs – basically all ways to monetise Wikimedia involvement.

For a few people at least, all that unpaid volunteer work will finally pay off after all.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Silenteditor
post Fri 17th February 2012, 3:44am
Post #14


Neophyte


Group: Contributors
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon 16th Feb 2009, 4:28am
Member No.: 10,320



QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 17th February 2012, 3:08am) *


I also wonder about this grant application business, seems like glorified money laundering to me.


It wouldn't surprise me if this very concern isn't what's making the WMUK folks think twice about signing cheques/sending funds to WMF. I would imagine they want to make sure they are (individually) covered if anyone investigates. But I could be wrong.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Rufus
post Fri 17th February 2012, 6:05am
Post #15


New Member
*

Group: Contributors
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu 4th May 2006, 6:35pm
Member No.: 167



QUOTE(Silenteditor @ Fri 17th February 2012, 3:44am) *

QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 17th February 2012, 3:08am) *


I also wonder about this grant application business, seems like glorified money laundering to me.



So I was thinking about why they would do this. It doesn't really seem like writing it into the contract as a programmatic expense for the UK foundation saves either WMF or WMUK any actual money. The WMF wouldn't be taxed on receipt of the money anyway (they can almost certainly classify this as inside the scope of their mission, and so not a source of outside business income). I don't know UK law on this, but I doubt WMUK would lose any money by calling it a direct payment instead of a grant. They wouldn't under US law.

WMUK would, however, have to call it a fundraising expense if they made the money transfer a direct payment (again, under US law; I suspect it applies over there but I'm not sure). So WMUK would have a significantly higher fundraising expenses when various charity rating people looked at their fundraising efficiency ratio.

Wonder if that's what's up here. WMF wants to ensure payment, but doesn't want to mess with the chapter's fundraising efficiency ratio, so they end up putting an obligation to dispense programmatic funds in a fundraising contract.

This post has been edited by Rufus: Fri 17th February 2012, 6:07am
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
jayvdb
post Fri 17th February 2012, 7:38am
Post #16


Senior Member
****

Group: Contributors
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed 28th Feb 2007, 2:15am
From: Melbourne, Australia
Member No.: 1,039

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 16th February 2012, 4:54pm) *

QUOTE(HRIP7 @ Thu 16th February 2012, 4:32pm) *

QUOTE
Erik, you should be ashamed of that memo, published with so many errors (data and logic) and the spin is so transparent that it makes the errors seem intentional.

The memo referred to is the Fundraising and Funds Dissemination WMF staff memo. So what exactly is going on there?

My reading of that is that the WMF don't see that there is great benefit from fund-raising through Wikimedia UK. It is interesting because if you switch off the WMF page switcheroo, you switch off Wikimedia UK funds and they rapidly burn their funds on all their employees which they simply could not fund if they had to fund-raise for themselves without the Wikipedia site.


Not really; all it would mean is that the chapters would be funded by grants from the WMF, using the new chapters grant agreements, or something similar.

The WMF would rather that UK money flows to WMF, and then part of it goes back to the UK.

The chapters would rather that the money goes to an organisation in the same country as the donor, as that gives the donor the greatest ability to ensure their donor information and donation is used appropriately, according to local laws.

The chapters would rather that we have strong member based organisations in each country, so there isn't a single point of decision making and/or failure, and it also means that problems can be addressed by voting out the board members, or by complaints to the local authorities.

For those of you complaining about the chapters, please consider the amount of transparency in the chapter minutes compared with the WMF minutes.

http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/Meeting:C...282011-10-16%29 - ~2 hrs

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2011-08-28 - ~2 hrs

And the chapters usually report all expenditure publicly, with suitable granularity to allow the public scrutiny.

http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/Meeting:2...inancial_Report
http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/Meeting:C...#Finance_Report
etc
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
dogbiscuit
post Fri 17th February 2012, 8:34am
Post #17


Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
********

Group: Members
Posts: 2,972
Joined: Tue 4th Dec 2007, 12:42am
From: The Midlands
Member No.: 4,015



QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 7:38am) *

QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Thu 16th February 2012, 4:54pm) *

My reading of that is that the WMF don't see that there is great benefit from fund-raising through Wikimedia UK. It is interesting because if you switch off the WMF page switcheroo, you switch off Wikimedia UK funds and they rapidly burn their funds on all their employees which they simply could not fund if they had to fund-raise for themselves without the Wikipedia site.


Not really; all it would mean is that the chapters would be funded by grants from the WMF, using the new chapters grant agreements, or something similar.

The WMF would rather that UK money flows to WMF, and then part of it goes back to the UK.

The chapters would rather that the money goes to an organisation in the same country as the donor, as that gives the donor the greatest ability to ensure their donor information and donation is used appropriately, according to local laws.

My point really was that in the context of multi-million pound donations washing through the chapter accounts, the significant staffing looks appropriate. If the WMF simply directed grant money to the chapter to cover the local activities, the staffing overhead would be massively disproportionate. If the WMF chose only to fund the activities not the staff, because the chapter is presumably supposed to have independent local sources of income then I doubt the chapter staffing in the UK could be sustained.


QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 7:38am) *


The chapters would rather that we have strong member based organisations in each country, so there isn't a single point of decision making and/or failure, and it also means that problems can be addressed by voting out the board members, or by complaints to the local authorities.

For those of you complaining about the chapters, please consider the amount of transparency in the chapter minutes compared with the WMF minutes.

http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/Meeting:C...282011-10-16%29 - ~2 hrs

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2011-08-28 - ~2 hrs

And the chapters usually report all expenditure publicly, with suitable granularity to allow the public scrutiny.

http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/Meeting:2...inancial_Report
http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/Meeting:C...#Finance_Report
etc

I think that is a sound point. The trouble is that I think that there are likely to be two types involved in the chapters, the committed Wikipedian who believes in the mission, and the leeches. The leeches will put the time and effort into corrupting the chapters to their own ends, much as we see WMF as primarily being leeches given that it is hard to see how they are effectively supporting the mission - they are off doing whatever the WMF does while the Wikipedians are left in their cellars producing the justification for the bureaucracy. Wikipedians already don't trust the WMF, and while chapters start with Wikipedians, they will migrate to being mini-WMFs - that chapters are transparent is just a sign of the relative immaturity of the local bureaucracy.

At the moment the minutes are transparent where they reflect the committed Wikipedian, but we can already see that as the leeches look to gain control, those sections of the minutes are hidden from view. While policies on harassment can be dressed up as caring and supportive of their members in a potentially hostile environment, in the end it is transporting the Wikipedia Harassment meme into the real world, where any sustained scrutiny is simply dismissed with a cry of Harassment and then forever more, even if the accusations are well-founded, they are dismissed as the work of trolls, and the leeches can carry on their work of subverting the organisation to their own ends in peace and quiet.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Peter Damian
post Fri 17th February 2012, 8:34am
Post #18


I have as much free time as a Wikipedia admin!
*********

Group: Regulars
Posts: 4,400
Joined: Tue 18th Dec 2007, 9:25pm
Member No.: 4,212

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(HRIP7 @ Fri 17th February 2012, 2:10am) *

But as annual donations have increased tenfold over the past five years, now having hit $20m and rising, it seems like a few people can see a gravy train forming in front of their eyes – microgrants, grants, paid chapter jobs, paid Foundation jobs, £30,000 GLAM/Wikipedian-in-residence jobs – basically all ways to monetise Wikimedia involvement.


To be fair, it seems as though the £30,000 is from the British Library, although your general point is absolutely right: involvement in Wikipedia = money. Also, the BL grant has essentially been arranged by a Wikipedian who is working within the Library, and apparently has to authority to organise this (via friendship with Van Haeften, it seems).

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 7:38am) *

For those of you complaining about the chapters, please consider the amount of transparency in the chapter minutes compared with the WMF minutes.

That may be true of WMAU, but I don’t see that with WMUK. Their ‘harassment’ discussion was held in camera, and their mailing list is now private (see https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediauk-l).

QUOTE

The chapters would rather that the money goes to an organisation in the same country as the donor, as that gives the donor the greatest ability to ensure their donor information and donation is used appropriately, according to local laws.


Quite the reverse. Philippe’s research showed, and common sense suggests, that people donate to Wikipedia to support Wikipedia, not these dubious self-elected characters working in the ‘Chapters’.

QUOTE

The chapters would rather that we have strong member based organisations in each country, so there isn't a single point of decision making and/or failure, and it also means that problems can be addressed by voting out the board members, or by complaints to the local authorities.


The process of election for board members has many obstacles attached, notably objections about ‘harassment’. Complaints to local authorities may work, of course.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
lilburne
post Fri 17th February 2012, 9:14am
Post #19


Chameleon
*****

Group: Contributors
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu 17th Jun 2010, 11:42am
Member No.: 21,803

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(Rufus @ Fri 17th February 2012, 6:05am) *

WMUK would, however, have to call it a fundraising expense if they made the money transfer a direct payment (again, under US law; I suspect it applies over there but I'm not sure). So WMUK would have a significantly higher fundraising expenses when various charity rating people looked at their fundraising efficiency ratio.


The tax issues may come into play. If they are claiming back tax on the donations via the UK gift aid scheme and then passing that money to the US there is likely to be a problem, as I don't think that the Gift Aid scheme is meant to apply to UK tax payer donations to foreign charities.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
jayvdb
post Fri 17th February 2012, 9:35am
Post #20


Senior Member
****

Group: Contributors
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed 28th Feb 2007, 2:15am
From: Melbourne, Australia
Member No.: 1,039

WP user page - talk
check - contribs



QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Fri 17th February 2012, 8:34am) *


QUOTE

The chapters would rather that the money goes to an organisation in the same country as the donor, as that gives the donor the greatest ability to ensure their donor information and donation is used appropriately, according to local laws.


Quite the reverse. Philippe’s research showed, and common sense suggests, that people donate to Wikipedia to support Wikipedia, not these dubious self-elected characters working in the ‘Chapters’.

QUOTE

The chapters would rather that we have strong member based organisations in each country, so there isn't a single point of decision making and/or failure, and it also means that problems can be addressed by voting out the board members, or by complaints to the local authorities.


The process of election for board members has many obstacles attached, notably objections about ‘harassment’. Complaints to local authorities may work, of course.

Why do you say self-elected? I assume you are referring to WMUK. Did they report on how many votes were cast in the trustee election?

For the last WMAU committee election, WMAU had 47 members. 19 members were involved in nominating people to be on the next board, with a total of 70 nominations. (i.e. each of those 19 members nominated people for 3.6 of the 6 available seats.) 18 members then voted in the election. I don't consider that to be a great turn out, but it isnt 'self-selecting'. p.s. I don't think WMAU has ever refused membership to anyone (yet), and the existing board has no influence over who can nominated or elected to be on the board.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

2 Pages V  1 2 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

-   Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 13th 12 17, 2:41pm