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> WMF Form 990 (through June 2010)
thekohser
post Thu 7th April 2011, 9:44pm
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Once again, right on time (a little over 9 months after the closing date), the Wikimedia Foundation has published their federal Form 990, so that you can keep track of how much of every revenue dollar they're spending on program expenses (this year, it's up from 41 cents on the dollar to 46.2 cents on the dollar -- a ratio that would make any legitimate charity ashamed to exist).

If you're a WikiBeliever, there's even a PR-soaked version of the questions you should be asking the Foundation.


Recall from LAST YEAR's form:

QUOTE
Sue Gardner's total compensation:
$175,050

Mike Godwin's total compensation:
$128,139

Veronique Kessler's total compensation:
$121,859



Total program expenses: $3,308,546.

Total revenue: $8,137,235.

Ratio of program expenses to revenue: 40.66% (about half of what reputable charities strive for)



Highest-paid contractor:

SQUIRE SANDERS AND DEMPSEY LLP of Tysons Corner, Virginia, for legal services totaling $131,564 (stuff that Mike Godwin couldn't handle on his own)



Return on investments:

The WMF reported between $2.8 million and $6.2 million stuffed away in cash savings/investments. The interest on that was about $31,000. A net return on investment of somewhere between 0.5% and 1.1%.

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Peter Damian
post Thu 7th April 2011, 10:03pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Thu 7th April 2011, 10:44pm) *

Once again, right on time (a little over 9 months after the closing date), the Wikimedia Foundation has published their federal Form 990, so that you can keep track of how much of every revenue dollar they're spending on program expenses (this year, it's up from 41 cents on the dollar to 46.2 cents on the dollar -- a ratio that would make any legitimate charity ashamed to exist).

If you're a WikiBeliever, there's even a PR-soaked version of the questions you should be asking the Foundation.


Recall from LAST YEAR's form:

QUOTE
Sue Gardner's total compensation:
$175,050

Mike Godwin's total compensation:
$128,139

Veronique Kessler's total compensation:
$121,859



Total program expenses: $3,308,546.

Total revenue: $8,137,235.

Ratio of program expenses to revenue: 40.66% (about half of what reputable charities strive for)



Highest-paid contractor:

SQUIRE SANDERS AND DEMPSEY LLP of Tysons Corner, Virginia, for legal services totaling $131,564 (stuff that Mike Godwin couldn't handle on his own)



Return on investments:

The WMF reported between $2.8 million and $6.2 million stuffed away in cash savings/investments. The interest on that was about $31,000. A net return on investment of somewhere between 0.5% and 1.1%.



I like the different ways to approaching summaries. Yours above and this http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Form_2...ons_and_Answers (the PR-soaked one). But Greg, don't you do PR?
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melloden
post Thu 7th April 2011, 10:35pm
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At least they don't pay anyone more than Americans pay Obama.
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Thu 7th April 2011, 11:06pm
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QUOTE
Sue Gardner's total compensation: $175,050

QUOTE
Hilary Clinton as US Secretary of State: $186,000


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thekohser
post Fri 8th April 2011, 2:31am
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Folks, that was just a quick post to get people primed for the new sums. Those numbers posted above were from the PREVIOUS Form 990. This more recent one gives us a measuring stick over time:

Sue Gardner's total compensation:
$175,050 in 2008-09
$240,159 in 2009-10

During this time period, the U.S. unemployment rate went from 6.0% to 9.6%. Median household income did not grow, or slightly decreased, at around $49,800. That is, Gardner's personal income was nearly 5x the median household income, which includes many two-earner families. Her increase in compensation was 37.2 percent. By comparison, the CEOs of the S&P 500 during this same period saw their compensation decline 9 percent.

Mike Godwin's total compensation:
$128,139 in 2008-09
$133,209 in 2009-10

Compared to Sue, Mike received "only" an increase of 4.0 percent. Sue could have purchased a new 2009 Mercedes-Benz E Class sedan with her raise. Mike could have purchased a used 2005 Dodge Neon with his raise. Maybe that's why Mike Godwin left the Wikimedia Foundation.

Veronique Kessler's total compensation:
$121,859 in 2008-09
$135,844 in 2009-10

Veronique got an 11.5 percent raise -- about 2.75 times larger a raise than Godwin's, dollar for dollar.


Total revenue for the organization:
$8,137,235 in 2008-09
$16,254,866 in 2009-10

Revenues almost exactly doubled.

While program expenses a little more than doubled:
$3,308,546 in 2008-09
$7,503,956 in 2009-10

So that's why the ratio of program expenses to revenue rose from the practically criminal 40.66% to the simply shameful 46.2%.

Highest-paid contractors:

BRIDGESPAN GROUP of Boston, for consulting totaling $304,210.

FENTON COMMUNICATIONS of Oakland, for communications totaling $195,000.

SQUIRE SANDERS AND DEMPSEY LLP of Tysons Corner, Virginia, for legal services totaling $116,627 (stuff that Mike Godwin couldn't handle on his own).

Return on investments:

In this report, the WMF made only $11,205 in reportable investment income, even though by the end of the reporting year, they had $2,500,000 in savings and temporary cash investments. Still this year showed a huge increase in more diversified securities investments (about a $5.4 million increase). The "war chest" has grown from $8.2 million to $14.5 million. If Sue knows how to do one thing, it's squirreling away money into bank accounts and securities, rather than spending it on management of the sum of human knowledge.

PayPal:

PayPal made over $311,000 from all of the transactions that gullible donors made when giving to the Foundation.

Notes:

The organization still doesn't have a written document retention and destruction policy.
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taiwopanfob
post Fri 8th April 2011, 3:03am
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 8th April 2011, 2:31am) *
BRIDGESPAN GROUP of Boston, for consulting totaling $304,210.


I must be missing something here, as this appears to be a 501©(3) management consultant company. WTF? Are there 501©(3) oil refineries too? How do they disperse all of their money?
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Eva Destruction
post Fri 8th April 2011, 7:57am
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QUOTE(taiwopanfob @ Fri 8th April 2011, 4:03am) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 8th April 2011, 2:31am) *
BRIDGESPAN GROUP of Boston, for consulting totaling $304,210.


I must be missing something here, as this appears to be a 501©(3) management consultant company. WTF? Are there 501©(3) oil refineries too? How do they disperse all of their money?

Bridgespan's a legit organization—the idea is that they teach charities (which are often run by enthusiastic amateurs with a hazy grasp of business) how to manage their staff, invest their money etc. Whether something with the size and reach of the WMF is what they had in mind is another matter, but the principle is sound. (I assume Bridgespan's argument would be that the cash they get from the WMF subsidizes their work with smaller groups, and that the WMF's argument would be that if they're going to buy in consultancy, better it goes to Bridgespan than into the shareholders' pockets of a private company.)
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Peter Damian
post Fri 8th April 2011, 8:13am
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QUOTE(Eva Destruction @ Fri 8th April 2011, 8:57am) *

Bridgespan's a legit organization—the idea is that they teach charities (which are often run by enthusiastic amateurs with a hazy grasp of business) how to manage their staff, invest their money etc.


Teach to invest their money in current accounts?
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Fri 8th April 2011, 12:00pm
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To me it looks like Bridgespan's exploits charities which are often run by enthusiastic amateurs with a hazy grasp of business but yet still managed to hit the vein of dumb donors ...

How many better ways to spend $300,000 ... and Paypal ... why not spend some of that $300,000 setting up your own donation channel that does not incur such high costs 2.9% + 20 ¢ a transaction (or whatever).

Perhaps I am just too stupid to understand these things
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thekohser
post Fri 8th April 2011, 2:03pm
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QUOTE(Cock-up-over-conspiracy @ Fri 8th April 2011, 8:00am) *

Perhaps I am just too stupid to understand these things.


I don't know who the top income earners are here at the WR, but I'd be willing to say that as long as Sue Gardner's figured out a way to make 2x, 3x, 4x, or maybe 5x most of the rest of us, it could be said that we're a lot stupider than her.
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Fri 8th April 2011, 5:39pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 8th April 2011, 3:31am) *
During this time period, the U.S. unemployment rate went from 6.0% to 9.6%. Median household income did not grow, or slightly decreased, at around $49,800. That is, Gardner's personal income was nearly 5x the median household income, which includes many two-earner families. Her increase in compensation was 37.2 percent. By comparison, the CEOs of the S&P 500 during this same period saw their compensation decline 9 percent.

It is pretty criminal considered ...

a) the garbage that is on, and goes on at, the site

b) that the suffering of no living being is actually being resolved in any real way.

For me, the $100,000s then spent on "consultants" are essentially further evidence of ineptitude.

Why not employ 5 people at $50,000 capable of doing 5 times the amount of work ... AND save the consultancies?

Look, try telling your employer that I need to be paid $250,000
to hire people you need to then pay $300,000 ... why cannot she do her own job?


And then she expect YOU to work for FREE because it is GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY!

That must have been some blow job in Amsterdam ... (allegedly).


This post has been edited by Cock-up-over-conspiracy: Fri 8th April 2011, 5:40pm
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Milton Roe
post Fri 8th April 2011, 7:05pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 8th April 2011, 7:03am) *

QUOTE(Cock-up-over-conspiracy @ Fri 8th April 2011, 8:00am) *

Perhaps I am just too stupid to understand these things.


I don't know who the top income earners are here at the WR, but I'd be willing to say that as long as Sue Gardner's figured out a way to make 2x, 3x, 4x, or maybe 5x most of the rest of us, it could be said that we're a lot stupider than her.

She's paid in part for her "genderness and slenderness" (as the anti-nerd face of WP) and her lack of integrity (since she doesn't like to edit WP, has no idea in her guts what this project is about, and wouldn't survive an ordinary WP edit war any more than Bambi survives Godzilla).

So, if there are some differences between she and me (and between she and you), they are not in brainpower. Or even in social EQ, from all I can see. She's merely found a social niche where people like us aren't qualified.

tongue.gif
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EricBarbour
post Sat 9th April 2011, 2:49am
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Fri 8th April 2011, 12:05pm) *
She's paid in part for her "genderness and slenderness" (as the anti-nerd face of WP) and her lack of integrity (since she doesn't like to edit WP, has no idea in her guts what this project is about, and wouldn't survive an ordinary WP edit war any more than Bambi survives Godzilla).

Well put.

QUOTE
So, if there are some differences between she and me (and between she and you), they are not in brainpower. Or even in social EQ, from all I can see. She's merely found a social niche where people like us aren't qualified.

And more to the point, people like her aren't all that atypical in San Francisco.
If anything, $240k/year is on the low end of the scale for the director of a sizable nonprofit in that town.

After all, a "cheap" row house, in a so-so neightborhood, will cost you $900,000.
Owning a car is difficult-at-best because of the chronic lack of parking, and all
other costs of living are much greater than elsewhere in California.

(The incompetence and backstabbing? That is also par for the course.)
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thekohser
post Sun 24th April 2011, 4:59pm
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Secret donors list revealed here.
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Zoloft
post Mon 25th April 2011, 12:23am
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I find it amazing that companies in the IT business (and their CEOs) that are clawing over each other brutally in the market all contribute to this crème moulée.
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thekohser
post Thu 28th April 2011, 8:53pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Sun 24th April 2011, 12:59pm) *

Secret donors list revealed here.


Thanks to the staff at Examiner and/or Stumble Upon posting this, that single article has received about 9,000 page views, and has earned me a cool $65+ thus far.

Jackpot!

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Rufus
post Wed 5th October 2011, 9:48pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 8th April 2011, 2:31am) *

FENTON COMMUNICATIONS of Oakland, for communications totaling $195,000.

Fenton I know--they're vaguely in my field. They're one of the primo messaging and campaign packaging firms for left-of-center non-profits. If you're a big dog (or have the money and inclination to pretend you're a big dog) you retain them or one of a handful of other firms to do ongoing consulting on your comms stuff. They also do big consulting gigs when you're developing a new campaign.

In this case, amusingly enough, I'm almost certain they were prepping the fundraising campaign--designing and vetting all those personal appeals from Jimbo and whoever else.

I shouldn't mock too much, though, since any organization I work with would murder to be able to put have the fundraising expenditures to total revenue ratio that Wikimedia sports. Sigh.
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thekohser
post Fri 7th October 2011, 3:39pm
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QUOTE(Rufus @ Wed 5th October 2011, 5:48pm) *

Fenton I know--they're vaguely in my field.


Where have you been the past 3.7 years, Rufus?
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Rufus
post Fri 7th October 2011, 5:41pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 7th October 2011, 3:39pm) *


Where have you been the past 3.7 years, Rufus?


Paying very little attention to Wikipedia for much of that time. Recently got jogged back into the front of my mind, which got me to spend a little time looking at how the internal workings are churning these days (more bizarrely than ever, it would seem).
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