Community Affairs Committee Charter

From the Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki

The purpose of the Community Affairs Committee (CAC) is to assess, explore and address current and future community-related efforts. Its main goal is to work with both WMF staff and the wider Wikimedia community in order to bridge conflicts and offer guidance, with a main goal of continuously improving the relationships between the WMF and its wider community, as well as working jointly to achieve the mission and vision of the Wikimedia Movement, while considering the different needs of the WMF, our communities and users around the world.

Membership and Organization

Committee Members

The Board shall appoint at least three trustees to serve as Committee members. The Board may also appoint one or more additional trustees to serve as alternate Committee members, to act in the place and stead of any absent Committee members. Committee appointments are for a term of one year; however, they shall automatically renew for additional one-year terms unless the appointed trustee is replaced as a Committee member or has their committee membership terminated by the Board. The Board shall appoint one trustee to serve as Committee Chair for a term of two years of office. The term of the Committee Chair shall automatically renew and continue until replaced by the Board or resignation.

The Board shall seek to appoint as a voting Committee member at least one trustee who has significant experience within the Wikimedia movement.

Volunteer Advisory Members

The Committee may appoint volunteer advisory members to participate in Committee meetings and deliberations. The volunteer advisory members shall be formally nominated by the Committee Chair based on their qualifications and expertise (as determined by the Committee Chair in their sole discretion) and approved by a majority of the Committee. Volunteer advisory members shall be appointed by the Committee for renewable one-year terms. All volunteer advisory members must comply with the same disclosure and certification requirements required by the Board under the Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy. No volunteer advisory members may be voting Committee members.

Foundation Staff

The General Counsel shall provide staff support to the Committee as needed to allow it to function effectively. The Committee Chair may invite Foundation staff to attend the meetings as necessary. No staff members may be voting Committee members.

Responsibilities

Overall, the Committee is responsible for creating a space for Foundation teams whose work relates to the Wikimedia community to freely consult with trustees who are able and willing to provide key feedback from their own experiences with different Wikimedia communities. In addition to the specific responsibilities listed below, the Board may designate further responsibilities to the Committee that are needed to further the Committee’s purpose.

  • Movement strategy: Engage with and support community-related aspects of the movement strategy;
  • Community initiatives: Create a periodic plan to help prioritize community-related tasks and determine what the Committee should be focusing on;
  • Board communications: Engage directly with key staff to ensure there is a formalized strategy and implementation plan for Board communications with communities, which is integrated with larger movement communication strategies, in order to support better collaboration and understanding of ongoing community discussions;
  • Wiki sister projects: Address new sister site applications, including creating a formalized procedure, from application to approval / disapproval;
  • Guidance & support for staff: Provide a space for various WMF teams to gather feedback and additional ideas on community related efforts from board members serving on this Committee, who have community expertise;
    • The Committee will especially deal with topics related to Trust & Safety, Outreach effort and the international community
    • Committee members will help ensure the Board is informed on key developments and strategies
  • Strategic plan for impactful Committee work: Collaboratively explore efficient ways to address community needs, including growth, safety, diversity and sustainability, through creative ideas and mechanisms, while continuously building trust and reinforcing positive norms within the Wikimedia communities; and
  • Cross-collaborations: Work closely with other Board committees and staff as necessary to address emerging community issues.

Procedures and Processes

Unless specified otherwise in this Charter, the Committee shall follow the same rules and practices as the full Board follows for its meetings, decision-making, and recordkeeping.

Meetings

The Committee shall meet at least once per quarter, and otherwise as deemed necessary by the Committee Chair. The required attendees are the Committee members and the relevant staff members as determined by the meeting agenda. Trustees serving as alternate Committee members (if any) are not required attendees; they may not vote unless appointed by the Committee Chair to act in the place and stead of an absent regular Committee member. A quorum is a majority of the voting Committee members, and a majority of voting members present shall decide any question brought before the Committee. A meeting may be in person, by telephone, or videoconference, so long as all participants are able to hear one another and participate in simultaneous deliberation.

Reporting

At each regular Board meeting, the Committee Chair shall report to the full Board on the Committee’s activities since the last regular Board meeting. Each meeting will have an agenda and minutes, which will be available to the Board and relevant staff.

Self-Evaluation

On an annual basis, the Committee will perform a self-assessment, and will review and reassess this charter. The result will be reported to the full Board and include any recommended changes to the Committee activities or its charter.

External Advisors

The Committee may engage outside consultants to facilitate its ability to fulfill its responsibilities. The Committee shall oversee the relationships with any outside consultants. The Committee has the authority, at the expense of the Foundation, to retain independent accountants, lawyers, or other advisors as it deems appropriate to carry out its duties. All expenses and costs shall be reasonable and be subject to the review of the Audit Committee.