Community Affairs Committee Charter

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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 two 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. The Board shall appoint one trustee to serve as Committee Chair. Committee appointments are for a term of two years, unless the Committee member is replaced or no longer a member of the Board.

Foundation Staff

The Committee will invite Foundation staff, including the Committee’s Liaison to attend meetings. Particularly, the Committee is designed to work in close collaboration with the General Counsel and their delegates, as appropriate. Other staff members will be invited to attend meetings as necessary.

Volunteer Advisory Members

The Committee may select internal or external volunteer advisory members to participate in the Committee on a temporary or long term basis based upon their qualifications and expertise. In case the Committee would like to add advisory members, the Committee will share its recommendations with the Chair of the Board and involve the WMF legal team when necessary.

  • The Committee Chair may nominate volunteer advisory members to participate in the Committee on an annual basis based upon their qualifications and expertise, and will be voted on by the committee.
  • 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 or advisory members may be voting Committee members.

Responsibilities

Overall, the Community Affairs Committee is responsible for creating a space for WMF teams whose work relates to the Wikimedia community to freely consult with board members who are able and willing to provide key feedback from their own experiences with different Wikimedia communities. These discussions have already been taking place either informally or under specific circumstances in the past few years. This Committee is a way to formalize these relationships, provide formal support and a strategic point of view within the board to the complex and vital relationship with one of WMF’s main stakeholders, the Wikimedia community. Specifically, these responsibilities include:

  1. Create a periodic plan to help prioritize community-related tasks and determine what the Committee should be focusing on
  2. Engage with and support community-related aspects of the movement strategy.
  3. 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.
  4. Address new sister site applications, including creating a formalized procedure, from application to approval / disapproval - pause till GC.
  5. 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 board members will then help ensure the full board is best informed on key developments and strategies.
  6. Collaboratively exploring 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 our communities.
  7. Work closely with other board Committees and staff as necessary to address emerging community issues, as well as any others that may be delegated by the Chair or the Board to the Committee.

What the Committee will *not* do:

  1. This Committee will not be used to direct the work of any WMF team dealing with the community. Rather, it is an open space for different teams to freely consult and brainstorm collaboratively and strategically on Community-related topics, with board members who are able and willing to provide key feedback from their own experiences.
  2. This Committee will not serve as a channel of communication to any community member under any circumstances. Rather, it will lay out the circumstances under which community members can and should contact the Committee, as well as create clear channels of communications and mechanisms for the community to engage with the board in an equitable, sustainable manner.

Procedures and Processes

Meetings

The Committee shall meet at least four times per year, and otherwise as deemed necessary by the Committee and/or the General Counsel. The Committee Chair must provide at least one week notice to other required attendees. 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 to act in the place and stead of an absent regular Committee member. A meeting may be in person, by telephone, or videoconference, so long as all participants are able to hear one another.

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, if any. The Committee may also update the whole board on pressing issues throughout the year.

Each meeting will have an agenda and minutes, which will be used to follow up on the work. The Committee will determine a suitable platform that will host this data and help curate its efforts.

Self-Evaluation

On a yearly basis, the Committee will perform a self-assessed evaluation of its performance based on the responsibilities laid out above. It will also review and reassess this charter as needed. The result will be reported to the full Board and include recommended changes to the Committee activities or its charter.