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Board meetings Minutes from 2005-08-14 Questions?

A Board meeting was held on IRC on August 14, primarily to discuss the upcoming fundraising drive and the finances for this quarter. The initial part of the meeting was attended by the Board of Trustees (Angela Beesley, Michael Davis, Florence Devouard, Tim Shell, and Jimmy Wales) and the Chief Financial Officer (Daniel Mayer). The latter part of the meeting was open.


Michael, Jimmy, and Daniel will meet in Florida at the start of September to further discuss financial matters.


The following budget was drafted by Daniel and approved by the Board.

This budget is only for the third quarter, which ends at the end of September.

  • Hardware
  • Hosting
  • Travel
  • Domain names
  • Office expenses
  • Miscellaneous
  • CTO
  • Hardware assistant
  • Promotion
  • Legal insurance
  • Legal expenses
  • Executive assistant
  • Audit
  • Chapter startup
  • Reserve (10%)
  • Total

Fundraising drive

A fundraising drive will take place from August 19 to September 9. We are anticipating donations of US$200,000 in the fundraising drive, which will be the first in six months.

A fund drive letter will be drafted and translated early this week. No substantial technical changes will be made for this fundraiser, though Daniel requested that automatic updates, at least for the PayPal data, be made.

It is expected that our credit card processing is ready and credit card donations should be promoted in the fundraising drive. The French chapter is able to receive donations during the drive, though these will not be tax deductible this year. Donations via transfer to a European bank account can be made using the Belgian account.

Danny Wool will be given read only access to the PayPal account. He will also contact PayPal regarding reducing the fees. Daniel Mayer will provide him the details he needs for this.

Organization, review, executive assistant

Bank statements and other financial information are required by Michael and Daniel on a consistent and timely basis. A full-time executive assistant for Wikimedia will be hired to help with this, other paperwork, telephone calls, and to ensure that information is distributed promptly and properly. The assistant will work from the Florida office during normal business hours. The salary of this person is included in the budget for this quarter. Details of this need to be added to pages informing donors what their donations are spent on. Michael will interview candidates.

A credit card is needed for the Belgian account. Multiple bank statements will be sent out so that Michael has a copy of these, and he will also be given signature authority on the accounts.

A certified public accountant will be hired to review the financial records. Michael will find prices for this before early September. The Foundation's records will be brought up to date before this, including a record of corporate resolutions and the minute book

Donations, awards, and sponsorship

Current funds
Daniel reported that as of mid June we had 18K in SunTrust and 25K in the Wikimania account, both of which are now (expected to be) depleted, though he did not have up to date information on this. We currently have US$42,000 in PayPal, which is to be considered our reserve fund. Discussions on how the reserve should be invested will be discussed in the meeting in Florida in September.
Jimmy is discussing with Apple ways in which they may support Wikipedia.
Best Buy
A US$50,000 donation is promised from Best Buy following Jimmy's visit there later this year.
We have an open offer from Google, and Jimmy will be making a request to them in the near future.
Gerard noted that one of the database servers was not in full use in Amsterdam, and that additional servers may be donated if a proposed deal with Logos goes ahead.
OSI reimbursements for the people they sponsored to attend Wikimedia are expected. This will be requested once an update from Delphine is received.
Saatchi and Saatchi
We are finalists for a US$100,000 grant (US$50k in cash) from Saatchi and Saatchi. The winners are to be announced on November 9.
Discussions at Sun are underway regarding a potential hardware offer.
Yahoo servers are expected to go online in South Korea this month.

Bylaws and positions

A minor change will be made to the bylaws to reflect that June 30 is our fiscal year end rather than December 31, since our tax returns are on June 30 basis.

Tim will take over Angela's role as secretary. Michael will remain treasurer. Other roles, including the possibility of having more than one vice-chair, are outstanding pending the already-planned legal review of the bylaws. Jimmy will arrange this review on his return to Florida.

Michael felt that more of the responsibility should be with the officers and appointed executives.

Differences in the interpretation of the role of Chief Research Officer were discussed. The outcome of this will be published on August 17.


The deletion of Wikiversity-related pages on the English Wikibooks was discussed, along with the idea of creating a wiki to be used as a project incubator. It was proposed that the pages on Wikibooks be not deleted immediately, pending community discussion of where to move them, and of the best way to incubate new projects.

Next meeting

A meeting for Board, Board Officials, and representatives of Local chapters will be held on August 18.