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Board meetings Minutes from 2004-10-09 Questions?

Board meeting with the Chief Financial Officer, #board.wikimedia, 9 October, 2004

Board of Trustees present: Angela Beesley, Michael Davis, Daniel Mayer, Florence Nibart-Devouard, Tim Shell, Jimmy Wales.

The agenda for the meeting was published at Meta-Wiki.

Financial report

  • Wikimedia raised close to US$60,000 in the fundraising drive. There is US$47,675.54 in the PayPal account, US$25k in the bank, and €10,000 due from Ars Electronica, making approximately US$85k overall. Quarterly fundraising drives are planned.

Hardware budget

  • Daniel presented a draft hardware budget at Wikimedia budget/Q4 Hardware and asked for policy direction on this.
  • Daniel projected 85 percent growth by the end of the quarter, thereby requiring US$45,000 to be spent on hardware in this period. Florence noted that the sites are still at the stage where one server failing can have a large impact on speed. It was proposed that the developers be given the choice to order what they need within the constraints on the budget total. Tim Starling will be asked to report on the proposed budget at the next meeting. A total hardware budget of US$50,000 was approved.

Bandwidth and hosting fees

  • The Foundation has recently signed a bandwidth contract for 40Mbs, doubled from the previous 20Mbs commitment. Current activity suggests this may need to be increased again within this quarter, and at this point Jimmy would no longer maintain the 50% donation he currently pledges. Approaching the colo about donating bandwidth in exchange for a banner was felt to be unnecessary since the Foundation has received hosting offers which will soon allow us to divert bandwidth seamlessly. It was agreed that US$20,000 should be budgeted for bandwidth and hosting for this quarter.

Domain names

  • Jason Richey is preparing a comprehensive report regarding domain names, which will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting. Jimmy noted briefly that the Foundation is paid up with current domains. The Netherlands domain name is owned by Wikimedia technically but the legal transfer can not take place for some more days. Jason will be asked to inquire about this.

Travel expenses

  • Agreed upon travel costs for this quarter were US$3,000 for Jimmy, and US$1,000 each for Angela and Florence. These amounts are maximums, and any unused money would remain in the general Wikimedia fund. The Foundation will be sharing the cost of Tim Starling and Brooke Vibber attending the MediaWiki developers' conference in Berlin in December with Wikimedia Germany. Travel for the conference will cost US$2,600. Conference tickets may also need to be paid for. It was agreed that outside of the developer conference, the Foundation ought to be conservative about travel expenses.

Other costs

  • Jimmy and Michael are to investigate and report back on insurance costs, including liability insurance.

US$500 will be budgeted for an accountant at the end of the year.


  • Letter of thanks will be sent to all donors above some threshold at the end of this year, with consideration given to the fact that we can not solicit donations outside of Florida.
  • Daniel will explore the possibility of sending emails acknowledging all donations made with PayPal.
  • Jimmy will add the details of the hardware donation September 2004 to the benefactors page on the Foundation website.
  • Angela asked for feedback regarding the proposed scales at Talk:Benefactors to be given following the meeting.


  • Whether or not a printed newsletter should be funded by the Foundation was discussed. Florence agreed to publicise the newsletter poll more widely in order to gain additional feedback on this. There was no opposition to printing locally on a small scale but mass printing was not felt to be a viable option.
  • For small ventures, such as the printing of flyers for an event, approval of the entire Board was not deemed to be necessary.
  • A report from the existing wikishop should be obtained before decisions are made about the Foundation embarking on a similar venture.

Convention 2005

  • Elian has been working on putting together the committee for selecting the location of the Wikimedia Convention 2005. This will be announced on October 10, along with a shortlist of cities. Volunteers will be asked to present their city to the committee.


  • Membership issues were postponed so that Angela, Florence and Jimmy could discuss these in detail over the course of the next week. Their conclusions will be discussed at the next meeting.

Other matters arising

  • Tim requested that a public relations committee be added to the agenda for the next meeting.
  • Angela noted that boilerplate letters for OTRS were needed and Tim suggested that some emails being received by the board ought to be going to our PR department.

Date of next meeting

  • Saturday 16 October, 2004. 22:00 UTC. Tim Starling will be invited to this meeting.