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Board meetings Minutes from 2011-05-11 Questions?

The Wikimedia Foundation Board meeting minutes

Time: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 18:00 UTC
Purpose: To review the Annual Plan and offer feedback to the ED

This was the first of two IRC meetings to review the 2011-2012 Annual Plan.


Trustees present were:

Ting Chen (Chair), Stu West (Vice-Chair), Samuel Klein (Secretary), Phoebe Ayers,
Bishakha Datta, Matt Halprin, Kat Walsh, Sue Gardner (Executive Director)

A quorum was reached, and Ting opened the meeting.

Draft Annual Plan budget review and prioritization

This meeting focused on the budget and prioritization of projects for the Annual Plan. The final plan will be reviewed in a second IRC meeting in June. Trustees noted that this two-step process felt like an improvement over the previous year.

The Board reviewed an overview of the plan, which had been shared the previous week. Sue shared reflections based on feedback so far, which had been generally supportive, and included suggestions to reduce targets for staff growth to match recent actual growth rates.

New strategic initiatives and their priorities were reviewed. Possible tradeoffs between different initiatives were discussed. The Board thanked Sue for her work on the plan.

Operating Reserve and Endowment

Stu presented a brief background on the Foundation's operating reserve, a source of recent Board discussion. Targets and goals for the reserve were discussed. A smaller reserve would allow for more spending on program efforts while a larger one would reduce spending but provide additional insurance against unexpected problems in the future.

The current reserve (at the low-point in the annual cycle) was estimated to be 5 months of operating expenses, up slightly from 2010-2011. Views on the ideal size of an operating reserve varied. Trustees discussed increasing the reserve, asked Sue to share a rough analysis of the tradeoffs involved before the next meeting.

An endowment was also discussed. There was broad support for one as part of the Foundation's future, but no consensus on how to prepare for an endowment, or when to start the process. As the topic was complex and deserved attention, it was agreed to continue it online.

The meeting was adjourned.