Board/Becoming a trustee

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2021 elections[edit | edit source]

At the 2021 AGM, to be held on Saturday 10th July, there will be three trustee vacancies. An existing trustee, Rod Ward, will be standing for re-election. Any current member has the right to stand for election to Wikimedia UK's Board of Trustees. If you wish to do so please follow the procedure below and submit your application - along with details of your proposer and seconder if you choose to have these - to the teller by the deadline for nominations of 11.59pm on Friday 25th June 2021.

Wikimedia UK: the open knowledge charity[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia UK is a membership organisation whose mission is to be the platform which enables the long-term sustainable development and use of open knowledge in the UK. We work with the Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia to enable people and organisations to contribute to a shared understanding of the world through the democratic creation, distribution and consumption of knowledge. As the UK Chapter of the global Wikimedia movement we are committed to the ideal of a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge, and believe that we can play a unique and important role in helping to realise that vision.

The role of the Wikimedia UK board[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia UK's 10-person volunteer board provides strategic guidance, direction and oversight for the charity as a whole while recognising and respecting the domain of staff and volunteer responsibility. In particular, it:

  • sets and maintains our direction, vision, mission and values, and helps develop strategy for effective charitable impact
  • sets and maintains the policies, practices, budgets and other processes necessary to deliver those aims
  • selects and supports the CEO who has oversight of operations, staff and employment procedures
  • maintains fiscal oversight and accountability, including risk management and ensuring that the charity operates in a prudent and solvent manner
  • ensures that the law and our Articles of Association are complied with
  • promotes and champions the charity
  • maintains its own effectiveness as a board

Trustee skills and experience[edit | edit source]

Successful candidates for the board could come from a wide range of backgrounds including the public, educational, charity or commercial sectors. All candidates should be able to demonstrate a track record of effective performance, strategic thinking and sound judgement. We strongly encourage Wikimedia contributors to consider standing for election. Alongside community experience, we would be keen for people to stand with skills or experience in external relations, charity or copyright law, charity governance, or the cultural sector. However even more important is a commitment to open knowledge and the work of Wikimedia UK, and a willingness to take on the responsibility of being a charity trustee and board director of a limited company.

We strongly value diversity in Wikimedia UK's board of trustees and this year, would particularly encourage younger people (aged under 40) to stand.

Candidates should note that although we work closely with the Wikimedia Foundation in the US, and other Wikimedia chapters around the world, we are an independent charity under UK law and our aims, policies and processes are legally distinct from those of other organisations, including other Wikimedia organisations.

Expectations of trustees[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia UK is fortunate in having a board that is active and engaged. While the board is largely strategic, and does not normally get involved in the running of specific charitable projects, it is active in establishing direction and strategy as well as in helping to ensure the charity stretches itself and reaches its full potential. We expect trustees to commit not only to regular attendance at quarterly board meetings and our AGM, but also to make themselves reasonably available for ad hoc discussion and consultation - generally by email - at other times. There is an expectation that trustees may be able to join one of the board committees, depending on skills and experience.

Trustees need both the capability and willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to the role. It is difficult to estimate the expected time commitment, but the absolute annual minimum for 'in person' attendance would be one all-day Saturday board meeting, two evening meetings, and one weekend 'away day" that generally includes an evening board meeting and a day time strategic planning session. Trustees are expected to prepare for meetings by reading papers, and respond to emails in between meetings as necessary. Finally, trustees are encouraged to attend at least some events or community meet-ups where possible.

There is a Trustee Code of Conduct that we require all trustees to sign.

Trustees are directors of the charity and have a number of legal and practical duties, details of which can be see here. The probity of our trustees is of the utmost importance to us, and we have a comprehensive Conflict of Interest Policy.

All trustees need to be members of the charity, and you are encouraged to apply to join right away - it is only £5.

The process[edit | edit source]

Trustees are appointed either by election (three year term) or co-option (two year term).

Trustees seeking election at the AGM should supply a short statement and preferably make themselves available to answer written questions from our community of volunteers. Answers are encouraged but are not compulsory, and help can be provided if you're not happy to post comments on the wiki page yourself.

While it is not essential to attend the AGM it is very much encouraged, and candidates who make the time to come do help to demonstrate their commitment to our voting membership. The AGM is combined with talks, presentations and networking for members and volunteers, and trustee candidates are encouraged to attend for the whole day and to contribute to the discussions.

Getting to know us[edit | edit source]

We are a very open and transparent organisation and a huge amount of information about what we do is on this wiki. To get an idea, you could have a look at:

Timetable[edit | edit source]

  • 11.59pm on Friday 25th June 2021 - Deadline for nominations
  • 10th July 2021 - AGM

The nomination procedure[edit | edit source]

The form of nomination is by email. Any format is acceptable provided you supply the information given below.

To nominate yourself as a candidate, send an email to tellers@wikimedia.org.uk with the following information:

  • A statement that you would like to nominate yourself to serve as an elected director and trustee of Wikimedia UK, that you support and wish to advance the objects of the charity, and that you fulfil the legal criteria for appointment
  • Your full name
  • Any previous names
  • Your date of birth
  • Your occupation
  • The names of any other UK companies which you have been director of in the last five years.

You should also enclose a candidate statement of no more than 300 words. This will be sent out with the ballot paper to the voting membership and will be published on this website. You can explain your motivation and experience in any way you like, but it would be sensible to keep in mind the points mentioned in the 'Skills and Experience' section above.

During the election only your name and your candidate statement will be made public. If you are successful the other details will be filed with Companies House as a public record. You will be required before taking up your position to inform the charity of your usual residential address, but this will be kept confidential.

Candidates must be members of the charity, or have their application to join pending, at the latest by the closing deadline for nominations. You can apply to join here.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that their membership application and the details required above are received by the charity before the deadline.

Teller[edit | edit source]

Our teller this year is Katie Crampton (WMUK).

See also[edit | edit source]