Engine room/2015

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Chief Executive search

I've just posted a page with the draft job description and person specification for our next Chief Executive. A working group from the Board has drafted this but we are keen to get views from the community prior to finalising the job description in two weeks' time! Please have a look and let us know what you think. The Land (talk) 12:37, 11 January 2015 (GMT)

Applications for the permanent CEO role are now being accepted via the agency. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:32, 6 February 2015 (GMT)
The deadline for applications is 23rd February. Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 17:34, 12 February 2015 (GMT)

Things are moving along with the Chief Executive recruitment process - Just a reminder: The deadline for applications is February 23rd.

We are continuing to discuss the format of the selection process, one element of which will be a short (likely ~10 minute) presentation.

** I’d like to invite suggestions for presentation-prompts here **

We have some ideas of course, but I think people had conversations very relevant to this at the volunteer strategy day in Birmingham. I can build off some of the thoughts there for ideas, but others may be feeling more creative, or have better memories(!). Thoughts welcome here or via email Sjgknight (talk) 10:42, 20 February 2015 (GMT)

Update: initial interviews for the CEO post took place last Friday, 20th March. In the event, we did not feel that any of the candidates we interviewed were an ideal fit for the charity's needs. We are reviewing the job description and the advert to see if they can be improved for the next round, and will re-advertise more widely. We feel it much more important to get the right person, even at the cost of some delay, than to appoint quickly. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:23, 22 March 2015 (GMT)

2015 AGM

The 2015 AGM will be held on Saturday 25th July. To conserve funds it is expected to be held in London in a donated venue, most probably on the same day as the re-scheduled second volunteer gathering. More details to follow once known. The board will recommend making a few changes to the articles to improve its ability to make best use of external expertise on board committees, and generally to improve operational efficiency. The draft resolutions can be seen here. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:29, 8 March 2015 (GMT)

Can I suggest considering a venue outside of London? We've had a tradition of alternating between holding the AGM in London and outside of London, which was started to reduce the geographical constraints of attending an AGM (at least one AGM every two years would be closer to any given attendee than the other one). Since last year's was in London it would make sense to have this year's outside of London. Manchester and Birmingham would be good candidate cities, as they're centrally located and have good transport links, and if there's a clear set of requirements for the venue then local volunteers (including myself in Manchester) could see whether there are any suitable venues that would be willing to donate their space for the day. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:25, 8 March 2015 (GMT)
That was the original intention, and is something we would like to continue to do in the future. For the moment, though, we need to reduce expenditure very significantly, and we cannot this time justify in terms of increased charitable impact the additional board and staff travel/hotel costs arising from an out-of-London venue. Maybe next year. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:29, 8 March 2015 (GMT)

Review of Wikimedia UK structure

Statement by D'Arcy Myers, interim chief executive:

As a part of my work as the interim chief executive of Wikimedia UK the board asked me to undertake a review of our structure and organisation. This task has been ongoing for some time and concluded with the board meeting held this past weekend.

With the board, I have concluded that some changes to the composition and structure of the staff team will position the charity to deliver best impact against our charitable objectives.

These changes may result in some redundancies, and the staff affected are being informed. This has been a challenging time and I thank the staff team for their professionalism throughout this period of review.

I look forward to continuing to lead the charity through the ongoing transition until a permanent chief executive is in post and ready to take over.

Posted on behalf of D'Arcy Myers --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:49, 9 March 2015 (GMT)

Wikimedia UK update, 24 March 2015

Draft annual accounts for the 2014-15 financial year

Today we are releasing our draft annual accounts for the 2014-15 financial year, ending 31st January 2015. The contents of these accounts have been a matter of significant concern for the Board, and we are making this statement to provide some context and to set out the steps we have taken.

In December 2013 the board approved a budget for 2014-15 based on expected income of £623,000. Net income over the period was in line with expectations but expenditure on Wikimania and other projects was not well controlled during the latter part of last year, and we are facing a projected deficit of £192,000 as against our original budgeted deficit of £32,000.

While Wikimania 2014 was an international success, for which volunteers, the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia UK can all take some credit, the experience was challenging for us as the local chapter. Although we were not running the conference, we were providing significant staff and logistical support, and we did so too enthusiastically given that not all of our expenses were recoverable. Overall, and after allowing for a one-off Foundation grant of £65,000 to cover our international support, we overspent by around £45,000.

Our Wikimedians in Residence programme gained real traction over the year with demand significantly outstripping available funds, resulting in an overspend of £49,000. Much of this arose from agreements made with several high-profile organisations late last year which could not have been deferred without significant reputational damage to the charity. The board had hoped that these costs could have been delayed until February, when they would have fallen into the 2015-16 financial year, but have been advised that that is not possible.

There were smaller overspends on a variety of other project areas as well.

Finally, we had an off-budget net expense of £57,000 during the year, representing the Chief Executive transition.

These disappointing overspends in 2014-15 have left us with reserves of only £165,000, which is below the £200,000 level that the board considers to be the acceptable minimum for a charity of our size.

Action to restore stability

Immediately that the charity's overspends became clear, shortly before the December 2014 board meeting, the interim CEO, supported by the board, introduced a moratorium on further non-essential expenditure until a 2015-16 budget could be prepared. In order to allow time for the interim CEO to review activity the second volunteer strategy day as well as a number of other projected programme activities were postponed.

Draft budget and plans for 2015-16

We are also today releasing our draft budget for 2015-16. This is subject to amendment, particularly on staff costs.

The funds we have available to spend on charitable programmes will be significantly lower than in 2014-15. There are three main factors:

  • To ensure charity stability it is crucial that we increase our reserves to the minimum level of around £200,000. The board has set a core budget for this year which is break-even or better.
  • Our grant from the Wikimedia Foundation has been reduced from £353,000 to £314,000.
  • For the moment at least the board does not consider it prudent to set a budget that assumes in advance that the charity will be able to obtain significant project-based or corporate funding, nor that direct debit income can be rapidly increased.

The combined effect of these factors is that the board has to take decisive and fairly radical action to ensure that we can work effectively within our smaller core budget of £570,000 (a full £242,000 below the amount indicated as WMUK's projected budget in the FDC bid of October 2014).

To ensure greater clarity and transparency for the future, as well as better alignment with our strategic goals, our 2015-16 budget will be split into a variety of categories, of which the first three ('contracted', 'necessary' and 'should') cover limited core activities that can be supported within the resources (funds, staff, volunteers etc) we are almost certain to have available. The remaining two categories ('like to' and 'icing') cover activities that we can support only to the extent we can expand our resource base, either by specific project-based or general fundraising, or by building active volunteer engagement.

Our aim with this project-based approach is to encourage community involvement with decisions on what we should do and not do, based on an assessment of which potential projects are best aligned with our strategic goals. A large part of the assessment must be to decide which projects are capable of generating sufficient active volunteer support (and fundability if funds are needed), and then selecting based on those giving the greatest charitable impact for the resources required.

We will need some new community mechanisms to embed volunteer inputs into all of this, and we will be discussing widely, including further discussions at the rescheduled second volunteer strategy day on Saturday 25th July.

WMUK organisational structure

In their comments of November last year the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) said:

While the FDC understands that reducing Wikimedia UK’s funding might be a strain on the organization, the FDC hopes it will lead to a productive re-evaluation of priorities and direction. The ED transition should be seen as an opportunity to rethink and restructure. The governance reshuffle and adaptation has been managed well, recommendations brought about by the governance review have been implemented, and board diversity has been achieved, which will provide a strong foundation for the coming transition. At the same time, the FDC notes that it seems difficult to identify a sustainable and clear staff structure beneath the executive level.

It is clear to the board that many of the assumptions and plans on which the current organisational structure was originally built are no longer fit for purpose. As previously announced, we are already engaged in a review of our staff structure. This is currently in a period of consultation with the staff concerned and it would be inappropriate to discuss in detail. However, the Board’s intention is to have a more streamlined organisation, better focused on our strategic goals, better able to engage with and involve volunteers of all kinds, and more appropriate to the level of resource we have.

The committee further noted:

The FDC urges Wikimedia UK to carefully consider its plans to hire additional fundraising staff, and to articulate a clear strategy for how that position will benefit the organization and the movement. The FDC acknowledges that there may be many untapped resources in Wikimedia UK’s context, but resources will need to be clearly identified in order to be targeted effectively.

The board believes that the charity's existing capacity and model for fundraising is not adequate, and we cannot at present recommend a core budget that assumes significant project-based or general contributions from trusts, foundations and corporates. The board is seeking a permanent Chief Executive with significant expertise in this area, and who is capable of taking a stronger personal lead within a restructured staff team.

--MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:06, 24 March 2015 (GMT), Chair, on behalf of the board

Follow up note: On the advice of our accountant I have struck the paragraph relating to Wikimedians in Residence as it probably gives a misleading impression. In fact, direct cost spend on this programme was almost exactly as expected, and the £49,000 figure is an accounting artefact resulting from the treatment of a gift in kind plus salary costs. Our accountant advises that the two major items which contributed to the overrun of the deficit were (1) Wikimania and (2) the CEO transition expenses. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:13, 24 March 2015 (GMT)

Changes to timings of membership approvals

Hi all,

At the meeting of the Board of Trustees on 7th March a decision was made in lieu of a permanent Chief Executive appointment that the full board of trustees would return to considering and approving applications for memberships i.e. these will not be done under the scheme of delegation by a staff member until a permanent appointment is made and following induction.

In practical terms this means new members (whether a former lapsed member applying or a brand new member) will apply for membership as before, but it will not be approved and therefore active until the date of the next meeting of the board of Trustees.

The language on our sign up page now reads:

New member: Your application to become a member of Wikimedia U.K. is now pending approval. If you are applying following a previous membership expiring then you will need to be re-approved. Following a decision made by Trustees on 7th March 2015 memberships will be approved by the full board of Trustees pending the recruitment of a permanent Chief Executive. The dates of board meetings for the year are 20th June, 25th July (AGM), 12th September, 12th December. New memberships, including those of former members who have lapsed and are re-applying will not be approved until these dates. If you wish you application to be approved today, for example, in order to apply for a micro-grant, please contact membership@wikimedia.org.uk with your request and reasons.

I will share this on the mailing list and ask it be shared in the next 'Friends of Wikimedia' newsletter and in an email to all our trainers and leading volunteers.

Please do continue to encourage supporters and event attendees to consider applying for membership, only make them aware that there will be a wait for approval unless there is an urgent need to consider sooner based on project support (Grant application/Equipment loan)

If you have questions or concerns you can ping here, email membership@wikimedia.org.uk, reply to the mailing list email. Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 12:03, 30 March 2015 (BST)

Address changes - UX improvements possible

As I've just moved house, I've spent time contact various organisations to update them on my change of address, including Wikimedia UK. The processes and experiences differ quite a lot, but there are a couple of things that would improve the experience for WMUK members using the link at the bottom of the newsletter (the method I used for the first time today):

  1. When you arrive at the page to enter your new details, there is no header or anything to confirm it is your details that you are changing (determined from my being logged in or following a unique link) or whether the record to be changed is determined from the fields entered. Something as simple as adding "Changing address details for $name" (or something similar) to the top of the page would be reassuring.
  2. When you've completed the address change, you are taken straight to the homepage. I wanted a confirmation screen to confirm that my details had been updated and/or received for manual processing. Such a confirmation screen would indicate success (or failure) and ask what I'd like to do next:
    • Go to the home page
    • Contact WMUK about another matter
    • Make a donation
    I don't know how many people will choose the last option, but suggesting it to them and giving them a quick way to give can't harm the charity's finances.

I don't have a feel for how easy these changes will be to make (I suspect it'll require some dealing with civi-crm), and they are not of top importance. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 18:48, 9 April 2015 (BST)

Hi Thryduulf, adding something like a header to confirm you've arrived at the right page is a a good idea, and I think it may be one for our developers rather than database implementers. Could you explain the issue at bugzilla.wikimedia.org.uk? This will help our developers keep track of the issue. The same probably applies to redirecting the user to a screen offering the options you suggest, and including a confirmation screen (all good suggestions IMO). Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:31, 13 April 2015 (BST)
@Thryduulf Did you file a bug in the end? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:21, 10 June 2015 (BST)
No, it completely slipped my mind! I'll do it this afternoon. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 13:03, 10 June 2015 (BST)
Now done, see bugzilla:380 and bugzilla:381. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 16:12, 10 June 2015 (BST)
Brilliant, thank you. I also didn't realise you could link to Bugzilla like that. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:32, 10 June 2015 (BST)
A legacy of all the VE testing I did a couple of summers ago :) Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 13:30, 11 June 2015 (BST)

2014–15 impact report

Wikimedia UK's impact report to the FDC covering the period from 1 February 2014 to 31 January 2015 is available on meta. Thank you to all the volunteers who made the work possible throughout the year. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:03, 14 April 2015 (BST)

CEO appointment progress

Having concluded a few weeks ago that we did not wish to appoint any of the candidates that we initially interviewed for CEO, the board has restarted the search with a new agency. A fresh appointment brief is just being completed, and the executive search will start next week. The position will also be re-advertised. The expected timeline is as follows and I'm happy to be able to say that D'Arcy Myers has kindly agreed to extend his tenure as interim CEO to see us through the process.

--MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:31, 1 May 2015 (BST)

Restructure and CEO appointment update

Statement by D'Arcy Myers, interim chief executive:

Following on from my statement on 9th March, in which I explained that the board had asked me to undertake a review of the charity's structure, I am now able to give you an update.

The period since March has been one of active review, though out of respect for individual staff and to ensure an objective and fair process we have not been providing a public narrative. I can however now announce that the staff discussions, review, appeal periods and subsequent restructure have just been concluded.

New staff structure May 2015

In order to ensure that the charity is best resourced to deliver impactful projects we have made a number of staff role changes, and the total staff headcount has been reduced from 14 to 9. Initially, 8 positions were proposed, but following full discussions with the staff it has been decided that we do actually require 9. The new organogram can be seen on the right. The staff page will be updated to reflect the new staffing over the next two weeks.

It is always regrettable to have to restructure in a way that loses staff who have contributed much to the charity. We thank the departing staff and wish them all the best. If anyone would like to make personal contact, please note that staff emails and accounts on the UK wiki will continue to be active until month end.

I am confident that with the new structure we can be more responsive to new ideas, bringing volunteering into the heart of our projects, and I would encourage you to get involved.

Another change in the staffing of the charity is the quest to find our new CEO. We are looking for an ambitious CEO who will provide strategic leadership and supportive management to volunteers and staff alike. They will be working to increase our profile and impact with our partners, engage with the volunteer community and develop our programme activity. A major part of this leadership will be the development of new income streams. We have retained the charity recruiters Prospectus to manage the recruitment process. You can view the recruitment pack at http://prospect-us.co.uk/jobs/details/hq00156774

We expect to make an appointment in early July, and until such time as the new CEO is in post and ready to take over I am honoured to be leading the charity.

D'Arcy Myers, interim CEO

Posted on behalf of D'Arcy Myers. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:26, 12 May 2015 (BST)

And so we say a fond farewell, with best wishes for the future and thanks for their years of hard work, to... ? The existing "We thank the departing staff and wish them all the best." is oddly general/impersonal. MartinPoulter (talk) 18:16, 13 May 2015 (BST)

Project Coordinator

As you may have seen from the circulated organogram, the programme team has been reshaped. In the new Project Coordinators roles, we are linking various topical project areas (such as GLAM) and volunteer engagement, so that more connected support is given to this work. We are aiming to direct more energy into working in partnerships with external organisations, linking several activities into these bigger projects.

One of the Project Coordinator posts will continue to be focused on the programme in Wales. We have been able to recruit for the second Coordinator internally from the staff team. Now, we are looking to fill the third Project Coordinator position - the post is open for applications and details can be found here. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:33, 13 May 2015 (BST)


Volunteering: a call to action

See Volunteer strategy consultation 2015

Wikimedia UK needs your help. We want to transform the way we work so that we can bring volunteering right into the heart of the charity.

We plan to:

These draft plans follow on from the excellent feedback we received from our last Volunteer Strategy Gathering. They deliberately don't attempt to answer all possible questions about implementation, as we think it best that both further questions and the answers to those questions should come out of collaborative discussions. The plans are not set in stone, and with the community's help they can be improved, strengthened and fleshed out.

We would like your feedback, either online or in person at our next Volunteer Strategy Gathering on Saturday 25th July 2015, in London. For more information, see the links on the consultation page.

Feedback, comments and discussion are more than welcome on the discussion page, or you can email chairatwikimedia.org.uk if you have feedback you would prefer not to make public.

Michael Maggs, Chair --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:21, 5 June 2015 (BST)

Notice of 2015 AGM

Hi all. Just to let you know that formal notice of the 2015 Annual General Meeting been emailed to members today. If you are a member and have not received your notice, please check that it has not ended up in your spam folder. If you think you should have received a notice but did not, please contract the office now. If you would like to vote at the AGM and you are not currently a member (perhaps because your membership has lapsed) you can apply here (it's only £5!) The board will be approving membership applications at its board meeting this Saturday, 4 July, so please apply before then if you can. It should be possible for applications received after that date but before the AGM on 25th July to be considered by the board, but probably not before the day itself. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:59, 1 July 2015 (BST)

Administration and Programme Assistant

We have recently undergone a process of refocusing of our activities, we are now entering an exciting new phase where we want to build on large scale partnerships with external organisations. Strong reporting and administration will be a key element of that. We are looking for a permanent Administration and Programme Assistant to join our staff team. The role will involve providing core administrative and financial support for Wikimedia UK activities, with focus on its programmes and reporting. You will also be the first port of contact for the organisation and supporting the whole of the team in the administrative work of the charity, making it a key role for Wikimedia UK.

Further details can be found here and the deadline for applications is 5pm BST on 20 July. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 14:29, 3 July 2015 (BST)

Welcoming Lucy Crompton-Reid as CEO

From our chair, Michael Maggs:

I am very pleased to be able to announce today that we have been fortunate enough to secure as our new CEO Lucy Crompton-Reid, currently Director of the national live literature charity Apples and Snakes. Lucy brings extensive experience in volunteer engagement, organisational development, working with strategic partners, media, education, and securing external fundraising from trusts and foundations.

Over the course of her career Lucy has worked in both the charitable and public sectors, including most recently Head of Outreach at the House of Lords where she was strategic and operational lead for education and outreach activities. Before that, she worked at Arts Council England, initially developing strategic partnerships before setting up a new area office with local government and schools partnerships. As Refugee Week National Co-ordinator for the British Refugee Council, Lucy chaired the UK steering group of NGOs and charities, led on media activities, and facilitated hundreds of volunteer cultural events each year. Lucy is passionate about education and learning and is deeply committed to ensuring open access to knowledge and information.

Lucy will be joining us in early October. In the meantime, our interim CEO, D'Arcy Myers, will remain in post and will be working with Lucy to ensure a smooth handover. Please join me in offering Lucy a very warm welcome.

Michael Maggs

From our CEO-elect, Lucy Crompton-Reid:

I’m delighted to be joining Wikimedia UK this October as the charity’s new Chief Executive, and look forward to working with the staff team, board and volunteer community – as well as national and international partners – to develop the work of the organisation. This is a significant time for Wikimedia and for the open knowledge sector more broadly, with the potential to create unparalleled access to educational content, coupled with threats to limit public access to information and knowledge. With nearly 18 years' experience in the arts, charitable and public sectors, I'm passionate about participation, and excited about the opportunity to facilitate greater public engagement with online content and information through Wikipedia and its sister projects, and other Wikimedia UK initiatives.

Lucy Crompton-Reid

--MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:30, 13 July 2015 (BST)

May I give my congratulations to Lucy and I wish her well in her new role. CT Cooper · talk 21:40, 16 July 2015 (BST)

Membership management improvements

I just thought it might be useful to have a bit of a discussion before the AGM about what people think might be a better way to manage membership. What I would like is access to a secure page where I can review my membership and update my personal details, see a record of my volunteering, check when my next membership renewal is due etc. Something which could be considered is a printable volunteering record, perhaps in summary form, which could help people when applying for jobs, or proving volunteering activity if unemployed. I am sure this can be done in a way which means that once set up it would not require much staff time to keep running effectively. Leutha (talk) 08:46, 14 July 2015 (BST)

Volunteer strategy gathering registration

The registration asks you whether you would like to become a member of WMUK for £5. The only options for the answer to this are "yes" and "no" - there is no provision for "I am already a member". I answered "no" as I don't need to renew my membership at the moment, but it does meant that the metrics you get from the answers to this question are going to be unreliable. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 17:49, 14 July 2015 (BST)

Reminder of deadline for proxy votes at the AGM: This Wednesday at 3pm

We hope to welcome as many as possible at Saturday's AGM, where members will be able to vote in person. Members who are not able to attend can lodge proxy votes, both for the resolutions and for the candidates who are standing for the board. Voting papers and proxy forms were sent out by post last Wednesday, 15 July, and all members should have received them by now. This is just to remind anyone who intends to vote by proxy that as stated on the form the deadline for receipt of proxy votes (which can be by email to tellersatwikimedia.org.uk) is 3pm this Thursday, 23rd July - 48 hours before the start of the meeting. Instructions for voting by email can be found on the proxy form itself. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:11, 20 July 2015 (BST)

The draft minutes of the 2015 AGM are now available for review. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:54, 18 September 2015 (BST)

QRpedia

I left a message at the water cooler but it doesnt appear to have been seen. Could someone look? 176.227.129.236 15:10, 20 August 2015 (BST)

Q2 report card

Our report card for Q2 of the 2015–16 financial year can be found here: Strategy monitoring plan/Outcomes/Q2. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:42, 24 August 2015 (BST)

There is a problem with this website's security certificate

If try to view this wiki with IE, I get the message "There is a problem with this website's security certificate." With Firefox I get a similar message, but I can add an exception, which allows me to view it.

I don't really know why this is happening. Does anyone know what might be causing it?

Yaris678 (talk) 12:55, 3 September 2015 (BST)

I am experiencing the same problem with Chrome.Leutha (talk) 12:22, 4 September 2015 (BST)

Hello Yaris and Leutha. We're working on the problem, you can see updates here: https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org.uk/show_bug.cgi?id=392 Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:10, 4 September 2015 (BST)
It's rather depressing to see this was identified as an upcoming issue nearly a month ago, and then became a live issue 4 days ago, and it still isn't fixed. Given the way modern browsers work, any casual visitor is going to be sacred off coming here - possibly for good - as the big "this website might be fake or trying to steal your credit card data" warning that, for example, Chrome throws, is scary. Not good. QuiteUnusual (talk) 12:20, 7 September 2015 (BST)

Could someone from the team please provide an update here? Many thanks. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:47, 18 September 2015 (BST)

This was all fixed a few days ago. Part of the problem was in switching the security certificate from our old staff member's details to my own. This has to be done by faxing or posting a copy of my passport to Europe, along with a copy of our registration certificate, and then waiting for the company concerned to confirm everything, which took a few weeks. We started the renewal process in mid-August, but with the user switching problems and a delay at their end, it took about a week longer than expected. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 15:03, 21 September 2015 (BST)

Renewing membership online - my experience

I've just renewed my membership online and I thought I'd give a quick rundown of the experience.

  • I was prompted to renew by an email reminder saying my membership would expire "this month". Much better than previously where you had to remember to look at the bottom of a newsletter, but an exact date would have been preferable - 9/10.
  • The form wasn't immediately clear it was to be used for both renewals and new memberships, but it wasn't bad - 7/10.
  • Filling in my email address populated the rest of the form - now I'm not sure whether this was the form doing it or Chrome doing it (I normally use firefox). If the former, then excellent for WMUK but it was an old address that I know I've changed with WMUK (as I got my AGM stuff to the correct address). If this was Chrome then WMUK doesn't have anything to worry about.
  • The "small print" about becoming a member would be better placed (or at least linked to) above the submit button.
  • The question about how I found out about becoming a member wasn't really relevant to my renewing membership but it was I think mandatory still (I just put "this is a renewal" as I can't remember the answer).
  • The link to paying by paypal went well and that worked as soon as I remembered my password (unless WMUK is offering brain upgrades I don't think you can improve here).
  • Everything seems to have gone through smoothly and I got a "Thank you for joining!" page which is mostly about new members with a little thankyou at the bottom of the page for those renewing, almost as an afterthought.
  • I'm still not clear on the exact date of my membership - I know I paid £5.00 today but it's not clear whether I paid for a year from today or a year from when last year's membership expired (sometime in the middle of the month I think).

Overall, much better than previous years but not perfect yet. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 20:48, 4 October 2015 (BST)

I was also really pleased to get a membership renewal email! (I think the form-filling is Chrome, I can't see CiviCRM being clever enough to populate forms for us... ) The Land (talk) 13:03, 6 October 2015 (BST)
Hi both, it's always good to hear when things work and your feedback will be helpful in thinking about how to improve them further :-) I've looked into it, and while our database has a field which tells you the date on which your membership enters grace, it doesn't tell you which date it fully expires. I've come up with a workaround which tells when your membership entered grace and that it expires six months after that. It appears in a slightly smaller font for a reason I cannot fathom. On double checking the settings for 'how did you find out about becoming a member' I've found that it's set to optional. As we currently use the same page for people who are renewing or joining for the first time, I can't switch it off for one but not the other. It might be useful if the question was was drop down menu, including a choice along the lines of 'membership reminder'. With your final point, I think you should have got an email receipt. Assuming it's possible, would that be a good point at which to include the new date of when your membership runs until? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:26, 7 October 2015 (BST)
I did get an email receipt (although it arrived after I posted my comment above) and that would indeed be a good place to include the new end date of membership. Including it on the success page as well would be even better, but it sounds like this isn't as simple as it sounds. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 19:59, 7 October 2015 (BST)

FDC proposal

Wikimedia UK has applied to the Funds Dissemination Committee for next year's funding. The proposal can be found on meta-wiki: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2015-2016_round1/Wikimedia_UK/Proposal_form

It is open for comment until 30 October. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:39, 15 October 2015 (BST)

Policy reviews

At its next meeting on 16 November the charity's Governance Committee (Govcom) is intending to discuss some potential governance policy changes. They are particularly intended to make formal provision for non-trustee voting members to sit on the Governance and on the Audit and Risk Committees, as recommended by charitable best practice and as now permitted under the changes to our articles that were agreed at the 2015 AGM. Following community feedback and discussion, Govcom is intending to make a recommendation to the board at its 12 December meeting. Feedback is welcome: please comment on the relevant talk pages. Many thanks.

Review of board committee charters

Recommend modifications for approval at the 12 December board meeting.

Changes are needed to:

  • provide for non-trustee voting members, as approved at the 2015 AGM
  • clarify delegated powers
  • ensure clear voting procedures, to include non-trustee members
  • tidy, and align the wording of the two charters

Review of trustee code of conduct and conflict of interest policy

Recommend modifications for approval at the 12 December board meeting.

Changes are needed to:

  • bring the policies into line with more recent Charity Commission recommendations
  • ensure compliance with the articles, including changes made at the 2015 AGM
  • clarify actions in the event of breach
  • improve logical structure and remove duplication

Review of proposed committee member code of conduct and conflict of interest policy

Recommend new policies for approval at the 12 December board meeting.

These new policies are needed to cover non-trustee members who sit on board committees. They are based on the corresponding policies that apply to trustees, and will need careful consideration. Are the requirements too onerous for volunteers who don't have the legal obligations or powers of trustees, and whose contribution to the work of the charity will normally consist of preparing for and attending one committee meeting per quarter?

--MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:58, 7 November 2015 (GMT)

Date of 2016 AGM

Those who follow such things might like to note that the next AGM is expected to be be held on 9 July 2016, in London. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 13:36, 17 November 2015 (GMT)

This date has now been confirmed. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:06, 16 December 2015 (GMT)

  • It is a shame that this will be the third year in a row the AGM has been held in London. This is not the best way to encourage participation from and demonstrate a commitment to the whole of the UK - and I speak here as a London-based member. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 00:52, 20 December 2015 (GMT)

Black Cultural Archives

I am discussing a possible editathon with Black Cultural Archives in the new year. Edward Hands has promised to train and I have recruited some other Wikipedians to attend. It would be good to have the support of WMUK in the venture. Once I have agreed the date with them, is there anything I need to do to make it an "official" WMUK event? Philafrenzy (talk) 11:24, 30 November 2015 (GMT)

Yes, I would be happy to be a trainer for such an event, presumably at their HQ in Brixton, London. Edwardx (talk) 11:39, 30 November 2015 (GMT)
@Philafrenzy: Once a date has been settled, it can be added to the events page. If you can estimate how many attendees there will be, we can send booklets to help people learn editing skills and merchandise. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:20, 4 December 2015 (GMT)
Thanks, I will know more in the next couple of weeks. It will probably be in Feb. Philafrenzy (talk) 20:34, 4 December 2015 (GMT)
Count me in too! Leutha (talk) 09:32, 9 December 2015 (GMT)
Sure! Philafrenzy (talk) 15:23, 9 December 2015 (GMT)
This is now scheduled with them for Sat 13 Feb 2016, 10-4. I will be creating a page somewhere detailing it shortly. They are going to promote it through social media etc. Philafrenzy (talk) 15:45, 15 December 2015 (GMT)
Draft page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetups/UK/Black_Cultural_Archives Philafrenzy (talk) 13:29, 22 December 2015 (GMT)

Error trying to update address

I'm trying to update the address on my membership record by following the link in the most recent saved email I have (from when my membership was due for renewal in October). I am treated only to the generic make a donation page with the error "You do not have permission to edit this contact record. Contact the site administrator if you need assistance." Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 16:11, 4 December 2015 (GMT)

Hi Thryduulf, I have replied by email. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:38, 4 December 2015 (GMT)

Thank function

Why doesn't the "thank" function work on this Wiki? We are thanking each other like maniacs on Wikipedia. Or is it just me? I have a captcha on my contributions here, perhaps that interferes. Also, the red notification seems to be permanently on despite having clicked on the linked edit at the top. Philafrenzy (talk) 15:23, 9 December 2015 (GMT)

captcha seems to have disappeared for that edit. Philafrenzy (talk) 15:24, 9 December 2015 (GMT)
Hi Philafrenzy, it's not just you the thank function has been broken for a while. It does feel a bit strange not having it working here after using it regularly on Wikipedia. I've nudged our developers to take a look and see what the issue is. Thanks for flagging it, the issue had fallen off the radar recently.
As for the red notifications, would you be able to write step-by-step what you do and how it's not working so I can pass it on? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 16:16, 9 December 2015 (GMT)
What I see next to my name at top right is a red "3" indicating I have three notifications dating back to 29 May. But that never updates, nor is it possible to make it go away. Do others see the same? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:28, 9 December 2015 (GMT)
Yes, I now have 2 and neither will disappear no matter where I click. Philafrenzy (talk) 17:27, 9 December 2015 (GMT)
If you click on the red number and then 'all notifications' at the foot of the drop-down type box does that change anything? Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 17:34, 9 December 2015 (GMT)
Yes, that works thanks. Philafrenzy (talk) 17:58, 9 December 2015 (GMT)
It's a roundabout way of sorting it, so I've asked our developers to take a look. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 15:28, 10 December 2015 (GMT)

I can get rid of the red notification as you suggest, but I still can't use the thank function for sending thanks. I always get the message "Thank action failed. Please try again".--MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:04, 16 December 2015 (GMT)

Same problem here, alas. Edwardx (talk) 11:44, 20 December 2015 (GMT)

@Philafrenzy: @MichaelMaggs: The wiki has been updated with a new version of MediaWiki and the thank function is now working again. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 11:24, 20 January 2016 (GMT)