Minutes 2016-12-10

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These minutes were approved at the Board meeting on 11 March 2017.

Board minutes 10th December 2016

The meeting was held at the Senate House Library, London. The meeting opened at 10:10 with Michael Maggs in the Chair.



Board Members: Michael Maggs, Greyham Dawes, Josie Fraser, Nancy Bell, Lorna Campbell, Jordan Landes, Doug Taylor, Kate West.

Wikimedia UK staff in attendance: Lucy Crompton-Reid, Daria Cybulska, Davina Johnson, Nicola Furness


Nick Poole, Carol Campbell

Summary of action points



Extract and provide date from CiviCRM to indicate the number of unique lead volunteers. Daria Cybulska As soon as possible
Provide a breakdown and analysis of data relating to content creation and its source by including in Impact Report Daria Cybulska As soon as possible
Circulate a list of attendees of the Ministerial Roundtable meeting attended by Chief Executive in October 2016 Lucy Crompton-Reid As soon as possible
Set up a working group/Development Committee to focus on future fundraising events and opportunities Lucy and Trustees Ongoing
Share a working document detailing previous and ongoing bid applications Lucy Crompton-Reid As soon as possible
Make comments/suggestions on the Diversity and Safeguarding Policies via track changes. Trustees By the New Year
Start looking into venues and locations for Board away day Nicola Furness Ongoing
Prepare a paper for the board detailing a shortlist of three potential office relocation options detailing their individual merits Davina Johnson By next board meeting (11th March 2017)
Populate the colour coding system of draft budget in terms of priority of spend and the likelihood of income being received in January SMT By next board meeting (11th March 2017)
Circulate link and materials relating to copyright reform in education talks with International Communia Association Josie Fraser Already sent to Nicola, to be circulated with minutes

The chair welcomed Nicola to her first meeting. The board introduced themselves.

Declaration of interest

No declarations of interest were made.

Minutes of the previous meeting

No inaccuracies were noted and the minutes were approved. The Chair noted that it would be good to reintroduce the action notes table that had previously been included in minutes.

Matters Arising

Communication strategy finalised in time for the submission of our APG application.

Chief executive reports

Lucy went through the Chief Executive Quarterly Report.

Programmes - reporting shows results dramatically exceeding many targets. The lead number of volunteers for Q3 shows 63, indicating an upward trajectory compared to previous quarters. The board noted however, that it would be useful to know how many unique lead volunteers we have as opposed to the metric measure. Daria responded that we should be able to extract this data from CiviCRM.

Daria talked through the Programmes Report. A question was raised with regards to content creation and sustainability given the rate of growth this quarter. The augmented numbers were explained to be mainly a result of content creation on Wikidata, generally a less labour-intensive task than the creation of a Wikipedia article. Doug questioned whether the board could see a detailed breakdown of this data and Daria suggested that a breakdown and analysis of this data could be included in the Impact Report.

Doug discussed his involvement with a project with Warwick University’s Department of Psychology and indicated that there was an issue with the deletion of articles. He suggested we should try and find a way to continue working with them by focusing on improving new articles rather than creating new ones. It was noted on a more general level that the support we provide for lecturers at universities who are delivering the Wikipedia in the Classroom programme can be challenging as the programme does not always align with their goals. Lucy suggested that this was an issue that could be explored further at the Educators Summit.

Lucy informed the board of the progress being made in Wales with regards to the gender gap on Welsh Wikipedia. At the time of the meeting 42% of articles are about women and Robin is working hard to bring this to it 50/50.

Lucy also discussed an interview conducted with John about ‘Fake News’ and how this was a useful way of highlighting the accuracy and neutrality of Wikipedia.

Lucy gave an oral report on Wikimedia UK’s recent partnership with the BBC’s 100 Women season, and the series of events and media coverage as a result of this. This was a singular moment for the charity and an invaluable opportunity to raise our profile. The board discussed the importance of staff’s ability to respond to any feedback as a direct result of the events.

Daria spoke about her experience at OpenCon, summarising that different open groups view the Wikimedia Foundation and Chapters in differing ways, both positive and negative, but that overall the global direction of the open movement is very similar.

Lucy reported that she has been invited to write a chapter for a new publication Feminism and Museums: Interventions, Disruption and Change.

Lucy to circulate a list of attendees of the Ministerial Roundtable meeting that she attended in October.

Given the many recent successes of the charity, the board and staff had a wide-ranging conversation about communications, with agreement that it is important to capitalise on momentum and ensure that we are promoting our work effectively. Daria will write a blog post highlighting some of our programme achievements in the new year, and a media release will be prepared for when Welsh Wikipedia reaches gender equality.

The chair and board offered their congratulations on what has been an exceptional quarter for the charity.

Discussion items

Fundraising and Membership paper

Lucy spoke to the Fundraising and Membership update. She highlighted our success in relation to the recommendation of the FDC in awarding 96% of our requested grant. The board agreed that this was a positive outcome, and was encouraging for the future.

A conversation was had about how Gifts in Kind are accounted for given our current forecast to be £19k over budget by year end.

Lucy went through the the new phase of engagement with Individual Donors, outlining the plan to begin with a pilot group of current donors who do not give give gift aid, followed by individual donors who have made gift aid declarations and inactive/former donors). Lucy will circulate the plan to board members for their information. The main short term focus is so re-establish communication with individual donors before attempting to convert them to members and increase their donation next year. The board acknowledged it was a good time to be contacting donors with very positive news and at a time of ‘fake news’.

Richard Nevill has sent several emails to Scottish donors, testing the efficacy of Mail Chimp versus CiviCRM and measuring engagement.

There was a conversation about investing time and finances into attracting new donors and members and whether we should budget a significant amount specifically for this purpose; however the earliest this is likely to be feasible is 2018. In the meantime, the board agreed to be more proactive in recruiting new members to the charity and sharing their networks.

Lucy has been contacted by the Foundation about their upcoming fundraising event in London next March, which led to a conversation about the possibility of Wikimedia UK holding their own fundraising event at some point in the future. It was agreed it would be a good idea to set up a working group or Development Committee to focus on matters such a these on an ongoing basis.

Lucy informed the board that Wikimedia UK recently received a £5,000 donation from a local property organisation called Croudace Properties. The board voted unanimously to accept this major donation, and to express our thanks.

The topic of fundraising from Trusts and Foundations was discussed and Lucy offered to share a working document detailing previous and ongoing bid applications. Lucy also thanked Nancy for her time and support in helping in this area.

There was a general consensus amongst board members that fundraising may well become easier as we continue to organise and participate in programmes and projects which we can refer to with partners and prospective donors.

In terms of membership, the board discussed the frequency of newsletters being sent to members. This is currently done quarterly; should this be more frequent? The possibility of Wikimedian residents and trustees also being more active in the promotion of membership was discussed particularly with regards to institutional membership (at the cost of £100 per year). Do we have a list of institutions which could be targeted? The possibility of developing a slogan or tagline to entice members was explored, such as “Become an open knowledge ambassador/champion”. The board also highlighted the importance of clarifying exactly what membership entails in relation to any legal implications.

Diversity and Safeguarding Policies

Lucy reminded the board that earlier in 2016, they had agreed to separate out board level policies which form part of the charity’s constitution with operational level policies that are delegated to the Chief Executive. Following this, Lucy had updated the majority of operational policies and presented a timetable for reviewing and updating board policies. An updated Diversity Policy and Safeguarding Policy had been circulated as part of the board papers. However, due to the sharing settings being set incorrectly, trustees had not had sufficient time to review suggested changes prior to the meeting.

There was a conversation about the process by which board-level policies should be amended on an ongoing basis with regards to community and board review. It was agreed that Lucy would propose changes and agree these with Michael before inviting comments from the community, after which the updated policy would be presented to the board for review and sign-off. In light of this, Lucy encouraged trustees to make any comments/suggestions on the Diversity and Safeguarding Policies by Christmas via track changes.

Consent Items

Davina requested signatures from Michael and Doug to update the Co-operative Bank mandate to reflect the Unity mandate. The board voted unanimously that this should be done.

Board in Camera Session

The board held a short in camera session

Board Committee and Financial Reports

GovCom Report

Michael spoke to the minutes of the last meeting. The topic of the board away day was discussed and it was agreed that the format of the event will include a board meeting early evening on Friday 8th September followed by a meal and an overnight stay. The Awayday workshop will be on Saturday 9th September with trustees travelling home in the evening. Nicola will begin research into venues and locations.

A rewording was suggested to the GovCom minutes under the heading ‘Converting donors to Members’ so the word ‘transfers’ becomes ‘conversions’.

ARC Report, including GFMR, draft budget and commentary papers

Greyham presented the ARC minutes.

Lucy and Greyham explained that we will be completely revising the risk register based on a new template to allow for a strategic approach to crucial risk and key risk disclosure.

The topic of the office move was discussed. Davina explained that she needed to have a narrower mandate in order to focus down our search of potential new office sites. Ethical Properties need to be informed whether we are moving to the Cambridge Heath Road site in April/May 2017 so we need to be in a position to make a decision prior to this. The topic was discussed in the most recent ARC meeting; Lucy invited the rest of the board members to contribute their opinions as well. Kate suggested that the board should advise a top end cap or percentage increase in terms of budget for the new office as well as an indication of style. This led onto a conversation about long term strategy and where the charity wants to be in five years. Michael said that the location of the new office will be crucial to staff retention, and that the views of the staff should play a big part in our assessment of what is best for the charity as a whole. It was agreed that Davina would prepare a paper for the board in readiness for the next board meeting detailing a shortlist of three options including their individual merits. The staff will stay in contact with ARC about this issue in the meantime.

Michael questioned the lack of budget allocated for the office move. Lucy responded that as we are not yet sure that the office move will be in 2017, and what the associated costs might be, she had increased the contingency budget. She said that the moving costs of the charity are likely to be relatively small.

Michael noted that the ARC minutes made a recommendation for aligning the charity’s financial year with the calendar year commencing in 2018. This recommendation will be made formally closer to that time once the implications of the change had been thoroughly explored.

Lucy spoke to the draft budget commentary, noting that the contingency has been increased from £10k to £15k for the reasons presented in the paper. Daria has worked hard to deliver a metrics map that allows the budget to be forecast against programmes. It was agreed that the formal budget sign off will be at the next board meeting. In the meantime the SMT will populate the colour coding system in terms of priority of spend and the likelihood of income being received in January.

The topic of grant funding application was discussed with regards to the possibility of applying for two years worth of funding at once. Lucy explained that this year the Foundation ran a pilot allowing selected chapters to do this. We are awaiting feedback on this and how it informs the process going forward.


Wikimania and Wikimedia Conference

The aims of these events were explained. Wikimania is the annual conference for the global Wikimedia community where the number of attendees that Wikimedia UK can send is in theory unlimited, but in practice is severely limited by our budget. The Wikimedia Conference is more focused on the internal business of running a chapter, including movement strategy, partnerships and capacity building. We are restricted by the conference rules to three delegates for the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin in 2017 and it was unanimously agreed that Lucy, Daria and Michael should attend.

Michael invited trustees to register their interest for Wikimania 2017. Kate, Nancy and Josie all expressed an interest in attending. Nancy mentioned that she might be in the US at the time of the event which would make the trip to Montreal more affordable for the charity. Lucy mentioned that Carol is likely to be in Canada at the time as well. Michael and Doug also expressed an interest but with the proviso they wouldn't want to detract from a trustee who has not previously attended a Wikimania event. Doug may be attending in any event in relation to his involvement with WikiProject Medicine.

Interviews for Gaelic Wikimedian in Residence
Lorna spoke about the interviews that are currently being held, and the board was delighted to hear that many of the applicants were very high calibre. Good quality applications from playwrights, authors and presenters have been received, which bodes well for the reputation of the charity. Lorna noted that there has been some comments from the Uicupeid in which the community had shown a desire to have been consulted with regards to the post. Doug asked about the motivations of applicants to which Lorna replied that the promotion of Gaelic language is considered a prestigious position.

EU Copyright

Lucy discussed her role in relation to the Advocacy Working Group and the key focus of the EU’s proposal for copyright reform. She also noted her participation in MozFest and the Ministerial Roundtable at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Josie discussed her recent trip to Brussels to participate in talks relating to copyright reform in education. She explained that there are notable limitations to the proposals and will send around link and materials giving more detail. The campaign will start in Easter of next year and we should engage and position ourselves as an organisation in readiness for this.

Michael discussed the charity's position in relation to the Orphan Works directive. Following discussions with Nick about the work he is doing at CILIP there is a potential opportunity to collaborate with representatives from major organisations in the UK (libraries, archives etc.) to advocate the release of these works/materials


The Chair declared the meeting closed at 15:03.

Date of Next Meetings

Saturday 11th March, location tbc.