Minutes 2017-12-12

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Comment These minutes are in draft. They have not yet been formally approved, and they may not accurately reflect the discussions and decisions from the meeting.

Board minutes 12th December 2017

The meeting was held at Europoint in London with Josie Fraser in the Chair. Carol Campbell assumed the chair for the for meetings end.

Housekeeping

Present

Board Members: Josie Fraser, Carol Campbell, Greyham Dawes, Doug Taylor, Nancy Bell, Nick Poole, Jordan Landes, Kate West, Michael Maggs; Wikimedia UK staff in attendance: Lucy Crompton-Reid, Daria Cybulska, Katie Crampton

Apologies

Lorna Campbell

Actions log
Actions Person Responsible
Start a soft push for organisational membership in the new year. LCR and KC
Advertise the Scottish Programme Co-ordinator post early next year. LCR, DC and KC
Draft operational principles for the Welsh user group to ensure clarity for both the chapter and user group. LCR
Advertise the Interim Chief Executive post early next year. LCR and KC
Declaration of interest

No declarations of interest were made.

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes from the last board meeting were approved.

Matters Arising

No matters arising.

Chief executive reports

LCR drew the board’s attention to the organisation’s positive results in terms of our performance indicators, highlighted in the CEO report and provided in more detail in the performance report. The report included a section on our activities with individual donors and LCR highlighted that our attrition rate for individual donors has fallen significantly this year. Looking at open and click rates we can see that there is a wide range of engagement with us, even amongst our active donors, with those who have recently started giving again and donors who have previously declared Gift Aid much more likely to open our messages. This year has seen a high level of presence from the Chapter at key conferences and events, with LCR and JF giving talks at the DCMS and the British Library within the same week. LCR is working with several other Chapters on a potential EU funding application for a project with refugee and migrant groups. There was a discussion about whether we need to articulate our international role more formally, and it was agreed that this would be a likely feature of our next strategy. It was felt by the board that the international work being undertaken across the team was a mark of how much the organisation has developed in the past few years.

Q3 performance report

As discussed previously, we are well on track to achieve or exceed most of our targets. In particular we are now achieving our targets for the number of lead volunteers, which is a significant development. The team were congratulated by the board on the fact that 53% of lead volunteers in the past quarter were women. There was a discussion about whether and how we include the results of Wikimedians in Residence who have become permanent within our own metrics; and LCR explained that this is an emerging area as this year is the first time this has happened. However, we already count the results generated by residents who are paid for by our partners or through external funding and we will follow the same principle for permanent residents, based on the existence of (and detail within) a partnership agreement with the host institution. There was a brief discussion about metrics more generally, and LCR reported that she, DC and NB have a meeting scheduled with a number of people from the arts and research teams at NESTA to discuss a potential collaboration.

Discussion items

Organisational membership

LCR gave an overview of the key points in her paper including research into what other similar organisations charge for organisational members; with the proposed campaign for organisational members the key item to discuss. It was confirmed that the process for approving organisational members would mirror that of individual members, with this power delegated by the board to the CEO except in cases that aren’t straightforward and need discussion. It was also confirmed that the board can reject potential organisational members in the same way as with individual members. NB was not sure if the benefits of membership as currently proposed were sufficient, however NP feels that the key benefit for organisational members is being able to express their support for open knowledge. It was suggested that in future we should explore membership from for-profit technology organisations, but it was agreed that we should start with our current partners, most of whom are non profit. NP suggested we have a page on the Wiki which lists our organisational members, and LCR confirmed this will be added. It was agreed that we should have a soft push for organisational membership in the new year as proposed in LCR’s paper, and that the board would agree at the June meeting whether or not to propose a range of levels/prices at this year’s AGM.

Scotland

As the FDC has now recommended that Wikimedia UK receive 100% of the funding we applied for, we will be moving forward with the appointment of new staff member in Scotland. This was originally going to be a 3 day a week post has now been reduced to 0.5FTE (2.5 days a week) to free up a travel budget so we are not just recruiting from the central Scottish belt. LCR and DC have considered the option of a partner organisation hosting the post, but there are risks to this such as the staff member will become more of a coordinator for that partner. It is therefore proposed - and agreed by the board - that the role will be peripatetic, with some hot desking at different partner institutions, and otherwise based at home unless this is unsuitable for the individual. We will be advertising early next year as a permanent post with a salary of £25k to £28k. LCR noted that in addition to WMF funding we are currently exploring the potential for funding from Scottish trusts and foundations.

Wales

There has been an application to the Wikimedia Affiliations Committee to form a user group in Wales, and LCR and JF have been invited to comment as the local chapter. There is a lack of clarity at this point over whether this would be a geographic or language based group, and the exact detail of the proposal to AffCom. LCR confirmed that the user group would not be applying for funding separate from the UK Chapter’s grant. It was noted that within the Wikimedia movement the accepted structures are chapters and user groups. It was proposed by the board that LCR ask the Affiliations Committee to allow time for discussion by the board to take place. LCR will draft operational principles to ensure clarity for both the chapter and user group, and these will be circulated for comment.

Staff leave 2018

LCR is on maternity leave from the middle/end of March 2018 and DJ is likely to be on leave from early April for 12 weeks. LCR talked to her detailed paper, which included the proposal that someone is appointed for her role, whilst covering some of DJ’s senior management responsibilities. Rich Matthews would take on an extra day to cover the finance aspects, and DC would take on some of LCR’s responsibilities such as communications with the Wikimedia Foundation and other Chapters. The board felt that in terms of continuity this proposal would work well and is lower risk than the other options outlined. Possibilities in terms of the current staff team were also discussed. It was felt by KW that governance and finance skills along with fundraising and communications skills are a hard mix to come by in a candidate, and that this might be an issue in terms of communications in particular, which are currently somewhat weak. NP emphasised that we don’t want a candidate who is looking to reinvent, and that this is essentially a caretaking role for someone who will get on well with the team. It was agreed by the board to support LCR’s proposal to appoint a part time interim Chief Executive who will take on additional financial and operational responsibilities that the period DJ is on leave. LCR confirmed that we will advertise as soon as possible in the new year and will also encourage people to promote the role through their networks. NB and others on the board said that they would be happy to step in to support the work of the organisation during LCR’s maternity leave if needed.

Attendance at Wiki Conference and Wikimania

JF and DC will attend both the Wiki Conference and Wikimania. If other trustees would like to go they need to email LCR by Christmas. There are bursaries for volunteers from the Foundation. Board committee and financial reports.

GovCom Update

The GovCom minutes were discussed.

ARC Update

The ARC minutes were discussed.

AOB

None.

Date of next meetings

Saturday 10th March 2018