Wikimedia UK Board Meeting 20th September 2019, 6-8pm.
Josie Fraser (in Chair), Nick Poole, Doug Taylor, Sangeet Bhullar, Jane Carlin, Marnie Woodward, Rod Ward, Andrea Chandler. Staff: Lucy Crompton-Reid, Katie Crampton (minuting).
Apologies from Kate West. As this would have been Kate’s last board meeting as a trustee, Josie noted her huge contribution over her six year term, and the board recorded their thanks.
Josie warmly welcomed our new trustees Andrea Chandler and Rod Ward. Introductions to everyone were made.
Declarations of interest
Minutes from the previous meeting
JF asked about the introduction to SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies). LCR responded that she is in conversation with them about a possible WiR.
Arbitration Committee acronym.
To be covered in AOB.
Chief Executive report
LCR spoke to the report and highlighted some of the key points.
LCR is increasingly having conversations with other organisations about potential new financial models. Arcadia Fund is interested in supporting Wikimedians in Residence in organisations they already fund, and LCR is putting together a proposal following meetings with the Director of Open Access at the fund. The proposal is for a pilot project involving four eighteen month long residencies, with potential to scale to other organisations.
There’s a possible partnership with Kiwix, which offers access to Wikipedia when offline, so useful in areas with low WiFi such as rural areas and prisons. They work with a fundraiser in the UK, but many trusts and foundations will only support charities which are based within the UK, so they have asked us to be the fiscal holder and keep 5% of the funding as a fee. DT outlined how WikiMed uses Kiwix for disaster zones or rural areas which don’t have WiFi to get medical information to doctors operating there. NP questioned the risk to us in taking on the liability of the performance of a third party.
Communications: LCR distributed copies of the Partners in Open Knowledge booklet, which is a summary of the long term impact report into Wikimedians in Residence and a promotional tool for organisations considering hosting their own resident.
We were pleased to secure mainstream press coverage during the quarter. This was mainly as a result of our involvement in the Adidas campaign about online coverage of women’s footballers, with articles in the Metro and Stylist both including a quote from LCR. We received a donation of £5k in partnership funding from Adidas. JF and LCR to contact Premier League using Adidas as an example.
Westminster Media Forum have invited LCR back to a seminar in December.
Katherine Maher was invited to speak in Berlin at the next annual global female leaders summit, but suggested LCR could go instead. This has yet to be confirmed with the organisers.
At a meeting in August with the EDs, Val D’Costa - Chief of Community Engagement at Wikimedia Foundation - made assurances that there are no plans to stop funding current chapters to enable the creation of new ones.
LCR is working with JF to get LGBT WiR and looking at where that post will be held. The plan is to apply to the Foundation to fund the post.
Quarterly performance report
NP noted the huge amount of work achieved for the number of staff in the organisation, and questioned whether there is undue pressure. LCR pointed out that we also report on activities facilitated by our network of Wikimedians in Residence and volunteers, not just directly delivered by staff. She added that staff are encouraged to have a good work/life balance, and that there isn’t a culture of working overly long hours. All staff are also encouraged to take all their annual leave as well as TOIL where appropriate. The very low staff turnover points to a relatively contented workforce.
Board committees and financial reports
Discussed Away Day agenda, thanks to those who commented. Subcommittee and board membership, will be making recommendations for December. KW will be leaving at the end of the month. We can have eleven trustees, trying to fill skills gap. New development advisory board for fundraising. New technology advisory board, Doug, Rod and Andrea also have tech skills. Draft Annual Return to the Charity Commission will be circulated in October.
Thanked KW, went through actions. Agreed slightly different arrangement for financial commentary. ARC membership, looking for legal skills and general senior management skills. Kiwix and Arcadia discussion. Reserve levels in policy to be discussed at next ARC.
Financials: We’re on track for our budget, we have good reserves. Risk register is on the away day agenda. Remunerations and pensions policy has been written. We do not have a London wage weighting, it’s based on skills and experience.
KC who was minuting the meeting left at this point and the meeting came to an end.
Date of next meeting
Thursday 12th December 2019.