Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday 8th December 2021, 5-8pm, online.
Present, Apologies and Introductions
Present: Monisha Shah, Rod Ward, Caroline Ball, Marnie Woodward, Julian Manieson, Lorna Campbell, Andrea Chandler, Sangeet Bhullar. Staff: Lucy Crompton-Reid, Davina Johnson, Daria Cybulska, Natasha Iles, Katie Crampton (minuting).
Apologies: Jane Carlin, Kelly Foster.
Declaration of interests
Review and Approval of minutes of the previous meeting
CEO Report (LCR)
We would have to pay any dilapidation costs of over £10,000 for rent on Europoint.
RW asked about the risk register and QRpedia’s inclusion on it, LCR explained that it’s on there purely for completeness, and until we unpick the confusion around it being a subsidiary company. LCR will be preparing a paper on QRpedia, and whether there are any risks or opportunities.
MW on copyright, online safety bill training around copyright. MS asked if there was any interest in training. Interest from SB, MW, LC, AC, JAM, and MS. LCR suggested that Dimi may be able to provide training around copyright. Action: LCR and MS to arrange.
RW asked about international working and the knowledge gaps. We approached an external consultant to do the knowledge gaps, in order to do the really rich piece of work that needs doing, we’d need more funds, we’d split the project in two. The additional funding is from the Foundation not from WMUK.
Programmes Report (DC)
DC one of the most important things is the work around the climate crisis, we are seeing a lot of interest across sectors in different partners, in the open knowledge sector too e.g. Climate Change Manager at Creative Commons. We’d be interested in where we could do the work.
A lot of Wikimedians in Residence have been extended or formalised, which is very positive.
Our work within the Connected Heritage is giving us a lot of profile, a lot of organisations are coming to us to get involved in. But also within the Wikimedia movement.
Digital volunteering has been quite popular in sectors and among funders, more diverse online heritage sector contributors.
MS asked about the presentation on Wikidata, the talk was probably recorded. A curated list. Can the information be shared. Action: DC to highlight.
SB highlighted the Shout Out work, to look at the devolved nations perspective, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The curriculum is devolved in these places, so talking about the digital skills. The fundraising team has been gained a grant for a project in Wales but we have ambitions for Wales. LC raised that it could be difficult to engage in Scotland, we’ve approached 4 separate Secretaries of Education, but they don’t see it as part of their remit. Creative Commons CEO also attempted it.
MW thanked us for the list of Wikimedians in Residence. Asked a question about libraries, there is an idea of a whole development of libraries, they got quite disrupted by Covid, it’s not quite the right time but still interested.
SB asked about the networks to contact, youth networks might be good networks to engage.
MS thanked LCR for the representation of risks. Asked about the aim for next year, and what is the growing aim. DC answered that there will likely be more structured projects such as Connected Heritage and Towards a National Collection, which has a curated journey for each institution we partner.
Development and Communications Report (NI)
NI gave highlight that the digital impact is a different figure. NI outlined that the issue with CiviCRM is that we haven’t got the training across the team to use the system, the Wikimedia Foundation have a very bespoke system. We haven’t had a Head of Development and Communications so it’s been sustained.
MW asked a quick question around the performance figures. Asked about comparative figures.
It’s pockets of success, with grants, and attrition slowing. There’s a lot of competition for trusts and foundations. It’s the first time Wikimedia UK has taken part in the Big Give, and we’re pleased with how we can retain supporters.
Finance Report (DAJ)
Focusing on the first paragraph - a magnificent surplus of £38k, we had to look forward to the end of the year and that is a break even position. We’ve had significant income from donations. A lot of the admin costs have been underspent.
Individually the budget holders look at Q4 to have a deficit of £6k, we forecast to be quite buoyant over donations. Q4 is the best for donations. Particularly the donations where to and fro. There was also some timing differences between the Q3 and Q4, e.g. £1400 is included in Q3.
Restricted funds have gifts in kind included. There are now 5 restricted funds as opposed to the 2 that we had last year.
MS invited questions and comments. MW thanked DAJ for a comprehensive report. There’s three reports in. The new sources of funding that are having a significant impact on us, the Foundation and the NLHF, supported by NLCF, NIHR, UAL. Really exciting move forward.
NI agreed that it’s very exciting with the activities that are going on.
MS thanked the team.
Approval of the lease agreement and delegation the signing of the lease agreement to LCR. Unanimously approved.
Proposed Budget for 2022 - 2023 (LCR)
There is a much more detailed budget for next year, but for the purposes of the board there’s a one paper. 6.5% growth of income, seen these referred to in the ARC. We’ve had 10k for the project grants. The staff team is the biggest expenditure, our employees national insurance is going up and the employers is two. Budgeting for a cost of living expense of 3%. We put a proposal to the board for a designated fund, £15k for DC’s project, £5k grant for the Foundation, that’s some expenditure fund against the designated fund. £10k we will spend on CiviCRM, to make it fit for purpose, to grow our small donors through our CRM. The budget doesn’t include that investment. We now have professional expertise around how to grow our donations, but we don’t have the software.
The live google sheet, we’re taking a summary of the other documents.
We’re looking at a break even budget, not including the £10k for CiviCRM.
The start of the new financial year in February would be the staff cost. The inflation is running at 4.2%, so essentially staff would be getting a cut, 3% would be a measured offer. MS stated that staff is not being renumerated for the jobs that they do.
CB, MS, RW, and JAM approved of the 3% or a 4.2% increase to match. Action: board members content to.
Reports from Committees
ARC (2nd December)
Cyber insurance, chasing our brokers, came back to us yesterday. Completed the form and it’s been forced into our broker.
Three new trustee signatures on the mandate - action: RW, SB and MS to log on to Unity so they remain signatures. Checked in whether the staff are okay with the approval of payments. MS is happy to sit in on the risk register review.
Governance Committee (25th November)
Recruiting a trustee with legal expertise, and having lawyers are two different things.
Meeting schedule for next year will be online for the next year at least.
Strategy and Business Items for discussion
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Framework (LCR)
There’s been quite a few discussions at staff and board level with a consultant. The framework has not changed substantially, the feedback from the trustees has been incorporated. LCR is looking for approval of the framework going forward.
MS said the framework looks very comprehensive and living documents, external environments impact them. What elements are working, and what needs to be thought through again. What of this do you think is going to be most difficult to deliver? It’s the partnership programme work that has the most questions around. DC is around how others see us which is harder to manage.
MS asked if the board is happy to approve.
Strategic Framework for 2022 - 2025 (LCR)
Whether Wikipedia is reliable and whether it’s seen as reliable. Lots of thinking around the values, equity and inclusivity, collaboration is essential, creativity is very running strongly, being transformative and being bold in creating change.
Long term outcomes seem increasingly important. Action: add more detail around digital literacy.
The volunteer community want to see recognition around other areas other than Wikipedia.
Making sure that as a chapter we can draw on. The focus is on these themes.
MW in the section two on external environment, assumption will continue.
Climate crisis being a solution for rather than part of the problem. Multimedia, tech changing the literal landscape. RW provision of reliable good quality information on climate crisis, like Covid, the same role is there about climate change, the process causing more harm than good.
MW: knowledge equity and digital literacy, climate crisis not playing our strengths. Slightly concerned that we’re taking a theme. Cultural heritage on small islands on the coast. Detailed mapping of landscape, it could increase litter etc. Wikimedia projects support small communities. Strategy tells us what we can’t do. Suggested climate change be an objective rather than a strand. The assumptions about our beneficiaries.
LCR: speaking to the climate options, when 6 years ago we created different strands, under knowledge equity climate justice is one, and under information literacy access to climate change. This is more exploratory. Agree what we can do for broader organisation.
Do we feel that we are broadly there, pulling together of all the different consultation. AC and LC agree, sustainable development agenda. Focus on engagement with schools from SB.
MS we are very happy with this, next step will be KPIs and budgeting.
Funding proposal to Wikimedia Foundation (LCR)
MS invited comments on the proposal. MW - there is obvious financial risk, 25k, 40k, 65k in year 3. Those are the income risks. We need some really clear focus on climate change pillar in the funding proposal.
MS raised the external funding we are able to raise is very dependent on the funding we receive, it is something that increased funding we get is impacted upon the other funding we get.
Close (by 8pm)