Minutes 2012-01-03

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These minutes were approved at the Board meeting on 11 February 2012.

Agenda for Board meeting on 3 January 2012, to be held by telephone

Meeting theme: Debrief Fundraiser

in-camera minutes


Present were:

  • Roger Bamkin [RB] (Chair)
  • Mike Peel [MP] (Minutes - support)
  • Andrew Turvey [AT]
  • Fæ [Fæ]
  • Martin Poulter [MLP]
  • Steve Virgin [SV]
  • Chris Keating [CK]
  • Jon Davies [JD]
  • Richard Symonds [RS] (Minutes - lead)


Minutes and Reports

Apologies for absence

There were none.

Review of meetings and approval of Minutes

The minutes are still pending formatting improvements; as such, approval of the minutes will take place in February board meeting.

Review email decisions

  • Decision to provide a restricted grant of up to £1,500 to the Open Street Map Foundation (from the Opportunity Fund budget) (21 Dec)[1]

The email decision was briefly reviewed.

Actions and reports

The reports from board members and staff were run through sequentially.

ACTION: RS to set up weekly email of pending members to the board for approval. Also to look into 'red flagging' systems to identify any problematic membership applications that might be received.

OTRS workshop: briefly discussed which board members are attending. BLW - Jon will help with closing this off.

AT explained the Unity trust bank: MP mentioned that Natwest Bankline had a similar account, but JD and AT werre keen to get the bank account opened ASAP. It was agreed that we would open up the account and look into others such as Natwest Bankline in future.

Fae explained that our GLAMsterdam budget went down very well, with a round of applause to WMUK for supporting European attendees. Fae would like to take £14k (up from £5k) for the National Archives digitisation project in 2012 as part of the WW1/2 budget. There were concerns that this might be seen as 'paying for content', but when asked our members have generally been in favour of high-resolution digitisations. There were also concerns about the cost, which Fae is looking into reducing by using competitive external bids. £5k was approved for a pilot project, with further funding being a possibly in the future (subject to board approval). Fae will work with TNA for a proposal for the rest of the 12 month programme.

MLP has been talking to University of Leicester about holding a conference - centrally located etc, but he needs no board support at present. There were questions as to whether or not the Events manager will be in place by this point - events manager should be in place by 1 March.

ACTION: MLP to share with JD a list of his education sector contacts.

SV had nothing that was not covered in his report

JD discussed office/WMUK success metrics - this needs community input as well. He asked board members to look at the documents he has shared to see what can be improved. Trustee recruitment was also discussed: it will likely be quite expensive, but could be helped by looking one step removed from WMUK. AT suggested blog post as the starting point, and MLP will coordinate an approach to GirlGeeks. SV will promote to Bristol contacts of digital women in Bristol. JD wants a simple, robust, safe pension scheme: AT explained that this needs to be done as a priority, JD agreed.

Discussions and decisions needed

Fundraiser status and review [CK] (inc. direct mail)

CK explained that there will be a long 'lessons learned' report coming out in the next few weeks re:fundraiser. CK, AT, JD and RS will meet before the next board meeting to discuss this report. AT (and others) congratulated CK on running a successful fundraiser. AT asked if the 41% increase in donations that WMUK had was mirrored by the WMF, it was (40.7%). CK mentioned that Charity Status has made a difference. WMUK need to discuss what will happen with Direct Debit donations and donating a proportion to the WMF after two or three years. MP asked if we would be doing a press release about this: CK will write a blog post about it, but not a press release. The board agreed that we need a more defined media strategy.

CK would like to send 10,000 more direct mail 'Direct Debit forms' out to high-amount donors (at a cost of circa £6000), in addition to the 5,000 already sent. This is because these letter generate more ongoing donations, per appeal, than emails. AT asked how much we expect to raise from this: approx £6-7000 per year for about 3.5 years.

2012 Budget

JD: Most recent budget estimate was sent earlier today. Key changes from the WMF-submitted plan are an uplift for events & comms organisers, inclusion of pensions, £4k for a staff travel budget rather than individual event budgets. The budget, overall, is balanced if we grant £482,910 to the WMF. AT suggests rounding this up to £500k.

AT proposes that budgets not spent one year are 'carried forward', in entirety, to the next year.

MLP asked that the two budget lines for University outreach "University Outreach - Events" and "Wikipedian in Residence - Universities" be merged.

The details are to be discussed at the next exec meeting (24 Jan).

Finance Policy

JD explained the diagram shared amongst board members, (File:How to spend diagram for Jan 3rd 2012.pdf). AT wanted to discuss payments - how much should the Chief Exec be able to sign off without trustee support? It was decided that £2k is an appropriate amount. Other than a few minor caveats, the board were happy with the draft, and approved it. Jon will add a line about the general approach of who will be signatories on bank accounts, and will check with MP about the revised text.

Establishing solid corporate governance policies for future years

This was covered in Fæ's report.

ACTION: Fæ and RB to ensure that strategy is on the agenda for future meetings.

Decision on who will represent the chapter at the Chapters Meeting (30 March-1 April)

It was decided that JD, RB and CK will attend the chapters meeting.

In-camera discussion

The Board went in-camera to discuss several items. The minutes are on the office wiki.

Delayed agenda items

The following agenda items were delayed for a future meeting:

    • B6: Wikipedian / GLAM of the year? (RB) (ref email 13/12/11)
    • B8: Vice Chair, Vice Treasurer, Vice Sec (RB)
    • B9: Participation in the international Grants:Participation Grants programme (CK)

To be discussed at a later date.


The next meeting will be in-person on 11-12 February 2012, at WMUK office, London. It will be combined with a Board Interest day. It is expected that all board members, Jon and Richard will be there.

End notes

  1. Fae: Offered as a deferred geo-related budget in 2012, that may support a partnership with OSM.