Minutes 2012-03-03

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These minutes were approved at the Board meeting on 21 April 2012.


  • Roger Bamkin [RB] (Chair)
  • Mike Peel [MP]
  • Andrew Turvey [AT]
  • Jon Davies [JD]
  • Richard Symonds [RS] (Minutes)
  • Fæ [Fæ] (by telephone)
  • Chris Keating [CK] (by telephone)

RB - Apologies

There was none in-person.

JD - Chief Executive Report

See Jon's report.

Comms manager hire

The trustees were interested to know the Equal Opportunities situation; the applications received have been from a diverse background. There were a few questions raised about geographical diversity, which JD will take into consideration in future.

Induction process for Events Organiser and Comms Manager

Martin will give Daria a day in Bristol to talk about 'train the trainers' etc, and she hopes to meet other trustees as well. She has already been briefed by Fæ. The trustees suggested that she also look over the GLAM material that has already been collected.

At some point, Daria and the Comms Manager will need to travel to WMDE, and possibly the Comms Manager alone to visit the WMF, to see how things work. The trustees would also like them to learn how to edit - JD responded that a volunteer from WMUK is coming in to show them how to do so.

Daria will be coming to Monmouth, and RB suggested that the Comms organiser also liaise closely with the Monmouthpedia Comms team. MP asked about Wikimania 2012: JD replied that Daria would certainly be attending, but that we need to be sure that there are enough people in the office at any one point.

5-year plan

JD promised a draft of the 5 year plan by the Monmouth board meeting. The trustees were interested to know the long-term projections for membership - whether we are going to aim for a membership in the hundreds, or the thousands, and how to organise a charity with a potentially large membership. There was a discussion as to how to represent readers, as well as editors, and how to measure our support of each group with metrics, and whether the size of the chapter should be measured with members, volunteers, staff, spending or number of events. The Comms and Events managers need to be made aware of these metrics and the need for them. There was also some discussion as to how we can support the smaller chapters directly.

Contract positions / plans for future employees

Developer - sysadmin

See https://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/2012_Developer_budget AT suggested that the majority of this is outsourced with an IT firm. MP disagreed - he felt that we needed to bring as much of this in-house in order to build up a solid foundation of IT skills and projects within the chapter. MP then briefed the Exec about the 2012 Developer budget.

DECISION: RS and MP to organise circa £2.5k of funding to develop an open-source solution linking CiviCRM and UK Direct Debits.

There was a discussion as to whether or not we should hire a separate part time sysadmin, or contract out the work to an IT firm. The estimated cost for this could be around £50-70/hour at perhaps 10 hours per week. MP also raised the issue of CiviCRM running very slowly at times, RS was concerned that this could adversely affect the 2012/13 fundraiser unless fixed. MP also raised the issue that the WMF would be interested in us hosting a "mirror server" of Wikipedia, for people to be able to download database dumps from.

ACTION: JD to turn the draft sysadmin requirements into a proposal to send out to the industry.

There was also discussion, led by MP, on domain name squatters. MP will take this forward.

Finally, Fæ asked a question via online text chat about Wikimania travel funding.

ACTION: RS to send an email around to board members to see which board members are likely to want to go to WM2012.


To be discussed.

A.G.M. - JD/MP

ACTION: RS to send an email to James Farrar to thank him for agreeing to be a teller.

JD says: Venue is agreed. RB asked about breakout rooms, JD will check about these.

ACTION: RS to email SV and ask how many rooms we have available for the AGM - we now have three tracks, rather than two, which could be problematic if there are only two rooms.

ACTION: RS to email the UK list to ask for submissions for possible talks at the AGM.

RS raised a concern about the travel costs for members, as the budget is more limited than usual. The trustees were not overly concerned about this.

RB went through a list of speakers who have signed up for the AGM, including people from Europeana and Creative Commons.

ACTION: RS to email a list of 'interesting donors' to RB, who will ask them if they would like to speak at our AGM.

Annual Report - All

JD explained that there will probably be three versions: a glossy version for the everyday reader, an in-depth version with a lot of financial information for those like companies house, and a third version, which is likely to be electronic (or similar).

We are slightly behind in writing text for the Annual Report, which was provisionally due in on 1 March, however, there is still plenty of time before the report is to be printed. The Comms organiser will pick this up after he starts on 19 March.

Finance meeting - MP/CK (2pm)

Fæ and CK joined in via phone, and the exec meeting turned into a board meeting.

CK started: February 9 was the last WMF board meeting. RB feels that CK's draft reply to Sue's email is generally something that both the board and the community agree on. Those in attendance brainstormed ideas as to how a change towards not payment processing may impact WMUK, but all agreed that CK's reply was full and broadly complete, except for the last question in Sue's letter, which needs more precise wording. RB suggested that we discuss with the Chapters Council before going further.

Chapters Council

CK then went on to explain the benefit of the Chapters Council: representing the views of Chapters as a single voice in a respectable and clear way to the WMF and the community, and acting as a mutual support structure for Wikimedia Chapters, as well as other benefits. CK suggested that we empower some board members to discuss this with other chapters on WMUK's behalf.

AT asked how much the Chapters Council would cost. CK explained that there has not been any cost breakdown, MP raised the point that this might cost rather a lot, and costs may even be incurred in this financial year. MP also mentioned that the cost is heavily dependent on whether the KISS or Bismark model is picked. We may even end up supporting a significant percentage of the expenses of the Council. CK thinks that we should offer an unconditional message of support.

DECISION: The Board approve CK's reply to Sue.

ACTION: CK to finish the letter to Sue on whether WMUK wants to process donations to Wikimedia in the UK, and RB to email it to Sue, copying in the WMF Board.

RESOLUTION: The Board of Wikimedia UK strongly supports the principle of a Chapters Council. Such a Council is supported as a good solution to the issues of necessary governance that the Chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation need to resolve. We look forward to working with other chapters to define the required structure, including the outcomes and budget. We delegate authority to Fæ and Roger Bamkin to take the discussion forward at the chapters meeting.

ACTION: RB to email the WMUK resolution about the chapters meeting around the appropriate lists, including internal-l.


ACTION: CK and JD to set out a job description for support for WMUK fundraising

CK summarized that the role may include a number of other aspects such as relationship management and a certain level of Communications in coordination with the Communications Officer. The Fundraising Strategy, including the diversification of funding sources, will sit with the board but would be operationally driven by such a detailed appointment. The level of experience required in such a person (i.e. the person spec) may need to be adapted in the light of the composition of the new Board in April. An associated cost benefit analysis will be needed before hiring somebody.

AT believes that we should be diversifying our income at some point in the future: CK discussed a major donor cultivation exercise as an option for funding growth. Although this would bring in a large amount of extra funds, it would be a major endeavour, and could potentially cost a five-figure sum. AT also raised the idea of payroll giving: CK agreed, but said that extra work would be needed, and decisions would be needed as to how much to push payroll giving, as payroll giving is scalable. There was also discussion as to how much we should rely on major grants. Further discussion was postponed until the next board meeting at Monmouth.

The board meeting ended, and the exec continued. Chris left, but Fæ stayed on via phone.

Identity cards - options - JD/MP

See JD's report.

Chapter-selected WMF board seats

MP introduced the Chapter-selected board member candidates.

Question for candidates: do they have any conflicts of interest with the process, or with the position of being a WMF trustee?

Some of the candidates have close links to the UK chapter, and Fæ suggested that we wait before voting or supporting any one candidate. RB suggested nominating a candidate, but not openly supporting one until more questions have been answered. Discussion was postponed until the next full (in person) board meeting at Monmouth.

QRpedia - JD

RB was present at the beginning of this meeting, but offered to leave when asked.

JD explained the current position of WMUK/QRpedia. RB explained his current understanding of the issues.

ACTION: QRpedia team to write a confidential non-binding letter to WMUK, explaining their position and the way in which they would like to proceed. JD will chase in two weeks if nothing is recieved.

Plans for the next in-person meeting - April 21-22 in Monmouth - RB

This was briefly discussed.


Server and backup strategy (MP)

This was discussed out of the meeting.

Shared calendar system (MP)

ACTION: RS to distribute information about the shared WMUK calendar system.