| Resolution approving guiding principles intended to govern Wikimedia fundraising and funds dissemination practices, released 18 January 2012. Passed with 7 approvals and 3 abstentions on January 6, 2012.
Following consultation with the Wikimedia community on meta, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees is now releasing the guiding principles below, which are intended to govern Wikimedia fundraising and funds dissemination practices.
We now ask the Executive Director to develop for the Board a recommendation for fundraising and funds dissemination practices that will align as well as possible with the guiding principles while consulting appropriately with stakeholders and interested parties. The Board asks that the recommendation be ready to be shared with the Board for discussion at the February 2012 Board meeting.
Guidelines for Fundraising Scenarios
- Consistency with mission, vision and values. All Wikimedia fundraising activities must be conducted in a manner that's consistent with our overall mission, vision and values. They must not create unnecessary legal exposure for the projects, or otherwise unduly interfere with our ability to achieve our mission.
- Minimal cost and minimal disruption. All Wikimedia fundraising activities must aim to raise the maximum possible amount of money from donors while minimizing administrative costs as much as possible (in order to reserve the largest amount of money possible for programmatic activity), while causing minimal disruption and annoyance for users of the projects.
- Transparency: All Wikimedia fundraising activities must be truthful with prospective donors. We need to tell people what we intend to use their money for, before they donate. And we need to report in a timely fashion on how it was actually spent.
- Responsibility: All Wikimedia fundraising activities must ensure funds received are safe from fraud or misuse as determined by existing third-party standards for appropriate financial controls, and must adhere to relevant laws and regulations.
- Internationalism: Our movement is international in scope, and our fundraising practices must support the easiest possible transfer of money internationally in support of the movement's priorities.
- Independence: We prefer a fundraising model in which we are supported primarily via the many-small-donors model, because this is the model that best supports our independence.
- Flexibility: We do not need to adhere to a single monolithic model for fundraising: multiple donation streams are fine.
- Sustainable donor relations: We must safeguard donor privacy and avoid slowing the "donate now" flow.
- Good faith: The Wikimedia movement assumes that all movement participants are acting in good faith, with regards to each other's actions and intentions.
Guidelines for Funds Distribution Scenarios
- Protect the core: Core activities that ensure the continuity of the projects need to be funded first.
- Impact: Funds should be distributed in ways that support mission work, agnostic with regard to where the money was raised.
- Transparency and stability: Decisions about funds distribution must be made transparently, in accordance with published guidelines and processes. The model must enable each entity to carry out financial planning to support efforts to be sustainable.
- Decentralization: Funds must be distributed in ways that support decentralized programmatic activities for furthering our mission.
- Responsibility and accountability: Funds must be distributed in ways that enable the Wikimedia movement to confidently assure donors that their donations will be safeguarded appropriately, and that spending will be in line with our mission and with the messages used to attract donors.
- Collaboration and openness: Funds must be distributed in ways that are collaborative and open, and which respect the diverse and international nature of the Wikimedia movement.