Grants:Project/Rapid/MW-SG/Legal fees for MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group incorporation as a non-profit

MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group/incorporation as a non-profit
The MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group (#mwstake) would like to incorporate and get non-profit status to more efficiently serve the needs of our diverse community through conferences, strategic development work (bug fixes, feature enhancements, documentation, etc.), and promotion of MediaWiki for 3rd party use.
targetMediaWiki 3rd party use (developers, system administrators, consultants, hosting providers, and users)
start dateNovember 15
start year2018
end dateJanuary 31
end year2019
budget (local currency)$2,000
budget (USD)$2,000
grant typeGroup
organization (if applicable)• MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group
website (if applicable)MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group

Project GoalEdit

We would like to request grant money to fund the incorporation and non-profit status of the MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group (#mwstake). Incorporating as a non-profit would allow easier and more transparent handling of conference financing. #mwstake is recognized (MW-SG) by the Affiliations Committee and is involved every year with the Enterprise MediaWiki Conferences (EMWCon).

Project PlanEdit


Bryan Hilderbrand will act as project manager to move the effort forward and will work directly with Mark Hershberger to secure a lawyer to proceed with the incorporation (phase I) and then file for non-profit status with the IRS (phase II). All grant money will be used for lawyer and filing fees. The incorporation phase (this grant) is estimated to cost $2,000 and the non-profit filing (future rapid grant request) is estimated to cost $1,500.

Once incorporated and after receiving non-profit status, #mwstake would inform it's members via email and during the next #mwstake meeting.


History of development
The #mwstake Group polled it's members about the goals of incorporation during several group meetings, the project goals above reflect a summary of the member responses.

Bank account for entity
After the successful incorporation and non-profit status, #mwstake would use the corporations’ bank account to plan the logistics of the upcoming EMWCon 2019 conference and all future EMWCon conferences.

Communication and coordination among MediaWiki users
In addition to the EMWCon conferences, #mwstake will be a nexus of support for MediaWiki users outside the Wikimedia sites. These users have a lot of experience, yet still, there is a need to provide answers to their support questions. These users improve MediaWiki with extensions and share common problems and #mwstake aims to give them a voice to share their experience and coordinate their efforts.

Coordination between different groups of MediaWiki developers and operators
Core changes can sometimes break widely used extensions, but they also have the potential to greatly improve widely used extensions. Extension developers find bugs, improve core code and simply rely on the core. Operators of wikis outside Wikimedia sites have their own issues, but could greatly benefit from and contribute to the experience of people running the Wikimedia sites.

Foster the ecosystem around MediaWiki
#mwstake recognizes there is a range of developers, consultants, and companies that work with MediaWiki and improve functionality for their customers. #mwstake wants to build a friendly environment for them to share their work and give them visibility. In addition, #mwstake wants to make it easier for people seeking professional services and support to be able to find quality help.

Facilitate implementation of MediaWiki features
There is a need for features that are not in the core focus of Wikimedia sites, but could greatly improve the user experience of other wikis. #mwstake aims to be able to support the development of these features.

Improve documentation of extensions and MediaWiki visibility
The documentation of MediaWiki, especially its extensions, is a key success factor for its use outside of Wikimedia sites. #mwstake aims to improve the quality of documentation and make it easier for outside users to assess the benefit and quality of extensions.

Contribute to the development of MediaWiki
By watching the proposed changes to MediaWiki and assessing the impact to users outside of the Wikimedia sites, #mwstake wants to ensure the full utilization of the software on non-Wikimedia wikis. #mwstake will also commit to contributing our improvements and work towards their inclusion in the main product.


  1. Bryan Hilderbrand will act as project manager to move the effort forward
  2. Mark Hershberger will be the key decision maker and future board member
  3. Employ service of a legal counsel for the incorporation and non-profit creation process


  • $1,875 — Incorporation lawyer fees
  • $125    — Pennsylvania Department of State incorporation fee & required legal notice publication


  • Finally, we incorporate! MarkAHershberger(talk) 14:57, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Good news! LexSMW (talk) 15:46, 16 August 2018 (UTC) (Background reasoning)
  • CCicalese (WMF) (talk) 20:30, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  • MediaWiki is the foundation of numerous sources of knowledge both inside and outside of Wikimedia. The events organized and hosted by the Stakeholders' group are the only events focused on the needs of the latter group. Supporting their ability to continue to successfully put on the these events - and the other impact described in the proposal - is crucial to the healthy development of the open-source project. I've learned so much and created numerous relationships through this user group. Sponsoring this grant will increase the impact of a group that has done so much, with so little. Ckoerner (talk) 15:48, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I have benefited tremendously from the contacts and knowledge provided by the MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group and I'm looking forward to it benefiting others as well. Bryandamon (talk) 16:50, 18 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I support the idea of incorporation for MWSTAKE. The third-party wiki community needs a focal point for resources and the means to harness the input and development activity of the enterprise users of MediaWiki. Mark and Bryan are motivated and committed to the cause. GregRundlett (talk) 12:44, 22 August 2018 (UTC)