MediaWiki development fund

This idea is still in the early stages. I don't have time to write up a full description of the proposal for this audience at the moment, but to give you some idea, I've quoted an email below that I sent to Magnus and Erik informing them of our idea. -- Tim Starling 05:16, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 00:25:14 +1000
From: Tim Starling
To: Erik Moeller, Magnus Manske
CC: Brion Vibber, Jimmy Wales, Angela, Anthere
Subject: MediaWiki development fund

A few weeks ago, Brion and I were discussing the possibility of a joint account to accept donations made for the purposes of supporting MediaWiki development, particularly through the SourceForge interface. Currently a number of us accept individual donations, but no doubt many potential donors would be more comfortable in donating to the project itself.

The idea we came up with was to create a joint account, administered by Wikimedia. Allocation of funds would be determined by the MediaWiki developers or some subset thereof, by some yet-to-be determined decision-making process. We expect that the funds will *not* be used for the direct payment of developers, but rather will be used for reimbursement of expenses such as travel.

As we've previously discussed, direct payment with an allocation determined by ourselves would be very difficult, as there is no unambiguous way to determine how much each developer deserves. Reimbursement of expenses will hopefully be uncontroversial and fair.

Wikimedia has a legal structure and tax advantages which make it a convenient organisation to perform the administration of the funds.

Brion and I were unsure whether a separate PayPal account should be set up, or if the main Wikimedia one should be used. Jimmy Wales has suggested that there is no financial penalty to having a separate PayPal account to accept such donations.

To fulfill SourceForge requirements, we will need approval from each of the project admins, that means Erik, Magnus, Brion and I. Lee's admin status was recently removed. We also need the Wikimedia Board of Trustees to make the necessary arrangements with PayPal. We have in-principle agreement from Jimmy, Angela and Anthere.

Discussions in the #wikimedia IRC channel have led to the following proposal for decision-making with regards to allocation: we could have a vote of the four SourceForge admins, and in the event of a tie, a Wikimedia Board of Trustees representative could cast the fifth vote.

-- Tim Starling