Wikimedia Foundation elections/2022/Community Voting/Election Compass/Statements

How the Election Compass will workEdit

Users will see the statements selected by the community. At that point, candidates already positioned themselves to the statements (support, neutral, oppose; and a short answer clarifying their stance). Those candidate answers will be loaded into the Election Compass before the election begins and the Election Compass opens. The Election Compass asks the user to position themselves to these statements. At the end, the user will see whom of the candidates is closest to their personal stances. The Election Compass is by far not a voting recommendation, but it should help to navigate and orient yourself.

Community ParticipationEdit

To be able to run such an election compass, we need clear, sharp, concise statements that the candidates can position themselves to. We would like to ask you to propose these statements (until Wednesday, July 20) and then have a quick upvoting session on them (from July 25 to August 3), to select 15 of these statements. Candidates would have them roughly 10 days to position themselves, before the election starts and the tool goes online.

Results of community upvoting (confirmed by the Election Committee)Edit

The final selection of the 15 statements was confirmed by the Election Committee on August 4. Votes by IP addresses and blocked users were not included. Thanks to Dušan Kreheľ for compiling the results incredibly quickly.

The numbers in the "Votes" column link to pages that do not give the text of the question; there is a more human-readable version.

Rank Votes Statement The last user vote
# 1 41 1. The Wikimedia Foundation should conduct all of its activities with absolute transparency (excluding where this would cause legal/privacy/security issues) 2022-08-03 21:08:50 UTC
# 2 40 23. The Wikimedia Foundation should provide more technical support to meet the demand of the community 2022-08-03 23:10:52 UTC
# 3 39 6. I am uncomfortable with the way the WMF increasingly assigns itself unilateral authority to make decisions about the Wikimedia projects which then affect the community 2022-08-03 21:09:16 UTC
# 4 31 31. The WMF should continually seek to reduce, rather than expand, its scope of responsibilities, leaving as much as possible to the community's self-organized capacity 2022-08-03 21:11:47 UTC
# 5 29 4. WMF fundraising is deceptive: it creates a false appearance that the WMF is short of money while it is in fact richer than ever 2022-08-03 21:14:46 UTC
# 6 28 29. The WMF should generally opt for community-vetted ideas, rather than internal ideas, as the basis for its organizational roadmap 2022-08-03 21:11:07 UTC
# 7 28 13. The primary activity of the Wikimedia Foundation should be funding the Wikimedia community's efforts. 2022-08-03 23:09:53 UTC
# 8 27 26. The Universal Code of Conduct is a net positive addition to the Wikimedia movement 2022-08-03 19:54:09 UTC
# 9 26 10. Future community seats of the Board of Trustees should be filled purely by a contributor (editor, volunteer developer, and so on) vote on all nominees 2022-08-03 21:16:26 UTC
#10 25 5. I am uncomfortable with the way the WMF organization has continuously grown its staff headcount and budget and taken on more and more tasks that are not directly related to the Wikimedia projects and the volunteer communities working on them 2022-08-03 21:15:04 UTC
#11 24 2. Well over 50 percent of Wikimedia Foundation expenses is spent on salaries in the US; that percentage is too great 2022-08-03 21:14:11 UTC
#12 23 27. Simplify the Board of Trustees Election Process to keep Community Members interested and engaged 2022-08-03 20:36:15 UTC
#13 23 11. The Election Committee must be made actively accountable to and selected or elected by the community 2022-08-03 21:16:35 UTC
#14 22 8. The software development should be focused on constant development and core features instead of short projects and new features. 2022-08-03 20:35:39 UTC
#15 22 20. The WMF should initiate a participatory budgeting process, in which the editor community participates in the allocation of funds 2022-08-03 23:50:51 UTC
#16 21 32. The WMF should voluntarily recognize a staff union with proof of support from a majority of eligible unit members 2022-08-03 21:12:20 UTC
#17 20 25. The Wikimedia Foundation should allocate additional resources to research, documentation, and advocacy of real-world policy issues that affect Wikimedia users and Wikimedia projects (for example, issues of access and free expression) 2022-08-03 23:11:29 UTC
#18 18 19. The Wikimedia Foundation should allocate a higher percentage of their resources into tasks related to contributing to the projects 2022-08-03 12:38:34 UTC
#19 16 35. Had I been a member of the Board of Trustees in May 2020, I would have voted in favor of the Brand Project Support resolution 2022-08-03 20:36:52 UTC
#20 16 33. The WMF should get consensus from respective communities before running fundraising banners on their wiki 2022-08-03 21:12:34 UTC
#21 15 16. Wikimedia Foundation projects should compete for Movement funds with projects of other Wikimedia organizations (except for keeping the sites up) 2022-08-03 19:51:28 UTC
#22 15 18. The represented diversity is more important than individual qualifications of members of the Board of Trustees 2022-08-03 20:35:57 UTC
#23 15 7. I am uncomfortable with the way the Wikimedia Foundation serves the interests of Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft) 2022-08-03 21:15:38 UTC
#24 13 3. The Wikimedia Foundation does not spend enough money in countries of the "developing world" 2022-08-03 23:16:14 UTC
#25 12 24. Had I been a member of the Board of Trustees at that time, I would have voted in favor of the Wikimedia Enterprise project 2022-08-03 20:36:10 UTC
#26 12 30. The community may recall a selected candidate for any reason 2022-08-03 21:11:25 UTC
#27 11 9. The departures of numerous senior staff members in 2021 indicate a problem at the Wikimedia Foundation 2022-08-02 19:05:35 UTC
#28 11 22. Regional and Thematic Hubs create more unnecessary hierarchies and complex structures in the Wikimedia Movement 2022-08-03 09:06:54 UTC
#29 10 28. The details of the evaluation of each candidate done by the Analysis Committee should be shared with the community 2022-08-02 19:07:18 UTC
#30 9 12. Wikimedia Foundation spending by country must be prominently reported 2022-08-03 19:50:17 UTC
#31 8 21. The "Global Council", recommended in the Movement Strategy recommendations, will not fulfill the goal of equitable representation in global decision-making 2022-08-02 20:30:23 UTC
#32 7 15. Staff of the Wikimedia Foundation should be totally excluded from organizing the Board of Trustee elections 2022-08-02 06:21:39 UTC
#33 7 14. Grantmaking to Wikimedia editors and community affiliates in the Global South should be increased to 5% of gross Wikimedia Foundation annual budget 2022-08-03 12:37:26 UTC
#34 7 17. Regional quotas for grants/funding and participation (e.g. to Wikimania) should be removed 2022-08-03 20:35:52 UTC
#35 6 34. Nowadays, it is practically impossible for Wikimedia user groups to be recognized as a Wikimedia chapter 2022-08-03 20:36:35 UTC

Proposed StatementsEdit

1. The Wikimedia Foundation should conduct all of its activities with absolute transparency (excluding where this would cause legal/privacy/security issues)Edit

  1. Putting forward a clear bar of "everything is transparent, unless there's a clear reason why not" cuts down on some of the ambiguity regarding candidates positions' on organizational transparency. (proposed by Yair rand)
    @Yair rand:: Hi Yair, thanks for the statement! At the moment it's a big vague, and it's not clear what is meant. Could you specify the statement? What needs to be different to the present? What's the change on the policy level? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:26, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    @CKibelka (WMF): I don't quite understand what the ambiguity is, sorry. The statement means that documents, systems, communications, etc would all be "public", ie readable by anyone with an internet connection, unless one of the specified reasons means that an item must be kept confidential. It holds the WMF to the same level of "transparency is default" as Wikimedia spaces. --Yair rand (talk) 21:09, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Yair rand: Your explanation on what you understand under the term transparency is helpful -- but not self-explanatory. In different contexts, "transparency" might be understood differently. However, your last sentence might be helpful, as it gives readers a hint what you understand under transparency. What about rephrasing it to:
    • The Wikimedia Foundation should conduct all of its activities at the same level of transparency as the communities of the Wikimedia project (excluding where this would cause legal/privacy/security issues). (or similar).
    What do you think? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 21:33, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @CKibelka (WMF): I don't really see how replacing "absolute transparency" with "the same level of transparency as the communities of the Wikimedia projects" makes it any clearer? But sure, if you think that would make things clearer, I don't object to that phrasing. --Yair rand (talk) 08:44, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Yair rand: Actually, I think your original version is better. There are aspects of WMF activity that have no equivalent in community activities – fundraising, endowment building, grantmaking, political lobbying, etc.
    There is no lack of clarity in "absolute transparency" as an aspiration: it means providing information voluntarily, as well as providing any information not previously disclosed whenever a reasonable question is asked. This is not presently the case: for example, we don't know how much money is currently in the Endowment, what spending there has been from Endowment funds over the past six years, etc., and related questions are not answered by the WMF.
    Your original wording covers such situations; "same level of transparency as the communities" does not.
    I would ask you to stick to your original wording, Yair. It is far superior. Andreas JN466 10:54, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


2. Well over 50 percent of Wikimedia Foundation expenses is spent on salaries in the US; that percentage is too greatEdit

  1. For background see:
    (Proposed by Andreas)
    @Jayen466:: Hi Andreas, thanks for your proposal. Unfortunately the phrasing is a bit ambiguous for the Election Compass, as you're combining two statements in one ( a) spending too much in the US, b) not enough in the developing world. If a candidate agrees only to one of both, it's unclear how they should position themselves (support / oppose). Do you see my point? Could you rephrase maybe rephrase it a bit, a long the line of "WMF should pay similar (or equal) salaries across all countries"? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:19, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Rephrased. --Andreas JN466 15:49, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Thanks, looks good :) Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:19, 14 July 2022 (UTC)


3. The Wikimedia Foundation does not spend enough money in countries of the "developing world"Edit

  1. This was originally included in 2. --Andreas JN466 15:49, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Thanks, looks good :) Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:19, 14 July 2022 (UTC)


4. WMF fundraising is deceptive: it creates a false appearance that the WMF is short of money while it is in fact richer than everEdit

  1. For background see "Wikipedia's independence" or "Wikimedia's pile of dosh"? in The Signpost (proposed by Andreas)
    @Jayen466:: Hi Andreas! Thanks for that statement. As with others, it's a big ambiguous, because you're combining several statements in one, which makes it complicated to position yourself to it. Would you be able to rephrase it to make it clear? Maybe along the lines of: "WMF Fundraising goals are continuously higher than the actual needs of funds of the organization"? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:33, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    I don't follow you in this case. It is a single statement asserting that there is a mismatch between two things: an impression created and the reality. --Andreas JN466 15:53, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Jayen466: I could imagine a candidate who believed that the fundraising is deceptive, but specifically in other areas than the WMF financial status, and thus being pressed to have a "combined position" that mismatches either their position on fundraising honesty or on finances. --Yair rand (talk) 21:26, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    (Edit conflict.) The hard thing here is you aren't allowing candidates to disagree with your premise. Candidates have to take for granted that the WMF has enough money (or even too much), and can only support or oppose the deceptiveness of fundraising messaging on that fact. I understand the point that you're making FWIW, and don't necessarily disagree, but it doesn't make for a good compass statement. There are two issues: one is about how much money the WMF does/should have; the other is about fundraising strategies in relation to that amount. What about simply "WMF fundraising should not give the impression that the organization is struggling financially" or the like? There are already a couple statements about the size of the WMF, but for that part you could just say "The WMF budget is large enough and does not need to continue growing"? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:33, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Yair rand and Rhododendrites: The second part of the question is not saying that the WMF has "too much" money. It's saying that the WMF is richer than ever. This is objectively true – and always has been: WMF assets have increased every year, and by about $90 million (including growth of the endowment) in the most recent year for which we have data. (To allow for the possibility that any candidate might be unaware of this fact, I have added a hyperlink to en:Wikipedia:Fundraising_statistics.)
    The problem with a statement like "WMF fundraising should not give the impression that the organization is struggling financially" is that if the organization actually were struggling financially (take the Internet Archive, e.g., whose position is much more precarious than that of the WMF), then it would be entirely appropriate to convey that impression in fundraising messages.
    So, it's a hard question, but it's our job to ask candidates who are running for office to think about some hard questions. Andreas JN466 08:30, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


5. I am uncomfortable with the way the WMF organization has continuously grown its staff headcount and budget and taken on more and more tasks that are not directly related to the Wikimedia projects and the volunteer communities working on themEdit

  1. There is a fairly widespread impression that the WMF has become a bloated bureaucracy that tries to do more and more things as money to finance them becomes available (mission creep). It has spent half a billion dollars in the past five years, a lot more than in the first fourteen years of its existence put together (proposed by Andreas)
    @Jayen466:: Hi Andreas, thanks also for this statement. Similar to the one above you're combining 2 facts in one statement: "bloated bureaucracy" and "mission creep". A good statement focuses only on one single issue. Also, it's recommended to use biased language, because it creates ambiguity for candidates. A candidate might agree on the fact tat WMF is bureaucratic, but not on the wording "bloated bureaucracy". Would you be able to rephrase this? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:19, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    I am not sure this is a problem in this case, as the bloat and mission creep might be seen to go together, but I guess not much is lost if the reference to mission creep is dropped. Thus amended. As for "bloated bureaucracy", that does say what I meant it to say. A bloated bureaucracy is one that is larger than required (the opposite of "lean"): anyone can agree or disagree with that proposition. --Andreas JN466 15:49, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    OK, understood! Do you mean by bureaucracy too many staff members? Or too many hierarchies? Or too long decision-making processes? Or too time-consuming procurement processes? Bureaucracy itself is a vague term that is understood very differently across different languages, let alone in English itself. Making it clearer and more explicit what you means would be helpful. Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:16, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    I wasn't thinking of procurement processes, as they are not public, but the other things you mention do play into it. What I am struck by as someone who has been around for more than fifteen years is the increase in high-flown verbiage produced by the WMF – a lot of it phrased in consultant-speak – that seems more style than substance, as though people enjoyed hearing themselves speak. The WMF has spent half a billion dollars in the last five years, vs. $340 million in the fourteen years before that. I don't feel the WMF has produced four or five times as much value per year over the past five years as it did on average during the first decade and a half. Andreas JN466 17:09, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    I totally understand your point. The thing is just that a statement is very ambiguous the more abstract it is, which makes it complicated for an Election Compass. Mission creep and bloated bureaucracy are two different things- Does it make sense to split the statement into 2?
    • WMF is increasingly spending money on projects beyond its original scope/focus.
    • WMF's budget on administrative / not project-related costs is increasingly higher than on project-related costs.
    Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 17:20, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Mission creep is no longer mentioned, and I've simplified the wording. --Andreas JN466 18:59, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Hi Andreas, I see you changed it to "The WMF organization has become too big". That's unfortunately very vague again, especially compared to your previous suggestions. Do you mean "too big" in terms of budget? in terms of staff members? In terms of projects? And in too big in relation to what? Other Movement organizations? It's mission? It's very hard to position yourself to such a vague statement. I found the previous ones on Mission Creep already quite good -- maybe you could fix it? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:32, 15 July 2022 (UTC)
    I fear we may be going in circles. :) I've tried a different, more descriptive approach. See what you think! Best, --Andreas JN466 23:19, 15 July 2022 (UTC)
    Several of these suggested statements have dual conditions and are leading in nature. It presumes several things, each of which the candidate may agree is happening or not. If rephrased as a single condition, this could be: "The WMF should spend less on staff" (similar to statement #2 above) and "The WMF spends too much on projects not directly related to volunteer contributor interests" czar 07:17, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Jayen466::We're not going in circles, we're moving on the vertical scale of abstractness ;) As Czar wrote it, you're combining 2 conditions/statements in one, which makes it hard to position yourself to it. It's based on your assumption that organizational/budget/staff growth is connected to mission creep. If possible, I'd really recommend you to split it in two, as suggested above. --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 13:45, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    Well, I think it is simply a basic element of consensual reality that the WMF has grown its headcount and budget and has taken on a lot of tasks it didn't use to consider its job. The basic statement candidates are to disagree or agree with is "I am uncomfortable with [this development]". That's a pretty easy Yes/No choice. If for some reason they don't think it's happening, they can't be uncomfortable with it; if they agree it is happening, they can either be comfortable with it or not.
    I think at this point we should simply leave it to the community vote to decide whether that statement is something they'd like the candidates to comment on or not. If anyone feels a differently structured statement would be better, they can propose it (indeed, 19 below is similar), and if more people vote for those statements than do for this one that will remove the issue. Best, Andreas JN466 20:58, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    The issue isn't the veracity of that one part but that, as a whole, it becomes a en:leading question. It's not written in such a way to show variance between viewpoints as there's no way a person could reasonably "disagree". Sounds good re: leaving it to the vote. czar 06:21, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Czar: With respect, it is perfectly possible to think it is wonderful that the WMF has grown and has branched out into lots of additional activities and initiatives. And any candidate who loves that the WMF has grown, and would love to see it growing further in years and decades to come, would disagree completely with this statement – and this would tell the electorate something about them, wouldn't it? Andreas JN466 08:32, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Jayen466, maybe you and @CKibelka (WMF) would come to a clearer understanding faster if you translated your claim that "the WMF...has taken on a lot of tasks it didn't use to consider its job" into a bulleted list of, say, five tasks the WMF has taken on in the last few years that you (personally) think it shouldn't have.
    When you make your list, please clearly differentiate between "Five years ago, the WMF would never have touched anything about _____ because the WMF thought that wasn't its job" and "The WMF has always handled _____ but some people think their recent efforts in that area were a terrible mistake". The branding work makes a fine example for the second type of sentence. I am asking you to name five examples of the first type.
    I think this list will help Cornelius figure out whether your concern is mission creep ("I can't believe they're doing data analysis these days – when the WMF was new, nobody did any data analysis") or size ("I don't believe that the Technology department needs that many managers") or budget ("I'm appalled that the WMF now pays most staff the median market rate instead of the bottom quartile, like they did five years ago"). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:58, 27 July 2022 (UTC)
    @WhatamIdoing: The voting on this page is in full swing, so the time for fine-tuning wordings is past. However, if you'd like some examples, see this and this from Samuel Klein (Sj) on ballooning WMF bureaucracy (both appear to have remained unanswered).
    Also, the WMF managed without a human rights policy for nearly twenty years; I am not sure what has changed to make one necessary now.
    A different kind of example is the Knowledge Equity Fund. Here the WMF is actively entering the field of philanthropy, apparently simply on the say-so of a small group at the top of the WMF who decided among themselves that several million dollars collected from donors "to defend Wikipedia's independence" had best be spent outside the Wikiverse altogether.
    As for US pay, I estimate that salary costs for WMF employees in the US and elsewhere (I mean the 350 or so proper employees, excluding contractors/freelancers) now average around $200,000 per employee. I have every sympathy for staffers and contractors struggling to make ends meet because of high US living costs, lack of a social safety net etc., but this has to be seen against the backgrop of the WMF begging for money in places like India and South Africa, where people have far greater needs – suggesting to people there that Wikipedia is actually under threat, mentioning the absence of a subscription fee for Wikipedia and telling them that by donating, they will "keep Wikipedia free". It just doesn't add up.
    Meanwhile, people in the US on average produce nine times the carbon emissions someone in India does, and three times what someone in the UK does. It is not equitable to ask people in India or South Africa to finance US lifestyles whose effects will in due course harm the poor most of all. Many (half? more than half? you probably know this better than me) of the US staffers work remotely from all over the US; they might as well be located in Mexico, India, or South Africa, leading simpler lives. Best, Andreas JN466 16:48, 28 July 2022 (UTC)
    Much of this is not relevant to my question, and I very strongly suspect that your back-of-the-envelope calculations are significantly wrong. The Form 990 for every US non-profit organization tells you exactly how many employees were paid more than US $100,000. You don't have to guess or estimate; just go look at the number in Part VII, Section A, Line 2. The table above that line lists the total compensation for certain employees in the required order: directors, officers, key employees and then highest compensated employees. Here's the official IRS explanation. If you decide that the average paycheck for any US non-profit is $200K per year, but the Form 990 says that most staff are paid less than $100K in "reportable compensation" and that the listed salaries ("base compensation") for the most of the listed "highly compensated" people is below your estimated org-wide "average", then I suggest that you should consider whether your estimate is wrong. In my experience, a good place for you to start would be considering whether you incorrectly assumed that the number of employees in Part 1, line 5 (total number of humans for whom the US government should have received income tax information in the previous calendar year) is related to the Part IX salary expenses (global + fiscal year). I suggest starting here because this is a fairly common error among people unfamiliar with this form. NB that Part VII, Section A is also for the calendar year. If you want to know more about this, then I suggest looking into a university program on w:en:Fund accounting. It is not as simple as it looks.
    Of your relevant replies, you say the WMF has done two things that you think are "new":
    1. The WMF continues to employ some people to talk to communities and affiliates about Strategy.
      Presumably you think this is different from the WMF's traditional approach to hiring people for discussions about strategy in that, this time, fewer of the people hired to facilitate community-based discussions about the movement's strategic direction were fired or re-assigned when the wording of The Strategy™ was announced. Also, someone might consider it to be different because in the past, people whose job it was to help the WMF, the affiliates, and others implement the movement's strategic decisions were scattered across different departments in the WMF (a grants officer here, a project manager there), so nobody could easily tell who was actually responsible for this work, and now the structure is more transparent.
    2. The WMF has (another) new grant program. That the WMF gives grants to legally separate and independent organizations that help the movement is obviously not new; this has been happening for well over a decade. That the WMF gives grants for things like producing scholarly research into how underrepresented people can contribute to our content, or for supporting the acquisition or creation of fact-based, independent "citable sources" and freely licensed multimedia content about underrepresented subjects is also not new. What's new is: they gave this grant-making goal a new name and (I think) a bigger budget.
    Is that all? Both of these allegedly "new" things are, at most, expansions of work the WMF has done for a very long time. Both of these are in response to the movement telling the WMF to do a better job of supporting the rest of the movement in the areas of implementing the strategy and promoting the strategy. I'm also not sure that anyone would agree that, e.g., the Knowledge Equity Fund grant to get freely licensed content about STEM people from underrepresented communities, aka "putting stuff we need on Commons" is somehow "not directly related to the Wikimedia projects and the volunteer communities working on them". I'm not even sure that you would agree that increasing the quantity and quality of content on Commons is unrelated to Wikimedia projects.
    Taking your comment as a whole, it sounds to me like your concern is really about money (who gets it and how). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:27, 29 July 2022 (UTC)
    @WhatamIdoing: The latest Form 990 lists a total of 320 employees, 197 of which earned more than $100,000 according to Part VII (page 8). The minority of 123 who did not earn more than $100,000 will include many of those who only worked part of the year – all of which would be included in the 320, because they were people employed in that year. See e.g. [1], describing 58 people being hired in the space of six months, and 105 being hired in the six months after that (employees and contractors; there will also be about 100 who left during the year). There are some non-US employees to be added to the 320, whose salary costs are also included in the $68M total, but we know that they cannot have numbered more than 54, as this is the total number "employees, agents, and independent contractors" outside the US listed in the Form 990. Even if you assume that there were no foreign "agents and independent contractors" at all, and every one of those people was an employee, you end up with 374 employees and salary costs somewhere between $56M (2019/20) and $68M (2020/21). You do the maths. And that reflects salary costs one to two years ago (present ones will be significantly higher), and includes part-timers and people who only worked part of the year. (By the way, the top earners are here. Not a single one has base compensation below $200K. Moreover, there is a significant difference between "base compensation" and "salary cost".)
    None of what you say above about the Form 990 (which you do not actually appear to have read, as your statements directly contradict its contents) was news to me; see [2] from several weeks ago. If you still think I've gone wrong somewhere, please let me know. Also, there are a number of open questions on this talk page; if you can help clarify them, please do. Best, Andreas JN466 13:54, 31 July 2022 (UTC)
    The latest 990 reports 320 humans whom the US government believes should be paying income taxes to the US government for the previous calendar year, of which fewer than 300 were still employed at the end of the fiscal year (a 10% departure rate would be surprisingly low for a US non-profit; the WMF's turnover rate in non-pandemic times is usually above 15%; US average annual turnover is usually above 20%).
    At the end of that fiscal year, the WMF said that there were more than 450 currently employed staff. It looks to me like you are missing between 100 and 200 staff members in your estimate.
    There isn't enough information in the Form 990 to decide what the mean salary is for an organization. Even if you knew exactly what the FTE count for the entire year was, you'd still overestimate annual salaries because of the way that the US handles holiday pay for departing employees. As a result, results calculated from this form are always doomed to be wrong. Maybe you should sit down with an (US-trained) accountant to talk about this? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:04, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
    @WhatamIdoing Wouldn't making information like this more widely available be an important part of the "Manage Internal Knowledge" plank of the movement strategy? Having to work with an accountant to reverse-engineer the Foundation's compensation from IRS forms seems like a failure of the Foundation in its own right. TomDotGov (talk) 17:04, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
    Even if you work with an accountant, it is not usually possible to reverse-engineer salaries from the 990. If we will ever find out what a typical salary is, it will have to come from the Finance department.
    Also, realistically, it will not be an easy, simple number. Consider the difference between a salary, but you have to spend 20% of it on healthcare vs the same salary, but you spend only 1% of it on healthcare (the rest funded through a separate tax scheme, so not considered part of your salary). Those aren't really the same salaries in the end. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:43, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
    Oh, yes. But I don't think anyone actually cares about the 990, except that it's the only source of information that's available for the community to determine what WMF compensation is like. Managing Internal Knowledge would be to make those numbers (which are presumed to be something known internally) available to the wider community. TomDotGov (talk) 20:15, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
    That is why we are specifically talking about salary costs. They include employee benefits. Andreas JN466 21:48, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
    The 450 included "contractors" (hence "Staff and Contractors"), whose pay is not included in the Line 15 salary cost total ("This number does not include fees paid to contractors, vendors, or consultants"). I concluded from this that the WMF spends far less on contractors than it does on employees. Regards, Andreas JN466 17:19, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
    I think you'll find that it's more complicated than that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:45, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
    You'd have to be a bit more specific for me to believe that you actually have a point to make. According to the FAQ, the Line 15 figure of $68M includes salary, benefits, retirement, wellness, and payroll taxes for full-time and part-time staff members in the US and outside of the US employed by Wikimedia Foundation or its Employer of Record. These costs as well as salaries vary significantly by geography. This number does not include fees paid to contractors, vendors, or consultants. The Form 990 provides a precise number (320) for the number of US employees in the calendar year and an upper bound (54) for the number of non-US employees. Andreas JN466 21:58, 1 August 2022 (UTC)
    Your staff count includes:
    • number of humans employed by the WMF in the US
    • number of humans employed by the WMF outside the US who are US citizens.
    Your salary costs includes:
    • payments to staff employed by the WMF inside the US
    • payments to staff employed by the WMF outside the US
    • payments to staff employed by its Employer of Record inside the US
    • payments to staff employed by its Employer of Record outside the US.
    One of these things is not like the other, is it?
    That last item is significantly higher than 54 people, because merely employing someone is not "an activity outside the United States". Here are two ways that I think you could check your assumptions about the Schedule F information:
    • Schedule F lists four (4) "employees, agents, or independent contractors" in Mexico and Canada. The WMF has had a disproportionately high number of staff from Canada since Sue's time. Ask yourself whether you think "four" is the number you would expect for that line, if it included every single staffer who resided in Canada or Mexico at any point during the fiscal year.
    • Schedule F (second and third pages) lists zero "employees, agents, or independent contractors" who are engaged in grantmaking outside the US. Given what you know about the Community Resources team, do you think that zero is the complete number of WMF staff who lived outside the US and were engaged in grantmaking at any point during the fiscal year?
    Ask yourself, this, too: If 374 were the true "upper bound" for the number of humans employed at any point (however briefly) during the entire year, then why did English Wikipedians decide that the WMF had more than 450 staff just at the end of that year (i.e., not counting anyone who was employed only briefly or only earlier in the year)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:31, 2 August 2022 (UTC)
    You are still failing to take into account that not everyone working for the WMF is an "employee". Once again, WhatamIdoing: There is a reason why the "Staff and Contractors" page is called "Staff and Contractors". The latter are not included in the salary costs total according to the FAQ, but they are included in the publicized staff count on that page (which currently, e.g., says "550 people from many countries share a commitment to free knowledge and work together with our community"). On that page today there are over 200 people who are explicitly marked as "contractors". Contractors do not get salaries or employee benefits.
    Please, if you want to help bring more transparency to this, don't look at Wikipedia, but ask your colleagues to release more detailed information on the FAQ page. Regards, Andreas JN466 17:16, 2 August 2022 (UTC)
    Also, it's instructive to look at the 2019 Forms 990 for the Internet Archive (their 2020 isn't online yet ...) and the WMF (... hence I'm also using the 2019 one for the WMF, to make it a fair comparison).
    Compare the employee numbers (Line 5 on page 1) and salary costs (Line 15 on page 1) for the Internet Archive to those for the WMF. Andreas JN466 17:29, 2 August 2022 (UTC)
    ┌─────────────────────────────────┘
    You're assuming that the definition of "contractor" used on that webpage is the same definition of "contractor" used in Line 15. I wonder why you would believe that.
    You also haven't explained why all of those non-US-based contractors aren't listed in Schedule F, which does include "independent contractors".
    As for bringing "more transparency to this", I think that you've accidentally brought misinformation to this situation. Part of this is the problem of people mistaking "amount of money it costs to employ someone" for "employee's take-home pay". About 20 years ago, it was popular for a while in the US to tell employees their "total compensation", instead of focusing on their actual pay. It was meant to make people feel grateful for how much money the company spent on them. They'd take the US$33K that you were paid, plus the $10K they spent on family health insurance, plus the $3K they spent on mandatory payroll taxes, plus a few other things, and then they'd say "Congratulations! Your total compensation is $47,000!" This stopped when the HR folks finally discovered that this approach caused people to feel extremely disappointed that they weren't getting a huge pay raise. You're basically repeating their mistake, because no matter how many times you say "total salary costs", people hear "actual cash in that person's pocket". Then, of course, there's the problem that you know that your numbers are wrong. The only difference between your position and mine is just how wrong your numbers are, because I know you are too smart to think you can divide the July–June salary costs by (previous Jan–Dec US employee counts + [partial] July–June non-US counts) and end up with a number that actually means anything, especially in a growing organization. My own team added three people who would have been included in those July–June salary costs but not in the Jan–Dec employee counts.
    I think if you wanted to do something useful, you should consider advocating for a situation that you think would be appropriate. For example, in the context of this page, imagine offering these options to the Board candidates:
    • I believe that WMF staff should be paid less than the market rate for their skills.
    • I believe that WMF staff should be paid approximately the market rate for their skills.
    • I believe that WMF staff should be paid more than the market rate for their skills.
    or these:
    • I believe that all staff in the movement (i.e., WMF and affiliates alike) should be paid approximately the same, and grants from the WMF should reflect this.
    • I believe that WMF staff should be paid more than equivalent affiliate staff, and grants from the WMF should reflect this.
    • I believe that affiliate staff should be paid more than the equivalent WMF staff, and grants from the WMF should reflect this.
    or suggest that they agree/disagree with any of these:
    • I believe that WMF staff should be paid the same no matter where they live in the world (e.g., staff in high-cost areas should risk homelessness; staff in low-cost areas should have large homes).
    • I believe that WMF staff should be paid a wage that is relevant to the local cost of living (e.g., staff in high-cost places are paid twice as much as those in low-cost places).
    • I believe that WMF staff should be paid approximately the same no matter what their job is (e.g., engineers and managers get paid the same).
    • I believe that WMF staff should be paid according to how much other employers pay for the same job (e.g., lawyers and developers get paid more than human resources and community-facing staff).
    • I believe that no WMF staff, no matter how junior, should be paid less than the living wage for a family of four in the country where they live.
    I think that different candidates would have different views (which is the point of this exercise) and that people could subscribe to these principles without having to first figure out how ₨1,600,000 in Mumbai compares to HK$800,000 in Hong Kong or R$160,000 in Rio or US$100,000 in San Francisco or £45,000 in Edinburgh. (The numbers are all estimates of the cost of living for a family of four in each of those cities, e.g., to rent a small apartment, buy food, etc. They are not the same dollar amount. Also, a different method for estimating costs would doubtless produce different results.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:15, 3 August 2022 (UTC)
    @WhatamIdoing: The words "contractor" and "employee" have distinct meanings. I doubt your colleagues would have been so slovenly as to write "contractors" when they meant that word not to include the publicly listed "contractors" doing day-to-day work for the WMF. Moreover, those contractors doing day-to-day work are mentioned in the immediately preceding paragraph, "On page 1, Part I, Summary, line 5, what staff are included within the total number of individuals employed in the calendar year 2020?", which explains that the Line 5 figures does not include "contractors which may be hired part-time or for specific assignments, as those individuals are not issued W-2s from the Foundation." As regards the number of non-US-based contractors in Schedule F, I have faith that your colleagues provide complete and accurate information to the IRS.
    As for what I would want, I told you a good few paragraphs above. (I also proposed corresponding statements on this page.) Given that many WMF people work remotely (I asked you how many you thought that was, but you didn't reply), I believe that ...
    • rather than having a workforce predominantly based in the US and spending an average of around $200,000 of donors' money on each full-time WMF employee (employee in the narrow sense of the word, i.e. not a contractor – and we can quibble over the exact amount as long as your colleagues aren't more forthcoming, but we know it is in that ballpark, because even if you were to divide the $68M salary bill by the full 450 figure you mentioned, i.e. with all the contractors thrown in and counting all part-timers as full-time employees, we'd still arrive at an average in excess of $150K for WMF per-capita costs for a fiscal year that started over 2 years ago),
    • the WMF should employ (as staff or contractors) far more people abroad for remote-working positions – in places like India and sub-Saharan Africa, etc., where this employment could actually change someone's life and get far better value for money from a donor perspective.
    This is also why I speak about "salary costs" and not the individual's take-home salary – because salary costs are what the donated money – including money from India and South Africa – is spent on. Moreover, bear in mind that a WMF executive who enjoys $30,000 or $40,000 in benefits each year, in health insurance, pension etc., does save $30,000 or $40,000 in health insurance, pension payments etc. that anybody who doesn't have that would have to pay out of their own pocket to enjoy the same benefits. Money paid into a pension fund is designed to arrive in their accounts in due course after all, with interest, while their health insurance assures them a level of healthcare that most people in the developing world can barely conceive of and couldn't purchase even if by some miracle they were given the money because the infrastructure just isn't there. Please take a more global and less US-centric view.
    Lastly, you mention as an element of a potential question "staff in high-cost areas should risk homelessness", which sounds like you are suggesting it would be easy for US employees to fall into a poverty trap if the WMF paid them any less. But the Internet Archive (indispensable to Wikipedia, and currently threatened by a lawsuit, and also based in San Francisco) last reported 169 US employees and salary costs of less than $11M – that is below $65K per person on average. I find it hard to believe they're all paupers. Best, Andreas JN466 21:20, 3 August 2022 (UTC)
    So in broad outline, you'd like to ban the WMF from hiring in the US (and the other countries that cost the same or more)? That could have made a fine question to ask: "Should the WMF have a goal of hiring the best staff possible, or should the WMF have a goal of hiring the cheapest staff possible?" A reasonable argument could be made by both sides, and for any gradation in between. I am sorry that you didn't ask that question. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:00, 7 August 2022 (UTC)
    That is not a question I would have wanted to ask, WhatamIdoing. I asked the question I did want to ask – which was "2. Well over 50 percent of Wikimedia Foundation expenses is spent on salaries in the US; that percentage is too great", and was indeed selected for the Compass.
    This is very different from "Should the WMF have a goal of hiring the best staff possible, or should the WMF have a goal of hiring the cheapest staff possible?" I trust neither of us believes that US programmers, for example, are inherently, necessarily, "better" or more talented than, say, Indian, Nigerian, South African, Brazilian, Polish, British or German programmers. There are departments that need US-trained staff (those dealing with US legal and tax matters, for example), but many others do not.
    Again, could you let me have your estimate of how many of the 600 or so WMF staffers and contractors work remotely? Best, --Andreas JN466 13:54, 7 August 2022 (UTC)
    This question is "the WMF organization has continuously grown its staff headcount and budget and taken on more and more tasks that are not directly related to the Wikimedia projects", not "over 50 percent of Wikimedia Foundation expenses is spent on salaries in the US".
    But this conversation has moved towards questions of cost-per-headcount rather than total headcount. Since you advocated for limiting US staff because "employment could actually change someone's life and get far better value for money" elsewhere, I assumed the primary concern was cost-per-headcount, in which case you would want to limit headcount not just in the US, but also in countries that cost more than the US. It would not make sense, e.g., to say "No more people in Missouri, but it's okay to hire more staff in Switzerland". If instead, your concern is that the headcount itself should not be >50% in one country, then that's a perfectly valid point to debate, but (a) that's not this question and (b) that doesn't seem to be any of the questions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)
    You are correct both in describing the development of this conversation and in highlighting cost-per-headcount, rather than number of US employees per se, as the real issue. However, to date US employees have outnumbered everyone else in the WMF to such an extent that the two issues have for all practical purposes been the same.
    Originally, I had phrased the statement as follows: "The Wikimedia Foundation spends too much money on salaries in the US and not enough in the developing world".
    It was clearer then that I wasn't talking about employing people in places like Switzerland instead of the United States. However, your colleague thought it would be better to split the statement into two distinct statements: one about the US, and one about the developing world, so that is how it ended up.
    I think we should slowly let this page come to rest now; after all, the vote has run its course, and we can pick this up elsewhere sometime. Kind regards, Andreas JN466 22:43, 7 August 2022 (UTC)

6. I am uncomfortable with the way the WMF increasingly assigns itself unilateral authority to make decisions about the Wikimedia projects which then affect the communityEdit

  1. A frequently heard criticism is that the WMF behaves more and more like a master rather than a servant (Framgate, lack of effective community consultation for the Universal Code of Conduct, etc.) (proposed by Andreas)
    @Jayen466:: Hi Andreas, thanks also for this statement! This statement also is ambiguous because you're combining again to statements in one: a) support the community b) not to try to exercise control over the projects without a clear democratic mandate. Would you be able to rephrase so the statement focuses only on one issue? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:19, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Rephrased. --Andreas JN466 15:49, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    The rephrased statement still combines three statements in one:
    • WMF not serving the community
    • WMF increasingly trying to exercise control over the projects
    • WMF not having a clear mandate to do so. A good statement focuses only one of the it, and doesn't combine it. Otherwise it's really hard for candidates to position themselves to it.
    Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:12, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Rephrased again. What do you think? --Andreas JN466 16:25, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Better! I assume you mean decisions that are affecting the communities, right? It's unclear what decisions (on which level) you mean. I assume it's not about hiring a specific staff member. On which level would you like to see more community consultation or involvement? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:28, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Affecting the communities, yes. Added above. See the examples I mentioned above: not putting UCoC to an RfC vote, unilaterally deciding and changing voting procedures to make them less democratic, creating more bureaucracy, more decisions taken by closed committees that would in the past have been subject to an RfC, etc. --Andreas JN466 16:38, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Yo, the rephrased statements reads well. Thank you. Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:40, 14 July 2022 (UTC)

7. I am uncomfortable with the way the Wikimedia Foundation serves the interests of Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft)Edit

  1. A common criticism in the context of the WMF's partnerships with Google, with Facebook/Meta, etc., which leverage volunteer work to benefit rich tech companies (proposed by Andreas)
    @Jayen466:: Hi Andreas, thanks also for this statement! Could you specify your statement a bit? What do you mean by collaboration, what do you imply? The more specific the statement is, the easier it is to position yourself to it, and also translate it. "Big Tech" is an expression that doesn't exist in other languages, and it would be really hard to translate it, especially with the connotation the express has in English. Would you be able to rephrase your statement? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:23, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Rephrased; anyone should be able to agree or disagree with this. (The term "Big Tech" has a pretty global distribution; witness the number of Wikipedia language versions that have an entry for it.) --Andreas JN466 15:49, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Thanks for rephrasing! The term might exist in other languages, but not the negative connotation it has in English, Andreas. I'm even thinking if it make sense to mention them explicitly (Google, Facebook). Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:10, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    It's a good idea, really. So amended. --Andreas JN466 16:15, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Just to clarify: Big Tech are these 5 companies: Google (Alphabet), Amazon, Facebook (Meta Platforms), Apple, Microsoft. So it makes sense to either name all of them or none of them. If you name only some of them, you need to strike "Big Tech". Otherwhise it's an ambiguous qualification. Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:41, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    See Big Tech#Big Four ;) Andreas JN466 16:46, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Well. Just avoid the qualification ("like", "e.g"), and make it explicit what you mean. Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 17:21, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Edited. --Andreas JN466 19:21, 14 July 2022 (UTC)

8. The software development should be focused on constant development and core features instead of short projects and new features.Edit

  1. There are many projects for new extensions and features for MediaWiki or specific projects. These projects are often funded only for a short time and after this time when the new feature in in use bug fixes and small enhancements need a lot of time to be implemented. On the other hand there is a huge list of bugs and feature requests for old and wildly used tools.


9. The departures of numerous senior staff members in 2021 indicate a problem at the Wikimedia FoundationEdit

  1. During 2021 there were numerous departures from the Wikimedia Foundation Leadership Team and from people who directly report to those leaders. Is this a sign of trouble at the Wikimedia Foundation or more a sign of the Great Resignation? proposed by Barkeep49


10. Future community seats of the Board of Trustees should be filled purely by a contributor (editor, volunteer developer, and so on) vote on all nomineesEdit

  1. There have been complaints that the BOT has shrunk the community vote to choosing from a very short list created by the affiliates, and did so without that specific method ever being listed for open community consideration and support/opposition. The BOT has thus far not confirmed the method to be used for future BOT (non-appointed) seats. Proposed by Nosebagbear
    @Nosebagbear:: Hi Nosebagbear, thanks for your statement! At the moment, you're combining two statements in one: a) the need for a community vote b) open nomination list. That makes it hard for candidates to position themselves to your statement, if they're support only one part of it (let's say, the community vote). Would you be able to rephrase your statement to make it less ambiguous? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:36, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Hi @CKibelka (WMF) - the issue is that here both are needed points - I'd like to have "candidates who would want community seats filled by a pure affiliate vote, on an open nomination (as 2/5 of the old seats were)" and "candidates who prefer the method being used for this election" in one bucket and candidates who want a pure editor vote from a non-shortened list in a second bucket.
    I could of course do two statements, but the election compass (if it's same as for the MCDC elections) makes it a major bit of legwork to then link the two answers back up per person.
    Would the wording:
    "Future Community BOT seats should filled purely by an Community editor vote on all nominees" be clearer/better? Let me know Nosebagbear (talk) 16:47, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Yes! That works. Thank you :) Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 17:21, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Nosebagbear: Perhaps this should be reworded so as not to exclude other volunteer contributors, eg volunteer developers? (Assuming this matches what was intended.) --Yair rand (talk) 21:22, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Valid point, @Yair rand. What about "community member" or "contributor", @Nosebagbear? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 21:55, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    While I'm happy for it to include volunteer devs, "community member" is too vague. Contributor is likely okay, but i'd want to add clarity. Perhaps "Future Community BOT seats should be filled purely by a contributor (editors, volunteer developers etc) vote on all nominees" ? Nosebagbear (talk) 15:15, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

11. The Election Committee must be made actively accountable to and selected or elected by the communityEdit

  1. Currently ElectCom is only accountable to the Board Governance Committee, which is problematic for any Wikimedia committee but especially so for one that oversees elections of the trustees that select them. There have also been issues with transparency about decision-making (and the timelines for such) and low levels of engagement with the Community - both in need of some means of improvement. Proposed by Nosebagbear
    @Nosebagbear:: Thanks for your statement! Just checking on the (s)election term -- it's really hard to translate that. Could you rephrase this to either selected, elected or writing actually selected or elected? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:31, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @CKibelka (WMF) - of course:
    The Election Committee must be made actively accountable to and selected or elected by the Community. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:05, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Wonderful, thank you! Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 18:34, 19 July 2022 (UTC)


12. Wikimedia Foundation spending by country must be prominently reportedEdit

  1. Conversations about money are difficult and I want board members who tell the world that talking about money is okay. Bluerasberry (talk) 22:30, 12 July 2022 (UTC)
    Hi @Bluerasberry: That statement is a big vague at the moment (in a sense that nobody would actually oppose it the way it's written). Could you make it a bit more explicit what you mean? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:38, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Wikimedia Movement funding by country must be prominently reported Bluerasberry (talk) 17:44, 16 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: By funding you mean spending, right? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 13:47, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    Wikimedia Foundation spending by country must be prominently reported Bluerasberry (talk) 14:47, 18 July 2022 (UTC)


13. The primary activity of the Wikimedia Foundation should be funding the Wikimedia community's efforts.Edit

  1. There are various strategies for advancing our goals. Of all strategies, the one I like best is supporting our community of volunteer editors. Competing strategies include funding Wikimedia Foundation staff instead or funding external non-community organizations. Bluerasberry (talk) 22:33, 12 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry:: Hi Lane, could you specify your statement a bit? At the moment it's a bit vague. --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:21, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    The primary activity of the Wikimedia Foundation should be funding the Wikimedia community to exercise leadership Bluerasberry (talk) 17:42, 16 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: You're now combining two conditions funding to the community + exercise leadeship. That make the statement very complicated to align yourself to, and it's also not self-explanatory. Could you please rephrase? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 13:49, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    The primary activity of the Wikimedia Foundation should be funding the Wikimedia community Bluerasberry (talk) 14:47, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    Yo, it works this way. I might add that this is a pretty radical statement, which is absolutely fine for the Election Compass. I just want to make sure that you're aware that this means that activities as raising funds, hosting/maintaining the projects, software development, as well as Legal and Communication Support (among others, but these would be the main ones, I think) would be then excluded. Is that what you want to express with your statement, @Bluerasberry? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 19:22, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
     
    The primary activity of the Wikimedia Foundation should be funding the Wikimedia community
    Yes confirmed, this is the statement. It is normal to describe a foundation in this way. More info is at en:Foundation (nonprofit). Foundations do not exclude the things you list, but rather, their priority is to support good programs external to themselves. Bluerasberry (talk) 11:39, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry Alright, understood. Just checking for translatability reasons: Funding means providing financial support, right? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:29, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Yes. Bluerasberry (talk) 17:28, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: Perhaps this should read "...funding the Wikimedia community's efforts", or maybe "...community's activities"? (It sounds like this is about not funding non-Wikimedian activities, but I'm not sure if that's what you're getting at.) --Yair rand (talk) 21:17, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Yes, I agree. Could you choose either of those wordings and make the change? Bluerasberry (talk) 21:30, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: Done. :) --Yair rand (talk) 08:47, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


14. Grantmaking to Wikimedia editors and community affiliates in the Global South should be increased to 5% of gross Wikimedia Foundation annual budgetEdit

  1. I would like all conversations about diversity to include talk of sharing resources. Bluerasberry (talk) 22:39, 12 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry:: Hi Lane, thanks a lot for this statement! Could you specify what "diverse allocation" means? At the moment, the statement is a bit vague, which makes it difficult for candidates to position themselves to it. --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:20, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Grantmaking to Wikimedia editors in the Global South should be increased to 5% of total Movement funds Bluerasberry (talk) 17:40, 16 July 2022 (UTC)
    That works better! I might just add that we don't know what the total sum of "Movement funds" is (assuming that you mean the all Movement's money combined it), which makes it hard to relate to it. Or do you mean Wikimedia Foundation's funds? And does it have to be to editors? There are rarely grants to single editors, but rather communities and affiliates. Would you like to rephrase the statement a bit? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 13:51, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
  1. Grantmaking to Wikimedia editors and community affiliates in the Global South should be increased to 5% of gross Wikimedia Foundation annual budget. Bluerasberry (talk) 14:45, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    Yo, that one works. Thanks! Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 19:19, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: Do you mean "grantmaking" as reported in the Form 990, excluding "program services", or both combined? It makes quite a difference to the percentages.
    Also, "annual budget" could be understood to mean annual planned revenue or annual planned expenses (which are always far less than revenue). If you meant "expenses", I think it's better to make it clear and say so. Best, Andreas JN466 11:22, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Jayen466: What is your proposed wording? Yes I mean "expenses", everything. 5% is not a lot when Global South initiatives are at the forefront of the marketing and branding. Bluerasberry (talk) 12:48, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
    I would say "annual revenue" (rather than "annual budget" or "annual expenditure") because the WMF always takes so much money that it doesn't spend. (In other words, 5% of revenue is much more than 5% of expenditure.)
    The other point is that the Form 990 definition of "grantmaking" is more restrictive. According to the Form 990, 2020/21 "grantmaking" in the Global South amounted to $1,953,708, which is is 1.2% of total revenue (or 1.75% of global expenditure). However, overall expenditure in the Global South was $3.8M, i.e., 2.4% of total revenue (or 3.4% of global expenditure). So it depends how much of an increase you would like to ask for. Best, Andreas JN466 13:05, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


15. Staff of the Wikimedia Foundation should be totally excluded from organizing the Board of Trustee electionsEdit

  1. The Wikimedia Foundation has a conflict of interest in managing the WMF Board of Trustees election. The WMF and the Wikimedia community have different and conflicting interests. The stakes are a billion dollar budget every few years. The WMF invests heavily in the election and has designed it in a way that the Wikimedia community would not. Lessen the conflict by funding independent election organizers and observers, either in the wiki community or through something like a university or NGO. Previously proposed Bluerasberry (talk) 22:44, 12 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry:: Hi Lane! Thanks for the statement. At the moment, the statement is not self-explanatory. If the WMF funds independent election organizers there would be still a conflict of interest, wouldn't? Could you rephrase the statement to make it more self-explanatory? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:29, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    new statement: The Wikimedia community, and not the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation, should manage Board of Trustee elections
    Bluerasberry (talk) 17:38, 16 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry:: I understand. However, the Elections Committee, which consists of volunteers from the community, is the manager and decision-maker of these elections -- that's what your statement already says. What needs to change and how can that be reflected in your statement? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 13:54, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Kibelka (WMF): Staff of the Wikimedia Foundation should be totally excluded from participating in organizing the Board of Trustee elections Bluerasberry (talk) 14:43, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry Yo, that one works. Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 19:18, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    Edited once more. Bluerasberry (talk) 11:41, 19 July 2022 (UTC)


16. Wikimedia Foundation projects should compete for Movement funds with projects of other Wikimedia organizations (except for keeping the sites up)Edit

  1. Funding the Foundation is still decided by the Foundation itself, while other organizations have to justify their funding requests. This can lead to complacency and lack of innovation within WMF.--Strainu (talk) 19:49, 13 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Strainu:: Hi Strainu, thanks for your statement! At the moment your statement might not be self-explanatory to community members, as it is ambiguous. Could you rephrase it a bit? Maybe you mean that the annual plan of the WMF should need community approval? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:27, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Thank for the question @Cornelius. What I mean is that any funds the WMF should be received through some kind of competitive process, where their projects would be analyzed against equivalent proposals from other entities. It's not relevant for the question who does the review/approval or if it would include whole annual plans or specific projects. I tried to clarify the statement while keeping it short, let me know if this is better.
    I personally think annual plans would not be a good fit for such a process, as some orgs have critical infrastructure to maintain and others don't. But I can see the software dev priorities of the WMF being put in the same pool as the ones from WMDE and maybe ones from other affiliates and financed using a grant system. Strainu (talk) 15:51, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    Just to clarify: You would like to focus on the fact that single projects of the Wikimedia Foundation should compete with projects of other Wikimedia organizations for funds, right? Is it relevant that these funds need to be donor funds? (I'm asking because I'd like to simplify as much as possible, and if the fact of donor money is not needed, I'd like to leave it out) Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:23, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    I'd like to make a difference between internal competition and competing for external grants or government funds, for instance. Strainu (talk) 06:56, 15 July 2022 (UTC)
    But the fact of being it donor money complicates the statement unnecessarily, you're adding a level of complexity that might not be useful?! What about:
    • Wikimedia Foundation projects should compete for Movement funds with projects of other Wikimedia organizations.
    Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:35, 15 July 2022 (UTC)


17. Regional quotas for grants/funding and participation (e.g. to Wikimania) should be removedEdit

  1. Regional quotas are a form of Positive discrimination based on criteria foreign to the community that hurts smaller communities in developed areas.--Strainu (talk) 19:55, 13 July 2022 (UTC)


18. The represented diversity is more important than individual qualifications of members of the Board of TrusteesEdit

  1. دوما يُطرح إشكال التنوع دون وجود حل جذري، ففي الانتخابات الأخيرة كل الأعضاء المنتخبين كانوا من شمال الكرة الأرضية، ولم يحضى القسم الجنوبي بأي عضو فهل ما زال خيار التنوع مطروحًا أم هل هو شعار غير قابل للتحقق، أو يجب إلغاؤه تماما وتحديد معايير أكثر موضوعاتية--Nehaoua (talk) 21:33, 13 July 2022 (UTC)
    (Translation: Should the election of the candidates be based on their statements or based on diversity? Diversity is an issue that was always raised without proposing a radical solution. In the recent election, all elected members were from the north globe, none from the south. Is diversity still a concern or a requirement or is it only a slogan that can never be achieved, or should it be canceled at all?)
    @Nehaoua: Hi, thanks a lot for your proposal! If understood correctly, it says in English: Should members be elected on the basis of submissions or on the basis of diversity? Statements for the Election Compass can not be phrased as closed questions, but need to be affirmative sentences that people can support / oppose to. Therefore, your proposal needs to be rephrased. Your explanation suggests that you would like know if diversity of Board members is taken seriously. What do you think about the following proposal:
    • The Board of Trustees needs to represent the Movement's diversity.
    • (or a bit more radical): The represented diversity is more important than individual qualifications of members of the Board of Trustees.
    What do you think? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 18:55, 14 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) Thank you for your help, I am agree with this sentence The represented diversity is more important than individual qualifications of members of the Board of Trustees.--19:03, 15 July 2022 (UTC)


19. The Wikimedia Foundation should allocate a higher percentage of their resources into tasks related to contributing to the projectsEdit

  1. At least apparently it seems that the WMF spends an alarming amount of time, money and other resources in projects unrelated to editing and volunteering to the Wikimedia projects. Software development is painfully slow and bugs can easily get decades before getting fixed (if fixed at all). Sometimes it embarrassingly depends on volunteers for development. This is specially true for "smaller" projects such as Wikisource and Wiktionary. --Ignacio Rodríguez (talk) 15:09, 15 July 2022 (UTC)
    Hi @Ignacio Rodríguez, thanks for your proposed statement! Sounds good and reads well :) Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 15:36, 15 July 2022 (UTC)
    Should this read "The Wikimedia Foundation should allocate a higher percentage of their resources into tasks related to supporting volunteers contributing to the projects."? I'm a little worried, at the current reading, this might imply the WMF should contribute content to the projects (for example, by commissioning content like Wiki Unseen). I don't think this question should be about the WMF contributing content. TomDotGov (talk) 16:18, 19 July 2022 (UTC)

20. The WMF should initiate a participatory budgeting process, in which the editor community participates in the allocation of fundsEdit

  1. This seems to be a more direct way of getting to what many of the other questions are poking at, assuming this isn't already happening (proposed by czar)
    Hi @Czar:: Thanks for that statement! :) --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 13:45, 18 July 2022 (UTC)


21. The "Global Council", recommended in the Movement Strategy recommendations, will not fulfill the goal of equitable representation in global decision-makingEdit

  1. One of the Movement Strategy recommendations that could turn our complete movement governance upside down, and will ask a lot of agility from the Board of Trustees in the next years. Do the Board candidates see the recommendation as a positive change to come? Ciell (talk) 19:52, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Ciell: Hi, thanks for that your statement! That works. I'd just suggest some editing for clarity, like: The "Global Council", recommended in the Movement Strategy recommendations, will not fulfill the goal of equitable representation in global decision-making. Does that work for you? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 19:57, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    Yes, thanks! Ciell (talk) 19:59, 18 July 2022 (UTC)


22. Regional and Thematic Hubs create more unnecessary hierarchies and complex structures in the Wikimedia MovementEdit

  1. The members of the Board of Trustees unequivocally support the creation of multiple regional hubs --Nehaoua (talk) 20:20, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
    Hi @Nehaoua, thanks for that statement! However, they cannot be asked as a closed question, as the candidates need to either support or oppose the statement, that's not possible with your phrasing. Let me suggest a rephrasing, it could be:
    • Regional and Thematic Hubs are essential to decentralize the structures of the Wikimedia Movement (that would be a very strong, but positive statement)
    • or The set-up of Regional and Thematic Hubs create more unnecessary hierarchies and complex structures in the Wikimedia Movement (that would be a very strong, negative statement).
    What do you think? --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 03:50, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) Thank you for your help, I am agree with this negative statement The set-up of Regional and Thematic Hubs creates more unnecessary hierarchies and complex structures in the Wikimedia Movement --Nehaoua (talk) 06:36, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Nehaoua: Ah, thank you! Actually, I noticed that I need to correct the phrasing of it. It's not the set-up itself that creates hierarchies, but the hubs. I'll adapt it accordingly. Thank you! --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 12:03, 19 July 2022 (UTC)


23. The Wikimedia Foundation should provide more technical support to meet the demand of the communityEdit

  1. Idea from Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Larger suggestions#1%. --Steven Sun (talk) 10:02, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Steven Sun: Thanks for your statement, Steven! It's very short and simple, that's great. However, I'm afraid, most people don't know what the team actually does, means that the statement is not self-explanatory for them (as also raised in the Wishlist Survey). Could you rephrase it a bit, maybe adding an objective to it? Something like The Wikimedia Foundation should allocate significantly more budget to the Community Tech team to provide more technical support to the community. What do you think? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 16:38, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Could we rephrase it to "The Community Tech team should have more resources to support additional projects relating to community workflows." Vermont 🐿️ (talk) 17:54, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Great suggestion! What do you think, @Steven Sun? Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 18:29, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    This is great! But I think "technical" should be reflected in the statement. Could we rephrase it to "The Community Tech team should have more resources to provide more technical support for projects relating to community workflows." --Steven Sun (talk) 23:18, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Or this can be more generalized: "The Wikimedia Foundation should provide more technical support to meet the demand of community." -- Steven Sun (talk) 00:22, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


24. Had I been a member of the Board of Trustees at that time, I would have voted in favor of the Wikimedia Enterprise projectEdit

  1. Proposed by Vermont 🐿️ (talk) 18:09, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    @Vermont:: Thanks for your statement! I've just edited it a bit, hope you don't mind. --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 18:33, 19 July 2022 (UTC)


25. The Wikimedia Foundation should allocate additional resources to research, documentation, and advocacy of real-world policy issues that affect Wikimedia users and Wikimedia projects (for example, issues of access and free expression)Edit

  1. Advocacy is an area that I don't think many Wikimedians think about. Some people see the Foundation as uniquely positioned to have an influential voice in policy debates in some parts of the world. Others think the Foundation should not get involved in advocacy at all. It looks like the Advocacy team is growing, so it may be a good time to ask what the candidates think. It's framed in broader terms than "the WMF Advocacy team" because it's more about the activities than how those activities are currently framed organizationally. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:31, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Thanks, @Rhododendrites, sounds good and works well! (even if it's a bit long, but well) --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 21:47, 19 July 2022 (UTC)


26. The Universal Code of Conduct is a net positive addition to the Wikimedia movementEdit

  1. Seems like we could use a straightforward statement on the UCoC. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:41, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
    Thanks, @Rhododendrites, sounds good and works well! --Cornelius Kibelka (WMF) (talk to me) 21:46, 19 July 2022 (UTC)


27. Simplify the Board of Trustees Election Process to keep Community Members interested and engagedEdit

  1. Not sure if this statement is straightforward but it intends to address the complex and laborious nature of the voting process which has caused many to be disinterested in participating in the elections. — Bobbyshabangu (talk) 05:30, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
    I like that proposal. :) Sometimes it seems to me the increasing complexity is by design – and meant to have precisely the effect you describe. Andreas JN466 12:10, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


28. The details of the evaluation of each candidate done by the Analysis Committee should be shared with the communityEdit

  1. Without providing this information it is very difficult to say why the candidates were given gold or silver rating. Proposed by Gdarin | talk 06:16, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


29. The WMF should generally opt for community-vetted ideas, rather than internal ideas, as the basis for its organizational roadmapEdit

  1. Looking to abstract out some of the more specific questions above (e.g., #25, #26) for generalized, more evergreen questions czar 06:47, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


30. The community may recall a selected candidate for any reasonEdit

  1. An evergreen question usually used asked on ENWP. E.g., voluntarily step down after a widely advertised/attended vote of no confidence. czar


31. The WMF should continually seek to reduce, rather than expand, its scope of responsibilities, leaving as much as possible to the community's self-organized capacityEdit

  1. There was a statement in the Movement Charter compass guide re: limiting the WMF role to keeping the lights on and guarding trademarks. Of the final Movement Charter/Drafting Committee members, only one supported the statement (all others opposed or were neutral). A similar albeit less severe statement here could be edifying for the small but vocal contingent of editors who advocate for a "night watchman" WMF. czar


32. The WMF should voluntarily recognize a staff union with proof of support from a majority of eligible unit membersEdit

  1. Extrapolated from a candidate statement so other candidates could weigh in czar


33. The WMF should get consensus from respective communities before running fundraising banners on their wikiEdit


34. Nowadays, it is practically impossible for Wikimedia user groups to be recognized as a Wikimedia chapterEdit

  1. Proposed by Gdarin | talk 07:29, 20 July 2022 (UTC)


35. Had I been a member of the Board of Trustees in May 2020, I would have voted in favor of the Brand Project Support resolutionEdit

  1. Proposed by Emufarmers (talk) 21:55, 20 July 2022 (UTC).