[Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
41 messages Options
123
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

[Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Gregory Varnum-4
Sent on behalf of Wikimedia Foundation's Finance Team:

The Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014 - 2015 has been posted on the
Wikimedia Foundation Wiki's Financial Reports page: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports

A list of answers to frequently asked questions about this form has also been posted on the same page.

Please contact Jaime Villagomez or Tony Le with any questions: [hidden email] or [hidden email]

Thank you,
Finance Team
Wikimedia Foundation

_______________________________________________
Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately directed to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia community. For more information about Wikimedia-l:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
_______________________________________________
WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaannounce-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
For a bit of background form 990 is probably something everybody knows
about as it is financial and important and that is why we mention this..
For all of you who do not know, we have a FAQ where you may find what is
relevant about all this.
Thanks,
    GerardM

PS sorry Greg for pulling your leg. :)

On 18 May 2016 at 20:55, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Sent on behalf of Wikimedia Foundation's Finance Team:
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014 - 2015 has been posted on the
> Wikimedia Foundation Wiki's Financial Reports page:
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports
>
> A list of answers to frequently asked questions about this form has also
> been posted on the same page.
>
> Please contact Jaime Villagomez or Tony Le with any questions:
> [hidden email] or [hidden email]
>
> Thank you,
> Finance Team
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
> _______________________________________________
> Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
> directed to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia
> community. For more information about Wikimedia-l:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> _______________________________________________
> WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaannounce-l
>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Lodewijk
Thanks Greg.

I hope this is a good place also to ask a few questions about the form.
When reading and comparing
<https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/2/27/Form_990_FY_2014-2015_-_Public.pdf>
with previous forms, two things jumped out as 'odd'. Probably there's a
reasonable explanation, and I'm mostly curious for it. They were
conveniently missed in the FAQ
<https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/1/1d/Form_990_Questions_and_Answers_2014.pdf>
.

First, there's an overview of 'highest paid contractors' (for reading
along: page 61) and the top one is a law firm for 1.7 Million USD. Which is
quite a big sum of money. I'm confident this was necessary and unavoidable,
but given the much lower amounts in previous years, what happened in
2014/2015 that made this necessary? I understood the NSA lawsuit was done
pro bono, which is the most visible thing I remember from that year.

Second, I noted a steep increase in the costs for the Executive Director
(for readers: someone put together a helpful overview of top salaries here
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_salaries>). I
generally don't like to dig into personal finances, but what really stood
out, was the increase from 200k in 2013/2014 for the ED at that time, and
300k for the ED in 2014/2015. Now that is an increase of 50% - which is a
lot and partially mitigated by the salary freeze the ED had the three years
before. But what is even more striking, is the additional 300k that was
paid to the outgoing ED, which means basically that the compensation to the
'ED team' was tripled from 200k to 600k. Could someone touch on this, and
give some pointers to what happened here? Was there a general rationale
behind this, or was the new ED simply a tougher negotiator? Are there any
catches how these numbers are being presented, and how they should be read
and not misinterpreted?

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-05-19 8:52 GMT+02:00 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:

> Hoi,
> For a bit of background form 990 is probably something everybody knows
> about as it is financial and important and that is why we mention this..
> For all of you who do not know, we have a FAQ where you may find what is
> relevant about all this.
> Thanks,
>     GerardM
>
> PS sorry Greg for pulling your leg. :)
>
> On 18 May 2016 at 20:55, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Sent on behalf of Wikimedia Foundation's Finance Team:
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014 - 2015 has been posted on
> the
> > Wikimedia Foundation Wiki's Financial Reports page:
> > https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports
> >
> > A list of answers to frequently asked questions about this form has also
> > been posted on the same page.
> >
> > Please contact Jaime Villagomez or Tony Le with any questions:
> > [hidden email] or [hidden email]
> >
> > Thank you,
> > Finance Team
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
> > directed to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia
> > community. For more information about Wikimedia-l:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > _______________________________________________
> > WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaannounce-l
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Chris Keating-2
Hoi,


> First, there's an overview of 'highest paid contractors' (for reading
> along: page 61) and the top one is a law firm for 1.7 Million USD. Which is
> quite a big sum of money.


I'd like to second this question - 1.7M is a very significant sum and I am
surprised that WMF has reason to spend this much on legal services (I had
the impression that the WMF legal department handled most things
themselves).

It would be useful to know a bit more about this figure.

Regards,

Chris
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

David Emrany
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
Thanks Lodewikj for your excellent catches.

1. The form-990 covers the period from 01-July 2014 to 30-June 2015.
During which the payments of US$ 300,000 to Sue Gardner
(SpecialAdvisor) was comparable to Lila Tretikov's (E.D.)

2. The largest contractor was "Jones Day" US$ 1,742,916 (almost 2
million) for legal services.

To illustrate the WMF's sheer wastage of donated money (incl. lunch
money from Scottish schoolkids) on unnecessary litigation, I cite that
the single most prominent case they defended in the period was
apparently a domain name dispute (said to billed at US$ 317,490) in
which the opposite party (a Wikipedian of long standing) who had only
booked the domain name to prevent it from being snaffled by "cyber
squatters"  had immediately offered to donate it WMF free of cost
before the case began. Had WMF accepted that voluntary and good faith
donation offer, they would have also got back 75% of the filing fees
(a not insubstantial amount). Somebody should report this to the IRS.

Dave

On 5/19/16, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thanks Greg.
>
> I hope this is a good place also to ask a few questions about the form.
> When reading and comparing
> <https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/2/27/Form_990_FY_2014-2015_-_Public.pdf>
> with previous forms, two things jumped out as 'odd'. Probably there's a
> reasonable explanation, and I'm mostly curious for it. They were
> conveniently missed in the FAQ
> <https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/1/1d/Form_990_Questions_and_Answers_2014.pdf>
> .
>
> First, there's an overview of 'highest paid contractors' (for reading
> along: page 61) and the top one is a law firm for 1.7 Million USD. Which is
> quite a big sum of money. I'm confident this was necessary and unavoidable,
> but given the much lower amounts in previous years, what happened in
> 2014/2015 that made this necessary? I understood the NSA lawsuit was done
> pro bono, which is the most visible thing I remember from that year.
>
> Second, I noted a steep increase in the costs for the Executive Director
> (for readers: someone put together a helpful overview of top salaries here
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_salaries>). I
> generally don't like to dig into personal finances, but what really stood
> out, was the increase from 200k in 2013/2014 for the ED at that time, and
> 300k for the ED in 2014/2015. Now that is an increase of 50% - which is a
> lot and partially mitigated by the salary freeze the ED had the three years
> before. But what is even more striking, is the additional 300k that was
> paid to the outgoing ED, which means basically that the compensation to the
> 'ED team' was tripled from 200k to 600k. Could someone touch on this, and
> give some pointers to what happened here? Was there a general rationale
> behind this, or was the new ED simply a tougher negotiator? Are there any
> catches how these numbers are being presented, and how they should be read
> and not misinterpreted?
>
> Best,
> Lodewijk
>
> 2016-05-19 8:52 GMT+02:00 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
>
>> Hoi,
>> For a bit of background form 990 is probably something everybody knows
>> about as it is financial and important and that is why we mention this..
>> For all of you who do not know, we have a FAQ where you may find what is
>> relevant about all this.
>> Thanks,
>>     GerardM
>>
>> PS sorry Greg for pulling your leg. :)
>>
>> On 18 May 2016 at 20:55, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > Sent on behalf of Wikimedia Foundation's Finance Team:
>> >
>> > The Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014 - 2015 has been posted on
>> the
>> > Wikimedia Foundation Wiki's Financial Reports page:
>> > https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports
>> >
>> > A list of answers to frequently asked questions about this form has also
>> > been posted on the same page.
>> >
>> > Please contact Jaime Villagomez or Tony Le with any questions:
>> > [hidden email] or [hidden email]
>> >
>> > Thank you,
>> > Finance Team
>> > Wikimedia Foundation
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
>> > directed to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia
>> > community. For more information about Wikimedia-l:
>> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
>> > [hidden email]
>> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaannounce-l
>> >
>> >
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Neil P. Quinn-2
These seem like reasonable questions, and I'm interested to hear the
answers.

David: could you point us to some sources about that domain name dispute?

*Neil P. Quinn*
+1 (202) 656 3457

On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 9:39 AM, David Emrany <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Thanks Lodewikj for your excellent catches.
>
> 1. The form-990 covers the period from 01-July 2014 to 30-June 2015.
> During which the payments of US$ 300,000 to Sue Gardner
> (SpecialAdvisor) was comparable to Lila Tretikov's (E.D.)
>
> 2. The largest contractor was "Jones Day" US$ 1,742,916 (almost 2
> million) for legal services.
>
> To illustrate the WMF's sheer wastage of donated money (incl. lunch
> money from Scottish schoolkids) on unnecessary litigation, I cite that
> the single most prominent case they defended in the period was
> apparently a domain name dispute (said to billed at US$ 317,490) in
> which the opposite party (a Wikipedian of long standing) who had only
> booked the domain name to prevent it from being snaffled by "cyber
> squatters"  had immediately offered to donate it WMF free of cost
> before the case began. Had WMF accepted that voluntary and good faith
> donation offer, they would have also got back 75% of the filing fees
> (a not insubstantial amount). Somebody should report this to the IRS.
>
> Dave
>
> On 5/19/16, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Thanks Greg.
> >
> > I hope this is a good place also to ask a few questions about the form.
> > When reading and comparing
> > <
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/2/27/Form_990_FY_2014-2015_-_Public.pdf
> >
> > with previous forms, two things jumped out as 'odd'. Probably there's a
> > reasonable explanation, and I'm mostly curious for it. They were
> > conveniently missed in the FAQ
> > <
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/1/1d/Form_990_Questions_and_Answers_2014.pdf
> >
> > .
> >
> > First, there's an overview of 'highest paid contractors' (for reading
> > along: page 61) and the top one is a law firm for 1.7 Million USD. Which
> is
> > quite a big sum of money. I'm confident this was necessary and
> unavoidable,
> > but given the much lower amounts in previous years, what happened in
> > 2014/2015 that made this necessary? I understood the NSA lawsuit was done
> > pro bono, which is the most visible thing I remember from that year.
> >
> > Second, I noted a steep increase in the costs for the Executive Director
> > (for readers: someone put together a helpful overview of top salaries
> here
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_salaries>). I
> > generally don't like to dig into personal finances, but what really stood
> > out, was the increase from 200k in 2013/2014 for the ED at that time, and
> > 300k for the ED in 2014/2015. Now that is an increase of 50% - which is a
> > lot and partially mitigated by the salary freeze the ED had the three
> years
> > before. But what is even more striking, is the additional 300k that was
> > paid to the outgoing ED, which means basically that the compensation to
> the
> > 'ED team' was tripled from 200k to 600k. Could someone touch on this, and
> > give some pointers to what happened here? Was there a general rationale
> > behind this, or was the new ED simply a tougher negotiator? Are there any
> > catches how these numbers are being presented, and how they should be
> read
> > and not misinterpreted?
> >
> > Best,
> > Lodewijk
> >
> > 2016-05-19 8:52 GMT+02:00 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
> >
> >> Hoi,
> >> For a bit of background form 990 is probably something everybody knows
> >> about as it is financial and important and that is why we mention this..
> >> For all of you who do not know, we have a FAQ where you may find what is
> >> relevant about all this.
> >> Thanks,
> >>     GerardM
> >>
> >> PS sorry Greg for pulling your leg. :)
> >>
> >> On 18 May 2016 at 20:55, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Sent on behalf of Wikimedia Foundation's Finance Team:
> >> >
> >> > The Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014 - 2015 has been posted
> on
> >> the
> >> > Wikimedia Foundation Wiki's Financial Reports page:
> >> > https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports
> >> >
> >> > A list of answers to frequently asked questions about this form has
> also
> >> > been posted on the same page.
> >> >
> >> > Please contact Jaime Villagomez or Tony Le with any questions:
> >> > [hidden email] or [hidden email]
> >> >
> >> > Thank you,
> >> > Finance Team
> >> > Wikimedia Foundation
> >> >
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
> >> > directed to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia
> >> > community. For more information about Wikimedia-l:
> >> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
> >> > [hidden email]
> >> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaannounce-l
> >> >
> >> >
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Jake Orlowitz
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-4
Seconding Lodewijk here. I can already count at least 5 phrases or
statements that David Emrany has said which made me cringe and wonder why
hasn't this been blocked/moderated already?

Hostile, accusatory, and vulgar behavior degrades this entire forum (beyond
its already damaged capacity for inclusion of multiple voices).

Please do something.

Jake Orlowitz (User:Ocaasi)
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Neil P. Quinn-2
I totally second this. I apologize for engaging with him earlier; I didn't
realize at the time that he was such a pathetic troll.

*Neil P. Quinn*
+1 (202) 656 3457

On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 3:18 PM, Jake Orlowitz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Seconding Lodewijk here. I can already count at least 5 phrases or
> statements that David Emrany has said which made me cringe and wonder why
> hasn't this been blocked/moderated already?
>
> Hostile, accusatory, and vulgar behavior degrades this entire forum (beyond
> its already damaged capacity for inclusion of multiple voices).
>
> Please do something.
>
> Jake Orlowitz (User:Ocaasi)
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Lodewijk
I do hope btw that the unfortunate derailing doesn't mean the questions
won't get an answer... I hoped those would be fairly obvious and easily
clarified.

Lodewijk

2016-05-20 0:52 GMT+02:00 Neil P. Quinn <[hidden email]>:

> I totally second this. I apologize for engaging with him earlier; I didn't
> realize at the time that he was such a pathetic troll.
>
> *Neil P. Quinn*
> +1 (202) 656 3457
>
> On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 3:18 PM, Jake Orlowitz <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Seconding Lodewijk here. I can already count at least 5 phrases or
> > statements that David Emrany has said which made me cringe and wonder why
> > hasn't this been blocked/moderated already?
> >
> > Hostile, accusatory, and vulgar behavior degrades this entire forum
> (beyond
> > its already damaged capacity for inclusion of multiple voices).
> >
> > Please do something.
> >
> > Jake Orlowitz (User:Ocaasi)
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Gregory Varnum-4
Greetings,

Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.

Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services (totalling US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As our global reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to strengthen the trademark portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s marks globally. In December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our global trademark filings, registrations, and oppositions. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35 different trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal services expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government trademark application filing fees.

These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and revised descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks and projects, including countries where readership was growing through targeted programs or distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile readership). Going forward, we anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a decrease in trademark expenses year over year, now that we have this initial foundation is in place. This investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its communities by ensuring that our trademark portfolio reflects the maturity and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, and protects us against certain forms of infringement or misuse.

Regarding Lodewijk's question about compensation to the 'ED team': The Foundation regularly discloses compensation information for Foundation leadership through our Form 990 filings. The 990 disclosure is an approach widely relied on by many different stakeholders: it is clear, transparent, consistent with other charitable entities, and a matter of public record. As such, we have chosen to use it as our primary means of disclosure.

The Signpost recently also reached out with a similar question about the special advisor role. Here is the response Patricio shared:

"In May 2014, Jan-Bart announced that Sue would stay on as a special advisor,[1] which he confirmed again in June that year.[2]

The Board felt that Sue Gardner's knowledge and experience in our movement was valuable to support the Foundation as it went through that ED transition. In general, it is good practice to make sure that there is the ability to draw on the expertise of an experienced former executive - in this case, someone who grew the organization from a few people to more than 200.

We felt this was an important leadership change, perhaps one of the bigger ones in the Foundation’s history. This was a practical means of ensuring the handover went as smoothly as possible, and key institutional knowledge was preserved during an important period of transition."

As for the question about why the Wikimedia Foundation spent $317,490 fighting "cybersquatters" that offered to donate the domain in dispute: We’re not sure where this question comes from, as we haven’t dealt with a case that fits this description. We do not fight cybersquatters who offer to donate their domains (especially if they are community members), and, to date, we have not spent anything approaching that much money on this type of case.

In answer to a question that was asked on Facebook:

"i'm curious about the investment of cash in corporate and municipal bonds. is there an investment policy? no sign of working capital needs and how to manage cash. no sign of endowment preparation."

Our investment policy, which is the guidance being used today, is available on Foundation wiki.[3] The investment policy for the endowment will be set by the Wikimedia Endowment Advisory Board that we are forming right now. We are recruiting Advisory Board Trustees with significant investment expertise, from a diverse set of backgrounds. We announced the appointment of Annette Campbell-White last week as one of the founding board members. You can read more about her here.[4]

Again, thanks for your questions and feedback both on this list and elsewhere.

-Gregory Varnum
Wikimedia Foundation

[1] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-May/071458.html
[2] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-June/072372.html
[3] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Investment_Policy
[4] https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/05/11/annette-campbell-white-endowment/

> On May 24, 2016, at 11:17 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I do hope btw that the unfortunate derailing doesn't mean the questions
> won't get an answer... I hoped those would be fairly obvious and easily
> clarified.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> 2016-05-20 0:52 GMT+02:00 Neil P. Quinn <[hidden email]>:
>
>> I totally second this. I apologize for engaging with him earlier; I didn't
>> realize at the time that he was such a pathetic troll.
>>
>> *Neil P. Quinn*
>> +1 (202) 656 3457
>>
>> On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 3:18 PM, Jake Orlowitz <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Seconding Lodewijk here. I can already count at least 5 phrases or
>>> statements that David Emrany has said which made me cringe and wonder why
>>> hasn't this been blocked/moderated already?
>>>
>>> Hostile, accusatory, and vulgar behavior degrades this entire forum
>> (beyond
>>> its already damaged capacity for inclusion of multiple voices).
>>>
>>> Please do something.
>>>
>>> Jake Orlowitz (User:Ocaasi)
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>


_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Richard Ames
Gregory -

Thanks for the great response!

Richard.

On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 9:31 AM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Greetings,
>
> Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.

<cut>

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-4
>
> Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services (totalling
> US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII):.... During
> the 2014-2015 fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35
> different trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal
> services expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government
> trademark application filing fees.


That makes sense - must have been a massive undertaking. Many thanks for
clarifying.

Chris
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-4
On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 6:31 AM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Greetings,
>
> Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.
>
> Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services (totalling US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As our global reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to strengthen the trademark portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s marks globally. In December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our global trademark filings, registrations, and oppositions. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35 different trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal services expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government trademark application filing fees.
>
> These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and revised descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks and projects, including countries where readership was growing through targeted programs or distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile readership). Going forward, we anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a decrease in trademark expenses year over year, now that we have this initial foundation is in place. This investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its communities by ensuring that our trademark portfolio reflects the maturity and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, and protects us against certain forms of infringement or misuse.

Hi Gregory,
Just to confirm, the stated US$1.7M stated on page p.61 includes
filing and other fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government bodies
around the world?
If so, any chance you can separate it into such fees paid *through*
Jones Day, vs the consultation fees of Jones Day.
You say it was a 'significant portion', but that is very vague
terminology, meaning very different things to different people; it
would be nice to have a ball park figure.

Also there was a USD ~5.2 M investment in Europe listed on p. 35 as
not being program services.  I didn't see any reference to it in the
FAQ; apologies if I missed it (It would be lovely if the source
document was posted on meta for easier navigation, etc.).  Could we
have a little more info about this line item?

--
John Vandenberg

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Lodewijk
Thanks Greg for the responses.

As for the ED team, that answers part of my question. That Sue was
appointed as special advisor, was indeed public knowledge - but for what
duration was that? And was that a full time position (or anything near full
time), given that her compensation was as high as that of the ED herself?
People suggested that this included compensation for earlier years - was
that the case? That would explain again a bit more.

Also part of the question was why the raise was so steep - was this simply
matching the reality of the current job market, or was there something else
behind it (i.e. a bonus mechanism etc).

It would be great if you could clarify! Thanks!

Lodewijk

2016-05-25 12:45 GMT+02:00 John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>:

> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 6:31 AM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > Greetings,
> >
> > Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the
> Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.
> >
> > Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services (totalling
> US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As our
> global reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to strengthen
> the trademark portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s marks
> globally. In December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our global
> trademark filings, registrations, and oppositions. During the 2014-2015
> fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35 different
> trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal services
> expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government trademark
> application filing fees.
> >
> > These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and revised
> descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks and projects,
> including countries where readership was growing through targeted programs
> or distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile readership). Going
> forward, we anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a decrease in
> trademark expenses year over year, now that we have this initial foundation
> is in place. This investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its
> communities by ensuring that our trademark portfolio reflects the maturity
> and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, and protects us against certain
> forms of infringement or misuse.
>
> Hi Gregory,
> Just to confirm, the stated US$1.7M stated on page p.61 includes
> filing and other fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government bodies
> around the world?
> If so, any chance you can separate it into such fees paid *through*
> Jones Day, vs the consultation fees of Jones Day.
> You say it was a 'significant portion', but that is very vague
> terminology, meaning very different things to different people; it
> would be nice to have a ball park figure.
>
> Also there was a USD ~5.2 M investment in Europe listed on p. 35 as
> not being program services.  I didn't see any reference to it in the
> FAQ; apologies if I missed it (It would be lovely if the source
> document was posted on meta for easier navigation, etc.).  Could we
> have a little more info about this line item?
>
> --
> John Vandenberg
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Trillium Corsage
In reply to this post by Chris Keating-2
19.05.2016, 17:25, "Chris Keating" <email clipped>:

<clipped for brevity>

> I'd like to second this question - 1.7M is a very significant sum and I am
> surprised that WMF has reason to spend this much on legal services (I had
> the impression that the WMF legal department handled most things
> themselves).

I was surprised how little WMF Legal do themselves. When a legal matter comes up, it seems what they do is find a law firm to pay to handle it. This happened in the case of Yank Berry, vocalist of 60s rock and roll group the Kingsmen (Louie Louie, etc.), who was astounded at the edits at his article by editors and administrators who very openly said on-wiki their intent was to portray him as a swindler and someone of low moral character. Mr. Berry credibly threatened a libel lawsuit and WMF Legal reacted by hiring some law firm to defend the editors.

What WMF Legal seems to do itself is modify and update the terms of service, give advise to the board, coordinate with WMF Trust and Safety in the banning of certain editors, and handle routine inquiries.

Trillium Corsage  

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Gnangarra
but that does make sense in some ways as you'd expect the WMF legal be able
to review most written issues and deal with initial contact issues. As an
issue deepens then its only logical to have legal hand over the case to a
local practitioner who is licensed and has the depth of knowledge specific
to jurisdiction and speciality in which they operate something the WMF cant
do in 190 odd countries with countless more subnational entities.

On 30 May 2016 at 05:47, Trillium Corsage <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 19.05.2016, 17:25, "Chris Keating" <email clipped>:
>
> <clipped for brevity>
>
> > I'd like to second this question - 1.7M is a very significant sum and I
> am
> > surprised that WMF has reason to spend this much on legal services (I had
> > the impression that the WMF legal department handled most things
> > themselves).
>
> I was surprised how little WMF Legal do themselves. When a legal matter
> comes up, it seems what they do is find a law firm to pay to handle it.
> This happened in the case of Yank Berry, vocalist of 60s rock and roll
> group the Kingsmen (Louie Louie, etc.), who was astounded at the edits at
> his article by editors and administrators who very openly said on-wiki
> their intent was to portray him as a swindler and someone of low moral
> character. Mr. Berry credibly threatened a libel lawsuit and WMF Legal
> reacted by hiring some law firm to defend the editors.
>
> What WMF Legal seems to do itself is modify and update the terms of
> service, give advise to the board, coordinate with WMF Trust and Safety in
> the banning of certain editors, and handle routine inquiries.
>
> Trillium Corsage
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Lodewijk
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
Hi,

Unfortunately I haven't seen an answer to my questions. Could you please
acknowledge the receipt of the question if you're investigating? Or could
you just say it is a ridiculous question and that you refuse to answer, if
you think so? From the more elaborate answer on the Signpost questions, I
understand that the role continues to this day - which makes it probably
more relevant.

Please don't retreat in silence again.

Lodewijk

2016-05-25 14:39 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:

> Thanks Greg for the responses.
>
> As for the ED team, that answers part of my question. That Sue was
> appointed as special advisor, was indeed public knowledge - but for what
> duration was that? And was that a full time position (or anything near full
> time), given that her compensation was as high as that of the ED herself?
> People suggested that this included compensation for earlier years - was
> that the case? That would explain again a bit more.
>
> Also part of the question was why the raise was so steep - was this simply
> matching the reality of the current job market, or was there something else
> behind it (i.e. a bonus mechanism etc).
>
> It would be great if you could clarify! Thanks!
>
> Lodewijk
>
> 2016-05-25 12:45 GMT+02:00 John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>:
>
>> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 6:31 AM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>> > Greetings,
>> >
>> > Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the
>> Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.
>> >
>> > Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services (totalling
>> US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As our
>> global reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to strengthen
>> the trademark portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s marks
>> globally. In December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our global
>> trademark filings, registrations, and oppositions. During the 2014-2015
>> fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35 different
>> trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal services
>> expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government trademark
>> application filing fees.
>> >
>> > These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and
>> revised descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks and
>> projects, including countries where readership was growing through targeted
>> programs or distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile readership).
>> Going forward, we anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a decrease in
>> trademark expenses year over year, now that we have this initial foundation
>> is in place. This investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its
>> communities by ensuring that our trademark portfolio reflects the maturity
>> and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, and protects us against certain
>> forms of infringement or misuse.
>>
>> Hi Gregory,
>> Just to confirm, the stated US$1.7M stated on page p.61 includes
>> filing and other fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government bodies
>> around the world?
>> If so, any chance you can separate it into such fees paid *through*
>> Jones Day, vs the consultation fees of Jones Day.
>> You say it was a 'significant portion', but that is very vague
>> terminology, meaning very different things to different people; it
>> would be nice to have a ball park figure.
>>
>> Also there was a USD ~5.2 M investment in Europe listed on p. 35 as
>> not being program services.  I didn't see any reference to it in the
>> FAQ; apologies if I missed it (It would be lovely if the source
>> document was posted on meta for easier navigation, etc.).  Could we
>> have a little more info about this line item?
>>
>> --
>> John Vandenberg
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Gregory Varnum-4
Greetings,

I just wanted to verify that we will be sending out answers to these additional questions. This past weekend was a holiday in the United States, and so we have not yet finished gathering the information to give accurate response.

Thank you for your patience, and please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Gregory Varnum
Wikimedia Foundation


> On May 31, 2016, at 4:16 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> Unfortunately I haven't seen an answer to my questions. Could you please
> acknowledge the receipt of the question if you're investigating? Or could
> you just say it is a ridiculous question and that you refuse to answer, if
> you think so? From the more elaborate answer on the Signpost questions, I
> understand that the role continues to this day - which makes it probably
> more relevant.
>
> Please don't retreat in silence again.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> 2016-05-25 14:39 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:
>
>> Thanks Greg for the responses.
>>
>> As for the ED team, that answers part of my question. That Sue was
>> appointed as special advisor, was indeed public knowledge - but for what
>> duration was that? And was that a full time position (or anything near full
>> time), given that her compensation was as high as that of the ED herself?
>> People suggested that this included compensation for earlier years - was
>> that the case? That would explain again a bit more.
>>
>> Also part of the question was why the raise was so steep - was this simply
>> matching the reality of the current job market, or was there something else
>> behind it (i.e. a bonus mechanism etc).
>>
>> It would be great if you could clarify! Thanks!
>>
>> Lodewijk
>>
>> 2016-05-25 12:45 GMT+02:00 John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>:
>>
>>> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 6:31 AM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Greetings,
>>>>
>>>> Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the
>>> Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.
>>>>
>>>> Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services (totalling
>>> US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As our
>>> global reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to strengthen
>>> the trademark portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s marks
>>> globally. In December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our global
>>> trademark filings, registrations, and oppositions. During the 2014-2015
>>> fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35 different
>>> trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal services
>>> expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government trademark
>>> application filing fees.
>>>>
>>>> These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and
>>> revised descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks and
>>> projects, including countries where readership was growing through targeted
>>> programs or distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile readership).
>>> Going forward, we anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a decrease in
>>> trademark expenses year over year, now that we have this initial foundation
>>> is in place. This investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its
>>> communities by ensuring that our trademark portfolio reflects the maturity
>>> and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, and protects us against certain
>>> forms of infringement or misuse.
>>>
>>> Hi Gregory,
>>> Just to confirm, the stated US$1.7M stated on page p.61 includes
>>> filing and other fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government bodies
>>> around the world?
>>> If so, any chance you can separate it into such fees paid *through*
>>> Jones Day, vs the consultation fees of Jones Day.
>>> You say it was a 'significant portion', but that is very vague
>>> terminology, meaning very different things to different people; it
>>> would be nice to have a ball park figure.
>>>
>>> Also there was a USD ~5.2 M investment in Europe listed on p. 35 as
>>> not being program services.  I didn't see any reference to it in the
>>> FAQ; apologies if I missed it (It would be lovely if the source
>>> document was posted on meta for easier navigation, etc.).  Could we
>>> have a little more info about this line item?
>>>
>>> --
>>> John Vandenberg
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>
>>
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>



---
Gregory Varnum
Communications Strategist (Contractor)
Wikimedia Foundation
[hidden email]


_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Gregory Varnum-4
Greetings,

Apologies for our delay in this response. In addition to the holiday weekend, questions related to HR issues require extra care and verification on our part. But again, I do want to apologize for that process taking all week.

Regarding Lodewijk's questions about Sue's special advisor role, including the timeline and how compensation was set, Sue served as a special advisor until May 31, 2016. Her pay included compensation for her extended role during the ED transition, and to match market rates for a role of this nature in organizations of similar size to the Wikimedia Foundation. Our Board Chair, Patricio Lorente, gave a response to the Signpost that provides more information[1].

John asked about filing and other fees paid by Jones Day, and if the fees were separate from consulting costs. Unfortunately, we don’t have an easy, quick way to divide the Jones Day expenses into registration fees and legal fees, but we can provide more information about where the costs came from. Each trademark application costs about $1,000–5,000 (sometimes more), including filing fees and attorney’s fees. The cost for each application depends on the country’s application fees, the country’s administrative hurdles, the breadth of protection we are seeking, whether we can reuse materials prepared for previous applications, and whether we encounter resistance from trademark offices or other trademark holders.

Finally, regarding John's question about non-program service investment in Europe (page 35), this represents our foreign currency bank accounts with JP Morgan in the UK. The purpose of this holding is to retain donations received in EUR, GBP, CAD and AUD in their original currency to minimize currency exchange risks.

I hope that clarifies the remaining questions, and again, thank you for your questions and feedback both on this list and elsewhere.

-Gregory Varnum
Wikimedia Foundation

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-05-28/Special_report


> On May 31, 2016, at 12:01 PM, Greg Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Greetings,
>
> I just wanted to verify that we will be sending out answers to these additional questions. This past weekend was a holiday in the United States, and so we have not yet finished gathering the information to give accurate response.
>
> Thank you for your patience, and please let me know if you have any additional questions.
> Gregory Varnum
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
>
>> On May 31, 2016, at 4:16 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Unfortunately I haven't seen an answer to my questions. Could you please
>> acknowledge the receipt of the question if you're investigating? Or could
>> you just say it is a ridiculous question and that you refuse to answer, if
>> you think so? From the more elaborate answer on the Signpost questions, I
>> understand that the role continues to this day - which makes it probably
>> more relevant.
>>
>> Please don't retreat in silence again.
>>
>> Lodewijk
>>
>> 2016-05-25 14:39 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:
>>
>>> Thanks Greg for the responses.
>>>
>>> As for the ED team, that answers part of my question. That Sue was
>>> appointed as special advisor, was indeed public knowledge - but for what
>>> duration was that? And was that a full time position (or anything near full
>>> time), given that her compensation was as high as that of the ED herself?
>>> People suggested that this included compensation for earlier years - was
>>> that the case? That would explain again a bit more.
>>>
>>> Also part of the question was why the raise was so steep - was this simply
>>> matching the reality of the current job market, or was there something else
>>> behind it (i.e. a bonus mechanism etc).
>>>
>>> It would be great if you could clarify! Thanks!
>>>
>>> Lodewijk
>>>
>>> 2016-05-25 12:45 GMT+02:00 John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>:
>>>
>>>> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 6:31 AM, Gregory Varnum <[hidden email]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Greetings,
>>>>>
>>>>> Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the
>>>> Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.
>>>>>
>>>>> Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services (totalling
>>>> US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As our
>>>> global reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to strengthen
>>>> the trademark portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s marks
>>>> globally. In December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our global
>>>> trademark filings, registrations, and oppositions. During the 2014-2015
>>>> fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35 different
>>>> trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal services
>>>> expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government trademark
>>>> application filing fees.
>>>>>
>>>>> These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and
>>>> revised descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks and
>>>> projects, including countries where readership was growing through targeted
>>>> programs or distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile readership).
>>>> Going forward, we anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a decrease in
>>>> trademark expenses year over year, now that we have this initial foundation
>>>> is in place. This investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its
>>>> communities by ensuring that our trademark portfolio reflects the maturity
>>>> and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, and protects us against certain
>>>> forms of infringement or misuse.
>>>>
>>>> Hi Gregory,
>>>> Just to confirm, the stated US$1.7M stated on page p.61 includes
>>>> filing and other fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government bodies
>>>> around the world?
>>>> If so, any chance you can separate it into such fees paid *through*
>>>> Jones Day, vs the consultation fees of Jones Day.
>>>> You say it was a 'significant portion', but that is very vague
>>>> terminology, meaning very different things to different people; it
>>>> would be nice to have a ball park figure.
>>>>
>>>> Also there was a USD ~5.2 M investment in Europe listed on p. 35 as
>>>> not being program services.  I didn't see any reference to it in the
>>>> FAQ; apologies if I missed it (It would be lovely if the source
>>>> document was posted on meta for easier navigation, etc.).  Could we
>>>> have a little more info about this line item?
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> John Vandenberg
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
> ---
> Gregory Varnum
> Communications Strategist (Contractor)
> Wikimedia Foundation
> [hidden email]
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>


_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2014-2015 now on-wiki

Lodewijk
In reply to this post by Gregory Varnum-4
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the eventual answer - I can understand that salaries/HR are a
complicated issue to comment on. I'm sorry I have to press on a bit more to
get an answer to my questions though.

I did note the answers Patricio gave to the Signpost
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-05-28/Special_report>.
I did miss your answer on my question whether this was a full time, or near
a fulltime position (for the period concerning this salary) - quite an
important figure to estimate the meaning of 'a role of this nature in
organizations of similar size to the Wikimedia Foundation'.

The information available does suggest however that this was quite a steep
salary increase with a decrease in responsibilities. I'm not sure that is a
fair representation of the situation (I hope not), but that is what it
looks like to me, based on the available information.

Based on the compensation size, Sue played continued to play a very
significant role in the WMF. I'm glad that she remained available for that,
as the board apparently felt a need for it. However, despite that important
role and significant compensation, she was not mentioned on the list of
'staff and contractors' since she was replaced by Lila in June 2014
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Template%3AStaff_and_contractors&type=revision&diff=96993&oldid=96984>
.

This remains contradictory, and that is why I'm trying to get some clarity
on the role Sue played in the past two years. The tasks described by
Patricio in his response to the Signpost sound to me (but I might be naive
in this) to be mostly relevant to the initial transition period, and not to
span 2 years. Is Patricio underselling Sue's involvement and was there a
reason not to mention her as contractor? Am I somehow misunderstanding the
compensation issue (i.e. was there a compensation for earlier years, or was
it lowered)?

Maybe I'm missing something here - if so, please point it out! Thanks in
advance.

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-06-05 0:18 GMT+02:00 Greg Varnum <[hidden email]>:

> Greetings,
>
> Apologies for our delay in this response. In addition to the holiday
> weekend, questions related to HR issues require extra care and verification
> on our part. But again, I do want to apologize for that process taking all
> week.
>
> Regarding Lodewijk's questions about Sue's special advisor role, including
> the timeline and how compensation was set, Sue served as a special advisor
> until May 31, 2016. Her pay included compensation for her extended role
> during the ED transition, and to match market rates for a role of this
> nature in organizations of similar size to the Wikimedia Foundation. Our
> Board Chair, Patricio Lorente, gave a response to the Signpost that
> provides more information[1].
>
> John asked about filing and other fees paid by Jones Day, and if the fees
> were separate from consulting costs. Unfortunately, we don’t have an easy,
> quick way to divide the Jones Day expenses into registration fees and legal
> fees, but we can provide more information about where the costs came from.
> Each trademark application costs about $1,000–5,000 (sometimes more),
> including filing fees and attorney’s fees. The cost for each application
> depends on the country’s application fees, the country’s administrative
> hurdles, the breadth of protection we are seeking, whether we can reuse
> materials prepared for previous applications, and whether we encounter
> resistance from trademark offices or other trademark holders.
>
> Finally, regarding John's question about non-program service investment in
> Europe (page 35), this represents our foreign currency bank accounts with
> JP Morgan in the UK. The purpose of this holding is to retain donations
> received in EUR, GBP, CAD and AUD in their original currency to minimize
> currency exchange risks.
>
> I hope that clarifies the remaining questions, and again, thank you for
> your questions and feedback both on this list and elsewhere.
>
> -Gregory Varnum
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
> 1.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-05-28/Special_report
>
>
> > On May 31, 2016, at 12:01 PM, Greg Varnum <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Greetings,
> >
> > I just wanted to verify that we will be sending out answers to these
> additional questions. This past weekend was a holiday in the United States,
> and so we have not yet finished gathering the information to give accurate
> response.
> >
> > Thank you for your patience, and please let me know if you have any
> additional questions.
> > Gregory Varnum
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> >
> >> On May 31, 2016, at 4:16 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> Unfortunately I haven't seen an answer to my questions. Could you please
> >> acknowledge the receipt of the question if you're investigating? Or
> could
> >> you just say it is a ridiculous question and that you refuse to answer,
> if
> >> you think so? From the more elaborate answer on the Signpost questions,
> I
> >> understand that the role continues to this day - which makes it probably
> >> more relevant.
> >>
> >> Please don't retreat in silence again.
> >>
> >> Lodewijk
> >>
> >> 2016-05-25 14:39 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:
> >>
> >>> Thanks Greg for the responses.
> >>>
> >>> As for the ED team, that answers part of my question. That Sue was
> >>> appointed as special advisor, was indeed public knowledge - but for
> what
> >>> duration was that? And was that a full time position (or anything near
> full
> >>> time), given that her compensation was as high as that of the ED
> herself?
> >>> People suggested that this included compensation for earlier years -
> was
> >>> that the case? That would explain again a bit more.
> >>>
> >>> Also part of the question was why the raise was so steep - was this
> simply
> >>> matching the reality of the current job market, or was there something
> else
> >>> behind it (i.e. a bonus mechanism etc).
> >>>
> >>> It would be great if you could clarify! Thanks!
> >>>
> >>> Lodewijk
> >>>
> >>> 2016-05-25 12:45 GMT+02:00 John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>:
> >>>
> >>>> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 6:31 AM, Gregory Varnum <
> [hidden email]>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>> Greetings,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the
> >>>> Wikimedia Foundation's Form 990.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services
> (totalling
> >>>> US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As
> our
> >>>> global reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to
> strengthen
> >>>> the trademark portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s
> marks
> >>>> globally. In December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our
> global
> >>>> trademark filings, registrations, and oppositions. During the
> 2014-2015
> >>>> fiscal year we filed 1,500+ new trademark applications for 35
> different
> >>>> trademarks in 100+ countries. A significant portion of the legal
> services
> >>>> expenses in 2014-2015 went toward the mandatory government trademark
> >>>> application filing fees.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and
> >>>> revised descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks
> and
> >>>> projects, including countries where readership was growing through
> targeted
> >>>> programs or distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile
> readership).
> >>>> Going forward, we anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a
> decrease in
> >>>> trademark expenses year over year, now that we have this initial
> foundation
> >>>> is in place. This investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its
> >>>> communities by ensuring that our trademark portfolio reflects the
> maturity
> >>>> and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, and protects us against certain
> >>>> forms of infringement or misuse.
> >>>>
> >>>> Hi Gregory,
> >>>> Just to confirm, the stated US$1.7M stated on page p.61 includes
> >>>> filing and other fees paid by Jones Day to relevant government bodies
> >>>> around the world?
> >>>> If so, any chance you can separate it into such fees paid *through*
> >>>> Jones Day, vs the consultation fees of Jones Day.
> >>>> You say it was a 'significant portion', but that is very vague
> >>>> terminology, meaning very different things to different people; it
> >>>> would be nice to have a ball park figure.
> >>>>
> >>>> Also there was a USD ~5.2 M investment in Europe listed on p. 35 as
> >>>> not being program services.  I didn't see any reference to it in the
> >>>> FAQ; apologies if I missed it (It would be lovely if the source
> >>>> document was posted on meta for easier navigation, etc.).  Could we
> >>>> have a little more info about this line item?
> >>>>
> >>>> --
> >>>> John Vandenberg
> >>>>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> >
> >
> > ---
> > Gregory Varnum
> > Communications Strategist (Contractor)
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > [hidden email]
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
123