Wikimedia UK REDUX

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Wikimedia UK REDUX

Gordon Joly


I was reading the history of LINX (London Internet Exchange) and was
interested in how this organization got started.

https://www.linx.net/

*******
London Internet Exchange

LINX is a mutually owned membership association for operators of
Internet Protocol networks. We provide a neutral interconnection
facility and peering platform, known as an Internet Exchange Point
(IXP), and represent the interests of our members on matters of
public policy.

     * over 295 members (47 new in 2007)
     * over 600 connected member ports
     * >120 member-facing 10GigE ports
     * over 256Gb/sec of peak traffic
     * 34 new applications for membership during 2008, 51 in 2007


*******

https://www.linx.net/about/history-of-linx.html

*******

Back in November 1994, using a donated piece of equipment no bigger
than a video recorder and without any legal contracts, five UK-based
Internet service providers (ISPs) linked their networks in order to
exchange data and avoid paying astronomical transatlantic bandwidth
costs.

********

LINX remains a company limited by guarantee, and not a charity. The
"Memorandum and Articles of Association" makes interesting reading:-

https://www.linx.net/govern/manda.html

Perhaps the ethos of LINX could be a part of the future plans for Wikimedia UK?

Gordo

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Re: Wikimedia UK REDUX

Thomas Dalton
> LINX remains a company limited by guarantee, and not a charity.

We intend to be both a company limited by guarantee *and* a charity.
Charitable status is absolutely necessary for one of our key goals,
which is accepting tax-deductible donations from the UK.

> The
> "Memorandum and Articles of Association" makes interesting reading:-

In what way? I've only had a quick glance at it (it's rather long),
but it looks like pretty much what I'd expect for a company like that.

> Perhaps the ethos of LINX could be a part of the future plans for Wikimedia UK?

What do you considered to be their "ethos"? They're a completely
different company. They are a way for several for-profit companies to
work together more efficiently, we are a way for various individuals
to work together to further to goals of a non-profit (the WMF). I
don't see the connection.

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Re: Wikimedia UK REDUX

Gordon Joly
At 18:19 +0100 26/8/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>  > LINX remains a company limited by guarantee, and not a charity.
>
>We intend to be both a company limited by guarantee *and* a charity.
>Charitable status is absolutely necessary for one of our key goals,
>which is accepting tax-deductible donations from the UK.


Yes, I see that.

>  > The
>>  "Memorandum and Articles of Association" makes interesting reading:-
>
>In what way? I've only had a quick glance at it (it's rather long),
>but it looks like pretty much what I'd expect for a company like that.

There was clause about community and project support. That's all.

>  > Perhaps the ethos of LINX could be a part of the future plans for
>Wikimedia UK?
>
>What do you considered to be their "ethos"? They're a completely
>different company. They are a way for several for-profit companies to
>work together more efficiently, we are a way for various individuals
>to work together to further to goals of a non-profit (the WMF). I
>don't see the connection.

Yes, they are a completely different company.

Sorry I spoke,

Gordo


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Charity and Bank account information

joseph seddon
I believe I can expand on the situation of wikimedia uk, some of it you are aware of, some your not but its as complete as i could possibly make it with the limited information i have. We need £5000 to get the Charity status, however it is possible to get an account to handle this money. What has been said about it being difficult is quite frankly a very simplified view of it.

Now we have several ways we can get this £5000:

1) The foundation pledge this amount and then give it to us when the status is achieved. There are no issues with an international organisation doing this. This would be the quickest method and hold the most guarantee's to getting enough money.

2) Funds raised during the annual fund raiser are redirected to WMUK. This would be viable if up to or more than £5000 comes from the UK.

3) or we try and get the money ourselves in some way shape or form.

So we have 3 methods of doing this or possibly a 4th one consisting of a combination of the first 2 where the foundation simply tops up the difference between what we get from the fundraiser and £5000. Now what method we use is essentially down to the foundation and what they feel most comfortable with. At the moment there are other things that need to be dealt with first, so this isn't something that needs to be decided upon now. Just something that needs to be considered over the next couple of months.

With regards to the bank account, when set up it would not allow us to claim back tax until we got the charity status but it would allow us to take payments. According to the person I spoke to on the phone they could easily alter the account when the tax back charity status came through.

In regards to the timeline. Attaining charity status before the annual fundraiser is honestly going to be doubtful. The application takes approximately 40 days to complete if there are absolutely no hitches. I would plan to get signatures at the next AGM which is planned for september sometime. This would put completion of the charity status at the earliest for early-mid november and that is purely on the basis that everything go absolutely smoothly. The best approach would be looking for the application to be finished by the start of 2009 and worst case scenario by the end of the financial year 08/09.

I hope this provides a clearer outlook on WMUK financially. Any questions I could clarify are welcomed as it may spot areas or things that i havnt thought about.

User:Seddon @ en-wiki


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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Thomas Dalton
2008/8/27 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
> I believe I can expand on the situation of wikimedia uk, some of it you are
> aware of, some your not but its as complete as i could possibly make it with
> the limited information i have. We need £5000 to get the Charity status,
> however it is possible to get an account to handle this money. What has been
> said about it being difficult is quite frankly a very simplified view of it.

You've missed out one thing which the current board seems to be
ignoring. It is possible to get tax free status without the £5000, you
just have to fill in a form with HMRC and it's far quicker than the
full charities application. That's all we need to begin accepting
donations. We can also set up a bank account without worry about any
of this, it will just require paying a few transaction costs, etc.
(I'm not convinced the HMRC thing wouldn't be enough to get free
banking, anyway). If we have to pay transaction costs for a while,
then so be it, at least we can actually start doing something.

> 1) The foundation pledge this amount and then give it to us when the status
> is achieved. There are no issues with an international organisation doing
> this. This would be the quickest method and hold the most guarantee's to
> getting enough money.
>
> 2) Funds raised during the annual fund raiser are redirected to WMUK. This
> would be viable if up to or more than £5000 comes from the UK.

Are you sure there are no issues with the foundation donating money to
WMUK? Under UK charities law, I know we can't donate money to the
foundation (once we're actually a charity) - the trustees have to
actually have control over the funds they are trusted with. Is US
charity law different in that respect?

> 3) or we try and get the money ourselves in some way shape or form.

Which we can do over a prolonged period, there is no reason for it to
all be done at once. The £5000 requirement is designed to make things
easier on small charities, not harder. We can remain a small charity
until we naturally grow to a large enough size to require registering.

> So we have 3 methods of doing this or possibly a 4th one consisting of a
> combination of the first 2 where the foundation simply tops up the
> difference between what we get from the fundraiser and £5000. Now what
> method we use is essentially down to the foundation and what they feel most
> comfortable with. At the moment there are other things that need to be dealt
> with first, so this isn't something that needs to be decided upon now. Just
> something that needs to be considered over the next couple of months.

It can all be discussed in detail at, or soon after, the AGM, once we
have some competent people on the board.

> With regards to the bank account, when set up it would not allow us to claim
> back tax until we got the charity status but it would allow us to take
> payments. According to the person I spoke to on the phone they could easily
> alter the account when the tax back charity status came through.

The HMRC thing resolves that issue completely.

> In regards to the timeline. Attaining charity status before the annual
> fundraiser is honestly going to be doubtful. The application takes
> approximately 40 days to complete if there are absolutely no hitches. I
> would plan to get signatures at the next AGM which is planned for september
> sometime. This would put completion of the charity status at the earliest
> for early-mid november and that is purely on the basis that everything go
> absolutely smoothly. The best approach would be looking for the application
> to be finished by the start of 2009 and worst case scenario by the end of
> the financial year 08/09.
>
> I hope this provides a clearer outlook on WMUK financially. Any questions I
> could clarify are welcomed as it may spot areas or things that i havnt
> thought about.

What signatures are required? I wasn't aware you needed to collect
signature (Chair and Secretary of the board, or something, I expect,
but nothing more). And we can't do any of that until we have the
£5000, so that's going to be some time after the AGM.
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Re: Charity and Bank account information

joseph seddon

> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Charity and Bank account information
>
> 2008/8/27 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
> > I believe I can expand on the situation of wikimedia uk, some of it you are
> > aware of, some your not but its as complete as i could possibly make it with
> > the limited information i have. We need £5000 to get the Charity status,
> > however it is possible to get an account to handle this money. What has been
> > said about it being difficult is quite frankly a very simplified view of it.
>
> You've missed out one thing which the current board seems to be
> ignoring. It is possible to get tax free status without the £5000, you
> just have to fill in a form with HMRC and it's far quicker than the
> full charities application. That's all we need to begin accepting
> donations. We can also set up a bank account without worry about any
> of this, it will just require paying a few transaction costs, etc.
> (I'm not convinced the HMRC thing wouldn't be enough to get free
> banking, anyway). If we have to pay transaction costs for a while,
> then so be it, at least we can actually start doing something.
 
There is an account with Lloyds TSB that wouldn't require any transaction costs
and could be set up without charity status and can be easily changed once
that status is acquired.

>
> > 1) The foundation pledge this amount and then give it to us when the status
> > is achieved. There are no issues with an international organisation doing
> > this. This would be the quickest method and hold the most guarantee's to
> > getting enough money.
> >
> > 2) Funds raised during the annual fund raiser are redirected to WMUK. This
> > would be viable if up to or more than £5000 comes from the UK.
>
> Are you sure there are no issues with the foundation donating money to
> WMUK? Under UK charities law, I know we can't donate money to the
> foundation (once we're actually a charity) - the trustees have to
> actually have control over the funds they are trusted with. Is US
> charity law different in that respect?
 
There is no issue on the UK side with regards to money coming in from abroad,
this i checked with the charities commission and i spent some time talking to
them on the phone. I'm sure mike godwin would be able to confirm that there is
no issue from the US side.

>
> > 3) or we try and get the money ourselves in some way shape or form.
>
> Which we can do over a prolonged period, there is no reason for it to
> all be done at once. The £5000 requirement is designed to make things
> easier on small charities, not harder. We can remain a small charity
> until we naturally grow to a large enough size to require registering.
 
I believe the aim to achieving charity status is to allow donations from the uk to
be re-embursed from the tax and I think I can almost gaurentee that once we will be easily
over the £5000 threshold if that were to happen. However there is nothing holding us back
from setting up an account as i mentioned above.
 
>

> > So we have 3 methods of doing this or possibly a 4th one consisting of a
> > combination of the first 2 where the foundation simply tops up the
> > difference between what we get from the fundraiser and £5000. Now what
> > method we use is essentially down to the foundation and what they feel most
> > comfortable with. At the moment there are other things that need to be dealt
> > with first, so this isn't something that needs to be decided upon now. Just
> > something that needs to be considered over the next couple of months.
>
> It can all be discussed in detail at, or soon after, the AGM, once we
> have some competent people on the board.
 
Agreed

>
> > With regards to the bank account, when set up it would not allow us to claim
> > back tax until we got the charity status but it would allow us to take
> > payments. According to the person I spoke to on the phone they could easily
> > alter the account when the tax back charity status came through.
>
> The HMRC thing resolves that issue completely.
 
Also from what i said above

>
> > In regards to the timeline. Attaining charity status before the annual
> > fundraiser is honestly going to be doubtful. The application takes
> > approximately 40 days to complete if there are absolutely no hitches. I
> > would plan to get signatures at the next AGM which is planned for september
> > sometime. This would put completion of the charity status at the earliest
> > for early-mid november and that is purely on the basis that everything go
> > absolutely smoothly. The best approach would be looking for the application
> > to be finished by the start of 2009 and worst case scenario by the end of
> > the financial year 08/09.
> >
> > I hope this provides a clearer outlook on WMUK financially. Any questions I
> > could clarify are welcomed as it may spot areas or things that i havnt
> > thought about.
>
> What signatures are required? I wasn't aware you needed to collect
> signature (Chair and Secretary of the board, or something, I expect,
> but nothing more). And we can't do any of that until we have the
> £5000, so that's going to be some time after the AGM.
 
Those signatures have to come from all those registering as trustees.
But yes this would need to happen after the AGM

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> [hidden email]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK
> http://mail.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediauk-l



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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Thomas Dalton
> There is an account with Lloyds TSB that wouldn't require any transaction
> costs
> and could be set up without charity status and can be easily changed once
> that status is acquired.

Sounds good. Are you intending to stand for the board at the AGM? It
sounds like you've done the research necessary to be a good treasurer.

> There is no issue on the UK side with regards to money coming in from
> abroad

Agreed. I know of no issues there.

> I'm sure mike godwin would be able to confirm that there
> is
> no issue from the US side.

He'll be able to confirm it one way or the other, I'm not sure which
was it will be.


> I believe the aim to achieving charity status is to allow donations from the
> uk to
> be re-embursed from the tax

The thing with the HMRC is enough for that.

> Those signatures have to come from all those registering as trustees.
> But yes this would need to happen after the AGM

So that's the entire board. Either way, it only needs a regular board
meeting, it doesn't actually need to be an AGM - that's good, it can
be handled whenever we're ready.

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Re: Charity and Bank account information

joseph seddon
> Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 03:19:34 +0100

> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Charity and Bank account information
>
> > There is an account with Lloyds TSB that wouldn't require any transaction
> > costs
> > and could be set up without charity status and can be easily changed once
> > that status is acquired.
>
> Sounds good. Are you intending to stand for the board at the AGM? It
> sounds like you've done the research necessary to be a good treasurer.
 
There are too many variables to state whether i will or not. Firstly when and where
 the AGM is gonna be will make a difference. I'm moving to cardiff permanently for
uni in september so not the best time in the world really. Plus it depends on how other
things in real life go. I cannot commit myself at this time.

>
> > There is no issue on the UK side with regards to money coming in from
> > abroad
>
> Agreed. I know of no issues there.
>
> > I'm sure mike godwin would be able to confirm that there
> > is
> > no issue from the US side.
>
> He'll be able to confirm it one way or the other, I'm not sure which
> was it will be.
 
Ill email Mike and see what response I get.

>
>
> > I believe the aim to achieving charity status is to allow donations from the
> > uk to
> > be re-embursed from the tax
>
> The thing with the HMRC is enough for that.
 
Only up to £5000 pounds, and as far as I am aware, we would be handling much
larger amounts than that. So as a temporary measure to get membership
fee's etc tax reimbursed would be fine, but it wouldn't work during the annual fundraiser.
For that, the charity registration would be necessary.

>
> > Those signatures have to come from all those registering as trustees.
> > But yes this would need to happen after the AGM
>
> So that's the entire board. Either way, it only needs a regular board
> meeting, it doesn't actually need to be an AGM - that's good, it can
> be handled whenever we're ready.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia UK mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK
> http://mail.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediauk-l



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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Thomas Dalton
> Only up to £5000 pounds, and as far as I am aware, we would be handling much
> larger amounts than that. So as a temporary measure to get membership
> fee's etc tax reimbursed would be fine, but it wouldn't work during the
> annual fundraiser.
> For that, the charity registration would be necessary.

Yes, precisely, but we can wait until after we've got the £5000 to
worry about that (which eliminates the need for the foundation to give
us a starting donation). You only have to register in the tax year in
which your income goes over £5000, you don't have to have registered
before then.
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Re: Charity and Bank account information

joseph seddon
> > Only up to £5000 pounds, and as far as I am aware, we would be handling much

> > larger amounts than that. So as a temporary measure to get membership
> > fee's etc tax reimbursed would be fine, but it wouldn't work during the
> > annual fundraiser.
> > For that, the charity registration would be necessary.
>
> Yes, precisely, but we can wait until after we've got the £5000 to
> worry about that (which eliminates the need for the foundation to give
> us a starting donation). You only have to register in the tax year in
> which your income goes over £5000, you don't have to have registered
> before then.
 
What may be worthwhile is putting in the paperwork for HMRC now, geting that sorted, then
after the AGM dealing with the full charity status.


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Re: Charity and Bank account information

michael west-3
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton

I'm slighty confused, I thought that WMUK was going to be guaranteed as a limited company first and then the pro-longed charitable status in the articles /memorandum confirmed later on?

Been away for a few weeks and haven't had chance to catch any of the updates?

Any1 have a real idea of how things are progressing or it all still pipe dreams 2 yrs down the line?

Mike


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Re: Charity and Bank account information

geni
In reply to this post by joseph seddon
2008/8/27 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:

>> Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 03:19:34 +0100
>> From: [hidden email]
>> To: [hidden email]
>> Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Charity and Bank account information
>>
>> > There is an account with Lloyds TSB that wouldn't require any
>> > transaction
>> > costs
>> > and could be set up without charity status and can be easily changed
>> > once
>> > that status is acquired.
>>
>> Sounds good. Are you intending to stand for the board at the AGM? It
>> sounds like you've done the research necessary to be a good treasurer.
>
> There are too many variables to state whether i will or not. Firstly when
> and where
>  the AGM is gonna be will make a difference. I'm moving to cardiff
> permanently for
> uni in september so not the best time in the world really. Plus it depends
> on how other
> things in real life go. I cannot commit myself at this time.
>

While I have no idea where and when board members will be available
sept 13 starting 3/4pm in London would probably be best bet for
reasonable attendance.



--
geni

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Re: Charity and Bank account information

joseph seddon
> >> > There is an account with Lloyds TSB that wouldn't require any

> >> > transaction
> >> > costs
> >> > and could be set up without charity status and can be easily changed
> >> > once
> >> > that status is acquired.
> >>
> >> Sounds good. Are you intending to stand for the board at the AGM? It
> >> sounds like you've done the research necessary to be a good treasurer.
> >
> > There are too many variables to state whether i will or not. Firstly when
> > and where
> > the AGM is gonna be will make a difference. I'm moving to cardiff
> > permanently for
> > uni in september so not the best time in the world really. Plus it depends
> > on how other
> > things in real life go. I cannot commit myself at this time.
> >
>
> While I have no idea where and when board members will be available
> sept 13 starting 3/4pm in London would probably be best bet for
> reasonable attendance.

The other limitation is that 21 days notice should be given. However that can be
changed if 90% of members agree.


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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Tom Holden
In reply to this post by geni
I'll be in Scotland on the 13th, the next weekend would be preferable
with me at least. I'd certainly like to attend if possible.

2008/8/27 geni <[hidden email]>:

> 2008/8/27 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>:
>>> Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 03:19:34 +0100
>>> From: [hidden email]
>>> To: [hidden email]
>>> Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Charity and Bank account information
>>>
>>> > There is an account with Lloyds TSB that wouldn't require any
>>> > transaction
>>> > costs
>>> > and could be set up without charity status and can be easily changed
>>> > once
>>> > that status is acquired.
>>>
>>> Sounds good. Are you intending to stand for the board at the AGM? It
>>> sounds like you've done the research necessary to be a good treasurer.
>>
>> There are too many variables to state whether i will or not. Firstly when
>> and where
>>  the AGM is gonna be will make a difference. I'm moving to cardiff
>> permanently for
>> uni in september so not the best time in the world really. Plus it depends
>> on how other
>> things in real life go. I cannot commit myself at this time.
>>
>
> While I have no idea where and when board members will be available
> sept 13 starting 3/4pm in London would probably be best bet for
> reasonable attendance.
>
>
>
> --
> geni
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia UK mailing list
> [hidden email]
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>

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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by joseph seddon
> What may be worthwhile is putting in the paperwork for HMRC now, geting that
> sorted, then
> after the AGM dealing with the full charity status.

That should have been done two years ago (I'm only assuming it hasn't
been done already, since no-one has said is has been). If the current
board want to actually do something, then that would be great. I
wouldn't count on it, though.

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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by michael west-3
> I'm slighty confused, I thought that WMUK was going to be guaranteed as a
> limited company first and then the pro-longed charitable status in the
> articles /memorandum confirmed later on?

It is a company limited by guarantee at the moment. The charitable
status is on top of that, not instead of.

> Been away for a few weeks and haven't had chance to catch any of the
> updates?

Nothing has happened in the last few weeks, really.

> Any1 have a real idea of how things are progressing or it all still pipe
> dreams 2 yrs down the line?

Nothing is progressing, hence the need for an AGM so we have an
opportunity to elect a new board.

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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by joseph seddon
>> While I have no idea where and when board members will be available
>> sept 13 starting 3/4pm in London would probably be best bet for
>> reasonable attendance.
>
> The other limitation is that 21 days notice should be given. However that
> can be
> changed if 90% of members agree.

I thought it was 100% of members, but either way that's not difficult
since the members are pretty much the board and no-one else, since
they haven't been accepting applications.

We had a discussion on IRC about when and where would be a good time
to hold it and Saturday afternoon in London was, indeed, the best bet.
The 20th may be easier than the 13th (makes no difference to me), but
I think that's the last chance - the AGM has to be held before the
23rd (it has to be within 15 months of the last one, which was 23rd
June last year). I'm not sure what really happens if the board doesn't
call one within that time - they get put in the stocks and have rotten
tomatoes thrown at them, probably!

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Re: Charity and Bank account information

geni
2008/8/27 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
> We had a discussion on IRC about when and where would be a good time
> to hold it and Saturday afternoon in London was, indeed, the best bet.
> The 20th may be easier than the 13th (makes no difference to me), but
> I think that's the last chance - the AGM has to be held before the
> 23rd (it has to be within 15 months of the last one, which was 23rd
> June last year).

That should have been be 14th 3/4pm.  London meet up is 14th at 1pm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/London_13

--
geni

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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
At 04:26 +0100 27/8/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>  > What may be worthwhile is putting in the paperwork for HMRC now,
>geting that
>>  sorted, then
>>  after the AGM dealing with the full charity status.
>
>That should have been done two years ago (I'm only assuming it hasn't
>been done already, since no-one has said is has been). If the current
>board want to actually do something, then that would be great. I
>wouldn't count on it, though.

The law has changed since the company (Wiki Educational Resources
Ltd) was formed two years ago. It is now possible to incorporate as a
company limited by guarantee and charity on the same day.

See http://bit.ly/Charities_Act_2006

Gordo


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Re: Charity and Bank account information

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
> The law has changed since the company (Wiki Educational Resources
> Ltd) was formed two years ago. It is now possible to incorporate as a
> company limited by guarantee and charity on the same day.

I'm not sure that's true, but either way it doesn't apply to us - you
need to have an annual income of over £5000 to register as a charity
(as opposed to registering for tax purposes only with the HMRC). If
you can do them both at once then it would only be for companies which
expect to have a large income from the start.
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