Affiliations Committee advice
- The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has decided during its retreat on 22-23 November 2013 that "All organizations wishing to be recognized as a chapter or thematic organization must first be recognized as
an unincorporateda (not necessarily incorporated) Wikimedia user group for at least two years. The WMF Board will only approve new chapters and thematic organizations that have been a user group for two years with demonstrable programmatic results, and whose application is supported by the Affiliations Committee. Applications for recognition of chapters and thematic organizations that are pending as of this date before the Affiliations Committee will be reviewed by the Board on a case-by-case basis, and the Board may waive this requirement for those pending applications as it seems appropriate.";
- A group of volunteers has requested to be recognised as a Wikimedia Chapter under the name Wikimedia Belgium prior to the quoted decision constituting a pending application under the terms of the decision;
- The proposed bylaws (English, official, Dutch, version) have been reviewed by the Affiliations Committee to the satisfaction of the Committee;
- The group of participants in the candidate chapter seems viable with some 70 people having indicated to be interested to join the organization;
- The group has a demonstrable record of prolonged activity spanning over three and a half years since 2011. This activity level has intensified since 2012/2013. Activities included the organization of three Wiki Loves Monuments competitions for Belgium and Luxembourg and a continuous effort to write and improve bylaws and plan for the future;
- The group has indicated a strong interest to collaborate with national and regional governmental and non-governmental organizations, collaborations that would benefit from the respectability that comes from the use of the Wikimedia Belgium logo and name available for chapters as national Wikimedia associations over the names and logos available for user groups that indicate a lower level of organisation and seriousness;
- The group has indicated that their potential for cooperation has already been limited by their lack of incorporation and ability to represent themselves as Wikimedia Belgium;
- Founding principles of the expansion of the models of affiliations were flexibility and the desire to let applicant groups choose the best model for themselves;
- The group having considered all the available options and information has decided that the model they wish to organise under is that of Wikimedia Chapter, and that they do not wish to organise under the Wikimedia User Group model;
- The Affiliations Committee believes that recognising the group as a user group could seriously hinder their motivation, enthusiasm, and ability to work with external partners resulting in considerable lost opportunities to support our movement in Belgium and possibly the whole of the European Union;
- The Affiliations Committee has not found any significant advantages for the movement or the applicant group in recognising them as a user group over a chapter;
- The Affiliations Committee has by resolution of 2 April 2013 endorsed a start-up grant for this group to cover expenses of founding a chapter that was subsequently funded by the Wikimedia Foundation;
- The Affiliations Committee has determined that the group meets the requirements for Wikimedia Chapter status;
- It is the opinion of the Affiliations Committee that out of the available models of affiliation that of Wikimedia Chapter suits best the applicant group;
- It is the opinion of the Affiliations Committee that recognising Wikimedia Belgium as a user group for two years would not serve the needs and wishes of the group, nor would it be in the interests of the Wikimedia movement;
- It is the opinion of the Affiliations Committee that the group is viable, demonstrated over three years of sustainable activity and potential for future activity and cooperations, and is based on a legal structure that conform to our movement's best practices;
Therefore be it
- resolved that the Affiliations Committee recommends the Board of Trustees waive the requirement imposed by their 22-23 November 2013 decision; and
- further resolved that the Affiliations Committee hereby advises that the Board of Trustees recognises Wikimedia Belgium as a Wikimedia Chapter, and grant it interim permission to use the Wikimedia trademarks pending the signing of a Chapters Agreement.
Proposed Board of Trustees resolution
Whereas, the Affiliations Committee has reviewed the work of Wikimedia Belgium and advised that this group is ready for recognition as a Wikimedia chapter; and
Whereas, the Board has independently assessed that recommendation and agrees with it;
Whereas, the Board of Trustees wishes to recognize and welcome Wikimedia Belgium as a Wikimedia chapter dedicated to supporting and promoting the Wikimedia movement;
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Board recognizes Wikimedia Belgium as a Wikimedia chapter, provided that Wikimedia Belgium accepts and complies with a Wikimedia Chapter Agreement. The Board instructs the Executive Director to offer a Wikimedia Chapter Agreement to Wikimedia Belgium. This agreement will govern the chapter's recognition and provide the chapter with specific permission to use the Wikimedia trademarks.
Pending execution of a Wikimedia Chapter Agreement, Wikimedia Belgium is entitled to request a trademark permission for its activity, pursuant to the Wikimedia Trademark Policy.
Advice forwarded to the Board of Trustees on 23 June 2014.