The Wikimedia projects have an international scope, and their outreach has already made a significant impact throughout the world. The mission of the Chapters Committee is to help continue this success by coordinating the organization of "chapters," local groups chartered to further the goals of the projects with a special regard for their local impact.
Chapters are a source of essential local knowledge for the Wikimedia Foundation, and provide the community with a point of contact capable of fulfilling specific local needs. Existing chapters have proven that these groups are invaluable in expanding and developing Wikimedia's level of international cooperation, and the Committee will ensure that their proper role within the organization is fully realized.
Creating an organization from scratch is a hard task. Creating one capable of fulfilling the requirements of a "Wikimedia chapter" is even harder. One of the Committee's tasks is to make this process an easier one.
Another is to guide emerging chapters through their founding process by helping them draft bylaws, answering questions about what the Foundation expects from a chapter, approving limited financial support (if required), and providing general help and advice.
We understand that people from different cultures, living in different countries and under different legal systems, will have unique ideas and requirements for the function of a chapter and will encounter various needs and concerns along the way. Each chapter will be approached individually with this in mind.
For existing chapters we will act as the first point of contact with the Foundation and try to solve any problems that might arise, or point people in the right direction.
Scope of action
The Chapters Committee will replace the former position of Chapter Coordinator. Its main tasks will be:
- Ensuring the representation of Wikimedia worldwide in close coordination with the Wikimedia chapters
- Assisting chapters in the early stages of development with obtaining a Wikimedia Foundation endorsement
- Ensuring the flow of information between the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters
- Coordinating agreements and actions between the Wikimedia Foundation Board and chapters, as with contracts/fundraising/sponsoring
- Facilitating coordination between chapters
The Chapters Committee should not be a replacement for direct communication between the Wikimedia Foundation Board and Wikimedia chapters, but should facilitate communication and exchange of information.
Area of delegation
The Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation resolves that the following shall be delegated to the Chapters Committee:
- Approve chapter bylaws
- Approve chapter start-up budgets, within the amount allocated by the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation
- Coordinate with the relevant Wikimedia Foundation committees (Financial Committee, Legal committee...) matters involving both chapters and the Foundation