Affiliations Committee/Budget 2013/14

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The Affiliations Committee has been tasked by the Board of Trustees[1] to develop a plan to effectively handle its extended scope that includes recognizing and mentoring three types of affiliates and providing advice to the Board on issues relating to affiliates, including change of status (de-recognition or conversion) of the same. In accordance with this request, the Committee submits the following budget request for consideration by the Executive Director in the annual planning process.

The budget request follows the one submitted for the 2012/13 fiscal year,[2] the process of spending the allocation is described in a Committee resolution.[3]

Spending category USD amount Brief rationale
Travel budget $10,000 The expansion of the affiliate network, and in particular the lower threshold for establishing a user group will mean that a visit from the Committee would make sense in more cases.

Committee travel could take a number of different forms and serve a number of ends. Visits to countries with early development of offline activities, where a visit would explain the support net the Wikimedia movement can provide, the road to affiliation and generally help to vitalize and invigorate the group. Visits to regional conferences in regions where there are countries without local affiliates could serve similar ends and in addition would facilitate first contact between the Committee and the nascent groups. In some cases a visit to a country where there is an active group trying to achieve affiliation status could help in moving the application forward by allowing for fact finding, and an interactive review process, in addition to the benefits on morale and knowledge sharing.

2013 in-person meeting (Aug 2013) $40,000 For the better functioning of the Committee an annual meeting where the possibility of reviewing processes is included in the budget. Based on timing and co-location an added benefit of the meeting would be the ability to meet and have in-depth discussions with representatives of the applicant groups, Board of Trustees and WMF staff.

During a discussion at the Wikimedia Conference 2013 it was decided that regular Affiliations Committee meetings will take place at future Wikimedia Conferences. As a transitional measure to account for not having a meeting in the 2013 calendar year, this meeting is scheduled as a one-off exception at Wikimania 2013.

2014 in-person meeting (March 2014) $30,000 This provision was incorporated because the following annual meeting would have to be covered by the same budget (2013-14 fiscal year). Given that there is no certainty about which chapter or city will be hosting WMCON 2014 and that the membership of the Committee is expected to change before the meeting figures are merely approximative and actual costs may be lower. In the event of higher actual costs, they would be covered from the unforeseen expenses allocation.
Scholarships $10,000 We would like to be able to award scholarships to promising volunteers leading efforts to create affiliates to attend Wikimedia events (like Wikimania) to learn and network.

The presence of the people who receive a Committee scholarship would be beneficial in two ways: 1) it would expose the scholarship recipient to the international community, giving them ideas and networking opportunities and 2) it would allow the Committee's representatives present to have discussions with the recipient (for example, to explain the process, or to facilitate resolution to open questions in the approval process). Given that these applicants would be coming from countries where a local affiliate is just being set up or in the stages of consideration, we expect that the recipients would continue to be members of the community for a long period and their participation to have beneficial aftereffects for a longer term. An expected condition of any scholarship would be that the scholar debriefs the relevant local community.

Affiliate start-up grants $5,000 The Committee has been delegated the authority[4] to approve "chapter start-up budgets, within the amount allocated by the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation". Before that, the Chapter Coordinator was allowed to grant new chapters funding for certain start-up costs and these rights were transferred to the Committee.

The Committee would like to use this facility to provide small unrestricted grants (or restricted grants for the purposes outlined in the linked delegations) to newly recognized chapter groups and possibly other affiliated organizations to assist with their start-up costs and allow them to focus on programmatic activities from the start. The aim is to provide basic seed funding for the costs of setting up the organisation.

We would like to utilize the WMF Grant system's existing infrastructure for this purpose to allow for transparency and to take advantage of the existing institutional background.

Translation $5,000 For official letters sent by the Committee in order to investigate the status of existing affiliates or to be used with groups with whom there is a language gap in communication. Due to the sensitivity of investigative efforts, open, public community translations are unfeasible.
Webex costs $1,500 To hold online meetings two/three times per month to discuss applications and other Committee business. The current setup is prepaid until September 2013 when it will need renewing.
Business cards $800 For Committee members to be able to represent themselves as Committee members. Cost includes printing and shipping.
Unforeseen expenses $8,000 This item is included to provide greater flexibility regarding AffCom granting of scholarships and travel.
Total: $110,300 (Was $60,000 for 2012/13)

Staff time[edit]

Working with affiliates is a part of the normal duties of several WMF employees; however, the work and existence of the Committee requires some staff time to be allocated specifically to the Committee for its effective functioning.

The Committee expects the need for the following allocations. We have only estimated and not measured the required staff times even in cases where there is past precedent of staff assistance to the Committee. Times are on an annual basis.

Activity Hours/year Brief rationale
Travel coordination time 20 1 hour per travel request, about 10-15 requests annually to arrange travel logistics and handle reimbursements; an additional 10 hours for logistics of the annual Committee meeting. This includes the time needed to process reimbursements, as well as more complex cases, where we rely on the WMF to make travel arrangements.
Affiliate start-up grants 15 Time of the person handling the WMF Grants to manage the Committee's grants.
Invited staff observers 50 To act as liaisons and to provide advice in areas where they work intersects with the Committee's.
Legal 30 With the need to coordinate agreements (including naming of affiliates tied to trademark permission) and to share information (e.g. on the status of chapters agreements), the Legal department will likely need to spend an increasing amount of time interacting with the Committee.
Total 115 Includes the work of about five different individuals; 75 hours/year were estimated for 2012/13

The Committee will request advice or assistance from other staff members from time to time if they can further the work of the Committee by for example providing information based on travel they have done on behalf of their work, or educating local volunteers about affiliates on their official trips.

References and notes[edit]

  1. 2012-03-31 Resolution on the Affiliations Committee, 2012-08-20 Resolution on the Affiliations Committee Charter
  2. 2012/13 Budget
  3. Amended internal process on spending, December 2012
  4. 2006-4-4 Resolution of the Board of Trustees