What can a formal chapter do that a well-organized group of volunteers can't do? Forming a chapter doesn't magically guarantee that any projects will get done, if they're not getting done now. -- phoebe 05:07, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
A Chapter can do the following things that an unincorporated group of volunteers can not:
- Recruit people to work on projects that the Foundation doesn't have the resources or time to pursue, and pay them for it, on the assumption that paid work is often more sustained than strictly volunteer labor
- For example, there were ten Google Summer of Code 2010 student applicants whose projects were scored positively by mentors, but rejected because the Foundation did not request enough slots: Cam V., Damon W., Johan G., Laszlo K., Meadowlark B., Maciej S., Michael W., Neeraj A., Ryan M., and Shubhandra S. There are also several volunteer mentors who are all still unassigned to any student projects.
- Help accelerate critical Foundation projects
- by, for example, specifying, acquiring, and benchmarking a variety of hardware platforms with different cache, memory, and mass storage geometries and types
- by hiring PHP programmers to address ordinary outstanding issues on Bugzilla and submit patches
- the Summer of Code projects are similarly intended to help the Foundation through Mediawiki enhancements
- Perform outreach functions such as venue hosting, scholarships and travel stipends, and equipment purchases for events
- e.g. LCDs, projectors, and laptops
- Fundraising for grants where 501(c)3 status is necessary
- Outreach to institutions who see organizations as more legitimate than individuals. 18.104.22.168 20:52, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
- I've just seen this page via the comments on Phoebe's blog post. I've been heavily involved over the last 1.5 years with getting Wikimedia UK going, and I thought that my viewpoints on what chapters can do might be of use here.
- There are several big advantages that being a chapter has over being a group of volunteers, as it is a legal body. Firstly, this means that you can get a bank account and participate in fundraising - which means that you have the money to make outreach activities happen - hiring rooms and getting catering where these aren't available via in-kind donations (note that we've had one event where these have been covered by sponsorship, but we received the money from an individual to pay for them from an institution), paying people's travel that would not otherwise be able to make it, and having equipment that can be used on the day. You can also then hire developers to work on software tasks (e.g. assisting the usability projects) if you want, run events in partnership with big organizations, hand out microgrants to assist wikipedians in small but significant ways, ... In our case, we hope to also be recognized as a charity, such that we can get tax benefits for donations (which the Foundation can't within the UK) - but that isn't a big issue for you guys.
- Having a legal organization is also useful for talking to people - saying that you're an editor on Wikipedia carries a lot of weight, but not as much as saying that you're from Wikimedia XX, a non-profit (or charitable) organization. That will get you in to places - for example, in our case it has resulted in events such as wmuk:Britain Loves Wikipedia and the wmuk:Backstage Pass at the British Museum.
- Chapters can also act as a central organization and focus point for distributed volunteers, although this can be done well with a core group of volunteers regardless of whether it's a formal organization or not.
- Things like testing hardware platforms is probably best left for others - there will be external organizations (e.g. tech companies and trade magazines etc.) that will do this anyway, and any further testing is probably best done by the tech team itself. With hiring developers, it always needs a justification as to why a volunteer can't / won't do it, and why it needs doing anyway - if it needs special expertise that isn't coming forward, or if it's a big important project that really needs doing, then perhaps hiring someone to do that task is the best approach, but with ordinary bugs it's probably best to leave them for a volunteer to do over time. Summer of Code projects are a good thing to support, but the issue there will be mentor time rather than financial, which makes it a lot more difficult to support.
- This is far from an exhaustive summary: there are a number of chapters around the world that are active in doing tasks that need chapters to exist in order to do them. I would encourage you to follow the chapters reports mailing list to get a glimpse of some of these, and also to talk to Wikimedia New York City and other individual chapters to find out what they are doing. There's also a lot of good people that you can talk to in the Chapters committee, which I would recommend getting in contact with if you haven't already.
- Hope this helps. Mike Peel 11:18, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Areas for a Chapter to work in
- Contact museums and arrange for photography of historical items and works.
- Contact historical societies to arrange for photography and scanning of documents and historical items.
- Work with schools to do presentations on Wikimedia projects.
- Hold fundraisers in California to acquire revenue for the Foundation
- Have a Wikimedia presence at events across the state
- Organize contests in California to improve Commons, Wikinews
- Serve as an organizational sponsor to have textbooks approved by California Board of Education
- Work with schools to reduce the prevalence of vandalism from California school districts
- Provide resources for Wikipedia Academies across the state
- promote Wikimedia across the state
- Open doors for Wikimedians by offering organizational support and covering of individual projects.
- Contact school journalism programs and develop resources to encourage participation in Wikinews
- Recruit teachers to work on free textbooks
- Locate interested individuals to provide the Foundation with ready and willing volunteers to perform projects around the state
- Work with organizations to promote Wikiversity as a training medium
Southern and Northern CA
I'm interested in this if its split into a separate Southern and a Northern California group. Why? Because California is so incredibly long/tall. Driving from Southern California up to San Francisco is literally the same distance as driving from downtown New York out to the backwoods of Virginia. A "California" group is about as ridiculous as an "East Coast USA" group. Seeing as how there are already separate New York and Washington D.C. groups, I think that sort of makes my argument for me. Banaticus 23:18, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
- Hi Banaticus - are you more interested in organizing in northern or southern California? -Pete F 02:59, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
The page Wikimedia Cascadia has been created; I suspect many of the people supporting/interested-in Wikimedia California are in the Wikimedia Cascadia region, and would be interested in adding their name to that proposed chapter. John Vandenberg (talk) 05:25, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Reviving Wikimedia California
We had a great US meeting at Wikimania the other day, and User:DamianFinol, a long-time Chapters Committee member, has volunteered to be a new contact person for Wikimedia California and helping with regional communications issues in general, as the previous effort seems to have run out of steam. Also, we'll very likely want to start from scratch with the previous proposed bylaws, etc.--Pharos (talk) 18:58, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
- Yes, if this is to be restarted it needs to be a fresh start. I cannot support or endorse the previous plan to incorporate as a California Mutual Benefit Corporation (like country clubs and condominiums) instead of a California Public Benefit Corporation (like bona fide charities). ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:40, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
- So, is this still devoted to "all" of California (mainly the area immediately around San Francisco), or do we have chapters for various regions where the regions are small enough that a person can drive to an hour-long meeting and back within the same day? Banaticus (talk) 04:02, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
|Wikimedia LGBT+ is a proposed thematic organization that seeks to promote the development of content on Wikimedia projects which is of interest to LGBT+ communities. Proposed activities include outreach at LGBT events, Wikimania and other Wikimedia events, an international campaign called Wiki Loves Pride, and work on safe space policies, among other collaborations and interwiki projects. Active Wikimedians are welcome to join this cause! Please consider adding your name as a participant/supporter. Current tasks include translating pages, building a strong framework here at Meta, and achieving user group status (with the eventual goal of becoming a thematic organization). Your feedback is welcome on the discussion page.|