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WMF Partnerships Team FAQ/Archive

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Here is the updated FAQ for the VP of Partnerships:

Why a Vice President of Strategic Partnerships now? What does this mean for the WMF?


Wikimedia’s data and content are shared, re-used, and distributed every day to hundreds of millions of users on third party platforms and properties. The Wikimedia Foundation is creating a new strategic role to manage these opportunities and convert some of them into sharing and distribution partnerships in order to advance our mission. The Vice President of Strategic Partnerships will craft WMF’s partnership strategy and create long-term value for Wikimedia projects through partnerships, projects, and relationships.

How will this new structure benefit the WMF?


The creation of a partnerships team adds value by helping us more effectively work toward our mission and bring more knowledge to more people. They allows for us to be more deliberate and have greater impact in our relationships with the world.

Why is Wikipedia Zero going under partnerships?


Strategic Partnerships is a natural place for Wikipedia Zero -- the team’s work is primarily focused on driving and closing partnership relationships. Wikipedia Zero is designed to increase access to knowledge for people around the world. Applying additional focus to that work and orienting it within a larger partnerships strategy will help us work more effectively achieve that mission.

What are the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships key roles and responsibilities?


The VP’s core responsibilities are to initiate, maintain, and grow strategic relationships including development of new partnerships that create value in core markets for the purpose of advancing our mission: freeing content, access and participation with knowledge around the world. The VP will also develop the Wikimedia Foundation’s strategic partnerships plan, team, and staffing and closely collaborate with other key WMF functions, including Product, Engineering, Legal, Analytics, and Communications, in the execution of partnerships consistent with the organization’s mission and values.

What are the changes in reporting structure?


To reflect the expanded scope of the department, the department’s name be the Advancement Department, led by the Chief Advancement Officer. The sub-departments in Advancement will include Partnerships and Fundraising. The new VP will join the Leadership team and will report to the Chief Advancement Officer..

What does Advancement mean?


Advancement is a term that’s used to indicate development, improvement, and progress. In the case of the the new WMF Advancement Department, it means improving and expanding resources to support our mission. Sometimes this means strategic collaboration, and sometimes this means financial resources. Advancement reflects the department’s role of creating value for our mission.

Is the new role focused primarily on revenue?


No. The new role is focused on creating value for the Wikimedia movement and on supporting our ability to fulfil our mission. Value can be understood in many different ways. We believe that it can be about relationships with people, relationships with organizations, or in some cases, additional financial resources.

Does this mean we’ll have a new partnerships team?


Not immediately. Over the next few months, the new VP of Partnerships will work with Lisa and the executive team to build a partnerships plan, building off existing work from last years’ partnerships "tiger team", which involved members of the Fundraising, Legal, Analytics, Wikipedia Zero, and Communications teams. This plan will inform planning for the 2015—2016 fiscal year, and will be the basis for the Partnerships team building.

When will these changes take effect?


The VP of Partnerships starts on Monday, March 30, 2015. The Wikipedia Zero team will report to him/her directly beginning on that date.