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Wikimedia Endowment/Meetings/July 23, 2020

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3:00 – 3:20 pm UTC: Welcome and Introductions (Caitlin Virtue)

- Approve January 17, 2020 meeting minutes

3:20 – 3:35 pm: Foundation Update (Amanda Keton & Jáneen Uzzell)

3:35 – 3:50 pm: Investment Update (Lisa Gruwell)

3:50 - 4:05 pm: Fundraising Update (Caitlin Virtue)

4:05 - 4:20 pm: Q&A

4:20 - 4:30 pm: Confirm Next Meeting Topic (Lisa Gruwell)

- Meeting Date: Friday, January 22, 2021 - online

4:30 pm: Adjourn






Meeting Attendees


Endowment Advisory Board Members:  Peter Baldwin, Annette Campbell-White, Michael Kim, Niels Christian Nielsen, and Jimmy Wales

Wikimedia Foundation Staff: Lisa Gruwell, Amanda Keton, Erica McKnight, Amy Parker, Guillaume Paumier, Tony Sebro, Janeen Uzzell, Caitlin Virtue, Enloe Wilson

Summary of Action Items


1. Welcome and introductions

  • Introduction of new Endowment staff: Amy Parker, Endowment Director and Enloe Wilson, Principal Endowment Development Manager

2. Approved minutes from January 17, 2020 meeting

  • Voting in Favor: Niels moved to approve, Michale seconded
  • Voting Against: None

3. Foundation Update (Amanda Keton)

  • Update on the work of the Wikimedia Foundation’s COVID-19 response team, whose recommendations guided activities from March through June. The Foundation is now moving into an ongoing risk management framework.
  • All events have been moved online since March; we will revisit our event guidance in September in consideration of the evolving situation in each country.
  • Coverage of Wikimedia sites has been largely positive during the pandemic; usage has increased, both in readership and editing.
  • Introduction of Tony Sebro and Erica McKnight, who will assist with investigating a new future legal structure for the Endowment.

4. Foundation Update (Janeen Uzzell)

  • Update on the Foundation’s commitment to racial justice in the context of recent social struggles.
  • Budgeting and planning for the 2020-2021 fiscal year takes a cautious approach while continuing to support our staff and communities and execute on the Medium-Term Plan (MTP), for which we are now in year two.
  • In our cautious 2020-2021 budgeting scenario, we are not planning to contribute the $5 million Foundation match to the Endowment that has been made in prior years.

5. Investment Update (Lisa Gruwell)

  • The Endowment portfolio was hit by the financial crisis but has now stabilized.
  • We’ve been very disciplined about sticking to our asset allocation as we fine-tune some of the vehicles in the portfolio in light of market uncertainty.
  • We are holding $3 million in cash in case the Foundation needs an unexpected grant from the Endowment this year.
  • The Foundation is asking the Endowment to cover the costs of legal work to investigate a future legal structure for the Endowment.

6. Fundraising Update (Caitlin Virtue)

  • The Endowment now holds $62.9 million toward our initial $100 million goal. We remain on track to reach our goal ahead of schedule.
  • In fiscal year 2019-2020, we raised $21 million from corporate gifts, individual gifts, estate gifts, and matching support for Wikimedia. This is an over 45% increase over last year’s fundraising.
  • Planned Giving efforts continue to grow; the Wikimedia Legacy Society now has more than 530 members.

7. Confirm Next Meeting Topic (Lisa Gruwell)

  • Meeting Topic Brainstorm:
    • Update on OKAPI
    • Fundraising performance during busy October-December season and whether/how it has been impacted by pandemic