Wikimedia movement affiliates/Protocol for noncompliant Wikimedia movement affiliates

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Recognition as a Wikimedia movement organization (chapter, thematic organization, user group) is a treasured privilege that allows an independent group to use the Wikimedia name to further the Wikimedia mission. While most Wikimedia organizations adhere to the basic compliance standards set forth here, a protocol is needed to address the exceptional cases when Wikimedia organizations do not meet basic compliance standards, and continued recognition of a Wikimedia organization presents a risk to the Wikimedia movement.

Compliance includes:

  • Adhering to the terms of any agreements the organization has with the Wikimedia Foundation, including but not limited to the group's Recognition Agreement and the Code of Conduct, Fundraising Agreements, Trademark Agreements or the Wikimedia Trademark Policy, and Grant Agreements.
  • Adhering to all applicable local laws and regulations.
  • Not engaging in any form of misconduct.
  • Not causing any damage to the reputation of the Wikimedia movement.

Additionally, organizations are encouraged to follow the Board resolutions on organizational best practices and guidelines potential conflicts of interest.

Once a compliance issue has been identified, Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) staff will determine if the compliance issue is minor and reparable (e.g. the organization engaged in potentially problematic activity but then corrected the problem, or the organization failed to submit a required report), or serious (e.g. gross misconduct such as election fraud, illegal activity such as embezzlement, reputational damage such as partisan political activity).

In serious and urgent cases of non-compliance, WMF staff will contact the organization to inform the organization of the compliance issue or issues identified and an organization’s recognition may be terminated immediately according to the group's agreement (without Board review or appeal). In such cases, when possible and reasonable to do so, WMF staff will notify the Affiliations Committee (AffCom) and provided 72 hours to respond, and the Board will be notified, otherwise both will be notified post-factum and given an opportunity to respond if they feel necessary.

In less serious cases of reputational risk, minor misconduct, or non-compliance, when damage may be prevented or repaired, WMF staff may work with the non-compliant organization to resolve the issue or issues before considering termination of the organization’s recognition:

  • WMF staff will contact the organization to inform the organization of the compliance issue or issues identified, and to inform the organization of the consequences of continued non-compliance.
  • WMF staff will make an effort to work with the organization on a written plan for getting back in compliance that includes an appropriate deadline for resolving the compliance issue or issues identified, and that includes support from WMF as appropriate. WMF staff will review the organization’s compliance status on the date or dates set forth in the plan.
  • If the organization does not respond to WMF staff or fails to get back in compliance, WMF staff may terminate that organization’s recognition (without Board review or appeal). In such cases, AffCom will be notified and provided 72 hours to respond, and the Board will be notified in advance when possible and reasonable, otherwise post-factum and given an opportunity to respond if they feel necessary.