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[lp-br-sp] [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations

From: Raniere Silva
Subject: [lp-br-sp] [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:44:59 -0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Me falaram de uma thread na Wikipedia sobre financiamento para outros projetos
de que eles dependem. Como já tivemos algumas conversas sobre esse tema talvez
alguém tenha interesse de acompanhar a thread.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Erik Moeller <address@hidden>
Date: 2014-04-15 16:50 GMT-03:00
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Sponsorship/donations to other organizations
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <address@hidden>

Hi folks,

I'd be interested in hearing broader community opinions about the
extent to which WMF should sponsor non-profits purely to support work
that Wikimedia benefits from, even if it's not directed towards a
specific goal established in a grant agreement.

This comes up from time to time. One of the few historic precedents
I'm aware of is the $5,000 donation that WMF made to FreeNode in 2006
[1]. But there are of course many other organizations/communities that
the Wikimedia movement is indebted to.

On the software side, we have Ubuntu Linux (itself highly indebted to
Debian) / Apache / MariaDB / PHP / Varnish / ElasticSearch / memcached
/ Puppet / OpenStack / various libraries and many other dependencies [2],
infrastructure tools like ganglia, observium, icinga, etc. Some of
these projects have nonprofits that accept and seek sponsorship and
support, some don't.

One could easily expand well beyond the software we depend on
server-side to client-side open source applications used by our
community to create content: stuff like Inkscape, GIMP and LibreOffice
(used for diagrams). And there are other communities we depend on,
like OpenStreetMap.

So, should we steer clear of this type of sponsorship altogether
because it's a slippery slope, or should we try to come up with
evaluation criteria to consider it on a case-by-case basis (e.g. is
there a trustworthy non-profit that has a track record of
accomplishment and is in actual need of financial support)?

I could imagine a process with a fixed "giving back" annual budget
and a community nominations/review workflow. It'd be work to create
and I don't want to commit to that yet, but I would be interested to
hear opinions.

MariaDB specifically invited WMF to become a sponsor, and we're
clearly highly dependent on them. But I don't think it makes sense for
us to just write checks if there's someone who asks for support and
there's a justifiable need. However, if there's broad agreement that
this is something Wikimedia should do more of, then I think it's worth
developing more consistent sponsorship criteria.


[2] Cf.
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia-l mailing list

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