Aside from the new chapters, right now the Board of Trustees is looking 
at what kinds of related groups we want to have relationships with. 
(What prompts this directly is the case of Wikimedia Brazil, which was 
approved to become a chapter last year, but whose organizers have since 
decided they did not want to proceed as a formal entity at this time. 
However, I want to ask about the general principle, not the specific 
case.) The basic question is, what can or should we do to encourage 
grassroots groups that want to support our mission, but may not fit into 
the chapters framework?

There are various possibilities here. One example is interest groups 
that aren't tied to geography, the way the chapters are. I always cite 
the idea of an Association of Blind Wikipedians, who might wish to 
organize to promote work on accessibility issues. As with the Brazilian 
situation, informal groups could also fit local conditions better 
sometimes, or serve as a proto-chapter stage of development. Maybe 
there's a benefit in having an association with some durability and 
continuation, but without going to the effort of incorporation and 
formal agreements on trademarks and such. It could also make sense to 
have an organization form for a specific project and then disband after 
it is completed, such as with Wikimania (somebody can correct me if I'm 
wrong, but I understand the Gdansk team is planning something like this 
as distinct from Wikimedia Polska).

Anyway, I would like to invite ideas and discussion on this. Is this 
something we should do? What kinds of models are people interested in? 
How should we appropriately recognize and work with volunteer-organized 
groups? And in all of this, how would we make it both distinct from and 
compatible with the current structure of chapter organizations?

--Michael Snow

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