On 5 December 2014 at 13:25, Russavia <russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Michael
> On Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 2:22 AM, Michael Maggs <mich...@maggs.name> wrote:
> > Over the last few years the Foundation has decisively moved away from
> > allowing local chapters to take part in the on-screen fundraiser,
> preferring
> > to centralise the work in spite of the loss of the available local tax
> > reliefs (such as Gift Aid in the UK).  Many chapters, including the UK,
> > would have liked to have been part of the fundraiser, but the previous
> ED,
> > Sue Gardner, determined that that would not be permitted.  WMUK regretted
> > that decision, and we responded to it here:
> > https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Open_letter_to_Sue_Gardner.
> The question was raised by Nick over at the WMF Board noticeboard.[1]
> There Sj states:
> "The [UK Fund for Charities channels gifts to validated non-UK based
> charities. We were able to use their service this year for large
> Wikimania-related donations. They charge 1% for large gifts, making
> this an effective way to receive gift aid. However this is not a great
> solution for individual donors: for gifts under £100, they charge up
> to 20%, consuming most of the gift aid."
> $500,000 is quite a lot of coin to be missing out on; and the WMF is
> obviously looking at ways to get this gift aid (whilst bypassing
> WMUK), just without registering themselves in the UK, which would see
> it having to comply with European directives on numerous issues.
> There's more to this story me thinks ;)
> Russavia

Before getting all excited about losing $500,000....first we need to
consider some facts.

Fact #1 - in every country that I'm aware of (and I've been asking around a
bit recently), donors have the *option* of adding Gift Aid or whatever
local equivalent is available, but it is not an automatic option.
Therefore, there might be the *potential* to raise significant dollars
through this process, but it is not a guaranteed amount of money or a
guaranteed percentage.

Offsetting this is the cost of actually collecting the donations.  This
is a very significant factor, and for many chapters the cost of operating
the fundraiser locally with a remittance to the WMF is prohibitively
expensive.  They have to worry about hosting costs, staffing, banking,
lawyers, accountants, issuance of receipts, auditors, legislated
requirements as to how the donations are used....and that's just what I'm
aware of off the top of my head.

Unless there is excellent evidence that the additional donation outweighs
the cost of collecting it *for the movement as a whole, not just the
chapter* - and there was significant work done on this when the opportunity
for chapters to do this before was withdrawn - then it is not in the best
interests of the movement to operate this way.

We also have to keep in mind that there are many chapters that simply have
no opportunity to participate in this kind of fundraising (e.g., those in
countries with no similar government scheme) and there is absolutely no
opportunity for thematic organizations or user groups to participate in
this type of fundraising.

So yes, it is worth investigating, and Lisa Gruwell has already answered
some locally-specific issues. But there were a lot of reasons why this
option was heavily restricted in the past, and it wasn't just because
certain chapters were having governance issues.

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