On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:16 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
> Spending and fundraising are two sides of the same coin. I remember that it
> was strongly suggested that money had to go through the WMF for all kinds
> of political reasons. At the time it was the Dutch chapter that received
> money. Long story short, after some animosity the WMF now has the whole
> field to itself. Given the animosity and lack of trust at the time I would
> not do any fundraising without an accompanying say so of the money spend.
> Liam why did you only react to some of the lines and not others?? Paying
> for a hole in the ground that will be invested 'wisely' but without any
> charm, any pointer why but a rainy day seems stupid. PS It rains a lot in
> the Netherlands.
The Foundation does not and mostly has not discouraged chapters from
developing independent sources of money. What was eliminated was the
diversion of donations to chapters during the annual fundraising drive. To
the extent that people misunderstood the activities of a chapter or the
relationship between the websites and chapters, diverting money from the
WMF to the chapters during the WMF-managed drive was misleading to those
It was also unnecessarily risky and exposed the WMF to substantial
liability, given that only a fraction of the FDC-era scrutiny was applied
to payment processors and some of these processors obtained hundreds of
thousands of dollars with near-zero institutional development or capacity.
The change also helpfully submerged the sense of entitlement endemic to
chapters who processed payments or proposed to do so. Again - this does
not mean chapters can't fundraise. They simply have to actually go out and
raise funds, not rely solely on the WMF to vector resources their way.
On the general topic, the restricted grants received by the WMF have a
beneficial effect that we could wish extended throughout its operations:
because it is responsible to the grantor for producing the results demanded
under the terms of the grant, the outcomes are much more likely to be
visible, measurable and significant. The WMF has for over a decade spent
tens of millions of dollars with little to show for it, but the sources of
restricted grants require that those funds be the exception.
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