Sarah,

thank you and Brion for some really insightful e-mails. I'll just add one
thought to one of your points.

On 24 February 2016 at 00:41, SarahSV <sarahsv.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Should the Foundation be paying for that kind of work
> and thinking in those ways? I would say not.

[...]

4. Rethinking Sue's decision that the Foundation would never pay for
>
content. I can think of several ways in which the Foundation could either
> pay or facilitate payment.
>

Well, we all know about the problems of giving monetary compensation to
editors. Just thinking aloud here, but I guess if you want to reward
editors in some way, but don't want to pay them directly, there's some
middle ground: Don't pay them, but let them donate their share of the cake.

At the beginning of the year, the WMF would set a budget, add some buffer,
and all that is received on top of that goes to a charity pool which
"belongs" to the editors. However, they can't claim any of the money for
themselves, but instead can choose how much they'd like to give to charity
A, charity B, etc. So, for instance, I'm a fan of the work of UNICEF and a
lesser-known charity called Evidence Action. So "my" compensation for my
Wikipedia work would be an amount X that I prorate between these two
organizations. Other editors would also take part in this scheme.

That would ensure we have a fully-funded (but not over-funded) WMF, we've
all done something good for the world, readers have a way to show
appreciation for editors, we don't negatively affect the intrinsic
motivation of editors by giving them money, all while transaction costs are
low as there'd just be one cumulative transfer per organization.
Economically speaking, I also think it's quite efficient: The WMF has a
great shiny product to showcase: Wikipedia. Wikipedia is something that
lots of people use, and benefit from, so it's rather easy to get them to
donate. On the other hand, if a more "classical" charity spends money on
installing water dispensers in Malawi, that goes unnoticed by most people.
So you'd expect that redirecting money to other charities should also
increase the total amout of donations made. Aside from that, the marginal
utility of the 50,000,001st dollar received the WMF is probably pretty low,
whereas if you're in the business of installing water dispensers, one would
expect it to be pretty high.

Best,
Patrik
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