Hi James,

Two points:

1. Intrinsic motivation, at this point, appears to be inadequate for
increasing the population of the Wikimedia volunteer community. I am
skeptical that we should rely on the same mechanism which isn't working in
the volunteer community to fill slots on the WMF Board, which also seems to
be struggling to fill its ranks.

2. I think that there's some grey between fully intrinsic and fully
extrinsic motivation. For example, there are a number WMF employees to
which WMF pays $100,000+ compensation packages. Yet we don't complain that
their motivations are extrinsic and incompatible with the Wikimedia
mission. WMF pays them that level of compensation to encourage them to stay
with WMF instead of working for another organization (probably a for-profit
one) which would likely pay them similar levels of compensation. It seems
to me that if WMF is struggling to attract the quantity and quality of
Board members that it needs, then compensation is a reasonable option to

Responding to Pete: although it's unusual for nonprofit board members to be
paid, as far as I can see the practice isn't forbidden. I imagine that WMF
Legal could provide guidance about what is and isn't allowed. Whether
whether it's allowed and whether it should actually happen are, of course,
two different questions. A resource that I find instructive is
which provides a list of pros and cons for providing compensation to Board
members. One of the points that they make is along similar lines as Lane's:
that providing compensation could increase the diversity of candidates. A
point that I think is also worth making is that if Board members are
compensated then expectations should be proportionately greater for their
performance and attendance to Board matters; I don't want anything like a
repeat of the situation that happened with Lila in which the WMF Board
seems to have been asleep at the wheel. Given that current Board members
seem to be struggling with their workloads, I think that exploring the pros
and cons of compensating WMF Board members is worth serious consideration.

I like the idea of the Board having its own staff separate from the ED.
This would be similar to how legislative bodies are supported by their own
staff which is separate from the executive branch. If this kind of support
would be adequate to address the problems of Board recruitment (which I
doubt) then I'd say to go for it. It might be worthwhile exploring this
option in tandem with exploring the option of compensating Board members.

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