By the same argument, then, the Foundation should be compensating the
unpaid volunteers who actually create the content of the projects, and
supporting them with the tools and resources they need to do that work.


On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 2:52 AM, Pine W <> wrote:

> 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
> consider.
> 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
> 2015/december/should-board-members-of-nonprofit-
> organizations-be-compensated,
> 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.
> Pine
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