According to the recent Independent Auditors' Report of the WMF [1], at
some point prior to the end of June 2020, an entity called the "Wikimedia
Knowledge Equity Fund" was established, and $8.723 million was transferred
to it by the WMF, in the form of an unconditional grant. The Fund is
"managed and controlled by Tides Advocacy" (a 501(c)(4) advocacy nonprofit
previously led by the WMF's current General Counsel/Board Secretary, who
served as CEO, Board Secretary, and Treasurer there). Given that a Google
search for "Wikimedia Knowledge Equity Fund" yields zero results prior to
the release of the report, it is clear that the WMF kept this significant
move completely secret for over five months, perhaps over a year. The
Report FAQ additionally emphasizes that the WMF "has no right of return to
the grant funds provided, with the exception of unexpended funds."

The WMF unilaterally and secretly transferred nearly $9 million of movement
funds to an outside organization not recognized by the Affiliations
Committee. No mention of the grant was made in any Board resolutions or
minutes from the relevant time period. The amount was not mentioned in the
public annual plan, which set out rather less than this amount for the
entire grantmaking budget for the year. No application was made through any
of the various Wikimedia grants processes. No further information has been
provided on the administration of this new Fund, or on the text of the
grant agreement.

I am appalled.

-- Yair Rand

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