Re. the corporate membership,
This is a very interesting development...

I appreciate the concern that we do not want to become beholden to the will of some corporation - this is the similar concern with having one philanthropic organisation donate so much money to the WMFoundation that they supply a 'controling stake' of the foundation's capital. It is for this reason that any donations to the Foundation that represent more than 10% of the income in that year must be specifically approved by the board - for more on this please listen to the interview I did with Florence Devourard. http:// wikipediaweekly.org/2008/10/03/episode-63-interview-with-florence/

Let me take the concerns 1 by 1 (in the text below):


On 10/11/2008, at 7:52 PM, Brianna Laugher wrote:

==      Corporate sponsorship ==
John added this to the agenda at Peter "PM"'s request.

We discussed the ideas of corporate sponsorship and corporate
membership. Our rules currently don't allow for corporate members.

Opinions were mixed about the relative concerns and benefits of
sponsorship vs membership. Nathan suggested that corp sponsorship
would be purely for the other company's good marketing;
It would no doubt be a nice thing for their goodwill-o-meter but we are so insignificantly small that they would gain absolutely no PublicRelations benifit from it (as yet at least). If anything it could be that the shareholders, employees or government financiers ask why their money is being wasted on some uppity little group of web-volunteers.

No - it would be good for our marketing, not theirs. At least for the forseeable future.

Brianna felt that wherever there were large sums of money there would likely be a
feeling of influence, and that membership was more 'contained' than
sponsorship because of the Rules.
Fair enough - see top. But this does not mean we have to drop the idea entirely. For one, this implies that they would be giving so much money that we would start to need them for our continued existence. Corporate membership need not be expensive and therefore *financially* influential. We could also include a clause stating that a corporate member is a non-voting member so that it is not *politically* influential.

Sarah was concerned about undue
influence with corp membership. John suggested corp membership could
constitute a larger membership fee but still just one vote.
-- As discussed above --

As there is mixed opinion about this issue it is not something we are
likely to act on in any great rush.


As it happens there are several organisations that are already lined up to support WM-Au if given the option. I don't know whether it is appropriate to say whom but if you know me then you can probably make a good guess. None of them are either rolling in cash nor have any concern to takeover and 'influence' us. Rather - they are just wishing to help us (and the free culture community more generally) get on our feet. Effectively - what is good for us will be good for them.

If we reject their goodwill at this point they might not be interested when we graciously decide to accept their money (or in kind support) in the future.

I say that we don't look a gift-horse in the mouth. If some companies want to be supporters then we just make "ACME-museum" a regular member and be done with it. No special rules or procedures for their ilk. (this may not be legal under the current rules however). We can do with as much established support as we can get and we should AGF in these corporations intentions.

-Liam
[[user:witty lama]]

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