On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:38 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dal...@gmail.com>wrote:

> Yes, I think WMF has handled it all in the past, but I think it might
> be easier if we do it. The WMF won't get the same charitable benefits
> that we do.

Understood and I defer to the judgment of others on whether it would be
easier for WmUK (through a subsidiary) or WMF to handle it. I would just
advise to actually take this up with the WMF (Cary Bass and Mike Godwin)
before relying on this for strategic planning - it might be that the WMF
objects to *not* being the formal organiser. I'm not saying they will, I
just think that this should be confirmed with them before you act according
to a "We will be Wikimania 2010 organisers" scenario (all of course
contingent upon whether Oxford actually succeeds in the bid, but this should
be known rather soon and I actually do not have many doubts ;-)

> Opening a trading subsidiary may become necessary at some
> point even if we don't need it for Wikimania - for example, if we sell
> more than £5000 worth (that's income, not profit) of chapter
> merchandise in a year (that's a lot of merchandise, I know, I think
> big!) we would be taxed if it didn't go through a subsidiary.

Hm. Well, think big, yes, but I doubt whether Wikimedia France and Wikimedia
Germany have ever exceeded this sum in a year, and they're both more
established chapters with a larger country to serve. But then, I'm all for
optimism...just do make sure to check whether the expenses (time and money)
for setting up and registering a new subsidiary will not actually exceed the
profit (or even the income) made in the end. It would be a pity if we paid
twice as many registration fees than we get from selling merchandise!

> We also
> have plans for annual UK conferences (combined with our AGMs) - if
> those get big enough to involve significant business risk, they would
> need to go through a subsidiary as well.

But is this really common practice? I can again only speak for Switzerland
here, but I'm familiar with the practices of a few largish NGOs (Amnesty
International, WWF etc.) and they never open a subsidiary for their annual
conferences or indeed any other large event. They just take the risk qua

Do you know how this is usually handled in the UK? Do other big UK NGOs
often create subsidiaries for such and other purposes?


Michael Bimmler
Wikimedia UK mailing list
WMUK: http://uk.wikimedia.org

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