Wikimedia foundation – meta

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is a non-profit organization registered in the USA, hosting websites known as the “ Wikimedia projects”, such as Wikipedia and Wikinews, as well as this website, Meta-Wiki. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees. Its H.Q. is located in San Francisco, USA. Official information about the Foundation may be found at the Foundation website: wikimediafoundation.org.

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees manages the foundation and supervises the disposition and solicitation of donations. The Board is the ultimate corporate authority for the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (article IV, sec. 1 of the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws). The current membership list and contact information can be found at Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees


In acknowledgement of the diversity of groups contributing to our movement, the Board of Trustees approves recognition of the following models of affiliation with the Wikimedia movement. Affiliates may change from one affiliation status to another, and should prioritize cooperation with one another without hierarchy. If you wish to start an affiliate or are looking for more information about affiliation, you may want to contact the Affiliations Committee.

Movement partners are like-minded organizations that actively support the Wikimedia movement’s work. They are listed publicly and granted limited use of the marks for publicity indicating their support of and collaboration with Wikimedia. Movement partners are not yet being recognized by Wikimedia. More information on future recognition may be obtained from the Affiliations Committee.

National or sub-national chapters are incorporated independent non-profits representing the Wikimedia movement and supporting movement work globally, focused within a geography. Chapters or national/sub-national organizations use a name clearly linking them to Wikimedia and are granted use of Wikimedia trademarks for their work, publicity, and fundraising.

Thematic organizations are incorporated independent non-profits representing the Wikimedia movement and supporting work focused on a specific theme, topic, subject or issue within or across countries and regions. Thematic or focused organizations use a name clearly linking them to Wikimedia and are granted use of Wikimedia trademarks for their work, publicity and fundraising.

I think we should go further still and shoot for the ultimate goal of creating “ Wikimedia”. That’s media with an “m”. It would use Wiki-style rules to enable public participation in the creation and editing of all kinds of media: encyclopedias and other reference works, current news, books, fiction, music, video etc. Like current broadcast media, it would have differentiated “channels” and “programs”, each with self-selecting audiences. Unlike current media, however, the audience would also be actively involved in creating its own programming, instead of merely passively watching it.

On June 20, 2003, Jimmy Wales – who had been operating Wikipedia under the aegis of his company Bomis – announced the creation of the Wikimedia Foundation which was to serve as the parent, non-profit, organization of Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, and other freely licensed wiki projects subsequently added to the “Wikimedia family”. See also the Wikipedia article on Wikimedia: w:Wikimedia Foundation.

The first Board of Trustees comprised of Jimmy Wales as Chair, Michael Davis and Tim Shell. In June 2004, the next Board of Trustees was composed of 5 people, Jimmy Wales (Chair), Florence Devouard (Vice Chair), Michael Davis (Treasurer), Tim Shell and Angela Beesley. In 2006, Tim and Angela left the Board, whilst Erik Möller, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Kat Walsh and Oscar van Dillen joined it. In October, Florence Devouard became the Chair of the Board, in replacement of Jimmy Wales, who maintained the role as Chairman Emeritus. [1] The first employees joined the organization in 2005, Danny Wool and Brion Vibber. In 2008, the Board was restructured amongst conflicts with the community, and Jimmy Wales was granted the Founder’s seat additionally to the Chairman Emeritus.

The organization took a new turn in summer 2007, when Sue Gardner was hired to serve as interim ED. At that point, the staff consisted of about 10 people, most in the head office in St. Petersburg, Florida and others in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. Most of the committees set up in January 2006 are at this point inactive and abandoned.