Wikipedia:Wikimedia Foundation

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The Wikimedia Foundation or WMF (a.k.a. the Foundation)—based in San Francisco—is the organization that owns the domain en.wikipedia.org.[1] It is an organization that raises money, distributes grants, develops software, deploys software, controls the servers, and does outreach to support Wikimedia projects, including the English Wikipedia. The WMF does not edit Wikipedia content. The community handles content, because if the WMF did take responsibility for content, it would introduce liability issues per Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Occasional office actions do occur, however.

The organization grew quickly. In 2006, there were five employees and about $2.7 million in revenue. As of 2012, there were approximately 140 employees and a revenue of about $38 million (mostly from donations). As of 2014, there are approximately 210 employees.[2] Many current employees had their start as respected Wikipedia volunteers.

Software and tech info[edit]

The WMF and volunteers develop software used on the English Wikipedia (and other Wikimedia projects). Even you can become a MediaWiki hacker. See mw:Wikimedia engineering for some of the current priorities and m:Tech/News for news. The WMF is also hiring, see wmf:Work with us. If you have a specific idea about how to develop a new software feature for the English Wikipedia, it could help to find a wiki-colleague or make a friend who has expereience. You might find people by posting your ideas at WP:VPI, WP:VPP, WP:VPT, or looking for tech-savvy Wikipedians in Category:Wikipedia bot owners. You might also consider learning how to code yourself or seeing if an Individual Engagement Grant (IEG) could suit you (however IEG's are not just about tech stuff). Getting official development time from the WMF for new ideas is unfortunately difficult because there are many old and good ideas in the works, bugs already logged, and feature requests to existing software already requested.[3]

The grey toolbar on the right of the screen is the curation toolbar.

Recent rollouts and planned new features[edit]

Divisions with a Wikipedia presence[edit]

Organization, programs, and contact[edit]

For the most recent minutes of the Board of Trustees, see wmf:Resolutions. For a list of the board's user accounts, see m:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. The board has its own noticeboard for communicating about issues within their scope. Three trustees were elected as community representatives until July 2015: Sj, Phoebe, and Raystorm. See the m:Wikimedia Foundation elections 2013/Results for results of the recent Wikimedia elections. Jimbo Wales has the founder's seat.

User:LilaTretikov (Lila Tretikov) is the executive director (ED), and she started in June 2014. The WMF has an Advisory Board. See strategy:Task force/Strategy/Plan overview for old community discussion on strategy.

If you have a general question for the WMF that is more general than just English Wikipedia, then that can go to answers@wikimedia.org (and here are some previous answers). If you have an idea/question about how the WMF supports or could perhaps more effectively support English Wikipedia, feel free to contact Mdennis (WMF) (Maggie Dennis) at her talk page. You can also be a friendly talk page stalker there or if you'd rather email her, do so at liaison@wikimedia.org. There are other ways to contact the WMF or the WMF-affiliated chapters (which are mostly national in scope).

Reception[edit]

Members of the Wikipedia community vary in their reactions to WMF initiatives. Many at WP:VisualEditor/Default State RFC criticized the buggy release of the WP:VisualEditor (VE). The community disabled some VE features, in line with consensus, but against WMF wishes.[5] WP:Education Working Group/RfC shows both community support and community skepticism of the value of the WP:Education program. The recent notification features received generally positive feedback. Sometimes, WMF staff provide direct and organized support to volunteer Wikipedians engaged in advancing the Wikimedia mission – more perhaps than the volunteer community might be able to muster. For example, the WMF has helped users that faced legal problems that occurred because of their editing of Wikimedia projects.[6]

ACTRIAL was important because it showed this.

Money[edit]

In 2013, Sue Gardner criticized the existing structure of grantmaking for being too vulnerable to corruption.[7] There are ways to participate in how the money that is donated to the WMF is managed. There is a m:Grant Advisory Committee you can participate in. It is composed of volunteers. There is also a m:Funds Dissemination Committee with elected representatives.

Staff[edit]

There are about 200 staff members, including employees and individual independent contractors. Staff are generally paid either an hourly wage or a monthly salary. Full-time employees in the US receive employee benefits, including fully paid health insurance. There are no bonuses, no commissions, no profit-sharing, and no stock options or any other types of equity-based compensation.

The compensation for all Board members (which is US $0.00), all officers, all directors, key employees and other highly compensated staff is publicly available through the Form 990 on Guidestar.org. As of the fiscal year ending in June 2012, the highest-paid employee was Sue Gardner, who had a base salary of US $200,000 per year and also received the equivalent of $19,980 in other forms of compensation (mostly in retirement savings and health insurance premiums).

The Wikimedia Foundation usually has some job openings and seeks people who are motivated by the mission.

Legal[edit]

In general, the Foundation does not provide legal support or legal advice to volunteers. But see here for more details because it does maintain a m:Legal and Community Advocacy/Legal Fees Assistance Program for volunteers under certain circumstances.

See also[edit]

References[edit]