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Shaping the future of Wikimedia UK


This weekend, Wikimedia UK board members made strategic decisions about the future of the chapter, at a two-day long, face-to-face board meeting.

Steps to strengthen the team were first on the agenda as the board pushed the green button on recruiting full time staff. Currently, we are looking for a Chapter Manager to lead the organisation and work with the board of directors on strategy, partnerships, and the fund-raising campaign. Second on the list is an office manager. This person will deal with membership, finance and other general administrative tasks. We are using the services of a professional recruitment agency to make sure we are selecting from the widest possible field of qualified candidates. For further information on the jobs we are advertising, see the job description page on our Wiki.

With the start of our 2011 fundraising campaign creeping upon us, we took some time to discuss our initial steps for the 2011 UK annual giving campaign. Every year the Wikimedia Foundation hosts a fund-raising summit for all chapters to attend to offer advice and support on how to prepare for and drive their local campaigns. Two board members will attend the summit in Vienna later this week; Roger Bamkin and Chris Keating. Roger is the recently appointed chair of the Wikimedia UK board and is responsible for overseeing the campaign and Chris will be drawing on his experience as a professional fundraiser to help plan and progress the fundraiser later this year. If anyone else is keen to get involved, please contact Roger Bamkin on roger dot bamkin at wikimedia.org.uk.

Other board members also put forward plans for their proposals and training programmes. The GLAM Outreach taskforce has been extremely active and has a number of initiatives lined up. We will also be announcing a number of other activities over the next few weeks; keep an eye on our blog for further details!

As this was the first face-to-face meeting for the board since it was elected at the end of April, all who attended took the opportunity to revisit the chapter’s mission, vision and values. These were revised and are now tighter and more pertinent than ever. We will be revealing these shortly too. We welcome all feedback.

We’re really pleased with the progress we’ve made this weekend and are confident of the direction, strategy and initiatives for the rest of 2011, beginning of 2012. More information on these will be communicated over the coming months and we will be keeping everyone up-to-date through this blog, Twitter, and the community email list. We’re really excited about what is to come and looks forward to working with, and engaging with, Wikipedians, members, volunteers, partners and other individuals and organisations to achieve its common goal of free knowledge for all.

5 Responses to “Shaping the future of Wikimedia UK”

  1. Tomasz says:

    “Roger is the recently appointed chair of the Wikipedia UK board” –> shouldn’t it be “Wikimedia UK”, perhaps?

  2. Chris Keating says:

    Yes it should. Fixed!

  3. Oliver says:

    Could you explain why “getting charity status” is not on the list?

    Why, precisely, are you using a professional recruitment agency for the job openings? Don’t get me wrong, some jobs will need a professional, but a comms guy or a chief exec should ideally be to someone with experience and enthusiasm for the Wikimedia movement’s work, and you’re unlikely to find many of those outside the community. This is exacerbated because you’ve managed to completely cut the community out of the hiring process; the “job descriptions” page gives absolutely no way for anyone to apply.

  4. Mike Peel says:

    Getting charity status was discussed at the meeting, but we are not currently making information about our progress public.

    We haven’t started advertising the positions yet: once we will then we will definitely be encouraging the community to apply, and we will provide a clear way for them to do so. Remember that there are a number of like-minded organisations out there, and individuals that will have enthusiasm and understanding of Wikimedia that are not currently part of the active community; as such, we’ll be throwing the net wide to make sure we find the best person for the job.

  5. Martin Poulter says:

    Oliver, maybe there’s a misunderstanding: the job descriptions are not job adverts. Advertising and recruiting are separate processes from forming the descriptions. Hence the presence of the job descriptions on the wiki is an example of involving the community in something centrally important, not of locking them out.

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