History of WMDC finance and accounting roles

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Workspace: Audit

These historical lists of Wikimedia DC finance and accounting roles include a timeline of chapter treasurers, audit committees, fiscal policies, and tax status.

Defining chapter events

  • Wikimedia DC was incorporated in the District of Columbia as the Wiki Society of Washington, DC Inc. on May 7, 2011, and was recognized by the WMF as a chapter on September 12, 2011. The chapter's stated aims are the advancement of general knowledge, the collection and development of educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and the dissemination of it effectively and globally.

Wikimedia DC is uniquely situated to support the Wikimedia movement. Being located in the capital region of the United States, the chapter engages in free content promotion, outreach, and partnership efforts with a variety of cultural institutions and government agencies, many of which either have large amounts of public domain content already available or are willing to release content under a free license.

The chapter's official bylaws are published on the Wikimedia DC website. Another copy is posted on Meta. The bylaws were approved by a resolution of the Chapters Committee on August 22, 2011. Source: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_District_of_Columbia (June 4, 2016)

  • The WMF Board of Trustees provisionally recognized the Wikimedia DC chapter on 12 Sept 2011. Chapters are supposed to agree to a Chapters Agreement, something like this one. I (Peter) do not know what agreement WMDC and WMF did agree to exactly, or when. The audit committee does not have a specific responsibility to verify that the chapter is meeting its agreements with respect to the WMF, nor to report to the WMF on any matter ; the audit committee's one standard report is to be public.


  • James was treasurer at launch of Wiki DC (2010) until at least the board meeting of Feb 9, 2013[1][2]
  • Peter was treasurer starting as of the Feb 2013 meeting or perhaps just before the March 2013 one[2], until June 21, 2015 board meeting[3]
  • Trisha Melikian was treasurer starting June 21, 2015[3] until Dec 6, 2015.[4] She's in touch.
  • Walter became treasurer at the Dec 6 2015 board meeting[4] and is treasurer now.

Audit committee history

Main source: Committees page history[5]

  • "The Audit Committee is responsible for conducting an annual review of the financial records of Wikimedia DC. The committee was established by Article VIII, Section 2 of the Bylaws as adopted on May 7, 2011."[6]
  • Sept 2011: First Audit committee member was chair Matthew Bisanz, starting 13 Sept 2011[7]
  • July 2012: the audit committee is a standing committee, with three members: Matthew Bisanz [Chair]; Kirill Lokshin; Tiffany L. Smith[8]
  • March 2013: membership is made up of two people: Kirill Lokshin [Chair]; Kathryn Tinker[9]
  • Sept 2013: Three members: Kirill Lokshin [Chair]; Nicholas Bashour; Kathryn Tinker[10]
  • Nov 2013: Members are now: Kirill Lokshin [Chair]; Nicholas Bashour; Emily Temple-Wood[11]
  • Aug 2014: Description expands to say: "The Audit Committee conducts the annual review of Wikimedia DC's financial records and investigates reports of illegal activity and unethical practices within the organization."[12]
  • Dec 2014: Members: Kirill Lokshin [Chair]; Trisha Melikian; Emily Temple-Wood[13]
  • June 2015: Members: Kirill Lokshin [Chair]; Peter Meyer; Emily Temple-Wood[14]
  • Dec 2015: 3 members: Peter Meyer (Chair); Robert Fernandez; Emily Temple-Wood[15]
  • Feb 2016: 4 members now: Peter Meyer (Chair); Robert Fernandez; Walter Gómez Segura; Emily Temple-Wood[16]
  • April 2016: 5 members now: Peter Meyer (Chair); Robert Fernandez; John Sadowski; Walter Gómez Segura; Emily Temple-Wood[17]
  • Oct 1 2016: 4 members. Walter exits the committee.[18]
  • Dec 2 2018: Finished audit report for fiscal 2015. Two members rotate off and one joins. Now three members.

Other financial history events

  • Our bookkeeping was in GNUcash software from 2010 or 2011 through Sept 30 2013. Since then, it's in QuickBooks online which usually gets transaction info automatically from the bank.
  • Sept 2013: Our chapter's articles of incorporation have an updated statement of specific purposes, phrased to match IRS requirements for tax-exempt charities:
  • Dec 2013: new Fiscal control policy, mainly describing what treasurer should do.
  • By May 2014, Kirill had filled in IRS Form 1023 for IRS, Application for 501(c)(3) recognition. Organizations file this form to apply for recognition of exemption from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3).
  • We became a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization on Dec 22, 2014 according to an IRS letter to us.
  • At some stage our chapter made a "501(h) election" so that the limits on our lobbying for legislation are defined in terms of actual dollars spent. So long as everyone involved is a volunteer, there's basically no restriction on how much lobbying we can do. As far as our IRS tax status is concerned, public communications only constitutes "grassroots lobbying" if it includes one of four specific calls to action (see e.g. http://www.njnonprofits.org/NPsCanLobby.html). A communication that opposes a bill but doesn't include one of those calls to action is considered advocacy rather than lobbying, and isn't subject to the limits on the latter.