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Submissions/Why Does Wikimedia Need Money When We Have Volunteers?

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission

Why Does Wikimedia Need Money When We Have Volunteers?

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Delphine Ménard

E-mail address

delphine PUNTO menard AT wikimedia PUNTO de



Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Wikimedia Deutschland

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Ever since Wikimedia (the organisations) exists and projects have been planned (within or without the organisations) that require more than just a computer and an edit button, the question has been asked of whether events, meetups, partnerships, in short, "offline" Wikimedia work should be done by paid people or sheer volunteers. With more chapters getting professional, with more and more Wikimedians earning a living with what they did or what they do for Wikimedia, the question has become even more present today than it was 5 years ago. As former treasurer of Wikimedia France, current treasurer of Wikimedia Deutschland, member of the Community Project Budget Jury for Wikimedia Deutschland (which financially supports initiatives directly related to the Wikimedia Projects) and simply long time observer of Wikimedia's evolution in offline work, I will try and present how difficult it is for Wikimedians to find a balance between working for the mission for free and being paid for it. Should all offline events be organized by volunteers? What is the perennity of fellowships? Will paid staff take the work off of volunteers's hands? How does one conciliate demanding Wikimedia work with a productive worklife? Should all offline projects be run by volunteers only? Many questions to which I probably won't give an answer but which I'd like to illustrate, to show how being paid to do Wikimedia work is not evil, no more than an all volunteer organized event is bound to fail.

Track (Wikis and the Public Sector; GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums); WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education; Technology and Infrastructure)

Wikiculture and community

Length of presentation/talk (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

Special request as to time of presentations (for example - can not present on Saturday)

Interested attendees

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  1. CT Cooper · talk 21:31, 2 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Haxpett (talk) 23:53, 10 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 15:04, 12 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Edhral (talk) 22:01, 17 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Léna (talk) 00:00, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Beat Estermann (talk) 00:24, 20 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Solstag (talk) 04:12, 21 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. --Gereon K. (talk) 20:27, 16 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Kudpung (talk) 15:24, 30 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Your name here!