Shedding light on board of trustee elections

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As most of the readers of this blog are aware the Wikimedia foundation board of trustees  “manages the foundation and supervises disposition and solicitation of donation.” The community elects three members to the board of trustees. The rest of the seats on the board are shared between community members appointed by chapters, community founder and trustees with specific expertise appointed by the board.  If you are interested in finding out more about the structure of the board of trustees, please check out this diagram here. 
The elections to the board of trustees have been held annually since 2004. You can find out more details about the elections here.
But according to the Editor Survey, April 2011, only a small minority of editors has voted in the board elections. Thirteen percent of editors in the survey pointed out that they had voted in WMF board of trustee elections.  Among those who had not voted in the election, the number one reason for not voting in the election was they (45%) had never heard of the elections.  Thirty-four percent said that they were not interested in participating in board elections. We also asked the editors who stated that they had never heard of the elections if they would vote in the future since they now know about the board of trustee elections A majority (54%) of them said that they would be interested in voting in the future. In addition, 9% of editors pointed out that they had run or would like to run in the board of trustee elections, and the rest said they were not interested (84%) or were not eligible to run for elections (8%).

Reasons for not voting in board elections
Reasons for not voting in board elections

We would like to take this opportunity to call upon all our community members to have their voice heard and participate in large numbers in the next board of trustee elections. The data also shows that there is a need to raise awareness about the board elections. We welcome your ideas about how we can do this. Please share your ideas through comments to this blog post.
Mani Pande, Head of Global Development Research
(This is the eighth in series of blog posts where we will share insights from the April 2011 Editors Survey. Later in August we will be providing raw data from the survey and a final report to the community. )

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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This is interesting, and a little depressing (45%!) However, it would be interesting to do a followup on this question now (post-election), since in April when the survey was done we hadn’t yet advertised this most current election. If someone had joined in the previous two years (after the 2009 election) they may have never seen something about it…