Feeds

Why would someone toss $1.35m at Wikipedia?

Jimbo Wales catches VC from Bono on Mexico City rooftop

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Non-disclosure

But these weren't the only meetings between Elevation Partners and the Wikimedia Foundation. After the Mexico City trip, Wool claims, the entire Foundation board met with Marc Bodnick, who happens to be the brother-in-law of Sheryl Sandberg, the top Google sales exec who recently took over as Number Two at Facebook.

"There was a board meeting in Rotterdam in January 2007, and Bodnick walked in," says Wool, who was present at the meeting - though he was not a board member. "Half the board didn't know who he was, but I said hello. Then everyone else signed a [non-disclosure agreement], and I had to leave."

According to Wool, Bodnick also met with the board on several other occasions, and each time there was an NDA.

In the meantime, Roger McNamee started donating. During the 2006 fiscal year, he gave about $70,000 in Google stock, and in fiscal 2007 he donated another $286,000 - also in Google stock. When McNamee made his first donation, the foundation did not have a brokerage account, and it was Wool who opened one. All of this stock was sold prior to the end of fiscal 2007.

In the months since Wool left the Foundation, McNamee has facilitated additional donations. Foundation executive director Sue Gardner told The New York Times that the Elevation partner "lined up" a $500,000 donation in December and a second $500,000 donation just last week.

When we phoned Elevation Partners and spoke to Marc Bodnick, he referred all questions to Roger McNamee and said that McNamee is on vacation. Likewise, we didn't get an answer from the Wikimedia Foundation. But in speaking with The New York Times, Jimmy Wales claimed that Elevation's involvement with the Foundation ended after a single meeting.

"It took one meeting for them to realize it was off the table," Wales said. "Certainly there can be no investment in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a non-profit and always will be." But Wales did acknowledge a personal relationship with McNamee, claiming the venture capitalist acts as "a bit of a mentor in doing fundraising". And McNamee said that his involvement with Wikipedia had nothing to do with Elevation.

"I am a Wikipedia volunteer - I help with strategy, fundraising and business development - it has nothing to do with Elevation Partners. And no one should be confused about that," McNamee claimed.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.