Feeds

Why would someone toss $1.35m at Wikipedia?

Jimbo Wales catches VC from Bono on Mexico City rooftop

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?