Grants:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia Foundation/Proposal form

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Wikimedia Foundation received a funds allocation in the amount of 4,459,000 in 2012-2013 Round 1. This funds allocation was recommended by the Funds Dissemination Committee on 15 November 2012 and approved by the WMF Board of Trustees on 1 December 2012.

This proposal form for Wikimedia Foundation's proposal to the FDC for 2012-2013 Round 1 may be viewed in tab view or standard view. To discuss this aspect of the proposal to the FDC, please visit the discussion page.

For some guidelines, please see this example proposal form.

All eligible entities will need to complete this form to request funds from the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC). The completed document must be published in English on Meta by the deadline for each round (23:59 UTC 1 October for Round 1, and 23:59 UTC 1 March for Round 2).

The purpose of this document is to provide the FDC with an overview of your annual plan, the alignment of the plan to the Wikimedia movement’s strategic goals, and the potential impact and effectiveness of the plan. This proposal should complement any annual planning documents you may have: please complete all fields as mandatory and add links to supporting documents where relevant.

Each section of the proposal provides guidance on the amount of detail expected in response to each question or field. If you have additional questions about the form, please contact the FDC support team.

A few terms used in the form:

Basic information

Table 1.

Legal name of affiliated entity Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Contact name Sue Gardner and Lisa Seitz Gruwell
Contact position in entity Executive Director / Development Director
Contact username User: Sue Gardner
Contact email /
Entity fiscal year (mm/dd–mm/dd) 07/01-06/30
Timeframe of funds currently requested (mm/dd/yy–mm/dd/yy) 07/01/12-06/30/13 (For expenses encumbered during FY 2012-13)
Date posted mm/dd/yy1 09/28/12
Round submitted (1 or 2) 1
Currency requested2 USD
Exchange rate used (currency requested to $US) and date accessed (mm/dd/yy)3 N/A

Table 2.

In currency requested In $US
Total annual expenses of entity $42,070,000 $42,070,000
Amount proposed to the FDC for the coming year's annual plan $4,459,000 $4,459,000
Amount to be raised from non-FDC sources $37,611,000 $37,611,000
If applicable, amount of FDC funds allocated to entity last year N/A N/A

1The proposal is assumed to be final as of the deadline for each round (23:59 UTC, October 1 for Round 1, and 23:59 UTC March 1 for Round 2). After the deadline, the proposal must not be further modified; any further commentary should be included on the talk page.

2Currency requested is defined as the currency in which you wish to receive funds (e.g., EUR, GBP, INR).

3This exchange rate should be used throughout the form.

Background, history, and mission

This section provides the FDC an overview of your entity's background and history. Please respond to each question below with 1-2 sentences to a maximum of a paragraph.

  • When was your entity established?
The Wikimedia Foundation was established on 6/20/03.
  • What is the mission of your entity, and how does it support the goals of the Wikimedia movement?
The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors that serve this mission. As a steward of Wikipedia and our other knowledge sites, the Foundation will make and keep useful information from our projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity. See more information about our mission and vision here:
  • What is its current leadership structure (e.g., executive staff structure, board / governance structure)?
If you have an organogram or organizational chart for your organization, please provide a link.
Sue Gardner, Executive Director, manages the Wikimedia Foundation. She is supported by a team of C-level executives, who lead the foundation’s different departments. A Board of 10 trustees -- headed by a chair, vice chair, treasurer, and secretary -- provides oversight for the foundation. Of these trustees, the Wikimedia community directly elects three; Wikimedia chapters select two seats; one Board-appointed "community founder" seat is reserved for Jimmy Wales; and there are four Board-appointed "specific expertise" seats. See an organizational chart for the Wikimedia Foundation here:
  • How many staff are employed by your entity?
  • Approximately how many volunteers participate actively in your entity?
90,000. In July of 2012, 80,465 volunteer contributors made five or more edits. Called “active Wikimedians,” these contributors are invaluable to the Wikimedia Foundation’s projects, and have been absolutely essential to Wikipedia since the encyclopedia’s beginnings in January of 2001.
  • How many members does your entity have?
We don’t have members, but more than 1 million people donated money to the WIkimedia Foundation in the last fiscal year. In July of 2012, 451.8 million people read Wikipedia and its sister sites.

Reflection on past activities and innovations

This section provides the FDC with information about your entity's past activities and strategies. Please answer the questions below with your reflections on the past fiscal year. Responses to each question should be one or two paragraphs.

  • How does your entity define and measure "success"?
Our core work is to serve as a global steward for Wikipedia and its sister sites. We purchase, manage, and maintain the servers that keep the 5th largest website in the world running efficiently. Our technology team also maintains and improves the software that makes Wikipedia function. The Wikimedia Foundation defines success by key metrics that measure our ranks of volunteer contributors, readership satisfaction, and the overall reach of our Wikipedia. As articulated in the five-year Strategic Plan that we released in 2011 (, our five strategic targets are: 1) Increase the total number of people served each month to 1 billion; 2) Increase the number of Wikipedia articles to 50 million; 3) Increase by 25 percent the material reviewed to be of high or very high quality; 4) Increase to 200,000 the number of total editors per month who make five or more edits; 5) Support healthy diversity by doubling the percentage of female editors to 25 percent and by increasing the percentage of Global South editors to 37 percent. For the 2011-2012 fiscal year (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012), we created seven specific targets ( 1) Increase the number of active editors from just under 90,000 to March 2011 to 95,000; 2) Increase the number of Global South editors from approximately 15,700 in March 2011 to 19,000; 3) Increase the number of female editors from approximately 9,000 in spring 2011 to 11,700; 4) Increase pageviews to mobile sites from 726 million in March 2011 to 2 billion; 5) Develop a Visual Editor and deploy it on a wiki; 6) Develop sandbox for research, prototyping, and tools development, with initial hardware build-out and first project access by December 2011, and full access for all qualifying individuals/projects by June 2012; and 7) Increase read uptime from 99.8% in 2010-11 to 99.85%. Our success is inextricably linked to maintaining the technology behind our knowledge sites. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Wikimedia Foundation spent approximately 42 percent of our budget on site maintenance and software and engineering improvements. This included paying for servers and core site operations; paying for the engineering behind our Visual Editor; paying for mobile engineering; paying for support and upgrades of MediaWiki, the software that our sites rely on; paying for Quality Assurance and Code Integration; paying for Code Review & Tech Community Building; and paying for tech administration.
  • Please give at least three examples of successful activities that your entity has completed. If available, provide links to information about these activities.
1. Mobile Wikipedia: With the expertise of our Engineering and Product Development staff, the Wikimedia Foundation has transformed Wikipedia’s mobile platform, quadrupling the number of readers who use it, and vastly improving the experience it provides Wikipedia’s readers. In September 2011, we launched our new mobile gateway, which was the first major upgrade of Wikipedia's mobile portal in the encyclopedia’s history. In August 2012, mobile page views were 2.2 billion, up 400% from the August 2010 total of 401 million. More than 10 percent of our Wikipedia readership now comes through our mobile site. In January 2012, we established the first of our "Wikipedia Zero" partnerships with mobile operators, this one with Orange, which is giving 70 million people in 20 developing countries access to Wikipedia without data charges. We signed a second Wikipedia Zero partnership in February 2012, with Telenor, which covers 135 million people, primarily in developing countries. Also in January 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation released our free Android app, and within two months, it was downloaded 2.25 million times and used to view 23 million pages per month. In April 2012, we introduced a new version of the free Wikipedia app for iOS. And in June of 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation released a new design of our mobile site -- a beta version that improved the site’s look and feel. We continue to maintain the mobile site’s technological infrastructure. All these measures have given Mobile Wikipedia a new formidability and reliability that parallels the mobile platform’s increased usage.
2. Wikimedia Commons: The Wikimedia Foundation has markedly improved the functionality of Wikimedia Commons, which is the Wikimedia Foundation’s online repository of media files -- photographs, video, and audio -- that are free to use, just like Wikipedia articles. Originated in 2004, Wikimedia Commons now has 14.7 million media files, up from 964,000 in January of 2007. The Wikimedia Foundation pays for servers and bandwidth costs that accommodate Commons’ greater capacity and usage, and pays to improve Commons’ site performance -- just as we support Wikipedia by providing the necessary technology, infrastructure, and other required backing. The main requirement for files uploaded to Commons is that they be potentially useful on any of the Wikimedia projects. Each year, people upload tens of thousands of photos to Commons through the Wiki Loves Monuments contest, which has evolved into the world’s largest photo competition. For this year’s contest, the Wikimedia Foundation developed a free mobile application for Android smartphones that displays nearby historic sites automatically, allows users to upload directly through their Wikimedia accounts, and is available in multiple languages. In the contest, 15,019 photographers from 36 countries uploaded 361,008 photos (all record numbers) as of September 30. In last year’s contest, 5,000 photographers from 18 European countries uploaded more than 168,000 photos.
3. Wikipedia Education Program: Begun in 2010, the program invites university classes to contribute to Wikipedia in a formal academic setting. Supervised by their professors and by volunteer Wikipedia editors that are trained by the Wikimedia Foundation, undergraduate and graduate students pick a topic of interest, then research and write Wikipedia articles that reach our worldwide readership. The program leads to new Wikipedia articles while teaching students vital skills in researching, writing and media literacy. In the past two years, 81 universities and 3,537 students have participated. The second year of the Wikipedia Education Program saw a doubling of student output: Students added 16 million more characters of text – or 13,026 more printed pages. Over two years, students have added a total of 18,956 printed pages, which is the equivalent of 50 library books.
  • What are the plans/strategies that did not work for your entity in the past? What did your entity learn from that experience / those experiences?
First iteration of Wikipedia Education Program in India: In 2011, after the successful first year of the Wikipedia Education Program, we expanded it to three universities in Pune, India. Between February and November 2011, the Pune pilot involved 1,014 students spanning 24 courses. The Wikimedia Foundation shut down the program on November 3, 2011, after close to half of participating students posted material that violated copyright restrictions. The Wikimedia Foundation intervened throughout the program to stem the flow of copyright violations, then commissioned a veteran analyst to independently investigate the problems in Pune, and among her findings: In the U.S. program, professors had played a hands-on role in the assignment, tracking student contributions, providing research advice and guidance, interacting with students on talk pages, and evaluating and grading student work; in the Pune Pilot Project, only a handful of professors engaged to this degree, and the classes’ volunteer editors took on work that was intended for professors. With lessons learned from the Pune Pilot, in Spring 2012 we started pilot projects in Egypt and Brazil that were markedly more successful. These two pilots were much smaller in size -- Egypt, for example, had just seven classes at two universities -- and the Wikimedia Foundation worked much more closely with professors before the pilots began. Out of the seven classes at Cairo University and Ain Shams University, 54 students created user accounts through the pilot, and those students edited 246 Arabic Wikipedia articles. All told, they added 1.1 million characters of content to the article namespace on Arabic Wikipedia, which translates to about 372 printed pages of content. The lessons learned from India resulted in better pilots in Egypt and Brazil, and we are returning to India in fall 2012, better prepared for our renewed project there.
  • What else has your entity learned or innovated upon that could benefit the broader Wikimedia movement?
From the Wikimedia Foundation’s beginnings in 2003, we have continued to learn and to innovate, resulting in a wide range of changes that have benefitted the wider Wikimedia movement. In June 2012, for example, the Foundation introduced a new prototype Visual Editor that will soon eliminate the need for contributors to learn wiki “markup” -- the coding that creates headings, aligns words on a page, italicizes words, adds hyperlinks, and otherwise formats the articles. The Visual Editor formats articles through tabs on a toolbar that, like those on Google Docs, give readers an easy-to-use visual system of editing. Under this system, the hard coding stays on the “back end” of the software, out of contributors’ views. We plan to make the Visual Editor the default editing tool on most Wikimedia projects by June of 2013. Because the intricate mark-up coding has become a barrier to new editors, we expect the Visual Editor to increase the number of volunteer editors, which will be a major benefit to the broader Wikimedia movement. Two other examples of innovations from the past year: In July, WMF engineers began a wider deployment of Article Feedback version 5 on the English Wikipedia -- a fifth iteration that engages readers to make suggestions about articles they are reading, and invites editors to improve these articles based on this feedback; and in January and February, we announced partnerships with two major mobile carriers -- Orange and Telenor -- that will bring Wikipedia for free, with no data charges, to 205 million mobile users, mainly in developing countries of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. These “Wikipedia Zero” partnerships are the first of many such partnerships that will bring Wikipedia to people who’ve historically been on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Where available, please link to the following to provide supplemental information to the FDC:

  • Link to previous completed fiscal year annual plan
  • Link to previous completed fiscal year annual report
  • Link to previous completed fiscal year grant report (if your entity has received funds from the FDC)

Year-to-date progress

This section provides the FDC information about how your entity is progressing against the current fiscal year's planned budget (revenues and costs).

Please provide the relevant information below. "Year to date" refers to the period between the start of your entity's current fiscal year and the date of submission of the proposal(+). If it is helpful to link to your entity's current fiscal year plan and budget, please do so.

Table 3.

Current fiscal year planned budget Year-to-date actuals+ Variance
In currency requested In $US In currency requested In $US %
Revenues (from all sources) $46 million $46 million $3,963,000‡ $3,963,000‡ 8.6%
Spending $42 million $42 million $7,532,000 $7,532,000 17.9%

+ Actual year-to-date financials should be provided as close to the proposal submission date as possible; best approximations are sufficient.

Table 3. details: ‡ Seventy-five percent of our fiscal-year revenue comes in during our fall fundraising campaign, which has yet to begin this year.

Based on the variance percentages above, please describe how your entity is progressing against revenue and spending targets. If you expect your entity to be significantly under or over target on either revenue or spending, please provide a detailed explanation.

Our organization is well on track to meet annual revenue targets, and has -- every year -- exceeded our targets. Each year, the Wikimedia Foundation raises approximately 75 percent of our money through a fall online fundraising campaign where, in the most recent campaign, more than 1 million readers contributed from every country in the world. The Wikimedia Foundation raises the remaining 25 percent of our money from foundation grants and other large donations.

Key initiatives and objectives of the upcoming year annual plan

The table is intended to provide an overview of your entity's upcoming year annual plan and its alignment with the movement's strategic goals; please provide short phrases or 1-3 bullet points for each initiative in the table below. Feel free to add more details below the table (1-2 paragraphs per initiative). You can also link to any other documents that you think might be helpful as context.

If you feel you have an initiative that fulfills a strategic goal that is not immediately identified with a Wikimedia strategic goal ('readership' rather than 'editorship', for instance), please add that in the table and offer us your rationale.

Please link to your entity's strategic plan if you have one.

Strategic plan link:

Table 4.

Key initiatives What are the objectives of this initiative (include metrics)? Which Wikimedia strategic goal(s) does this initiative address? What key activities / milestones are associated with this initiative? How will your entity accomplish this initiative? How will your entity measure and track success of this initiative?
Editor Engagement (E3) • With devoted staff from the Wikimedia Foundation, do quick turnaround experimentation and implementation of results-driven features designed -- this fiscal year -- to attract and retain new Wikipedia editors • Addresses the foundation’s top goal of boosting the number of volunteer editors • By June 2013, conduct a minimum of 15 product and community experiments designed to directly increase new editor engagement and retention.

• Support editor engagement work with infrastructure and analytic support necessary to have a results-driven approach to feature development.

• Immediately productize the most successful experiments.

• The E3 team will build infrastructure allowing WMF engineering to track editor-engagement metrics that are more responsive to changes in software and that are known to impact the current editor engagement benchmark.

• The E3 team will build infrastructure allowing for quick A-B testing and experimentation necessary for results-driven decision making.

• The E3 team will study editor habits and perform tests and experiments that can be easily productized. These tests are designed to optimize metrics, and are designed to responsively track editor engagement.

• The E3 team will productize the most successful of those experiments.

• We’re monitoring the progress of each experiment, and publishing the results of the team’s testing on-wiki

• We will also provide public access to secondary engagement metrics that we are generating, including edit counts.

Global Education Program • Teach students important media, research and writing skills

• Increase content on Wikipedia in the students’ native language

• Increase the number of Wikipedia editors in countries where the program is operational

• Addresses the goal of boosting the number of editors in developing countries

• Addresses the goal of increasing the number of female editors

• Addresses the goal of increasing quality content on Wikipedia

• Transition the pilot programs in India, Brazil and Egypt into full-fledged programs by the end of the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

• In fall 2012, we plan to have 42 classes total.

• In spring 2013, we plan to increase the total to 85 classes.

• By spring of 2013, streamline the way participants learn about each others’ work, through more intricate online tables that document each class’s additions; through regular monthly online meetings that bring together people for live discussions; and through international conferences that bring together people for face-to-face meetings.

• By continuing to establish a Global Education presence in countries outside of North America, like Egypt, Brazil and India

• By continuing to successfully operate the Global Education Program in North America

• We’re monitoring the number of articles that students write and edit, and the number of students who participate in the initiative
Catalyst Projects • Grow editorship in three geographic areas -- India, Brazil and the Arabic-speaking Middle East and North Africa -- that by 2015 will help boost Wikipedia readership to 1 billion and the number of Wikipedia editors to 200,000

• Increase readership of Wikipedia in these countries, especially readership on mobile devices

• Create program models that can be utilized effectively across the global Wikimedia movement

• Addresses the goal of boosting the number of editors in developing countries

• Addresses the goal of increasing the number of female editors

• Addresses the goal of boosting readership in developing countries

• By January 2013, build out a strong regional team of consultants to help coordinate program work in the Arab region.

• By June 2013, have active community groups that meet at least quarterly in seven Arab countries and outreach programs ongoing with partner organizations in three Arab countries.

• By June 2013, contribute to the growth of Indian EN:WP active editors from 1,500 to 1,750

• Support five Indic language projects to expand their communities at least 50% by June 2013, and to add at least 200 new editors on Indic language projects by June 2013.

• By June of 2013 on Portuguese Wikipedia, run up to three experiments and one campaign with the community, working on improvement of policies.

• By June of 2013, host and support outreach events around Brazil, creating community around the country to conduct these events and materials for outreach.

• By finalizing the core teams for the catalyst projects in Brazil, India and the Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East/North Africa

• Through continued cooperation with the volunteer communities within the catalyst regions

• We’re monitoring the number of participants in our catalyst projects in Brazil, India and the Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East/North Africa

• We’re monitoring the number of active editors and new editors in the Arabic, Portuguese, and Indic Wikipedias

• We’re monitoring how much improved content there is on the Arabic, Portuguese, and Indic Wikipedias, as well as Wikiproject India articles on English Wikipedia

• We’re monitoring the number of new readers we get in the wake of our catalyst efforts

Grants & Fellowships • Grants: We give funds to mission-aligned innovation-focused programs and activities. Grants are open to chapters officially recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation and other nonprofit groups, and to individuals whose work aligns with the Wikimedia mission and strategy.

• Fellowships: For periods that range from eight weeks to a year, we support members of the Wikimedia movement (community members, researchers, etc.) to pilot, experiment, research, or build something that forwards the movement in mission-critical areas. Fellowship projects help scale and increase sustainability of the work of volunteers in the Wikimedia movement.

• Addresses the goal of increasing more awareness of Wikipedia in developing countries.

• Addresses the goal of boosting the number of editors across Wikipedia.

• Addresses the goal of increasing the level of civility among Wikipedians, and the level of editor satisfaction

• Addresses the goals of encouraging innovation, and improving quality of Wikipedia articles

• Proactive grantmaking: With FDC funding available to the more established groups, the grants program will become more focused on younger/smaller groups, and will actively seek out and cultivate grantees to achieve mission goals in strategic areas.

• Impact assessment: integrate with nascent WMF analytics (“Kraken”) and evaluation efforts to offer more data-driven impact assessment for grants.

• Deploy a grants-management solution to shorten delays and provide superior visibility for grant/proposal states throughout the organization and each request’s lifetime

• For fellowship program, have one annual recruiting drive for candidates and for project ideas.

• For fellowship program, bring each fellow to San Francisco once during their fellowship to build relationships and share findings with WMF staff.

• By continuing the Grants and Fellowship programs -- and continuing to fund new projects, and continuing to attract researchers who study issues that are paramount to Wikipedia’s present and future • Each grant we give results in a thorough evaluation of the grant that details the individual project’s scope, results, and other measures of success. All these evaluations are published on-wiki.

• Each fellowship results in research that the Wikimedia Foundation oversees and makes public on-wiki. The research has a measurable impact on Wikimedia’s contributors and our projects.

Table 4. details: In April 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation started forming a new team, called “Editor Engagement/Experiments” (E3). This team, in contrast with other continuing efforts in this area, is focused on small, tightly scoped feature launches of typically 2-4 weeks total duration, with the goal of increasing recruitment and retention of new editors. In this process and in partnership with WMF analytics, the team is also developing real-time testing and measurement tools for small features — e.g., improved A/B testing support, edit and click stream analysis, etc.

As an example, the team implemented post-edit feedback (;, comparing different types of acknowledgment after saving a change. This first round of testing showed that a simple, unobtrusive confirmation message, "your edit was saved," led to a significant increase in the ability of new Wikipedia editors to contribute, without sacrificing quality. Another example of a project the team is working on is a re-design of the account creation experience, with the goal of increasing successful registrations. It’s these types of small feature interventions that we believe are necessary to make a tangible difference in editor recruitment and retention in 2012-13. The 2012-2013 budget for Editor Engagement/Experiments (E3) is $1,204,000.

The Wikipedia Education Program, which began in 2010 as the Public Policy Initiative, has become one of our signature programs – a way to connect Wikipedia with institutions of higher learning that share our vision to bring the world’s knowledge to as many people as possible. In the Wikipedia Education Program’s first two years, students have updated or created 5,957 Wikipedia articles, covering subjects that are timely and important. After the first year, we had a panel of emeritus professors and other public-policy experts review articles. The panel -- measuring such article traits as comprehensiveness, sourcing, neutrality and readability -- concluded the students had improved the articles by an average of 64 percent. The success of that first year led to the expansion of the program, and a broadened mandate: We welcomed universities from around the world, not just in the United States; and we welcomed an expansion of articles on any subject, not just public policy. In the Spring 2012 semester, for example, students in Egypt created articles about topics like “Civil disobedience” and “French Presidential Election 2012” that thousands of Arabic-speaking readers read from across the Arab region. Between mid-March 2012 and mid-June 2012 the Arabic Wikipedia’s article on “Civil disobedience” — which at that time had just been significantly expanded by the program’s students — received more than 3,800 views. The 2012-2013 budget for the Wikipedia Education Program is $718,000.

The Catalyst Projects, which began in 2011, are initiatives in three geographic areas: India, Brazil and the Arabic-language countries of the Middle East and North Africa (“Arabic Language Initiative,” or “ALI”). Led on the ground by a temporary team of consultants and managed from the Wikimedia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco, the catalyst programs are designed to boost editor ranks in their target countries and corresponding language projects; to increase Wikipedia readership in these countries, including via mobile; and to diversify the worldwide community of editors, whose ranks are now mainly in Europe and North America. In India, the catalyst program is designed to bolster Indic languages and also English Wikipedia as it pertains to India, where about 240 million people speak the language. English Wikipedia has four million articles, but only around 115,000 (or less than 2.9%) directly cover topics of relevance in India. A tremendous opportunity exists to deepen contributions on India-related topics, including areas such as Indian history, geography, law, public policy, politics, art, culture, contributions to the sciences, and popular culture. In India, we are partnering with the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore (CIS) to continue our projects there. For Brazil and the Arabic Language Initiative, we are working with much smaller teams that are more focused on online community facilitation. For Portuguese-Wikipedia, this includes supporting the community in testing different policy changes and editing campaigns. For the Arabic Wikipedia, we are working on a contribution portal and engaging with such regional partners as QCRI, Taghreedat, and Google. The 2012-2013 budget for our catalyst programs is $1,302,000.

Under the Grants Program, we give grants to groups outside the WMF doing mission-aligned programs and activities that are focused on innovation. Under our Fellowship Program, we offer fellowships to researchers who conduct different projects that can help long-term editor growth, editor satisfaction and retention, and the growth of Wikipedia’s articles and media. We established the grants program in 2009, and the fellowship program in 2010. We offer grants to chapters officially recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation and other nonprofit groups, and to individuals whose work aligns with the Wikimedia mission and strategy. We favor projects that break new ground, and that increase a group's capacity for new programs and partnerships. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, we funded 17 projects, 33 in 2010-2011, and 17 in 2011-2012. The minimum grant amount is $500, and while there is no maximum amount, most grants are under $10,000. Emblematic of the program: With the help of a $800 grant, Tamil Wikipedians held a media contest from November 2011 to March 2012 in which 251 new contributors uploaded 15,000 new files to Tamil Wikipedia. The contest promoted Tamil Wikipedia to Tamil speakers around the world, and dramatically increased the media content related to Tamil and Tamil people on Wikimedia Commons. Two other grant examples: With the help of a $2,718 grant, the Wikimedia Kenya chapter in January 2011 launched its Wikipedia for Schools project, which brought offline versions of Wikipedia, on CD, to Kenyan schools that lack Internet access; and throughout 2011, with the help of $263 in grant money, the Wikimedia Estonia chapter visited 15 high schools in Estonia, surveying the students’ usage of Wikipedia and giving lectures that explained Wikipedia.

For fellowships, we currently have five fellows researching projects that are helping make Wikipedia more viable. Seventeen fellows have previously done work on such areas as editor engagement with cultural institutions, the way editors interact with each other, and improving the translation process of our fundraising campaign. The fellowships last anywhere from eight weeks to a full year, and three fellows have transitioned to permanent positions at the Wikimedia Foundation. Our most recent fellows are Steven Zhang (a Wikipedian since 2008), who is analyzing dispute resolution on the English Wikipedia; and Tanvir Rahman (active on the Bengali Wikipedia since 2009, and elected as a steward by the global community in 2011), who is experimenting with on-wiki strategies for growing the number of editors on small-language wikis. His initial focus is on the Bengali Wikipedia. The 2012-2013 budget for our Grants and Fellowship program is $1,235,000.

Additional context for the upcoming year annual plan / SWOT

Please provide 1-2 paragraphs for each response below. SWOT stands for your organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

  • What organizational strengths enable your entity's plan (e.g., leadership, governance structure, community participation, fundraising)?
The Wikimedia Foundation has a strong leadership team, headed by Executive Director Sue Gardner, who’s supported by a team of C-level executives leading the foundation’s different departments. A Board of 10 trustees, who have decades of experience in nonprofit work, international business, law and other important fields, manages the foundation and supervises the disposition and solicitation of donations. Under Ms. Gardner, who has been Executive Director since 2007, the Wikimedia Foundation has increased its annual revenues tenfold, increased readership 100 percent, and instituted ambitious programming goals that have increased the quality of Wikipedia’s articles and the encyclopedia’s reach into the Global South. Our web property -- which, besides Wikipedia, includes such other knowledge sites as Wikimedia Commons -- is supported by an active community of volunteer contributors from around the world. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our projects. Without their continuing contributions, Wikipedia and our sister projects would cease to be the knowledge sites that we know today.
  • What external opportunities enable your entity's plan (e.g., socio-political context, community participation, fundraising)?
The Global South has seen a record increase in mobile phones, giving millions of new people access to the Internet, which parallels the Wikimedia Foundation’s push to reach readers in these countries. Price decreases in phones, and a greater variety of cell-phone plans, including prepaid subscriptions, have boosted the Global South’s mobile phone numbers more than 50 percent in the past five years. In Africa, for example, 500 million people — half the continent’s population — now have the use of mobile phones, giving Africa the second-largest number of mobile subscriptions in the world after Asia-Pacific. The Wikimedia Foundation’s Internationalization and Localization team, formed in July 2011 and comprised of expert software engineers, is ensuring that readers in the Global South’s many languages can use Wikipedia with ease and function. The team’s projects support fonts, onscreen keyboards and other technology areas that help readers’ operating systems better display Global South languages on Wikipedia. In 2012, our Mobile Partnerships team has established Wikipedia Zero alliances with mobile operators, which is allowing millions of mobile users in the Global South to read Wikipedia without data charges. Through our Wikimedia Grants Program, which has operated since 2009, we’ve kickstarted more than 15 projects in the Global South. Through our Global Development team, the Wikimedia Foundation began a Catalyst Program to increase readership in three key areas of the Global South: India, Brazil, and the Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). From 2000 to 2009, the number of Internet users in the Middle East and North Africa went from 3.2 million to 60.2 million, and Arabic is the fifth-most widely spoken language in the world, with around 400 million speakers. Brazil has more than 100 million Internet users, while India is the world's second-most populous country, with more than 1.2 billion residents. The catalyst programs serve as learning laboratories to create proven program models that can be utilized effectively across the global movement.
  • What are key risks or threats that would prevent you from achieving your plan (e.g., leadership turnover, governance challenges, lawsuits, fundraising, community participation, socio-political context)?
Among the threats that might prevent us from achieving our plan: Different countries' censorship of the Internet, which might prevent wide swaths of people from accessing Wikipedia. In the United States, the Stop Online Privacy Act, a proposed law that was withdrawn in January 2012, exemplifies the type of Internet restriction that could surface. Also, the number of Wikimedia readers could flatten or decline due to read-only aggregators of Wikipedia material, and/or the advent of other knowledge projects. In the years ahead, the proliferation of portable devices like smartphones and tablets, which have limited text input support and imprecise navigation, could erode the level of participation in Wikimedia projects. Participation is crucial to our sites, and a continued decline in the number of volunteer editors would undermine our ability to grow Wikipedia. A downturn in the worldwide economy could discourage readers from donating to the Wikimedia Foundation at the rate they’ve given in the past. For more background about the risks that the Wikimedia Foundation faces, please see Pages 23-42 of our 2012-2013 annual plan, at
  • How will you minimize these risks and threats?
The Wikimedia Foundation is taking proactive steps to increase the readership numbers for Wikimedia projects; to increase the way that readers and editors engage with Wikipedia and our other web projects; and, through legal counsel, to decrease the legal measures that could interrupt the Wikimedia Foundation's catalyst work in the Global South and our work around the world. We are initiating new mobile measures such as Wikipedia Zero. We are maximizing the value that can be added to Wikimedia projects through consumption-focused devices. With Commons, for example, we’ve developed free apps and made technology upgrades to the site that make it easier than ever to upload photos from smartphones. We are redoubling our efforts to reverse the decline of new editors, through the introduction of a Visual Editor, through measures that are more welcoming of editors’ edits, and through apps and other projects designed to make contributing easier and more enjoyable. As one example, in June 2012 we introduced a new prototype of the Visual Editor. The Visual Editor, which has an inviting toolbar that creates headings, italicizes words, adds hyperlinks, and otherwise formats the articles, will make it much easier for contributors to code the articles that are a cornerstone of Wikipedia, eliminating the need to learn the intricate system called “wiki markup.” All four projects previously outlined in Table 4 are crucial to the Wikimedia Foundation’s plan to bolster the long-term foundation of our web property.

Financials for the upcoming year's annual plan

  • Provide your financial overview for the upcoming year in the format below.
Please link to your detailed budget (translation into English highly recommended) in addition to completing the tables below.
Detailed budget link:

Please list anticipated revenues, by source (e.g., FDC, Wikimedia grants programs, public funding, membership fees, local donations, event fees)
Table 5.

Revenue source Anticipated (in currency requested) Anticipated (In $US)
Funds Dissemination Committee $4,459,000 $4,459,000
Individual donors $35,041,000 $35,041,000
Foundation and Major Gifts $6,000,000 $6,000,000
Other revenues $570,000‡ $570,000‡

Table 5. details: ‡ Includes in-kind revenue, which are goods and services -- such as servers -- that would normally be paid for but have been donated to us at no charge

Current entity staff (e.g., Included in year-in-progress budget)

Role / functions might include program administration, finance, fundraising. Please include both part-time and full-time staff.
Table 6.

Role / Function Number of staff Percentage of staff time+
Programs 28 100%
Engineering 64 100%
Fundraising 11 100%
Administration 22 100%

+Please include estimates of the percentage allocation of staff members. For example, for full time staff, you would put 100% in this column. For half time staff, you would put 50% in this column.

Table 6. details:

Proposed new staff for upcoming year annual plan

Role / functions might include program administration, finance, fundraising. Please include both part-time and full-time staff.
Table 7.

Role / Function Number of staff Percentage of staff time+ Duration Rationale for hiring new staff
Programs 14 100% N/A Expansion of staffing for FDC, staffing to support Wikipedia Zero, and work on catalyst projects.
Engineering 30 100% N/A Additional staffing to support a variety of Engineering projects outlined in the WMF Annual Plan.
Fundraising 1 100% N/A One additional FTE to support increased fundraising activity.
Administration 4 100% N/A Primary increase in staffing to support Community Advocacy work.

+Please include estimates of the percentage allocation of staff members. For example, for full time staff, you would put 100% in this column. For half time staff, you would put 50% in this column.

Table 7. details:

Summary of staff expenses

Table 8.

In currency requested In $US
Current staff expenses $11,479,500 $11,479,500
Proposed staff expenses $7,308,861 $7,308,861
Total staff expenses $18,788,361‡ $18,788,361‡

Table 8. details: ‡ Staff expenses comprise: Salaries and wages; payroll taxes; employee benefits, which cover medical, dental and vision insurance; 401K retirement matching; costs for staff wellness; payroll fees; and Workers Comp insurance. The breakdown of expenses won’t correlate with the functional allocation of expenses in our Internal Revenue Service Form 990. The functional allocation of expenses on the Form 990 is assessed at a more granular level.

Expenses by program/initiative

Expenses are costs associated with any programs, initiatives, or projects your entity manages (e.g., event costs, materials, transportation). Please exclude any staff costs that are included above. “Programs / initiatives” might include education programs, outreach programs, etc. Please include any administration costs (e.g., office space rental, utilities) affiliated with each program along with any overall administration costs that are not affiliated with any particular program (e.g., Administration should be considered a "Program" under the first column.)

Table 9.

Program / initiative In currency requested In $US
Editor Engagement (E3) $1,204,000 $1,204,000
Global Education Program $718,000 $718,000
Catalyst Projects $1,302,000 $1,302,000
Grants and Fellowships $1,235,000 $1,235,000

Total expenses $4,459,000 $4,459,000

Table 9. details:

Summary of total revenues and expenses

Table 10.

In currency requested In $US
Total Revenues $46,070,000 $46,070,000
Total Spending $42,070,000‡ $42,070,000‡
Net (revenues less expenses) $4,000,000 $4,000,000
Reserve balance, if applicable+ $31,700,000 $31,700,000

+ Cash reserve balance should include cumulative reserves and any net revenue

Table 10. details: ‡ In the next nine months, the Wikimedia Foundation is going to narrow our focus and concentrate on core priorities, a request that was echoed in the Board of Trustee’s 2012-13 Plan Resolution. Our focus on key priorities, which might reduce or eliminate lower-priority programs and capabilities, could result in cost savings. Any savings will be put into the Wikimedia Foundation’s operating reserve.

Verification that this proposal requests no funds from the Wikimedia Foundation for political or legislative activities

Enter "yes" or "no" for the verification below.

The term “political or legislative activities” includes any activities relating to political campaigns or candidates (including the contribution of funds and the publication of position statements relating to political campaigns or candidates); voter registration activities; meetings with or submissions and petitions to government executives, ministers, officers or agencies on political or policy issues; and any other activities seeking government intervention or policy implementation (like “lobbying”), whether directed toward the government or the community or public at large. Grants for such activities (when permitted under U.S. law and IRS regulations) should be sought from the Wikimedia Grants Program.
I verify that this proposal requests no funds from the Wikimedia Foundation for political or legislative activities Yes

This form was created by: JonathanCinSF (talk) 23:31, 28 September 2012 (UTC)