Fundraising 2011/communityappeal

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Appeal from the Wikimedia Community


Hello Wikimedia Community members,

The fundraising team has been testing new messages over the past couple of months and we're happy to report we've found some new effective voices that will allow us to move away from our dependence on Jimmy to appeal to readers for donations. This year we want the fundraiser to rely as much as possible on voices of many different members of our community. So far, we've only tested messages from individuals, but we'd like to test a group appeal from the community. That's where you come in! Please help out by editing this page together.

Here are a few successful appeal principles we've found in our most effective appeals:

  • Authenticity: We need to tell stories from amazing passionate Wikipedians in their own real words about why they are passionate about Wikipedia and what is great about Wikipedia.
  • Beauty: Wikipedia is an amazing, beautiful thing run by volunteers doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.
  • Story: Clarify people's understanding of Wikipedia and that it needs them to keep the story going.
  • Free and ad free: People love that it's free to use, free to be used in any way, and ad free.
  • Importance: We're #5 and everyone uses us!
  • Efficiency: Compared to the other top sites, we run on a shoestring budget.
  • Strong, quick start: It must have a catchy first line.
  • Ask: tell people where the money goes, be specific and concrete.


Examples of the most effective appeals - so far :

Community Appeal Draft 1[edit]

Hello. We are the Wikimedia community. We have come together to write this message to you in much the same way that we come together to write the articles you read. X (number of) editors have all had a hand in creating this message for you for one reason: to inspire you to support us with whatever you can afford to give.

Community Appeal Draft 2[edit]

Hello, bonjour, ciao, hola, oi (pick 3 or 4 languages for example). We... well, it's funny to say "we", as we are all real people, individuals, but fact is, we are the Wikimedia community, the people that make Wikipedia. A bunch of people around the globe coming together to write, enhance, illustrate, correct the articles you read every day.

There's many of us. As a matter of fact, this letter was written by X (number of) editors from Y (number of) countries. We're all volunteers. As in, you know, not paid. And that's why we're addressing you today. We'd like to inspire you to support us with whatever you can afford to give. 5, 10, 20 dollars, whatever. We don't get paid from this money. We write articles on our free time. Your donation, however, goes a long way to keep Wikipedia online.

There's many of us, but there's even more of you. And if all of you give a little, together we can spread knowledge. Everywhere, for free, for everyone. For you. For us. Together.

Thanks. Really.


Draft 3[edit]

Two points. First consider the following:

  • Google: 1,000,000 servers, 24,000 employees - 1.05 billion unique visitors
  • Microsoft: 220,000 servers, 90,000 employees - 900 million unique visitors
  • Facebook: 60,000 servers, 2,000 employees - 752 million unique visitors
  • Yahoo: 50,000 servers, 13,900 employees - 686 million unique visitors
  • Wikimedia: 800 servers, 80 employees - 423 million unique visitors

(Total global unique visitors based on comScore Aug. 2011 figures)

Next, a topic near and dear to my heart: mobile usage in developing countries.

Are any of the other top 5 sites focused on access to free knowledge in the developing world? In large parts of Africa, India, South America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East - mobile phones are the ONLY access to the Internet. For some of these people, access to free knowledge can mean the difference between life and death, hunger and starvation, good health and misery, and even physical freedom or slavery.

These are some of the many good reasons to expose that part of the world to free knowledge, and take on the accompanying burden in infrastructure costs, let alone all the design, development and management costs associated with mobile applications. With the limited resources we have, the developing world is our top priority. We are at 1.4 billion mobile page views and growing. If we succeed in the developing world, we can help the majority of the human race!

Please help us.

Phil Chang Product Manager, Mobile Wikimedia Foundation

Draft 4[edit]

Hello. It's a call from Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia, which you read everyday and makes you learn so many things.

Did you know the millions articles at Wikipedia are written for people like you and me? No employees who earn in a character written. Just volunteers, volunteers who spend time in an activity without financial return. But in an activity that makes the world a better place to everyone.

All Wikipedia sites are kept with no advertisement, just with your donations. We need your help again for this.

Knowledge liberates. Knowledge delivers the world's mind. Knowledge is freedom. Help us to make a different world too.

MetalBrasil 19:06, 1 November 2011 (UTC)