Donor privacy policy

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This page documents the Wikimedia Foundation's donor privacy policy. You can make a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation at

Please note that in the event of any differences between a version of the Donor Privacy Policy on Meta-Wiki and the English version of the policy on Foundation Wiki, the English version on Foundation Wiki takes precedence.

The Wikimedia Donor Privacy Policy[edit]


Welcome to the Wikimedia Foundation's Donor Privacy Policy. The Wikimedia Foundation ("WMF") has put this policy in place to protect the privacy rights of our donors. We recognize that our donors care deeply about how their personal information is used and shared, and we value the privacy and security of our donors. This Donor Privacy Policy addresses our practices for collecting, using, maintaining, protecting, and disclosing donor information. Please carefully read this policy together with our Terms of Use. We will never sell, trade, or rent your nonpublic personal information.

Important Information[edit]

By donating to WMF, you consent to the collection, transfer, processing, storage, disclosure, and use of your information in or to the United States ("U.S."), and other locations that may have different or less stringent data protection laws than your country, for the purposes stated in this policy. If you do not agree with the terms of the Donor Privacy Policy and the WMF Terms of Use, please immediately discontinue use of Wikimedia fundraising sites, such as


"WMF", "us", "we", and "our" refer to the Wikimedia Foundation.

"Donor Privacy Policy" and "policy" refers to this document.

"Personal information" is information you provide us or information we collect from you that could be used to identify you. While we may not collect all of the following types of information, we consider the following to be "personal information" if it is otherwise nonpublic and can be used to identify you:

  1. Your real name, address, phone number, email address, password, identification number on government-issued ID, IP address, web browser user-agent information, credit or debit card number, bank account number and routing number, personal identification number in association with the relevant account; and
  2. When associated with one of the items in subsection (a), any sensitive data such as date of birth, gender, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origins, marital or familial status, medical conditions or disabilities, political affiliation, and religion.

What This Policy Covers[edit]

This Donor Privacy Policy covers the collection, transfer, processing, storage, disclosure, and use of personal and non-personal information collected from you during the process of making a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation and through your interactions with fundraising-related emails from WMF, fundraising-related banners on Wikimedia sites, and Wikimedia fundraising sites, such as This policy does not cover the collection, transfer, processing, storage, disclosure, or use of your information related to your use of other WMF projects or features, such as Wikipedia. For more information regarding WMF's broader privacy practices, please review our main Privacy Policy. This policy also does not cover the collection, transfer, processing, storage, disclosure, and use of information collected from you during the process of making a donation to, or other interactions you may have with, a Wikimedia affiliate, such as a chapter. For more information about the privacy practices of those organizations, please review their respective privacy policies.

What Information We Collect[edit]

As a result of your interaction with our donation pages, making a donation, participating in a survey or providing feedback related to donating, WMF may collect certain personal information, as defined above. We also may collect some non-personal information, such as:

  • the web page that referred you to our donation pages
  • the amount you donated
  • which of our pages you request and visit
  • the date and time of each request you make to our donation pages
  • the name of your internet service provider
  • comments and suggestions from you
  • correspondence between you and WMF
  • any other information you provide to us

We keep both personal and non-personal information confidential, meaning that we will not share this information outside of the Wikimedia Foundation except as permitted by this policy or in anonymized form.

Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies[edit]

As you interact with the WMF donation process, and fundraising emails, surveys, or feedback mechanisms from WMF, we may use automatic data collection and other locally stored data technologies such as tracking pixels, JavaScript, cookies, and local storage to collect certain information about your device.

WMF uses cookies and other locally stored data to enhance your donation experience. We also use this information to create a safer online environment and gain a better understanding of donor preferences and interactions with Wikimedia fundraising sites, such as, and donation-related emails. In general, cookies and other locally stored data are used to:

  • Help Wikimedia fundraising sites, such as function and deliver new and relevant content to you.
  • Provide you with a personalized experience by storing your preferences so that they can be used the next time you visit a Wikimedia fundraising site, such as
  • Analyze the performance of donation processes so that we can better understand how they work and improve them for you and other WMF donors.
  • Analyze interactions with fundraising emails so we can refine and improve the donation process.

Limiting Data Collection by Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies[edit]

We believe that the collection of this data helps improve your donation experience; however, you may remove or disable some or all locally stored data through your browser settings. While not a comprehensive list, you can limit the use of cookies and other locally stored data on your device by:

  • Removing or disabling specific locally stored data on your browser's settings.
  • Using a browser that can block-third party cookies.
  • Installing a plugin to block locally stored data, if available.

Although donations to WMF via Wikimedia fundraising sites, such as, are possible without cookies and other locally stored data, please note that the removal or disabling of these features may affect your navigation of these sites.

Do Not Track[edit]

WMF is committed to protecting the information we collect from all of our donors. We do not share this information with third parties, except in the specific circumstances described in the "Sharing Donor Information" section of this policy. Because of this commitment to protect all donors, we do not change our behavior in response to a web browser's Do Not Track signal. For more information about DNT, please visit Do Not Track Us and the World Wide Web Consortium's Do Not Track Specification.

How We Use Donor Information[edit]

Here are some examples of how we use information collected from you. It allows us to:

  • administer our donation pages
  • test features
  • customize content
  • understand donors' interest in WMF
  • thank donors for their donation
  • improve our fundraising processes and efforts
  • update you about upcoming fundraising and other WMF activities
  • comply with U.S. tax requirements
  • conduct internal analyses, such as research and analytics
  • communicate substantive changes to this policy and related policies
  • report to applicable government agencies as required by law
  • engage in other purposes related to WMF's fundraising operations
  • provide greater security
  • set language preferences
  • distribute donation receipts
  • maintain our internal records
  • conduct survey and metric reports

Accessing Your Donor Information[edit]

WMF works hard to accurately process and maintain donor information. If you would like to access, correct, or delete the personal information we have about you, or you would like to change your WMF communication preferences, you (or an authorized representative) can let us know by contacting us at donate(at) While we will make reasonable efforts to comply with your request, there are certain situations where we will not grant your request (such as when we cannot adequately verify your identity to give you access to personal information, when we are legally required to retain information, or when we are not technologically able to change or delete information). Therefore, the granting of such requests remains at the sole discretion of WMF.

Sharing Donor Information[edit]

We understand that donors may wish to remain anonymous, and we strive to honor such requests and preserve your anonymity. However, in limited circumstances, we may share donor information in the situations and under the conditions described below. We will never sell, trade, or rent your nonpublic personal information.

With your permission.  With your consent, we may share your information for a particular purpose. For example, we may give donors the option to have their name publicly associated with their donation.

In anonymized form. We may publish or share anonymized donor information. For example, we may share anonymized data sets to show donation trends.

Comments and suggestions. We may publish any comments or suggestions that donors provide us, including in promotional materials, in anonymous form. In the rare instance that we do publish such information with donor attribution, we will do so only with your written consent.

Online payment processors. In order to facilitate online donations, we have partnered with payment processors. When you make a donation to WMF online, whether by credit card, debit card, or other methods of online payment, these payment processors receive the information that you have provided as well as information they collect independent of WMF. We do our best to use contractual agreements and other mechanisms to help ensure that these processors treat your information consistent with, and in a manner no less protective than, the principles of this policy. However, please be aware that WMF is not responsible for the privacy practices of these processors; please consult the privacy policies of individual payment processors for more information about their practices.

Other service providers. We use third-party service providers or contractors who assist with the organization and facilitation of our fundraising programs, or who help run our donation pages or improve your experience with them. We may give access to your personal or non-personal information to these providers or contractors as needed to perform their services for us or to use their tools and services. While we cannot ensure the privacy or security of services provided by third-party providers, we do our best to use contractual agreements and other mechanisms to help ensure that these service providers or contractors treat your information consistent with, and in a manner no less protective than, the principles of this policy.

For legal reasons. On certain rare occasions, we may access, preserve, or disclose your personal information if we reasonably believe it is necessary to satisfy a valid and legally enforceable warrant, subpoena, court order, law or regulation, or other judicial or administrative order. If we believe that a particular request for disclosure of a donor's information is legally invalid or an abuse of the legal system, and the affected donor does not intend to oppose the disclosure themselves, we will do our best to fight the request. WMF is committed to notifying you via email at least ten (10) calendar days, when possible, before we disclose your personal information in response to a legal demand. However, we may only provide notice if we are not legally restrained from contacting you, there is no credible threat to life or limb that is created or increased by notifying you of the request, and you have provided us with an email address or other current contact information.

Nothing in this policy is intended to limit any legal objections or defenses you may have to a third party's request (whether it be civil, criminal, or governmental) to disclose your information. We recommend seeking the advice of legal counsel immediately if such a request is made involving you.

If the organization is transferred. In the extremely unlikely event that ownership of all or substantially all of the WMF changes, or we go through a reorganization (such as a merger, consolidation, or acquisition), your personal information will remain confidential, except as provided in this policy. We will provide notice to you via the Wikimedia sites, and a notification on WikimediaAnnounce-L or similar mailing list, at least thirty (30) calendar days before any personal information is transferred or becomes subject to a different donor privacy policy.

To protect you, ourselves, or others. If necessary, we may need to share your personal information to: enforce or investigate potential violations of our Terms of Use, this Donor Privacy Policy, or any Foundation or user community-based policies; investigate and defend ourselves against legal threats or actions; prevent imminent and serious bodily harm or death to a person; protect our organization, employees, contractors, users, or the public; or detect, prevent, or otherwise assess and address potential spam, malware, fraud, abuse, unlawful activity, and security or technical concerns.

How We Protect Your Donor Information[edit]

To ensure a high level of security and confidentiality, WMF employs a variety of physical, administrative, and technical measures, policies, and procedures to help protect your personal and financial information from unauthorized access, use, alteration, disclosure, or destruction. However, you should be aware that no storage system or data transmission is 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that our security protocols will not be compromised.

How Long We Keep Your Donor Information[edit]

Once we receive personal information from you, we keep it for the shortest possible interval that is consistent with the maintenance, understanding, and improvement of the WMF donation process, and our obligations under applicable U.S. law. Certain information may be retained indefinitely.

For information on Wikimedia's general data retention policies on the Wikimedia projects, please see our Data Retention Guidelines.

Wikimedia Affiliates[edit]

Wikimedia affiliates (such as chapters) are independent organizations, which sometimes conduct their own fundraising efforts. While some affiliates may give a portion of the funds they raise to WMF, WMF is not involved in processing donations made to these organizations. Wikimedia affiliates have different privacy policies and practices depending on local legal requirements and other considerations. While affiliates who participate in fundraising are generally expected to adhere to the principles set out in this policy, this policy does not explicitly cover donations made to them.

Changes to This Donor Privacy Policy[edit]

From time to time, it may be necessary to modify this policy in order to accurately reflect our data collection and disclosure practices. We reserve the right to do so, and we will provide notice of such changes in a reasonable manner and time. We encourage you to review the most up-to-date version of our Donor Privacy Policy periodically.

Governing Language and Law[edit]

Please note that in the event of any differences in meaning or interpretation between the original English version of this policy and a translation, the original English version governs. Any disputes, claims, and causes of actions arising out of or in relation to this policy will be conducted in English, and shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the state of California. Any disputes relating to the Donor Privacy Policy shall be resolved solely in the state or federal courts located in San Francisco, California.

Contact Us[edit]

WMF values what our donors have to say about our services and our policies. If you have questions or suggestions about this policy, or the information collected under the Donor Privacy Policy, please email us at donate(at) or contact us directly. For more information about the privacy practices that govern the Wikimedia projects, please review our main Privacy Policy.

This Donor Privacy Policy went into effect February 1, 2017. Previous versions can be found below:

Donor Privacy Policy (September 2011)

Donor Privacy Policy (July 2011)

Donor Privacy Policy (2009)

Please note that in the event of any differences in meaning or interpretation between the original English version of this Donor Privacy Policy and a translation, the original English version takes precedence.

Privacy-related pages