Fundraising

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This is a general information page on Wikimedia fundraising. If you wish to make a donation, please visit https://donate.wikimedia.org

Who are we?

The Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising team cultivates the resources that propel our movement. We engage millions of people from countries across the globe to support Wikipedia and its sister projects. The overwhelming majority of the Foundation's funding comes from individual readers from all over the world giving an average of $15.


Donations help the Wikimedia Foundation maintain server infrastructure, improve the software that supports our projects, and make Wikipedia and its sister projects accessible globally to millions of people. The fundraising team is responsible for raising the Foundation's budget through online campaigns. These campaigns have the additional goal to educate all readers about Wikipedia and how our movement works. We are grateful for all the readers, contributors, and donors who make Wikipedia and our other projects a global home for knowledge and discovery. To continue thriving we must constantly innovate, adapting to the changing needs of our readers and new advances in the technology that powers the Wikimedia universe. For additional information, please see the 2015-2016 Fundraising Report.


The Teams

Latest Fundraising Updates

FY17/18 Update #2 - July 20th[edit]

Israel - Desktop and mobile are both up.

Upcoming campaigns - Ukraine and Portugal desktop will be launched this week..

Big English testing - Our tests last week went great and we successfully managed to get our Amazon payments flow fixed in time! This week we ran a banner sequencing test for the first time and we will share more information about this feature soon.

Brazil launch update - Originally scheduled to start August 1, but we needing to reschedule to 15 August for technical issues.

Facebook ads are live - Our first small test is up live! This is a whole new learning experience and right now our focus is on getting used to the new work and payment flows. Hopefully will report on this more soon.

FY17/18 Update #1 - July 10th[edit]

End of Financial Year - FY 16/17 ended on June 30th. We now begin work on our Fundraising report similar to that seen last year.

Finishing campaigns - Latin America, our final campaign started last FY ended on Sunday.

Ongoing campaigns - Israel Desktop is presently ongoing and we expect to launch mobile campaigns on Wednesday 12th.

Upcoming campaigns - Ukraine and Portugal desktop campaigns start next Tuesday 18th July.

Big English systems testing - Our weekly Big English hourly systems testing starts this week. As the biggest and most complex campaign we run these weekly tests through the latter half of the year to flush out bugs out of the systems and identify any possible issues through the donation flow that may have creeped through the previous 6 months. This weeks test will be focusing on the Paypal flow.

Brazil testing - The Brazil fundraising campaign is set to start August 1st and we will be running a pre-test later this week

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Online Fundraising
Foundation & Major Gifts
Endowment
Fundraising Operations


Our Goals

A Global Project

Readers around the world show their support for Wikimedia each year. The Wikimedia Foundation receives donations from nearly every country in the world in over 80 currencies, 20 payment methods, and 50 languages. We strive to provide readers worldwide with the best localized donation experience possible by offering preferred local payment methods and high quality messages in local languages.
Testing and Optimization

2012 Editor Video
The online fundraiser is based on constant testing and optimization of different themes, messages, designs and user flows. We aim to educate all Wikipedia readers about our movement, provide a convenient donation process, and minimize the disruption of fundraiser banners on the reader experience. Only a tiny portion of readers donate -- therefore, we must always be improving our methods.
Educating Readers

Another goal of the fundraiser is to educate Wikipedia readers about the Wikimedia movement. We do this through the messages displayed in banners as well as through creative content featuring the Wikimedia community. Over the years, we've run personal appeal messages from community members, featured videos introducing Wikimedia volunteers, and invited readers to join in editing.

Contact Us

Fundraising updates[edit]

Facebook Ads Experiment[edit]

In July, 2017, the online fundraising team will be conducting a pilot on Facebook and Instagram. This will involve sponsored posts, served in English to people in the United States, that will direct users to donate to the Foundation using our own donation processing pages. Like the many tests we run for Fundraising, this pilot will involve experiments testing different imagery, copy, and calls to action. We hope to answer the question: how well does our on-Wikipedia.org messaging perform when presented on another site? It will also examine how our appeals perform across demographic and interest groups.

For more info, visit our page on the experiment.

Q2 FY16/17 - Big English[edit]

Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf Wikimedia Foundation Advancement Q2 (Oct-Dec 2016) - Jan 2017 quarterly check-in.pdf

Big English - Social Media (December 15)[edit]

The Social Media team have been providing fantastic support of the English online fundraiser and we wanted to provide a quick update dedicated to that work. There were some cool images to go with but unfortunately our wikimedia-l mailman is dull and boring so here is a summary of their efforts:

  • 3.1 million different Facebook users have seen our "I love Wikipedia profile picture frames on their friends’ profile pictures.
  • 2 million different Twitter users have seen the hashtag #ilovewikipedia on Twitter.
  • 9K people have put the picture frame on their pic, telling the world that they love Wikipedia.
  • 6.5K have used the hashtag #ilovewikipedia, which we only adopted a month ago. Reporting shows the sentiment rating for #ilovewikipedia remains almost spotless.
  • More than 1,000 donors have been thanked on Twitter by Aubrie Johnson, Jeff Elder, Christophe Henner, and Katherine Maher.

Influential donors publicly stating their support included:

Impressive work and a huge shout out to the team for a really successful social media drive for this time of year.

We will hopefully have a few updates regarding fundraising coming out in the next few days so keep an eye out :)

Regards Seddon

Big English - Early Update (December 6)[edit]

Hello All!

So originally we were going to send an update after the first two weeks but with so much going on and following feedback, I'll cover as much as I can in as brief a form as possible and more regularly than planned:

Banners limited: We have already begun limiting the number of times a reader will see a banner within a single browser if they choose to not dismiss the banners. For the moment, dismissing a banner or viewing a banner up to 10 times will result in the banners being suppressed for a period of 1 week. Big messaging update [1]: We've been playing heavily with the ideas of “fake news” and “facts matter”. In addition for first time since 2013, we have returned to an appeal coming from a specific individual, in this case Jimmy. Much of the inspiration for both came from interviews Fundraising did with both Jimmy and Katherine back in October. Big design update & in-line banners: We've moved away from the dark navy blue (seen as black by many people), which was considered by the community to be too mobid and foreboding, to a white background banner with red border. Following extensive testing we also moved to inline banners over the weekend replacing the top header banners. Promising Numbers: Currently we believe that we have raised around $13,000,000 (accounting for payments to be cleared). This has been helped enormously by both gains found in our banner campaigns that is allowing us to keep pace with the decline of desktop, as well as a brilliantly performing e-mail campaign. Awesome E-mail: November 30th 2016 saw our biggest day for email fundraising ~$950,000 (2016) vs ~$550,000 (2015) raised in a 24 hour period with approximately a similar number of e-mails. Stable Tech: This year has been extremely stable from a technical standpoint compared to other years, with the most perplexing issue being an odd dip that occurred in our donations and traffic [2] on December 1st for one hour. This occurred during the quietest period in a day for 2 days but then appeared to stop. Low impact but naturally could be a bigger issue if the problem occurred during peak fundraising hours or was more prolonged, investigations continue. Major gifts going great: Our major gifts team have been very busy, and have seen double the number of Major gifts donations during this period of the year compared with last year which means this page [3] getting a lot of updates recently. A brilliant social media team: In short awesome work has been done by them but I will send a separate more detailed update on this :)

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein?banner=B1617_1117_en6C_dsk_p1_lg_template&force=1&country=US

[2] - https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T152122

[3] - https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Benefactors

Big English launch (November 28th)[edit]

Hello!

We are coming up to that time of year again with the launch of our English fundraiser. Our E-mail campaign is already underway and in a little under three weeks time, the banner campaign will launch in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland on Giving Tuesday [1], November 29, 2016. We will continue to try and limit the disruption from these banners. Our current expectation is to run our banners for all traffic for the first two weeks. Following that we will some combination of either reducing the amount of traffic being shown banners or the number of times a banner is shown to each user. There will then be one last final push before the end of December. It is my hope to update you after both of these stages with our progress.

It is certainly no secret that it is a very important period for fundraising as our December activities are responsible for raising around 45% of all movement funds. As we reported in last years fundraising report [2] and at the September metrics meeting [3] we continue to adapt to the shift in our readership from desktop to mobile. Over the last two years, our e-mail efforts have played an increasingly major role in our fundraising to counter this shift and will certainly be the case over the next two months.

As always it’s critical for my team to have both broader staff and community input in our fundraising efforts. This year we have been working closely with the Reading product team along with members from both the Reading and Editing design teams to improve our fundraising flow, in particular, trying to keep closer to the new standardised Wikimedia UI guidelines [4]. In addition to this, over the last five months we ran a number of staff and community feedback sessions and we have been very grateful to everyone who took part in those. They proved very successful in providing both a constructive critical eye for existing banner and email appeals as well being a source for a plethora of new ideas.

As always if you have ideas you can leave feedback on our Fundraising Ideas page where you can see links to our current fundraising banners and current appeal text [5]. Over the last year: use of Phabricator [6] for bug reporting; event and related content specific banners; improving the ease with which to dismiss banners; numerous improvements to the language used; and country specific images all came about from suggestions made on that page. So please do keep the ideas coming and I would like to thank you all in advance both for your input into the campaigns but more importantly the awesome work in building one of the largest sources of freely accessible knowledge in human history.

I look forward to working with you all in the coming weeks.

Many Thanks

-- Seddon

Advancement Associate (Community Engagement) Wikimedia Foundation

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giving_Tuesday

[2] 2015-2016 WMF Fundraising Report: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2015-2016_Fundraising_Report

[3] September 2016 Metrics Meeting Presentation: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/September_2016_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting.pdf

[4] Wikimedia Design Guide Color palettes https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/M82 Collection of widgets: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/M101 Demo widgets in OOjs UI: https://doc.wikimedia.org/oojs-ui/master/demos/#widgets-mediawiki-ltr

[5] To sign up for a feedback session - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/Community_Feedback_Series_2#Session_Details

[6] To suggest new banners ideas visit the test ideas meta page - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2016-17_Fundraising_ideas

[7] To file a bug report or technical issue, please create a phabricator Ticket - https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/maniphest/task/create/?template=118862

2015–2016 Fundraising Report[edit]

Community Engagement Update[edit]

In yesterday's Metrics meeting, I mentioned that we had been running staff and community feedback sessions on our fundraising messaging. Firstly can I thank all those who participated. Online Fundraising really appreciates the time put into these sessions by both staff and volunteer alike. Once the regular sessions get into a good cadence, I plan on providing updates on these feedback sessions going forward here on this update page, going over some of the common themes in our sessions and in the future, as we run banner and email tests, how those ideas are getting incorporated into our day to day appeals.

For the moment our focus has been in English, but I am looking at these sessions covering several other languages going forward so there may be repeating themes through the year. From our early sessions, feedback firstly can be broken down into two simple and fairly obvious categories: the appeal text or "copy"; and the banner design. Within each category you can further break down feedback into critical feedback (feedback about an existing design or section of copy) and more aspirational feedback (ideas that are not currently present within a banner or text copy).

One piece of feedback was about how we described ourselves as a "small non-profit". The feeling was based on whether we could continue to justify that we were indeed "small" on a budget of $70million+. Different people have different interpretations of what the word "small" means in comparison with other nonprofits.We tried removing the word "small" from our banners. There was little impact and so now our English banners do not have the word "small" non-profit. Feedback for the win!

We have had a lot of feedback about the colours of our banners. Some believe that the use of black comes across as very foreboding whereas others believe it gives a clean and professional look. We have recently shifted from black (#000) to a dark blue navy blue (#040931) in our large banners, based on community feedback in the past. Colour testing is something that often gets revisited, particularly as trends and reader behavior/expectations remain highly dynamic in line with the rest of the internet and our banners will continue to evolve and change in that respect.

Many people have raised the point of the small info "i" that we have in the top left of our small banner. Some feel that this should actually do something or be something else as it kinda makes the banner look a little like spam. In Japan, we recently tested replacing this with a small Japanese flag, something that's come out of trying to localise our banners to the countries where we fundraise. The test looked hopeful and we may see this become a permanent fixture in time.

Something of a less tangible idea but a valid one for our team to think about in our work, was the belief that our banners should give something people would talk about to their friends, that is actively engaging whether in a profound manner or in a more light hearted sense. In some ways something that has been lost from no longer having Jimmy's piercing eyes is the level of engagement that occurred outside of our movement. It was certainly evocative and although in no way advocating for a return to that, we should think about how we can engage in our readers to the same degree. It's something that I hope can be worked on in the not too distant future whether through our fundraising or through other means of reader engagement. One of those means is through social media. Fundraising and Comms are looking to develop messaging that can be shared by volunteers and we would love to get your input. Head over to the fundraising ideas page for any suggestions you might have!

That is it for this week but I will keep these updates coming :)

Seddon (WMF) (talk) 20:13, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Japan Reader Survey[edit]

Back in February of 2015, the fundraising team engaged Lake Research Partners (LRP) to conduct a detailed survey of English language Wikimedia readers. As we look to continue to improve our efforts fundraising in non-EN languages we decided to conduct a similar fact finding exercise in one of our larger fundraising countries. Japan, being an affluent country with a large population and where our projects have had a large reach, has in some ways under-performed and seemed ripe to deliver the greatest impact for such efforts.

With that in mind, we again partnered with Lake Research Partners to run two focus groups consisting of readers and donors, and an online survey of 1000 Wikipedia readers and I am pleased to provide the findings of these.

We found the results show mostly favorable attitudes toward Wikipedia, with positive ratings on quality, look and feel, and readability, while accuracy is rated lower and mentioned as a concern among focus groups participants.

We found a more urgent, direct translation was perceived as better than a more natural translation. This may be because Japanese readers are less likely to donate spontaneously than some of our Western audiences; donors are generally motivated by significant events like natural disasters. We will have to balance an urgent tone with frank politeness when crafting our appeals, and are still working to find the right balance of direct and natural translation. Soon there will be a follow up survey of the Japanese Wikimedia community to help further our understanding and one of several means by which we are improving and strengthening the community involvement in movement fundraising.

Archive[edit]

For past updates, please see the our update archive.


See also[edit]