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 Wikimedia 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 2020–2021 Fundraising Report.
Working across teams and with the Partnerships team
Sr. Director, Online Fundraising
Senior Manager, Fundraising Growth and Innovation
Lead Global Audience Strategist
Senior Email Campaign Specialist
Senior Manager, Global Fundraising Campaigns
Banner Production Associate
Foundations & Major Gifts
See also: Fundraising Technology
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
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.
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.
Current fundraising activities
Operated by Wikimedia Foundation
For 2021 (Q2)
- France emails 27th of July – 1st of September
- France banners 5th of October – 2nd of November (Control banners at time of campaign start in October, subject to change through the course of campaign: desktop large, desktop small, mobile large, mobile small)
- English Wikipedia (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and US) emails 6th of September – 10th of December (in several batches) (here an example email currently being used)
- English Wikipedia (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and US) banners 30th of November – 31st of December (here an example of a banner that is currently being tested)
Operated by Wikimedia Deutschland
- Fundraising testing:
- Fundraising Banners:
Operated by Wikimedia Switzerland
- Fundraising Banner Testing:
- Fundraising Banner Fundraising:
- We have an FAQ for donors and one for community members.
- Please stay in contact with us on the fundraising talk page.
- IRC channel: #wikimedia-fundraisingconnect (publicly logged)
- To report technical software bugs in Phabricator, follow mw:How to report a bug and use the #wikimedia-fundraising project tag.
- For a breakdown of how fundraising tech uses Phabricator, check out this wikitech page.
- For a calendar of all central-notice banners, including fundraising, see CentralNotice/Calendar.
See the full archive
Articles, videos etc. (here you find relevant articles about Wikimedia fundraising and finance)
Building a secure financial future for Wikipedia by Lisa Seitz Gruwell
Foundation 360 Building the relationships and resources we need to thrive Interview with Megan Hernandez, Advancement Department
The finances of free knowledge Lessons in transparency and impact by Jaime Villagomez
Annual Plan Conversations - Advancement and Finance and Administration Departments watch Lisa Seitz Gruwell and Jaime Villagomez take questions around the 2021/22 annual plan.
Five reasons Wikipedia needs your support (post supporting the 2021 English banner fundraising campaign) by Pats Pena
2021/22 Q1 Update
The first quarter of the 2021/22 year has rushed by and many things have been happening. The biggest news for our fundraising team was that the Endowment was able to confirm it had reached its initial $100 million goal at the end of June. We are very happy to announce this news and extend our thanks to the team and our donors for making this happen. We also expanded the Endowment Advisory Board by three new members, two who join it as Community Directors. You can catch up on the news on the WMF blog and on Diff.
We also ran our first fundraiser of the new financial year in Japan during July and August 2021 and are able to share that we reached our set goals for the campaign. Hear from our donors in Japan:
I was able to understand my "mission" this year. There are limits to what I can do for now, so I want my everyday life to be a learning opportunity and wish to collect knowledge, develop abilities. This Wikipedia is my best tool, my friend. I am going to continue donating as much as I can. Thank you so much.
Thank you very much for your polite letter. I also take this opportunity to congratulate you on your 20th anniversary. I am truly glad to have found Wikipedia in our modern society. I am ashamed of myself for being able to donate only a small amount although I receive many benefits from your Foundation. I should work harder to be able to contribute more. I pray from my heart that your organization with wonderful activities will continue to exist as an inheritance for the future generation in our world for a long time, really, forever. Congratulations again. I am so happy to have connected with you. Thank you very much.
I think Wikipedia is the revolution of encyclopedia, and give respect to you who have successfully made this revolution. The revolutional difference between you and the classic encyclopedia is that you are free, can be updated anytime, always accessible, easy and quick to use, and not heavy. As I am cautious about some controversial subjects, you are very useful and reliable otherwise. Please keep up your good work.
Throughout Q1 we have been preparing the two fundraising campaigns coming up in Q2. We tested both emails and banners for the fundraising campaign in France (started 5th of October). We also started preparation for the English campaign which will take place in December. For this we run tests weekly on the English Wikipedia for a few hours, spread across 1-2 days. During these tests we learn how the technical infrastructure performs and make improvements to our appeals.
The Tuning Session Deck for Q4 (2020/21) of the last financial year is now available on meta and you can catch up in more detail with the Advancement team’s work in the last financial year there.
2020/2021 Q4 Update
Our 2020/2021 year has come to an end and we want to update you on some of the fundraising highlights of Q4. First of all, we reached our financial goal for the year which is great news for the movement and the WMF! Thank you to all the readers, donors, and editors around the world who helped reach Wikimedia’s financial goal. We will publish a fundraising report on the full fiscal year in the next quarter. In the meantime, you can visit last year’s report.
The big campaign we ran in Q4 was in Latin America. Initially set to run in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay, we were flexible to accommodate both community campaigns and evolving local situations. The campaigns for Brazil and Mexico were moved forward and ran for a shorter time period in April 2021 as both communities had big banner campaigns scheduled for May 2021 and we did want to make sure that these took priority. We would like to thank the Brazilian community for helping us refine our banner messaging. We also did not run the banner campaign in Colombia due to the political unrest situation in the country at the time.
Have a look at what donors from Latin America said about Wikipedia:
- Sigo reconociendo el valor enorme que tiene Wikipedia y Wikimedia , para toda la humanidad. Lo diré muchas veces , como docente recibí una ayuda magnífica de Wikipedia , en matemáticas , geografía , historia , física , computación , cultura general , y mucho , mucho más. Me siento muy alegre de haber podido dar esta ayuda a una organización tan importante. - Argentina, July 2021
- Pese a las circunstancias que atraviesa el mundo, fue un honor contribuir con este granito de Arena, a la gran playa de conocimientos que significan ustedes. - Peru, May 2021
- Eu que agradeço por sua ideia e por sua disposição em mantê-la viva e consistente após 20 anos. Chamamos de "barulho dos bons" na internet. E vocês faz este grande "barulho" global há 20 anos. PARABÉNS! Obrigado. - Brazil, May 2021
Our campaign in India, scheduled for April 2021, was cancelled altogether due to the worsening Covid 19 situation in the country. Our thoughts go to our colleagues and communities in India who were affected by the situation and we are all very happy to see the our local partner, CIS A2K, is able to support local Wkimedians.
In May and June 2021, we ran our second-ever planned giving email campaign, sending emails to 2 million donors in the US. The campaign’s purpose was to educate donors about the opportunity to leave a legacy gift to Wikimedia in their will and to connect them with a free online service we partner with in the US, FreeWill. We heard from many donors who were not aware of a planned giving option and appreciated the information about an alternative way to support Wikipedia’s future. This email campaign led to 251 new commitments.
At the very end of the quarter, our Chief Advancement Officer, Lisa Seitz Gruwell, published an article on Building a secure financial future for Wikipedia. If you haven’t seen it yet, go and give it a read. She talks about the different ways in which Wikipedia will be supported in the future to guarantee its independence.