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
7 reasons you should donate to Wikipedia by Lisa Seitz Gruwell
2023/24 Q1 Update
The last quarter was all about collaboration between the fundraising team and the English Wikipedia community! In mid-July we launched the English Wikipedia fundraising banner community collaboration page and have been working with interested volunteers there since then. Collaboration so far has been fruitful and we tested new themes suggested by volunteers (e.g. disinformation and AI), we harmonized our style, and improved on suggested messaging. Fundraising staff also attended Wikimania where they hosted a working session on banner messaging. The session was attended by ca. 15 people, who shared their ideas and opinions on the banners. We will continue to engage with volunteers until the end of December but really would like volunteers who are interested to come along now as now is the time that we can accommodate more discussion and experiments around messaging before the very busy campaign management phase starts.
Next to the English campaign, we run fundraising campaigns (both email and banner) in France, India, and the Netherlands. We engaged both communities through a collaboration page (France, Netherlands, and India) and offered community calls.
Going into Q2 we are looking forward to further engaging with our communities.
2022/23 Q4 Update
In Q4, the fundraising team ran campaigns in the Czech Republic, Mexico, and Brazil.
We continued to iterate on our new approaches by engaging communities in fundraising campaigns from early on in the process by creating community collaboration pages. For the first time, we ran a fundraising campaign in the Czech Republic. We made adjustments to the localisation of our messaging based on feedback from Mexico and the Czech Community reached out to the Czech Affiliate to learn more about the new fundraising campaign. This is a work in process and we are constantly iterating and adapting to community needs. You can find some examples of the community pages below:
The team also hosted open community calls, where community members can bring ideas, ask questions, and engage with the fundraising team to improve the campaigns. We hosted two community calls in Q4 with Brazil (25th of April), and Mexico (25th of April).
Here is what our donors have said:
Through this channel I will write a short testimonial. I've always been thirsty for culture and I've always tried to solve all doubts about any subject. In the past, I used encyclopedias and libraries, but I was never satisfied with my research. With the emergence of Wikipedia I have always been able to solve my doubts. I always look for this channel and through the links I spend hours researching. I can no longer record in my memory all the subjects I research but the satisfaction in solving curiosities, even momentarily, is very great. I am very grateful to you. (Donor from Brazil)
Major gifts and Endowment
We engage with major donors to both the Foundation and the Endowment throughout the year via one-on-one meetings (both in-person and virtually), email and postal mail.
2022/23 Q3 Update
In Q3, the fundraising team ran campaigns in Sweden and Japan.
This year, we tried some new approaches to engaging communities in fundraising campaigns from early on in the process. We started to trial community engagement pages across the different language wikis ahead of fundraising campaigns. Thank you to everyone who provided valuable input on the campaigns. We had a discussion with the Swedish community about payment providers for donations and an exchange on banner language improvements with the Japanese community on how to localize a new message written by Jimmy in December. This is a work in process and we are constantly iterating and adapting to community needs. You can find some examples of the community pages below:
The team also hosted open community calls that we previously tried in the Netherlands, where community members can bring ideas, ask questions, and engage with the fundraising team to improve the campaigns. We hosted three community calls in Q3 with Sweden (24th of January), Japan (9th of February), and Czech Republic (28th of February). So far community members have not attended these calls and we will continue to connect with each community to create spaces that would be helpful for each group. We welcome ideas on how to make these spaces valuable. Generally, if there are local affiliates in our fundraising countries, members of the affiliates collaborate with the fundraising team on campaign planning and are involved in reviewing messaging to ensure that the concepts and translation are locally appropriate.
Here is what our donors have said:
Information should be easily accessible. You're a big part in the fight for clear, easily accessed, both vital and non vital information. That I thank you for! - Donor from Sweden
It is my pleasure to donate my little money to Wikipedia to support your financial situation. When I need some knowledge about what I do not know, Wikipedia gives me a good guide for understanding, or to deepen my knowledge. As such, I am always relying on your site, mainly because no commercial advertisement is involved. I understand a certain means of making money is unavoidable for internet company to continue the business, but sometimes (or recently always) the advertisements are too much and lousy. I feel like to discontinue the searching immediately. In that sense, Wikipedia is reliable and not disturbed by the lousiness. I hope you will continue your policy for long. - Donor from Japan
Looking towards Q4, we have banner fundraising campaigns in Brazil, the Czech Republic, India, and Mexico. In last year’s campaigns in LATAM and India, the fundraising team partnered with the Product department to run a pilot to ask donors to create an account to edit on the “thank you” page readers see once they complete their donation. This was an exciting experiment that provided an engagement opportunity for our donors and brought new editors to Wikipedia. The results were:
- Around 7% of donors show interest in editing immediately after donating, based on the estimated click-through rate from the Thank you page.
- 45.1% of users who reached the landing page created an account. This is a low bounce rate compared to what we’ve seen from other channels. Nearly half of donors who clicked Create an account on the TY Page stayed on the registration page and successfully created their account.
- Those who create an account right after donating are less likely to start editing than organic registrations. Only 4.6% of accounts created started editing within 24 hours of creating their account. This is much lower than the organic activation rate which is estimated to be between 26-36% on wikis.
- The “Try editing Wikipedia” CTA has a lower completion rate than the donor survey currently on our thank you page.
We have continued working with the Thank you page invitation, and recently added it in 5 new markets as a sustainable way to leverage existing fundraising campaigns to grow the number of new editors on Wikipedia: Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, and France.
We have expanded our in App fundraising and are now running App banners during most of our campaigns as well.
2022/23 Q2 Update
The second quarter of our financial year is always the busiest. During Q2 we ran our annual fundraising campaign in France as well as our English campaign in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
During November, the English community ran a Request for Comment (RfC) on the fundraising banner messages which had a profound impact on our English campaign. Following the close of the RfC, the Wikimedia Foundation set up a co-creation page to seek input from community members on proposed messaging for banners. We posted regular updates on the campaign's performance to this page. In brief, over 450+ banners were tested during this year's campaign, and $24.7M of revenue was raised against an original $30M goal (a shortfall of $5.3 million). During the first few days the new banners resulted in about 70% less revenue than on the corresponding days in the prior year. Additional information on the campaign results are posted here. Next year, the fundraising team will continue to engage with the community on banner messaging. We look forward to building on the process we created this year.
We are also working on a concept to encourage more active community discussions around our international fundraising campaigns, prior to the start of these campaigns.
What did our donors say:
Knowledge should be free and those who can should contribute to ensure it! You founded the modern equivalent of the library of Alexandria IMO, thank you for this and thanks to the army of volunteers who curate it. It makes me proud each year to help with this small donation. All the best to you and this beautiful organization. Donor from Canada
To see Wikipedia in-use amongst my students is so exciting for me. It is the gateway that sets them off to dive deep into the right academic literature they need. Without the gateway that Wikipedia provides, without those overviews of a topic, we would all waste so much more time, frustrated because we had not found the deeper stuff sooner. Donor from New Zealand
I wanted to thank you for your amazing work ! I studied in a STEM field and I owe a big part of my master’s degree to Wikipedia and all the information I found on it. This is the reason why now that I am done with studies, I donate a small amount back to Wikipedia yearly, as a thank you. Donor from France
Major gifts and events
In November, we hosted donor events in New York, New York and San Francisco, California. The audience was current and prospective major donors. The New York event had both an online and an in-person attendance option. Jimmy Wales and Maryana Iskander attended and spoke to guests about our mission and how their support advances the work of our mission. We also asked our current donors to renew their support of our work. We engage with major donors via one-on-one meetings (both in-person and virtually), email and postal mail.
The Endowment publishes regular updates on their own meta page going forward.
2022/23 Q1 Update
We started off the new fiscal year with banner fundraising campaigns in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Spain. For most of these countries this was the first time in several years that we ran a full campaign (meaning we showed 100% traffic banners with 10 impressions for each reader), rather than lower level campaigns. These campaigns were critical to contributing to raising our annual target while also learning a lot of valuable data points such as how our payment systems work and ways we can improve our localisation in future campaigns to better reach readers in different countries. Thank you to those who have provided localization support. If you are interested in collaborating on future campaigns please get in touch with Julia.
“Of course I transferred my donation again. In a world dominated by money and power, nothing is more important than independent information. Keep it up, nice to have you here!” The Netherlands
“Utilizo Wikipedia desde hace muchos años y considero que es una gran herramienta de consulta, impensable hace pocas décadas. La utilizo casi a diario y observo, con gratitud, su constante perfeccionamiento y les animo a que sigan en sus investigaciones y trabajos. Siempre buscando y ofreciendo la verdad. Es de justicia que colaboremos en la medida de las posibilidades de cada uno.” - Spain
“Hope with this little donation of mine can help the organization to keep doing its good work. Love you guys and thanks for giving information through your platform. It's really helpful.” - Malaysia
The English fundraising campaign started in Q1 with our email campaign which will continue until late November. We also started testing for the English banner fundraising campaign and conducted weekly tests. More details on when we test and with what traffic rate can be found on the English Wikipedia VP.
In September, we hosted a hybrid donor event with both online and in-person attendance options for current and prospective major donors. Jimmy Wales and Maryana Iskander met with in-person guests before engaging in a conversation about Wikipedia’s past and future during the online portion of the evening. These events serve to inspire new major donors, and deepen our relationships with existing major donors while educating both groups about our work.
The Endowment publishes regular updates on their own meta page going forward (these might not be quarterly, the interval is still being determined)
Outlook towards Q2:
As we are heading into our biggest fundraising season of the year, we would like to share information about how we manage the complexities of a global organization that fundraises in many countries. You’ve likely seen in the news there is a certain amount of economic turbulence in the global landscape that is impacting organizations and individuals around the world. While the Foundation raises and spends money in multiple currencies, our goals and budgets are set in USD because we are a US-based non-profit. The recent global currency fluctuations will impact both our spending and fundraising. We will continue to monitor the situation and adapt our approach as we learn more. We feel confident our finance and fundraising teams are in good shape to navigate the changing economic landscape. Although we are not anticipating significant changes to the budget, the situation may require us to update our plans as we go through the year. We will continue to provide updates and include the community throughout the upcoming Q2 campaign.
We are now in Q2 and will be adding additional banner tests as we prepare for the English campaign.
2021/22 Q4 Update
Q4 saw the end of our financial year and we are very happy to share that we raised our fundraising goal across all our fundraising activities. We are working on a report from the 2021-2022 fiscal year to be posted on meta next quarter. In the meantime, you can see the 2020-2021 fiscal year report.
We ran fundraising campaigns in Sweden, India, Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay), and South Africa. We especially communicated and involved the communities of the big fundraising campaigns (India and Latin America) and offered them separate meta pages, as well as dedicated office hours, to inform them on the campaign and collect their feedback and input.
Have a look what our donors said:
A donor from South Africa:
Thank you for the lovely email and for the invaluable service you render to the globe. I work with youth in the city centre of Johannesburg and Wikipedia helps me to share knowledge with severely under privileged kids to expand their worlds. THANK YOU!
From a donor in India:
Wikipedia and Google are mom and dad to me because they gave me information when I couldn't get from my parents.
A donor from Colombia:
I am an older adult from Colombia. I am delighted to be able to help such a noble purpose of making "knowledge" available to the entire world. I am convinced that knowledge belongs to EVERYONE, and that it is generated thanks to the experiences of our species, therefore it is something in our essence, available to every individual. I repeat that I am available to continue helping financially, to the best of my ability. Thank you.
Planned giving and Endowment
The Wikimedia Endowment ended the fiscal year having raised a total of $13.5 million in new contributions direct to the Endowment and 701 new planned giving commitments (commitments that donors have made to include Wikimedia in their wills or other estate plans). You can find a brief update on the developments around the Endowment in Q3 and Q4 on the Endowment meta page.
Major Gifts & Foundations
In Q4, following on from Wikimedia Foundation CEO Maryana Iskander’s listening tour with volunteers, partners, and staff, we began to introduce Maryana to major donors via individual meetings and small in-person and virtual gatherings. Donors enjoyed getting to know Maryana, learning about what she had heard on her listening tour, and sharing why they love and support Wikipedia. We’ll share more information about major gift fundraising results in the upcoming fundraising report that will be posted on meta next quarter.
Our new financial year has started and we are busy with preparing and running our campaigns for Q1. You can always find an up to date list of all campaigns on our meta page.
2021/22 Q3 Update
Quarter 3 of the current financial year has come to an end and we wanted to give a quick update of the things that went on in fundraising.
In March, we ran our Italian fundraising campaign both via email to previous donors as well as via banners on the Italian Wikipedia. We tested different messaging and took into account the feedback we received from the communities throughout the English campaign. You can read here what we changed for the Italy campaign as well as for the upcoming campaigns of quarter 4, including an “I already donated” button on banners and more information for donors on the thank you page.
Some impressions from our donors in Italy:
If an extraterrestrial sentient being should ask me "as human being , what are you proud of ? " , I would answer "we made and maintain Wikimedia".
I just write to say that this is one of the happiest donations I do and shall continue to do every year. Wikipedia has achieved to lift the global spirit of humanity by making us recall how powerful are the fruits of knowledge in strengthening the bonds of all humans and breaking all lines of division. I use Wikipedia all the time, and I congratulate you for keeping high its spirit of objectiveness.
We also sent a planned giving informational email in March of this quarter. These emails are sent to an existing donor segment in the United States and invite existing donors to consider adding the Wikimedia Foundation to their will or get in touch with us directly if they are interested in learning more about this type of giving.
Thank you to all our donors, readers and volunteers in Italy who made our campaign a success. Thank you also to our past donors in the US who helped to further our planned giving programme.
We are currently preparing for the upcoming campaigns for quarter 4: Sweden, South Africa, Latin America, and India and will keep you updated.
2021/22 Q2 Update
Quarter 2 of our financial year has just closed and it was the quarter with the biggest fundraising campaign of the year. We ran two major fundraising campaigns, one in France and one across English speaking countries. We are grateful to all of our donors who provide critical support to our movement as well as to the incredible volunteer community who creates a project that our readers find useful and want to support.
Let’s start off with France. As in previous years, we ran both a banner and email campaign in France. The email campaign went out throughout August, while the banner campaign took place in October. The campaign ran smoothly and you can read a bit more about Why should we give in Pats Pena’s post.
This brings us to our English campaign which is the highest revenue campaign we run throughout the financial year. It is composed of both email and banners and runs in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We sent three batches of emails between September and November to recent and recurring donors and are happy to share with you that our donors from past years showed their support and we reached our goal set for the email campaign by December. Donations from readers continue to grow as we build up our base of supporters over the years.
In late November, the banner campaign started across the English Wikipedia and ran throughout December. This year, we introduced ApplePay as a payment option available to readers to provide a convenient method that many readers use regularly and have requested in recent years. We continually strive to provide easy and preferred options for readers to support our movement. We focused on simplifying the donation process, particularly for readers on mobile devices. The team also continued efforts on increasing monthly recurring donors and are happy to see more readers supporting us year-round. As more readers give via monthly gifts and our email appeals, we’ve seen a rise in cases of existing donors still seeing fundraising banners, particularly because of our stringent privacy controls. We were excited to debut an “I already donated” feature in all our fundraising banners to help donors dismiss our content as intended. We are testing this towards permanent adoption in upcoming campaigns. We look forward to sharing more insights on the campaign in the next fundraising report.
Prior to the campaign we reached out to community members and worked with them on our banners. Feedback on banners throughout the campaign has been very much welcomed and we integrated many aspects that were raised, including the I already donated feature mentioned above and better banner hiding after intentional closes. Thank you to all community members, staff, donors, and readers who provided their insightful feedback and helped us constantly improve our work. Thanks to everyone’s support and work, we reached our goal by the end of December. Learn more about where donations go by reading this launch day post by Pats Pena.
To reach our revenue goal this year, we had to run the banner campaign for about a week longer than in the past couple of years. We heard from our volunteer community who monitor various community spaces that they saw an increase in questions and comments related to the campaign. We deeply appreciate all the work done to monitor and engage on this feedback and understand the challenge, particularly when comments from people with a negative perception on parts of our work are received. Thank you. We have seen the messages on our talk page and across the other community spaces and are reviewing them as a team. We have already adjusted some points raised and we are committed to improving in future campaigns. We will share more info about changes we’re incorporating in the upcoming campaigns in Italy and Sweden.
The Endowment and Major Gifts teams also reached their goals in Q2 thanks to generous major gifts and banner donations. The Endowment also received a 2 million USD gift from Arcadia Fund. Together with a 1 million USD gift made by Amazon in Q1, these were the largest gifts made to the Endowment during Wikipedia’s 20th birthday year. Thank you.
We started the planning process for our upcoming campaigns in Italy and Sweden. You can find more about the campaigns we are running in our current fundraising section.
As always, we welcome comments on the talk page and will answer them as soon as possible.
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.
2020/2021 Q3 Update
I am happy to welcome Julia Brungs as the new Senior Community Relations Specialist. Julia is based in Helsinki, Finland and will engage with the communities representing the Advancement teams. Julia joins us from Creative Commons and has previously worked at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and Europeana. You can reach her at jbrungs[at]wikimedia.org or her meta talk page. This means we had to say goodbye to Joseph Seddon who has been a great champion for the community in the Advancement team for the past 6 years. But he didn’t go far! Seddon has moved internally to a new position in the Product Department. Thank you, Seddon, for all your hard work and collaboration over the years. Congratulations on the next step in your Wikimedia career!
Now, some highlights of our work in Q3! We successfully ran fundraising campaigns in both Sweden and Italy! The feedback from the communities was positive and we exceeded our fundraising goals which will help us to further the work of our global community. We are now working on the campaigns in Latin America and India which are scheduled for Q4.
We also have news on the Endowment. As a reminder, the Endowment was created five years ago as a permanent safekeeping fund to enable us to fulfill the part of our mission that says we will provide support to the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity. Our goal was to raise an initial USD $100 million for the Endowment by 2026, after which income earned from investing the fund would become a new stream of financial support for Wikimedia projects. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters and the hard work of the staff and the Endowment Board, the Endowment now holds $91.6 million. We anticipate that we will surpass the $100 million goal next fiscal year.
At the outset, the Endowment was established as a Collective Action Fund at Tides Foundation, with the plan to move it to a permanent structure as the fund neared critical mass. In preparation for the approaching $100 million milestone, we are now beginning the work of taking the Endowment to its next stage of maturity: establishing it as an independent public charity with the mission of providing financial support for the Wikimedia projects. In Q3, a resolution to transition the Endowment to a new 501c3 was included in the WMF board resolution as well as the Wikimedia Endowment Advisory Board. All reviews confirmed that moving forward to set up a stand-alone entity is still the best path forward and we are now working towards this. More information on this as it emerges. --JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 10:21, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
2020/2021 Q2 Update
Since the launch of the Wikimedia Endowment, we’ve helped support it in part with contributions from our annual fundraising campaigns. For this year again we will be using some of our banner fundraising efforts being directed towards the Wikimedia Endowment. Banners on the Wikipedia portal and wikipedia app, along with major gifts fundraising, will remain focused on raising for the annual plan budget. The purpose of the Endowment is to act as a permanent safekeeping fund to generate income to ensure a base level of support for the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity. Once the Endowment reaches it's initial goal, it will provide revenue to support the projects of Wikimedia. It will not fully fund the movement's work, so it is not a replacement for annual fundraising, but it will supplement it in the future.
Fundraising banners will most likely come down over Christmas with a final push in the run up to New Years Eve. This year, our usual thank you campaign will instead be used to focus on Wikipedia's 20th Birthday celebrations for a few days in January. If you are looking to run an event, this is a reminder to finalize your Rapid Grant application for Wikipedia 20 by 23:59 UTC 15 December 2020.
Earlier this week, the Wikimedia Foundation announced a new collaboration with Plant Your Change to support the planting of 400,000 trees. For every donation of US$1 or more made to the Wikimedia Foundation during this collaboration, Plant Your Change — an initiative to plant at least 100 million trees in the next decade — will plant a tree to protect the environment. This is part of the Wikimedia Foundation's work to become more environmentally sustainable and conscious of our environmental impact while we work to make free knowledge available to every human being. You can read the Wikimedia Foundation's annual sustainability statement, which chronicles the total annual carbon footprint of our work and informs recommendations to meaningfully reduce future carbon impacts. You can read more about the movements broader work with volunteer-led efforts, including the Wikimedia Sustainability Initiative aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the Wikimedia projects.
2020/2021 Q1 Update
It’s been a very busy start to the beginning of this financial year. We displayed fundraising banners in the Netherlands through the month of July and completed our first major fundraising campaign in India in August. Email campaigns ran in France and Japan, and we’ve just launched our Japan banner campaign. We also resumed our Multilingual Bundle campaign which runs in 12 countries at a low level, which we paused at the beginning of the pandemic to allow the team to adjust plans and our messaging to reflect the new norm we find ourselves in.
The big end of year fundraising campaign on the English Wikipedia takes significant amounts of preparation and we’ve been “pre-testing” all through the summer. Our email campaign has just started this week and we expect the full banner campaign to launch at the end of November. We’ve begun work on our 2019-2020 fundraising report and that will come out later this financial year. In the meantime you can check out the final tuning session for Q4 of the 2019-2020 financial year.
We’d also like to share some recent departures and arrivals in the fundraising team. Caitlin Cogdill, one of our Senior Managers in Online Fundraising, departed to take up a new opportunity. The whole of the fundraising team and staff across the Wikimedia Foundation wish her well for the future and thank her for her significant contributions. We welcome Haley Nordeen to our production team, where she will be supporting our banner campaigns. And finally, Advancement would like to thank Nick Wilson for his support and guidance whilst Joseph Seddon was on secondment. Seddon has now returned and is supporting the whole Advancement department.
2019/2020 Q2&Q3 Update
The 2018/2019 Fundraising Report was posted in September, and translations are now available in Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. This is our first year translating the report. We are excited to share our findings with a wider audience.
In Q4 (April-June), we will be conducting some limited banner testing in the USA. We use brief tests (1-3 hours) to collate necessary data to inform future projections, as well as to test backend changes. Due to the significant global changes over the last few months we felt it vital to gather this now in order to help inform annual and long term planning for the Wikimedia Foundation, and by extension the broader movement.
2019/2020 Q1 Update
Just a quick update for the beginning of the financial year. We are in the midst of finalising our Fundraising report that covers our fundraising activities for the previous financial year. 2018/2019 was a really strong year for fundraising and we are excited to provide the community with a summary view of our online, major gift and endowment teams efforts.
With the new financial year we've already run our first email campaigns in July and our first banner campaign in Japan scheduled to start September 1. We've also started preparations for our Autumn English campaign which is our biggest campaign of the year. Through the summer up and right until [Giving Tuesday] we are running weekly tests, preparing our content and ensuring our systems are operating at their best.
This year will also hopefully see us returning to fundraising in India. We've already started working with community members, affiliates, and readers, to localise our fundraising content and this work will continue through to the first half of 2020.
We have a number of team members at Wikimania in Stockholm so if you have any questions look for Seddon, Megan, Peter, Moska, Jack or David! If you are looking for us, why not drop a message in the Wikimania2019 telegram chat.
Q2 Update and Summary
The end of the year is extremely productive, rewarding and very busy for the Wikimedia Fundraising team with fundraising occurring in 14 countries and 4 languages. Just a quick update on our fundraising activities.
We were originally scheduled to run a fundraising Campaign in JAPAN through September. Following the landfall of Typhoon Jebi, and extensive damage to the country, we as a team decided to delay the fundraising campaign to the first half of 2019.
Since the beginning of October we have been running our desktop fundraising banners in FRANCE. Mobile launched on Tuesday 9th. The banner campaign is scheduled to run to the end of October.
During the months of October and November we are also ramping up our preparations for our main English fundraising banner campaign in USA, CANADA, UK, IRELAND, NEW ZEALAND and AUSTRALIA. As with previous years, that means running banners on English Wikipedia and emailing past donors.
Regular banner testing will continue and intensify through the months of October and November. This testing consists of a series of single and multi hour tests and will increase in cadence as we get closer to December. We do this to explore new ideas, test systems, improve workflows etc all in time for the busiest period of the year. As previous years, the main push will begin on or around Giving Tuesday, November 27. We will look to fundraise through the month of December.
E-mail fundraising in these countries has already begun where we ask previous donors to reaffirm their support to Wikimedia. Just like the banner campaign, we extensively test our appeals. The email campaign started over the last week and will continue steadily through the rest of this calendar year.
Another upcoming campaign will be Latin America consisting of BRAZIL, PERU, URUGUAY, ARGENTINA, MEXICO, CHILE, COLOMBIA. We have worked closely with the Iberocoop communities and affiliates in these areas to localise the banner language. This campaign will be using a slightly different format, running at a low percentage of page views and over a longer time period. We are excited to see how this improves the effects of the campaign on both community and the fundraising team.
Major Gifts and Endowment
This week we announced a $2 million gift to the Wikimedia Endowment from George Soros, founder of the Open Society Foundation.  Also announced recently, Amazon recently gave $1 million to the Wikimedia Endowment. This is an important acknowledgement by the Internet retailer of the need for the future sustainability of the Wikimedia Projects.  Since the launch of the endowment in January 2016, the endowment has raised over $27.5 million from generous donors, philanthropists, and Wikimedia community members.
There are a number of ways you can help support the fundraiser:
- Have specific ideas or stories we should tell via social media, banners, emails etc.? We’re also looking for nice images, if you could point us to your favorites from Commons. Please add them to our fundraising ideas page. 
- If you need to report a bug or technical issue, please create a Phabricator ticket. 
- If you see a donor on a talk page, OTRS, or social media with questions about donating or having difficulties in the donation process, please refer them to donatewikimedia.org.
We look forward to working with you all in the coming weeks.
FY1718 Fundraising Report released
The fundraising team has published the FY1718 Fundraising Report. We invite you to read our overview of the last year of fundraising at the foundation and learn more about our strategy, methodology, successes, and future opportunities.
FY1617 Fundraising Report
Facebook Ads Experiment
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
Big English - Social Media (December 15)
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:
- Joseph Gordon Levitt - https://twitter.com/hitRECordJoe/status/805841296354988032
- Baratunde Thurston - https://twitter.com/baratunde/status/805521678205931520
- Kate Beaton - https://twitter.com/beatonna/status/806217554721177600
- Cory Doctorow - https://twitter.com/doctorow/status/806257053425537024
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 :)
Big English - Early Update (December 6)
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 : 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  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  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 :)
Big English launch (November 28th)
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 , 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  and at the September metrics meeting  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 . 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 . Over the last year: use of Phabricator  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.
Advancement Associate (Community Engagement) Wikimedia Foundation
 2015-2016 WMF Fundraising Report: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2015-2016_Fundraising_Report
 September 2016 Metrics Meeting Presentation: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/September_2016_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting.pdf
 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
 To sign up for a feedback session - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/Community_Feedback_Series_2#Session_Details
 To suggest new banners ideas visit the test ideas meta page - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2016-17_Fundraising_ideas
 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
Community Engagement Update
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 :)
Japan Reader Survey
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.
FY15/16 Q3 & Q4
It's the end of the WMF financial year and with that we reached our stretch goal target of $77 million*! Given the fantastic effort by all teams, the additional $5 million will be used to seed the Wikimedia Endowment rather than using funds from out of the operational reserve.
- *Preliminary total as we are currently reconciling the final numbers for the 2015–16 fiscal year
- Through Q3 & Q4 we ran fundraising campaigns in 19 countries across Europe and Latin America and in XX# languages
- Raised $6 million dollars
- The highlight was our Latin America Campaign where despite the technical challenges ran in 6 new countries and in local currency rather than US dollars as has previously been done, raising almost $700K from 100K donors.
Banner Testing highlights
- Large Desktop Banner: a shift from black to a dark/navy blue, softening of banner edges and a shift in banner text font.
- Small Desktop Banner: Interesting result from the use of orange in a test in the Netherlands. Potential future testing idea around colours associated with strong national identity.
- Mobile Small Banners: No longer placed within the article and appear at the top of the article.
- Interesting results when specifying the location of the donor. Generally between 3-10% increase depending on the country. Some countries appear to buck the trend and in these instances specifying location has a negative impact.
- Sent informational emails with no fundraising ask to 2 million donors in US and GB, including content like the This is Wikipedia video, fun facts about Wikipedia, and Wikimedia newsletters. Emails got high engagement which showed donors were taking time to read even long emails. We will continue to use this as a way to educate donors about the Wikimedia movement.
- We tested over 80 variables, including GIFs, buttons, subject lines, and a photo of kittens.
- Major Gifts and Foundations exceeded annual goal of $8 million USD, raising roughly $9.3 million USD (final number pending)
- Highlights include: $200,000 donation from craigslist Charitable Fund and our ongoing relationship with Humble Bundle, who gave $136,952.43 in the second half of this fiscal year, bringing their total support lifetime to WMF to over $750,000. We are grateful for the gifts and support of all our major donors.
- As announced, the Wikimedia Endowment was set up to provide a long term secure source of funding for the preservation of the online projects, even in the event the Wikimedia Foundation itself was unable to support the projects for whatever financial, legal or other reasons.
- Setup with a goal of raising $100 million in 10 years.
- Seeded with $5 million of WMF existing funds.
- First donation of less than $1 million made by software engineer Jim Pacha
- Second donation of $1 million made by Craig Newmark of Craigslist
Work has started on a fundraising report for the 2015/2016 Financial Year and can be expected to be completed before the end of September 2016.
Mid-December 2015–16 Campaign Update
The fundraising team is wrapping up the second week of the December campaign and we'd like to share an update with you--where we are, what we've changed, and what you can do to get involved.
WHERE WE ARE:
We've passed the halfway mark to the $25 million campaign goal. So far, we've raised roughly $18 million (a preliminary total that is quickly changing and has not been reconciled with official totals from the finance department). Banners are running on desktop and mobile devices. We are also sending emails to past donors asking if they would give again this year. We're monitoring the trends daily and look forward to sharing a post-campaign analysis with you. We will post an update on when we will be able to end the campaign when we have a clearer picture.
WHAT WE'VE CHANGED:
Over the past several months, staff members and volunteers have provided both critical and generative feedback and new fundraising banner ideas. Their help has been very valuable. Many of these new messages have been tried in pre-campaign tests and in the last two weeks. Thank you to everyone who has shared their time and ideas! A few message highlights:
- We are no longer using the line "keep Wikipedia online and ad-free." It has been changed to "keep our work going another year."
- New text in the current banner: "We believe that knowledge is a foundation. It is a foundation for human potential, for freedom, for opportunity. We believe everyone should have access to knowledge—for free, without restriction, without limitation."
- "We survive on donations" has been changed to "We're sustained by donations"
- "Please help us end the fundraiser and get back to improving Wikipedia" has been changed to "Please help us end the fundraiser and improve Wikipedia."
- We have removed the persistent reminder from large banners. The reminder is still included in the small banners, which is consistent with the same style banners from the 2013 and 2014 campaigns.
- The coffee cup image has been removed from banners
We have also run some initial tests with new messaging that show encouraging results. We're still working on more messages and sorting out how we'll incorporate new ideas into the overall banner, but here are some sentences we"re testing:
- "Wikipedia has become nothing short of a global public library."
- "We don't run ads. We respect your privacy. We don't sell your data."
- "Wikipedia exists to verify, protect, and share the combined knowledge of humanity."
- "There is nothing else on the internet like Wikipedia. We are a global information hub with 15 billion page views a month, written by a community of volunteers with a passion for knowledge."
- "The information in Wikipedia is constantly growing, but we need your help to keep up with rapidly changing technology. Wikipedia is like a library or public park created by a passionate community."
- "Wikipedia changes every second of every day. We just hit 5 million English articles, but we need to continually grow to serve our readers."
- "Please become a volunteer or a donor to help end us the fundraiser and improve Wikipedia. Thank you."
- With just a couple weeks left to go in 2015, the team is working hard to make improvements. We'd love your help.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
- To file a bug report or technical issue, please create a phabricator ticket or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- To see the latest news from the team, please see the updates on this page
- To suggest a banner idea, visit the test ideas meta page
- To read the latest reader survey, see the full report on commons
- To learn more about the fundraising program and last year's campaign, see the 2014–15 fundraising report
Thank you to everyone for your support and to the fundraising team for working so collaboratively and such long hours throughout this campaign. And thank you to all those that have given thus far. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 11:20, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
December 2015 Campaign Launch Update
We are just a few weeks away from the launch of the December English fundraiser. The end of the year is the most critical time of the year for Wikimedia's fundraising: The goal this year is $25 million. The campaign will launch in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland on Giving Tuesday, December 1st.
In these past months of preparation, we have relied on feedback from the volunteer community, readers, and staff through discussion pages, feedback sessions, phone calls, interviews, user testing, surveys and A/B tests. Thank you to everyone for participating! It has truly been a helpful experience and wonderful to hear from so many voices from all different parts of the movement.
In just the last two weeks, an independent research firm conducted a new survey of Wikipedia readers. (You may remember that we did a similar survey last February.) We heard from you last spring that there were some additional concerns that you would like us to explore with readers. We tried to look into those concerns in this survey. We have uploaded the survey report on Commons for anyone who is interested in reading it. We have also setup a section on the talk page to discuss the survey.
The feedback from readers, the volunteer community and staff has been critical to shape the campaign. Several improvements have been made so far as a direct result of this input. We have changed a few specific sentences of the message that were discussed heavily on meta pages and also tried a variety of design ideas based on comments.
We also have some fresh banner ideas that came about through a recent workshop with staff. We will be testing those new banner ideas in small runs throughout the campaign as well. And we're still gathering ideas! To see the latest version of the message and submit your ideas, please visit the fundraising ideas page.
Since last year, we have made improvements to our banner targeting and analytics systems with the goal of raising the budget, while limiting the number of banners and disruption for our readers. We aim to run the campaign for roughly two weeks at a high traffic level and then at a much reduced level for the rest of December.
The fundraising team faces a great challenge this year: the highest revenue target in WMF history along with a decline in page views – particularly in desktop pageviews where readers are more likely to donate. The team has and will continue to work hard to make improvements needed to reach this goal. We cannot do this alone. Thank you to everyone who has offered input, expertise, time and energy into helping make this fundraiser a success.
We look forward to your ideas and questions. Since the team experiences an incredibly high volume of seasonal work, we will not be able to respond immediately to questions or feedback. We will review feedback and bug reports regularly and we have dedicated time to post an update by mid-December and again at the end of the campaign. Here's how to get involved:
- To file a bug report or technical issue, please create a phabricator ticket or email email@example.com
- To see the latest news from the team, see the fundraising meta page
- To suggest a banner idea, visit the test ideas meta page
- To read the latest reader survey, see the full report on commons
- To learn more about the fundraising program and last year's campaign, see the 2014–15 fundraising report
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the campaign preparations. More importantly, thank you to the entire Wikimedia community for building this incredible project that readers love and support with their donations. None of this would be possible without you. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 09:57, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
2015–2016 Q1 Update
The Wikimedia Foundation has just wrapped up the first quarter of the 2015–16 fiscal year. Over these past three months, the fundraising team has been running campaigns in Japan, Brazil, Malaysia, South Africa, Belgium and Luxembourg and prepared for the upcoming year-end English fundraising campaign. The online fundraising team missed the $6 million goal for the quarter due to postponing the Italy fundraiser to October to support the Wiki Loves Monuments campaign. We raised roughly $5.7 million in the first quarter of the year and plan to make up for the loss in the next quarter. The 2014–15 fiscal year fundraising report was also posted in this quarter. If you haven't read it yet, please do check out the report for a wealth of information on the last fiscal year.
The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand new banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons, and different messages, we've found a few new ways to share the fundraising message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we've ended the quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the best- performing banner from last quarter. Better performing banners are required to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We'll continue testing new banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
The banner message has also been updated with suggestions from the Wikimedia community. Thank you to everyone who has suggested improvements so far! We have changed "We survive on donations averaging about $15" to "We are sustained by donations averaging about $15." We've also changed "Please help us end the fundraiser and get back to improving Wikipedia" to "Please help us end the fundraiser and improve Wikipedia." These message edits did not positively or negatively affect donations and were made in response to community feedback. In the past, we have also relied on community feedback to improve our campaigns. In the last year, community feedback has led to improvements to the usability of the close X icon and a new line to highlight the editing community, "Wikipedia is written by a community of volunteers with a passion for sharing the world's knowledge." All of these community suggestions remain in the banner. Another sentence that was briefly tested on a small percentage of users about a year ago that received negative community feedback was "If everyone reading this gave $3, we could keep it online and ad-free another year." We did not end up using that sentence for the campaign and we commit to not using it in any future campaign. In the next quarter, we are planning many more message tests -- with both brand new ideas as well as smaller tweaks to the existing text. If you have an idea to test, please share on the 2015–16 test ideas page. Thanks again to everyone who has shared ideas so far.
This upcoming quarter will be our biggest of the year with campaigns in Italy, France, the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. The team is focused on providing the best donation invitation and experience possible to readers. We will be sharing plenty of more information about the upcoming campaigns over the next couple of months. Thank you for your support! MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 20:52, 9 October 2015 (UTC)
Best performing banner July 2015
Trees Banner Example
Commons photo banner example
Commons photo banner example
Commons photo banner example
Graphic banner example
Text and graphic banner example
Text and graphic banner example
Best banner from September 2015 -- a 20% improvement over the best banner from July 2015.
2014–2015 Fundraising Report
2014-2015 Fiscal Year Wrap-up
We’ve just ended the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The fundraising team is preparing our annual fundraising report for the entire fiscal year (as we have posted in past years). We plan to have the report posted by the end of this quarter. In the meantime, here you have a few quick updates on the past quarter and some upcoming information on the new fiscal year.
Since the December 2014 English fundraising campaign, the team has been busy running campaigns in many countries and languages. In the past six months, we ran desktop, mobile, and email campaigns in Israel, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Latvia, Romania, and Slovakia.
As we enter a new fiscal year, we are preparing another round of country campaigns – kicking off with Japan in July. We have plenty of new ideas to try and throughout the year we will be running tests around the world to find new material to effectively and respectfully get our message across to readers, while also motivating them to become donors. The team is working on preparing brand new banner ideas to test (just to name a few ideas: short messages, long messages, infographics, images, new designs, new messaging, etc.) If you have any ideas, please do share them on the fundraising ideas page on meta. We look forward to finding new breakthroughs this year and sharing the highlights with you.
A very big thank you to the more than four million readers who donated to make the 2014-15 fiscal year the Wikimedia Foundation’s most successful fundraising year in history. Thank you to the fundraising team, volunteers, and staff for an incredible year. Looking forward to a new year and new discoveries. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 14:27, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Reader Survey on the December 2014 English Fundraising Campaign
The WMF commissioned a randomized survey of Wikipedia readers to study their opinion of the December 2014 English Fundraising Campaign. Signpost covered the results in a story in their March 11, 2015 issue.
2014 Campaign Ends: Thank you for keeping knowledge free and accessible
Thank you to all Wikimedia supporters for your commitment to keeping knowledge free and accessible for the world. A blog post was published announcing the end of the 2014 fundraising campaign. Please check out the blog post for an update on the end of 2014 fundraiser.
December 15, 2014 Campaign Update
We are two weeks into the English fundraising campaign. We've had incredible support from our community of readers these past two weeks and we are thankful to everyone who has contributed so far.
We have raised roughly $18 million from 1.6 million readers since we launched the campaign on December 2nd. This number is preliminary as donations are still coming in and settling in our accounts. The team is on track to reach the $20 million campaign goal this month.
Banners have been showing to all readers these past two weeks. At this point, we are starting to limit the number of banners each reader sees. We will run the campaign at a higher traffic level again at the end of December for a final year-end push.
Thank you again for your support. I also want to thank everyone on the fundraising team as well as staff and community members who have worked on the campaign. We work incredibly hard throughout the entire year, but there has been exceptional effort the last month. Thank you.
One of my favorite parts about the campaign is reading the notes from our readers. Please take a moment to read through some of these comments. And thank you for making Wikipedia a treasured resource that people are happy to support :)
Quotes from Wikipedia readers:
- "I consider Wikipedia one of the few (the only?) big internet company who are actually trustworthy. I value Wikipedia and I want to support it."
- "Wikipedia is too valuable to be taken for granted. Donating is for me an act of fairness, responsibility, and gratitude."
- "I read a comic about a Wikipedia-Comcast merger. It was terrifying."
- "Keep doing what you are doing. I love Wikipedia. My most visited site by a mile. Any time I watch a new documentary, nature show, or read a book about a topic I find fascinating, I always Wikipedia the information. Irreplaceable!"
- "It's so convenient to pop onto the computer (Wikipedia) and find out almost anything I want to know. Sure beats the old encyclopedias I grew up with. It's helpful with medical advice and also, at my age, when you can't think of a name of somebody famous, etc. It makes life easier to find out RIGHT NOW instead of waiting for your brain to compute the answer 3 days later."
- "Very helpful! As a nursing student I frequently use Wikipedia to reference science and engineering topics so I can get a deeper understanding concepts and extra learning. Ilove it. As a young child in the early 1960s I thought that computers were going to be giant machines you could ask any question and get answers, Wikipedia is that machine! It's wonderful! Just sharing."
- "It's 10pm and I have to write a history essay. I'd love to sit and tell you about all the times Wikipedia saved my ass by giving me quick start points on projects. I simply love Wikipedia, keep it up guys! :)"
- "It can finish a debate in a couple of clicks"
- "Reduces intellectual irritation: Whenever, I encounter a word I don't know or am fuzzy about, I look it up on Wiki; whenever I need facts to resolve a political, religious, scientific or technical question, Wiki is there."
- "Once upon a time far far away I wanted a set of encyclopedias, but, alas I could not afford them. Wikipedia now fills that void."
- "I visit and utilize Wikipedia multiple times every week, sometimes daily. Going to Wikipedia has become second nature to me. It is synonymous with knowledge - there's nothing more profound. I support it with the small donations I can afford in the hope of setting an example, and so that others may have the same opportunities I've had."
- "There have been so many ways that the internet has disappointed me in my hopes that it would improve the human condition. However, there is this one shining exception, and from my least expected source. Wikipedia is that best thing that humanity has done with the internet, contributing to both a common knowledge set and re-learning how to find areas of agreement with others, instead of just shouting and not listening."
- "I use Wikipedia for 'fact checking" & naming space ships, realizing that it still a secondary source... but trust the communal effort to gravitate towards a mostly accurate "centerpoint". The Encyclopedia Galactica of Trantor in the making......"
- "You've killed the "bar-gument" but that's okay, I'd prefer to be informed rather than simply louder than the next guy. ;)"
- "Most often I turn to Wiki in order to answer a question that my grandson has asked about life, the universe and everything...in the old days we had a kids' encyclopedia on the bookshelf, but it became outdated and Wiki has taken its place."
- "I frequently look things up while watching TV or movies. For example, while watching Mad Men, I have frequently looked up specific dates or locations to learn more about what was happening as it was portrayed on the show. I learned more about the Bay of Pigs, the Kennedy assassination, Viet Nam, riots, music, movies and general culture of the period. I always know I can count on Wikipedia to provide a thorough synopsis of whatever it is I'm looking for."
- "Knowledge is the key to so many locks. Thank you"
- "Wikipedia is kinda like having my mom sitting next to me when I was a kid. She knew everything :)"
2014 Big English Campaign Launch
We launched our end of year English fundraising campaign on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. Please read below for a little more background on the mechanics of the English Wikipedia campaign, and where we are on our goals this year to-date.
Starting today, banners are being shown to 100% of anonymous readers on English Wikipedia in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Our end of year campaign goal is $20 million. As Lila mentioned, our goal is to serve more powerful reminders to be able to limit the total number of banners each reader sees. We are constantly experimenting with new methods to reach our readers and optimize the donation experience.
Around the world, banners have been showing to a low level of traffic since the start of the fiscal year in July. We have also run campaigns to 100% of traffic in Japan, South Africa, Malaysia, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Belgium, and France. These campaigns have shown good results, and we look forward to sharing more detail in our regular annual fundraising report.
If you spot any errors or have problems donating, your can reach us quickly at: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
We also anticipate some of you will want to know more about this process and may have questions. If you have questions or comments, please let us know on our Meta talk page: Talk:Fundraising
We look forward to answering your questions to the best of our ability, but the team has limited resources and everyone will be working at an increased pace in December, particularly during the launch week (12/2-12/5). Unfortunately, this means we will not be able to respond to all questions as they arise -- so instead we have set aside time to review your questions on Meta, and post an update by December 15 and again in January.
2013 Campaign Wrap-up Update
Happy New Year! We successfully wrapped up the fundraiser in December, big thanks to everyone whose hard work made this possible.
We're working on a full report to share, but in the mean-time, here are a few quick facts to hold you over:
- In December, the fundraising team ran the year-end online campaign in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
- The campaign ran full blast for two weeks.
- Roughly $18.7 million USD was raised from more than one million donors in December (preliminary numbers as donations are still settling).
- Year-to-date, approximately $32 million has been raised from online fundraising banners.
- The team created and tested approximately 250 different banners.
- We sent 2.6 million emails to donors from previous years asking them to give again.
- We responded to 15,000 reader emails during the month of December.
A full report will be posted publicly in 2014. We're currently preparing to run campaigns in all other countries and languages. The multilingual campaigns will be spread out throughout 2014. Heads up: We will need help translating messages and localizing the fundraiser. If you're interested in helping out, please let us know.
Thanks for all the support and keep an eye out for more updates.