Fundraising 2007/Why Give blog/Support (Or Join) Wikimedia's New Team in San Francisco

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The Wikimedia Foundation is relocating from St. Petersburg, Florida to San Francisco. Why? St. Petersburg is lovely, but no-one would deliberately pick it to be our home; it's just where Jimmy Wales happened to be living when he started the organization. San Francisco will suit us better and help us grow: it is awash in interesting like-minded organizations, and also in really great talent - software developers, fundraising professionals, grants coordinators, graphic designers, and so forth.

The goal with the move is to take this tiny but very successful organization, and grow its staff just a little so we can run projects that will make Wikipedia and its sister projects more useful to you, and also to people with limited internet connectivity. See Erik Möller's blog entry Engines of Collaboration, for example, for background on some of the technical projects we have underway, and ones we want to begin. Or watch the video about the first-ever Wikipedia Academy in South Africa. We'd like to do more of those also.

When we decided to move to San Francisco, we invited all the U.S. staff to come with us. But most can't; they're constrained in various ways by personal circumstances. So we will need to replace several of the current staff, and we will also be hiring for a few new positions, like the fundraising one. We've filled a couple of administrative positions, we're midway through finalizing others, and there's a list of still-open positions on the Foundation site. In particular, I'd like to draw your attention to three critical roles:

  • The Chief Financial and Operating Officer. The primary purpose of this role is to oversee our financial and operational activities - ensuring that we run smoothly, effectively, and in compliance with 501(c) standards and generally-accepted accounting principles.
  • The Head of Partnerships. This person will develop and execute a strategy that will enable the Foundation to further its goals through partnerships. The intent is to partner with institutions, particularly other non-profits, to create mission-driven projects, and get them funded and executed.
  • The Head of Fundraising/Development. The purpose of this role is to develop and execute a fundraising strategy for the Wikimedia Foundation in the context of its overall mission, vision, values and goals - including a mix of major donor cultivation and online fundraising, as well as other initiatives.

If you are interested in these positions, I'd encourage you to follow the instructions on the Foundation website to apply. There are always lots of ways to help us fulfil the mission. You can come work with us. Or volunteer on one of the projects. Or donate.

Sue Gardner is the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Before joining Wikimedia, she ran CBC.CA, Canada's most popular news website.