Jump to content

Fundraising 2010/Survey

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
In other languages
  Updates       Testing       Translation       Messaging    

This is the planning space for the 2010 Fundraiser Survey, based off of last year's survey attempt. We will be re-using some of the questions and translations from last year's survey, however, we are approaching the work differently and some things may change. Rand Montoya 19:07, 24 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]



The Wikimedia Foundation raises three-quarters of its annual revenue in small individual donations. To garner the support needed to protect Wikipedia and other projects for the long term, the foundation is committed to building strong, lasting relationships with its donors. Deepening this connection with individual donors is directly linked to the foundation’s dedication to listening to, working with and meeting the needs of its global community of users, editors and supporters.

To build those relationships, the foundation has an opportunity and a need to understand better who its individual donors are, how they perceive the foundation’s work, and what kinds of interactions would be most valuable in maintaining long-term philanthropic relationships. And we believe there’s no better way to find out than to ask our donors directly. Rand Montoya 19:07, 24 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I'd like to add that this body of information is going to be useful from a communications perspective as well, for the Foundation and hopefully for the Chapters who are looking for guidance in reaching out to our core donor audience. Increasingly, and with the growing size of our donor base, it's becoming clear that having specific information about our donors will be critical in building effective products (annual report, donor emails, stories, videos, presentations etc) - and using our limited financial resources carefully.

We won't get it all in the first effort of course - it will take a few versions and we'll continue to improve our information. And this information changes often. New technologies emerge, behaviors change, people will have different outlooks in a year, two years, ten years.

Some of the things we'd like to know more about:

  • what other causes do donors support (environmental causes? open-source?)?
  • what styles of engagement resonate with our donors (email, blog - would they like more or less?)
  • what do they think of our current or past outreach efforts?
  • and of course we're interested in knowing more basic information about donors - simple details that will help us build our understanding of this group.

JayWalsh 20:09, 24 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]



We plan to engage only those donors who volunteered to be contacted by the foundation in two ways:

  • A randomized list of 2,000 donors recently received an invitation to participate in a three-day online focus group about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. Of those who volunteered to participate, 30 have been chosen to engage in this deeper conversation. Sea Change Strategies, a firm that works exclusively with nonprofits, will lead the discussion. Respondents’ identities and personal information will be kept confidential.
  • This process was completed in early March, 2010. We appreciate the donors who volunteered to be a part of this process. We are going to use the information gained from the focus group as a way to pinpoint and highlight areas of interest in the survey. Rand Montoya 18:16, 29 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Secondly, almost all donors to the 2009-2010 fundraiser who agreed to be contacted by the foundation will be offered the opportunity to provide input through an online survey. The survey invitation will be distributed via e-mail, and responses will be aggregated so that respondents are anonymous and their personal information is protected.

Donors’ responses to the survey and online focus group will inform the foundation’s future communications with its donors — the goal being to provide the type and amount of information and interaction that our donors want.

Survey Audience


An invitation to participate in the survey will be sent via email to all Wikimedia Foundation donors who have not opted out of receiving emails from the Foundation. The email will only go out in English but we will try to have translated versions of the email available. We intend to translate the survey into at least the 7 most fundraising prevalent languages and will provide an option for the community to translate into other languages as desired.

Survey General Process Line

  1. Gather community input on topics to be explored in the survey. (April 6th, 2010)
  2. Review community input and assess what changes and additions need to be made, and make any changes accordingly. (April 13th, 2010)
  3. Translate survey into 7-12 languages. (End of June, 2010)
  4. Program and test survey. (Week of July 5, 2010)
  5. Survey invitation is sent out. (Early August, 2010)
  6. Compile survey responses. (End of August, 2010)

Survey Topics


At the conclusion of the focus group, SeaChange has identified the following areas of interest for the donor survey:

  • How do donors typically use Wikipedia; and how often?
  • What do donors like most about Wikipedia?
  • What motivates donors to support Wikipedia, and how likely they are to donate again?
  • What concerns do donors have about the future of Wikipedia?
  • Besides Wikipedia itself, what other online services or information sources donors use?
  • Standard demographic questions (for research purposes only; all answers will be kept anonymous)

Please post on the discussion page if there are additional areas of focus or knowledge that you would want added to the survey. We want to acknowledge at the onset that we intend to keep the survey to a manageable length and cannot fit in all areas of inquiry. Tradeoffs may need to be made in order to keep the survey a reasonable length. If a new topic is added, a different topic may need to be removed or explored in less depth.



Please leave questions and thoughts about what you would like to learn about our donors on the Discussion page. Rand Montoya 00:56, 2 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]



Wikimedia produced a random sample of 20,000 individuals from the much larger number of individuals, from many countries, contributing less than $1000 between November 1 2009 and June 30 2010. These individuals were invited to participate in a 29 item (but around 70 question) survey. 3760 agreed to participate, and the survey was conducted in August 2010. The participants probably differ from those who declined in ways that are associated with survey answers. Hence the respondents do not represent an entirely representative sample of the < $1000 donors.

The survey participants are committed to Wiki[p/m]edia, visiting it frequently. They say that they are very likely to donate again, and they support all the survey-mentioned reasons for donation. They were not aware of Wikipedia chapters. A majority of respondents did not appear greatly concerned about possible threats to Wikipedia’s identity. About 1/3 of these individuals have edited, though not frequently. Those who express more support for Wikimedia as a cause appear more prone to edit. Those who have not contributed in this way say mostly that they haven’t thought about it--suggesting that they haven’t really considered the possibility—or that they don’t have time. Europeans and the highly educated especially stress lack of time.

Some subgroup differences were found within the sample. The likelihood of writing or editing does vary a bit by subgroup, for example. Overall, however, responses did not vary greatly by subgroup, whether “demographic” (nationality, education, sex) or behavioral (e.g., degree of on-line activity).

  • The full details of the survey can be found here.
  • A short overview can be found here.