Fundraising committee/2006/Fundraising appeal

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The FundCom is developing ideas for a fundraising appeal to present to the Board. Please edit the below text to improve it, or create different versions below it to develop alternative texts.

A good fundraising appeal succinctly presents some of the great things we previously have done (with an emphasis on what has been done since the last fundraiser) and presents some ideas on what can be done in the future with additional funds. The point is to impress potential donors on our track record and instill in them confidence that their support will be well spent and they can be part of something revolutionary.

Version based on last appeal[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation and the tens of thousands of volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to its projects believe that knowledge is power, and that it must be free.

Generous support from people like you has enabled Wikipedia to become the largest encyclopedia in human history. Just a few years ago, was not even a top 10,000 website; now it is in the top 10 with over 150 million unique visitors per month. We are now expanding our reach even beyond the Internet through partnerships with organizations such as One Laptop per Child: Wikipedia content will be featured on their laptops. With your help, tens of millions more people will use Wikipedia and its sister projects next year.

In the coming year, the Wikimedia Foundation anticipates spending millions keeping up with increases in demand, improving our software and methods to better ensure good quality content, and continuing work toward our goal of providing free knowledge to everyone. That sounds daunting, but so did creating the world's largest encyclopedia in less than five years. We can do it with your help. Wikipedia and its sister projects exist only through contributions: the contributions of editors who volunteer their time and effort, and the contributions of donors who help financially. Just as many small edits help build content, every donation helps serve that content. The average donation we receive is the equivalent of $20. Every little bit helps.

We are turning to you during this holiday season to help make this happen. It is your donations that allow us to continue to grow and improve. Donations to the Wikimedia Foundation can be made in the currency of your choice and are tax deductible in the United States. In Germany and France, donations to the local Wikimedia chapters (Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimedia France) are also tax deductible. While donations to local chapters may not be directly used by the Wikimedia Foundation they will help us reach our overall goals.

Now is the time to help empower the world with free knowledge.

Thank you for your generosity!

Version based on Jimbo's appeal[edit]

We are soon entering our 7th year online, and I want to take a moment to ask you for your help in continuing our mission. Wikipedia is facing new challenges and encountering new opportunities, and both are going to require major funds.

Wikipedia is based on a very radical idea, the realization of the dreams most of us have always had for what the Internet can and should become. Thousands of people, all over the world, from all cultures, working together in harmony to freely share clear, factual, unbiased information… a simple and pure desire to make the world a better place.

This is a radical strike at the heart of an increasingly shallow, proprietary and anti-intellectual culture. It is a radical strike at the assumption that the Internet has to be a place of hostile debate and flame wars. It is an appeal to the best within all of us.

The result so far has been wild success. Thanks to the wonderful volunteers who have created and managed this vast resource, we are now one of the top 30 websites in the world… and traffic growth continues. The pressures on us increase daily, pressures of organization, of servers and server management. In order for Wikipedia to move forward, we need the help of ordinary people like you, people who share in our dream of a free encyclopedia for every single person on the planet.

In 2005, we achieved 6-fold growth in pageviews with spending of less than $750,000. We will need a lot more this year just to keep the site on the air and performing well. But the wonderful thing about our growth is that it gives us a real opportunity to extend our fundraising beyond just what we need to stay on the air.

Reporters are always asking me why I’m doing this, why Wikipedians do this? I think you know why.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. I’m doing this for the child in Africa who is going to use free textbooks and reference works produced by our community and find a solution to the crushing poverty that surrounds him. But for this child, a website on the Internet is not enough; we need to find ways to get our work to people in a form they can actually use.

And I’m doing this for my own daughter, who I hope will grow up in a world where culture is free, not proprietary, where control of knowledge is in the hands of people everywhere, with basic works they can adopt, modify, and share freely without asking permission from anyone.

We’re already taking back the Internet. With your help, we can take back the world.

Please consider a generous donation to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Version based on summer 2005 appeal[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation and all its projects are growing at a rate faster than we ever dreamed. alone gets over a billion hits a day, making it one of the top 10 websites in the world. That means that people everywhere are turning to our projects—Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikiquote, and the Wikimedia Commons—as a free reliable source of information and knowledge.

Our projects continue to grow rapidly, thanks to all the contributors and users who believe that knowledge is power, and knowledge should be free. To achieve that goal, we need your help. More and more servers have to be added to keep up with the growing demand. Hosting costs, travel expenses and basic office and administrative expenses also need to be covered. Critical changes to the MediaWiki software that runs our projects in their many languages are needed to ensure they remain quick, accessible, and ad-free.

It is your donations that allow us to continue to grow and to improve our content. To meet our needs for this year alone, the Wikimedia Foundation has spent upwards of $xxx,xxx (see Budget/2006 for details). This may seem like a lot, but every little bit helps—most of our donations are $20 or less. Donations can be made in the currency of your choice. They are tax deductible in the United States. Thank you for your generosity!

Jimmy Wales and the Wikimedia Team


Partial ideas

Each year, over 80% of the money we raise goes directly to fund our programs, which reach more than 150 million people every month. Only 5% of the money we raise is used for fundraising. Your support will help us:

  • Add functionality to our software that will assist our community of volunteer writers to further improve the quality of our project’s content while remaining open and free.
  • Improve performance of our vast server network to decrease page load time.
  • Expand our network of chapters and thus increase contact with more nations and local groups
  • Initiate innovative special projects that will focus on ..

Something could be added stating how we actually do need the money, and now. Resolution Hardware sept 2006 says that the Technical Committee reports an "urgent need" of new servers and we're receiving "record traffic," then requested just under $300,000 worth of servers, including 30 apaches whose purchase was approved immediately as an "emergency measure." If people think the WMF is desperate for money, they're more likely to donate than if they just think that it has plenty of money and is just asking for more for minor improvements or whatever. --Rory096 07:56, 20 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]