Fundraising

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This is a general information page on Wikimedia fundraising. If you wish to make a donation, please visit https://donate.wikimedia.org

Who are we?

The Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising team cultivates the resources that propel our movement. We engage millions of people from countries across the globe to support Wikipedia and its sister projects. The overwhelming majority of the Foundation's funding comes from individual readers from all over the world giving an average of $15.

Donations help the Wikimedia Foundation maintain server infrastructure, improve the software that supports our projects, and make Wikipedia and its sister projects accessible globally to millions of people. The fundraising team is responsible for raising the Wikimedia Foundation's budget through online campaigns. These campaigns have the additional goal to educate all readers about Wikipedia and how our movement works. We are grateful for all the readers, contributors, and donors who make Wikipedia and our other projects a global home for knowledge and discovery. To continue thriving we must constantly innovate, adapting to the changing needs of our readers and new advances in the technology that powers the Wikimedia universe. For additional information, please see the 2021–2022 Fundraising Report.

The Teams

Central

Working across teams and with the Partnerships team

Online Fundraising

Foundations & Major Gifts

Fundraising Operations

Endowment

Our Goals

A Global Project

Readers around the world show their support for Wikimedia each year. The Wikimedia Foundation receives donations from nearly every country in the world in over 80 currencies, 20 payment methods, and 50 languages. We strive to provide readers worldwide with the best localized donation experience possible by offering preferred local payment methods and high quality messages in local languages.

Testing and Optimization

The online fundraiser is based on constant testing and optimization of different themes, messages, designs and user flows. We aim to educate all Wikipedia readers about our movement, provide a convenient donation process, and minimize the disruption of fundraiser banners on the reader experience. Only a tiny portion of readers donate -- therefore, we must always be improving our methods.

Educating Readers

2012 Editor Video

Another goal of the fundraiser is to educate Wikipedia readers about the Wikimedia movement. We do this through the messages displayed in banners as well as through creative content featuring the Wikimedia community. Over the years, we've run personal appeal messages from community members, featured videos introducing Wikimedia volunteers, and invited readers to join in editing.

Current fundraising activities

Global[edit]

Operated by Wikimedia Foundation

For the Financial Year 22/23

  • Fundraising emails English campaign (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, and US), 6th of September - 20th of November. Here are some examples of emails: Email 1, Email 2, Email 3
  • Fundraising banners English campaign (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, and US). 29th of November - 31st of December. Here are some example banners, please note that banners are constantly changing and you might see other banner language: Desktop large. Desktop small, Mobile large, Mobile small.

Germany[edit]

Operated by Wikimedia Deutschland

  • Fundraising testing:
  • Fundraising Banners:

Switzerland[edit]

Operated by Wikimedia Switzerland

  • Fundraising Banner Testing:
  • Fundraising Banner Fundraising:

Contact Us

Fundraising updates

See the full archive


Articles, videos etc. (here you find relevant articles about Wikimedia fundraising and finance)[edit]

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

2021/2022 Fundraising Report

2022/23 Q1 Update[edit]

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.

Donor quotes:

“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[edit]

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.


See also