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Revenue Generation Across Wikimedia

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki


The 2030 Movement Strategy calls on the Wikimedia communities to take specific steps towards increasing the sustainability of our movement by, among other recommendations, distributing the responsibility of revenue generation and distribution. This strategy directs the Movement to increase funding support to emerging and marginalized communities.

In 2021, the Wikimedia Foundation launched a new grants strategy in collaboration with the Movement, to align its grant distribution process with this recommendation. As seen in the charts below, the resulting shift in regional funding distribution has been tangible, with overall grantmaking growing each consecutive year and larger proportional growth taking place in regions the Movement has historically underinvested in. This year we will be working with the 8 Regional Funds Committees to continue disbursing Movement funds in line with this approach, ensuring more community involvement in regional allocations.

To facilitate better long-term planning and budgeting, in the 2024-2025 Annual Plan, WMF will publish a planned grantmaking budget for the next three years (as opposed to the 1-year budget that has historically been published).

A chart showing data about Wikimedia Foundation's General Support and Rapid Funding Distributed by Region (2015-2024).
Wikimedia Foundation's General Support and Rapid Funding Distributed by Region (2015-2024).

Diversifying Revenue Generation[edit]

Many affiliates, in line with the recommendations of Movement Strategy, have already taken steps to begin diversifying their revenue streams so they are not solely reliant on existing Movement-generated funds. In FY2024-2025, WMF will support affiliates who are engaged in fundraising by hiring a consultant to create fundraising templates and assets, identify new sources of funding for affiliates in high-income countries, and engage in hands-on support with affiliate fundraising staff. Additional support is available from the Foundation for affiliates engaged in or intending to engage in fundraising - see Wikimedia Foundation and Peer Support for more information.

Funds Raised by Region[edit]

The list below reflects what is publicly available about current fundraising activities in the Wikimedia Movement. The data comes from affiliates' budgets and financial reports published on Meta-Wiki or their websites. If you find errors in the data, know of missing information, or have updates to share, please do so on the Talk page, and we will update this page accordingly.

In 2022, a conservative estimate shows approximately $20,500,000 USD raised by affiliates through activities other than Foundation grants.

This is the approximated regional distribution:

  • Northern and Western Europe: 85%
  • United States and Canada: 12%
  • Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia: 2%
  • East, Southeast Asia, and Pacific: 1%
  • All Others: less than 0.5%
A pie chart showing the regional distribution of revenue obtained by Wikimedia affiliates (2022).
Regional distribution of revenue obtained by Wikimedia affiliates (2022).

Sources of Funding by Region[edit]

Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia[edit]

East, Southeast Asia, and Pacific[edit]

Latin America and the Caribbean[edit]

Middle East and North Africa[edit]

Northern and Western Europe[edit]

South Asia[edit]

  • Private Institution: Google India

Sub-saharan Africa[edit]

United States and Canada[edit]

Support to Develop Fundraising Skills and Capacity[edit]

Wikimedia Foundation and Peer Support[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation offers a number of ways to support affiliates interested in starting to fundraise outside the Wikimedia Movement or grow their fundraising capacity. Specifically:

  • The Foundation encourages affiliates to include a budget for fundraising training in General Support Fund applications. Requesting amendments to already approved grants to include these training activities is also possible.
  • Full-time fundraising staff may be funded using General Support Funds.
  • The Foundation can also coordinate Let's Connect sessions and peer support groups on fundraising.
  • The Foundation hosts quarterly peer-to-peer calls about fundraising in Europe. If you want to join this meeting or start a new one in another region, please contact Julia Brungs.
  • As noted above, in FY2024-2025 we plan to have a full-time consultant supporting affiliates with fundraising tools.

Affiliates can contact their assigned Community Resources program officer for further discussion.

Training Opportunities[edit]

In addition to support offered by WMF, many local governments have an office to support non-profit organizations, with information about training opportunities and workshops to support fundraising that are tailored to the specific country and context. Local training can help understand the specifics of grant programs available and how to write successful proposals for them.

There is also online training that covers core fundraising skills, grant application, and grant management. There are several free and low-fee introductory courses to professional certification programs to develop a fundraising career.

Here is a list of training portals. See also the Grants Resources section below. Some grant programs and grantmaking organizations also offer toolkits and self-training opportunities online.

  • The online learning platform Udemy offers grant writing courses, mainly geared towards opportunities in North America and Europe.
  • Nonprofitready.org provides a learning platform for non-profit organizations, including free and paid online courses and certificates about fundraising and grant writing.
  • The European Union's online academy offers a self-paced introductory course about Fundraising for NGOs.
  • The European Fundraising Association offers a certificate program for professional development. They have local chapters in 24 countries covering the European Union, Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. These chapters offer additional training at a national level and in their local languages.
  • The Training Hub of the European Activism Incubator, an organization based in Brussels, offers workshops about a supportive approach to fundraising or principles of effective grant writing, among others. Their primary focus is EU grants.
  • PuntoSud Academy, a learning hub for international cooperation and humanitarian aid programs run by an organization based in Italy. They offer virtual and face-to-face courses specializing in EU grants, like writing successful proposals or preparing required reports.
  • The Association of Fundraising Professionals has chapters in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. They offer professional development courses online and face-to-face.
  • Candid/The Foundation Center offers nonprofit data, fundraising training, and other resources.

Grants Resources[edit]

Grants are common sources of revenue for non-profit organizations. A grant is a donation program to which organizations can apply as long as they meet the requirements. There are other types of donations covered in the Donations section below. Grants can be restricted to executing a specific activity or unrestricted, allowing the grantee to decide how the funds will be used. The organizations launching calls for grants can be public or private, and they can be related to governments, non-profit private organizations, and companies.

The organizations funding the grants may act at a local level, regionally, nationally, or internationally. Affiliates interested in applying for grants must learn which opportunities are available, and the opportunities will vary depending on their location and the type of work the affiliate does. If your government has an office to support local non-profits, that is a good place to start.

Below is a collaborative collection of resources useful to affiliates who wish to start or expand their fundraising activities. The list is restricted to organizations and resources that may interest multiple affiliates. This rules out most resources focusing on a single country with only one affiliate.

Adding organizations and other resources by affiliates with first-hand experience with them is especially welcome. You can also ask or discuss specific entries on the discussion page.

General Resources[edit]

European Focus[edit]

  • Erasmus+ Programme Guide, an introduction to the EU program in education, training, youth, and sport.
  • Fundraising Toolkit for Youth Organisations, created by Fund You, offers a good general introduction.
  • (PDF) Fundraising, a learning kit for heritage civil society organizations by Europa Nostra.
  • (PDF) The Fundraising Toolkit, created by the European Patients Forum for patient organizations, is generic, simple, and useful in other contexts
  • How to raise funds? - an introductory guide by the European Activism Incubator
  • European Funding Toolkit for Social Enterprises and their Support Organizations, by the Euclid Network, highlights EU public funding programs, philanthropic and corporate fundraising opportunities and provides tips and tricks on fundraising
  • EEA and Norway Grants, information about grants funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway for the 15 Beneficiary States in Europe, mainly in Eastern Europe.
  • Eurodesk Opportunity Finder, a grant database by a European youth information network focusing on opportunities for young people and those who support them.
  • European Digital Education Hub, a repository of information and a community of practice around the European Commission's Digital Education Action Plan.

Public Grants Programs[edit]


Latin America and the Caribbean[edit]


United States and Canada[edit]

  • Government of Quebec Financial Aid for Culture, including project-specific funding opportunities as well as operational support.

Private Grants Programs[edit]


  • Orange Foundation, headquartered in France and with subsidiaries in 25 countries, supports education, health, and culture projects, like The WikiChallenge in Africa.
  • Grants for Women Empowerment 2023, a directory maintained by the European Activism Incubator covering worldwide grants programs.
  • Opportunity Grant by Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism, to fund advocacy work and efforts to raise awareness, influence policy, and change public discourse, awarded worldwide.
  • Mediterranean Women's Fund, dedicated to strengthening the women's movement in all the countries of the Mediterranean basin.
  • What we fund, by the Mozilla Foundation, explains opportunities for projects building a more open, inclusive internet and more trustworthy artificial intelligence.
  • Global Fund for Women, based in the USA, provides gender justice and equality grants worldwide.
  • KIOS Foundation, based in Finland, supports human rights work and civil society groups in South Asia and East Africa.
  • King Baudouin Foundation, based in Belgium, organizes more than a hundred calls for projects yearly, many open for projects worldwide.
  • EVZ Foundation, based in Germany, supports projects to keep the memory of National Socialist prosecution, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, Israel, Germany, and the United States.
  • Anne Frank Fonds, funding education against racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination, prejudice, and violence, among other areas. Applications must be backed by a charitable organization based in Switzerland.
  • National Endowment for Democracy supports the projects of nongovernmental groups abroad that are working to advance democratic goals and strengthen democratic institutions
  • Open Society Foundations are active in more than 120 countries worldwide, using grant-giving, research, advocacy, impact investment, and strategic litigation to support the growth of inclusive and vibrant democracies.
  • Luminate works globally, with a regional focus in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, to address digital threats to democracy.
  • Prospera international network of women’s funds.
  • International Funders for Indigenous Peoples global philanthropic network focused on Indigenous Peoples worldwide that promotes thought and strategic collaboration between the funding community and Indigenous Peoples.
  • Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative makes grants to organizations working in support of their missions in Science and Education.


  • African World Heritage Fund, based in South Africa and with members in several African countries, offers training and grants related to the nomination and conservation of World Heritage sites.
  • Women United Empowerment, an organization supporting Nigerian women in areas like education, gender equality, and civil engagement.
  • iMPACT direct, an organization based in the Netherlands connecting large groups of donors with African non-profits.

Eastern Europe[edit]

  • New Democracy Fund, by a consortium of organizations based in Denmark, supports civil society initiatives in Eastern Europe countries.
  • Eurasia Partnership Foundation supports social justice and economic prosperity improvements in the South Caucasus region through hands-on programs, helping them improve their communities and lives. As of December 2023, grantmaking is limited to project-specific grants related to internal initiatives.

United States and Canada[edit]

  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which provides funding support for general scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, as well as more specific preservation efforts immediate to the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Rita Allen Foundation provides funding opportunities for early-stage project work in the domains of science and civil society that will improve human health, democracy, and understanding.
  • Mellon Foundation is interested in “expanding public knowledge” and has grant programs for arts and culture, public knowledge, and higher learning. Has funded OCLC and others to work with Wikidata.


Donations are direct contributions of money in small or large amounts by individuals or organizations. By default, donations are unrestricted, meaning that the affiliate can decide how to use that money. Sometimes, bigger donations may be restricted and be spent on a specific purpose agreed upon with the major donors beforehand.

Donations can be collected online through the affiliate's website and email campaigns. Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia Switzerland have an exceptional agreement with the Foundation to process donations via banners on Wikipedia, based on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees' letter regarding fundraising accountability. Those funds are then transferred to the Wikimedia Foundation to the annual budget, minus an agreed-upon fee for processing the donations.

There are other methods to collect donations, such as fundraising events (inviting current and potential donors to learn more about your organization and your activities and to donate), matching funds (for example, employees collect donations, and the company employing them matches the amount), and legacy donations (individuals leaving a donation in their will). These methods are more complex, so their suitability will depend on local practices and your experience in fundraising.

Membership Fees[edit]

Collecting membership fees is a way to generate revenue similar to recurrent donations, with an increased sense of direct support and belonging to the organization. They allow members to participate in the internal assembly and elections. Membership fees can be tax deductible and usually don't come with an expectation to receive services of an equivalent monetary value. This membership type is quite common in European non-profit associations, and their adoption is increasing in other developed regions. For more information, see Membership Programs for Non-Profits and Recurring Donations vs. Memberships. Membership fees must follow local regulations and be contemplated in your affiliate's bylaws.

Earned Income[edit]

Affiliates also raise funds by providing services or selling products. Here, too, the context is essential, and affiliates need to know what they can and cannot do based on their charter and local regulations.

Consultancy and Training[edit]

  • The Wikimedian in Residence is usually a paid contract between a cultural, international, or local institution and an individual. Sometimes, the contract is signed with the affiliate, who funds the professional role.
  • Other types of consultancy and training can be provided to other organizations, usually public and academic.

Other types of earned income[edit]

Selling merchandising is a widespread way to raise funds among non-profit organizations, although it is still uncommon among Wikimedia affiliates. Other revenue streams are mentioned below. Please add more types of activities generating income if you know about them.

  • Investments
  • Subletting office space
  • YouTube ad sales
  • Merchandising sales.

Government Subsidies[edit]

Some governments provide other sources of income to non-profits, like economic support for hiring employees or allowing taxpayers to allocate a percentage of their income. There might be opportunities for affiliates to become exempt from certain taxes, which isn't a revenue-generation activity per se but helps save money.

  • Employment subsidies
  • Income from taxpayers.