Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Revenue Streams/Minutes

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This page contains summaries of meeting minutes for the Revenue Streams Working Group, one among the nine groups involved in the Wikimedia Movement 2018-20 Strategy process. The full versions of these minutes are accessible on Google Drive, but given their extensive length and detail, only their summaries are being shared here for the time being.



2 October[edit]

Debrief from Tunis cancelled due to the lack of attendance (all those present were already debriefed).

It’s not clear whether the WG phase is over. There’s still a need for harmonizing the recommendations to bring a coherent set with fixed definitions of principles.

Recos may still need to integrate research and external or internal feedback. There are no definite plans for another in-person meeting.


11 September[edit]

Update on external Consultants and harmonisation sprint

  • The external consultants ready for a meeting with the Working Group, but the research results might not be ready by the time of the harmonisation.
  • The Working Group will have a representative at the harmonisation sprint.


28 August[edit]

Update/debrief on Wikimania

  • The Revenue Streams session at Wikimania went well (participatory, and facilitated discussions). Attendees read and provided feedback to the recommendations, a few changes are needed on
    • “Financial independence” and “influence”.
    • Ownership of Wikimedia resources, and expenses

Availability for the call with Katherine

  • A reschedule for the call with Katherine was decided due to the fact that most of the Working Group members were not yet back from personal holidays.

Harmonisation Sprint in Tunis:

  • Attending the Harmonization requires an adapted mindset, as attendees will not be only representing their own group, but also working with other WGs to harmonize.
  • There’s a second representative from Revenue Streams who might be going to the Sprint, although it’s not yet confirmed.

Getting ready for 9th September deadline:

  • Rec. 7 (financial independence) and Rec. 9 (guidelines/influence) to be rephrased
  • It’s easier to have a single, 2-page document with all the recommendations rather than individual detailed documents, especially for the purpose of the Sprint, the Working Group will carry on with the current, simpler version of the recommendations, and will have another look at the Core Team’s template before the Sprint, to check if it has any useful insights on problems with recommendations.

Other tasks before September 9th:

  • Meta discussion on the API recommendations. Some board members stepped in to answer questions.
    • James defended the point well already. In wiki environments, it’s often better to let third parties defend/respond, which means it’s better for WG members not to intervene.
    • An alternative is to rephrase the recommendation to for example “high volume API use”.
    • Having the ability to decide who’s in charge adds more flexibility.
    • Many comments are dismissive. None of them are really substantial. Board members already answered them well.
  • Review/integrate the notes from Wikimania session into recommendations.
  • Validating the recommendations with stakeholder feedback (Community survey results could be very useful).
  • No upcoming work or overlap calls with other WGs.

17 August - Wikimania 2019 (Stockholm)[edit]

9 August - Design Session[edit]

  • Wary of participants leaving and joining at will
  • Working Group is ready to facilitate content, and would need the Core Team to facilitate the rest of the session/discussion that is not content related
  • There is an underlying assumption that all attendees will be experts in the subject matter


31 July[edit]

Check in on recommendations progress and deadlines

  • Additions and merging were made to the available recommendations which are to be submitted to the Core Team by the deadline to provide 10 days to prepare for Wikimania and interaction with the community on the submitted recommendations.
  • The ESEAP region provided some ideas which will be added to the recommendations.

External Research

  • The selected external consultant and financial analysts are ready to start their research commissioned by the Working Group, after contracting and administration procedures. Working Group members that will be the contact points for the researchers were selected.

Harmonisation Sprint and Wikimania

  • Due to the fact that most of the Working Group members will not be available on the day of the sprint, a back up option of someone who was previously involves was to be explored for representation.
  • Working Group members to attend Wikimania will attend planning sessions organised by the Core Team.

17 July[edit]

Check in updates

  • A new community member was welcomed and requested to indicate availability for upcoming Working Group discussions.

Review of recommendations progress

  • Some of the answers to the 8 scoping questions were provided by the members in attendance.
  • All members requested to determine draft recommendations from the answers to the above 8 scoping questions.
    • Question 4 (What are the lines that we should not cross while working towards our goal?) has ideas that can be added to the principles and red lines document.
    • Question 6 (capacities to develop revenue streams) will require to liaise with capacity building, Roles & Responsibilities Working Groups
  • All members to provide additional recommendation ideas from other sources.

3 July[edit]

Ideas on producing recommendations

  • The Working Group had come out of the Wikimedia Summit in Berlin with some of the recommendations potentially acting as revenue generation ideas
  • Members provided two sample recommendations (API’s and affiliates’ own fundraising) that had been developed from observations over the time of thematic discussions.
  • Working Group members will get into pairs to do ‘office hours’ on the recommendations
  • Recommendations progress update from Capacity Building, Advocacy, Resource Allocation, Product and Technology were provided to the Revenue Streams Working Group

Updates about research consultant:

  • Candidates to be interviewed for research commissioning were contacted.


19 June[edit]

Update on Recommendations

  • Feedback was provided on community conversations for March and April.
  • The Working group discussed making progress on drafting recommendations by working offline or between meetings, based on what other thematic areas have produced, and the timeline for delivery of the draft recommendations.

External Research/consultations

  • The contract for an external research consultant was finalised, candidates are being selected.
  • A community member’s interest to join the Working Group was evaluated, and will be contacted for different ways of participation in the Working Group.

5 June[edit]

Harmonisation sprint dates finalised: 20-22 September, 2019

  • A majority of the Working Group members sent advance apologies since they will be away on the dates for the harmonisation sprint.

Wikimania and Workplan

  • The Working Group will share an email (on the mailing list) with details about Wikimania engagement and the Workplan in a task management project.

External Consultant and survey results

  • The Working Group is fine with proceeding with the research if the time frame, deliverables and statement of work are clearly defined.
  • The survey has had some delay due to the privacy statement and translation, so it has not yet launched, It will take a few weeks for the results to come through.

Working on the recommendations

The primary draft of the recommendations is due, prior to Wikimania, there are steams of input from Community discussions, commissioned research, earlier documentation and discussions, which have to happen, and be incorporated simultaneously.


22 May[edit]

Wikimania and the Harmonization sprint

The spreadsheet for Wikimania availability was updated. Current location options for the Harmonisation sprint include South America, Africa and Asia. Individual answers from each WG member are needed to indicate preferred dates and availability in September 2019.

Community feedback and survey update

  • Some questions on revenue generation, resources need to be rephrased in the general survey, to also consider community feedback on the meta page.
  • There’s need to reach out to community members who provided feedback on meta. Some of the questions raised relate to other Working Groups

Update on tasks in the Work Plan

The Core Team provided a response to the research plan which was submitted, and the Working Group was provided with an option of proposing an expert to take on the research. Ido and Tanya will think about possible researchers in their network and will get back to the Core Team.

Group management and asynchronous work

  • The next meeting will review action items, have a brainstorming session, dialogues, and editing actual documents to advance items in the work plan .
  • Facilitation will not be available in the week of 17 June 2019 and some of the Working Group members, so asynchronous work might need to happen in that week instead of the regular call.

8 May[edit]

Research request

  • The research request was fully populated with financial analysis key points and profiles of organisations (that had already been reviewed by the Working group members) - the content is now finalised and will be transferred to a request template provided by the Core Team.s
  • The Working Group can alert the core team about final content as they format the support request document.

Work Plan and timeline The Working Group action Plan was clustered into thematic areas to create a work plan with tasks that Working Group members can choose to work on.

  • The Core Team will be in charge of the survey with community questions from the scoping document. Theoretically any Working Group member is free to provide input to the survey (for example write down questions that can be targeted to communities) by using the suggest mode in the scoping document, but this has to happen by May 15 the latest, as a final survey is sent out in the last week of May.
  • The Working Group needs to agree on a date to start actual recommendation(s) development using the existing call schedules to plan an agenda specifically for recommendations development.

New Membership update One or two new members with the right profiles could be added to the Working Group to advance and re-energising the tasks, if the on-boarding will not disrupt the flow of the current group/structure.


24 April[edit]

New member applications to join Working Groups There was a volunteer request to join the Working Group. The members decided that adding new members at this point of time for this group might be difficult since the Working Group was far ahead into the recommendations preparation.

External research needs Profiles of organisations were added to the research needs document. The Core Team advised Working Group members to provide all the research items as per the support request guidelines, to avoid emergence of additional needs after procurement has been made.

Updated timeline The Core Team shared an updated timeline with the in person sprint scheduled for September to allow Working Groups to gather input from research, community conversations and discussions while developing recommendations

10 April[edit]

Wikimedia Summit Review

  • The Summit was productive, with sharing of input and feedback with other Working Group members, Chapters and affiliate representatives.
  • Roles and Responsibilities has reached out for a conversation regarding synergies and overlaps between our Working Group.
  • There’s need to incorporate the feedback given to our Scoping Document by other Working Groups, and liaisons.

Responses to the Planning questions and research

  • The Working Group will draft a document for skill sets in financial Analysis as a basis for research.
  • A list of Organisations will be profiled for research consultations.
  • Notes from the Roles and Responsibilities Working Group discussion will be documented
  • There will be no need of the in-person meeting before Wikimania.


27 February[edit]

Debrief from Berlin in-person meeting

  • The in-person meeting enabled interaction between the Revenue Streams Working Group members and other working groups.

Finalizing the scoping document

  • Tanya offered to provide guidance and clarification on the scoping document and questions that were developed in Berlin.
  • Other members who were not present in Berlin, will need to work together on other sections like external expertise, which can be done asynchronously.

Virtual Facilitation and next steps

  • The ICA team of facilitators are available for most needs outlined by the Revenue Streams Working group. The members of the Working Group need to figure out expectations, regular meeting time, then plan for facilitation.
  • The Working Group needs to appoint coordinators who will initiate and have discussions with the facilitator offline.


24 January[edit]

Scoping brainstorm

  • There’s a working document on scoping, but not fully complete, Working Group members need to work asynchronously to update this.
  • Results from a survey for the various fundraising experiences can be shared with the ED group to have input from other chapters.
  • If any group members have done any research on Revenue Streams they can share with the Group for input to the scoping document.

Virtual facilitation of meetings

  • Working Group representatives need to reach out and coordinate with the Virtual meeting facilitators.

In-person meeting in February 2019

  • Members provided their availability for the in-person meeting in Berlin, preparation needs to be made for the in-person discussions, mapping overlaps, and brainstorming with other Working Groups, legal support needs.

Steps to activate the group

  • There are replacement/profiles from affiliates for Working Group members.
  • Carrying out joint activities with similar Working Groups such as Resource Allocation.
  • Making use of Virtual facilitators for selected meetings and discussions.
  • Having people join remotely if they are not joining the in-person meeting.

11 January[edit]

Progress regarding the scoping document

  • The Scoping document created by Guillaume was shared, a suggestion was made to have the group dynamics sorted at the in-person meeting and regular meetings to be scheduled for discussing progress on the scoping document.
  • If there’s a lot of endowment for our movement then revenue streams work might not be relevant. Would the other chapters or Wikimedia Foundation have other ideas regarding this?
  • The present situation of funding is not sustainable because funding comes from donors, hence existing members are talking about ‘for profit’ ventures to raise money for activities: one idea was Wiki Cafe, shared working space, but was rejected by some of the members because they believed in the ‘non profit’ status of the organisation.
  • How good are we at raising the money and how good are we at spending the money that we have raised? May be the consulting work of Guillaume can shed more light on this. Wikimedia Foundation is good at raising the money. The ratio to raise money at this point for the Foundation is 10 cents to 1 USD. This is a very good and efficient ratio. It is not just the amount of money that is raised, but what kind of effort and money are invested to raise the money.
    • The central issue is not the ability to raise money but sustainability, which is a call that this Working Group should take and an important question that needs to be addressed both locally and globally with insights both from the local and central organisations
    • It would not be hard to map out the various scenarios and situations regarding the spending and allocation of money. It would be however difficult for us to understand what might be the tensions that will operate between local and central organisations regarding fundraising.
    • We should map the common payment methods, revenue channels, fundraising campaign types, and strategies that work in different countries. It will be really helpful for the group if we can provide a brief summary and background of fundraising at the Foundation?
    • We have discussed most of these questions in the past as well. We have a unique fundraising tool (banner traffic). The Haifa letter Foundation became central fundraising organisation there are few chapters however who still raise the money.
    • Most profits raise money via the non banner channels, there is a beautiful model but there is also a threat to our model, if we lose our traffic we would be in a sticky spot and vulnerable, we need to think of ways to keep the fundraising activities up.
    • When the Wikimedia Foundation took back the control of fundraising (Haifa letter), there were tensions between chapters and the Foundation. The work that Wikimedia Foundation and the Funds Dissemination Committee has done (irrespective of who raises money, deserving chapters and organisations will receive money), and the Movement Strategy process of last year have helped in normalising these relationships, we are in a safe space for now but we do not know how long this will last.
    • Can we take these questions and work asynchronously on a google doc to identify the various scenarios and tensions that are identifiable across our communities? The scoping document needs to be discussed and all of the opinions need to be documented.
  • One of the topic was regarding the in person meeting and facilitation which will be very important.

Regular meeting (frequency and time)

  • We can have a meeting at this hour once every week and allow for people to participate as the schedule works, but this is a question that needs to be asked to the larger Working group. The Core Team will send out a doodle and the summary of this meeting.



21 December[edit]

Wikimedia Summit representation

  • The Wikimedia Summit registration had reached a deadline, but the Revenue Streams Working Group had an opportunity to nominate two representatives to represent on the Movement Strategy Working Group ticket. One of the main responsibility of the Working Group representatives will be to drive the conversations based on the scoping document(s) that will be presented to the participating affiliate and other community members.

In-person meeting in February 2019

  • The Revenue Streams Working Group needs to fully participate in the discussions for the in-person meeting with the other Working Groups from 15-17 February in Berlin, 14th and 18th to be blocked for travel, Wikimedia Foundation staff will be represented but the meeting is intended for everyone in the group, the names and details for Working Group members to attend will need to be confirmed in the week of 7th January 2019.

Catch up and proceed with scoping

  • The scoping plan (big picture view) was shared. A final scoping document is to be produced before the Wikimedia Summit, to be shared with the affiliates for input at the Wikimedia Summit.
  • The in-person meeting comes at a time when the scoping draft needs to be ready: The scoping plan has steps that can help the Working Group(s) prepare a draft.
  • In January there will be virtual facilitators to support the Working Group if brainstorming sessions are planned. Virtual Facilitation has already been done with the Community Health Working Group.
  • Input to the scoping document can be done between the calls, commenting and discussion on documents, and other ways: the Revenue Streams Working Group has (member) competencies, and thoughts, ideas in fundraising.
  • There’s need to analyse the present state of affairs and where we need to be in the next few years, to avoid duplication. Jeremy Gregg, (guest participant on Guillaume Paumier’s ticket) provided an overview of his work with the Foundation, including;
  • Assessing the revenue model: existing revenue streams, strategies, and identifying ideas for new revenue models, focusing on broad ideation for options of revenue streams, not only for profit but also organisational values.
  • The top 3 models for revenue generation will be prioritise in February 2019.

It was emphasised that the focus should be holistic considering the existence of other approaches and strategies from Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Deutschland, other affiliates, input from the community, other grant models that exist in the movement and over the globe. The goal and general idea of the scope is exploration, to identify areas of importance, advisory roles or socialising roles which will be further discussed and redrawn with relevant data and discussions in the Working Group.

It was agreed that a brainstorming session will be organised for the next meeting in the next week of January 2019 focusing on scoping (with virtual facilitation: simulating a workshop environment, breakout sessions, a cluster of prominent themes and topics in the online platforms. Working Group members will need to coordinate with the facilitators before the meeting.


20 October[edit]

Develop ‘asynchronous’ work path

  • Discussion was about finding the best ways of working together between the calls to complete the diversification process, which can run in parallel with scoping in the exploration phase. Calls are the platforms to discuss difficult questions and take up discussions where there is ambiguity.

Clarity and Working Group support needs

  • The Information and Knowledge Management Team can create a poll for setting up regular calls for the Working Group. Core Team suggests bi-weekly calls and engaging more asynchronously. The Scoping brief sent by Core Team, has focus and initial guiding questions.

Completion of the diversification process, and expertise evaluation

  • There’s a profile (working with an international organisation) not covered in the present composition of the Group. Consulting the Meta page of the Revenue Streams Working Group is to be taken into account in getting all the team members engaged in the scoping discussion, and defining what is missing in terms of gaps in the Working Group.


24 August[edit]

Agenda: Interim Coordinator selection/Diversification template/Communication channels

  • Megan agreed to be the Interim Coordinator but not for a long-term.
  • A suggestion was made to meet once a week and then adjust the frequency to meet less often once various ways of working together have been figured out.
  • The Revenue Streams Working Group Mailing list was mentioned as the Communication channel to track all the conversations.
  • The diversification template was reviewed which includes guidelines to evaluate and fill the gaps in expertise, and global representation in the Revenue Streams Working Group