Talk:Draft Guiding principles with regards to fundraising

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A couple of thoughts:

  • Under "donor diversity" I think we need to acknowledge that grants from corporations, trusts, NGOs and even public bodies have a role in our funding ecosystem. If we do not recognise this, and take account of it in the discussion, we will only have solved half of the problem.
  • I would like to see an explicit acknowledgement in the Principles that we work collaboratively as a movement to fundraise.

Regards, The Land 18:52, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, these are excellent points. I think all of the principles should apply equally to donations received from individuals and donations from foundations, but you're right, maybe an acknowledgment of the different types of funding we receive would be good to include. -- phoebe | talk 19:33, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

More thoughts:

  1. Maximizing revenues: Our fundraising activities should aim to achieve the highest possible overall financial support for the Wikimedia movement that can be achieved without compromising our mission and values. - I completely disagree. We do not and should not aim to maximizing revenue. The idea of maximizing revenue comes from the business world where a firm has to maximize revenue for the stockholders. We work in the voluntary sector, we set goals and we search for the funds to meet them.
    1. Another thing is our values; since one of them is decision making through consensus it could very much be that a decision would be a compromise between two opinions. Game theory shows that a compromise is, by definition, the opposite of maximizing profit.
  2. Controls: The solution needs to ensure funds raised are safe from fraud or misuse as determined by existing, 3rd party standards for appropriate financial controls. - Indeed. I would add the word widely accepted before existing, 3rd party standards. We are still waiting for that audit firm's report. Next time, the entire movement should be involved with the procedure of choosing the audit firm, drafting the questions and interpreting the results.
  3. Facilitating cross-border funds flow: The Wikimedia movement is international in scope. The solution needs to support the easiest possible transfer of money internationally, in support of the movement's priorities. As much as possible, we want to avoid being constrained by impediments such as regulatory hurdles. - I wouldn't say easiest. I think reasonable should be enough here. As implied by the order of the bulletins flexibility is much more important than avoidance of being constrained by impediments such as regulatory hurdles.
  4. Supports sustainable donor relations. - By whom? For the 2011 fundraising I asked for a way to be able to stay in touch with Israeli donors and has not yet received a satisfying solution.
  5. Avoids liability and unnecessary legal exposure for the Wikimedia projects - army men tend to see the world through rifles, accountants tend to see the world through the hole in the Penny, lawyers tend to see the world through legal glasses, I'm not sure which is worse. The idea of avoiding legal exposure grew out of its real proportion. While the concept itself is valuable and living up to it is a good practice, setting it as a fundraising target is just too much . Tomer A. 21:04, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, this is good food for thought. About your point on maximizing revenues, yes, I would agree that the phrasing should reflect the sense of a volunteer movement, and the need for movement goals to lead the search for revenue, rather than revenue being an end in itself. I think that kind of orientation would also help all entities across the movement - Foundation, chapters, etc - think first about goals, activities, programs, and then how much funding is needed to accomplish those goals, rather than think about revenue first. So yes, the horse before the cart, not the other way around, makes sense to me. Bishdatta 02:58, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I just changed the "Maximizing" item. Also added an item about good faith and the need for local participation. Zackexley 15:43, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Local, but effective: I was trying to think of how to add something to that point about how local messages and ideas must be subject to the same rigor that we apply to the global/default messaging, but I couldn't come up with a short way of saying it. For example: if you leave out the "ask" in a fundraising appeal or put it too low in the appeal, it cuts the donations by up to 50%. That means a fundraising season that's twice as long. Zackexley 15:44, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Isn't that just part of maximizing efficiency? Tomer A. 16:50, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, basically. We need to raise money in an efficient and effective manner, and we need to take decisions on the basis of evidence rather than the basis of HIPPO. We also need to appreciate that the evidence base we will need to deal with is naturally multinational and multilingual, and that it is likely that a donor in Sweden has different expectations to a donor in San Francisco or Calcutta. The preceding unsigned comment was added by The Land (talk • contribs) 09:58, October 23, 2011‎ (UTC)

"Maximizing" edit[edit]

Our fundraising activities should aim to raise a movement budget using only methods that strengthen our mission and values and communicate them to all of our users and the world

I don't understand this edit. The purpose of fundraising is to raise money to fund programmatic activities. Our fundraising practices should not harm our mission nor contravene our values, and they should help people understand us better. But I don't understand the purpose of this language: is it intended to suggest that an additional goal of our fundraising activities is to actually advance the mission via the fundraising itself? If so, I don't know what that means. The original purpose of this bullet as I recall was to make it clear that our purpose is to raise money effectively and efficiently. I don't think the bullet, as written now, retains that original point. Sue Gardner 18:05, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Sue. We need a principle that says we will raise money efficiently and effectively. And if we have to choose between two alternative approaches - one that raises $20M for the movement is very likely to be preferable to one that raises $10M. The edit as it stands now seems to make a different point all together. Without commenting on that - we need to revert or add another bullet about raising money efficiently. I do not have a problem with maximizing (the goal of most fundraising efforts), especially if we modify with " meet to programmatic goals of the movement as a whole" or something. Mhalprin 19:53, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Talking of 'maximizing' is hard. We have a history of preferring mission-aligned fundraising to maximizing money raised. We don't want fundraising to make our projects less useful, less enjoyable, or less open. We don't ever want to run ads, though that would be low-overhead ("efficient" in some sense). Every centimeter we expand the size of the banner header on each page, we diminish the usability of the page and so eat into our mission... so any maximizing is a tradeoff.
Sue, to your question, if we can satisfy the knowledge-seeking and information- and fun-loving impulses of readers through our fundraising efforts, that's ideal. Efficient and maximal in more ways than one. Fundraising messaging is our most high-profile PR campaign of the year -- if its main message is "urgent: please donate to support our servers and staff" then we're not really maximizing that time in (our own) spotlight.
There are some nice historical examples -- like the old print ads in Germany which highlighted cool or unexpected or fun topics. SJ talk | translate   12:44, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

I aggree the title Maximizing efficiency is quite far from the description. I understand the description as a need of "ethics", although this term is culturally-oriented and is partially included in other points, particularly Transparency; perhaps a basic ethics like "do no send spam" is captured in this description and not in another (although it is difficult to draw a limit to basic ethics; for instance spam is quite difficult to define). Perhaps the point of ethics could be added to the transparency by staying vague, and define precisely maximizing efficiency. ~ Seb35 [^_^] 21:35, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

I want to make it clear here that I don't support the current phrasing of this bullet: Maximizing efficiency of fundraising: Our fundraising activities should aim to raise a movement budget using only methods that strengthen our mission and values and communicate them to all of our users and the world, in the shortest time with the least amount of effort possible. I'm not sure I understand the phrase "using only methods that strengthen our mission and values and communicate them to all of our users and the world," but in general I don't believe that "strengthening" and "communicating" our mission and values is the purpose of fundraising. Fundraising is about revenue generation, and its purpose is to maximize revenues, while being honest and straightforward with potential donors. It works by reflecting back to readers what they already like about the projects, ideally in ways that are enjoyable, maybe funny, or inspiring. The purpose isn't to educate people, and that's what the bullet currently reads like, to me.
Maybe we can do what Sebastian suggested: add language to the transparency bullet that commits to conducting our fundraising activities in a way that is aligned with, or is consistent with, or does not contradict our mission and values. And flesh out this bullet on maximizing efficiency as a separate item. Maybe something like this: Maximizing efficiency of fundraising: Our fundraising activities should aim to raise money as efficiently and effectively as possible, so that as much money as possible is reserved for spending on programmatic activities. Does that make sense? Sue Gardner 16:56, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

it is a matter of flawed principle-design, not of spin/rhetoric. this point is a Hybrid and should be be decomposed into the two components (values & efficiency) separately. acting in accordance with or making "good use" of (the) values (which have to be deployed/highlight differently for different fundraising areas & narratives anyway) has nothing to do with efficiency. on the contrary, values - ours as defined here especially - might be effective but are not efficient. don't mix ends and means in this way, regards --Jan eissfeldt 22:49, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

I think it is a worthy aim for a charity to try to use "methods that strengthen our mission and values and communicate them to all of our users and the world", but we are setting ourselves up to fail if we restrict ourselves to only using such methods. We currently raise most of our funds by asking our readers and editors to give us money, OK some of the messages as to why we should give money and the stories from editors do actually "communicate our mission and values" but I think we would be stretching a point to compare them with a bird preservation society funding itself through a catalogue selling birdfeeders, guides for birdspotters and logo'd clothing; Or an animal sanctuary selling sponsorship of its lame donkey's, blind goats and traumatised terrapins. We certainly shouldn't undermine our core values by our fundraising. So if we do launch a christmas festive season catalogue I hope the only crystals in there are of the "young scientist grow your own crystals" type and not the "harmonised chakra enhancing quantumly phased to dispel dark matter" type, and if it does include a woodburning stove please don't bill it as a perfect way to dispose of books not fit to be read. We do have opportunities to fundraise in ways that "communicate our mission and values", I'm not sure how big those opportunities are, but for example here in the UK we have a well developed industry producing calenders, many of which are charity endorsed. I'm sure that our featured pictures could easily support some themed charity calenders.
However the current draft has an aspiration to use aims that strengthen our values and an objective to use the most efficient methods. I read this as efficiency trumps our values. Better in my view would be to accept that the two can conflict and simply rule out fundraising ideas that undermine our mission and values. WereSpielChequers 17:17, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Some remarks and grouping[edit]

1. I find the description of Donor diversity misphrased (imho): I think the essence is we shouldn’t rely on a single (or a few) source of revenue; I would formulate this as "Revenue diversity: The Wikimedia Movement relies on a crowd of donors and sources of revenue, rather than only on a few.

2. I don’t have a very precise idea, but should a point mention when, where and who in the Movement should fundraise? I mean the current model is mainly a single, global, partially decentralized fundraising (other models are already existing but are rather discrete, for instance grants from US foundation, some subsidies), but, linked to my previous point, alternative source of revenue should appear more widely and then what is the coordination between entities in the Movement? Should it be written?

For instance, are there studies saying that our current model has a better ratio revenue/expense than another? I have absolutely no idea, but for instance would it be better to not fundraise in South Asia at the end of the Gregorian Year but rather at the end of the Chinese Year (~one month later)? Things like that, it joins the efficiency and internationality.

3. Apart these points, I find the different points enumerated here should be grouped in points and subpoints:

  • Transparency: good faith, transparency, controls
  • Efficiency: maximizing efficiency, localization
  • Internationality: faciliting cross-border funds flow, flexibility
  • Sustainability: revenue diversity, legal exposure for WM projects, flexibility

This should facilitate the reading and understanding of the presentation. ~ Seb35 [^_^] 22:28, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Sebastian, I'm just commenting quickly here (going into a meeting) on your note about revenue diversity. There is a very good, famous study done by the Bridgespan Group, which was published in I believe the Stanford Social Innovation Review, which found that nonprofits are most financially successful when they focus on a single main revenue stream -- e.g., major donors only, or foundation grants only. Diversity of revenue streams is considered to be a good thing when it means that non-profits are not dependent on a single revenue stream (ie a single donor), but spreading one's efforts across a large number of diverse revenue streams (e.g., 'many small donors,' plus earned income plus foundation grants plus government grants plus bakesales) tends to result in the non-profit being unfocused and mediocre at everything, rather than optimizing itself for a single type of donation.
Now, this study was focused on single non-profits, not on a movement-type situation like ours. So it's possible that multiple revenue streams make sense for multiple entities within a movement. For example, it might make sense for one entity to focus on many-small-donors and other entities to focus on pitching for grants. In a diverse movement made up of multiple entities, each might specialize somewhat differently, depending on their unique circumstances and skills. I am not sure what the application of the study should be, or could be, for us. But I did want to point out that the literature suggests specialization is a good thing for non-profits seeking revenue, not a bad thing. It's a bit counter-intuitive, which is why I raise it.
I've found the study -- just a paper version, though. If you want to look it up, it's How Nonprofits Get Really Big, by William Foster and Gail Fine. Stanford Social Innovation Review Spring 2007. It is probably posted somewhere on the strategy wiki -- if people want it and can't find it, let me know and I'll try to dig up a PDF. Thanks Sue Gardner 16:57, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
The study Sue refers to is here. It's an interesting read. But the conclusion I draw from it is that most rapidly growing U.S. nonprofits are rapidly growing because they have found a good way to get government funding and latched onto it. 73% of the "high growth nonprofits" are dependent on government or service fees (largely from governments). A further 19% are dependent on corporate "gifts in kind". Since we don't rely on government or corporate donations, and our way of working means we can't, I am not sure how relevant the study is to us.
I am also sceptical of the implicit conclusion that diversifying funding inherently means losing focus. I can see how this could occur, but it is a manageable risk. Equally there are less manageable risks to relying very heavily on one funding stream. (Lots of UK charities which grew fat on government grants in the first decade of this century and would probably have made a list of "high-growth non-profits" are now in a great deal of trouble...) The Land 15:52, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, I read the beginning of this interesting study. By reading this I have some questioning about the growth we should have: a quickly-growing movement with (probably) a major source of funding, or a less-quickly growing movement with (possibly) multiple sources of revenue. I think this should be also allege the global economical context which is pretty bad these times (I’m personally more inclined to the second choice, at least as Tomer A. above).
Else you’re right, Sue, about speaking of our multiple entities and their specialities; this point is also connected to the abilities to transfer funds between entities if an entity loose a major part of its fundraising sources and is in difficulty. It could also put in place an emergency plan if WMF is in very severe difficulty, given it is the central organization supporting the Wikimedia projects (I am thinking about that because I discovered open projects about crisis management (CrisisCamp Paris/CrisisCamp Commons (fr), a bit off the subject but explain the project) and as they are saying "The focus is preparedness"). ~ Seb35 [^_^] 13:17, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I've had various involvements with UK charities over the years, and yes diversity of income streams is seen as important. But my experience and this study's findings are on different scales - chronologically and in terms of degree of diversity. To me a diverse charity income stream from individual donors is one that at a minimum includes merchandising, isolated financial donations, ongoing financial donations, donations of time and legacies. You only get to understand the lifetime financial value of a donor when their will is read, this means that the most successful charities are ones that think decades ahead. Currently as I understand it we are moving from a model that only had two of those five elements - isolated financial donations and donations of time, to one with those two plus ongoing financial donations as we encourage donors to sign standing orders. But the study lumps all of those together as one source - individual donations. Now I'm prepared to accept that given a choice between Government funding, charging the users and individual donations there is a case for specialising as there is a lack of synergy between those sources. But that doesn't apply when you are dealing with individual donors - if anything the reverse. Donors who buy Xmas cards, calenders and so forth from your Christmas catalogue are generally more likely to remember you in their will, presumably because they have a stronger bond with your organisation. WereSpielChequers 13:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

"Regulatory hurdles"[edit]

Yes check.svg Sentence now removed WereSpielChequers 13:57, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

The text currently says:

"As much as possible, we want to avoid being constrained by impediments such as regulatory hurdles."

Well, you may but constrained by them we are. I'm worried that saying something like this could be used to justify bending the law or seeking to get round regulations in ways that could be seen as underhand or morally wrong. So, no, I would much rather we say something like "we recognise that as an international body we must abide by the regulations of territories in which we raise funds." The kind of constraint avoidance being mooted here reminds me of exactly the sort of language that global companies use to avoid tax and exploit labour. I don't want any part of it. --Bodnotbod 17:49, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Does that mean that if we try to raise funds in a less free government regime which serves us with a subpoena to reveal the identity of an editor, we would have to comply with it? What if there was a country which prohibited us from publishing certain articles in order to raise funds there? Shouldn't we make sure we never find ourselves in such situations? 21:21, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Each of our national chapters has to comply with their national law. But if an editor who lived in a particular country had nothing to do with their chapter then a subpoena to that chapter would be a waste of electrons (assuming that is that the WMF continued to keep the servers in the states and didn't give the national chapters checkuser access). The same would apply re censorship - as long as the servers are in the States then other countries can try to filter us out, but they are unlikely to get WMF cooperation in doing so. I'm not sure how many countries currently ban Wikipedia, but I'm pretty sure North Korea does. WereSpielChequers 00:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I thought this was a coded way of preferring a tightly centralised US based organisation rather than a diverse set of national organisations. If you have a global appeal in which you ask for people to give dollars to the WMF in the US then all the money you collect is at the disposal of the WMF and subject to the regulations that apply there. If you have a collection of national chapters and people are invited to give money to the chapter in the country where they live then those chapters are legal entities subject to regulation in their own countries. There are advantages to that diversity, if the writs hit the fan then you might not lose everything, and many of the national chapters will be able to get tax advantages in their countries. But there are also costs, not least of which is that in some countries there are regulations that limit how much of a charity's money can be sent abroad. I would prefer that instead of "as much as possible" there was a more balanced approach which accepts that it is a trade off - sometimes the inconvenience of extra regulations will outweigh the benefits of national tax exempt status, and sometimes the extra revenue we can achieve by having a national organisation will outweigh the additional regulatory cost. WereSpielChequers 00:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Hm. I think I wrote that line, or at least I participated in the writing of that line. What I meant by it was that we want to move money around the world with minimal impediments, according to our own goals, as opposed to being constrained by local regulations. For example as I wrote somewhere else on this wiki, the French chapter (I was told) felt constrained in giving a grant to the Indonesian chapter, because the French chapter is required to advance French cultural interests (or some language to that effect). That's a constraint to the Wikimedia movement in achieving its goals, because our goals extend beyond France. They include France, but they're not limited to France. Similarly, I believe there are several chapters that have limits to how much money they can move out of their geographies. That also constrains us, because we need to move money to the United States to pay for the basics of operating the sites, and we need to move money to e.g. the Global South, to advance our goals there. Every internationally-active non-profit organization faces this challenge of being hemmed in by regulatory requirements of specific jurisdictions: they all struggle with how to manage inside those constraints. The purpose of the phrasing was simply to say that we want to design our fundraising such that, as much as possible, we can make our own decisions in order to advance our own goals, rather than being artificially hemmed in or constrained. To Bodnotbod's point above, the goal was definitely not to avoid tax or labour regulations, or to do anything underhanded. I don't object to Bodnotbod's alternate language (we definitely want to do what he said), but it doesn't make the point the language was trying to make. What about something like "our fundraising should be carried out in a fashion that enables money to move internationally as freely as possible" or something like that? Thanks. Sue Gardner 09:24, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Some regulatory issues are ultimately about probity, others conflict with our global remit. I would be happy with wording that makes it clear we are happy with the former but selective about the latter. Here in the UK we have plenty of charities that have a remit that includes international development, so I doubt that we would cause a problem. I'm not familiar with the French limitations, but there is still a huge poor area in Francaphone Africa as well as Haiti and some other former French colonies. I would be surprised if money raised in France couldn't be spent on promoting FR pedia etc in those areas - that might be inconvenient but would it be problematic? As long as the total we want to spend in such regions exceeds the money ringfenced that can only be spent there then such a regulation is merely inconvenient paperwork. Though I appreciate that it would be a problem if the net result was that we appeared to be favouring a developed world language over indigenous ones. Where I anticipate we would have a problem would be if a national chapter had to choose between charitable status and being able to send any money abroad, in such circumstances it might be an idea to forego charitable status in that country, segment donors so that only those who got tax breaks gave to the national chapter, or hold a Wikimania there. But I would be very uncomfortable with a line that denigrates all regulation - I'd hate to see that being probed on Newsnight. WereSpielChequers 12:51, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks WereSpielChequers. I actually reread that bullet after posting here last, and it seems to me that the "As much as possible .. regulatory hurdles" sentence is non-essential. I'd be fine with it just being removed altogether. The important part is really The Wikimedia movement is international in scope. The solution needs to support the easiest possible transfer of money internationally, in support of the movement's priorities. -- the remainder is just an elaboration of the why, and isn't critical. So if it raises flags for people like you and Bodnotbod (and maybe Newsnight) then I think it would be fine to just have it deleted. I'm not going to do it myself (because I don't care either way), and I don't know what the etiquette of the page is. But if you want to delete it, or comment requesting it be deleted, either is totally fine with me. Sue Gardner 13:04, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Sue, I've made that change. WereSpielChequers 13:57, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
In brief, especially as the line is now gone, I should have been more moderate in my language. It was shouty. I came across as if I wouldn't help fund-raise if that line were present, which would not have been the case. But I too was worried it might give our enemies ammunition for headlines ("Wikipedia policy is to avoid international finance regulations" or somesuch). I also felt it would get the backs up of liberals who I would imagine (admittedly with no evidence) are a good source of grassroots support for Wikimedia. --Bodnotbod 14:41, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks WereSpielChequers and Bodnotbod. Bodnotbod, don't worry about seeming shouty. I didn't think you were, but to the extent that your response was immoderate, that was useful information -- if a moderate guy gets immoderate, it probably means something is awry and worth fixing :-) Thanks, Sue Gardner 16:35, 8 November 2011 (UTC).

Donor relationships[edit]

Is it worth adding the points from Draft Guiding principles with regards to donor relationships? The Land 20:49, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Some feedback[edit]

I admit I have been unable to read all comments (sorry, my workflow really messes up when people put this on a wiki instead of in emails - the meta discussion tracking just sucks) - so apologies if I cover some things other people touched on too.

As a high level principles set it might be a nice beginning of a discussion. I have a few worries to express though. When reading through this, it seems all the tricky topics seem to have been left aside. I will try to touch on a few in short.

A principle I am missing a lot is that fundraising is different in every locality. I read that localization is considered important, but in my feeling that doesn't stress enough that we should try hard to adapt our fundraising culture and means to the local needs. This goes much further than translating and offering different payment means.

I disagree that funds *must* *always* flow across borders. In several countries I can imagine that people really prefer to donate locally, for local improvement. In some countries, laws don't allow us the freedom to spend the money elsewhere, in some other countries the giving culture doesn't. When that raises the total impact for the movement - even if it means spending less money in South America - then I think we should consider it very seriously.

I read nothing about supporting local organizations to develop themselves in a way that they are professional enough to raise funds. This is something I have been missing in many discussions: the opposite of punishing organizations because they didn't meet criteria. I would like to see as an important principle that organizations are being supported to grow, develop and professionalize in a way that they meet whatever criteria are needed. And that the criteria are drafted in such a way that this development process is possible and likely to happen.

Controls should be required to ratio. Don't make it a binary thing, but rather a scale. Also it should imho focus on what is common practice in that region, rather than blindly applying some international template on every organization. There may be some minimum standards of course that are internationally everywhere the same.

I don't agree with the "donor diversity" principle as currently drafted in this specific document. Maybe it works in one country like that, and maybe another approach is better in another. It is a strategy, rather than a principle. A strategy almost all of the organizations will choose, and we strongly advise, but it remains a strategy. An organization could very well justify choosing instead of diversity of funds - spreading risk over large donors, small donors, grant requests and maybe even some enterprise (selling T-shirts, whatever). All open for debate imho.

In my opinion the current wording on maximizing efficiency are not clear enough. The question that keeps coming back that should be answered is: "if you can choose between 60 usd for wmf and 40 usd for chapters on one side and 50 usd for wmf and 80 usd for chapters on the other, which would we pick". See also point above on earmarked fundraising.

Maybe more will follow later. Effeietsanders 22:22, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Another point I forgot: Overhead. Speaks for itself I guess - we should aim for low overhead, and choose a way of organizing our global fundraiser that it has lower overhead costs (including transaction costs, personnel costs, taxes) Effeietsanders 15:04, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I aggree most of your points. To resume your position is to "internationalize" the fundraising, both on methods and dissemination, isn’t it?
As addressed by sebmol on the other talk page and as you are saying here, it could be valuable to reunify both principles of fund-raising and fund-dissemination to get something consistent, since some points are intrinsically linked by regulatory concerns.
On another side of the discussion now, some data should be added to the debate to have full capabilities of discussion. Sue ennonced some questions on her scratchpad and I remember there is a page where people are invited to answer these questions or other questions but I cannot find back this page.
On a more political side, it should be discussed if entities want discuss together and what to do if so little chapters are participating. I mean, given entities are independant, perhaps some don’t want put too much efforts in trying to internationalize all their thoughts and ways of managing their money and prefer advance on-sight and with small-scale partnerships (possibly including WMF or some other chapter) rather than global discussion (international discussion could be tiresome, particularly for non-native English speakers).
~ Seb35 [^_^] 15:24, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

citation needed for some axioums.[edit]

In a second read of the content of the page I've notice that underline assumptions that I would be happy to learn where they came from. This does not mean I doubt their usefulness rather than I'm curious if we have information to back them up:

  • Our fundraising activities should raise the necessary funds in the shortest time with the least amount of effort possible.
  1. why? What happens if we decide to put the banners for only 50% of the visitors for twice the time?
  2. I completely disagree with the idea of "least amount of effort possible". Once we decided that our model is based on many small donations we already abandoned the idea of "lease amount of effort". So, could it be that a little more effort will get us even into a better position?
  • "Localization done well helps fundraising" - Do we have numbers to back that statement?
  • "The solution needs to support the easiest possible transfer of money internationally" - Again. Why should it be the easiest method? easiest to who? If we change the word "easiest" to "most efficient", "cheapest", "most secure" or "most transparent" we would end up with the same result. So why did we choose easiest?
  • I commented about the last two points in the first paragraph on this page but other than saying that it's a good food for thought I do not feel that my opinion was somehow considered. I'm not surprised, I'm questioning here two of the two most fundamental assumptions people works with. Still, that does not make it true.

I'm sorry if any of this was already discussed somewhere. I only speak English as a second language and it's probably harder for me than others to pursue such a long discussion in English. Tomer A. 14:59, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Your English is fine, and these are good points. in the shortest time and the least amount of effort possible is a very worthy commitment that the fundraising cause minimum disruption and cost to the pedia. It is a common and reasonable way to judge the efficiency of a charity's fundraising in terms of the proportion of donations that are needed simply to find more donations. Our strategy of seeking many small donations doesn't necessarily mean we've abandoned that as getting computers to ask lots of people to give money may not be more expensive than getting people to ask a few rich people to give money (especially if we are still getting some big donations). There is a conflict between a strategy of least effort and a strategy of a fundraiser that reflects our core values, but sometimes it is healthy to give people multiple considerations that fundraisers have to balance. "Give us £5 or your homework gets it" might get lots of money, but it wouldn't reflect our core values. "In the shortest time" is a sensible objective if we continue to rely on one big annual fundraiser. But my preference would be to globalise and ditch the annual fundraiser. If we had a rolling series of annual fundraisers for different parts of the world then some of the freneticism could be removed, for our readers there would still be an annual fundraiser where they are and they need not know that the annual fundraiser in Australia was in a different month to India, the US or UK. There would be a number of advantages to this - different regions will have different months when people are most generous to charities and especially this charity. Some societies have a tradition of a large annual bonus and we should be able to get more money if we synchronise our appeals with that. Spreading the fundraisers round the year would be safer for our banking policy as our peak cash balances need not be as high as they currently are at the end of the annual fundraiser (though there would still be a peak at the end of the US or North American fundraiser). Spreading the risk around the calender would also reduce the risk of a damaging story coming out at the same time as the global annual fundraiser. Of course to some extent we are already spreading our fundraising around the year by asking people to sign up for monthly or quarterly donations, but I believe we would gain more by splitting the annual fundraiser geographically. WereSpielChequers 08:01, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Fraud and misuse[edit]

I'm not sure that this belongs in the fundraising principles as I see this as more about how we administer and spend money than how we raise it. However I can see the advantage of including such an assurance here for potential donors. But if we are going to cover the safe from fraud or misuse aspects it is also sensible to cover the treasury management stuff - especially in these turbulent times. One of the drawbacks of an annual fundraiser is that you receive a lot of money at one stage in the year and then steadily spend it, so a bank failure immediately after the fundraiser might well be a more serious problem for us than it would be for an organisation that held a certain reserve but raised and spent money throughout the year. Two ways to mitigate the risk are to spread our reserves around multiple banks, and to choose the safest banks rather than those that offer the highest returns For a private individual this might be a straight tradeoff between risk and return, but charities have to also consider their reputations - hence in my experience charities tend to go for a low risk low return strategy. I'd also suggest a switch from one annual fundraiser to a more spread out approach. WereSpielChequers 18:26, 25 November 2011 (UTC)