Talk:Fundraising

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This note was updated on 05/2022

Status on the fundraising banners and other similar things[edit]

Hello. In the past (as you can see by scrolling up) I've been rather critical of the WMF's fundraising banners. I've come here to ask what the status is on them and if changes are going to be made, if any. Blaze Wolf (talk) 19:33, 7 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi @Blaze Wolf,
You can find answers in the post I just added below. Thank you, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 08:33, 10 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Update on banners - changes to banners for Italian fundraising campaign[edit]

Dear all,

Thank you all for your suggestions and feedback during the English campaign. We have gathered the input and suggestions and would now like to share with you some updates and changes we are able to make for our next banner campaign in Italy which launched yesterday.

  • You suggested an I already donate button for the banners. We first implemented this towards the end of the English campaign and are now testing it heavily during the Italian campaign. This means that during the Italian banner campaign we will run banners both with and without the I already donated button and compare the data. We are confident that this will become a more permanent feature in all our banner campaigns soon.
  • In the last campaign, we heard requests to change a line from the banner (example: …this is the 3rd time recently…). We adapted this line in the English campaign and will not be including it in our upcoming campaigns for this fundraising year.
  • During the English campaign it was suggested to include a line on the Thank you page explaining to donors why they still might see banners and how they can make sure that this doesn’t happen. We implemented this already in the English campaign and are now working with our translation experts to make this a permanent feature of all our Thank you pages.

As always, please get in touch with me with further suggestions that I will pass on to the team for testing.

Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 08:33, 10 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I'm waiting for the English campaign to start again before I provide any more feedback (because, y'know, I don't speak Italian) ― Blaze WolfTalkBlaze Wolf#6545 16:05, 10 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Blaze Wolf: An Indian campaign is due to start on May 31st. That will be in English, and will give you the first clue what has been taken on board. Cheers, --Andreas JN466 19:00, 10 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, I am being stupid. The page overleaf contains sample banners for the Italian fundraiser, and even if you don't speak Italian, you can just put them into a good online translator like https://www.deepl.com/translator (generally considered superior to Google Translate in the languages it does).
This will render the following translations for the four sample banners linked overleaf:
  • Desktop large: "To all our readers in Italy. Please do not ignore this appeal. This Thursday we humbly ask you to help us support Wikipedia. If you are one of those exceptional people who have already donated, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you donate as little as €2 today, Wikipedia will continue to grow for years to come. We humbly ask you not to pretend that you don't know anything. If Wikipedia has given you knowledge worth at least €2, please take a minute to make a donation. Show the world that access to reliable, neutral information is important to you. Thank you."
  • Desktop small: "Hi! This is not the first time recently that we have interrupted your reading, but 98% of our users do not donate. Many think they will later, but then forget. This Thursday we are asking you to support Wikipedia. All we ask is €2, or what you can spare, to allow us to continue to grow. We ask with humility: don't look the other way. If you are one of those rare people who have already donated, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
  • Mobile large: " To all our readers. Please don't ignore this appeal. Let's get straight to the point: this Thursday we are asking you to help us support Wikipedia. If you are one of those rare people who have already donated, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    If all the people reading this message would donate €2, we could keep Wikipedia growing for years. A little more than the price of a cappuccino is all we need. We know you're busy and we don't want to interrupt you, but we need to remind everyone.

    Wikipedia is supported by the donations of a very small part of its users, only 2%, and we don't want to charge a subscription. Without the contributions, large or small, of our readers, we would not be able to run Wikipedia as we always have.

    That's why we still need your help. The model we've adopted excites us, because at its core, Wikipedia belongs to you. We want to make sure that everyone on the planet has equal access to knowledge.

    If you think the knowledge Wikipedia has given you this year is worth €2, take a minute to make a donation and support its future. Thank you.

    Fundraising payment formPlease choose a figure (EUR). The average donation is 10 €, but everyone gives what they think is fair. Generally first time donors choose to give 2 €. The important thing is that you choose to step up and support free and accessible information, and for that we are grateful.

    2 € 10 € 15 € 25 € 50 € 75 € 100 € Other (€)

    We humbly ask you: do not ignore this message."

  • Mobile small: " Hi! This is not the first time recently that we have interrupted your research, but 98% of our users do not donate and continue reading. This Thursday we are asking you to help us support Wikipedia. All we ask is €2 if you can afford €2, or €25 if you can afford €25. We humbly ask you: don't ignore this message. Please select a payment method"
Of course, these are only samples. The WMF will show other wordings as well during the course of the fundraiser. Cheers, --Andreas JN466 19:23, 10 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Rethink WMF aggressive campaigns. Newcomers should not think that Wikipedia is a "profit"[edit]

To the dear attention of the Fundraising Team,

Long story short: Wikimedia Foundation's banners are too aggressive.

If you don't trust me, here an overview of the feedback received in the last years:

Year Main community feedback
2022 [1] Very aggressive banner (e.g. on it.wiki):
Wikipedia spam fundraising 2022.png
2021 «HOLY CRAP THAT IS A HUGE BANNER»
2020 «stop gigantic fundraising banners»
2019 banners breaking Wikipedia layout
2018 Comm-quote-banner.png
2017 «Banners occupy the page»
2016
2015
2015-12 Wikipedia Fundraising Banner.png

«Gigantic banner» «Unusable webpage.»

2015 [2] «dramatic [..] banner plastered atop your screen»

The core suggestions is:

Quantify visual impact and reduce it
We should make sure that the visual impact has a metric, and that there is not a year-to-year increase on this metric, since bigger banners means a Wikipedia more difficult to understand, more difficult to access, with less content and more spam, with more distraction, with the danger that Wikipedia will be misunderstood like a commercial project, and other possible/real or stereotypical concern raised from barriers that ask for money. The more the banners are big, the more we risk to devalue the work of millions of volunteers, who have a hard time explaining to normal people why the Wikimedia Foundation ask for money, why in such impactful ways, if volunteers receive that money, whether the Wikimedia Foundation is for profit, and other absurd questions coming from the logical association to other commercial websites with big banners.

It's common sense to understand that we can't simply minimize this metric (since it means remove them all). But since on mobile this year somebody has scrolled 3 times the page before avoiding spam on a large smartphone, many contributors are confident that something can be done to improve the current situation.

Hoping this will improve the positive experience new users have with Wikipedia, and simplify conversations between Wikipedians and non-Wikipedian users,

Thank you so much. --Valerio Bozzolan (talk) 17:47, 11 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I count 7 banners in that image for 2022. And that's on a mobile phone. One is enough, even if they're worded poorly and intrusive. ― Blaze WolfTalkBlaze Wolf#6545 04:48, 12 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Seriously, this is getting to the point of intrusive web ads. I honestly wonder if someone has created a plugin similar to adblock that blocks those banners from popping up. AT least make there be an obvious "provide feedback" button. ― Blaze WolfTalkBlaze Wolf#6545 04:52, 12 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Also, if you scroll further down in the archive, you can see how I became more and more irritated with my feedback posts. ― Blaze WolfTalkBlaze Wolf#6545 04:54, 12 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The first thing to understand is that the WMF wants to aggressively grow its revenue, and if larger, more aggressive banners bring more money, then larger, more aggressive banners is what we shall have. What's sneaky about all of this is that for at least the past decade, whenever someone's pointed out that the WMF has millions of dollars in the bank, it's countered that by saying that it's merely doing the prudent thing recommended to all non-profits – making sure it has sufficient reserves to cover about one-and-a-half years of annual expenses, as a safety net to protect Wikipedia. What the WMF comms people haven't said is that each time its reserves (assets) hit a new record – which has happened every year of its existence – the WMF has immediately increased its budget by the same proportion, to the point where it now spends ten times as much money as ten years ago (record expenses of $150 million are budgeted for the current, 2021/22 year – so you see, cash reserves are still "one-and-a-half times annual expenses"):
Financial development of the Wikimedia Foundation (in US$), 2003–2021
Black: Net assets (excluding the Wikimedia Endowment, which passed $100m in June 2021)
Green: Revenue (excluding third-party donations to Wikimedia Endowment)
Red: Expenses (including WMF payments to Wikimedia Endowment)
Year Source Revenue Expenses Asset rise Total assets
2020/2021 PDF $ 162,886,686 $ 111,839,819 $ 50,861,811 $ 231,177,536
2019/2020 PDF $ 129,234,327 $ 112,489,397 $ 14,674,300 $ 180,315,725
2018/2019 PDF $ 120,067,266 $ 91,414,010 $ 30,691,855 $ 165,641,425
2017/2018 PDF $ 104,505,783 $ 81,442,265 $ 21,619,373 $ 134,949,570
2016/2017 PDF $ 91,242,418 $ 69,136,758 $ 21,547,402 $ 113,330,197
2015/2016 PDF $ 81,862,724 $ 65,947,465 $ 13,962,497 $ 91,782,795
2014/2015 PDF $ 75,797,223 $ 52,596,782 $ 24,345,277 $ 77,820,298
2013/2014 PDF $ 52,465,287 $ 45,900,745 $ 8,285,897 $ 53,475,021
2012/2013 PDF $ 48,635,408 $ 35,704,796 $ 10,260,066 $ 45,189,124
2011/2012 PDF $ 38,479,665 $ 29,260,652 $ 10,736,914 $ 34,929,058
2010/2011 PDF $ 24,785,092 $ 17,889,794 $ 9,649,413 $ 24,192,144
2009/2010 PDF $ 17,979,312 $ 10,266,793 $ 6,310,964 $ 14,542,731
2008/2009 PDF $ 8,658,006 $ 5,617,236 $ 3,053,599 $ 8,231,767
2007/2008 PDF $ 5,032,981 $ 3,540,724 $ 3,519,886 $ 5,178,168
2006/2007 PDF $ 2,734,909 $ 2,077,843 $ 654,066 $ 1,658,282
2005/2006 PDF $ 1,508,039 $ 791,907 $ 736,132 $ 1,004,216
2004/2005 PDF $ 379,088 $ 177,670 $ 211,418 $ 268,084
2003/2004 PDF $ 80,129 $ 23,463 $ 56,666 $ 56,666
Net assets are now three times what they were at the time of the 2015 Washington Post article. And when the WMF realized around the time of that article that with aggressive fundraising it could squeeze even more money out of Wikipedia that it could not possibly meaningfully spend, it started the Endowment – a completely separate (and to date completely non-transparent) fund by now containing around $150 million that is not included in all the above figures, except as expenses – because when the WMF pays money into its own Endowment, that is accounted for as an expense.
In this way, claiming all along that its bank balance is merely there "for safety", and telling people time and again that money is urgently needed, the WMF has accumulated an estimated $400 million fortune – less than a decade ago, that would have been considered enough to fund Wikipedia and all other Wikimedia projects for forty years. (See also my 2021 Daily Dot article.)
This is aggressive collection of ever greater sums of money disguised as an appeal motivated by need. Sometimes it's been spiced with veiled threats that if people don't donate, Wikipedia will have to run ads, charge a subscription or possibly blink out of existence altogether for lack of money. What this isn't in my opinion is an honest and transparent communication to the public along the lines of "We want to grow, and this is what we will do with all the extra money we're asking you for." --Andreas JN466 15:46, 12 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hi @Valerio Bozzolan,
Thank you very much for your feedback on the banners. I will pass this on to the team. Best wishes, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 07:17, 14 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hi @Valerio Bozzolan,
I briefly wanted to follow up with you after talking to the team as well and here are some more details/explanations around the banners.
Both our large mobile and desktop banners are only shown to readers once per campaign (this is per device/browser) as we are trying to minimise the disruption they cause. After the first big banner, the reader will show a much smaller banner (see examples) 5 times.
We are currently working on reducing height on the banners in order to make them less interruptive and we are also working on testing different styles. However this needs to first go through a testing process before it might become operational.
Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 11:19, 16 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Is there as well any thoughts about the completely misleading alarmist nonsense that is in those huge banners? I think this deceitful lying to the readers is something that's more of concern than the size in general. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:31, 16 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Italian email text[edit]

Would it be possible to publicise email texts in the same way as the sample banner texts?

For reference, here is a critique of the Italian email text being sent out as part of the current Italian fundraiser: https://www.thesocialpost.it/2021/03/05/wikipedia-chiede-una-donazione-e-manda-lemail-piu-brutta-della-storia-tutto-sbagliato-ma-proprio-tutto/

English and German DeepL translations of the Italian email text, as quoted in that press article, follow below:

English machine translation of Italian email:

"Hi Paolo, in 2016, you donated €5 to keep Wikipedia online for hundreds of millions of users. I am pleasantly surprised by your continued support and am deeply grateful. You are a rare exception. You are part of the 2% of readers who donate to support Wikipedia. This year we need your help again.

Would you like to renew your support with a €5 donation?

It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but I have to be honest: 98% of our users don't donate, they simply look the other way when we ask for an annual donation. We're very different from other platforms and apps because we decided not to charge a subscription.

However, that doesn't mean we don't need the support of our readers and subscribers. We wouldn't dream of sending you a fundraising email every month. What we do do, instead, is ask you with absolute respect to make a donation once a year, so that Wikipedia can continue to offer free access to knowledge to you and the rest of the world."

German machine translation of Italian email:

"Hallo Paolo, 2016 hast du 5 € gespendet, damit Wikipedia für hunderte Millionen Nutzer online bleibt. Ich bin angenehm überrascht von deiner anhaltenden Unterstützung und bin dir sehr dankbar. Du bist eine seltene Ausnahme. Du gehörst zu den 2% der Leser, die für Wikipedia spenden. Dieses Jahr brauchen wir wieder deine Hilfe.

Möchtest du deine Unterstützung mit einer Spende von 5 € erneuern?

Es ist ein bisschen peinlich, das zuzugeben, aber ich muss ehrlich sein: 98% unserer Nutzerinnen und Nutzer spenden nicht, sie schauen einfach weg, wenn wir sie um eine jährliche Spende bitten. Wir unterscheiden uns sehr von anderen Plattformen und Apps, weil wir uns entschieden haben, kein Abonnement zu verlangen.

Das heißt aber nicht, dass wir die Unterstützung unserer Leserinnen und Leser nicht brauchen. Wir würden nicht im Traum daran denken, dir jeden Monat eine Spenden-E-Mail zu schicken. Wir bitten dich jedoch höflich darum, einmal im Jahr zu spenden, damit Wikipedia dir und dem Rest der Welt weiterhin kostenlosen Zugang zu Wissen bieten kann."


There is an implied threat in the text to charge a subscription fee, along with a clear implication that continued donations are necessary to keep Wikipedia online and free. However, the financial figures in the section above paint a very different picture. Regards, --Andreas JN466 14:30, 16 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

"they simply look the other way when we ask for an annual donation" Hmm I wonder why. It's definitely not because you don't need the money and you're very aggressive with your donations. Reading the ENglish translation, I Don't see the implied threat. It's just pointing out that Wikipedia is different because they don't charge a subscription fee. ― Blaze WolfTalkBlaze Wolf#6545 15:08, 16 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Blaze Wolf: Yeah, you're right, actually; I was in a rush and misread that slightly. "We're very different from other platforms and apps because we decided not to charge a subscription" is kind of okay. (Then again, you can't really start "The Free Encyclopedia" and then start charging money for it ...) The thing about donating to keep Wikipedia online is a bit more iffy. Sure, that is indeed why many people donate, but it's not really the reason why the WMF is asking for more and more and more money (the money goes to fund staff and salary growth; keeping Wikipedia online is a tiny fraction of WMF expenditure). Cheers, --Andreas JN466 16:24, 16 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Actually I think I had it right the first time. Even introducing the notion of charging a subscription for a work created essentially by volunteer labour is off. Psychologically, it's the equivalent of saying, "Nice encyclopedia you've got here. Would be a shame if something were to happen to it." Andreas JN466 07:49, 17 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed. The words used matter only to a certain extent. The audience perception will depend on what it is used to. The Wikimedia Foundation deploys banners which effectively make Wikipedia impossible to access (sometimes you have to scroll a dozen pages on a mobile device), with the most obvious alternative provided being a regular monthly payment. For people who have experience of metered paywalls on other websites, this seems something similar, whatever the words used to describe it, so more and more people get the impression that Wikipedia is now a subscriber-only service with a paywall. Nemo 08:19, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Visibility of skeptical opinions on fundraising[edit]

There clearly exists opposition in the community towards the current fundraising practices of the WMF. However, this opposition appears to be scattered and hard to find. A casual reader of Wikipedia will get the impression that the Wikipedia community is in favor of active and aggressive fundraising, thanks to the site-wide fundraising banners. However, similar banners could potentially be used to inform readers that a large part of the community is in fact opposed to the current fundraising practices, and give them a place to join the discussion of this very important issue. A CentralNotice request could be filed, linking to a campaign for, say discussion of fundraising practices on Wikipedia. This could lead to new consensuses forming, potentially influencing other CentralNotice banner campaigns (such as the fundraising banners), in something akin to a positive feedback loop. Thoughts? Ornilnas (talk) 04:19, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Good idea. Could be timed to a few days or weeks prior to a fundraising campaign starting and just provide an overview of financial data:
Financial development of the Wikimedia Foundation (in US$), 2003–2021
Black: Net assets (excluding the Wikimedia Endowment, which passed $100m in June 2021)
Green: Revenue (excluding third-party donations to Wikimedia Endowment)
Red: Expenses (including WMF payments to Wikimedia Endowment)
Year Source Revenue Expenses Asset rise Total assets
2020/2021 PDF $ 162,886,686 $ 111,839,819 $ 50,861,811 $ 231,177,536
2019/2020 PDF $ 129,234,327 $ 112,489,397 $ 14,674,300 $ 180,315,725
2018/2019 PDF $ 120,067,266 $ 91,414,010 $ 30,691,855 $ 165,641,425
2017/2018 PDF $ 104,505,783 $ 81,442,265 $ 21,619,373 $ 134,949,570
2016/2017 PDF $ 91,242,418 $ 69,136,758 $ 21,547,402 $ 113,330,197
2015/2016 PDF $ 81,862,724 $ 65,947,465 $ 13,962,497 $ 91,782,795
2014/2015 PDF $ 75,797,223 $ 52,596,782 $ 24,345,277 $ 77,820,298
2013/2014 PDF $ 52,465,287 $ 45,900,745 $ 8,285,897 $ 53,475,021
2012/2013 PDF $ 48,635,408 $ 35,704,796 $ 10,260,066 $ 45,189,124
2011/2012 PDF $ 38,479,665 $ 29,260,652 $ 10,736,914 $ 34,929,058
2010/2011 PDF $ 24,785,092 $ 17,889,794 $ 9,649,413 $ 24,192,144
2009/2010 PDF $ 17,979,312 $ 10,266,793 $ 6,310,964 $ 14,542,731
2008/2009 PDF $ 8,658,006 $ 5,617,236 $ 3,053,599 $ 8,231,767
2007/2008 PDF $ 5,032,981 $ 3,540,724 $ 3,519,886 $ 5,178,168
2006/2007 PDF $ 2,734,909 $ 2,077,843 $ 654,066 $ 1,658,282
2005/2006 PDF $ 1,508,039 $ 791,907 $ 736,132 $ 1,004,216
2004/2005 PDF $ 379,088 $ 177,670 $ 211,418 $ 268,084
2003/2004 PDF $ 80,129 $ 23,463 $ 56,666 $ 56,666

WikiWand donations[edit]

Is the Wikimedia Foundation able to confirm when it last received a donation from WikiWand? I think the information is relevant for two reasons:

  • WikiWand uses the Wikimedia trademarks in advertising itself as an ethical business;
  • the source of such promised donations was said to unspecified revenues from the website, which seems to produce revenues mostly by selling the personal data of users of Wikipedia content to a bunch of advertisers (with Outbrain leading the pack).

Nemo 08:14, 15 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@JBrungs (WMF): I would be interested in an answer to this question as well. Andreas JN466 10:31, 29 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hi,
We checked our donation database and we could not find any donation from WikiWand to the Wikimedia Foundation. We could also not find any reference to collecting donations on their website. If you have any more information you would like us to have a look at, please share them here. You can also send reports of trademark misuse directly to the legal team at legal-tm-vio@wikimedia.org and they will look into it
Best,
Julia JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 06:52, 5 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@JBrungs (WMF): They do not collect donations on their website, but earn money from "ads and content recommendations" and say on this page (archive) that "30% of Wikiwand's profits are donated to the Wikimedia Foundation, to support Wikipedia." Andreas JN466 22:34, 6 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks Andreas, we will have a closer look at this. Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 05:53, 9 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

South African banner texts[edit]

Here are the example texts from the South African banner campaign:

  • Desktop Large: To all our readers in South Africa, Please don't scroll past this. This Wednesday, we ask you to sustain Wikipedia's independence. 98% of our readers don't donate; they simply keep reading. If you are an exceptional reader who has already donated, we sincerely thank you. If you donate just R 30 today, Wikipedia could keep growing for years. We ask you: please don’t scroll away. If Wikipedia has given you R 30 worth of knowledge, take a moment to donate. Show the world that access to reliable, neutral information matters to you. Thank you.
  • Desktop Small: Hi. This Wednesday, we interrupt your reading to ask you to help us sustain Wikipedia. 98% of our readers don't donate. Many think they’ll give later, but then forget. All we ask is R 30, or what you can afford, to sustain our future. We ask you: Please don't scroll away. If you are one of our rare donors, we warmly thank you.
  • Mobile Large: To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this. We apologise for interrupting your reading this Wednesday, so we'll get straight to the point: We ask you to help us sustain Wikipedia's independence. 98% of our readers don't donate; they simply keep reading. If you are one of our rare donors, we warmly thank you. If everyone reading this donated R 30, we could keep Wikipedia growing for years. We're sure you are busy and we won’t interrupt for long. Wikipedia is sustained by the donations of only 2% of our readers. Without reader contributions, big or small, we couldn’t run Wikipedia the way we do. That’s why we still need your help. We are passionate about our non-profit model because at its core, Wikipedia belongs to you. If Wikipedia provided you R 30 worth of knowledge this year, please take a moment to secure its future by making a donation. Thank you
  • Mobile Small: Hi. This Wednesday we interrupt your reading to ask you to help us sustain Wikipedia. 98% of our readers don't donate; they just keep reading. All we ask is R 30 if you’d like to give R 30, or R 200 if you’d like to give R 200. We ask you: Please don't scroll away.

As is stated overleaf, these are just example texts, as the WMF constantly tests new language. As always, none of these texts make clear that the WMF is continuously increasing its budget and headcount, asking for more money each year to finance this expansion; instead, the texts focus on the phrase "sustain Wikipedia's independence". --Andreas JN466 11:51, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Yep, that's right, all those donations have nothing to do with sustain but with growth. It's one of those typical banners, that the community loathes for its dishonesty, they may create revenue, but they are in fact based on blatant lies, or at least giant exaggerations. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:04, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hiding fundraising banners[edit]

Where are the directions for this? I used to know where the long message was that was being added to every Help Desk question on the subject. And now I have some even more detailed information from The Teahouse.Vchimpanzee (talk) 19:22, 4 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi,
Thank you for your message. We do not have any instructions here on meta on how to hide the banner but the Teahouse message you found certainly gives a a good summary of how to do this. I can add add this information to my outreach to communities before the next English campaign. Best wishes, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 07:24, 5 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Indian email texts[edit]

Thanks for linking the Indian email texts (1, 2, 3). For reference and to enable discussion, the texts are as follows (typo corrections welcome): --Andreas JN466 07:59, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

India email 1[edit]

----------- Forwarded message -----------
From: jimmy@wikipedia.org <donate@wikimedia.org>
Date: Wed, May 18, 2022 at 10:51 AM
Subject: all2021 - You are one of the rare exceptions


Dear all2021,

My name is Jimmy Wales, and I'm the founder of Wikipedia. About a year ago, you donated Rs. 313 to keep Wikipedia online for yourself and millions of people around the world. Each year, fewer than 2% of Wikipedia readers choose to support our work. You have been one of those rare donors, and for this I want to thank you warmly. I'm grateful you agree that we can use the power of the internet for good. We will achieve this not as individuals, but as a collaborative movement of knowledge seekers. Together, we can rebuild trust in the internet, and by extension, in each other.

Will you renew your solidarity with a Rs. 313 donation?

I have to be honest: 98% of our readers don't donate when we request an annual donation. We choose not to charge a subscription fee, but that doesn't mean we don't need support from our readers. We don't send a fundraising email every month. We respectfully request just one donation this year so that Wikipedia may continue to grow and offer knowledge to the world.

If all our past donors gave a small amount today, our fundraiser would be over. Unfortunately, most people will ignore this message. That's why we turn to you: please renew your gift to ensure that Wikipedia remains independent, ad-free, and growing for years to come.

We're a non-profit. That means we aren't selling the articles that million of people read on Wikipedia each day. We don't profit from the knowledge you seek. In fact, we firmly believe that knowledge should exist outside of the realm of supply and demand. That's hardly a given nowadays; so much of the world's digital knowledge is driven by profit.

Wikipedia is different in that it doesn't belong to the highest bidder, the advertisers, or corporations. It belongs to you, the readers, editors, and donors. You're our community, our family. You're the reason we exist. The fate of Wikipedia rests in your hands and we wouldn't have it any other way.

It's readers like you who safeguard our non-profit mission. You help us maintain our integrity, quality, and accessibility. Today, kindly consider giving again, or even increasing your gift, to keep Wikipedia free and independent.

Now is the time we request: can we count on you to renew your solidarity with a small donation? It will keep Wikipedia online, ad-free, and growing for years to come.

https://donate.wikimedia.org

Thanks,
Jimmy Wales
Founder of Wikipedia

Renew your donation: Rs. 313

Where will your donation go?[edit]

  • 43% of your gift will be used to sustain and improve Wikipedia and our other online free knowledge projects.
  • 32% of your gift will be used to support the volunteers who share their knowledge with you for free every day.
  • 25% of your gift will give the Wikimedia Foundation the resources it needs to fulfill its mission and advance the cause of free knowledge in the world.

India email 2[edit]

----------- Forwarded message -----------
From: jimmy@wikipedia.org <donate@wikimedia.org>
Date: Wed, May 18, 2022 at 10:53 AM
Subject: It's non-negotiable

Dear all2021,

You have been a Wikipedia donor since 2017 and have donated more than 4 times.

You've unlocked: 4 Badges

Bronze Silver Gold Platinum
Badge Badge Badge Badge

When you gave Rs. 313 in 2021, you were one of those rare donors who kept Wikipedia growing for yourself and millions of other readers.

Ready to earn your next badge? Kindly match your previous gift today.

I took the liberty of emailing you a second time on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation (the organisation responsible for the protection of Wikipedia), because I wasn't sure you got a chance to read the first amail we sent to fundraisingemail+enin+all+2021@wikimedia.org, the address we have on file for you since your last gift. I hope this badge will act as a reminder of how crucial your commitment to supporting free knowledge has been and still is to us.

At every turn, we have been pressured to compromise our values, but to be honest: This isn't negotiable for us. People have asked, why not just run ads to make revenue? Or sell reader data? Or make people pay to read? While these things seem like the norm online nowadays, we believe that there is another way--a way that doesn't jeopardise the neutrality of our content and threaten your personal data. We just ... request! Not often, but it works. After 21 years of saying no, I can still say we are proud to have left that money on the table.

We're a non-profit. Only 2% of our readers donate, but we manage to serve hundreds of million of people per month. Imagine if everyone gave? We could transform the way knowledge is shared online.

We've been happily stunned by the response from our donors, but we haven't reached our fundraising goal in India yet, and this fundraiser will be over soon. We're not salespeople. We're librarians, archivists, and information seekers. We rely on our readers to become our donors, and it's worked for over 20 years.

This year, kindly consider making another donation to protect and sustain Wikipedia.

We know people's circumstances have changed a lot in the last year, and we understand if you don't renew your gift. Some find themselves with less to spare, but a lucky few happen to have a bit more. If you're one of the lucky ones, will you donate a little extra to keep Wikipedia growing?

Renew your donation: Rs. 313
Give ₹ 5
Give ₹ 20
Give ₹ 35
Give another amount
Any gift will unlock your next badge.

Thank you,
Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia Founder

DONATE NOW: Rs. 313

India email 3[edit]

----------- Forwarded message -----------
From: jimmy@wikipedia.org <donate@wikimedia.org>
Date: Wed, May 18, 2022 at 10:53 AM
Subject: Our final email this year

Dear all2021,

I know you've heard from me twice already, so I'll be direct. In 2021, you were among the extremely rare readers in India who made a donation to invest in the future of free knowledge. If you've made it far enough to open this email, could you take a minute to help us out?

Many of our readers see our emails and think they'll get to it later, but life happens and of course they forget. Our annual email fundraiser in India is coming to an end, so if you've been holding off until "later", this is your moment.

I'm requesting respectfully: Please, renew your Rs. 313 donation; it matters.

Around the time our fundraising campaign starts, I hear from friends, family, and long-lost classmates who see our fundraising messages while they're looking something up on Wikipedia. It's a reminder of how many people, from all walks of life, rely on Wikipedia.

This incredible public support is crucial for our organisation and our movement to grow. It allows us to serve the world, and to do so with independence and integrity. We don't belong to anyone, because we belong to everyone.

You donated in 2021 and we sincerely thank you. If you still see value in Wikipedia, kindly sustain your support in 2022 and keep Wikipedia growing.

This is our biggest fundraising moment of the year. It's when we launch the online campaign that brings in donors who will proper us throughout 2022 and beyond. I'm one of them. I'm a regular donor.

We are the non-profit that supports one of the world's most visited websites. We don't generate revenue by selling off our users' data to the highest bidder. We don't run ads that could jeopardise the integrity and neutrality of our content.

Though our size requires us to maintain the server space and programming power of a top site, we are sustained by the support of our donors who give an average of about ₹ 313. This year, will you take on minute to keep our work going?

₹ 75  ₹ 300
₹ 1500 Other
Renew your donation: Rs. 313
Give less this year

Thank you,
Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia Founder

DONATE NOW

Discussion of the India emails[edit]

"32% of your gift will be used to support the volunteers"[edit]

Could you explain the calculation underlying the claim in email 1 that "32% of your gift will be used to support the volunteers"?

For reference, total revenue last year was $163 million, and after the first two quarters of the present 2021/2022 financial year, the Foundation had taken over $10 million more than in the first two quarters of 2020/2021. This means the WMF is on course for at least $175 million this year.

32% of this would be $56 million. The "Thriving Movement" budget, which I believe includes funding for regional chapters' non-volunteer (paid, professional) staff as well as volunteer support, was $14.3M in FY20-21, and $36.7M for the current financial year. --Andreas JN466 08:08, 21 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Keeping Wikipedia "online and ad-free"[edit]

In the above emails, people are told that –

  • donations are made "to keep Wikipedia online for yourself and millions of people around the world",
  • the WMF "choose[s] not to charge a subscription fee" (doing so would break the promise and commitment in the WMF mission statement to "keep useful information from its projects available on the internet free of charge, in perpetuity"),
  • the Foundation needs money "to ensure that Wikipedia remains independent, ad-free, and growing for years to come", "to keep Wikipedia free and independent", and to "keep Wikipedia online, ad-free, and growing for years to come."

These are all much the same phrases that I thought were deprecated and discontinued on the fundraising banners years ago, following significant community criticism. People said things like, "The messaging being used is actively scaring people. ... When they find out there's not a real problem, their reaction quickly changes. They become angry. They feel manipulated." (See, e.g., Signpost article, Washington Post article). If we've discontinued these wordings on the fundraising banners, why are we still using them in emails? --Andreas JN466 14:09, 23 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]