Talk:Fundraising

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Welcome to the Fundraising team's talk page. Content March - September 2022 moved to archive[edit]

The content has been moved to Archive 7. Please ask questions or start constructive discussions around the WMF’s fundraising on this talk page. If you would like to help with our translation and localisation efforts please ping me and I will get you on touch with the team. JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 09:13, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English Wikipedia RfC on fundraising emails[edit]

The English Wikipedia RfC on the wording of the fundraising emails has now been open for the best part of a month. Throughout this time, the fundraising email review has been advertised on the English Wikipedia's "Centralized discussion" template.

The results were quite clear: Of the roughly 50 volunteers who have participated to date, –

  • 42 objected to the wording of the fundraising emails, describing them as "misleading",
  • 6 volunteers differentiated between parts of the mails they thought were okay, and other parts which they thought were not,
  • 3 volunteers, all with links to Wikimedia affiliates, endorsed the emails.

A more comprehensive summary of the status as of September 4, 2022 can be found here on the Wikimedia-l mailing list: [1] (see also related Hacker News discussion).

According to the schedule overleaf, the email campaign should have started yesterday.

Were any changes made to the email wordings found misleading in the RfC, or do the emails still ask donors for money "to keep Wikipedia online" etc.? Andreas JN466 20:45, 7 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's worth mentioning perhaps that of the six current candidates for the Wikimedia Foundation board, three supported the following statement:
WMF fundraising is deceptive: it creates a false appearance that the WMF is short of money while it is in fact richer than ever.
A fourth candidate (a current WMF board member) did not support the statement, but offered milder criticism of WMF fundraising as part of her response.
See Wikimedia_Foundation_elections/2022/Community_Voting/Election_Compass/Answers (candidates' responses to Statement #5). Andreas JN466 20:52, 7 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Was it an RfC? That requires use of the RfC templates, which I didn't see? (It was listed at CENT, though, so this is perhaps not important). I wasn't a big fan of the way you framed the question, which asked volunteer editors on Wikipedia whether they "endorsed" the entirety of three salesy fundraising emails. Even if the language weren't problematic (and part of it was), I can't imagine our crowd "endorsing" that, just as I wouldn't "endorse" when my local public radio station guilts me into donating, saying some program wouldn't be possible without me. Meh.
The main reason I'm commenting here is to say this: It's disappointing that your updates about WMF finances (which I do appreciate, by the way, because it's all complicated, difficult to follow, and worth having some checks) come packaged with a predictable POV. The results of the discussion were indeed lopsided. So why do you have to go out of your way to poison the well for the three people who endorsed the emails? I was not among them (I registered "ambivalent"), but I am also connected to a Wikimedia affiliate. Those of us who engage with a local affiliate do so because we are dedicated volunteers, not because it comes with any money. The extent to which I am compensated for volunteering with WikiNYC is measured in pizza (and the occasional empanada, budget allowing) served at events. We do it because we want to bring more people and institutions in to the wiki world, not because of any particular affinity for the wikimedia foundation. This may be news, but many affiliates and members thereof have just as messy a relationship with the foundation that the English Wikipedia community does. :P — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:42, 7 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your comments. To answer your question: Usually on Wikipedia we declare conflicts of interest. We expect anyone who has a financial interest in an article to declare it. As far as I could make out, two of the people endorsing the fundraising emails were former board members (chairman and vice president) of national Wikimedia affiliates, and one had taken a paid job as a contractor working for another kind of WMF affiliate. They or the organisations they'd headed had therefore benefited from WMF grant money (not pizza! ). I was disappointed none of them said so, because I thought the same standard that we apply quite naturally to article work should also apply to an internal discussion about Wikimedia funds.
I am sure you are right that there is a palpable POV in my reporting. I am distressed when I see people online bemoaning the fact that "Wikipedia is broke", knowing that nothing could be further from the truth. Or when I hear from VRT volunteers that people on or below the poverty line are pressured into donating. Or when I see people on social media calling in distress on others to please "save Wikipedia". I feel it lets the whole movement down because it's a case of Wikipedia being used to give people a completely erroneous idea of reality rather than educating them. We would never let it stand in an article, but seem to acquiesce to it when it's about us.
That's incompatible with the whole idea underlying the effort as I understood it when I signed up. I very much regret it if that makes my reporting less effective, or if it makes me come across as tiresome. Andreas JN466 22:40, 7 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is concerning that, as far as I can see, the total response by WMF employees has been: changing of the image attribution (showing that the WMF are aware of the discussion) and one employee in an unofficial capacity dismissing the en.wiki community's input in an off-wiki forum. — Bilorv (talk) 20:12, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the interests of shifting the Overton Window, how about WMF fire so-called "Movement Communications Specialist" Ckoerner for his dismissive attitude or cancel this year's beg-a-thon? There is evidence that the fundraising is done against the wishes of the editing community and I bet we could make this a lot uglier for WMF. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:07, 14 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Chris troutman: It is not appropriate to call for a staffer's firing. There are very few things that definitely should be within the WMF's exclusive scope (ie no volunteers getting involved), but individual hiring and firing decisions are certainly among those. The call for firing is not going to help things. I'm not going to try to remove the comment unilaterally, but I ask that you please consider self-reverting. --Yair rand (talk) 05:45, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Yair rand: WMF would not have a dime without the hard work of volunteers. Andreas has been very thorough and thoughtful in his criticism of how WMF disparages us while raking in funding dishonestly. For someone seemingly charged with communicating with the movement, Ckoerner's reply to Andreas:
"This criticism, like much of yours over the years, attempts to simplify a complex situation, of which you know very little given your limited perspective, into a soundbite to get attention and garner community affectation. Wikimedia needs better critics."
is condescending in just the way you would expect from a landowner to their tenant farmer. While my preference is to dissolve WMF entirely, we could start with reifying that personnel is policy by terminating a tone-deaf employee. Your kowtow to WMF is unbefitting your role as a trusted editor elected by our volunteer community. Chris Troutman (talk) 21:11, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, as I said on Hacker News – nobody likes their critics, that's human. There's been another discussion on HN the last couple of days, based on this Twitter thread. --Andreas JN466 07:11, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A correction. I was not "dismissing the en.wiki community's input in an off-wiki forum", I was criticizing Andreas comment regarding foundation staff not being qualified because they do not know how to edit. Please don’t misrepresent my comments. I said this, as clarified in my edit summary to your misplaced comment, in my opinion as a volunteer.
Also, where's the lie? Andreas does not work at the Foundation and is not involved in any committees, affiliates, boards, or other bodies that work directly with teams at the foundation in any ongoing or formal capacity. He is, given the limitations of what he is aware of and privy to (as we all are) unable to know all the details. Regardless he continues to derive simple and often incorrect conclusions about the work of the foundation.
Or at the very least he continues to push a perspective that is very unfamiliar to me as someone who works at the foundation - with admittedly more access to information - while also being a volunteer.
If anything I wish the Foundation did a better job talking about the work they do. Maybe we’d have less disconnect and more trust in the spaces where we work together. In my capacity as staff I work hard to encourage this as do many others. Ckoerner (talk) 15:34, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ckoerner: It doesn't take insider knowledge to find the WMF's attitude dismissive while observing the tens of millions in profit they make each year. Regular editors can be frustrated that they wrote the content by which a distant office dishonestly collects profit while taking umbrage that our priorities for things like New Page Patrol tools are ignored by that same distant office, many of whom seem to collect exorbitant salaries. Then we get to people like you, who claim to be some sort of public relations, criticizing Andreas who speaks more for the community than you do. What secret good work is WMF, an alleged non-profit, doing that would allay our many concerns and by what right are they keeping secrets? Your words sound much more like fruitless pleas for us to ignore the man behind the curtain. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:37, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've tried to explain my comments and perspective here in good faith, and you have used my employment at the foundation as an excuse to assume bad faith and personally attack me. This is not constructive, and I will not have this conversation if it isn't civil.
I want to be able to speak freely as a volunteer and hope other volunteers would allow me to do so. Your response makes me think I am unable to. I feel that this sort of behavior is not healthy for our community.
Of note, I critiqued the Foundation in my reply to Bilorv. We're more on the same side than not in the grand scheme of things. Ckoerner (talk) 16:39, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Context is important. I wrote what I did in response to someone who said:
"Anyone else see stuff like this and think: 'Yea but it's wikipedia, they deserve whatever funding they want'
I get they can probably be closer to perfect as an organization, but I'm still always left feeling that wikipedia was one of the top 3 things to come out of the invention of the internet"
So I replied:
That's at the heart of the issue. From a distance, it always feels uncharitable to many people to criticise anything about Wikipedia at all.
But bear in mind this criticism comes from Wikipedians – some of the people who actually wrote the encyclopedia you love, and did so for free – and it criticises Wikimedia, not Wikipedia. They are not the same thing.
Most of the Wikimedia executives are recent arrivals who only came once there was money. They have never written a Wikipedia article. Some can't even figure out how to leave a talk page message, and they couldn't tell you which side of a diff shows the new version of an article and which the old.
The person understood right away, replying:
Ahh, thanks for putting this into perspective!
People just find it hard to differentiate between Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. People feel grateful for Wikipedia because it feels like a free gift. The idea that someone from Wikipedia could criticise Wikimedia doesn't compute easily. But it's an important distinction – certainly one important to the volunteer editors, as the community's overwhelming and angry rejection of the WMF's idea to rename itself to "Wikipedia Foundation" showed.
So I wasn't critiquing WMF staff's ability or qualifications. I was trying to convey –
  • that Wikimedia Foundation staff should not be equated to "the people who had brought the world Wikipedia" (because most of them had had very little to do with it), and
  • thus they should not be regarded as being above criticism (because their work is not a "gift horse" that shouldn't be examined for defects; it's work paid for).
It occurs to me in this context that some of the highest earners at the WMF, who appear to have demanded the most money to come (or stay) on board, have turned out to have the shortest WMF careers. For example, of the twelve top-earning executives at the WMF in 2020, who among themselves accounted for about 7% of the WMF's total salary costs that calendar year, only four are still with the WMF today, a year and a half later. Almost the entire C-Suite in charge of the WMF today is made up of recent arrivals. Andreas JN466 18:51, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Feedback call for Dutch community[edit]

I will be hosting a feedback call for the Dutch community around the WMF fundraising campaign in the Netherlands. The call will take place on the 4th of October at 3pm UTC (4pm 5pm Dutch time) and you can join via meet.google.com/iwn-nksa-wid . I am cross-posting this announcement from the Dutch VP here in order to ensure all interested parties will see it. I am looking forward to a constructive conversation with the Dutch community. Best wishes, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 08:42, 13 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Also initially posted in De Kroeg at nlwikipedia)
Thanks JBrungs for setting up that call. It's good to have these conversations early to ensure that we don't run into similar issues next year (or different countries). I would instead propose an agenda that touches on a few different elements:
  • Perhaps WMF could explain in a few sentences what the process looks like how they arrive at the content of the campaign language (how do you arrive at the layout, the hook that you use etc)
  • How can we ensure that the objective textual quality of the banners and related pages are up to standards (grammar, typos, consistency etc).
  • How country specific is the banner language (i.e. direct translation from USA language vs locally developed)
  • How can the community provide input into the subjective quality (tone, messaging).
  • How do we trade off the irritation/annoyance that banners cause with the effectiveness (and thus shorter campaigns)?
I agree we should make this as constructive as possible. Effeietsanders (talk) 16:22, 13 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you @Effeietsanders,
I added the points you suggested to a draft agenda. Anyone can edit the document so please add things you would like to discuss and I will try my best to find you answers etc for our call. Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 08:41, 14 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For reference, the sample Desktop banner linked overleaf reads as follows (my emphases):

Aan al onze lezers in Nederland, Scroll hier niet voorbij. We komen meteen ter zake: deze vrijdag vragen we je om ons te helpen Wikipedia in stand te houden. 98% van onze lezers doneren niet; zij negeren ons verzoek gewoon. Als jij een van die bijzondere lezers bent die al heeft gedoneerd, dan danken wij je hartelijk. Als je vandaag slechts € 2 doneert, kan Wikipedia nog jaren online blijven. We vragen je vriendelijk: scroll alsjeblieft niet weg. Als Wikipedia je € 2 aan kennis heeft gegeven, neem dan even de tijd om te doneren. Laat de wereld zien dat toegang tot betrouwbare, neutrale informatie belangrijk voor je is. Dank je.

DeepL translation:

To all our readers in the Netherlands, Don't scroll past this. We'll get straight to the point: this Friday, we're asking you to help us keep Wikipedia alive. 98% of our readers don't donate; they just ignore our request. If you are one of those special readers who has already donated, we thank you very much. If you donate just €2 today, Wikipedia can stay online for years to come. We kindly ask you: please don't scroll away. If Wikipedia has given you €2 of knowledge, please take a moment to donate. Show the world that access to reliable, neutral information is important to you. Thank you.

@Effeietsanders: The first highlighted phrase, "keep Wikipedia alive" ("Wikipedia in stand te houden"), could also be translated as "maintain", "peserve" or "sustain" Wikipedia, or "keep Wikipedia going". Those are the first alternatives DeepL offers; but the default translation is "keep Wikipedia alive" (Google has "keep Wikipedia going"). What do you think people's first associations are likely to be?

Needless to say, I think it's highly problematic to imply in messages to the public that donations are necessary to keep Wikipedia online, given the WMF's history of eight-figure annual surpluses, availability of very significant reserves and the fact that it regularly far exceeds its own fundraising targets: 2020/21, 2021/22. --Andreas JN466 07:28, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Andreas, I think this falls in the 'messaging' category. I think in this specific instance, 'maintain' or 'preserve' would be the most accurate translation of that word into English.
The problems our community had, were however of a different nature. First, there were quite a few grammatical errors that are consistent with scams (objective quality). Secondly, the message in Dutch sounded to us much more accusatory than in English (tone). Those were more of immediate concern to us and are probably more language specific. I imagine the same quality control may also be lacking in different languages though.
I am not sure if we should merge this conversation with the overall messaging of Fundraising in general - but rather focus on how we can make sure that the localized campaigns are at least don't give the vibe of a scam, and have an effective tone for that cultural setting. Effeietsanders (talk) 15:37, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, Effeietsanders. I can confirm that grammatical errors on foreign-language banners are a longstanding problem. I recall regular complaints of that sort from around the world; indeed, Archive 7 of this very page contains complaints from German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking editors a couple of months ago bemoaning "embarrassing grammar mistakes" as well as "aggressive text" on their banners. The very next section in Archive 7, created last month, features editors complaining about the "somwhat pushy" tone of the Norwegian banners; the section below that, also from August, features Hebrew editors complaining about wording on their banners that is "aggressive and demanding", "needy" and culturally inappropriate. These are just the most recent examples. Andreas JN466 16:41, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Effeietsanders A year has passed, and the Dutch emails have gone out this month. (See current mailing list thread.) Did the WMF keep its promise to involve the Dutch community ahead of this year's Dutch fundraiser? Best, Andreas JN466 19:08, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They seem to have made an attempt, but with little follow-through from the community. From what I can see, the WMF is making best efforts (but it may have been focused on the banners). Effeietsanders (talk) 19:25, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The WMF have made several attempts for conversations, and I agree with Effeietsanders that this time it might simply be on the community (sadly enough). They organized 2 calls for the community (which were communicated repeatedly in the Village Pump/De Kroeg), and there is a new translator that has been working together with a NL community member on the translations of the messages.
Aside from the one (1!!) message in the Helpdesk that is referred to in the thread on wikimedia-l, complaints on VRT have also gone down A LOT (instead of tens of emails, I think this time we received 4-5 for all 3 emails), so I really think the efforts are paying off. The banners will go up at the end of next week, so let's see what happens then. Ciell (talk) 07:51, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Effeietsanders@Ciell Thank you both, sounds good.
In the English Wikipedia, it is broadly similar. The WMF started the page at en:Wikipedia:Fundraising/2023_banners, which has seen some useful discussion. There was no similar page for the emails, though some discussion regarding the emails has nevertheless taken place on that page, given that there have already been English emails in India.
As you both probably know, sample emails are usually shown overleaf at Fundraising#Current_fundraising_activities, well ahead of the actual campaign. So I guess it is up to community members to watchlist the page and have a look at the samples when they are posted and flag any problems. Regards, Andreas JN466 12:30, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note article in Het Financieele Dagblad. Andreas JN466 10:01, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@JBrungs (WMF): in Europe the change from summer to winter time is at the last Weekend of October. So 3pm UTC is 5pm Dutch time in the beginning of October and not 4pm.--Hogü-456 (talk) 12:56, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You are totally right! Thank you for correcting me @Hogü-456. I will make sure I clarify this here and on the Dutch VP later today as well.
For anyone reading, our Dutch Community call is on the 4th of October at 3pm UTC (5pm Dutch time). See you all then! JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 05:58, 27 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why Don't Wikipedia Users Donate?[edit]

@User:JBrungs_(WMF) Wikimedia Foundation may need to do some introspection to determine why only 2% of Wikipedia Users are motivated to Donate or make it a priority in their giving.

I used to donate to Wikipedia until I became an editor and discovered Wikipedia's crowd sourced information was a good place for links but on substantive topics couldn't be trusted. In many topics, Wikipedia is just one more stream in the flow of biased information, and in some cases mis- or dis- information, for which its crowd source editing process is ill equipped to respond. This is particularly true in the area of Health topics.
For many editors, Wikipedia is a Role Playing Game ; Wired Magazine Point of View
Consider that information has a cost and that editors make an in-kind donation. The mass-energy-information equivalence principle. See for example "How much time do editors spend editing? and more survey results"
Bbachrac (talk) 16:36, 25 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki October Fundraising Emails[edit]

Hi,

Just some notes on the wording (a little late, I know). I've just received the "October, we have not reached our UK fundraising goal" email, and I don't know what about it did it, but hotmail sent it straight to the junk mail pile. That might explain why the fundraising goal hasn't been met. Redfiona99 (talk) 21:54, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English fundraising campaign update and banners[edit]

Dear all,

As promised previously, I am happy to share our control banners for this years’ English banner fundraising campaign with you. I have also uploaded them to our meta page. Banners will be shown to non-logged in readers as of the 29th of November throughout the month of December. As our campaigns are built on continuous iteration and improvement, the team will continue to incorporate your feedback and ideas into our testing in the next few weeks, as well as daily iteration throughout the campaign.

Changes already made in response to feedback in the past year

In the past year, the fundraising team has made the following changes to campaigns in direct response to volunteer feedback. We are grateful for the input and partnership with volunteers in improving campaigns for readers.

  • The banner message no longer includes the number of reminder banner messages shown to readers. For example, "For the 2nd/3rd/4th time recently, we interrupt your reading to humbly ask you to defend Wikipedia’s independence." The message only references the first time we ask for a donation.
  • The message more prominently highlights Wikipedia as a place of learning and knowledge.
  • The line “98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way”  has been removed
  • The word “reliable” has been removed from the message.
  • The mobile message more prominently highlights our vision: “We are passionate about our model because at its core, Wikipedia belongs to you. We want to make sure everyone on the planet has equal access to knowledge.”
  • “Wikipedia is a place to learn, not a place for advertising.” has been changed to “We don't run ads, and we never have.”
  • More information about what donations support has been added to the small reminder banners on mobile:
    • “Here’s what your donation enables:
      • Improvements on Wikipedia and our other online free knowledge projects
      • Support for the volunteers who share their knowledge with you everyday
      • Resources to help the Wikimedia Foundation advance the cause of free knowledge in the world.”
  • An ‘I already donated’ feature has been added in all our fundraising banners and the thank you confirmation page to help donors dismiss banners across all their devices.
  • The Foundation discontinued the direct acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of donating. We began our direct acceptance of cryptocurrency in 2014 based on requests from our volunteers and donor communities. We made the decision to discontinue this practice based on feedback from those same communities.

In the creative process, the team uses feedback from readers, donors, and volunteers to generate new messages that will resonate with our audiences. We are always looking for new language suggestions to reach our readers to help them learn more about Wikipedia while we ask for their support. For example, the Dutch community recently wrote a fully original banner that the team tested during the Dutch campaign in September. We ran the banners for 4 days towards the end of the campaign, and the overall result of the new banner was a 65% decrease in donations. While this exact message won’t reach the revenue target for the year, there are interesting concepts to further develop. We followed up on this test with a productive conversation with the community after the campaign, and we are planning to  work together on incorporating more of the ideas from that session into future banners for the Netherlands.

Providing feedback

As the team is actively preparing the upcoming End of Year campaign and developing new messaging, we would greatly appreciate feedback and ideas for ways we can reach our donors while raising the revenue target this year. If you have messaging ideas you would like to see tested, please share them with me or on our meta talk page. The work of the global community of editors make Wikipedia a useful resource for readers. We thank you for your work and welcome your input on the fundraising campaign.    

Thank you, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 11:36, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ideas for fundraising messages[edit]

If you would like to share ideas for fundraising messages in the fundraising banners, please add them below. The WMF fundraising team continuously tests new messages. JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 11:21, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia is facing a crisis: a crisis of volunteer shortage. A typical reader views [x] articles and spends [y] hours per year on Wikipedia. Consider giving just one hour of your time signing up with an account and clicking on [link e.g. user homepage for SuggestedEdits tasks] to help us fix the errors in our articles and give back to the website that wants to make the sum of all human knowledge freely accessible. You can also give financial donations to the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia and other educational websites, by clicking [here]. Read our [donation FAQ] for more.Bilorv (talk) 11:28, 19 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Bilorv - That's a great alternative to the fundraising banners. ONUnicorn (talk) 17:44, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi @Bilorv – thank you for adding this idea.  This is actually very similar to an idea that we tested this past year, and I’d like to share the results and see what you think.  I think you’re familiar with the work of the Growth team, a product team focused on increasing the participation of new editors.  I used to be the product manager with that team, and we worked with Fundraising on their idea to use banners to try to recruit new editors from readers, as well as to encourage donors to try editing.  The idea was: if we’re trying to recruit new editors, what better opportunity than right while they are reading Wikipedia? The short answer is that only a very small portion of readers followed banner prompts to create accounts and edits, though this was only the most recent try with potential for improvement.
Here’s the long answer. We tried this in Latin America, South Africa, and India in June/July 2022 (here’s where we noted this effort on wiki).  Normal fundraising banners had been run in those geographies in the preceding weeks asking for donations.  Afterward, we ran a special “thank you” banner campaign, which was shown to all readers (regardless of whether they had donated), thanking them for their donations and encouraging them to create accounts and edit.  After they created an account, they were directed to their newcomer homepage where they could see suggested edits.  You can see an example of one of the banners alongside this message.
"Thank you" banner in English
Though we showed these banners to millions of readers, relatively few ended up creating accounts and editing.  About 0.2% of people who saw the banners clicked on them, about 4% of those who clicked on them created an account, and about 17% of those actually made unreverted edits.  All told, it ended up being 492 people who made unreverted edits through this effort.  We have not yet looked at the longer-term retention rates of those new editors.
This was only our first attempt, and I’m sure there are many ways to optimize the banners and wording to encourage more people through the flow.  But while it’s great to bring in those editors, we also need to think about whether the banners have the potential to be sufficiently productive such that we should continue on this route.
That’s as far as we’ve gotten with this idea so far, and it’s something we’re still thinking about exploring more in the future with input and in collaboration with communities.
In a related effort, the Fundraising and Growth teams worked together to encourage donors to increase their involvement by getting started with editing.  After people make donations, they land on a “Thank You” page, which thanks them for their donations and encourages them with a couple other steps, such as taking a survey.  With the same campaigns as above (Latin America, India, and South Africa), we added a call-to-action on the “Thank You” page to create an account and start editing.  You can see what that page looks like here.  We consider the results here to be relatively successful, with 1,339 donors making unreverted edits.  Because offering this option to donors is quite simple, this is something we want to continue experimenting with in future fundraising campaigns to continue to grow the editing community.
I hope this information is interesting to you!  Please let me know what you think. MMiller (WMF) (talk) 23:07, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do greatly appreciate the detail and thoughtfulness of your response, MMiller (WMF), though I imagine we will have unresolvable ideological differences.
I admit that 17% of 4% of 0.2% is a small amount, but we should first compare it to the amount of readers that donate: 2%, if the factual accuracy of the WMF adverts are to believed. This 2%, actually an enormous proportion of those readers that can and do donate to charity, is the long-term effect of one month per year of large, intrusive, persistent banner adverts designed to make readers feel ashamed for not donating. And I would agree with you that "create an account" banners could be adjusted in all manner of ways to increase the number of readers who click through. We should also consider the readers who are triggered to edit in less measurable ways, such as by reading the banner, thinking "oh wow, I never saw Wikipedia as something I could edit", making an anonymous edit a week later, and eventually becoming a highly active editor.
Fundamentally, however, I am happy to admit that the editing banners may only potentially draw two or three orders of magnitude fewer people than donation banners. But this does not change my reason for discontent with the donation adverts, that they are factually dubious, guilt readers, and misguide readers into thinking that the primary way they can contribute is by donating and not editing, when we do have a huge volunteer crisis and don't have a WMF funding crisis (by the WMF's own measure).
I expect you would say that more money for the WMF means more money for the Growth team, which can find more effective ways to increase editor recruitment and retention. Indeed the Growth team has done some brilliant stuff. But when the WMF is mismanaging its funds so much, I do not believe this justifies the current banner ads.
The "Thank You" page for donors looks excellent and I have no objections to it. Despite having often come across entitled newcomers who threaten "I will stop donating to Wikipedia if this is the way I am treated", I can see that donors are an easy source of readers with a passion for the project and values that align with ours, who are potentially interested in donating their labour. — Bilorv (talk) 20:32, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My idea is: stop the lies. Be yourself. Get rid of this WIKIPEDIA FOREVER style. It's tedious and insulting for all Wikimedia communities. Nemo 16:06, 24 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a discussion thread from 2009. ThadeusOfNazereth (talk) 15:37, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suspect the idea was to illustrate how longstanding volunteer complaints about this have been. Andreas JN466 21:41, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Screen estate usage[edit]

I've asked many times and never got a clear answer. Is Wikimedia Foundation monitoring the banner impressions of its fundraising campaigns? Further, is it able to multiply each impression by the corresponding amount of screen estate occupied, in percentage of the space available on the screen (some banners take up to ten screenfuls, in my experience)? Finally, is it able to estimate whether the screen estate occupation is increasing or decreasing? Nemo 16:09, 24 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your question, Nemo. Yes, we monitor the number of banner impressions in our campaigns, it’s a key metric for us. We also limit the number of banners we show to each device. It would be very difficult to provide an exact answer today on how much screen space was occupied by a banner for every impression of our campaign, because a) we show banners of different sizes, and b) readers use vast numbers of computers, phones and tablets with different resolutions and viewport sizes.
In our A/B tests, controlling for banner height is one of our testing requirements. Obviously a significantly bigger banner might be expected to bring in more donations than a smaller banner, just due to its visibility. We’ve experimented with larger banners in the past and they do bring in more donations than our current banner. We balance a lot of factors (feedback from volunteers, disturbance to the reading experience, usertesting, etc) so have not used those larger more effective banners. We serve our current "large" banner as the first impression when a reader sees one of our fundraising campaigns. This large banner accounts for more than half of our revenue and has helped limit how many overall impressions we serve since we started using it in 2014. JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 13:42, 1 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English fundraising banner campaign starts today[edit]

Dear all,

The English banner fundraising campaign on English Wikipedia in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States is starting in a few hours for non-logged in users. This year we are working with the English Wikipedia community on co-creating the banner messages. You can participate here.

Generally, before and during the campaign, you can contact us:

  • Here on our talk page - please note that we will try to reply about once a week to questions and comments received
  • If you need to report a bug or technical issue, please create a phabricator ticket
  • If you see a donor on a talk page, VRT or social media having difficulties in donating, please refer them to donate(at)wikimedia.org where we are available to support.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you all for your input and suggestions during the last weeks. We're excited to keep the dialogue going on the idea page.

Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 08:36, 29 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Outsider criticism of fundraising[edit]

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/wikipedia-endownemnt-fundraising/ has been brought up on https://mastodon.social/tags/wikimedia with a contributor urging people not to give in to appeals for donations. Has the WMF a response to such criticism? https://mastodon.social/@RFPatterson Robin Patterson (talk) 04:36, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for sharing. I will pass this on to our communications team. Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 06:19, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just in case you haven't seen it before, we have published several articles around the Endowment (for example, last years' update on reaching the Endowment initial goal and an update from October this year about the governance structure of the Endowment). If you have any specific questions I am happy to help. Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 10:50, 15 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Don't skip this 1 minute read" banner hides content[edit]

The "Please don't skip this 1 minute read" banner with the red box shifts content to the right, which is particularly problematic on disambiguation pages, as it makes it easy to miss that part of the content entirely:

--Janschejbal (talk) 21:32, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you I will pass this on to the fundraising design team. Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 07:17, 19 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Julia out of office[edit]

Dear all,

I will be out of the office until the 16th of January 2023 and will answer all questions, comments, suggestions when I am back.

Have a lovely end of the year.

Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 12:01, 22 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your notification. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! --SCP-2000 12:04, 22 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English fundraising campaign ended[edit]

Dear all,

Yesterday (31st of December), the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual banner fundraising campaign on English Wikipedia in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States finished. We run this campaign on an annual basis but this year’s campaign was truly unique. We would like to thank all of you who participated in shaping the messages and working together to better tell our story to readers and donors. Without you, the message would not have evolved and improved to where it is today.

Following the fundraising campaign, we will be in touch early in the new year to share more information about the campaign as well as ideas to carry the collaboration forward in the new year.

I am out of the office until the 16th of January and will answer any questions or comments after this.

Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 10:16, 1 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I see information was posted on w:en:Wikipedia:Fundraising/2022_banners#January_Community_Campaign_Recap.
I guess the most interesting part is that impressions increased by about 50 %. However that doesn't tell us how much scaremongering was delivered to users (how big were the banners? how much scary looking design and text was used? how many users were put off or left under the impression of having met a paywall?). These things are notoriously hard to measure.
The annual planning is mentioned. If the board intended to help the Wikimedia Foundation reduce annoyance to users, one obvious way would be to decrease revenues and spending targets, but that sort of decision usually doesn't happen overnight. I hope there will be a transparent and frank discussion. Nemo 11:17, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikimedia Enterprise financial report and product update[edit]

Of potential interest to people here, even though it relates to a separate project not tied specifically to Fundraising… Today Wikimedia Enterprise published its first financial report on the Diff blog: https://diff.wikimedia.org/2023/02/07/wikimedia-enterprise-financial-report-product-update/. (also available in German). If you have written questions or comments about the update, please share them on the project’s talkpage. LWyatt (WMF) (talk) 14:39, 7 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikimedia-India fundraising[edit]

This is about your email on wikimedia-india mailing list. Can you share the FCRA (Foreign Currency Regulation Act) regsitration number (issued by the Govt of India) of whichever Wikimedia entity is soliciting donations from India ? 49.36.176.87 06:26, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Japanese translation of the title of the mobile banner is incorrect[edit]

"Wikipedia is not for sale." literal translation, "ウィキペディアは売り物ではありません" is incomprehensible to Japanese speakers. It is as if Jimmy Wales is furious and yelling incomprehensible things. For example, how about rephrasing it as follows?

ウィキペディアは商業主義に染まらない場所です。(Wikipe-dia wa shougyou shugi ni somaranai basho desu) - This translates to "Wikipedia is a place that does not succumb to commercialism." This phrasing emphasizes the idea that Wikipedia is a non-commercial platform that prioritizes information and knowledge over profit. Afaz (talk) 01:24, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But that's wrong, paid editing, i.e. commercialisation, is not forbidden. And commercial reuse of the content as well not. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 05:19, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The current text is a terrible machine translation and needs to be changed. Afaz (talk) 22:11, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ChatGPT proposed three alternative texts.
  1. ウィキペディアは商業主義に染まらない場所です。(Wikipe-dia wa shougyou shugi ni somaranai basho desu) - This translates to "Wikipedia is a place that does not succumb to commercialism." This phrasing emphasizes the idea that Wikipedia is a non-commercial platform that prioritizes information and knowledge over profit.
  2. ウィキペディアは、無料で誰でも利用できる公共財です。(Wikipe-dia wa, muryou de dare demo riyou dekiru koukyouzai desu) - This means "Wikipedia is a public good that anyone can use for free." This phrasing emphasizes the idea that Wikipedia is a public resource that is freely available to all, rather than a product that can be bought and sold.
  3. ウィキペディアは、その信頼性や中立性を維持するために、広告やスポンサーを掲載していません。(Wikipe-dia wa, sono shinraisei ya chuuritsusei wo iji suru tame ni, koukoku ya suponsaa wo keisai shite imasen) - This translates to "In order to maintain its reliability and neutrality, Wikipedia does not display advertisements or sponsors." This phrasing emphasizes the idea that Wikipedia's independence and integrity are crucial to its mission, and that it avoids commercial interests in order to maintain those values.
Afaz (talk) 22:15, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since posting here doesn't seem to help you understand the linguistic issue, I'll post it on movement-strategy forum. Afaz (talk) 05:33, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi @Afaz,
Thanks for the feedback. I was out of office last week. I will pass all of this on to the team now and get back to you when I know more.
Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 08:43, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Afaz This wording related to the fact that Twitter was sold to Elon Musk a few months ago. The idea was to say that this could not happen to Wikipedia. Andreas JN466 20:35, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
in Japanese, the word "物" refers to physical objects like a vase, and not to websites like Wikipedia, so it becomes strange Japanese. It's like a shopkeeper saying "That vase isn't for sale." It's a case of lost in translation. Afaz (talk) 23:30, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The emotion that Japanese people would feel upon reading this sentence is "anger". In other words, despite asking for a donation, the message is contradictory in that it seems to convey anger. Afaz (talk) 00:13, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Afaz I get it. It's like the German "steht nicht zum Verkauf" – one of the machine translations DeepL offers for the Japanese phrase you quote. It translates as "is not for sale" but often has the connotation "You can't have that" or even "Hands off".
The point below by Whym about timing is also relevant. Moreover, I'd be surprised if people in Japan ever cared as much about Musk and Twitter as they did in the US.
The WMF has a long history of bungled or culturally inappropriate banner translations (see recurring complaints on this page and in local projects). Andreas JN466 05:45, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It looks like the wording was used in December 2022 originally. Perhaps the timing is the issue. The reference would be less effective now in English than it was, too, because the Twitter purchase is not so fresh on people's mind any more. whym (talk) 03:07, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See "The Huge Fight Behind Those Pop-Up Fundraising Banners on Wikipedia" (Slate article) and en:Wikipedia:Fundraising/2022_banners#"An_appeal_from_Jimmy" for how this wording came about. Andreas JN466 06:00, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dear all,
I would like to address the recent feedback and concerns raised regarding the fundraising email that was sent to donors in Japan last week as well as the banner translations that were raised here more specifically.
Firstly, I want to acknowledge that the subject line "もう、たくさんです"has not been well received by  many of you here and on the Movement Strategy forum.  Although the email campaign is now over, we have already started working on  a different subject line for the next campaign.
The team aims to maintain a positive relationship with our donors and part of this is respecting their time, which is why we send fewer emails per year than many other non-profit organizations. We also want to ensure that emails effectively raise money for our movement, which is why we test email subject lines in many countries to find the most engaging content with minimal disruption to donors and readers.
The team works with two professional Japanese translators to ensure the quality and accuracy of our content. However, we always welcome feedback and insights from our community members, and we appreciate your input in helping improve the quality of fundraising messages.
With regards to feedback on the banner content raised here, especially the phrase ‘Wikipedia is not for sale’, we are now testing alternatives including some that were suggested by volunteers. The idea of this message originated from a message that Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, wrote for the December English banner campaign and was translated for the Japan campaign. We hear the feedback on the translation of that message not resonating with some of you. Thank you to those who provided valuable input on alternative messages that the team is trying out in banners. You might still see the old phrase around for a bit due to our testing mechanisms. If you would like to suggest phrases to be used in banners, please add them as a reply and I will pass them on to the team.
Once again, thank you for your ideas and for all you do to contribute to the project. Please do not hesitate to reply to this message or contact me directly at jbrungs at wikimedia dot org if you have further input. I am also happy to host a post-campaign community call (we hosted a pre-campaign one in February), let me know if there is an interest in this.  
Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 10:58, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Text of fundraising emails[edit]

Could you share the text of the current English fundraising emails (AT, BE, IL, NO, LV, RO, SK, PT, DK, HU, LU, MY – 22nd of March to 11th of April) and the upcoming Indian fundraising emails (2nd to 19th of May)? Regards, Andreas JN466 19:39, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2023 donation campaign in Japan[edit]

Hello, Julia.

I am from Japan. When are you planning to hold the 2023 donation campaign in Japan? We have created [a User Group|Wikimedians of Japan User Group/en]. And we plan to conduct a large-scale landscape survey for logged-in users. The period will be from October 27th to November 6th.

I hope the timing of your campaign and our survey notifications do not overlap. Kizhiya (talk) 09:14, 10 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi @Kizhiya,
Thank you for getting in touch and congratulations on the creation of your user group.
Generally, the fundraising banners don't target logged in users so we are fine either way. In the period you are planning your survey, we do not have any fundraising planned in Japan. We will be in touch with the user group soon to talk about fundraising dates for early 2024.
Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 06:25, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you! Kizhiya (talk) 12:39, 13 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mass messaging[edit]

Not sure if you're planning on doing any mass messaging to place notices on Wikipedia user talk pages or not. If you are, I would just beg you to pass your message through an Html validator first before you send anything, because it's really annoying to get invalid Html from a mass mailer which then screws up everything on my Talk page after that point. Not saying you've ever done this, but I've definitely gotten messages like that from members of worthy projects with mass mailing privileges who should have known better, and whatever it was they were asking for in their message, I'm not very inclined to think positively of as a result. Good luck in your project!

Fyi: I landed here from w:WP:VPW. Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 22:34, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

“Hide appeals for a week”[edit]

Do you clowns think you’re entitled to more of my money every single week? Do you expect me to believe your “foundation” is living paycheck to paycheck? Whoever came up with this rubbish can get bent. 98.97.8.244 04:20, 29 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incorrectly display Traditional Chinese in Simipified Chinese version page[edit]

Hello, the Simplified Chinese version of Ways to Give page incorrectly display Traditional Chinese (Example are listed below) and the page should display Simplified Chinese. Also, the Stock Donation section has not been translated yet. Thanks.

Example List
  • 感謝您有興趣向維基媒體基金會捐款,該基金會是託管維基百科和其他免費知識項目的非營利組織。
  • 網上捐贈 您可以通過信用卡/借記卡、PayPal、Apple Pay、Google Pay、Amazon Pay、網上銀行轉賬等方式輕鬆安全地網上捐贈,具體取決於您所在的國家/地區。請選擇您所在的洲,然後選擇您所在的國家/地區以了解可用的付款方式。
  • 網上捐贈 您對維基媒體基金會的捐贈將為子孫後代帶來持久的利益。您今天可以 通過我們的網上捐贈表格捐贈。有關其他捐贈方式的信息,請瀏覽

SCP-2000 16:18, 9 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi @SCP-2000,
Thank you for raising this. We are currently updating these pages and it should be fixed within the next couple of months. Best, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 10:19, 11 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi @SCP-2000,
I wanted to briefly come back to your earlier post. We have now update the  Ways to Give, Cancel or Change Recurring Giving and FAQ pages in both Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional:
Ways to give in Chinese Simplified, Cancel or Change Recurring Giving in Chinese Simplified and FAQ in Chinese Simplified
Ways to give in Chinese Traditional, Cancel or Change Recurring Giving in Chinese Traditional and FAQ in Chinese Traditional
If you have any comments or suggestions to those translations, can you please drop me an email at jbrungs at wikimedia dot org and I will link you to my colleague who is taking care of this.
Thank you and best wishes, JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 06:40, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Maybe later demands an email address[edit]

On two of the popups clicking "maybe later" demands an email address to make the thing disappear:

This creates usability issues in a world where "maybe later" is what Microsoft have trained people to click to make things go away.Geni (talk) 15:11, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Geni,
Thank you very much for your feedback on the ‘maybe later’ feature. The way our reader flows work, the ‘maybe later’ feature is intended for the reader to leave their email address so we can contact them in their inbox a few days later and remind them about the campaign. We see this as an option for people who might want to donate but for whom the moment is not right at the time they see the banner. If you want to close the banner, you can use the close button in the top right hand corner. Best JBrungs (WMF) (talk) 08:19, 28 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Thank you" banner shown 4 times on each language version[edit]

Even though the donation campaign has ended, enwiki still shows a huge banner ad (292px high, larger than most of the obnoxious ads commercial publications use nowadays), except it now says "Around 350,000 people showed their appreciation..." instead of explicitly begging for more donations.

Even when explicitly dismissed every time, this is shown again on the next page load, and again, and again, and again, for a total of 4 times (and then another 4 times on dewiki!). The ad is also animated in after the content has loaded and pushes the content down, making it impossible to click links until the animation has finished. This behavior can be consistently reproduced, even with a clean browser profile without any blockers.

While I assume that is not actually the intent, it feels as if the campaign is designed to be as infuriating as possible.

--Janschejbal (talk) 17:39, 1 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Janschejbal The ty-banner campaign for Germany will indeed show up on every project you visit (for a maximum number of times) and has to be dismissed per wiki-project. This is expected banner behavior: you will not see the banner again after the 4 times (on mobile) or the 1 time (on desktop), per project.
(Ping @Abban Dunne (WMDE), @Kai Nissen (WMDE) for awareness of the feedback). Ciell (talk) 12:23, 2 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I set the category of the Thank You campaigns to Fundraising for now so Central Notice should respect the close cookie and make them less annoying.
We'll come up with a better solution for this before the next campaign. Abban Dunne (WMDE) (talk) 13:09, 2 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Janschejbal, Thanks for reporting. The thank you campaign is shown on DE and EN Wikipedia and you should see a banner only if you are in Germany. You can find more information on the campaign in the Community-Portal in the German Wikipedia. Best Till Mletzko (WMDE) (talk) 14:18, 2 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]