Talk:Fundraising meeting, September 2005

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Could the log of this meeting be publicly available ?

Anthere 08:10, 18 September 2005 (UTC)


The following conclusions were more or less agreed upon:

1) We need to plan each fund drive in advance so we have time to do all the preparatory work.

2) We should have a donations link up all the time, and this should be made prominent

3) We need to be able to accept direct credit card payments rather than only going through PayPal

4) In December we should hit up US corporations for donations.

5) We should get on corporate charity rosters for payroll deductions

6) We should approach companies about matching donations for next fund drive

7) We should find some way to acknowledge donors

8) We should publicize the fund drive off-site

Notes from Tim[edit]

2: Permanent donations link[edit]

I (TimShell) believe this exists already, but we can decide how to make it more prominent, where to put it, et cetera. We should make sure we have a good up-to-date explanation page for why we need this money.

What specifically needs to be done: Decide where to put link to make it more prominent

Who specifically will do this: Community will decide, Brion (?) will do

When exactly will this be done: ?

3: Direct credit card payments[edit]

We used a third-party system to process orders for Wikimania. Why wasn't this system used for the fund drive? Who knows about this system? Jason? Will it work for our fund drive? If not can we get another better processor?

There are concerns that people who do not use PayPal may not have understood that they could donate through PayPal anyway. Having direct payments would avoid this issue, and would avoid PayPal fees as well.

What specifically needs to be done: ?

Who specifically will do this: Danny

When exactly will this be done: ?

4: December corporate funddrive[edit]

In December many US companies approach the end of their fiscal years, and are looking for some way to reduce their profits before tax season. Giving to charity is such a way, so we should target US corporations in December for Holiday season giving. Possibly this will be in lieu of a regular fund drive.

A clever way this can be done is to ask the companies to match the funds for specific days during a short fund drive in early December. This will maximize the effect and also give readers a chance to increase their charitable tax-deductions for the year.

What specifically needs to be done: ?

Who specifically will do this: ?

When exactly will this be done: Prior to December

5: Corporate charity rosters[edit]

These are lists of charities that corporate employees can choose if they wish to make a private donations. Generally the corporation will match the donation. How do we get listed on these? Should we approach companies who might know and love us already and try to get listed with them?

What specifically needs to be done: ?

  1. We need to list the contact info for the HR departments of many large companies at Company donation programs.
  2. Somebody, or a group of people if well-coordinated, needs to contact each of the listed companies, tell them:
    • we are a 501(3)(c),
    • what our charitable mission is,
    • ask them to be listed, and
    • give them our EIN (20-0049703)

Who specifically will do this: Danny and Daniel Mayer (at least helping with getting HR contact info)

When exactly will this be done: ?

  • On-going. We should be listed on the charity rosters of 20 major companies by early December.

6: Matching donations for next funddrive[edit]

My (TimShell) idea was to let companies sponsor specific days in the next fund drive. They would match donations 1:1 (or 2:1 if they like) for all money raised that day. Benefits of this would include:

  1. It would double our donations for those days that we have sponsors
  2. It would be an interesting story, as people would be watching to see which companies win with the most donations; presumably people will want to donate on days a company they favor is sponsoring; offering these sponsorships only to those companies that have street cred among wikipedians is therefore probably a necessity
  3. Everyone of these companies would issue a press release announcing the fact that they are doing this, perhaps one release when the deal is made, and another release on the day of their sponsorship, encouraging people to go donate. Perhaps we could require this of them. This would create a significant amount of publicity outside the wikipedia community and bring in many additional donors.

Whether we use this method or some other method for matching donations, we have to clarify what exactly we are willing to give to these sponsors in exchange for their support.

I (TimShell) suggest that on the site wide donations message, we could have a text only message that reads something like "All of today's donations will me matched by the XYZ Corporation", with the word 'matched' linking to a page that explains what is going on and lists all the sponsors and their days. On the donations page, where we explain why we are holding the fund drive, we could display the logo of the company sponsoring that day. Since we are not endorsing products of the company but merely acknowledging the fact that they are sponsoring, this would not constitute advertising.

This seems too close to advertising to me. I think it would be better to just say a company is matching these funds, and on the donations page we could say which one and link to their pages if this is to be done. Jimbo has said that there wouldn't be advertising on Wikipedia and this seems to be sneaking it in. Dori | Talk 12:15, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
What Tim is proposing is not advertising at all. It simply mentions what company is sponsoring a particular day in the site notice. No product or service is advertised. --Daniel Mayer 21:07, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

What specifically needs to be done: We need to approach companies and pitch sponsorship

Who specifically will do this: Terry Foote

When exactly will this be done: As soon as we agree what Terry can offer sponsors

Big corporations with lots of money have big bureaucracies, so getting them to greenlight something like this will take a long time, as the proposal works its way through the various layers of bureaucracy; we will have to get started on this very soon if we are to be ready by Dec. 1 TimShell 18:44, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

7: Acknowledging donors[edit]

By publicly acknowledging donors we will likely encourage more people to donate, and will also likely encourage repeat donors. How can we do this? Compiling lists of donors and maintaining these, and keeping track of who gave what can be labor intensive. Especially as there are many ways for people to donate to WMF. How can this be done effectively and efficiently? In what public space will acknowledgments be made? If you give enough for a server, can we name a server after you? Should there be a benefactors page listing everyone by name, and grouped according to the size of the donation? Should the fund drive page have a javascript thingy with names of donors and their donations scrolling by?

What specifically needs to be done: ?

  • PayPal donor pages already in place for previous fund drives.
    • A continuous set of pages is also needed (being worked on)
  • Similar lists also need to be made for other methods.
    • At first this will need to be done manually (as the PayPal lists once were), but eventually they need to be created automatically.
  • A benefactors page already exists on the foundation wiki.
    • Adding monthly summary data from regular donations and linking to the detailed pages that list the individual donations is needed.
    • Adding a link to the benefactors page from the bottom of each wiki's page or from the sidebar should be explored.

Who specifically will do this: ?

When exactly will this be done: ?

  • Will be set-up before the start of the next fund drive or December 2005 (whichever is sooner)

8: Publicizing fund drive off-site[edit]

Maybe I (TimShell) am the only one who thinks this is important, but it is, so we should do something about it.

Promoting the fund drive on site brings it to the attention of that subset of potential donors who happen their way to our sites during the drive. Getting people off-site talking about it brings it to the attention of a much larger set of potential donors.

We should have press releases, schedule interviews with media, try to get bloggers to mention the drive and maybe put up links to the donations page on their blogs. If possible, we can keep track of which blogs are refering which donors, and post a running total for each blog of how much their readers have donated. Blogs could compete to see who can give us the most help. There's probably a million and six other things to do to publicize the fund drive off site, which could easily double the number of donors.

What specifically needs to be done: Figure out most effective ways to get off-site publicity, and begin arranging for it.

Who specifically will do this: Elian

When exactly will this be done: ?