Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Revenue Streams

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Area of inquiry[edit]

Current situation[edit]

Current weakness of International fund raising[edit]

I think fund raising could be organised in a better way

  • Lack of non-US tax exempt (e.g. in Belgium the government would pay 45% of the gift)
  • Lack of easy IBAN/BIC free payments within EU union due to not providing EU bank account tranfer possibility
  • No specific directions for what purpose the gift is done (Wikipedia is flag ship but 15 other applications/projects are not known)

Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 18:43, 19 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  • Lack of non-US tax exempt condition hinders fund raising. It's also the case in Spain.
    Local chapters depend on local legislation in order to achieve such status. In the Spanish case, "Utilidad Pública", which makes donations to local NGOs (partially) tax deductible, is very difficult to obtain. Help from the center would be a difinite help (for instance, nobody would discuss Utilidad Pública to Cruz Roja Española, because the Red Cross is behind them and very well known, the same can be said about Amnesty International, MSF, etc).
    B25es (talk) 17:54, 28 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • what "facing external challenges to its current revenue model" are you talking about? has there been any limit to fundraising, other than internal decisions to shut down banners when goals are met? Slowking4 (talk) 22:22, 8 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Why this scope[edit]

  • "The necessary increase in revenue requires an expansion and diversification of revenue streams" citation needed; diversification is good in and of itself, but you are speculating about resource needs, and level of effort to raise those resources. Slowking4 (talk) 22:26, 8 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Key questions[edit]

Please approve crowdfunding wishlist project[edit]

Dear Revenue Streams working group, please approve Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Archive/Assist Wikimedians with crowdfunding for Foundation support. Thanks in advance. Best regards, James Salsman (talk) 03:37, 24 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Does Endowment and Foundation investment policy fall within the purview of this group? (Does it fall within both Resource Allocation and Revenue Streams?) If so, please consider benchmarking investment performance against institutional endowment-grade mutual funds and studies of endowment performance.[1] Please see also [2]. Thank you for your kind consideration of this request. James Salsman (talk) 05:07, 24 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Return on investment from fundraising ads[edit]

Please perform independent measurement of the cost per dollar of,,,, and, and compare those to on-wiki ads, email, and in-person events. I predict all will cost less than Facebook which was measured in the past couple years. Please measure on a cost-of-donations basis. James Salsman (talk) 06:39, 24 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Conciseness-frequency fundraising ads tradeoff?[edit]

Please try A/B testing against a small, one-line banner such as Google uses for charitable fundraising and consider showing more of those instead of fewer large banners to achieve the same total goal, so as not to break section links that move so far when large banners scroll the viewport position when they are written in to the top after the vertical layout has been rendered in the browser (i.e., linking to a section can scroll it down considerably with the new large banners, obscuring the intended link target.) Please note that this would also address an issue with the banner story in the developing world and poor countries. James Salsman (talk) 06:39, 24 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Financial transparency and Non-WMF revenue sources and revenue allocation[edit]

Please see the discussion on the Working Group's talk page. James Salsman (talk) 16:11, 25 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback and Input from Wikimedia Österreich[edit]

This is feedback from WMAT's expert group for international affairs, the input was also discussed with our board and community.

  • The movement has only learned in recent years to embrace the international aspects that help us all improve our work and our understanding of who we are as an international movement. This should also be reflected in the way we approach a long-term strategy for collecting and distributing money. Every affiliate is knowledgeable in their local context, but does not necessarily have the expertise to use this to their advantage. Other affiliates have built expertise in certain areas over the last 10+ years and are able to support and advise other affiliates in those areas. This is what we need to build on in order to advance our mission until 2030. Using the expertise we already have as building blocks for a long-term strategy will help us reach further than in any other case.
  • From our experience there is a need on the side of some donors to connect on an local / regional level: They rather donate to an Austrian organisation and want to learn more about what is done with the money in their specific country. Some of them might be interested to become members of their local affiliate or contribute in other ways. Hence, we believe that even if not every affiliate / local group raises funds, we need to work together more closely to work on our donor relations. Currently the WMF does not share any information about local affiliates, their work and events with donors, so we are missing out on important opportunities for sustainable donor relations.
  • There are clear red lines in terms of revenue streams that would endanger the foundations of our projects: Advertisement on Wikipedia and other projects should be a non-starter (and it would be helpful if the revenue streams working group could set out some non-goals as soon as possible) and considering the setting up of a trust, this will alleviate any worries concerning funding the servers and operations. Paywalls are a similar non-starter for an open knowledge project and reducing openness in order to acquire grants or donations from certain organisations is similarly out of the question for us. In general, there should be a guide for what is acceptable as a grant and what isn’t, because even receiving an unconditional grant might create a bias towards the donor.

--Wikimedia Österreich (talk) 15:04, 29 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Existing volunteers, donors, and previous attendees at Wikimedia events[edit]

What has been done to research how to get the maximum support from current and former volunteers, donors, and attendees at Wikimedia events?

Obviously, you don't want to be too heavy handed, because you can drive people away.

However, you do want to people to feel welcome, etc.

I'd like to mention a couple of issues in this regard: (1) The difficulty of even learning about and staying current on the planning for Wikimania 2019, and (2) more general outreach to invite more participants and donors to the extent that they might be likely to respond positively.

Difficulties keeping current of plans for Wikimania 2019[edit]

I attended Wikimania 2017 and 2018, and I've had Wikimania 2019 in my calendar since the end of Wikimania 2018. The first match when I have searched for "Wikimania 2019" has been Wikimania 2019, which has mostly out of date since 2018-08-01. In 2019-02-03 I found the current site after some considerable effort and added a link from Wikimania 2019 to the current site. I think that Wikimania 2019 should have been maintained as the current page rather than creating a completely new page -- and failing to make an effort to make it easy for people to find the the current site from Wikimania 2019.

Everyone is busy, and I don't believe this was done with the intention of making it hard for people to stay current with the planning, though one could wonder if that was intentional by people who felt that the conference might attract people they don't really want. So they made it harder to find so only those sufficiently committed to it would actually come. I don't think that's what happened, but some might get that impression.

In particular, I think there should be an effort to keep people who have attended previous Wikimania conferences informed about the current plans -- especially those who paid their own airfares from substantial distances to attend.

Instead, I've had to check every month or two to monitor the progress of the plans. I got busy in April and May and learned only yesterday, 2019-06-01, that I had almost missed the deadline to apply to organize a session. My application to speak in 2017 was rejected. I gave a lightning talk in 2018. I have more ideas about how the Wikimedia Foundation might be able to get major philanthropies to fund further development of something "WikiSocial" and connect with social movement groups to counter the Balkanization and exploitation of the international body politic attributed to commercial media, as I discuss in the next section. DavidMCEddy (talk) 20:43, 2 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Inviting major philanthropies to fund WikiSocial and social movement groups to drive increased usage[edit]

Countering the Balkanization of the Body Politic

At Wikimania 2019 I gave a lightning talk on "Countering the Balkanization of the Body Politic".

I believe the Wikimedia Foundation could play a major role in promoting peace and international security and in reversing the trend toward increasing xenophobic violence by committing to develop a noncommercial social media platform if

  • major philanthropic organizations would fund the effort and
  • social activist groups would help build an audience for it.

The Hewlett Foundation[1] and the Omidyar Network[2] have called for proposals to deal with this problem. I think they, and probably others, would eagerly fund a sensible proposal supported by the Wikimedia Foundation.

I also think we could get a number of social activist groups to eagerly help test, develop and promote deployment, encouraging people to migrate away from for-profit social media. I attended annual lobbying and planning sessions of Peace Action in March 2019 and the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in May 2019 in Washington, DC. I can't speak for those organizations, but I believe we could get them and many others to eagerly embrace a noncommercial social media platform if it could be designed to meet their needs while also working to reduce rather than amplify the natural human tendency to seek information sources that reinforce our preconceptions, which mainstream media organizations everywhere have used since the beginning of civilization to Balkanize and exploit the international body politic to maximize the social status of the people who control media funding and governance.[3]

To maximize our chances of success with this effort, I think we should try to recruit help from someone like Daniel Kahneman in designing a research program to work with software developers to maximize the likely success of whatever we deploy; I mention Kahnemn, because he is the only research psychologist to have won a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and is arguably the leading expert in how people think and make decisions.

Comments? Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 20:43, 2 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Another issue: If we can get something going in this area, it might help us resist some of the changes in law that would make it easier for elites to censor the internet. DavidMCEddy (talk) 23:05, 2 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]


  1. Kelly Born; Nell Edgington (2 November 2017), Analysis of philanthropic opportunities to mitigate the disinformation/propaganda problem, Hewlett Foundation, Wikidata Q55673421
  2. Anmitra Deb; Stacy Donohue; Tom Glaisyer (1 October 2017), Is Social Media a Threat to Democracy?, Omidyar Group, Wikidata Q55674332
  3. David Graeber (2011) Debt: The first 5,000 years (Melville House), Wikidata Q1304168

Wikimedia Deutschland staff perspectives[edit]

Over the last weeks WMDE's Strategy Liaisons, Moritz Rahm and Cornelius Kibelka, have conducted interviews with 13 experts among our staff on the themes of the working groups. Mostly, the qualitative interviews were done with groups of 2 or 3 people, the texts provided are summaries of the statements.

We conducted two different interviews on Revenue Streams.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Best regards, --Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE) (talk) 14:12, 2 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

@Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE): Thank you for this message. Just need to clarify this sentence In the Wikimedia movement, only two Wikimedia organizations – Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland – do actual local fundraising. You are probably talking about doing fundraising with the banner because a lot of affiliates are fundraising.
I think that we should also study the use of the donors database to increase the membership, see my post here. Pyb (talk) 19:34, 25 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, the interviewee meant "banner fundraising". --Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE) (talk) 13:54, 4 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]