Who are we?
The Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising team cultivates the resources that propel our movement. We engage millions of people from countries across the globe to support Wikipedia and its sister projects. The overwhelming majority of the Foundation's funding comes from individual readers from all over the world giving an average of $15.
Donations help the Wikimedia Foundation maintain server infrastructure, improve the software that supports our projects, and make Wikipedia and its sister projects accessible globally to millions of people. The fundraising team is responsible for raising the Wikimedia Foundation's budget through online campaigns. These campaigns have the additional goal to educate all readers about Wikipedia and how our movement works. We are grateful for all the readers, contributors, and donors who make Wikipedia and our other projects a global home for knowledge and discovery. To continue thriving we must constantly innovate, adapting to the changing needs of our readers and new advances in the technology that powers the Wikimedia universe. For additional information, please see the 2021–2022 Fundraising Report.
A Global Project
Readers around the world show their support for Wikimedia each year. The Wikimedia Foundation receives donations from nearly every country in the world in over 80 currencies, 20 payment methods, and 50 languages. We strive to provide readers worldwide with the best localized donation experience possible by offering preferred local payment methods and high quality messages in local languages.
Testing and Optimization
The online fundraiser is based on constant testing and optimization of different themes, messages, designs and user flows. We aim to educate all Wikipedia readers about our movement, provide a convenient donation process, and minimize the disruption of fundraiser banners on the reader experience. Only a tiny portion of readers donate -- therefore, we must always be improving our methods.
Another goal of the fundraiser is to educate Wikipedia readers about the Wikimedia movement. We do this through the messages displayed in banners as well as through creative content featuring the Wikimedia community. Over the years, we've run personal appeal messages from community members, featured videos introducing Wikimedia volunteers, and invited readers to join in editing.
Current fundraising activities
Operated by Wikimedia Foundation
For the Financial Year 22/23 Q4
Note - you might have to log out of your user account for banners to display correctly.
- Fundraising banners in Brazil and Mexico - 29th of May to 23rd of June. Here are some example banners - please note that we constantly test banners and you might see different variations of these banners: es Desktop large, es Desktop small. es Mobile large, es Mobile small, pt Desktop large, pt Desktop small, pt Mobile large, pt Mobile small
- Fundraising emails in Mexico and Spain - 14th to 30th of June
For the Financial Year 23/24 Q1 and Q2 campaigns
- Fundraising emails in France - 19th of July to 8th of August
- Fundraising banners in France - 15th of August to 12th of September
- Fundraising emails in India - 18th of July to 15th of August. Here are some example emails, we test email messaging and you might see different variations of these emails: Email 1, Email 2, Email 3, Email 4
- Fundraising banners in India - 22nd of August to 19th of September. Here are some example banners - please note that we constantly test banners and you might see different variations of these banners: Desktop large, Desktop small, Mobile large, Mobile small
- Fundraising emails in the Netherlands - 2nd to 21st of August
- Fundraising banners in the Netherlands - 5th of September to 3rd of October
- English campaign emails (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, the US) - 7th of August to 1st of December
- English campaign banners (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, the US) - 28th of November to 31st of December. Pre-tests will start in mid July and we will provide more information and engagement opportunities soon.
Community engagement pages around WMF's international campaigns 2022/23
Swedish fundraising campaign community engagement page
Czech fundraising campaign community engagement page
India fundraising campaign community engagement page
Mexico fundraising campaign community engagement page
Brazil fundraising campaign community engagement page
Operated by Wikimedia Deutschland
- Fundraising testing:
- Fundraising Banners:
Operated by Wikimedia Switzerland
- Fundraising Banner Testing:
- Fundraising Banner Fundraising:
- We have an FAQ for donors and one for community members.
- Please stay in contact with us on the fundraising talk page.
- IRC channel: #wikimedia-fundraisingconnect (publicly logged)
- To report technical software bugs in Phabricator, follow mw:How to report a bug and use the #wikimedia-fundraising project tag.
- For a breakdown of how fundraising tech uses Phabricator, check out this wikitech page.
- For a calendar of all central-notice banners, including fundraising, see CentralNotice/Calendar.
See the full archive
Articles, videos etc. (here you find relevant articles about Wikimedia fundraising and finance)
Building a secure financial future for Wikipedia by Lisa Seitz Gruwell
Foundation 360 Building the relationships and resources we need to thrive Interview with Megan Hernandez, Advancement Department
The finances of free knowledge Lessons in transparency and impact by Jaime Villagomez
Annual Plan Conversations - Advancement and Finance and Administration Departments watch Lisa Seitz Gruwell and Jaime Villagomez take questions around the 2021/22 annual plan.
Five reasons Wikipedia needs your support (post supporting the 2021 English banner fundraising campaign) by Pats Pena
7 reasons you should donate to Wikipedia by Lisa Seitz Gruwell
2022/23 Q3 Update
In Q3, the fundraising team ran campaigns in Sweden and Japan.
This year, we tried some new approaches to engaging communities in fundraising campaigns from early on in the process. We started to trial community engagement pages across the different language wikis ahead of fundraising campaigns. Thank you to everyone who provided valuable input on the campaigns. We had a discussion with the Swedish community about payment providers for donations and an exchange on banner language improvements with the Japanese community on how to localize a new message written by Jimmy in December. This is a work in process and we are constantly iterating and adapting to community needs. You can find some examples of the community pages below:
The team also hosted open community calls that we previously tried in the Netherlands, where community members can bring ideas, ask questions, and engage with the fundraising team to improve the campaigns. We hosted three community calls in Q3 with Sweden (24th of January), Japan (9th of February), and Czech Republic (28th of February). So far community members have not attended these calls and we will continue to connect with each community to create spaces that would be helpful for each group. We welcome ideas on how to make these spaces valuable. Generally, if there are local affiliates in our fundraising countries, members of the affiliates collaborate with the fundraising team on campaign planning and are involved in reviewing messaging to ensure that the concepts and translation are locally appropriate.
Here is what our donors have said:
Information should be easily accessible. You're a big part in the fight for clear, easily accessed, both vital and non vital information. That I thank you for! - Donor from Sweden
It is my pleasure to donate my little money to Wikipedia to support your financial situation. When I need some knowledge about what I do not know, Wikipedia gives me a good guide for understanding, or to deepen my knowledge. As such, I am always relying on your site, mainly because no commercial advertisement is involved. I understand a certain means of making money is unavoidable for internet company to continue the business, but sometimes (or recently always) the advertisements are too much and lousy. I feel like to discontinue the searching immediately. In that sense, Wikipedia is reliable and not disturbed by the lousiness. I hope you will continue your policy for long. - Donor from Japan
Looking towards Q4, we have banner fundraising campaigns in Brazil, the Czech Republic, India, and Mexico. In last year’s campaigns in LATAM and India, the fundraising team partnered with the Product department to run a pilot to ask donors to create an account to edit on the “thank you” page readers see once they complete their donation. This was an exciting experiment that provided an engagement opportunity for our donors and brought new editors to Wikipedia. The results were:
- Around 7% of donors show interest in editing immediately after donating, based on the estimated click-through rate from the Thank you page.
- 45.1% of users who reached the landing page created an account. This is a low bounce rate compared to what we’ve seen from other channels. Nearly half of donors who clicked Create an account on the TY Page stayed on the registration page and successfully created their account.
- Those who create an account right after donating are less likely to start editing than organic registrations. Only 4.6% of accounts created started editing within 24 hours of creating their account. This is much lower than the organic activation rate which is estimated to be between 26-36% on wikis.
- The “Try editing Wikipedia” CTA has a lower completion rate than the donor survey currently on our thank you page.
We have continued working with the Thank you page invitation, and recently added it in 5 new markets as a sustainable way to leverage existing fundraising campaigns to grow the number of new editors on Wikipedia: Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, and France.
We have expanded our in App fundraising and are now running App banners during most of our campaigns as well.
We also continue to translate our 2021/22 fundraising report and it is now available in Spanish (Latin America), French, Italian, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, and Japanese.
2022/23 Q2 Update
The second quarter of our financial year is always the busiest. During Q2 we ran our annual fundraising campaign in France as well as our English campaign in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
During November, the English community ran a Request for Comment (RfC) on the fundraising banner messages which had a profound impact on our English campaign. Following the close of the RfC, the Wikimedia Foundation set up a co-creation page to seek input from community members on proposed messaging for banners. We posted regular updates on the campaign's performance to this page. In brief, over 450+ banners were tested during this year's campaign, and $24.7M of revenue was raised against an original $30M goal (a shortfall of $5.3 million). During the first few days the new banners resulted in about 70% less revenue than on the corresponding days in the prior year. Additional information on the campaign results are posted here. Next year, the fundraising team will continue to engage with the community on banner messaging. We look forward to building on the process we created this year.
We are also working on a concept to encourage more active community discussions around our international fundraising campaigns, prior to the start of these campaigns.
What did our donors say:
Knowledge should be free and those who can should contribute to ensure it! You founded the modern equivalent of the library of Alexandria IMO, thank you for this and thanks to the army of volunteers who curate it. It makes me proud each year to help with this small donation. All the best to you and this beautiful organization. Donor from Canada
To see Wikipedia in-use amongst my students is so exciting for me. It is the gateway that sets them off to dive deep into the right academic literature they need. Without the gateway that Wikipedia provides, without those overviews of a topic, we would all waste so much more time, frustrated because we had not found the deeper stuff sooner. Donor from New Zealand
I wanted to thank you for your amazing work ! I studied in a STEM field and I owe a big part of my master’s degree to Wikipedia and all the information I found on it. This is the reason why now that I am done with studies, I donate a small amount back to Wikipedia yearly, as a thank you. Donor from France
Major gifts and events
In November, we hosted donor events in New York, New York and San Francisco, California. The audience was current and prospective major donors. The New York event had both an online and an in-person attendance option. Jimmy Wales and Maryana Iskander attended and spoke to guests about our mission and how their support advances the work of our mission. We also asked our current donors to renew their support of our work. We engage with major donors via one-on-one meetings (both in-person and virtually), email and postal mail.
The Endowment publishes regular updates on their own meta page going forward.
- Erik Moeller and Domas Mituzas on fundraising since 2010