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A PDF-Version of this page can be found here: Budget Plan of Wikimedia Deutschland for 2012

Draft of the 2012 Budget for Wikimedia Germany

»... so that the work of past centuries will not have been useless for the coming centuries; so that our grandchildren are not only more educated but also more virtuous and happier and so that we will not die without having achieved something for humankind. « 

Denis Diderot (1713-1784)


Wikipedia is the success story of the Internet: established in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, today 20 million articles have been created in over 280 languages. In the German language, 1.3 million Wikipedia articles already exist. Far more than 12 million media files are available for free use in the largest, free media archive "Wikimedia Commons."

The basis of this tremendous success is the continuous commitment of thousands of volunteers who write new articles every day, who maintain and expand the inventory, who add pictures and illustrations, who correct spelling errors and do much more. Wikimedia Germany, a registered association for promoting free knowledge, has been supporting the cause of all Wikimedia projects since 2004 and especially that of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We promote the work of our voluntary authors, we operate a technical infrastructure, we elucidate issues pertaining to free knowledge in the media, at schools and at universities, and promote projects which implement the concept of free knowledge in many areas.

What has been achieved up till now is undoubtedly great but Wikipedia is far from being finished and free knowledge does not come without challenges. There are three developments of outstanding significance for the future of Wikipedia and which, therefore, should also be the focus of Wikimedia Germany’s work for the coming year.

  1. The number of authors in the German version of Wikipedia has stagnated and the number of authors who remain in the project has dropped dramatically.
  2. Wikipedia does indeed appeal to many social groups in their capacity as readers. However, society in all its diversity is not reflected in the overall composition of our authors.
  3. Wikipedia is being used more intensively than ever before but its background (the concept of free knowledge, opportunities to participate etc.) is largely unknown.

From these three developments, which will be examined in detail later on in this budget plan, follow the association’s most important fields of action for 2012: promoting the work of volunteers, developing of quality initiatives and the promotion of free knowledge in politics, culture and the media.

The current draft of the budget for 2012 analyzes the reasons behind this development designs, draws up appropriate objectives that need to be achieved so as to avoid these developments and introduces the measures and projects for this. Finally, the financial resources available to our association are allocated to these goals.

What is new here is the involvement of members and the public in this procedure: by presenting the draft of the budget to the public eight weeks before the general assembly, which will take place in Hanover on November 19th[1] , all interested parties will have the chance to debate the proposed goals. Furthermore, the association's members will also have the opportunity to have a direct influence on the focus of next year by making appropriate amendments.

The following proposed goals are ambitious and the self-set benchmarks of success are high - but given the enormous social importance of free knowledge they are appropriate and necessary. They can only be reached, however, if members, the interested public and everyone who feels connected to free knowledge, staff and volunteer members of our association work together. Let's start by reaching an agreement on our common goals for 2012!


Under the guidance of the executive director, the staff of our association has proceeded to take four steps to work out a budget for 2012:

  1. Initially, there was an intense involvement with the strategic framework of our association’s work, as it was decided upon by the general assembly in Compass 2020[2].What do these strategic goals mean for our daily work and what has to be done in order to achieve these goals? And which social conditions have an influence on our work and what are the key obstacles to the advancement of free knowledge that stand in the way of achieving our goals?
  2. On the basis of this, the first measurable objectives were developed. All these goals must be clearly defined, the achievement must be measurable and they must be attractive, realistic and terminable.[3]
  3. Taking into account ongoing projects, the projected financial resources were assigned to the objectives to be achieved.
  4. Based on the projected funding for each goal, the first measures were developed, which could be implemented in the coming year to achieve these goals.

This draft was presented in detail by the executive director at a close-door board meeting on September 10th, 2011 in Nuremberg. The board suggested certain changes and these were incorporated and finally adopted.

Now it is available to members and the interested public so that it can be discussed before the general assembly of Wikimedia Germany occurs on November 19th, 2011 and makes a decision on the budget for 2012.

Sebastian Moleski Pavel Richter
First Chairman Executive Director
Wikimedia Germany Wikimedia Germany

General conditions of the work of Wikimedia Germany[edit]

There are three current developments that greatly affect the promotion of free knowledge and which must be the focus of our work:

  1. The number of authors in the German version of Wikipedia has stagnated and the number of authors who remain in the project has dropped dramatically.
  1. Wikipedia does indeed appeal to many social groups in their capacity as readers. However, society in all its diversity is not reflected in the composition of our authors.
  1. Wikipedia is being used more intensively than ever before but its background (the concept of free knowledge, opportunities to participate etc.) is largely unknown.

Decrease in authors and the low level of attractiveness for new authors[edit]

In 2010 and 2011, the American Wikimedia Foundation created the Editor Trend Study in order to analyze the main lines of development in the composition of Wikimedia authors.[4] For the German version of Wikipedia, the study reaches the following conclusion:

"Of all versions of Wikipedia, it is the German version which is experiencing the quickest decrease in the percentage of new authors." [5]

This trend is evident when the monthly figures on new Wikipedians are recorded over the course of years:

At the same time, it is also shown that the "retention" of authors is significantly decreasing on Wikipedia: while the number of those who remained active more than a year after their registration in July 2005 was around 38%, this number in July 2009 fell below 18%.

What is the cause of this and why is it even an issue?[edit]

When experienced authors turn their backs on Wikipedia, two things are thus lost: first of all, a great deal of knowledge about the workings of Wikipedia, the encyclopedic work and the procedures and structures of the project. And, secondly, with each author that leaves Wikipedia special expertise is also lost, topics will no longer be sufficiently worked on, etc.

These negative effects are reinforced when, at the same time, it becomes more difficult to attract new authors for a lasting period of time for Wikipedia: not only does the community become de facto smaller and thus the foundation of Wikipedia becomes endangered; likewise, new perspectives are no longer being introduced into Wikipedia, new knowledge is no longer being portrayed and the social composition of the Wikipedia community remains unchanged.

In 2011, Wikipedia turned ten years old. During these last ten years, structures, rules and conventions have developed, which are not always comprehensible for new authors. In addition, Wikipedia is also a social structure that is controlled by forms of communication and unwritten rules, which may also discourage new Wikipedians.

As a direct consequence of these points, there is a risk that all the initiatives of Wikimedia Germany to attract new authors might come to nothing. Even if we do manage to attract new authors for Wikipedia - if they do not participate for a lasting period of time because they do not understand the structure or if they feel deterred by the social circumstances, then our efforts will not lead to the desired success.

Unequal social representation on Wikipedia[edit]

Women use Wikipedia very intensively. Although 64% of readers are women, which is clearly higher than the percentage of men who are readers, nevertheless, they only represent 9% of the authors. Thus, the proportion of women among active Wikipedians is clearly too low.

Gender distribution in percentage

Not quite as much but nevertheless dramatic is the imbalance of representation of different age groups on Wikipedia:

Age distribution, German version of Wikipedia, unadjusted
(Mean value = Mittelwert; Standard deviation = Std.-Abw.; Frequency - Häufigkeit);
Source: M. Merz – Wikimedia Germany author survey 2011)

The current author survey[6] shows a clear dominance of 15 to 30 year-old and 40-50 year-old writers. Particularly striking is the fact that people over 50 years old[7] are underrepresented on Wikipedia as authors even though they are heavily represented in the internet.

What are the consequences of these trends?[edit]

In the first place, the lack of representation of certain groups leads to a worse atmosphere for all authors of Wikipedia. Forms of communication that occur in the dominant group of men between the ages of 15-30 and 40-50 can be deterrent for people of other ages or for women. At the same time, all the relevant research from the world of work suggests that having an increase in the proportion of women as Wikipedia authors would improve the atmosphere for all authors.

Secondly, the under-representation of women and certain age groups simply leads to a lack of certain perspectives. Women-specific perspectives are underrepresented, the experience of older people is lost and certain topics are not being handled adequately. The result of all this is a low level of diversity in terms of knowledge.

Explanation of Wikipedia[edit]

Although Wikipedia is indeed still being used more intensively, nevertheless, the background of Wikipedia is largely unknown. Even if everyone can use Wikipedia content without dealing more closely with the project, a lack of awareness about free knowledge, the opportunities for participation, the openness of Wikipedia and the associated risks leads to misunderstandings and misjudgments. This becomes clear in the requests that are sent daily to our support team but also in the substantive errors of many media reports about Wikipedia as well as from the uncritical use of Wikipedia content in schools and at universities.

Success creates responsibility! Wikipedia has grown enormously not only as an encyclopedia but as the first (and unfortunately often the only) source of information for everyone who wants to know something. Wikipedia is thus a knowledge springboard for millions of people. Every month nearly a quarter of the population of Germany accesses a Wikimedia article. 38% of all primary school children use Wikipedia at least once a week[8] and 53% of teachers indicate that they use Wikipedia as the most important website for lesson preparation.[9] The “Survey Committee on Internet Matters of the German Bundestag“ has called Wikipedia the "most prominent example of community driven value creation"[10] on the internet.

Objectives for 2012[edit]

Based on the foregoing analysis, we suggest focusing on three areas:

  1. Promoting volunteers by creating corresponding capacities
  2. Increasing the quality of Wikipedia content and promoting authors
  3. Explaining Wikipedia and the concept of free content in general as well as the acquisition of more free content and an increased use of Wikipedia content outside of Wikimedia projects.

Operational goals[edit]

[A] Promoting volunteerism[edit]

For volunteers, it will become easier to create, to improve and to distribute free knowledge and their skills will be promoted according to their needs. To this end, support structures will be further developed in a sustainable manner. In 2012, at least twice as many volunteers as in 2011 will be reached by those efforts.

Initial situation

To secure the future of Wikimedia projects, the promoting of already active collaborators is just as essential as the targeted acquisition of new authors. Our promoting efforts must have spaces for the community-wide transfer of knowledge and for the networking of volunteers amongst themselves. Volunteers will be put in the position to use their time in the projects even more effectively. The assistance will mainly provide practically applicable skills and be geared to the needs of volunteers.

Example measures

Community events in which volunteers support each other and work together (WikiConvention, Wiki loves Monuments, Editorial meeting, Wikipedia meets…) will be financially and / or logistically supported. This also applies to the organization of meetings of specific groups (OTRS, Mentors, Speaker camps, Writing contest), the provision of literature, electronic databases and equipment for working on articles or idea competitions for projects promoting free knowledge (WissensWert).

Measurable indicators

With 1,500 participants or users of our support measures, in 2012 twice as many volunteers as in 2011 will be reached by our efforts. To this end, 20 different measures will be carried out and about 80% of the participants of the measures must judge themselves as being more competent or very much more competent afterwards and are satisfied with the measures. This is measured by standardized self-assessment surveys of the participants and indeed before, immediately after the event and again 6 months later. The substantive and methodological quality of our offerings will be evaluated by the participants and at least 80% of them will have a positive view of our offerings.

For the operational goal of the promoting of volunteerism, our budget is estimated at 270,000 Euro.

[B] Political work[edit]

In 2012, we will provide the basis for developing political leverage. Already by the end of the year, there will be demand for our positions to such an extent that restrictions on the production and dissemination of free knowledge will be more difficult to carry through in the future.

Initial situation

At the beginning of our operational planning, a hazard analysis was conducted. Thus, in addition to internal risks to Wikimedia projects (e.g. author loss, lack of user friendliness, etc.), there also exist external threats to the movement for free knowledge (e.g. copyright and legal liability issues and the right of free speech). Being able to anticipate and counteract as soon as possible tendencies to the passing of unfavorable legislation is, therefore, a basic task for us.

The conditions for successful lobbying up to now have been, however, inadequate. Especially elaborated positions are missing in regard to central policy issues that can be communicated externally.

Parties, interest groups, umbrella organizations and affiliated publications (e.g. member magazine of Verdi, corporate media) will be even more important as contact partners in the future.

Example measures

To express our association and our positioning more clearly externally, we will increasingly provide text documents (e.g. position papers and statements) in order to develop a consistent association policy in regard to central policy issues. Regular consultations with parliamentarians, policy think-tanks - e.g. Progressives Zentrum, (Progressive Center) - and party-related foundations as well as having our own series of events should increase the public visibility of Wikimedia Germany.

In 2012, we will increasingly seek direct dialogue with parliamentarians, political party-affiliated think tanks and foundations. Direct talks, the creation of dialogic relationships with decision makers and speakers at the working level cannot be replaced by anything else.

The preparation and publication of position papers and opinions for the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ) dealing with topics that are politically relevant to us is one of the most urgent measures. These should, however, not be hidden at the bottom of web pages but should easily be found via the website of our association or through an internet search (please see below).

Furthermore, we increasingly would like to participate in public debates or even to initiate them. The planned community space gives us the opportunity to become a reference point for Wikipedians and those parts of society taking an interest in Internet politics. However, it will often depend on the ability of certain topics to polarize or to cause scandal (e.g. insufficient use of tax-financed content) that will determine whether we can reach out more into the social mainstream.

At present, we expect to publish a draft for the "third basket" at the end of 2011. The "third basket" refers to the third project package for adapting the requirements of German copyright law to a networked information society. Core themes of the third basket will be regulations that will give press publishers intellectual property rights, the regulation dealing with orphan works and possibly inalienable secondary publication rights (for promoting open access publications). From the hearings of the German Federal Ministry of Justice and the talks carried out so far, we have only little hope to find within the third basket a legal regulation which will be viable for free content. We are, therefore, pursuing the idea to help out as early as possible in an upcoming "fourth basket" – and in another government composition- by bringing up precisely the topics that will be as helpful as possible to the creation, dissemination and use of free content. This will be an endeavor that can only be implemented in conjunction with other strong partners.

Measurable indicators

An evaluation of our political work should especially focus on the enfolded network activities and the increase in Wikimedia Germany’s reputation as a credible promoter of the knowledge society:

In 2012, we will have 30 individual meetings with relevant members of all five parliamentary factions.

In 2012, we will create at least 10 position papers (e.g. on open government data, the treatment of orphan works, the importance of metadata, the public domain of public data) and make them public.

In 2012, we will have requests for comments from at least three federal ministries.

By the end of 2012, a domain-specific Google query (bundestag.de) for relevant terms in the context of free knowledge will contain in the first ten hits documents making reference to Wikimedia Germany.

The budget for political work is estimated at 140,000 Euros.

[C] Organization development[edit]

By the end of 2012, our association will have laid the foundations for becoming an organization operating nationwide throughout Germany. Structures will have been created for promoting an exchange of ideas concerning the topic of free knowledge at the regional and local level.

Initial situation

In order to be successful in the long run, Wikimedia Germany should become a true member organization - the organizational embodiment of a nationwide movement for free knowledge. The association should not only have a strong presence in Berlin but should also be visible nationwide as a social actor in addition to being present and accessible for its members. Also for the social and political changes which Wikimedia seeks, it is essential that throughout Germany a perceptible, grassroots movement for free knowledge grows, which stands up locally and regionally for its goals.

With its strong and growing membership base, our association has a considerable, hardly tapped potential. New members at Wikimedia are no longer only tech-savvy "geeks" but also politically interested citizens who probably have a high degree of openness towards matters pertaining to Wikimedia. Individual members at the local level partly do not even know each other. They should be given the opportunity to partner with each other and to take action.

Example measures

In order to test this assumption, first, dialogue with our members should be sought: how much should Wikimedia regionalize and localize itself? How great is the interest in doing work for our association and doing local public relations work? This question should be asked and answered in an appropriate manner. Measures to find out this information include conducting an opinion poll of our members, having an offer for discussion in a Wikimedia forum and creating a Wikimedia future workshop.

The establishment of local Wikimedia forums will be expanded and stabilized. In this manner, Wikimedia members and interested parties will be provided a platform for informing themselves at a local level about free knowledge, exchanging ideas about this topic, having keynote speeches by our association’s staff or external experts, film showings, discussions, etc.

In the coming year as a pilot project, Wikimedia Germany will encourage and promote the establishment of various local and regional Wikimedia groups. To this end, organizational and substantive concepts will be developed and personnel resources will be provided. Groups must have a contact person at our office and their role within the association must be defined and recognized. The groups will be actively supported by our office, for instance, with local public relations work and with organizing events and activities. The establishment of local community sites is also a step towards regionalization.

Measurable indicators

The proportion of members who participate in our association’s internal wiki and the general assembly will double by the end of 2012 compared to August 2011. 20 Wikimedia forums will be held in at least five different states and 80% of visitor feedback will be positive. At the same time, at least five local or regional groups will be founded and each will have at least five active members.

To implement our goals for organizational development, it is calculated that 157,500 Euros will be needed.

[D] Increase in quality through technical support[edit]

To support the improvement in quality of Wikipedia content, the association is developing tools for editorial work. These are based on quality indicators and a central management of structured data. At least two WikiProjects or other editorial collectives use them successfully.

Initial situation

Quality indicators promote reuse and acceptance because the quality of the content is easier to identify. This will be particularly developed in the framework of the EU-funded project RENDER. Although the quality of an article can never fully be evaluated automatically, useful hints concerning where authors possibly could improve something or where readers should be particularly critical may exist.

Example measures

A practical application of such quality indicators would be the automatic creation of lists for individual Wiki projects, which would list the items that need more attention.

The central storage of structured data by the Wikidata project (thus, for example, data that is displayed in info boxes) increases the quality since such facts only need to be serviced once and not anymore separately in each language. This leaves more time for reviewing the data and linking it. In addition, it is being planned to provide each individual fact with a footnote and also to make it mechanically evaluated. In this manner, for instance, all data can be quickly found, which originate from one source that has proven to be unreliable.

The Wikidata project

Wikidata is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation with the aim of allowing everyone free and open access to data that is collected and maintained by the public. This will support Wikimedia’s aim of facillitating free access to the totality of mankind’s knowledge. Wikidata will build an infrastructure that will enable other Wikimedia projects to access centralized data, in a manner similar to how Wikimedia Commons today provides multimedia files. The project will be implemented in three phases:

1)creation of a central InterWiki database, 2) support for displaying data in info boxes, and 3) support for displaying auto-generated lists and summaries of articles in Wikipedia.

Wikidata runs on MediaWiki just as the other Wikimedia projects do. This keeps the expected maintenance costs of the Wikimedia Foundation down by ensuring that the software environment does not become heterogenized. MediaWiki will be expanded by a specifically adapted version of Semantic MediaWiki, with which an already widely adopted and tested extension will be used. Following the tradition of other Wikimedia projects, Wikidata is not aiming for a perfect solution but is rather seeking to significantly improve the existing status and, at the same time, to offer a clear path showing how the system will continue to be improved in the future together with our community.

Wikimedia Germany will lead the project. In so doing, Wikimedia Germany will coordinate various external partners, supporting them in specific sub-tasks. In the end, the Wikimedia Foundation will take Wikidata over, run it operationally and later service it.

The financing will be done solely through external partners and donations will not be used.

For the project "Wikidata," 870,000 Euro will be provided for the year 2012. The entire duration of the project is approximately 18 months

For the project "Wikidata," 870,000 Euro will be provided for the year 2012. The entire duration of the project is approximately 18 months

Measurable indicators

The criterion for success will be whether the majority of employees surveyed by at least two editors felt that the new lists were helpful.

The criterion for success of the central storage of structured data is the use of Wikidata: by the end of 2012 there will be at least 100,000 records, each of which will be used by a Wiki page. In addition, at least one external service with more than 100,000 users will use the information from Wikidata - but possibly that will first be reached by 2013.

In order to achieve these goals for 2012, a total of 1,080,000 Euro will be used, of which 870,000 Euro will be allotted to the externally funded project Wikidata.

[E] Gaining authors and author diversity[edit]

In order to increase the number of applications and the retention of new Wikipedia authors, technical and social barriers will be lowered. By the end of 2012, 50% more women will participate in the German version of Wikipedia and in the activities of Wikimedia Germany compared to the previous year.

Initial situation

The Editor Trends Study has proven that there is a decline in authors. On the German version of Wikipedia, this decline is particularly noticeable. Perspectively, it threatens the free encyclopedia when new writers are not motivated to remain active in the projects: there is the danger of an of overaging authorship up to a point at which projects, due to a lack volunteers, might no longer be maintained.

Another aspect of the decrease in authors is the lack of diversity. Greater diversity within the authorship of Wikipedia results in a higher quality of articles. Only where different personalities work together on content do innovative working contexts arise. This is also known from operations research and the diversity management. Wikipedia and its sister projects can also use social diversity constructively. In order to achieve a significant improvement, measures will be offered to Wikimedia projects that will be aimed at significantly under-represented populations in comparison to other social groups. The numerically largest of these groups are women.

Example measures

One measure for increasing diversity is to survey current and former writers. They can help us to gain scientifically based findings on motivation, retention and author diversity. Furthermore, targeted events such as seminars or workshops help to introduce qualified authors with expertise (e.g. artisans, university graduates, etc.) to Wikipedia. The "Campus Ambassadors Program" establishes a perspective for the academic use of Wikipedia. Here representatives of the Wikipedia community make themselves available as contact persons at universities in their vicinity. Among other things, they organize events on campus, advise professors and help students work with Wikipedia. Testimonial campaigns or portraits of women authors are well suited for promoting the idea and use of free knowledge with female role models. Similarly, with the community project budget, a project will be promoted that will aim at having more women participate in Wikipedia. Findings from the project will be incorporated into our work.

Measurable indicators

By the end of 2012, the proportion of female authors in comparison with 2011 will have increased by 50% and thus will be at 13%. This will be measured by the Wikimedia Germany’s author survey. The number of participants in events and projects of Wikimedia Germany in 2012 will also be increased by 50% in comparison to 2011. The evaluation of events through lists of participants, contributions to the program or project documentation will serve as a starting point. The latter has been, for instance, implemented for applications for the competition of ideas “Worth Knowing” (WissensWert) and the community project budget.

By mid 2012, the decline in active new authors will have been stopped. The number of authors, who are still active 12 months after their initial registration, will have been increased by 15 percent by mid 2013. As an interim mark, the end of 2012 has been designated for this purpose. At this time, already almost a third of the growth will have been achieved.

For the operational goal of gaining authors and author diversity, our budget is estimated at 252,500 Euro

[F] Liberation of content[edit]

By the end of 2012, there will be at least two cooperation agreements with rights holders, which will lead to the legally compliant release of quality content and which will cause others to imitate.

Initial situation

The liberation of content is a direct purpose of our association. Many people have placed their hopes in this and are hoping to see demonstrable effects in institutions arising from a social, potentially global movement for "free knowledge.” We thus want to create a climate that is friendly towards releasing information, one which requires a change in thinking and action in both public and cultural mediators. The widespread mentality of locking up data and inventories ("our content") will develop through a long-term procedure into a culture of sharing, which will arise from not least of which an ethos of a democratic public.

Government agencies, cultural institutions and media organizations represent the three preferred areas of application for the liberation of content. Government agencies are particularly attractive especially because their structured data, photos and text documents are already pre-financed by taxpayers.

The cultural institutions, known in the context of Wikimedia under the acronym GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) owe their appeal to the fact that they contain curated collections. Thus, in a relatively easy manner content-specific links to encyclopedic categories can be created in Wikipedia. In addition, the potential is very great for the use of Wikipedia content in the context of museum exhibitions (e.g. via QR codes in exhibits).

Media outlets, in turn, are attractive through their wealth of documents and news material, which they produce and send out. Too much of it lies dormant in archives and libraries. This shortage is artificial and, in light of the needs of a modern knowledge society, it is basically unacceptable. Not only could ready-for-use program content be reused but also the results of audience research, source code under an open-source license, readable data (such as statistics, election analyses etc.) and web-tools for in-depth topic research.

Example measures

To achieve this goal, we need above all best-practice examples that can be communicated to the public in an effective manner and which can be imitated by other organizations independently. We propose the establishment of an overview of licensing situation for the 100 largest federal agencies (according to budget). This could furnish the community but also other stakeholders in the liberation of knowledge (e.g. Open Knowledge Foundation) with a frame of reference so that they can research ways to release information and to address release requirements.

Such requirements must be underpinned, however, by confidence building and education offers (workshops, seminars, guided tours) for government agencies, cultural institutions and media organizations. Also larger gatherings such as, for instance, the "Open Government Camp" or the "Open GLAM Camp” can help improve awareness of added benefit of free content within respective professional contexts and occupational milieus.

A special focus will be on the establishment of “Wikipedian in Residence” programs. Here experienced Wikipedians will work for 1 to 6 months at government agencies, libraries or companies and they will propagate the idea of free knowledge on the spot. Experience from other countries shows that such on-site collaboration can build up trust to the Wikipedia community, which is often perceived as being “vague” from the outside. In close coordination with the needs of each respective institution, projects for the digitization, OCR, database maintenance, restoration, migration of television content, etc. will be developed.

Measurable indicators

We aim to have at least two cooperative agreements in 2012 with institutions from the three sectors (government agencies, cultural institutions, media organizations) in order to stimulate other such institutions to follow suit.

A quantitative determination of the content thus released does not appear sensible. It is much more essential that the content is provided in high-quality (i.e. compatible with the latest technology) formats and that they are relevant. For the liberation of content, both current and historical material is of significance. The share of historical content should not exceed 90% and at least 10% of the content should not be older than three years. We want to measure this goal in five prominent forms of reuse in 2012.

For the four Wikipedian-in-residence programs planned for 2012, it is essential to record the satisfaction in before and after studies on both sides, that is, the institutions as well as the participating Wikipedians. In 80% of the cases, the satisfaction level will increase after the measure has ended.

To demonstrate the sustainability of the liberation of content, in 2012 at least one institution should release content, without Wikimedia Germany being directly involved as a partner. This goal can be measured by at least one foreign press release that relates to or mentions an action previously undertaken by Wikimedia Germany.

For achieving the goals of liberating content, 210,000 Euro will be used.

[G] Reuse[edit]

By the end of 2012, a representative selection of German-speaking media will use at least 50% more high-quality content from Wikimedia projects in a license-compliant manner.

Initial situation

The common denominator of content under free license is the right of everyone to be able to use such content for any purpose. Only when there is a license-compliant use of a work is the subsequent user placed in a position to exercise his or her right to also use this content. The license used in Wikipedia “Creative Commons-BY-SA" thus formulates simple and concrete demands on the user and how he or she can fulfill his or her rights and obligations under this license.

The license-compliant reuse of free content causes others to follow suit because with each use the respective recipients of the free work being used learn about the possibility of also being able to use this content.

The non-conforming use of free content represents a legal risk for subsequent users. In such cases, Wikimedia Germany cannot absorb any financial demands.

We expect that an increased license-compliant use of content will increase the likelihood and the success of mass releases of their own content by third parties.

Example measures

This operational goal for 2012 is two-pronged: the intensity of use of free content in the media will be increased, just as we want to improve the situation surrounding the reuse of content under free license.

The user group that makes use of content under free licenses consists of journalists, especially photo editors of all groups not having an affinity for technology. We want to inform them about the possibilities and conditions for the use of free content through workshops and handouts. We want to accompany those activities with collaborations with media corporations and all those service providers that can simplify the use of content under a free license in a license-compliant manner – for instance, with manufacturers of software that is widely used for the administration and maintenance of websites.

We want to furthermore help simplify the license-compliant reuse of information by creating and improving existing tools for exporting all those image-specific data (source, author and exact license) that are necessary for use in a form that can be utilized in blogs or other websites without any further processing.

Measurable indicators

We will examine three market segments and instances of content use: weekly magazines and national daily newspapers, secondly, local newspapers with a circulation of 50,000 copies and, thirdly, radio and TV stations.

The number of license-conforming uses of images in a sample at the beginning of the year 2012 will be compared to a sample taken at the end of 2012. Use and intensity will also be recorded through surveys taken by the editors in question. In the time period of 2012, we will strive for an increase by 10% in the number of responses from editors, who use content under free license. We will also strive for an increase of the editorial departments by 30% who want to use images under free licenses.

Another indicator is the detectable number of cover images under free license in the calendar year of 2012.

For the implementation of measures to continue using free content, 150,000 Euro are provided.

Community Project Budget[edit]

Wikimedia Germany is making available 250,000 Euro as part of the Community Project Budget. The funds will be awarded taking into account the objectives agreed upon by the general meeting.

Initial situation

The Community Project Budget first adopted and implemented in 2011 by the general assembly will also be available in 2012. In the first round of 2011, five of 36 submitted projects were selected for implementation. Due to the greater awareness of this support instrument, we expect in 2012 an increase in the number of ideas submitted. For 2012, the budget will be increased by 50,000 Euros, since through the experience gained in 2011 and the development of appropriate rules and procedures clearly more projects can be promoted with the aid of the Community Project Budget.

The Wikimedia Germany staff supports the Community Project Budget committee in its work, advises applicants, accompanies the implementation of the projects selected and analyzes the statutory use of funds. The goals defined in the budget are binding on all organs and activities of the association and thus the community project budget as well. The alignment and orientation of the projects of the community to be promoted must correspond to the operational goals adopted by the general meeting.

Infrastructure development of Wikimedia Germany[edit]

By the end of 2012, Wikimedia Germany will have real-life, well documented procedures for the departments of finance and personnel.

For all other infrastructure goals of the association, there are clear expectations and assessable measures for their implementation.

Initial situation

An organization the size of Wikimedia Germany - more than 3.8 Million Euro of projected donations, staff, office space, etc. - requires procedures that do justice to the responsibility that comes along with these structures. Therefore, in the context of its strategic plan “Compass 2020” our association has not only had a close look at the strategic goals but it has also developed strategic guidelines for the infrastructural areas of resources, finance, fundraising, organizational development, personnel, communication and Wikimedia International.

Example measures

The proposed goal for the plan in 2012 will implement a first milestone by having the procedures in the core departments of finance and personnel be documented and then having them implemented in all workflows of our association. In the medium term, we plan on creating a complete documentation of our procedures in a procedure handbook.

At the same time, this goal will ensure that also the other infrastructure goals will be incorporated into the ongoing planning of the administrative procedures and that they will be reflected in concrete measures.

The funds for achieving this goal fall under the heading of general indirect project funding (please see below).

Financial planning 2012[edit]

Year after year, Wikimedia Germany succeeds in inspiring ten thousand people about the idea of free knowledge and winning them over as donors. They thus show us a tremendous amount of confidence: that we will use the funds according to our association's purpose, that we will plan and carry out our projects carefully, that we will inform people in a transparent manner about all the areas of our association's work and that we will create and comply with procedures that support our this work effectively and efficiently.

The budget of our association is divided up into two major areas: in the center (and with about 76% of the total budget) are the funds earmarked for direct project support. To implement these operational goals, Wikimedia Germany requires an appropriate infrastructure, an office, accounting, etc. This indirect project funding is approximately 24% of total expenditures.


Wikimedia Germany is financed from two sources: donations and other revenue. With the donations we have been seeing a steady increase since being established:

Income per year

Year Income Increase
2004 16.681 €
2005 121.357 € + 627 %
2006 90.626 € - 25 %
2007 289. 393 € + 219 %
2008 443.955 € + 53 %
2009 818.041 € + 84 %
2010 2.298.245 € + 180 %

Great significance is attached to our annual fundraising campaign. In November and December using a banner that appears on every page, we advertise for donations for Wikipedia, asking our users to support Wikimedia projects and free knowledge. Whoever clicks on one of these donation banners from Germany, will be automatically redirected to the pages of Wikimedia Germany, where there will be the opportunity to make a donation. Because we are a non-profit organization, this donation can also be made tax-deductible. After a rapid growth in the years 2009 and 2010, we expect an increase of 65% to 3.8 million Euro for the upcoming donation campaign. After deducting the fund-raising costs of 220,000 Euro, what remains of the donations will be shared between the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Germany: 1,530,000 Euro will be transferred to the American foundation for the operation of Wikipedia and the development of technical infrastructure,[11] while 2,050,000 Euro will be made available to Wikimedia Germany for promoting free knowledge.

In addition to the donations we receive, other income is playing an ever more important role: for the first time, we received in 2010 funding from the European Union for two projects (RENDER and TAO / Silver Knowledge). We want to expand the possibilities of sponsorship from companies and we expect stronger financial contributions from Wikimedia organizations from other countries to support our international work. The planned increase in membership to 4,000 by the end of 2012 will also lead to a significant amount of income.

A special case are the grants for the project "Wikidata". It is an 18 month development project that we want to implement in close coordination with the Wikimedia Foundation (please see details above). Funding for the project will be drawn solely from financial contributions from external partners - donations are not used for this project. The contracts for Wikidata will be finalized in the coming weeks and the relevant details will be published.


Item 2011 (Plan) 2012 (Plan)
Donation income 1.095.000 € 2.050.000 €
Monetary conditions 20.000 € 20.000 €
Sponsoring 75.000 € 75.000 €
License revenue 30.000 € 30.000 €
Membership fees 48.000 € 95.000 €
Interest 5.000 € 10.000 €
Academy funding y 10.000 € 10.000 €
Zedler funding 10.000 € -
School project funding 15.000 € -
EU funding for TAO 20.000 € 20.000 €
EU funding for RENDER - 75.000 €
Chapter conference contributions 15.000 € 30.000 €
Toolserver contributions 25.000 € 35.000 €
Wikidata - 870.000 €
Total budget 1.368.000 € 3.320.000 €


Direct project funding[edit]

In the main part of this draft of our budget, seven operational goals are presented as well as the Community Project Budget and a goal for the association’s infrastructure. For each of these goals, as far as it is possible at the present time, specific actions were shown. Certain projects will also be continued in 2012 - the different measures for the direct promotion of the Wikimedia community, the school project, the operation of the Toolserver in Amsterdam, scholarships for participating in Wikimania etc. At the same time, new projects are already in the planning - Wikipedian in Residence, an initiative specifically for universities, programs for gaining women as writers and much more.

A budget was assigned to each of these seven goals based on the complexity and emphasis of the goal and in light of ongoing projects:

Direct project funding

Goal 2012
[A] Promoting volunteerism 270.000 €
[B] Political work 140.000 €
[C] Organization development 157.500 €
[D] Improvement in quality 1.080.000 €
[E] Gaining authors and author diversity 252.500 €
[F] Liberation of content 210.000 €
[G] Reuse of free content 150.000 €
Community Project Budget 280.000 €*
Sum 2.540.000 €

* 250,000 Euro project funding for the work of the committee and the support from the office.

Indirect project funding[edit]

To enable the direct project work of our association, a number of infrastructure and administrative costs will be incurred. This indirect project funding is divided up as follows:

Indirect project funding

Item 2011 2012
Members 24.500 € 58.000 €
Management & office 276.000 € 506.000 €
Accounting & controlling 19.500 € 90.000 €
Public relations 25.500 € 56.000 €
Board / oversight board 60.000 € 70.000 €
Sum 405.500 € 780.000 €


Wikimedia Germany has committed itself in its strategic planning to significantly increase the number of members in the future. Even if our organization, unlike, say, ADAC (the German automobile club), does not primarily have the task of supporting its own members and providing services for them, nevertheless members do play an important role. They determine the strategic direction of our association, they choose the volunteer oversight board, they adopt the annual budget in the general assembly and do much more.

To achieve this goal (specifically, we want to have by end of 2012 at least 4,000 members), we will launch targeted campaigns to attract new members. To this end, there will be information about becoming a member of Wikimedia Germany during and after the annual online fundraising campaign, speeches given at our own events, an expansion of our website and much more. We also want to be more attractive for members by organizing events for existing and potential members, as befits an organization of the size and importance of Wikimedia Germany.

Furthermore, the general assembly decided in March 2011 that there will be two general assemblies per year in the future: in March of each year to handle proposals and then in November there will be a focus on having a detailed discussion, coming to a decision concerning the budget and holding the election of the oversight board.

To be able to effectively and accordingly manage this and future growth, we will significantly develop the technical infrastructure in this area. For instance, there are plans to set up our own member area on wikimedia.de where one can manage one’s own information. The collection of the annual contributions will also be greatly simplified.

For this area, we are planning on having an expenditure in the amount of 58,000 €.

Management and office[edit]

Since 2008, our association has had its own office, first in Frankfurt and then later in Berlin. It serves the employees of our association as workplace. This office needs to have equipment corresponding to modern standards while at the same time taking into account the need for being cost effective. This will create an effective and healthy working environment. Furthermore, we need office workers, assistants, etc.

The office in Berlin is much more than the workplace of full-time employees of our association: By the end of 2011, we will have relocated to new premises in Berlin and there will then be room for a community space that will allow Wikipedians and the volunteers from the other Wikimedia projects to come together, to make use of technical equipment, to find jobs and much more. Furthermore, there will be one event space that Wikimedia Germany will use for numerous events. From the small group of editors to a large panel discussion, we will be in the position to quickly and cost effectively have stimulating discussions, to start new debates and to engage in ongoing discussions.

Wikimedia Germany supports free knowledge in many ways. The focus is on the Wikimedia projects but with Creative Commons, Open Street Map all the way to the Open Knowledge Foundation there are numerous organizations committed to the same goals as we are. The community space and meeting rooms will also be available to them.

By renting appropriate spaces, Wikimedia Germany will be able to take a further important step in the direction of promoting the community of Wikimedia projects and free knowledge in general. The expansion of this infrastructure is the basis for many of the goals and measures presented in this budget.

The work of full-time employee of our association is led by the current executive director and future chairman, Pavel Richter. He is not only the supervisor of all employees he is also responsible for the development and implementation of projects in accordance with the strategic objectives of the association and the budget. Furthermore, he represents, along with the oversight board, our association externally.

For the expansion and operation of the office, office workers and assistants and for management, a budget in the amount of 506,000 Euro will be provided.

Accounting & controlling[edit]

With a (projected) annual donation of 3.8 million Euro for 2011/2012, our association will take on a tremendous amount of responsibility towards our donors. The creation and operation of an effective accounting department and stringent financial controlling thus represent a natural duty for our association. And through the (temporary) project Wikidata, which has a budget (in 2012) of 870,000 Euro, our accounting work will increase even more.

If many of these tasks in the past were done by the executive director alone, in 2012 we aim to create an appropriate controlling infrastructure.

A total of 90,000 Euro will be provided for this purpose.

Public relations / Internal communications[edit]

Our association wants to be significantly better in the future when it comes to being available to its members, presenting our projects, gaining more members, and offering new opportunities for participation. We thus want to bring our association more into the public eye and be a contact partner for all matters concerning the promotion of free knowledge.

To this end, we have our own website wikimedia.de. It is a good platform but it urgently needs to be updated both in regard to technology and content in order to deal with these demands.

And with wikipedia.de, we have a website that has more than 400,000 visitors a day but we use it far too little for our goals. Here we would like to implement new approaches in close consultation with our members and the Wikimedia projects.

To support our activities and on account of popular demand stemming from the community of Wikimedia projects, we will increase our merchandising significantly in 2012.

For this area, a total of 56,000 € are foreseen in the budget.

Oversight board[edit]

At Wikimedia Germany, the volunteer oversight board assumes a central role: outside of the general assemblies, it represents the organization both internally and externally. It guides, together with the general assembly, the work of the managing board by helping to set strategic goals and controlling its factual and economic activities throughout the fiscal year when the general assembly is not in session. For this purpose, there are at least three meetings a year and, if need be, external advice on legal, financial and organizational issues will be made use of.

70,000 Euro is earmarked for this.

Financials (Overview)[edit]


Item Euro Remarks
Transfer from 2011 3.723.138 € Cash reserve of the Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft, including donations from the November / December 2011 Fundraiser
Donations January - October 2012 350.000 € Donations received outside the main Fundraiser
Income from fines 20.000 € In Germany, a judge can order a defendant to pay a fine to a nonprofit organization
Sponsoring 75.000 € Tangible means & cash in hand
Licensing 30.000 € Income out of existing contracts
Membership fees 95.000 € We plan to increase our membership to 4.000
Interest 10.000 €
Grant for the „ Zedler-Medaille” 10.000 € External partner, contributing the awards
„Third Age Online“ 20.000 € Support by the European Union for our project to reach pensioners as new editors
Grants for the Wikimedia Conference 30.000 € Support by other chapters
Grants for the Toolserver 35.000 € Support by other chapters
RENDER 75.000 € Support by the European Union for our project „RENDER“
Wikidata 870.000 € Restricted grants for Wikidata
Total 5.343.138 €

In 2012, Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. incorporated the „Gemeinnützige Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft mbH“ (WMFG). The WMFG is beneficiary of all donations towards Wikimedia in Germany. After deducting fundraising and administrative costs, all donations are distributed between Wikimedia Deutschland and the Wikimedia Foundation, based on the annual fundraising agreement.


Item Euro Remarks
Promoting volunteerism -270.000 €
Political work -140.000 €
Organization development -157.500 €
Improvement in quality -1.080.000 €
Gaining authors and author diversity -252.500 €
Liberation of content -210.000 €
Reuse of free content -150.000 €
Community project budget -280.000 €
Indirect project funding -780.000 €
Transfer to WMF -1.803.138 € Fundraising revenue above WMDE fundraising target, to be transferred to the WMF (based on donations between July 2011 and October 2012)
Fundraising Costs -220.000 €
Total -5.343.138 €

Opinion of the auditors on Wikimedia Germany’s budget for 2012[edit]

The draft budget of the association Wikimedia Germany (Wikimedia Deutschland e.V) for the year 2012 was checked over by the auditors in the period between the 12th and 15th of September. Since Mr. Jurgen Lüdeke remained on vacation during this time, the test was mainly carried out by the second auditor, Mr. Daniel Baur. Mr. Lüdeke received all correspondence and all copies of documents and received a copy of this report for information purposes in advance.

For the test, the cash flow statement and a detailed overview of the costs were made available to the auditors of version 13 of the budget. These data were provided by the executive director of the association, Mr. Pavel Richter. Not present was the final report to the members.

The data presented covered both Wikimedia Germany (Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.) and the non-profit Wikimedia Society (GmbH Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft mbH) funding from, so that for both organizations the projected income and expenditures could be seen.

An initial review of various documents revealed several points requiring clarification that could be answered by Mr. Richter in no time.

On the expenditure side of the two organizations, there could be found no issues that would contradict the statutes of the association. All planned expenditures serve the purpose of the association, as defined in § 2.1 and § 2.4 (Statutes of the Association), in particular the members in their capacity as members do not receive any funds as is established in § 2.7 (Statutes of the Association).

In regard to the planned expenditures of the non-profit limited liabilities organization (gGmbH) these are remittances to the association, the Wikimedia Foundation as well as administration and fundraising costs.

The association is planning to spend its money in 2012 on the direct and indirect funding of projects. Direct project support here means money that directly benefits projects (e.g. the school project), while the indirect project support includes costs such as administration, non-project-related personnel and public relations.

The projected revenue of the non-profit limited liabilities organization (gGmbH) are donations resulting from the continuous input of donations as well as the fundraiser.

The association expects 2012 revenue from the non-profit limited liability organization (gGmbH) - these are the largest items - direct donations, membership fees, specific grants from other chapters as well as a specific large donation. The revenue from membership fees will increase considerably through a strong gain of supporting members.

In total, the association is planning to fully spend its expected 2012 income of 3.3 million Euro. There will be no new reserves created at our association.

The examination of these documents leaves no doubt about the correct tax and statutory use of the projected capital.

The auditors of Wikimedia Germany - Daniel Baur and Jürgen Liidecke (CC-by-nd-3.0)

Future prospects – and how will things continue?[edit]

An exciting year, 2012, lies in front of Wikimedia Germany. The tasks developed in this draft of our budget are ambitious and the goals presented set the bar high. As an association, we will be able to tackle these tasks by working together and only together will we achieve our goals. A first step is this budget: it is a draft - and you can change it. Like Wikipedia, this plan will also be better if many people participate, express their opinions, bring their suggestions and develop their ideas. For this purpose, there is now an option on the discussion page in the online forum at https://forum.wikimedia.de/w/Diskussion:Wirtschaftsplan_2012.

The association's members also have the opportunity to make formal amendments to the 2012 budget, which can then be discussed at the next general assembly on November 19th, 2011 and voted on. These must be presented four weeks before the meeting, that is, by 21 October 2011, in the online forum: https://forum.wikimedia.de/w/9._Mitgliederversammlung.

In addition, we invite you in the coming days to come to the Wikimedia forum in five cities where our board and management will present our plan and discuss it with members and all other interested parties. You can find all the information about it here: https://forum.wikimedia.de/w/Wirtschaftsplan_2012#Wikimedia_Forum.

Furthermore, we have established under plan2012@wikimedia.de an email address for any feedback, questions and suggestions you may have.

We look forward to your ideas, feedback, suggestions and requests!

  1. Information on the 8th general assembly in the forum of Wikimedia Germany.
  2. Compass 2020 is the strategic plan for Wikimedia Germany, in which the long-term and medium-term goals of our association are set forth.
  3. SMART is an acronym for „Specific Measurable Accepted Realistic Timely“ and is used in the field of project management as a criterion for unambiguously defining objectives in the context of an agreement on objectives (see Wikipedia).
  4. Editor Trend Study (German summary).
  5. Editor Trend Study Results.
  6. Wikipedia user survey 2011.
  7. (N)ONLINER-Atlas der Initiative D21.
  8. Die Lieblings-Websites der Kids – Entstehung, Zusammensetzung und Entwicklung des Relevant Set im Internet. Elements of Art 2010.
  9. Educational study: Digitale Medien in der Schule, Initiative D21 2011.
  10. German Bundestag: Enquete-Kommission Internet und digitale Gesellschaft 2011.
  11. In addition, the Wikimedia Foundation receives donation money collected outside of the annual fundraiser (November to December) in the amount of approximately 350,000 Euro.