In order to support community review, please provide a brief description of your organization's work in the upcoming funding period
We at the Wikimedia Foundation are proud to present our full annual plan for the upcoming fiscal year, 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, to the Wikimedia community. This year, we are sharing our Annual Plan using the Funds Dissemination Committee format, in order to receive feedback on the plan within the FDC review process.
The Wikimedia Foundation provides critical support for the Wikimedia projects and communities. We maintain the technology that allows people to contribute and share free knowledge with the world. We provide tools and resources, both monetary and programmatic, to support the health of the Wikimedia community. We protect the independence of the Wikimedia projects and volunteers, and raise awareness for the importance of our movement, projects, and mission in the world.
This year’s plan focuses on improving support for--and consultation with--community, responding effectively to changing user needs, and addressing challenges facing our movement. We are investing in areas that we believe the Foundation is uniquely positioned to address, including readership and reach, volunteer retention and engagement, and support for knowledge creation. We will deepen and expand work in our newly clarified strategic directions, while strengthening the core work that supports our communities and projects. These directions distill to reach, communities, and knowledge, and were refined through a public consultation held through mid March 2016. This annual plan accompanies the presentation of the Foundation’s 2016-2018 strategic direction document.
Reach; everyone should be able to freely share in the free knowledge on our projects. We are making it a priority to reach new readers and contributors around the world and improve the experience for all, including those on mobile devices. To do this, we will better understand and respond to the needs of our global readers and contributors through research, new technologies, effective programs, strategic partnerships, and more.
Communities; volunteers and open collaboration are the pillars of the Wikimedia movement. It is the efforts of the global community of volunteers that have made Wikimedia possible, and the community’s health and sustainability are essential to our future. We will increase volunteer retention and engagement through improved programs, experiences, and resources for community members. We will invest in capacity and leadership building to support the continued growth and health of Wikimedia communities.
Knowledge; sharing in the sum of all knowledge is the vision that inspires Wikimedians around the world. 15 years of volunteer work created the world’s largest and most beloved shared knowledge resource. We will increase and diversify knowledge by developing high-priority curation and creation tools and services for user needs. We will support programs and partnerships that increase the quality, breadth, and diversity of free knowledge in our projects.
This fiscal year introduces another change for the Wikimedia Foundation, as we reverse some of the recent growth in our overall budget. In 2016-2017, we will focus on incorporating fiscal responsibility and financial planning as an aspect of our overall approach to movement sustainability. Our teams are committed to being efficient with funds, focusing our investments on key programs and initiatives that reflect our strategic priorities, and improving efficiency and reducing costs in our core workflows. We will begin building our endowment to secure the Wikimedia vision in perpetuity.
Our department dedicated to community support, Community Engagement, will focus on strengthening effective programs, improving services to community, and facilitating the health of the movement. Community Engagement will foster long-term movement sustainability by helping build supportive, engaged communities by facilitating mentorship in community leaders, supporting high-impact programs such as GLAM, and making it easier for community to access financial and learning resources. Their work primarily serves the second strategic priority, increased volunteer engagement.
The Technology department supports all three strategic priorities. In the coming year, they will create and improve essential contributor services, and undertake research for better insight into the needs of different communities and contributors. They will maintain and improve the performance, security, and reliability of our projects, to ensure their accessibility to users around the world. They will drive essential updates to our architectures and release processes to allow us to build better contribution tools and reader experiences.
Improving and maintaining people’s experiences on our projects is the work of the Product department, enabling our reach, communities, and knowledge priorities. In the next year, they will help people create and discover richer content on the projects more easily, keep people reading and engaged on different devices and platforms, make editing and contributions easier and more intuitive in more languages, support key community tools, and allow people to donate easily and securely. Product allows people from around the world take part in the progress we are making.
Strategic Partnerships, within our Advancement department, supports our strategic priority of reaching more people, through building and managing partnerships that support movement outreach and knowledge sharing around the world. Through the recently reintroduced Global Reach team, they will refine and carefully grow the Wikipedia Zero program, and explore and develop new forms of partnerships in areas of low readership and awareness. They will also manage relationships with key tech partners to support and strengthen our apps and preloads, and create opportunities for corporate contributions.
The Communications department develops and sustains awareness and appreciation of the Wikimedia movement and mission among the global general public. They will design and implement strategic outreach initiatives toward the first priority of reach, to raise awareness of our projects in places where readership and editorship are low. They continue to develop projects and materials to build on the brand that has gained tremendous value because of the trusted work of volunteers. They will also use strategic messaging and campaigns to extend the reach of specific products and narratives that support our mission where people already know and use Wikimedia projects, such as mobile web, apps, and the visual editor.
The Legal department not only supports and protects the Foundation with world class representation and counseling, they also run a number of programs to support the Wikimedia communities. In the coming year, the Legal team will continue supporting community members who have been subject to unfair litigation, defend against challenges to content on our sites and unreasonable requests for user information, advocate for policy that supports our movement values and work, and ensure the use of our trademark supports open culture and our mission.
The non programmatic work by Fundraising, Legal, Talent and Culture, Finance and Administration represents a minority percentage of our budget, but is crucial to the strength of our organization, the health of our culture, and every success of the Foundation.
We are excited to share our plans for the year with you. We look forward to gaining further insights, refining our methods, clarifying our directions, and iterating for improvement and results in all of our work. Throughout everything, we are focused on our vision: A world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
The purpose of this section is to give the FDC an idea of how your organization is receiving funds and spending funds toward your current plan.
Table 2 - Program and Non-Program Expenses Summary (all amounts in USD)
Data Center CapEx
Data Center OpEx
Outside Contract Services
Travel & Conferences
Sub Total Program Expenses
Non Program Expenses
Donation Processing Fees
Outside Contract Services
Travel & Conferences
Other expenses (Facilities, Insurance, FF&E, All Hands,
Recruiting, Staff Development, Personal Property Taxes, and Etc.)
Sub Total Non-Program Expenses
Total Annual Operating Expenses
Note: The financial data presented here is not broken out by the specific programs described in the narrative below. One of the Finance department’s FY16-17 objectives is to assess and adapt our existing financial workflow(s) and associated systems to budget and monitor program costs.
For each program, please include your targets for each of the global metrics in this table
All global metrics are required (except the optional metric for total number of images/media uploaded), but you may list a target of zero if there are metrics you do not expect results for. You are welcome to provide your other metrics in the detailed program section below.
Global metrics are based on two of the primary strategic goals set out in the 2010-2015 Wikimedia strategic planning process: participation (editors) and content (articles). The Wikimedia Foundation continues to support these metrics as sensible, effective means of measuring the impact community and affiliate programs have in these two areas.
Historically, the Foundation has prioritized metrics of participation (contributors) and reach (readers) as primary metrics. Over the past year, the Foundation has begun to move toward department and team-specific measurements, in order to enable more granular program and product accountability. This has been accompanied by focusing many programs on the strategic priority of reaching more people through the Wikimedia projects.
The FY16-17 Annual Plan has highlighted the need for the Foundation to clarify its approach to global metrics, in addition to the measurable indicators set out for our programmatic goals. We are exploring how how to best measure the efficacy our work and anticipate being able to provide clearer metrics in future annual planning.
Please list your goals and objectives for each program. Please be sure your objectives meet all three criteria for each program.
Be sure the objectives listed are each SMART: specific, measurable, attainable and relevant, and include time-bound targets.
Include both qualitative targets and quantitative targets, and remember to highlight your baseline metrics.
Provide any additional information that is important to our understanding of this program. For example, you may include needs assessments, logic models, timelines, tables, or charts. Share how this program will contribute more broadly to movement learning, or explain how your program aligns with important Wikimedia priorities such as increasing participation and improving content on the Wikimedia projects.
The Wikimedia community is the core of the movement. Community needs, priorities, and feedback are essential factors informing the Wikimedia Foundation strategy. A primary focus of the Community Engagement department is facilitating community health by ensuring the Wikimedia communities are thriving, that community needs are understood by the Foundation, and that community members have access to critical resources. This year, Community Engagement will contribute to all three strategic priorities: 1) Understand our users to better serve their needs, 2) Increase volunteer retention and engagement, and 3) Increase and diversify contribution of quality knowledge.
Creating supportive, engaged communities is key to our long-term sustainability. The contributors who create and curate free knowledge are the animating force behind the Wikimedia movement, and critical partners to the Wikimedia Foundation. We need to collaborate with contributors to keep the projects healthy, open, and accessible to readers and new volunteers around the world. We want long-time contributors, new volunteers, and institutional partners to have access to the tools and experiences that make engaging with Wikimedia easy and rewarding, and in turn increase the volume and diversity of knowledge on the Wikimedia projects. Community Engagement is the primary conduit to direct conversation with the community and is divided into four teams: Program Capacity & Learning, Support and Safety, Community Resources, and Technical Collaboration. The department focuses on increasing communities’ own capabilities and leadership with better resources, mentorship programs, and program tools. It seeds community programs with millions in grants for community-led projects. It works with product and technology to support communication with communities and help ensure we build the right tools and support resources. It nurtures community health and safety. It offers a conduit for information to readers and community about efforts and accomplishments of movement volunteers and Foundation initiatives.
Collectively, the four teams that comprise Community Engagement positively affect people across the Wikimedia projects. Volunteer retention is essential to the sustainability of our movement, and Community Engagement addresses volunteer support at the points where users frequently decide whether to keep engaging, and for how long. They provide access to resources that strengthen community members’ work, support community members in experimenting with projects that can have short-term and long-term impact, and make the community safer and healthier. In an integral way, the four teams connect the community with the Foundation and connect the community to itself.
Here are highlights of Community Engagement’s goals and targets for FY16-17, which we believe will have positive multiplier effects around the Wikimedia projects and the community at large:
Program 1: Develop community leadership and mentorship
Team: Program Capacity & Learning Community leaders are an invaluable resource for our websites and the Wikimedia movement. These leaders initiate ideas, contributions, and events – and encourage other contributors – that create new momentum for the movement. Volunteers are essential to the long-term sustainability of the movement, so building better pathways to leadership is critical. To grow content and contributors, we will support the development and recognition of peer mentors in communities – doing this through investment in learning, development, and recognition of regional and thematic program leaders. This will include capacity development and infrastructure support for peer leadership and knowledge sharing about best practices in planning, implementing, and evaluating Wikimedia projects and programs.
Goal: Bolster community leadership development through Peer Leadership Academy
In 2016-17 our team will continue our shift to scalable, train-the trainer style of learning in order to develop community leadership for peer mentoring.
Objective 1 – Peer leadership development: By the end of FY16-17, support 300+ community leaders’ engagements in direct leadership development activities.
Objective 2 – Boost peer mentoring engagement: By the end of FY16-17, have community mentors leading mentoring activities with peers (as presenters or peer collaborators) in 80% or more of Wikimedia Foundation sponsored workshops and learning sessions at existing movement events.
Objective 3 – Scale learning and evaluation teaching and best practices through community leadership: Expand reach through community mentors and provide specific development supports for learning, evaluation, program design and community listening (see more details).
Introduce a new online training platform and module to help functionaries better manage issues.
Goal 1: Create a training platform for functionaries
Functionary and community governance groups – including stewards, admins, global admins, and Arbitration Committees – play a crucial administrative and editorial role on all our sites, especially in curtailing harassment of volunteers and arbitrating and resolving disputes. To help these functionary and community governance groups better coordinate their work, we will facilitate in the development of a training platform and will guide the establishment of a module based around the critical area of addressing harassment.
Objective 1 – Survey key groups: In FY16-17, consult with functionaries (stewards, global admins, Arbitration Committees, admins), community members, and outside academic and industry experts to advise on scope, content and delivery choice of the platform – whether it is through Wiki pages/templates or a MediaWiki extension. Then implement and configure the platform with the participation of at least 10 community members.
Objective 2 – Objective 2 – Develop training platform and module on community challenges: In FY16-17, guide the establishment of a new training platform and module on handling harassment that will help functionary and community governance groups deal with community challenges.
Objective 3 – Produce translated versions of harassment module: By the end of FY16-17, have the module translated to at least 10 major languages.
More details: After the module’s creation, continue surveying functionaries and community members to determine satisfaction with the platform, the module, and the module-building process. Measure the guides’ success by pageviews and other metrics that will be determined at a later date.
Goal 2: Create a module on the training platform that helps organizers manage our ‘event ban policy’
We are dedicated to creating safe online spaces for users – regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sex, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, political affiliation, religion or community status – to meet, interact, learn and collaborate. We are also committed to ensuring our users’ offline experience at Wikipedia events. In 2016-17, we will guide the creation of at least one safety-focused content module on our new training platform, and this module will focus on helping community groups more successfully identify and de-escalate situations before they grow out of control and implement the new event ban policy as a useful tool. That policy establishes guidelines and procedures for identifying and handling users who are banned from Wikimedia Foundation-sponsored or funded events.
Objective 1 – Survey key groups: In FY16-17, consult organizers (editathon organizers, GLAM partners, etc.) and outside experts, to advise on the best method to deliver and implement the module in FY16-17.
Objective 2 – Measure success, conduct follow-up surveys: After the module’s creation, continue surveying event organizers to determine their satisfaction with the module, the platform, and the module-building process. Support and Safety will also work with Community Resources to have 100% of events-related grantees take the module.
Objective 3 – Expand the module's reach: By the end of FY16-17, work with the community to have modules translated to at least 10 major languages.
The Program Capacity & Learning Team (PC&L) includes the Education Program, the Wikipedia Library, and Learning & Evaluation. Their work supports the development of community capacity to design and implement core movement programs including Global Education, GLAM, and Wikipedia Library, which connect people to people and people to content. PC&L initiatives help program leaders grow and scale core Wikimedia movement programs, through supporting leaders to share and learn which strategies work and which strategies have failed, and develop effective solutions faster.
Goal: Develop program and events dashboard and central Wikimedia resource center
Currently, community members must search many pages and places to stay informed about Foundation activities and resources. We will create a single point of reference - the "Wikimedia Resource Center” – to bring important, timely information into one (more easily translated) place. We will also develop a Program and Events dashboard that will allow program leaders to design, deliver, and evaluate programs with ease through semi-automated, supportive tools and infrastructure. The dashboard will provide an easy way to oversee a program (education, writing contests, etc.) with key data, such as participants, articles created, and more. This goal also includes supporting grantees and the FDC decision-making process through improved data management and tools for reporting program outcomes.
Objective 1 – Create minimum viable product for the programs and events dashboard: By the end of FY16-17, create a Minimum Viable Product of a Programs and Events Dashboard across at least 10 projects or languages (with at least two for emerging communities). The Dashboard will be modeled on the Dashboard that the Wiki Education Foundation uses for its U.S. and Canada courses.
Objective 2 – Develop a Wikimedia resource center: Develop a Wikimedia Resource Center that allows community leaders to design, deliver and evaluate core programs more efficiently – through semi-automated tools and infrastructure. This resource center project will work to create a single-point-of-entry to various Foundation teams’ existing tools and resources and to bring knowledge exchange systems to a centralized location to reduce searching for shared movement resources.
Community Resources provides funding and other resources to mission-allied organizations and people around the world, with the goal of increasing the quantity, quality, diversity, and reach of our knowledge sites. In the summer of 2015, we held a community consultation about restructuring WMF grants – and based on what we heard from over 200 people, began making changes to our grants program. In FY16-17 we will complete this changes, resulting in newly structured grants programs that will streamline how potential grantees apply for grants, and how grants are managed.
Objective 1 - Meet community needs during the restructuring transition: In FY16-17, maintain 10 core grantmaking workflows to support 50,000 individuals directly or indirectly per quarter, and with 50% of total grants going to emerging communities.
Objective 2 - Improve WMF’s support system for grantees: In FY16-17, transition 100% of grantees and committees from 2 existing grant programs (Project and Event Grants, Individual Engagement Grants) to 3 more clearly defined, specialized programs (Project Grants, Rapid Grants, Conference & Travel Support), reducing time between first proposal submission and approval when compared to the old structure (baseline will be established in FY16-17 by analyzing historical data).
Objective 3 - Evaluate and adapt: Evaluate the outcomes of grants awarded and continue to adapt and improve our systems as we learn. We expect to see a 10% increase in applicant, committee, and grantee satisfaction with support received, against a baseline of 55% indicating experience is above average or excellent, and 21% indicating below average.
Through the community’s Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) initiative, cultural institutions around the world share knowledge of their resources through collaborative projects with experienced Wikipedia editors. More than 100 institutions have participated in the initiative, which will become even more viable with Wikimedia Foundation support. Deepening support of GLAM is one of the ways we hope to achieve our third strategic priority: Increasing and diversifying the contribution of quality knowledge.
Goal: Improve access to GLAM knowledge and support
We will formalize our support in FY16-17 with tools and programmatic support, technical consultation to GLAM program leaders, and facilitating connections between potential GLAM partners and local communities. By the end of FY16-17, we will improve access to GLAM-Wiki knowledge by facilitating community curation of existing GLAM-Wiki documentation, as demonstrated through user feedback, and integrating the documentation into our new Wikimedia Resource Center.
Objective 1 - Complete technical consultation: By the end of FY16-17, complete a structured GLAM-Wiki consultation to understand technical needs and develop a plan for resourcing technical support to community leaders and organizations that engage with external partners on GLAM-Wiki initiatives.
Objective 2 - Develop resources on best practices: By the end of FY16-17, identify existing GLAM-Wiki leadership development strategies, and curriculum within existing GLAM-WIKI communities, and develop “best practices” for training new GLAM-Wiki Leaders within currently unsupported communities.
Objective 3 - Develop and maintain responsive staff support systems: In FY16-17, maintain quick response times and active consultation on community-led GLAM partnerships and grant initiatives (see more details).
Provide staff support to the Affiliations Committee (AffCom) and affiliate partners. Program Capacity & Learning will work with Wikimedia Foundation affiliates, giving them guidance on applications, learning, and reporting.
Goal: Maintain and improve staff support to the Affiliations Committee and affiliate partners
In FY16-17, we will improve support to the Affiliations Committee (AffCom), a community-run committee that advises the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees on the recognition and review of movement affiliates such as chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups. We will continue support to WMF annual plan grantees and affiliates on evaluation design and survey strategies.
Objective 1 - Maintain quick response time: Throughout FY16-17, maintain initial staff review and response time of five business days or less for new affiliate applications to AffCom.
Objective 2 - Maintain mentoring and consultation support: Throughout FY16-17, maintain mentoring and consultation support for learning and evaluation for annual plan grants including, grantee SMART target consultation, survey and learning supports, proposal review, and technical consultation, review, and development support to program evaluation systems (see mentoring and consultation KPIs)
Objective 3 - Increase AffCom engagement and support to affiliate partnerships: In FY16-17, work to leverage AffCom as community leaders and mentors along with our existing service to bolster support for Affiliate Partnerships (see more details).
The Technical Collaboration team helps developers build features in collaboration with our communities. We support Foundation’s Product teams, volunteer developers, tech ambassadors, and other contributors who want to get involved in the planning, development, and deployment of Wikimedia software features. We act as liaisons between non-technical communities and developers, and we organize developer outreach programs and events, in order to create software tools and other products to be used by Wikimedia communities.
Goal 1: Continue Community liaison support for Foundation Product goals
Objective 1 - Liaise with communities: Throughout FY16-17, when requested – allocate community liaison support for Foundation Product initiatives related to quarterly goals.
Objective 2 – Participate in audience planning: Throughout FY16-17, participate in the planning process of Foundation Product teams, offering crucial feedback for our Product releases.
Objective 3 – Facilitate all major product conversations: Throughout FY16-17, facilitate in and – when appropriate – moderate all major conversations involving Wikimedia communities and WMF Product teams.
Goal 2: Create a systematic approach to community engagement for product development teams
In 2016/17, the Technical Collaboration team will support the Foundation in its commitment to engage the community earlier and throughout the product development process, through systematic communication, discussion, and decisions.
Objective 1 – Initiate a guideline for technical collaboration between WMF teams and the communities: By the end of FY16-17, in collaboration with communities, initiate a “Technical Collaboration Guideline” that allows Product teams and Wikimedia communities to work together in a systematic way by establishing best practices for community involvement in the product development and deployment cycle.
Objective 2 – Facilitate wide adoption of the community engagement guideline: By the end of FY16-17, work to have all Foundation Product teams and a majority of the top 20 most-active Wikimedia projects integrate their technical decision processes with the community engagement guideline, as evidenced by community decisions and requests, as well as their processing by WMF teams.
Objective 3 – Integrate community engagement more closely with early Foundation product development stages: By the end of FY16-17, work to integrate community engagement more closely into the pre-release stages of product development, when Product researches, conceives, and plans a new release. In parallel, decrease the frequency of major discussions associated with the Release stage of a product.
In the fall of 2015, the Foundation invited contributors to submit proposals for what the Community Tech team should do to improve or produce curation and moderation tools for active contributors. That wishlist provides a jumping-off point for the efforts of the Foundation Technical Collaboration team.
Objective 1 – Encourage volunteer focus on addressing community priorities: By the end of FY16-17, work with volunteer developers to complete 10 technical community requests that have strong demand.
Objective 2 – Encourage hackathon and outreach work into community requests: By the end of FY16-17, help Foundation hackathons and outreach programs, such as Google Summer of Code, to increase their impact by focusing their work toward popular community requests.
Objective 3 – Better connect developers with tasks and mentors: By the end of FY16-17, improve the ability of new volunteer developers to find useful tasks and mentors easily, increasing the focus on deploying useful features. Progress will be measured with a community health survey for Wikimedia technical spaces.
Goal: Proactively identify gaps and provide targeted resources to communities to address those gaps
(e.g., addressing systemic bias, harassment, reach, and support to emerging communities)
Objective 1 – Source new ideas: Run two Inspire campaigns per year through IdeaLab to source ideas focused on strategic themes, resulting in 100 ideas from 200 participants and 10 grant proposals per campaign.
Objective 2 – Improve community capacities through pilot programs: Pilot, evaluate, and grow the most effective strategies for improving the capacity of 10 communities with low awareness and usage defined in the Community Capacity Development Project. Pilots will need to demonstrate significant capacity improvement compared to a baseline, where each baseline will be defined for each pilot (e.g., Tamil technical skills pilot will see a 10% increase in number of community members engaging in technical work; Brazilian community will form a media response team).
Continue responding rapidly to public questions around safety and support, while broadening WMF’s surveys to better understand the community’s needs.
Goal 1: Respond efficiently and effectively in workflows
Support and Safety (SuSa) supports the Foundation, communities and public through community consultations, governance, training, public-WMF correspondence management, executive staff and functionary support, and legal team support. More specific details about the team’s core work can be read at Support and Safety#What we do. Rapid review and appropriate response to enquiries and effective engagement with staff, community, and the public ensures that its work is carried out at a high level.
Objective 1 – Maintain rapid response time: During FY16-17, maintain a two-day initial response time (outside of weekends and staff holidays) to email requests about WMF initiatives through the answers@ and business@ systems. We expect around 1,000 requests in the year.
Objective 2 – Conduct follow-up surveys: Ensure that Support and Safety’s work is effective and useful, the team will survey affected groups to determine how satisfied they are with our help.
More details: Throughout the year, Support and Safety will among other core duties support the Wikimedia Foundation’s non-engineering staff in meeting its community-facing questions and needs and support the Executive Director in engaging with the global community, handing complicated correspondence, and emerging issues. Support and Safety will liaise with key community groups, such as the Ombudsman Committee, Stewards, and Arbitration Committees and will work with the Wikimedia Foundation’s Legal team on public requests for such actions as copyright takedowns, requested investigations, and community support.
Goal 2: Support Foundation efforts to understand community needs
The Program Capacity & Learning team supports the use of listening tools to learn about the needs and ideas of audiences and stakeholders. Examples of listening tools are surveys, community consultations, conference sessions, and participatory budgeting (e.g., Community Wishlist, Inspire campaign). In this way, the team builds capacity for decision-making practices that are engaging, data-driven, and collaborative. (more details)
Objective 1 – Implement Community Engagement Insights: In FY 2016-17, develop Community Engagement Insights – a set of annual and quarterly surveys of communities that will measure Foundation performance and gather community needs. Community Engagement Insights aims to increase Foundation understanding of communities needs and confidence in decisions for next year's annual planning. The usefulness and success of the survey will be measured using pre-post surveys.
Continue protecting the wellbeing of our users, staff, and the public as they engage with our sites and at Foundation-supported events.
Goal: Maintain rapid response time and effectively resolve issues
In FY16-17 Support & Safety will maintain staffing support for threats to the safety of people and the projects, including immediate threats to life, limb or property; threats to child safety; inappropriate images; user investigations such as for global or event bans; and inquiries from law enforcement. We will coordinate this work as appropriate with Legal staffing, event organizers, and law enforcement and related entities, including the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Secret Service.
Objective 1 - Maintain emergency response time: During FY16-17, maintain a three-hour initial response time to emergency requests made through our emergency@ inbox. These emergencies include threats to life, limb or property made on our projects or at affiliated events.
Objective 2 – Maintain non-emergency response time: Create an appropriate mechanism to track non-emergency safety inquiries coming through other inboxes (ca@, individual inboxes) and ensure a two-day initial response time (outside of weekends and staff holidays).
The Product department, alongside the community, builds, improves and maintains the user facing features on all the Wikimedia projects. The software, interfaces, apps, and other systems and applications the team supports are essential means by which contributors and readers connect with our sites. The work of the team’s three “audience” groupings – Discovery, Reading, and Editing – is interrelated and enables a channel for progressive engagement with the users of the Wikimedia projects.
Hundreds of millions of people come to our projects to find information. We’re making this experience significantly easier – and much more efficient. From discovering the information they are looking for, users read articles and engage with other information – millions of pages that explain the world that we live in. A portion of these millions of readers decide to go further and become contribute to our projects – write and edit articles that need expanding, add media that gives context to words, make suggestions of other editors. Discover. Read. Edit. This is the pathway of engagement that Product’s Discovery, Reading, and Editing teams are committed to maintaining and improving in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Their work will be complemented by Product’s Community Tech team, which supports editors with key technical tools, prioritized through consultation and community discussion.
The progression that drives Product’s work can be visualized this way:
In FY16-17, Product will maintain the essential underpinnings while making them better – exposing more cross-project content through efforts in Discovery, creating better reading experiences through the Reading team, and improving the experience of contributing to our sites through the Editing team. Our work in FY2016 - 2017 will continue to support critical features (APIs, parsers, editing tools, etc.) while experimenting on new ways to support our strategic priorities. These could include new designs, new interfaces, and new approaches to encourage more people to read, edit, and discover knowledge through our projects. Throughout our product development process we will work with Community Engagement to ensure that these activities involve community consultation and co-operation. consultation and cooperation.
Product is doing all this amid a changing landscape: Editing on the projects is plateauing, readers increasingly reach us via mobile devices, structured data is more important than ever. At the same time, we must continue to invest in the core tools that encourage and empower readers and contributors to come back again and again. (See Current Trends - Feb. 2016 for more information.)
The following top Product FY2016-2017 programs and goals are intended to increase our understanding of our users, so that we can better anticipate and serve their needs. Ultimately, we believe these efforts will increase reader and contributor retention and engagement, and increase and diversify the knowledge contained in the Wikimedia projects. These efforts are cutting across Product’s work in FY16-17.
Goal 1: Use research to better understand our users
This goal is directly linked to our first strategic priority: understand our users to better serve their needs, in order to effectively engage and retain both readers and contributors. It also provides insight into what triggers people to move from reading to contributing and highlights blockers to contribution.
The Foundation is already building capabilities around user research in the product audiences in the current fiscal year, and this program reflects the continuing impact of user focus across product development. This goal will have a high degree of collaboration with the Design Research team in the Technology group.
Objective 1 – Continue our research into the ways readers and editors interact with content: Throughout the year, use a variety of generative and evaluative research methods across the product audiences to deepen our understanding of user behavior and the success of our solutions in addressing our goals. These methods include usability testing, concept evaluation, user segmentation, design ethnography (generative research), benchmarking, heuristic evaluations, surveys, and community engagement and feedback. We will apply these methods as appropriate to each project and continue to expand these capabilities across the product organization.
Objective 2 – Summarize, process, and apply output of New Readers research project: In FY15-16, we are performing ethnographic research in four countries underserved by Wikimedia projects: South Africa, Mexico, Nigeria, and India. Synthesize this research and share it with product teams and the community in FY16-17 as a core component of the project.
Objective 3 – Strengthen research communications: Employ a variety of methods to ensure that our understanding of users is communicated across the product organization and the community and is used to qualify product decisions and prioritization. Deliverables will include problem definition, personas, research findings (presentations and reports), demographic analysis and user segmentation, and quantitative usage data from event logging and hadoop.
Goal 1: Maintain key search functions and enhance capacity
This goal supports the primary mechanism that readers, editors, and third parties use to find our movement’s content. It continues our existing commitments for all public-facing interfaces and increases required for organic growth.
Objective 1 – Maintain search APIs: Throughout the year, maintain support of all the Application Programming Interfaces (open search, prefix search, full text search, “more like,” etc.) that users rely on to find knowledge on our sites. As measured by search-return times, maintain: a 1.1-second-or-less return time for 99 percent of prefix search/open searches; a 4-second-or-less return time for 99 percent of full-text searches; a 2-second-or-less return time for 99 percent of “more like” searches; and a 2-second-or-less return time for 99 percent of geo-data searches. During the next year, we expect users to make more than 1.6 billion search queries through these APIs, which provide direct, high-level access to the content in our websites. This will continue to support our existing large API consumers, including our own like the Wikipedia Android and iOS apps.
Objective 2 – Increase server capacity: By the end of FY16-17, upgrade Wikimedia’s existing Elastic Search infrastructure to 36 servers in Virginia and 36 servers in Dallas, from the current infrastructure of 29 and 24, respectively. Increase WikiDataQuery (WDQS) service server capacity to 4, from the current infrastructure of 2. These increases will allow for organic growth and maintenance of SLA’s for desktop, mobile, app, and API users.
Goal 2: Improve search on Wikimedia projects
Our goal is to help users more quickly find relevant content within our projects so that the Foundation can better meet the needs of users. Our efforts will be based on quantitative user and feature testing.
Objective 1 – Improve search interfaces: By the end of FY16-17, significantly improve users’ search engagement of on-wiki search results by evolving the user interface to include imagery and metadata. This follows improvements that were made in 2015-2016, including the “completion suggester” that rolled out in March 2016 and gives users more relevant as-you-type suggestions on content.
Objective 2 – Increase relevancy of search results: By the end of FY16-17, improve our search result relevancy by incorporating new methods that affect result ranking, surface cross-project, cross-language results, and explore improving Commons media search through structured data in partnership with WMDE. These efforts will allow people to discover relevant content more easily on the Wikimedia projects, and better expose content across the projects to encourage broader participation.
Goal 3: Evolve content discovery and interactive tools on Wikimedia projects
Work on these tools helps WMF with two of its strategic priorities, by increasing and diversifying knowledge and forms of presentation and by increasing volunteer retention and engagement through new opportunities for curation and creation.
Objective 1 – Launch maps service: By the end of FY16-17, launch maps service for Wikipedia, which will allow users to discovery content visually, allow for map creation and increased user engagement. Maps server count will be increased by 8 from the current infrastructure of 4 to support launch.
Objective 2 - Connect Wikimedia projects: Create improved ways for our community to interlink interactive content across projects, allowing for easier content discovery and syndication. Products under discussion include Graphs, improvements to WDQS, and partnerships with Reading and Editing.
Note: For more details about the Discovery team's 2016-17 work, see here.
Goal 1: Maintain core readership functions and services
Readers access Wikipedia content millions of times a day, and we need to ensure that experiences are fast and reliable. This goal demonstrates our commitment to maintaining our core Reading experiences as a first priority.
Objective 1 – Maintain current pageview levels: Maintain the mobile and desktop websites, and APIs, as well as 29 community and Foundation extensions that are used across our sites. During the year, we expect readers to view more than 200 billion page views and 100 billion API requests through our sites and APIs.
Objective 2 – Maintain apps: Millions of readers rely on the apps to engage with Wikipedia and our sister sites. Since first being introduced in September 2012, we have seen 21 million downloads for our iOS app and 10 million downloads for our Android app. Throughout the year, maintain and update both platforms.
For our established audiences, we want to increase retention by improving the presentation of and engagement with encyclopedic content in our current web and app experiences, while retaining the integrity of the fundamental encyclopedia model.
Objective 1 – Increase retention across our reading experiences: By the end of FY16-17, release new versions of our apps and web experiences with features designed to increase user retention. This will include content notifications, which we anticipate will lead to an increase in sustained return visits. Other features under consideration include an article scoring tool (possibly based on ORES) and article profiles that make it easier to discover new content. We expect to have at least 2 releases per platform in FY16-17. Our goal is to increase our retention by 5% across all of our platforms.
Objective 2 – Improve article rendering: By the end of FY16-17, improve mobile article rendering for the Web, which will give users a more engaging and polished presentation of articles. This will contribute to the goal of increasing retention by 5% on the web platform.
Objective 3 – Integrate Wikidata: On both the mobile site and the Wikipedia native apps, experiment with using Wikidata to enhance the reading experience – using Wikidata short descriptors in search and article titles to help readers get more context at a glance, as well as building infoboxes from Wikidata to provide a better formatted quick fact lookup experience.
Objective 1 – Launch one new experience directed at new readers: The Reading team will, in co-operation with Communications, Community, Partnerships and Design Research, launch one new experience for a specific geography during FY16-17. The specifications, target markets and features will be developed through on work around the Product Program 1 (Better understand our users) ongoing in FY15-16 and into FY16-17. We anticipate it will include performance and language switching optimizations, among other features. By the end of FY16-17, the Wikimedia Foundation wants – with the help of Product Audience teams – to increase our overall reach by a collective 5% by targeting high-potential regions around the world.
This initiative is intended to increase reader engagement by creating new Wikipedia experiences based on interactions with content and other users. The community of readers hypothesis is that there is a wide swathe of readers who are more than casual browsers, but not full encyclopedia article writers, who would like to better interact with knowledge on Wikimedia. We plan to explore curation tasks within this initiative, while being very sensitive to moderation issues at all times.
Objective 1 – Increase engagement across our reading experiences: By the end of FY16-17, research and release interactive Wikipedia reader-oriented features across all our platforms (Web, Apps) in co-operation and consultation with the community. Possible features include micro-contribution/interaction and curation experimentation and notifications. We expect to have at least 2 releases per platform in FY16-17. Our goal is to increase our engagement by 5% across all of our platforms.
Goal 1: Maintain and incrementally improve current content creation and curation interfaces
Besides maintaining core functionality for the movement, this goal helps WMF move forward its strategic priority: Increase and diversify contribution of quality knowledge by making the tools easier to use.
Objective 1 – Strengthen interfaces: Throughout the year, maintain and incrementally improve content creation and curation interfaces. These interfaces, like that of the visual editor, give contributors the ability to easily and efficiently contribute writing, photos, and other content to our websites. Work on a unified, consistent editing interface between the mobile and desktop Web experiences, and between visual and wikitext editors. In support of these changes, unify around a single Wikitext parser for both reading and editing.
Objective 2 – Expand the core of MediaWiki to support new kinds of content: By the end of FY16-17, add support in MediaWiki for pages and revisions capable of storing multiple types of content simultaneously. For example, each revision of a video description page will encapsulate the state of the video, its subtitles, its metadata, the text of the description page and the associated wiki metadata such as protection levels at that particular time. This will help existing contributor workflows and allow us to provide powerful new kinds of content.
Objective 3 – Streamline metadata editing: Throughout the year, simplify the editing of page metadata, such as page titles, protection levels, incoming redirects and other information, in order to allow contributors to more easily and efficiently manage contributions – both their own and those of others.
Objective 4 – Modify and improve curation tools: Throughout the year, iterate modifications and improvements to core curation tools, like edit, diff and history pages, in order to allow contributors to more easily and efficiently manage contributions – both their own and those of others.
Goal 2: Improve editing experience by reducing technical debt
By reducing technical debt of improving tools and features, we position communities and the Foundation to more effectively meet our strategic priority: increase and diversify contribution of knowledge.
Objective 1 – Reduce technical and product debt: Throughout the year, clean up and simplify the extensions and libraries that power editing features. These features are central to the work of volunteers and development teams, and the improvements will make editing work more efficient and effective for both groups. In addition, we will modernize the Wikitext format to be more powerful and predictable, using a robust testing system to guide our work. This will include minor syntax changes and improved templates, making them simpler by restricting the technical impact on the output of the page.
Goal 3: Invest in bringing existing editing tools to new devices
As more people engage on mobile devices instead of desktop, making existing tools work effectively on mobile is critical to our long-term success. This helps position us to meet our strategic priorities: 1) Understand our users to better serve their needs by experimenting with mobile needs, and 2) Increase and diversify contribution of quality knowledge.
Objective 1 – Bring visual editing to Mobile: By the end of FY16-17, plan to enable visual editing by default for mobile device users on wikis where it’s already available by default for desktop users. Increased access to contribution tools that are friendly to new contributors will support a greater diversity of contributions.
Goal 4: Invest in new types of content creation, curation and collaboration tools
This goal is critical to our vision of every single human being freely sharing in knowledge. By offering better translation tools, we can move forward two key strategic priorities: 1) Increase volunteer retention and engagement, and 2) Increase and diversify contribution of quality knowledge.
Objective 1 – Expand the Content Translation Tool: By the end of FY16-17, roll out the Content Translation tool to all users on desktop. Also make a content Translation tool prototype for mobile devices. The tool has been in beta mode for desktop users since we first introduced it in January 2015, and has led to more than 50,000 new articles.
Working with volunteer developers is an important part of Community Tech’s work. Popular contribution tools and bots become de facto production software needed to keep the wikis healthy and happy, but when a tool has a single maintainer, there’s a high risk that it will be abandoned. To mitigate against this risk, the team will improve Wikimedia Tool Labs as a center for volunteer development support, including a framework of best practices and communication, allowing projects to grow beyond what can be accomplished by a single motivated individual. This speaks directly to our strategic priority to increase volunteer retention and engagement.
Objective 1 - Improve documentation and support: Help organize groups to work on infrastructure, documentation, and support needed for bots and tools.
More details: Community Tech/Tool Labs support
Goal 3: Represent both large and small communities through the Community Wishlist
The Community Wishlist has been well received with more than 600 people participating. However, we did identify one issue with the 2015 survey, which was that the support-voting process privileged larger projects. While the Wikisource communities were a strong presence in the 2015 survey, especially considering their relative size, but they couldn’t muster enough votes for any of their proposals to break into the top 10. The process needs to allow both large and small communities to be heard.
Objective 1 – Conduct a modified community wishlist: Modify the 2016 survey process to include some carve-out space for smaller projects, to which a portion of developer time would be allocated. Conduct the new survey by December 2016 to gather a new set of proposals from the communities.
The technology department supports global access to the Wikimedia projects that is reliable, fast, and secure. We want projects to be available to as many people as possible, on as many devices as possible, in a manner that safeguards users’ privacy and trust.
We support progress by providing tooling and infrastructure that make it possible for developers to enhance and augment the capabilities of our software. We create pathways for creative and motivated individuals to translate their ideas into working software that is reliable, easy-to-use, secure, and scalable. We provide counsel by assisting other units within the organization and the movement to make good choices on technology by assessing costs, analyzing usability, anticipating failures, projecting impact, and suggesting alternatives.
We conduct, enable, and review research to validate and iterate on concepts, to ensure usability and that products are built around users’ needs. We conduct research and explore services so that we can surface the best ways to end barriers to contribution. We use formal collaborations with industry and academia to scale efforts of the organization.
Program 1: Improve tools that help us understand user needs
Goal: Build the infrastructure and capacity to better understand our users’ online interactions with our projects and more quickly respond their needs
Currently, the Foundation has limited capacity to understand what users as a whole are doing with the projects, where they are experiencing problems, and what would best facilitate easier reading and editing. By focusing efforts on improving our querying and analysis tools, services and systems so all our users, both within the Foundation and the different communities, can access data. This will help us better serve readers’ and editors’ needs (this maps to our first strategic priority of understanding our users to better serve their needs).
Objective 1 – Improve tools for data display for the Foundation and community: By the end of FY16-17, make tools more efficiently display overview data about editing and pageviews of the Wikimedia projects, so that the Foundation and the community can monitor the sites, understand what is happening on an overall level, and develop insights without having to use a query interface. This will involve deploying a new storage for data tailored for easier access.
Note: Baseline data unavailable; it will be established, and then progress will be measured as part of this objective.
Objective 2 – Improve data computing and release processes: By the end of FY16-17, improve computing and dataset creation processes so that more actionable data can be released to the community, and make improvements that save storage space and therefore reduce costs. This will improve the response times of Pageview APIs (median < 1 sec), bot detection on Pageview API datasets, and release of new datasets to community.
Objective 3 – Real-time data processing: By the end of FY16-17, build a platform that will enable real-time data processing of what’s trending for pageview articles, save network storage capacity, and reduce costs of the infrastructure. This potentially will lead to new tools and services for the community and Foundation.
Objective 4 – Build compatibility between key databases: By the end of FY16-17, improve compatibility among key databases, allowing users to query them in ways that will provide more distinct information about users’ interactions with the Wikimedia sites. Target: Tooling available to query data in hadoop that used to be on MySQL.
More detail: No longer limited by resource constraints in MySQL. Frees DBA time as it removes one big piece of work our only DBA needs to attend to now. Teams benefit from being able to join distinct data sources (hadoop and mediawiki database). Such a pipeline does not exist today.
Teams: Research and Data, Technical Operations, Design Research (see objective) The scientists and UX researchers on the Foundation Research team use data to understand and empower the millions of readers and contributors who interact with the Wikimedia projects on a daily basis. We turn research questions into publicly shared knowledge, design and test new technology, produce empirical insights to support product and engineering decisions, and publish research informing the organization’s and the movement’s strategy. We are strongly committed to principles of transparency, privacy, and collaboration; we use free and open source technology and we collaborate with researchers in the industry and academia.
Goal 1: Build an open infrastructure to increase the volume, quality, and reproducibility of research on Wikimedia projects
In FY15-16 the Research team delivered a number of projects to support volunteers performing content curation and content creation. Revision scoring as a service brought to Wikimedians an easy way to automatically assess the quality of articles and individual revisions via a set of open APIs, currently available in 16 languages/projects. Article recommendations showed they have the potential to triple the content creation rate while maintaining the same level of quality as organically created articles and have since been integrated into the Content Translation tool. In FY16-17 we will expand these efforts on research infrastructure that supports Wikimedia communities.
Objective 1 – Understand the editing culture: By the end of FY16-17, conduct research that builds on previous studies of newcomer socialization and mentorship. Focus on editors and how to increase their ability to work more effectively with projects. Analyze the effects of harassment and disrespectful behavior, to better understand how they affect the retention of new contributors and to eliminate barriers to contribution. (Research and Data team)
Objective 2 – Evaluate AI as a service to help volunteers improve quality: Throughout FY16-17, continue efforts to design and evaluate services making artificial intelligence available as a service to volunteers and tool developers. Expand revision scoring as a service to make scores and quality assessments readily available to our communities via open APIs. Design and test recommender systems to support community initiatives such as edit-a-thons and outreach events and allow volunteers to easily identify tasks and areas in need of quality improvement or contributions. (Research and Data team)
Objective 3 Create an open research infrastructure: Throughout FY16-17, create an open notebook infrastructure using state-of-the art technology that will consolidate research onto one platform to increase access and accelerate our ability to work collaboratively. Work in collaboration with partner organizations and academic programs to spearhead the adoption of this infrastructure among students and collaborators. (Research and Data team, Technical Operations team)
Goal 2: Expand the Foundation’s research capacity by partnering with researchers in industry and academia
In FY15-16 we developed an Open Access policy to simplify how we collaborate with researchers and to ensure that the output of these collaborations be made immediately available under open licenses, consistently with our mission. Some of our most successful projects this year are the result of formal collaborations. In FY16-17 we plan to expand the Research team’s capacity via short-term internships and formal collaborations with industry and academia, under the terms this policy, to reduce the overall cost for the organization to conduct research projects.
Objective 1 – Expand academic research outreach: Aim to achieve a stronger academic presence by submitting the output of our work to key conferences in the field and by organizing an annual research workshop. These efforts will help us align the interests of the academic community to issues of strategic importance for the movement. Targets: 4 Papers submitted and accepted in peer reviewed conference proceedings in the fiscal year; 40 Works submitted and accepted by researchers attending annual workshops. (Research and Data team)
Objective 2 – Initiate formal research collaborations: Set up three new collaborations with external research teams to address critical, under-resourced areas. (Research and Data team)
Goal 3: Perform evaluative design research to iterate concepts and designs focusing on usability and solving problems and unmet needs for users
Our goal is to help the organization validate and iterate design concepts, to ensure usability and products being built around the needs of users. We employ usability testing, concept testing, surveys and co-design with users, and collaborate with product teams toward these ends.
Objective 1 – Conduct evaluative design research: Continue to collaborate with the Foundation teams and Communities toward building user-facing functionality around the needs of users and contributors. Iterate features and functionality toward usability and utility. Target: 15 evaluative research projects in FY16-17. (Design Research team)
Objective 2 – Analyze and apply generative research for new readers: Analyze and synthesize data collected in three generative, qualitative research studies for new readers. This work will inform how we can best support online learning in these regions, and invite more readers to Wikis. (Design Research team)
Objective 3 – Build a product benchmarking system: Build a benchmarking system to evaluate, over time, the usefulness, user experience, and usability of product functionality. This work will contribute information to product teams for deciding which areas are most important to put effort toward. (Design Research team)
Goal 1: Keep Wikimedia's sites and services running responsibly, reliably, and securely, including protection against and response to outages, data loss, and breaches
As one of the world’s most popular websites , Wikimedia must vigilantly secure our content and protect the privacy of our millions of users. We do this by ensuring operational and software production security, through governance, and by working with our communities.
Objective 1 – Increase operational excellence: By the end of FY16-17, increase resilience, responsiveness, and security so all Wikimedia sites and services are running > 99.97% of the time. Also reduce technical debt (projects not completed in FY15-16) and provide more operational support to the rest of Product and Technology. (Technical Operations)
Objective 2 – Improve software security: Improve security throughout the Foundation software development life cycle. This will include static, dynamic, and manual security testing for deployed software; triage for reported security bugs, and assistance to teams addressing them. Reduce the number of exploitable vulnerabilities on Foundation-run sites, better protecting private data and reducing the risk of our site being unavailable due to denial of service attacks. (Security team)
Objective 3 – Improve the security capabilities of the Foundation engineering teams: By the end of FY16-17, improve the security capabilities of engineering teams throughout the Foundation. Teams will understand their risk exposure, have a plan to address priority issues, and have the capability to execute the plan with help from the Security team. By improving teams' ability to prevent, detect, and respond to security issues, we will empower teams to protect the Foundation's assets. (Security team)
Objective 4 – Improve privacy protection: By the end of FY16-17, begin implementing the planned Privacy Roadmap, as well as design privacy into the projects driven by our strategy. All staff will be given adequate training and resources to ensure the safety of their individual systems and accounts. Systems and data repositories will fully comply with applicable privacy policies and regulations. Access to any private or sensitive data will be governed by an appropriate data-access policy. Target: Ongoing throughout FY16-17 with some mapping and process deliverables in Q3. (Security team)
Goal 2: Overhaul legacy systems to provide an open structure that supports customization and new editor features
Many of our sites were built 10-15 years ago as closed systems. These legacy architectures limit our ability to build new features and tools and to make major performance improvements. By updating our systems using current technologies, we will be able to produce a better experience for both readers and editors, including the ability to experiment and adapt the look/feel, functionality, and tools available, as well as improved performance. This is essential underlying work to support our strategic priority of providing better contribution tools.
Objective 1 – Transform Tool Labs: By the end of FY16-17, transform Tool Labs to a more modern, flexible and resilient architecture so that tools can more readily be built and adapted by both the Foundation and community. Provide a better alternative to GridEngine for Tools projects, using distributed scheduling with containers. Target: Increase number of Tools projects on new alternative infrastructure by June 2017. (Technical Operations)
Objective 2 – Provide architectural leadership: Throughout FY16-17, provide architectural leadership for Wikimedia software, maintaining the conceptual integrity of the system while ensuring that the system is developed in a consensus-oriented way. Continue approving RFCs and improving operational efficiency. (Architecture team)
Objective 3 – Improve service platform: Support ongoing service developments with mentoring, documentation, code review, deployment, and incident response. Improve service monitoring with better automation for setting up dashboards and alerts. Improve reliability by enforcing SLAs (service level agreements) externally and internally with robust rate limiting and circuit breaker facilities. Improve security by providing shared and reviewed solutions for sanitization and access control, and minimizing privileges for each service. Evolve our container-based distribution solution to the point where we can leverage it for development, continuous integration, third-party distribution, and production deploys. (Technology Services team)
Objective 4 – Build out Rest API: Build out a consistent, well-documented and cacheable REST API, which will improve performance, support high-volume use cases, and allow developers to more easily work with our content. Expand the REST API to cover use cases making up at least 2/3 of API traffic. Develop and document a clear plan for integrating the remaining use cases in a consistent manner. Improve documentation and evangelize our APIs to users. (Technology Services team)
Goal 1: Make access to Wikipedia faster and more reliable, especially for mobile and global users
For the Wikimedia movement to be truly global, we have to provide excellent access around the world. With more people accessing our sites and creating content via mobile phones, we have to ensure that the sites are available, even if their Internet connections are limited or devices are basic. At the moment, all logged-in user traffic is handled by a single data center in Ashburn, Virginia. By the end of the fiscal year, we plan to serve users from our Texas and Virginia locations allowing us to improve access and provide substantial user value by expanding the reach of our infrastructure in a manner that is both cost-effective and maintainable. This work will allow the Foundation to expand to other data centers as needed in the future, significantly reducing both operational costs and time delays to users.
Objective 1 – Improve page delivery: By the end of FY16-17, focus on identifying and fixing performances and architectural issues exposed by performance measurements, analysis, and site traffic. Follow the numbers, using profiling data to pinpoint bottlenecks in our software. This will allow pages to load faster and consume less bandwidth, with essential content appearing first. Targets: 15% improvement in page “paint” time (the time to load the visual page and scroll) and 25% improvement in page save time. (Performance team)
Objective 2 – Move all URL-routing to PHP: By the end of Q2 in FY16-17, reduce the current complexity so that when a user enters a URL, the site quickly serves up that content, reducing processing time and increasing our ability for search engine optimization. This means that instead of multiple layers (Varnish, Apache, and HHVM), we will use a common software language, PHP, and move URL-routing logic from Apache to MediaWiki. (Performance team)
Note: Baseline data unavailable; it will be established, and then progress will be measured as part of this objective.
Objective 4 – Deploy Asian caching POP: Starting in Q3 FY 2017 and expected to be completed by Q2 FY 2018, optimize site access for our Asian audiences by deploying a small caching data center in Asia. (Technical Operations team)
We are constantly updating the software that sustains and supports the Wikimedia projects’ hundreds of millions of readers and tens of thousands of contributors. New software developed by Foundation engineers and community volunteers is being deployed onto the projects nearly daily. The Release Engineering team manages this process, ensuring that every new deployment does what it’s supposed to do, building critical testing software relied on by Foundation and community developers.
The Wikipedia Zero program was created in 2012 to expand the reach of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects in regions where data affordability was identified as a barrier to accessing knowledge and educational resources. To this date, we have launched the program in more than 60 countries, which has provided Wikimedia project access to a possible aggregate of 750 million people during the course of the program.
Goal: Remove the barrier of cost and increase readership
As data charges remain high in many countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Middle East, Wikipedia Zero continues to be relevant to provide access to Wikimedia projects to under-served populations in these geographies.
Objective 1 – Build new Wikipedia Zero partnerships: In 2016-2017, the Global Reach team will adopt a more focused approach, only pursuing proactive partnerships in our 6 priority countries identified through the New Readers project. Our goal will be to increase Wikipedia Zero’s footprint by adding 100 million new readers from these 6 target countries by the end of FY2016-2017, in addition to our current 470 million users.
More details: Our team will remain open to incoming requests from motivated mobile operators in other countries, and explore them as appropriate. Both inbound and outbound efforts for Wikipedia Zero are and will continue to be guided by our operating principles. For each country, we will continue to consider whether data affordability is a significant barrier, and how local policy regulations affect the program’s implementation.
Objective 2 – Refine the Wikipedia Zero program: During the course of next fiscal year, the Global Reach team will focus on understanding the impact Wikipedia Zero has had with different kinds of users – from general readers to active editors – to allow for better data-driven decision making.
More details: We have learned about the program’s impact through practical experience in the countries and communities where the program is active. Recently, we started conducting phone surveys to collect quantitative data related to our anecdotal experiences. We have completed these surveys in Ghana and Mexico, with Nigeria and India planned next. We also plan to do a community consultation along with an on-wiki survey to understand the program’s impact and promote a data-driven dialogue about the program within our movement.
Objective 3 – Establish at least one outreach or community support activity with a Wikipedia Zero partner: EThe Global Reach team will work with an existing mobile operator partner to further distribution, access, and awareness of Wikipedia in a Wikipedia Zero country by the end of fiscal year 2016-17.
More details: We want to strengthen the communication and overall connection with Wikimedia affiliates and community at large. When an unintended problem caused by zero-rating arises, our team will continue to take responsibility and work with the communities affected to find the best way to address it. When we have partnership opportunities that would affect and/or interest our communities, they will be involved early and often. Our team is committed to ensuring that the Wikipedia Zero program is always contextually aware and supportive of our mission.
↑With the exception of India where zero-rating programs are not allowed to operate.
↑Note that between late 2015 and early 2016, some of our partnerships expired, which accounts for why the current Zero subscribers number is less than the aggregate of 750 million people.
We need to reach new readers in countries where Wikipedia usage is significantly lower than demographic and internet/mobile phone access data would indicate. This work needs to be done urgently, at scale, and with dedicated resources.
Goal: Expand Wikimedia projects’ awareness and usage through new partnerships
While working on Wikipedia Zero over the last four years, we have identified key barriers that go beyond affordability and require diverse types of partnerships. Lack of awareness about Wikipedia, infrastructure limitations, low digital literacy, and gender inequality are some of the issues we face when trying to expand awareness and access to Wikimedia content.
Objective 1 – Explore and develop new types of partnerships: The Global Reach team will explore new types of partnerships with nonprofits, governments, educational organizations, and private sector companies, focused on readership and distribution. Our goal is to build two new partnerships in each region (Middle East and Africa, Asia and Latin America).
More details: We are aware that local affiliates and individuals from our communities are leaders on local partnerships and our intention is not to change that. If editorship becomes the focus of a partnership, we will involve the local community.
The Communications team develops and sustains awareness and appreciation of the Wikimedia movement, mission, and brand among the global general public. This is accomplished through media and public relations, strategic messaging and issues management, brand management and campaigns, digital production and communications, audience development for content and product, communications capacity building for global contributors and affiliates, and support for written and visual products of the Wikimedia Foundation, its departments, executives, the Board of Trustees, and the Wikimedia movement.
In the coming year, the Communications will implement strategic initiatives that help increase the awareness and use (reach) of the Wikimedia projects, movement, and brand. People around the world experience Wikimedia in different ways: In order to engage them effectively, we need to start by identifying who we intend to reach (identifying audiences), develop an understanding of their communications (brand awareness, affinity, and sentiment) and product (user journeys, product awareness) needs. We also have opportunity to extend the reach of specific products and projects that support our mission in markets where people already know and use Wikimedia projects, such as mobile web, apps, Wikipedia Zero, and the visual editor. In the coming year we will identify specific, high-potential audiences, improve product messaging and presentation, and run integrated campaigns to increase awareness and adoption.
Program 1: Improve public understanding and appreciation for Wikimedia movement and projects
Public awareness and understanding of Wikimedia's core purpose and value are critical to fulfilling our vision of reaching every human, and thriving in the future.
Goal 1: Understand current public perception
Conduct research and analysis to understand public perception of Wikimedia projects and community using sources including international press and social media.
Objective 1 – Conduct coverage audit from past year: Review top narratives, outlets, geographies, sentiment surrounding Wikipedia, Wikimedia projects, and the Wikimedia Foundation to better understand FY15-16 coverage.
Objective 2 – Continue media monitoring: Continually monitor international media coverage and social conversations to further inform messaging strategy.
Note: this work will begin in Q4 of FY15-16 but will continue through FY16-17.
Goal 2: Develop proactive public messaging strategy for Wikimedia projects
Using insights from Goal 1, build year-long messaging strategy through the end of FY16-17 to guide all proactive messaging and PR work.
Objective 1 – Identify top narratives: Use narratives to address gaps or misunderstandings in public perception (based on coverage audit and media monitoring) of Wikimedia movement and projects and support organizational objectives.
Objective 2 – Build strategy and tactics: Outline strategy for increasing awareness of priority narratives throughout the year among target audiences, with focus on media relations, editorial (blog and other digital channels), advocacy, and social media.
Inform proactive PR, editorial, and social media with messaging strategy. Remain agile and responsive to incorporate ongoing insights and new objectives.
Objective 1 – Obtain positive international media coverage: Build and strengthen relationships with key outlets and secure coverage of top narratives, leveraging community stories and achievements, and the Foundation-led programs and technology.
Objective 2 – Increase engagement with top narratives: Reach audiences through digital channels (blog and social) with content related to top narratives. Encourage candid, meaningful discussion and incorporate feedback back into messaging strategy.
We want people to make the choice to visit and contribute to the projects, partner with our movement, advance our values, and engage with our mission and brand. To increase awareness and understanding of Wikimedia Foundation, movement, and projects we will provide brand and design support to community and the Foundation, and actively share the Wikimedia experience and achievements through storytelling and projects like the annual report.
Goal 1: Expand storytelling and video production
We develop inclusive processes to create shareable materials for the use of the entire movement, and outside media sources. Stories and pictures explain the people, values, and efforts of Wikimedians to new audiences.
Objective 1 – Build testimonials of volunteer efforts: Help explain the movement to donors and the general public by building at least 15 new interviews of community members that can be used in outreach materials. They will be from around the globe and explain a variety of volunteer efforts.
Objective 2 – Develop videos of volunteer events: Produce guidelines (Q1) for, and publish, 10 short videos (dependent on event timing) based on video shot from throughout the movement representing volunteer events and explaining aspects of Wikimedia. This will reach millions of casual social media users.
Design guidance builds a consistent look and feel over time, which has been proven to increase trust and raise public perception. Increased trust supports collaborative and partnership opportunities for the Foundation and across the movement. Careful stewardship of the movements' brand protects the tremendous cultural and financial value established by volunteers.
Objective 1 – Create annual report: Q2 to Q3 of FY16-17, work with Finance and Advancement to create an annual report of FY15-16. As an example, for FY14-15 the annual report was integrated with Wikipedia’s 15th birthday.
Objective 2 – Expand design capacities: Assist with creative brief, plan and style guides; review of all organization materials including monthly metrics and other initiatives. Increase response time for community requests. This is an ongoing core capacity.
To reach and engage people effectively, we need to first identify potential new audiences and understand them. We want to identify and build deep understanding of the communications needs and tendencies of people unfamiliar with Wikimedia through initial outreach and evaluation. This includes conducting research in collaboration with other internal teams (Design Research, Reading, Global Reach, and others) to understand awareness, needs, and media habits.
Identify and implement feedback loops for audiences, including owned channels (social media), surveys, and more. Building a feedback loop means to establish a practice of collecting feedback, making improvements on that feedback, and reviewing that cycle. It should be iterative.
Objective 1 – Pilot feedback loops: During FY16-17, plan and pilot multi-channel audience feedback loops that connect us with 1,000+ users.
Once we have identified focus audience segments and built an understanding of their needs and sentiment, we will work to raise awareness of the Wikimedia projects and help increase adoption of Wikimedia products. We will do this by iteratively developing and executing multi-channel communications campaigns tailored for specific audience segments. These campaigns will include content we distribute on our "owned" channels (social media, blog), PR, influencer engagement, and potentially live events. Our aim will be to help people connect with and use Wikimedia products and projects in the the most relevant, accessible ways.
Note: Although Wikimedia projects are for the whole world, different people around the world have different needs from Wikimedia projects. We will start by identifying specific audiences to focus our outreach.
Goal 1: Raise Wikimedia awareness among new readers
Develop strategies for selected audience segments to increase user engagement in low readership countries. Refine based on performance.
Objective 1 – Target new readers with messaging campaigns: Develop messaging campaigns in 1 country with low readership based on Program 3 (Identify and build understanding of new audiences) research.
Objective 2 – Expand press coverage: Execute campaigns to raise new reader awareness for Wikimedia by earning local press and social media coverage.
Objective 3 – Measure performance: Measure initial campaign impact against control baseline. Establish new, appropriate benchmarks for performance measurement, continue to iterate campaign to continuously improve performance.
Goal 2: Showcase Wikimedia’s relevant content and share our mission through emerging digital communications platforms and services
We will use new social platforms to help people interact with Wikimedia content in the newest, most relevant ways.
Objective 1 – Grow three new social channels, with at least one in Asia: By using emerging communications platforms and services, show how Wikipedia/Wikimedia continues to be relevant in the world of shared online content and help people interact with Wikimedia content in new ways.
Objective 2 – Pilot distribution program: Pilot one new Wikimedia content distribution program on social media targeting new audience segment.
Develop and launch product-specific campaigns, with campaign specific KPIs and targets for measuring impact. Refine based on performance.
Objective 1 – Create product campaigns: Design two product-specific campaigns to have statistically significant impact on user adoption and engagement. Specific metrics are TBD based on research in Program 3 (Identify and build understanding of new audiences).
As media and communications continue to change outside of the Wikimedia world, we will be present on new digital channels, bringing attention to the Wikimedia projects and movement. We will increase both audience and engagement on multiple platforms of global social media, and on the Wikimedia Foundation blog, with continual daily communications showcasing Wikimedia content, connecting with people, and explaining the movement to new communities.
Goal 1: Spread broad messaging to new and existing communities
We will represent Wikimedia and Wikipedia with verified accounts on the largest social media channels as a global information source.
Objective 1 –Expand and improve social media: By the end of FY16-17, we plan to:
Grow the Wikimedia Foundation’s blog readership and increase social mentions by 10%.
Objective 2 – Create social campaign prototype: By the end of FY16-17, create a prototype for social campaigns (including video, community management, engagement and reporting) aimed at gaining new users and increasing engagement. This prototype will be executable at regular annual milestones – e.g., Wikimania, major global conferences.
Goal 2: Advocate the movement via social media
We will help explain and raise awareness of the movement by profiling community members, highlighting new initiatives, and explaining the best of the Foundation's work. We will measure this with press mentions, traffic to the blog and online engagement, such as social media mentions.
Objective 1 – Feature Wikipedians: Profile or feature Wikipedians from 10+ countries in posts and the community digest, including priority strategic growth countries (Nigeria, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico). Grow engagement, relationships and awareness in key areas: specific metrics will be developed on a country-by-country basis.
Objective 2 – Increase the Foundation blog readership: Grow Wikimedia Foundation blog readership by 5% and increase social engagement on posts about the blog in order to engage community with our created content.
Objective 3 – Distribute video: Distribute video to relevant audiences focusing on the Wikimedia movement and projects, achieving 50,000 views per video on social media as well as embeds on other websites. This will share a human view of the movement in new areas, to go beyond text on a website. (see Goal 1 under Program 2).
Goal 3: Cultivate new communities to support future growth of the projects
Just as we have a community of editors that is at the core of the Wikimedia projects, we can also use our social channels to cultivate communities of people who love and support Wikipedia. We can reach people in under-served regions and languages, and build relationships with potential future contributors, advocates, and donors.
Objective 1 – Engage through social media: Strategically and continually share relevant information on social media to encourage engagement and connect with readers who want to take part more in the movement. By strategically posting on timely subjects we can demonstrate Wikipedia’s growing relevance in current events. Target of 1M engagements (reactions, comments and shares) per month.
Objective 2 – Connect with growing communities: Gain important insights about our readers and build relationships with new or growing communities by building sustained insight relationships with 25 users across priority countries.
The Wikimedia Foundation legal team oversees the global legal portfolio for Wikipedia and its associated projects. Our goal is to support the Foundation and the communities of contributors – consistent with our legal ethics – in their mission to share free information worldwide. We aggressively and globally steward the values of our mission and our community of writers, editors, photographers, and other contributors by building and overseeing governance where appropriate; by protecting and defending those key values when challenged; and by facilitating initiatives designed to support and grow our community and their various projects, including Wikipedia and its sister Wikimedia websites.
Part of our budget and work focuses on core legal services for the Foundation. These services include, for example, contracts negotiation and review, Board governance, fundraising compliance, training, general internal legal advice, and product and tech support. We address these core services in a different section below ("Non-Programs").
Program 1: Protect project trademarks and practices
In addition to its own house marks, the Wikimedia Foundation has been entrusted with stewardship of the trademarks that represent the high-quality content created by the contributors supporting the Wikimedia 12 projects. We presently have 39 marks, which we manage within our global portfolio of more than 1,500 pending or filed registrations. We work closely with Communications to ensure consistency in practice and strategy.
We will grant licenses to project marks that support the mission of the Wikimedia communities and enforce proper use of those marks to protect the reputation and mission of the communities and projects.
Objective 1 – Support mission-based community use: Continue to advise community members and others on the application of our open Trademark Policy, with a goal of supporting the communities’ work in furtherance of their mission. This policy was created in consultation with community members in 2013, provides an easy-to-use guide to facilitate community use of the project marks. It allows for expansive use of the trademarks, but it still preserves the goodwill attached to them as a sign of high-quality Wikimedia content.
Objective 2 – Granting mission-oriented licenses: We receive requests to use project trademarks in contexts from t-shirts to popular movies and television. Consider each request and selectively grant trademark licenses to promote the project brands in contexts that will uphold their community-built reputation and attract new users consistent with our mission.
Objective 3 – Enforcement against misuse of marks: Defend the community-entrusted marks to help ensure their good reputation. Send cease and desist letters relating to deceptive or improper use of the marks on- and offline. To fight cybersquatters and fraudulent use, file World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) actions, when appropriate, to protect the reputation vested in the project marks.
Objective 4 – Maintain and defend project marks worldwide: As part of our overall program, maintain project trademark registrations and domains worldwide, and defend them against wrongful legal and administrative challenges, including those from government offices and third parties globally.
We support community members and their mission through worldwide defensive litigation. We recognize that to make free knowledge available to a global audience, we must embrace not only the projects themselves, but also the individuals who contribute to them when their work leads to rare, but unfair, litigation.
Goal: Support community members who are facing unfair litigation
We will help community members when they are sued unjustly in connection with their activities on the projects to ensure that they are supported in their mission to create and disseminate Wikimedia free content. We assist community members to find legal counsel, and we often provide funding for their defense. With the support of a worldwide network of outside counsel, virtually all litigation to date has been successful under these programs.
Objective 1 – Administer the Defense of Contributors Program: Administer the Defense of Contributors Program to provide support and funding when a contributor is sued in relation to their legitimate activities on the projects.
Objective 2 – Administer the Legal Fees Assistance Program: Administer the Legal Fees Assistance Program to provide support and funding when a community member who serves in an administrative or governance function is sued in relation to their legitimate activities on the projects.
The Wikimedia communities exercise their editorial discretion in creating and reviewing content on the projects. To support this critical role, the Foundation only acts on content takedown notices when legally and factually required. We aggressively oppose unwarranted demands to remove content. We research and clarify the law in areas not well established.
Goal: Ensure that the communities retain their editorial discretion with respect to project content
We will aggressively oppose demands to remove content when inconsistent with facts and law.
Objective 1 – Investigate inquiries swiftly and aggressively: Quickly and thoroughly respond to inquiries via the “legal@” email queue. Oppose unfounded demands in appropriate venues, including the courtroom. Explain to requesters how the projects and the communities work. Suggest community solutions to content issues when possible. Remove content only when required by facts and law.
We advocate for the Wikimedia movement, mission, and values when lawmakers and government officials are considering policies that may affect how people can access, use, or contribute to the projects. Our public policy work takes many forms, from public comments – such as those submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office on mass digitization – to proactive litigation – such as Wikimedia v. NSA. Our goal is to protect and improve the environment in which the projects have been built by our contributors and to improve the reach of the projects consistent with our mission.
Goal: Address issues of future importance to the projects
Objective 1 – Coordination and identification: Coordinate with members of the communities via the Public Policy Portal and Public Policy Mailing List to determine which issues should be addressed to best support the worldwide communities.
Objective 2 – Planning, drafting, and execution: Work with community members to draft and submit public comments, assist in publicity campaigns, and take other actions so that decisionmakers are aware of the positions of the communities. We expect to focus on: promoting the freedom of panorama and free licensing, continuing to oppose government censorship in various venues, and defending intermediary protection laws on which the projects depend.
A key value of the Wikimedia movement is transparency. Part of our commitment to this principle is the publication of our biannual Transparency Report, which provides the communities and the general public with information that maintains trust in the Wikimedia projects.
Goal: Fight censorship and report on efforts to modify content or obtain user data
Inform users and the public about requests to alter the projects or to obtain user information.
Objective 1 – Publication of biannual Transparency Report: The Transparency Report details requests we receive to alter or remove content, and to obtain nonpublic user information, from governments, businesses, and others. Publish this report twice a year, approximately in February and July.
Objective 2 – Resist demands to remove content or provide nonpublic user information: As noted above, when we receive requests to remove or alter project content, we will push back, unless otherwise compelled by facts and law. In 2015, we received 454 requests, and we denied all of them. Similarly, we will not provide nonpublic user data, unless confronted by legitimate legal process or emergency, as described in our requests for user information procedures and guidelines. In 2015, we received 48 requests for user data, 13 of which were informal requests from governments, and we denied all but one.
Fundraising, Fundraising Tech, Legal, Talent and Culture, Team Practices, and Finance and Administration are considered operational. While their work represents a minority percentage of our budget, it is crucial to the strength of our organization, the health of our culture, and every success of the Foundation.
The Fundraising team raises the funds necessary to support a vibrant Wikimedia movement. We work to fulfill the short and long-term resource needs of the organization.
We have developed a plan to raise 63 million USD. The majority, 57 million USD, is through our annual online giving campaigns, both banners and email campaigns, and 6 million USD is through foundation grants and major gifts. This plan keeps our fundraising cost ratio at less than ten percent, which earns us the top rating for fundraising efficiency from Charity Navigator. We will also be focusing our efforts on improving campaigns on mobile devices in response to the growth in mobile readership, and building the endowment to ensure the long-term health of our organization. This is critical not only to reach the revenue target in FY 2016-17, but it is also important for sustained future support for our mission. In addition to funding the annual plan, we will be raising 5 million USD for the Wikimedia Endowment and securing five planned giving commitments to support the Foundation for the long-term. Lastly, this year we will be investing in eliminating duplicates from our donor database and deepening our current donors' relationship with the organization.
The Fundraising Tech team supports ongoing fundraising goals by maintaining and improving the existing systems used by the Online Fundraising and Major Gifts teams. We maintain and improve all existing online fundraising systems and integrated third-parties upgrades. New projects for FY16-17 include adapting to cross-border donation laws, and supporting global credit card processor mergers. Long-term scalability improvements to our customer relationship management system and work to identify and remove pain points in working with our donor data are also part of our core efforts.
In addition to the programmatic work set out above, part of our department's work and budget in FY16-17 will be focused on core legal support for the Foundation. Much of this core work will support programs in other departments. We will provide defense against inappropriate challenges targeting the Wikimedia Foundation, including through mitigation of legal threats and opposition to global litigation against the Foundation.
We will oversee our contract oversight and management, which necessitates the negotiation, review, and filing of about 275 contracts in FY16-17. These agreements are received almost daily from all departments, and vary vastly in complexity and topic area.
As in other years, in FY16-17, we will maintain the Wikimedia Foundation organizational trademark, provide HR legal support, and ensure compliance and daily advice in various areas, such as global fundraising, copyright, privacy and security, and intermediary liability requirements. We will provide Board support, and address movement governance issues. We will also support our engineers with ongoing technical advice on a variety of issues including open source licensing, mobile device regulations, and user interface design questions, including initiatives like "privacy by design."
We plan to launch more trainings to keep staff informed on a variety of topics, such as handling data breaches, dealing with legal holds, and copyright onboarding for those making videos and other media on behalf of the Foundation. We also anticipate updating the Board member onboarding process with new training materials.
The Talent and Culture team acts as a partner with the organization and organizational leadership to develop culture, increase leadership capacities, and provide personnel administration in service of the ongoing support and maturation of the Foundation.
The three pillars we offer are recruiting, human resources, and learning and development. We find and hire a diverse group of talented professionals as new staff, interns, and contractors who support our community and Wikimedia projects. We manage the full employee lifecycle – onboarding, performance management, compensation changes, life events, wellness and off-boarding processes when staff leave the Foundation. And in our learning and development capacity we facilitate the development of managers and leaders capable of handling the complexity of our operating environment, ensure that staff are able to develop in way that is consistent with the Foundation mission and goals as well as maintain an organization in which people thrive.
The Team Practices Group (TPG) facilitates the use of practices and processes that support the health of teams across the Foundation, with a strong emphasis on creating conditions of clarity, trust, and continuous improvement. The team accomplishes this work through dedicated resourcing, lightweight coaching, and workshops at the Wikimedia Foundation.
The Finance and Administration department is responsible for both the timely and professional fiduciary overview of all finance activities, and over-seeing the physical space and technological/infrastructure needs of Foundation staff.
The core responsibilities and objectives of the Finance team include managing and controlling daily, weekly, monthly and annual finance operating workflows such as accounting, processing of the Foundation’s financial transactions, external reporting, treasury, and compliance filings. We also lead the financial management workflows for the Annual Plan, budgeting, investment management, and other financial decision making activities in support of the Foundation’s mission.
The finance team partners with other Foundation teams such as Legal to undertake risk management activities including developing the Foundation’s insurance portfolio, to protect the Foundation, its Board members, its employees, its assets, and its websites. We also support and partner with the Funds Dissemination Committee and the Community Resources team to enable their objectives by providing or securing ongoing finance expertise and improved financial reporting. Finally, we enhance financial systems functionality to increase transparency and improve effective and efficient financial operating workflows.
The critical FY16-17 Finance team outcomes include the successful completion of the annual audit (where the team supports the Board's Audit Committee), the publication of the Foundation's 990 form, the finalization of a SMART and transparent Annual Plan, and improved quarterly and mid-year 16-17 Annual Plan reporting.
Office IT and Administration provide the physical and information technology infrastructure that our staff needs to serve our community and the Wikimedia sites. The Office IT team handles the IT infrastructure in the San Francisco office (such as desktop PCs, internal servers, networking infrastructure, video-conferencing equipment). The Administration team provides support staff for each team, as well as the physical infrastructure that the rest of the organization needs for their work, such as planning and managing the office space. The Travel team, as part of our Administration team, provides travel support to employees, Board members, and others working for the Foundation.
Other expenses (Facilities, Insurance, FF&E, All Hands, Recruiting, Staff Development, Personal Property Taxes, and Etc.)
Sub Total Non-Program Expenses
Total Annual Operating Expenses
Note: The financial data presented here is not broken out by the specific programs described in the narrative above. One of the Finance department’s FY16-17 objectives is to assess and adapt our existing financial workflow(s) and associated systems to budget and monitor program costs.
↑Grants amount includes funding towards the Annual Plan Grants, Project Grants, Rapid Grants and Conference Support. The gross grants amount is $7.11 million which includes the estimated funds from the payment-processing chapters.
↑Detailed information regarding Program - Non Staffing Expenses can be found in Appendix 2
1. Does your organization plan to draw on its operating reserves during the upcoming funding period to support its expenses? If so, please provide the amount you intend to draw from your reserves here. This should not be included as revenue in the table below.
2. Please use this table to list your organization's anticipated revenues (income, or the amount your organization is bringing in) by revenue source (where the revenue is coming from) in the FY. Use the status column to show if this funding is already guaranteed, if you are in the process of requesting funding, or if you are planning to request funding at a later time. Please feel free to include in-kind donations and resources in this table, as applicable, but use the status column to show that they are in-kind resources.
$57 million from the annual online global campaigns (combined effort by WMF and potentially payment-processing chapters)
↑Grants amount includes funding towards the Annual Plan Grants, Project Grants, Rapid Grants and Conference Support. The gross grants amount is $7.11 million which includes the estimated funds from the payment-processing chapters.
As part of our annual plan cycle, we identify some of the top potential risks that could threaten the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission to empower people to contribute to the sum of free knowledge. These potential risks cover a broad spectrum, including product and technology, fundraising, community health, legal, operations, communications, and other domains. Below we set out a number of examples.
Mitigation strategies are set out below as well, but such strategies can never eliminate all risks. Among other things, this is due to the nature of our culture, movement, and mission as well as resource constraints. That said, we must ensure reasonable assessment of risks to support smart strategic and comprehensive planning.
☛ Risk: Failure of technology infrastructure disrupts Foundation operations.
In the past, the Foundation has suffered short website outages, which have been the result of technology operations depending on a single data center. Recent efforts adding an additional data center have reduced this risk.
Conduct analysis of technology infrastructure to determine bandwidth usage and prevent overloads.
Analyze technology infrastructure and location of data centers to identify vulnerable points of failure and extend redundancy where appropriate.
☛ Risk: The Wikimedia global movement does not improve in cultural, geographic, or demographic diversity, leading to less relevant and lower-quality content for a global audience.
Invest in and implement diverse technologies and delivery strategies that (a) raise awareness of Wikimedia projects, (b) help us in identifying and building new audiences, and (c) improve the ability of users worldwide to access the projects.
Promote community initiatives related to diversity and emerging regions through monetary, communications, programmatic, and evaluation resources.
Support programs to increase participation from diverse volunteers such as recognition and mentorship.
☛ Risk: Foundation-community relations worsen and lead to decreased Foundation effectiveness, reduced on-project civility, editor and contributor attrition, and lower-quality content.
Focus strategically on community needs in part through the Community Engagement department.
Improve transparency and increase communications between the Foundation, the communities, and Wikimedia affiliates.
Work with the Support and Safety team to improve “safe space” policies and other techniques to make the Wikimedia projects safe places for a diverse user community.
Allocate dedicated financial and technical resources through the new Community Tech team for community requests and tools that positively impact civility and interactions with new users.
Provide public support and strong stances on contentious issues like gender gap.
☛ Risk: Changes to attract new users trigger a strong negative reaction among established editors and contributors that causes them to stop or reduce participation on the Wikimedia projects.
Ensure constructive user input and respectful socialization of changes early.
Improve tools to facilitate the introduction of new products.
Use incremental approaches when introducing new products, including small group beta tests or default settings only for new users.
☛ Risk: Community leadership does not develop effectively, damaging community participation, governance, and responsiveness.
With a greater focus through our Community Engagement department, create spaces and support for innovation, training, and mentorship for existing and new community leadership.
Support diversification in candidates for the Board of Directors and community governance bodies.
Improve tools for community administration and management on the projects.
☛ Risk: Changes to safe harbor immunity laws abroad expose the Foundation to new, extensive liability, costs, and technology burdens.
Immunity laws - known as safe harbor statutes - now protect the Foundation from being sued for content uploaded by users. Changes in those statutes could open us to lawsuits or require costly technical measures to monitor and remove content.
As part of ongoing public policy strategy in partnership with our communities, engage in education to inform the public and lawmakers about the importance of safe harbor laws while opposing any threatening proposals.
Ally with like-minded organizations to persuade lawmakers to pass strong safe harbor protections for hosting companies like the Foundation.
☛Risk: Part of our communities take a position that is problematic or out-of-step with public sentiment, resulting in damage to brand and reputation.
This risk is most acute in areas where the Wikimedia community is not reflective of the diversity of the broader society. Past examples have included controversy around the Gamergate article and discussions on the Wikipedia gender gap.
Increase proactive monitoring capacities to better anticipate major community policy or bureaucratic decisions.
Increase transparency and communications between the Foundation, the communities, and the public.
Develop strategic messaging with unified narrative, reframing as needed, and with an emphasis on facts and the way forward.
Table 11 - Detailed information regarding Program - Non Staffing Expenses: Outside Contract Services (all amounts in USD)
3rd party resources such as research work, design/build IdeaLab and Grants portal, and contractors for Wikipedia Library support required for the program activities described under Community Engagement
3rd party resources for programmatic specialized projects such as strategic consulting and board support
3rd party resources required for the program activities described under Product. Including Bi-weekly regression testings, daily QA, bots/APIs for both copyright/plagiarism detection, and miscellaneous contracting cost to support the program objectives.
3rd party resources required for the program activities described under Technology. Including benchmarking, mobile research, research to improve detection and response capabilities of operations
3rd party resources to support increased global awareness of, positive sentiment regarding, and engagement with Wikimedia movement, Wikipedia and sister projects. This includes external research on new readers, proactive public messaging for Wikimedia Projects, campaigns & promotion for volunteer efforts and events, positive media coverage, media and social media monitoring, photography, videography, and other production, the creation of brand materials such as the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Report, and support for design and brand standards. See Program section of Communications.
3rd party resources to support research and survey efforts around content usage and Wikipedia’s awareness and access.
Table 12 - Detailed information regarding Program - Non Staffing Expenses: Legal Fees (all amounts in USD)