Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2017-2018/Final/SinglePage

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Overview of the Wikimedia Foundation's annual plan[edit]


We at the Wikimedia Foundation are pleased to present to the community our proposed annual plan for the upcoming fiscal year, 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018. As with last year, we are sharing our plan in the Funds Dissemination Committee format, to receive feedback on the plan within the FDC review process. We are deeply proud to support the Wikimedia projects and communities, and our shared vision of global participation in free knowledge.

The Foundation maintains and improves Wikimedia technologies: we ensure the consistent and secure operations of the projects, we conduct research and make improvements to products and features. We provide programmatic tools and services, manage and fund grants, and help create a safe online experience for our volunteers. We also protect the independence of our projects and volunteers through policy and legal work, and work to raise awareness of the movement and our vision with our readers and supporters.

Strategic guidance[edit]

2017 WMF annual plan 3 focus areas.jpg

Our proposed plan for 2017-2018 is a continuation of the Foundation’s work as described in the 2016-2018 interim strategic plan, in which we focus on Reach, Communities, and Knowledge. These were identified as areas that the Foundation is uniquely positioned to address, including readership and reach, volunteer retention and engagement, and support for knowledge creation. The interim strategic plan was developed to guide the Foundation’s work during a period of transition and preparation for the 2018 movement strategy, and focus our efforts more closely in three areas closely aligned with the Wikimedia vision.

Programmatic priorities[edit]

Throughout 2016-2017, the Foundation made a commitment to increase collaboration across the organization’s eight departments, in order to better resource and serve priority programs. This year, we are introducing “cross-departmental” programs into our annual plan. These programs represent a financial and resource commitment to overall organizational priorities, with a minimum participation of three departments and $500,000 in funding. The introduction of cross-departmental programs is meant to provide greater clarity to the community and Foundation staff about our priorities, greater commitment to their success, and greater insight into how we as an organization work to realize them. You will see that these cross-departmental programs track closely with the priorities set out in the interim strategy. In addition, the annual plan includes all the major programmatic and non-programmatic work, and the budgets of each department.

2017 WMF annual plan proposed priorities.jpg

Reach; we will better understand and respond to the needs of our global readers and contributors so that more people can share in free knowledge. Everyone should be able to participate in all knowledge. In 2016 we confirmed the strategic importance of reaching new audiences.

  • This year we continue with our efforts to within the New Readers program. This includes researching the needs of people who are not yet aware of or engaged with the Wikimedia projects, and developing awareness programs and product initiatives to reach and support their needs. In collaboration with local Wikimedians we will pilot programs in Mexico, India, and Nigeria based on the unique needs of those countries and regions.
  • The Wikimedia “brand” — which is best understood as the trust that the public has in the projects, as a result of the efforts of volunteers — is one of the most important things we steward. As part of our Wikimedia brand and identity program and trademarks support, we will maintain strong trademark protections, ensure the Wikimedia brand is consistent and protected from abuse and misappropriation, and work to increase awareness of our projects around the world. Wikimedia’s vision is for everyone to share in all knowledge, and responsible use of the brand is part of how we reach toward that incredible goal.

Communities; we will increase volunteer retention and engagement through improved programs, experiences, and resources. A robust, diverse, and inclusive global community — and evolving approaches to collaboration — is a unique strength of Wikimedia.

  • The new Community Health initiative aims to improve the environment in which volunteers contribute on-wiki. This includes improving the clarity, consistency, and application of relevant policies and reducing harassing behaviors on Wikimedia projects. We will work with communities to put better practices, tools, and policies into place.
  • In addition, we will increase our focus on Community Tech. Volunteer contributors have built many critical tools and workflows based on templates, bots, and gadgets that sustain our projects. This initiative will ensure more support for maintaining and improving these critical resources through Community Wishlist Survey priorities.
  • We will also help build capacity in countries with lower awareness of Wikimedia through support for Emerging Communities. This includes building awareness of the projects, supporting volunteers to create Wikimedia communities, and empowering local leaders.

Knowledge; we will increase and diversify knowledge by developing high-priority curation and creation tools for user needs. Sharing all knowledge is the vision that inspires Wikimedians every day. We will invest in supporting new forms of knowledge and improving the experience of contributing to the projects.

  • Through the Structured Data program we will work to integrate Wikidata into Commons in order to provide better search for Commons media, and improve multilingual descriptions and categorizations. This will make it easier for people to discover, learn, and manage free media stored on Commons.
  • Ongoing work on Wikidata is occurring through a joint program between the Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland. This year, together we will focus on improving Wikidata and increasing its integration with Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary, and Wikipedia.
  • Content quality and diversity encompasses three programs (3, 4, and 5) within the Product organization that are intended to provide new and existing editors with better contribution tools. We will examine existing contribution paths and mechanism to identify pain points and improve the volunteer experience. It will also improve the mobile editing experience, working closely with emerging communities where mobile far exceeds desktop devices, to help ensure they can more easily and effectively contribute.

Budget and resources[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to being efficient with funds, focusing our spending on programs and initiatives that reflect our strategic priorities, and improving efficiency and reducing costs in our core workflows.

During last year’s plan (2016-2017) we made a conscious decision to slow down our growth in personnel and spending. This allowed us to focus our efforts on stabilizing the organization, building capacity and stronger teams, and improving operational procedures and transparency. We feel as though these efforts have been largely successful, with improved communication and coordination between the Foundation and the rest of the movement, and a greater emphasis on the needs of the audiences we serve, from community to readers.

This year (2017-2018), we intend to resume growth in a limited and targeted fashion. Our programmatic expenditures will increase roughly 10%, with the main drivers including investment in new cross-departmental programs (such as Structured Data and Community Health), funding for ongoing Wikidata commitments, Wikimania, and regular staffing and personnel cost-of-living increases. More details about cross-departmental programs, as well as detailed outlines of the budgets of our programmatic departments, can be found in the plan.

Along with many other non-profits based in the United States, the Foundation experienced an unusual December 2016 fundraising campaign in which we met our goals more quickly than projected and raised some additional funds. In order to use these funds more effectively, we plan to work with the Board to designate a limited amount of these funds for the purpose of discrete investments over the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The planned investments include the work on movement strategy occurring in the first half of the fiscal year, a complementary program for Wikimedia brand and identity, and our forthcoming move to a new office space. These are non-recurring investments for this year only.

Finally, the Foundation intends to continue to build the Wikimedia Endowment to secure the future of the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity. We have made a commitment an initial campaign to raise US $100 million over ten years. The Foundation has committed to seeking US $5 million per year from external sources, and matching this funding with US $5 million from our regular annual fundraising, until our initial $100 million campaign target is met. This US $5 million was not included in the 2016-2017 budget, but will be resourced out of funds raised from the online fundraising campaigns, as we announced in December. The proposed 2017-2018 budget includes this scheduled US $5 million annual commitment to the Endowment.


Throughout the coming year, the Foundation will continue to work against our programmatic priorities of increasing the reach of our projects, improving support to our communities, and increasing support for knowledge creation. We also view this year as the year to prepare for, and begin to align with, overall movement strategy. All investments we are making this year are intended to support the capacity we will need in order to effectively embrace and evolve in response to the direction determined by the broader community. We are deeply excited about the work ahead of us in the coming year, and to the future of our movement. We look forward to building it together. Thank you.

Responses to FDC overview questions[edit]

2. Name, fiscal year, and funding period.[edit]

  • Legal name of organization: The Wikimedia Foundation
  • Organization's fiscal year: FY 2017-18
  • 12-month funding period requested: 1 July 2017 - 30 June, 2018
  • Currency requested: USD
  • Name of primary contact: Jaime Villagomez, Chief Financial Officer

3. Amount requested.[edit]

Not applicable

4. How does your organization know what community members and contributors to online projects need or want? Does your organization conduct needs assessments or consult the contributors and volunteers most involved with its work?[edit]

The Foundation has multiple ways it researches what community members and contributors need. This is a primary objective of the FY2016-18 strategic plan for both contributors and readers, in order to better serve their unique needs. Ways the Foundation does this include:

  • Generative design research to gain more knowledge about our broad set of users and their unmet needs, informing what products to build for users and why. For example, we're conducting research on new readers, especially in lower-awareness and usage markets.
  • Annual community survey as an on-going information system to help us understand of user/volunteer satisfaction, feedback, needs, and changes over time.
  • Design research to provide the audience team with evaluative / usability research to collaboratively iterate toward high-quality products focused on supporting the needs of specific users.
  • Community Wishlist to better understand and prioritize specific product features and enhancements needed.
  • One-on-one discussions with Wikimedia editors and developers at Wikimedia events (hackathons, Wikimania, and more).
  • Quantitative research to understand and model reader behavior, barriers to newcomer participation, the composition and diversity of the Wikimedia contributor population, and gaps and biases in Wikimedia projects' contents across languages.
  • Emerging research to design and evaluate algorithms (edit- and article- quality classifiers, article creation recommendations, stub expansion, and reading recommendations), based on community needs, providing contributors, tool developers and audience teams with AI as a service.

5. Please provide a link to your organization's strategic plan, and a link to your separate annual plans for the current and upcoming funding periods if you have them.[edit]

The Foundation's interim 2016-18 strategic plan:


FDC questions: upcoming year financials[edit]

Revenues: upcoming year[edit]

Advancement's detailed description of their revenue goals can be found at Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2017-2018/Draft/Non-Programs/Advancement.

Expenses: upcoming year's annual plan[edit]

1. Expenses by program (excludes staff and operations).

Please see tables below.

2. Total expenses. Please use this table to summarize your organization's total expenses overall.

Please see tables below.

Wikimedia Foundation financial overview graphics[edit]

To help reviewers understand the financials, we have prepared overview graphics. The full details are available in the financial tables below these.

FY17-18 WMF AP department expenses

Note to above: Movement Strategy and Wikimedia Brand and Identity will be funded with Board Designated Funds and are not shown here.

FY17-18 WMF AP program expenses by department staff and non

Note to above: This table shows only operating expenses. It excludes the $2M of expenses that are funded from our surplus designated or conditioned by the Board of Trustees for specific and non-recurring investments.

FY17-18 WMF AP non-program expenses

FY17-18 WMF AP cross-department programs

Wikimedia Foundation financial tables[edit]

All tables below are in thousands of USD.

Table #1: Consolidated Financials: Program and Non-Program Expenses
Description FY16-17 Budget FY16-17 Forecast FY17-18 Plan
Program Expenses
Staffing 26,017 26,195 30,986
Data Center Expenses 4,689 4,211 4,465
Grants 5,460 7,303 7,360
Endowment Contribution - 5,000 5,000
Outside Contract Services 2,399 4,502 2,826
Legal Fees 1,018 908 918
Travel & Conferences 1,561 1,464 2,277
Other expenses (Wikidata, data center property taxes, etc.) 1,882 2,076 5,361
Sub Total Program Expenses 43,026 51,659 59,192
Non Program Expenses
Staffing 10,222 7,995 9,066
Donation Processing Fees 2,240 3,620 3,228
Outside Contract Services 2,214 1,807 1,947
Legal Fees 622 364 404
Travel & Conferences 289 212 446
Other expenses (Facilities, Insurance, FF&E, All Hands, Recruiting, Staff Development, Personal Property Taxes, etc.) 4,387 4,183 2,516
Sub Total Non-Program Expenses 19,974 18,181 17,608
Total Annual Operating Expenses 63,000 69,840 76,800
Funds available for a specific purpose[a 1]
Movement Strategy - 453
Brand Strategy - - 850
Office Move - - 697
Funds available for a specific purpose - 2,000
  1. These expenses are funded from our surplus for specific and non-recurring investments.
Table #2: Cross-Department Programs - Expenses by Type
Description FY17-18 Plan
Community Health New Readers Privacy and Security Structured Data Movement Strategy[b 1] Wikimedia Brand and Identity[b 1] Total
Staffing Expenses 849 1,239 1,091 1,174 - - 4,353
Non Staffing Expenses - - - - - - -
Data Center Expenses - - - 16 - - 16
Grants - 40 - - - - 40
Endowment Contribution - - - - - - -
Donation Processing Fees - - - - - - -
Outside Contract Services - 263 121 - 445 850 1,679
Legal Fees 150 - 60 - - - 210
Travel & Conferences 22 88 52 23 8 - 193
Other expenses (Wikidata, data center property taxes, etc.) 7 49 140 258 - - 454
Total Program Expenses 1,028 1,679 1,464 1,472 453 850 6,946 
  1. a b Movement Strategy and Wikimedia Brand and Identity will be funded with funds available for a specific purpose. 
Table #3: Departmental Programs
Description FY17-18 Plan
Community Engagement Audiences (formerly Product) Technology Communications Advancement: Global Reach and Other Program Exp Legal Governance Finance & Administration Total
Staffing 4,663 9,889 9,133 1,295 680 402 539 94 26,694
Non-Staffing - - - - - - - - -
Data Center Expenses - - 4,449 - - - - - 4,449
Grants 7,320 - - - - - - - 7,320
Endowment Contribution - - - - 5,000 - - - 5,000
Donation Processing Fees - - - - - - - - -
Outside Contract Services 354 369 332 835 76 198 212 - 2,375
Legal Fees - - - - - 708 - - 708
Travel & Conferences 652 509 574 74 83 36 158 6 2,092
Other expenses (Wikidata, data center property taxes, etc.) 942 1,278 579 39 134 89 52 1,102 4,214
Total Program Expenses 13,931 12,044 15,067 2,243 5,974 1,433 960 1,202 52,853
Table #4: Departmental Non-Programs
Description FY 17-18 Plan
Legal Finance & Administration Talent & Culture Fundraising (Advancement and Fundraising Tech) Office Move[d 1] Total
Staffing 1,214 2,525 1,907 3,420 - 9,066
Non-Staffing: - - - - - -
Data Center Expenses - - - - - -
Grants - - - - - -
Endowment Contribution - - - - - -
Donation Processing Fees - - - 3,228 - 3,228
Outside Contract Services 21 357 155 1,480 66 2,079
Legal Fees 404 - - - - 404
Travel & Conferences 40 88 78 240 - 446
Other expenses (Facilities, Insurance, FF&E, All Hands, Recruiting, Staff Development, Personal Property Taxes, etc.) 161 1,985 657 345 631 3,778
Total Non-Program Expenses 1,840 4,955 2,797 8,713 697 19,001
  1. The Office Move expenses will be funded with funds available for a specific purpose.
Table #5: Expenses by Departments
Description FY16-17 Budget FY16-17 Forecast[e 1] FY17-18 Plan
Advancement 6,722 12,643 13,277
Community Engagement 11,188 12,621 14,302
Audiences (formerly Product) 15,078 15,686 14,595
Technology 13,983 12,659 18,448
Communications 2,344 2,048 2,473
Legal 3,724 3,029 3,627
Talent & Culture 2,493 2,038 2,797
Finance & Administration 6,593 6,307 6,321
Governance[e 1] 875 2,809 960
Total Annual Operating Expenses 63,000 69,840 76,800 
  1. a b FY16-17 Forecast includes $5M Endowment Contribution in Advancement and $2M Movement Strategy Expenses in Governance
Table #6: Outside Contract Services, excluding Cross Departmental Programs
Description Expense Description
Advancement 1,378 WMF fundraising teams operate according to industry best practices and leverage a lean staffing model that relies on significant contractor support, particularly for: donor services (responding to approximately 80,000 donor emails), online fundraising campaign data analysis, email and banner campaign design, matching gifts facilitation. Additionally, contractors will support shipping and fulfillment and translation services
Community Engagement 354 The Wikipedia Library program relies on contract support to continue to expand the quantity and language availability of their resources. In Community Engagement, contractors also support temporary and long-term projects, which this year includes the design of Wikimedia Resource Center, gender diversity program development, coordination of software development between WMF and communities, maintenance of the dashboard, Wikimania coordination, and community capacity development.
Audiences (formerly Product) 369 The Product department continues to make Wikipedia a rewarding experience for the users through a combination of user research, community discussions and user product development. Many projects and initiatives are supported heavily by contract services throughout the year, some of these contract services include CiviCRM system support, PCI compliance support, interfacing OpenStreetMap community & data development, monthly regression testings, support for field user testings, and other 3rd party resources required for the program activities described under Product.
Technology 510 To ensure Wikimedia's sites and services are running reliably, securely while modernizing the infrastructure and improving the current level of services, the Technology department oftentimes leverages contract services to support their goals and long-term projects. This year the required contract services included support for QA services for mobile research, support for benchmarking, research, technical writing, and other assistance required for the program activities described under Technology
Communications 835 The Communications dept relies heavily on contractors and service providers to amplify their capacity in the areas of: public relations consulting to support awareness and positive public messaging of the Wikimedia projects, digital media content production, campaign production and management, design and production of brand materials including the annual report, CRM, blog hosting, communications intern, videography and video editing
Legal 219 The Legal dept requires contract support for trademark protection services, translation services, legal interns, transparency report design
Talent & Culture 155 The Talent and Culture dept requires contract support to supplement Diversity and Inclusion program services; performance management consulting; ongoing salary and benefits benchmarking and consulting.
Finance/Administration/IT 357 The Finance and Administration Dept will leverage part time administrative and operational support, 3rd party contract community finance research and support, operational system improvement
Governance 212 Governance requires contract support for administrative services, meeting facilitation, consulting projects.
Total Annual Operating Expenses 4,389
Table #7: Other Expense, excluding Cross Departmental Programs
Expense Description
1,702 Rent, janitorial, maintenance, and other facility expenses
1,105 Wikidata (excluding an additional $242k that is included in the Structured Data program)
992 Payroll fees, benefits administration fees, and other personnel related fees not included in staffing costs
745 Staff training and all staff meetings
596 Insurance
540 Wikimania event costs
314 Accounting and tax services, banking fees
235 IT desk and office equipment
341 Computer software subscription
209 Volunteer development and other community events
153 Printing, Office Supplies, Postage and other supplies
138 Data center property taxes
107 Telecommunications
99 Subscriptions, reference, membership and registration fees
92 Merchandise, giveaways, promotions and fulfillment costs
70 University affiliation program 

Cross Programs[edit]

About the Foundation's cross-department programs[edit]

In response to the FDC recommendation in 2016, we have created cross-department programs. These are the major initiatives of the Foundation, and they include goals from multiple departments. We have or will be disclosing detailed budgets for each of these, showing the multi-team departments – Community Engagement, Advancement, Technology and Product – sub-department or team budget detail.

Each program includes a description, program goals, and SMART objectives. In some cases, additional milestones/targets are also included.

The Foundation's programs do not directly produce impact in the metrics used for other organizations, namely the metrics of participants, newly registered, and content pages. When it does, it is through its support of individuals, groups, and organizations that develop the activities allowing the tracking of these metrics. The evolution in grants metrics in the past few years makes it difficult to consolidate results across the whole movement into those three metrics. Thus, the Foundation is using "grantee-defined metrics," focusing on measurable objectives and milestones/targets as its own specific metrics. These will be monitored on a quarterly basis and reported via a mid-year report to show programmatic progress.

New Readers[edit]

Teams: Communications, Community Resources, Design Research, Global Reach, Reading

Strategic priorities: Reach.

Timeframe: 12 months

Description FY17-18 Plan
New Readers Description of New Readers Expenses
Staffing Expenses 1,239 8.85 FTE in the Product and Advancement Department
Non Staffing Expenses -
Data Center Expenses -
Grants 40 Two rounds of rapid grants focusing on Awareness
Endowment Contribution -
Donation Processing Fees -
Outside Contract Services 263 Costs for the development and implementation of 3 awareness campaigns in target geographies
Legal Fees -
Travel & Conferences 88 Travel related to 3 awareness campaigns, additional conferences, and other team travel
Other expenses (Wikidata, Personal Property Taxes) 49 Additional payroll fees and personnel related expenses not captured in "Staffing Expenses"
Total Program Expenses 1,679


New Readers is a cross-collaboration of the Global Reach, Design Research, Reading, Community Engagement and Communications teams. We are seeking to grow Wikimedia’s reach in countries with low to limited internet connectivity, working hand in hand with local volunteers and affiliates to bring free knowledge to their communities. The Wikimedia Reading team is building mobile features that will save Wikipedia content for offline reading, while the Wikimedia Global Reach team is increasing support to reduce the cost of accessing Wikipedia around the world. Other teams are working on advocacy and local outreach to raise awareness about Wikipedia. As more of the world gains internet access, we intend to ensure that Wikipedia works for them - in their languages, their devices, and their communities.

New Readers’ efforts are based on addressing three barriers to Wikipedia usage that surfaced through extensive research in 2016:

  • awareness of Wikipedia
  • access to the internet
  • the cost of connectivity.

We know that many people haven’t even heard of Wikipedia, data charges still are a big barrier, and readers sometimes need content to be available offline.

Our programs will be piloted in the countries where we conducted the deepest research in 2016: Mexico, India, and Nigeria. As part of a global movement, we will also support requests from other countries through grants, partnerships, and other collaborations.


The New Readers program is bringing new people into the Movement who don’t yet have a strong understanding of our projects or our mission. By creating better experiences and access for those potential readers, we enable them to use and engage with free knowledge content. More readers around the world will also mean more contributors, especially among people, languages, and cultures that are underrepresented in the wikis now.

In this coming fiscal year, we will increase the number of individuals coming to Wikipedia (using unique devices in major languages as a proxy) in three target countries. We will do this by partnering with local communities to raise awareness of Wikipedia’s value, and improve access to the sites through offline and cost-reduction support.

Segment 1: Awareness[edit]

Teams: Communications and Community Resources, with significant support from Global Reach and Design Research

Learn more at New Readers/Awareness


  • Outcome 1: More people recognize and understand the value of Wikipedia content, so they seek out Wikipedia (either in search results, by coming to our projects, or following a link) when they are looking to learn.
  • Outcome 2: More people understand Wikipedia and its value, and become advocates in their communities. To support these community efforts at raising awareness of Wikipedia, we'll make materials, research and lessons from our awareness campaign available for adaptation.
  • Outcome 3: The Wikimedia Foundation develops capacities for introducing and promoting Wikimedia projects across distinct regions, working with community members in those regions to design and disseminate materials.


  • Objective 1: Coordinated marketing efforts (campaigns) with launch events in target countries/markets that educate potential readers on what Wikipedia is and the value that it offers, developed in partnership with local networks of advocates. The New Readers team pilots awareness-building efforts that consult, collaborate, and train community members on how to continue strategic marketing initiatives.
  • Objective 2: Rapid Grants focused on raising awareness through community advocacy. The Community Resources team will work with Communications to develop a Rapid Grant application for awareness-building projects. We will facilitate a training and a check-in meeting for a cohort of grantees to build capacity, gather feedback, and support knowledge sharing between awareness advocates.
  • Objective 3: Strategic partnerships in target countries that allow new readers to discover Wikipedia and understand what Wikipedia is, through inclusion in the partners' programs, products, or services and distribution of marketing materials.


  • Milestone 1: Phone surveys show growth in awareness after a campaign. This evaluation will be done ad hoc, depending on awareness activities, to evaluate if the campaigns were effective.
  • Milestone 2: Unique devices in major languages increase per country. We will also evaluate referrers to understand if traffic patterns are shifting and retention as it becomes available. We will measure and report on these quarterly in target countries.
  • Milestone 3: Reusable materials for the value of Wikipedia exist. We will measure the number of people who chose to apply for and work on awareness projects through grants and campaigns to establish a baseline for evaluation going forward.
  • Milestone 4: Our work is aligned with community goals and constraints. We will conduct post-collaboration surveys with volunteers to guide future community partnerships.

Segment 2: Offline[edit]

Teams: Reading and Global Reach, with significant support from Design Research, and Community Resources.

Learn more at New Readers/Offline


  • Outcome 1: More readers with limited internet access (for any reason) access Wikipedia content and are able to learn when not connected to the Internet.
  • Outcome 2: The New Readers team has deep understanding of the Offline space and what opportunities are available for Wikimedia content to be impactful. We share this understanding with the wider Movement. We are moving forward on 1 or more specific institutional use cases in addition to supporting individuals’ needs across platforms.


  • Objective 1: Build better interfaces for offline support for individuals who sometimes have internet access across all platforms, working hand in hand with existing solutions (both community and external). In particular:
    • extend functionality in Android app
    • build initial offline functionality for the mobile web
  • Objective 2: Conduct Inspire campaign around access to work with community members to understand use cases and support communities in developing solutions that work locally.
  • Objective 3: Better understand the existing ecosystem of solutions for offline support of Wikimedia content. Assess if it would be useful to partner with existing efforts (such as Kiwix or distributors) and move forward on those that have potential through product, grants, and/or partnerships.


  • Milestone 1: Individuals can and do save content for offline on the web, mobile web, and both Android and iOS apps. We will measure usage (using built-in metrics) and user satisfaction (through evaluative design research) of offline capability across platforms.
  • Milestone 2: We have identified a strategy for working with institutions and a plan (including goals, objectives, milestones, and measurement) for how to design a project to address that market.

Segment 3: Affordability[edit]

Teams: Global Reach and Reading, with significant support from Communications and Design Research.

Learn more at New Readers/Affordability


  • Outcome 1: Users accessing the sites through Wikipedia Zero understand that they are not spending data. We understand Wikipedia Zero program impact, barriers, and value to users.
  • Outcome 2: Existing readers access Wikipedia more frequently because their usage is free. New readers start using Wikipedia because they don’t have to worry about high data costs (and are aware of it through work in Segment 1: awareness).
  • Outcome 3: Readers spend less data when accessing Wikipedia content. Access to articles is faster and more efficient in size. This allows readers with affordability constraints to browse more freely and learn more from free knowledge content.


  • Objective 1: Better support Wikipedia Zero by:
    • evaluating effectiveness of program by building tools to gather data and examining those results.
    • improving Wikipedia Zero banner UX based on research findings in Nigeria. User experience should be updated, including Foundation’s product design guidelines and improved messaging.
  • Objective 2: Develop relationships across for-profit, government, and other sectors to improve affordability of data for end users. Identify new set of partnerships designed to address data costs as a barrier to readers in target countries. Collaborate with local communities to understand their priorities and constraints, in order to guide this work.
  • Objective 3: Building on performance improvements from 2016, reduce the size of loaded content on the mobile web across all browsers, focusing on the needs of users with low connectivity. Assess possible features that could reduce full article loading, and therefore data consumption.
  • Objective 4: Evaluate Wikipedia site interface on proxy browsers like UC Browser and Opera Mini. Address major issues and incorporate testing for these browsers in future feature releases.


  • Milestone 1: From data gathered from Wikipedia Zero users, deliver a report about program in general and awareness from banner updates. We will also evaluate referrers to understand effectiveness of Wikipedia Zero banner.
  • Milestone 2: Deliver a partnerships strategy and evaluation framework for future pilots.
  • Milestone 3: Increases in retention (time spent, pageviews) and return visits of readers who are targeted by our efforts. We will measure and report on these quarterly in target countries.

Wikimedia Brand and Identity[edit]

Teams: Communications, Advancement (Partnerships & Global Reach)

Program Leads: Executive sponsors: Heather Walls, Lisa Gruwell; Zack McCune (Communications), Chuck Roslof (Legal), Adele Vrana (Partnerships & Global Reach)

Strategic Priorities: Communities, Reach

Timeframe: 12 months

Description FY17-18 Plan
Wikimedia Brand and Identity[1] Description of Brand and Identity Expenses
Staffing Expenses
Non Staffing Expenses -
Data Center Expenses -
Grants -
Endowment Contribution -
Donation Processing Fees -
Outside Contract Services 850 Includes three primary elements:
  • Costs for contractors and agencies to redesign
  • Contractors, agencies, and/or consulting firms facilitating several phases of a brand and identity project including: Brand audit, architecture, story, recommendations and elements (see further information below).
  • Project management to facilitate the program
Legal Fees -
Travel & Conferences -
Other expenses (Wikidata, Personal Property Taxes) -
Total Program Expenses 850

Table notes:

  • Brand audit - Review our brand's market position, competitors, consumer perceptions, and global market variance
  • Brand architecture - Review the ecosystem of brand participants, from volunteer editors, to donors, to press, to readers, to Foundation teams
  • Brand story - Review overarching brand value, what must all regions share, what can be and should be localized
  • Brand recommendations - Review and determine how the brand could be improved, corrected, repositioned to succeed through 2030
  • Brand element updates - Reacting to some of the recommendations: how can design and messaging go to work right now?
  1. Movement Strategy and Wikimedia Brand and Identity will be funded with Board Designated Funds.


The Wikimedia brand — which is really the trust that the public has in the projects because of the efforts of volunteers — is one of the most valuable things we steward. As the Foundation, we maintain strong trademark protections, ensure the Wikimedia brand is consistent and protected from abuse and misappropriation, and work to increase brand awareness around the world. Wikimedia’s vision is for everyone to share in all knowledge, and good use of the brand is part of how we reach toward that incredible goal.

We work with the Wikimedia communities to enable and facilitate mission-aligned use of the brand. With them, we seek opportunities that spread awareness of the values of Wikimedia. We also enforce against misuse of the Wikimedia trademarks in order to protect the brands and keep the public’s trust.

There are countries where the Wikimedia brands and trademarks are not widely recognized, and in many of these our brand is not being associated with knowledge. In those places we have an opportunity to increase awareness by researching, collaborating with different third parties that are re-using and distributing Wikimedia content, and creating campaigns to grow our communities.


Following a discovery process, build a brand strategy and underlying architecture that helps the Wikimedia movement and projects reach their goals and fulfill potential. We need to create this strategy with our global community in a way that supports the durability of Wikimedia, and near-term goals of movement members. We will continue to allow and seek out uses of the brand that align with our goals, and ensure the trademarks are protected as we expand brand awareness. At the same time, we will continue to stop and prevent uses that have the potential to damage the brands and trademarks.

Segment 1: Brand[edit]

Lead Team: Communications


  • Outcome 1: The Wikimedia Foundation has a clear understanding of existing brand perceptions, with formal benchmarks for measuring future shifts.
  • Outcome 2: The Wikimedia Foundation aligns its strategic approach for advancing Wikimedia brand to Movement Strategy.
  • Outcome 3: The community and our partners have expanded and expedited systems for use of Wikimedia brand marks.


  • Objective 1: Evaluate and measure uses of Wikimedia brands by communities and partners.
  • Objective 2: Create a brand strategy that outlines clear objectives, uses, measurements, and tactics for improving usage of Wikimedia brand assets.
  • Objective 3: Create a durable brand architecture that supports the goals of Wikimedia communities and projects.
  • Objective 4: Establish new workflows for requesting brand usage and create documentation to guide both community and partner use case cases.


  • Milestone 1: Design an inclusive and collaborative stakeholder engagement process that aligns with movement strategy efforts. (Q1/Q2)
  • Milestone 2: Brand measurement studies complete in 3 key markets by November 2017. (Q2)
  • Milestone 3: Develop a brand strategy with milestones and targets TDB, based on milestone 1.
  • Milestone 4: Brand strategy documents shared with Community leads and to Meta-Wiki, time TBD during milestone 1
  • Milestone 5: New systems for brand licensing and logo usage introduced, time TBD during milestone 1

Segment 2: Trademarks[edit]

Lead Team: Legal


  • Outcome 1: The Wikimedia Foundation has the rights and tools necessary to protect the Wikimedia brand.
  • Outcome 2: Third-party uses of the Wikimedia brands align with our mission and brand goals.
  • Outcome 3: The Wikimedia Foundation continues to prevent misuse of the Wikimedia brand.


  • Objective 1: File, maintain, and defend trademark registrations worldwide.
  • Objective 2: File, maintain, and defend domain name registrations.
  • Objective 3: Facilitate mission-aligned community and external uses of Wikimedia. marks through our trademark policy and by granting trademark licenses.
  • Objective 4: Send cease and desist notices and file complaints in response to trademark infringement.

Segment 3: Partner brand usage[edit]

Lead Team: Advancement (Partnerships & Global Reach)


  • Outcome 1: The Wikipedia brand is properly recognized and attributed by third-party content distributors, increasing awareness of our marks for new readers in emerging markets.


  • Objective 1: Identify existing third-party products/services distributing WP content with high potential to collaborate/partner with Wikimedia.
  • Objective 2: Develop "intermediate" branding that can be used by third-parties distributing Wikipedia content (i.e., "powered by Wikipedia").
  • Objective 3: Collaborate/partner with third-party product/services that will use "intermediate" branding to properly attribute WP content, raising awareness in target countries.

Community Health[edit]

Teams: Community Tech, Support and Safety, Research

Program leads: Trevor Bolliger (Community Tech), Patrick Earley (Support and Safety), Dario Taraborelli (Research)

Strategic priorities

This program directly answers Community approach #1 in the Strategic Priorities: “Reduce harassment and the gender gap to facilitate a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment for contributors and editors.”

Timeframe: 28 months

More information: Community health initiative

Description FY17-18 Plan
Community Health Description of Community Health Expenses
Staffing Expenses 849 6.27 FTE in the Product and Community Engagement departments
Non Staffing Expenses -
Data Center Expenses -
Grants -
Endowment Contribution -
Donation Processing Fees -
Outside Contract Services -
Legal Fees 150 Outside legal fees related to bringing anti-harassment legal claims and taking action against disruptions of the projects
Travel & Conferences 22 Travel to community events and community conferences
Other expenses (Wikidata, Personal Property Taxes) 7 Additional payroll fees and personnel related expenses not captured in "Staffing Expenses"
Total Program Expenses 1,028


While our projects’ policies, procedures, tools, and community norms have evolved over time, there is still some improvement needed to address the problem of harassment and intimidation of contributors. The Foundation’s 2015 Harassment Survey found that a significant number of editors who either experienced or directly witnessed harassment on our sites were discouraged from contributing by the experience, stunting the growth of our projects. There is general agreement that both the processes and the tools used to combat this problem could significantly benefit from improvement.

The Community Health Initiative brings the Support and Safety and Community Tech teams together to address this multifaceted problem. The program has two interconnected components. The Support and Safety team will work with the community to review and improve policies and procedures, and the Community Tech team will research and build new Anti-Harassment Tools to help volunteers better put those policies into practice. (Note: this initiative is a special project funded by Newmark and does not include all the work that the Support and Safety team is doing to address community harassment.)


The Community Health Initiative aims to reduce the amount of harassing behavior occurring on Wikimedia projects and increase the resolution rate and accuracy of conduct dispute cases that do arise.

  • The Community Tech team’s Anti-Harassment Tools project has four focus areas: Detection/Prevention, Reporting, Evaluation of harassment cases, and Blocking.
  • The Support and Safety team’s Policies and Enforcement Growth project will examine strengths and weaknesses in existing community behavioral policies and enforcement processes, then translate these findings into structural improvements and pilots of new approaches.
  • The Research team's Anti-Harassment Research project will aim to understand and model the characteristics of harassment in Wikimedia projects in order to inform the development of anti-harassment tools and recommendations for community-specific behavioral policies and enforcement processes.

Segment 1: Anti-harassment tools[edit]

Lead team: Community Tech

Outcomes and objectives[edit]

Outcome 1: Detection/Prevention[edit]

Blatant harassment is more easily identified and prevented.

To achieve this, we will extend existing tools used by the largest communities to expand their capabilities and improve their accuracy. We will also research potential features that identify harassment incidents before they boil over.

As a result of this work, community leaders will be better equipped to prevent potential instances of harassment.

  • Objective 1: Implement performance, usability, and anti-spoof improvements to AbuseFilter so admins can craft filters to block words and strings that violate community policies.
  • Objective 2: Implement stability improvements to ProcseeBot, a proxy white/blacklist, so admins can more effectively manage troublesome proxies.
  • Objective 3: Based on social interaction modeling research, build a prototype to surface potential cases of wikihounding to admins.

Outcome 2: Reporting[edit]

Incidents of harassment that requires assistance are accurately reported.

To achieve this, we will design and prototype a more accessible, less chaotic and less stressful system that helps targets of harassment to reach out for assistance, in partnership with the enwiki community.

As a result of this work, contributors will feel more comfortable reporting harassment incidents, which will help them to get the support that they need.

  • Objective 1: Build consensus in the English Wikipedia community for requirements and direction of the reporting system.
  • Objective 2: Build a prototype of the new reporting system to validate our concepts.

Outcome 3: Evaluation of harassment cases[edit]

Admins can make confident and correct decisions in conduct disputes, with a less burdensome time commitment.

To achieve this, we will research and build features that facilitate the workflows of administrators who research and respond to reports of harassment, potentially creating a private space to document and discuss.

As a result, more administrators should feel empowered to engage with conduct dispute resolution and feel confident about their mediation decisions.

  • Objective 1: Build a user interaction evaluation tool to streamline the workflow for admins who investigate the interaction history of users who report harassment.
  • Objective 2: Build consensus in the English Wikipedia community for requirements and direction of a private admin-only database for discussing and documenting on harassment incidents.

Outcome 4: Known bad actors are effectively prevented from causing further harm[edit]

To achieve this, we will both improve the effectiveness of existing blocking tools and introduce new features to provide admins with additional options in how to respond to bad actors.

As a result, repeat offenses of harassment are eliminated at the lowest possible cost to admin workload and wiki contributions.

  • Objective 1: Build Per-page blocking tool, which will help wiki administrators to redirect users who are being disruptive without completely blocking them from contributing to the projects.
  • Objective 2: Make global CheckUser tools work across projects so admins can check contributions across IPs on all Wikimedia projects in one query.
  • Objective 3: Build consensus in the English Wikipedia community for requirements and direction of a sockpuppet blocking tool.


  • Milestone 1: Increase the confidence of admins with their ability to make accurate decisions in conduct disputes, measured via focus groups or consultations.
  • Milestone 2: Release three features which empower Wikimedia administrators to better enforce community policies and reduce abusive activity.

Segment 2: Policy and Enforcement Growth[edit]

Lead team: Support and Safety

Timeframe: 27 months. 18 months for first phase (Objective 1: 12 months starting 17-18 Q1, Objective 2: 9 months starting 17-18 Q3). Phase 2 pilots will launch beginning Q3 18-19, with community consultation to select approach by the beginning of Q2 19-20.


Outcome 1: Support and Safety will fulfill ongoing community requests for information about how harassment is handled on our projects.[edit]

This is in addition to supporting as liaison the work of Segment 1 above. Beginning with English Wikipedia, a large community from which can be obtained a wealth of data, we will provide contributors with research and analysis of how behavioural issues on English Wikipedia are a) covered in policy, and b) enforced in the community, particularly noticeboards where problems are discussed and actioned. We will provide research on alternate forms of addressing specific issues, researching effectiveness, and identifying different approaches that have found success on other Wikimedia projects. This will help our communities make informed changes to existing practices.

Outcome 2: In phase 2, we will lead pilot trials of alternate approaches identified through Outcome 1[edit]

After analyzing the results of trials and possible paths forward to volunteer communities, we will help communities move forward with desired improvements. The goal is to not only present possible approaches, but to help English Wikipedia choose one, through community consensus, that will help community members effectively reach out for assistance with problems and effectively aid those who so reach out - at the same time that we are developing and deploying more effective tools for enforcing policies.


  • Objective 1: Using an approach similar to Peter Coombe’s research on help pages, survey the participants at the Administrator’s Noticeboard for Incidents on their experience - namely, the perceived effectiveness of the process, and the quality of outcomes. A second, quantitative approach will classify types of reports historically posted to gain an understanding of how the board is being used.
  • Objective 2: Conduct a broad overview research project on trends, strengths, and challenges to forming effective behavioural policies on three major projects. '


  • Milestone 1: Survey and analysis in Objective 1 completed, published and summarized by end of Q4.
  • Milestone 2: Scoping of broad policy research project goals in Objective 2 completed by end of Q3; implementation by Q1 of FY 18-19, research finalized and results released on Meta and workshopped at community conference by end of FY 18-19 Q2.

Cross-Department Program: Privacy & Security As technological and legal circumstances evolve, we are continuing our work to maintain and improve the Wikimedia Foundation's privacy and security practices in order to protect Wikimedia community member and donor information and ensure safe and secure connection to Wikimedia projects and sites.

Segment 3: Research on harassment[edit]

Lead team: Research

Strategic priorities: Communities

Timeframe: There may be research required during FY18-19 and beyond, but we are including only 12 months in this current annual plan for FY17-18.


Over the past year, the Research team – in collaboration with other departments at the Wikimedia Foundation and external research collaborators – has developed a set of initiatives aiming to understand the prevalence of harassment and personal attacks; design algorithms to facilitate their detection; and understand the impact of toxic behavior on editor retention. We have also released large data sets and open source tools to support more open and reproducible research on harassment.


In the next fiscal year, we will continue research work on harassment and abuse detection and deliver empirical insights and new models to better characterize toxicity in Wikimedia discussion spaces.


  • Outcome 1: We aim to understand and model the characteristics of harassment in Wikimedia projects. This will primarily focus on quantitative research. We see great potential in using past contribution behavior to build models to identify additional forms of toxic behavior. These learnings will allow us to design better tools (Segment 1) and work with the community to evolve their policies (Segment 2.)


  • Objective 1: Conduct research to characterize and model wikihounding.
  • Objective 2: Prototype new models to facilitate sockpuppet detection and the classification of toxic discussions.

Segment 4: Community Health Legal Defense Fund[edit]

Teams: Community Engagement (Support and Safety, Community Tech, & Research), Legal

Strategic priorities: Communities

Time frame: 27 months; the legal segment will be ongoing once established.


We are building a more advanced system to reduce harassing behavior on Wikipedia and block harassers from the site. We will build new tools that more quickly identify potentially harassing behavior, and help volunteer wiki administrators evaluate harassment reports and make good decisions. Paired with existing tools that we’re improving and redesigning, this new system will streamline the way we combat “trolling,” “doxxing,” and other menacing conduct on Wikipedia


By providing the volunteer community and Wikimedia Foundation staff with robust tools for detecting, reporting and evaluating harassment, we will enable them to patrol Wikimedia communities more effectively and be able to identify and block harassing users. This in turn will create stronger, more effective, inclusive and diverse communities, benefitting current and future editors alike. We won’t eliminate harassment 100 percent, but we can pare it way down with a more streamlined approach.

Outcome and objectives[edit]

  • Outcome 1: As appropriate and to the extent possible, the Wikimedia Foundation will support users who face significant harassment, and work to keep harassers away from Wikimedia sites.
    • Objective 1: Provide funding for community members to bring anti-harassment legal claims, as appropriate
    • Objective 2: Take direct legal action against users broadly disrupting the project, as appropriate

Privacy, Security, and Data Management[edit]

Team: Technology (Security, Analytics, Technical Operations, & Services), Finance & Administration (OIT, Administration), Community Engagement (Support & Safety), Product (Reading & Reading Design), Advancement (Fundraising Technology)

Program Leads: Aeryn Palmer (Legal), Victoria Coleman and Nuria Ruiz (Technology)

Strategic priorities: Communities, Reach

Timeframe: 12 months. Specific segments of the program may have finite time frames, but some aspects (for example, providing Privacy by Design product counseling) are ongoing throughout Q1-Q4.

Description FY17-18 Plan
Privacy and Security Description of Privacy and Security Expenses
Staffing Expenses 1,081 8.08 FTE in Technology and Legal
Non Staffing Expenses -
Data Center Expenses -
Grants -
Endowment Contribution -
Donation Processing Fees -
Outside Contract Services 121 Contractor and contracting services cost to support the privacy and security program, audit, and trainings
Legal Fees 60 Legal fees related to safeguarding user and donor information through legal compliances and protective policies
Travel & Conferences 52 For security personnels to travel to community events and community conferences
Other expenses (Wikidata, Personal Property Taxes) 140 Cost for security audit (penetration testing), and additional payroll fees and personnel related expenses not captured in "Staffing Expenses"
Total Program Expenses 1,454


As technological and legal circumstances evolve, we are continuing our work to maintain and improve the Wikimedia Foundation's privacy and security practices in order to protect Wikimedia community member and donor information and ensure safe and secure connection to Wikimedia projects and sites.


Our privacy and security work is three-fold. The programmatic aspects (Privacy) involve safeguarding user and donor information through legal compliance and protective policies, best practices, and trainings; communicating our privacy practices to users and donors; and ensuring that privacy issues are considered throughout the product design process and lifecycle. The core/non-programmatic aspects (Security and Data Management) include implementing technical and physical measures to ensure secure connections to Wikimedia sites and protect data the Foundation holds; improving organizational security posture and architecture; ensuring the Wikimedia projects, sites, property, staff, and fundraising operations remain protected from external threats; and improving data management and practices.

Segment 1: Legal[edit]

Outcome 1: Through improvements to our organizational security posture, the Foundation ensures the high-quality protection and security of our infrastructure and data

  • Objective 1: Evaluate current security practices and make changes and provide training as appropriate

Outcome 2: The Wikimedia Foundation provides clear communications with members of the communities and public regarding our privacy practices

  • Objective 1: Work with relevant teams to answer user and donor privacy questions
  • Objective 2: Draft and update public-facing privacy-related policies and procedures

Outcome 3: The Wikimedia Foundation continues compliance with best practices for privacy

  • Objective 1: Provide training in, draft internal policies relating to, and ensure privacy compliance
  • Objective 2: Ensure that privacy issues are considered throughout the product design process and lifecycle
  • Objective 3: Ensure compliance with applicable privacy, security, and data protection law

Outcome 4: The Wikimedia Foundation continues compliance with best practices for data management

  • Outcome 1: To protect user data and uphold movement values, the Wikimedia Foundation continues compliance with best practices for data management

Segment 2: Technology[edit]

Lead Team: Technology

Outcome 1: Through improvements to our organizational security posture, the Foundation ensures the high-quality protection and security of our infrastructure and data

  • Objective 1: Increase capacity to participate in security-centric activities
  • Objective 2: Update tools and processes to keep pace with industry-wide security developments
  • Objective 3 Improve our security architecture with more systematic isolation of services and sensitive data

Outcome 2: To protect user data and uphold movement values, the Wikimedia Foundation continues compliance with best practices for data management

  • Objective 1: Guide process for creation/description of new datasets
  • Objective 2: Ensure retention guidelines are being followed
  • Objective 3: Better offboarding / onboarding for data access
  • Objective 4: Sanitization of granular pageview and editing data (geowiki) for public release

Outcome 3: Maintain and enhance connection privacy and security

  • Objective 1:  Evolve edge connection security/privacy software stack vs evolving threats and changes to underlying traffic stack
  • Objective 2: Keep up with evolving public-facing TLS Standards and enhancements (e.g. HPKP, TLSv1.3, ciphersuites)

Segment 3: Office IT[edit]

Lead Team: Office IT

Outcome 1: Through improvements to our organizational security posture, the Foundation ensures the high-quality protection and security of our infrastructure and data

  • Objective 1: Evaluate current security practices and make changes and provide training as appropriate

Outcome 2: The Foundation's corporate network has clear, actionable security event monitoring, logging and alerting

  • Objective 1: Security Event Information Monitoring (SIEM) system

Outcome 3: To protect user data and uphold movement values, the Foundation has ongoing compliance with best practices for data management

  • Objective 1: Move from G-Suite non-profit to G-Suite for Business/Enterprise to better manage e-mail and document retention for domain

Structured Data on Commons[edit]

Teams: Reading, Community Programs, Technical Collaboration, Research, Wikidata (WMDE), MediaWiki Core, Cloud Services, Discovery/Search, Tech Ops, Performance

Strategic priorities:

  • Knowledge -- the project simplifies workflows and contribution venues for ingesting multimedia and its associated data. Currently, projects lose some of the most valuable information about the media, and this project enables rectification.
  • Communities -- the project is in direct response to long-needed requests from Communities for features like multilingual categories and improved search, which will bolster a number of community workflows.
  • Reach - project focuses on building the infrastructure needed for improving search and reuse of Commons.

Timeframe: 2.5+ years

Description FY17-18 Plan
Structured Data Description of Structured Data Expenses
Staffing Expenses 1,365 10.23 FTE in the Technology, Product departments
Non Staffing Expenses -
Data Center Expenses 16 4 test boxes for Multi-Content Revisions schema changes
Grants -
Endowment Contribution -
Donation Processing Fees -
Outside Contract Services -
Legal Fees -
Travel & Conferences 35 Travel to community conferences and other team travel
Other expenses (Wikidata, Personal Property Taxes) 259 Wikidata staffing expenses from WMDE personnel in support of the Structured Data program; additional payroll fees and personnel related expenses not captured in "Staffing Expenses"
Total Program Expenses 1,675


We are integrating Wikimedia Commons with Wikibase (the technical underpinning of Wikidata) to allow for the use of structured data and the integration of metadata from other sources of content. This is in part a response to a number of requests from the Wikimedia Community, including, but not limited to, better search for Commons media, multilingual descriptions, and categorizations. This affects Reach, Knowledge and Community through developing a deeper relationship with the Wikimedia Commons community, the broader GLAM network, and other reusers of Wikimedia projects -- making it easier to integrate and reuse content, and reach a broader community of learners and readers with educational media.

Note: For more detailed information, please refer to Commons:Structured data/Sloan Grant for background on the grant secured to bolster this work and this slide deck.


Unlock the potential of Commons by making it easier for people to discover, learn, and manage the free media stored on Commons and thereby incentivize higher contribution rates.

  • Short-term outcomes (end of FY 2017-18): Enable core infrastructure for integrating Structured Data into Commons, including Multi-Content Revisions (MCR), and Wikibase federation. Complete initial design research for major stakeholders in Commons, to allow planning for features development and other Commons improvements.
  • Medium-term outcomes (end of Sloan Grant in March 1, 2020): Provide the infrastructure and tools that empower the Wikimedia Commons and GLAM communities to integrate Structured Data into at least 5 million media items on Commons.
  • Long-term outcomes: The Wikimedia Commons community and partners are able to provide robust structured data on the majority of Wikimedia Commons content. Data is leveraged for improved search, discovery and management of media in Commons for Commons contributors, individual visitors, and partners.

Segment 1: Database Integration[edit]

Lead Team: MediaWiki Core and WMDE


  • Outcome 1: It is possible to store structured data within wiki pages, in particular on media file pages on Commons. We will enable the MediaWiki storage layer to correctly store and process structured data elements within wiki pages.
    • This will make it possible for editors using a variety of input interfaces to use a standard data entry format for adding content about media. Today, entry of structured data about files is challenging and results in inconsistencies and errors in data entry, metadata retrieval, and user experience.
    • Q1-Q4
  • Outcome 2: Introduce Multi-Content Revisions (MCR), which is a prerequisite for enabling flexible input, display, consumption, and re-use of mixed media stored on wiki. Currently, extremely complicated techniques are required to achieve many of these ends, and some useful functions are impractical.
    • Q1-Q4


  • Objective 1: Extend the MediaWiki storage layer for first-class support of content metadata. Update MediaWiki application code backend to ensure revision retrieval, diff, and page update internals conform to this extended database layer.
  • Objective 2: Enable saving components to use the new backend. Update transaction management facilities to ensure changes to one or more types of content in a page are committed safely in the database and related systems.
  • Objective 3: Update page rendering, diff views, and both browser-based and API-based content retrieval and editing to use the new internals. Additionally, upgrade code of extensions used by Wikimedia and potentially highly popular third-party extensions, which may otherwise rely on outdated assumptions about data layer access and internals.
  • Objective 4: Wikibase Federation supports the ability to use entities (Items and Properties) defined on one Wikibase repository (i.e., Wikidata) on another Wikibase repository (i.e., Wikimedia Commons).


  • Milestone 1: The extended database layer and MediaWiki application internals are deployed to production - with advance notice so that tool maintainers with replicas of the databases are prepared - and seamlessly support existing content consumption and editing workflows. In addition to robust test suites demonstrating correctness, observation of user traffic and feedback should reveal no adverse impacts if this is on track.
  • Milestone 2: True multi-content edits can be successfully saved, accessed, exported, and diffed reliably. In addition to robust test suites demonstrating correctness, observation of early adopter wiki user and bot operator feedback should reveal what’s working and what needs improvement.
  • Milestone 3: Reading and editing user-perceived speeds are not negatively impacted, nor are server resources dramatically exhausted. This will be observable through existing performance instrumentation.
  • Milestone 4: Wikimedia Commons becomes a Wikibase repository, storing Wikibase entities that describe media files. It describes media files using properties and concepts (items) defined on Wikidata, e.g., “license: CC-BY-SA-4.0” or “person-shown: Walt Disney”.

Segment 2: Search integration and exposure[edit]

Lead Team: Discovery/Search


  • Outcome 1: Readers, editors, and content re-users can find media using precise queries. This rectifies the current situation, which often requires tacit knowledge about categories and further exhaustive combing through files.
    • Q2-Q3
  • Outcome 2: Readers, editors, and content re-users can more easily find media in a language of their choosing. Presently, users may need to go through a translation service in order to find media for which they know the name in their primary language in order to search, or worse be unable to find media at all even if it’s actually available.
    • Q2-Q3


  • Objective 1: Commons search will be extended via CirrusSearch and Elasticsearch and Wikidata Query Service, to support searching based on structured data elements describing media.
  • Objective 2: Advanced search capabilities (e.g., Wikidata Query Service, SPARQL queries) will be updated to support the more specific media search filters and the relationships to the topics they represent.


  • Milestone 1: Commons community members confirm the most important set of search criteria to be readily available from within web search.
  • Milestone 2: Users are observed as being more satisfied when conducting Commons searches by search criteria such as topic, rights holder, license type, or media quality (e.g., image resolution), as well as by top search filters recommended by Commons community members. Additionally, media search, as part of placement in articles from within integrated experiences such as Visual Editor, becomes capable of greater sophistication.

Segment 3: Data input and migration[edit]

Lead Team: Reading:Multimedia


  • Outcome 1:
    • Commons contributors, partners contributing media, individual uploaders, and others interested in classifying structured data about media will enjoy a more seamless, predictable, and bug-free user experience. Currently, the upload and media classification experience (Upload Wizard, File pages) is limited by a lack of ability to easily input, surface and utilize metadata extensively and reliably. This is a multi-year effort and will be worked on but not completed in FY 2017-18. It is included in this document for clarity.
  • Outcome 2:
    • Millions of media files have structured data attached to them, empowering better Commons search and a more useful, consistent display for users consuming media.
    • This is a multi-year effort and will not be completed in FY 2017-18. It is included in this document for clarity.


  • Objective 1:
    • Upgrade wiki upload workflows to support data entry and importation of configurable structured data, using Multi-Content Revisions-aware APIs and Wikibase on Commons.
    • This is a multi-year effort and will worked on but not completed in FY 2017-18. It is included in this document for clarity.
  • Objective 2:
    • Upgrade Media Viewer and File pages to support display of structured data -- in particular, licensing information -- more consistently through use of multi-content revisions-aware APIs and Wikibase on Commons.
    • This is a multi-year effort and will be worked on but not completed in FY 2017-18. It is included in this document for clarity.
  • Objective 3:
    • Provide technical support and guidance to community and partner tool builders who want to support contributory or re-use workflows. This will take the form of documentation and electronic forum discussion (probably primarily on-wiki).
    • This is a multi-year effort and will be worked on but not completed in FY 2017-18. It is included in this document for clarity.


  • Milestone 1: Synthesize existing user research and Commons feedback and preview user experience enhancement prototypes. We will know we are on track based on positive community engagement and user research results.
    • This is a multi-year effort and will be worked on but not completed in FY 2017-18. It is included in this document for clarity.
  • Milestone 2: Prototypes are built and reviewed with core community stakeholders. We will know we are on track based on community feedback about the enhancements by early adopters, including field users observed through user research, of the enhanced functionality.
    • This is a multi-year effort and will be worked on but not completed in FY 2017-18. It is included in this document for clarity.
  • Milestone 3: At least two major tool developers or re-users begin software updates or write new tools to support data entry of structured data or ingestion of structured data for Commons media into their user experiences.
    • This is a multi-year effort and will be worked on but not completed in FY 2017-18. It is included in this document for clarity.

Segment 4: Programs[edit]

Lead Team: Programs


  • Outcome 1: As part of a broader effort to connect GLAM data across institutions, we will develop relationships with GLAM allies who will be stakeholders and reusers of Structured Commons and Wikidata. This will allow for the technical teams to test ideas and practical needs with institutions as they develop new features.
    • Q1-Q4
  • Outcome 2: We will develop better understanding of existing needs for Structured Commons, including, but not limited to, media uploads, Wikidata usage for various programmatic applications, and the broader partnership applications of Wikidata beyond the Wikimedia ecosystem. Better case studies, documentation and support in collaboration with WMDE will allow for broader long-term impact.
    • Q1-Q4


  • Objectives 1: Attend movement and GLAM network events that allow us to identify needs and priorities for this stakeholder groups. These will be in collaboration with design research.
  • Objectives 2: Write case studies and documentation for Commons and Wikidata projects that allow project development among Wikimedia Communities and allow us to identify gaps in existing tools.


  • Milestone 1: Develop a group of representatives for at least 10 major GLAM institutions or GLAM networks (DPLA, Europeana, ICOM, IFLA, etc.) ready to test, and provide feedback and advice on structured data on Commons. With these partners and in cooperation with regional or local GLAM volunteers or coordinators, develop strategies for supporting long-term transition to structured data for Wikimedia Content.
  • Milestone 2: Develop at least two workshops or sets of training materials that can be used to upskill existing community members and GLAM partners in using structured data from the Wikimedia Community.

Segment 5: Community Liaison[edit]

Lead Team: Technical Collaboration


  • Outcome 1: The Wikimedia communities, GLAM partners, and developers are fully on board with the Structured Data project. They participate in the different stages of planning and development, and adopt the new features.


  • Objective 1: Work with the Structured Data team to plan and implement community collaboration activities from project inception to development and roll-out of new features.
  • Objective 2: Increase awareness with contributors about the ongoing work and how they can participate effectively and reuse the outcomes for their own projects; this includes partners like Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums ("GLAM") and developers.
  • Objective 3: Assist community leaders in adopting and spreading the use of new processes and tools into the wider community.
  • Objective 4: Monitor Commons/Wikidata on emerging issues about software product, with the assistance of volunteers.


  • Milestone 1: Appropriate documentation for community to maintain transparency into work, including:
    • A high-level project description and roadmap, maintained together with the product managers, which reflects progress and upcoming milestones, and points technical and non-technical volunteers to goals or tasks where feedback and contributions are welcome.
    • A stable stream of selected updates about the project, maintained together with the product managers, targeted mainly to the Commons and Wikidata communities, GLAM partners, and developers that is updated at least once a month and includes all consultations, other calls to action, and project decisions.
    • Instructions for volunteer testers to get involved and provide useful feedback on-wiki or in Phabricator.
    • Newcomer-proof user help documentation, either new or updating existing docs, covering new features as they enter the beta and stable stages, with illustrative screenshots and screencasts.
    • * All content should be concise, use plain English, and be translatable.
  • Milestone 2:
    • Presentations and workshops about the Structured Data project are submitted to the main Wikimedia events and are made available online.
    • Very active contributors and other community leaders receive personal invitations to learn about new features, receive support if needed, and are encouraged to share their feedback publicly or to the team.
  • Milestone 3:
    • Relevant technical or social issues reported by the communities in project pages or their main venues are submitted to Phabricator and/or escalated to the product managers.
    • Zero unanticipated clashes with the communities. CL will ensure that development teams are aware of potential and emerging points of conflict.

Movement Strategy[edit]

Teams: Community Engagement, Advancement, Communications, Product, C-team

Program Leads: Executive sponsors: Katherine Maher, Jaime Villagomez, Maggie Dennis

Core team: Guillaume Paumier (staff), Suzie Nussel (consultant), Ed Bland (williamsworks), Shannon Keith (williamsworks)

Track leads: Nicole Ebber (WMDE - Track A), Jaime Anstee (Track B), Juliet Barbara (Track C), and Adele Vrana (Track D)

Strategic Priorities: Communities, Reach, Knowledge

Timeframe: 12 months

Description FY17-18 Plan
Movement Strategy[1] Description of Movement Strategy Expenses
Staffing Expenses -
Non Staffing Expenses -
Data Center Expenses -
Grants -
Endowment Contribution -
Donation Processing Fees -
Outside Contract Services 445 Costs for the consulting firm and contractors to facilitate the movement strategy process, manage the project, and complete the materials describing the new strategic direction
Legal Fees -
Travel & Conferences 8 Travel to community events to support strategy development
Other expenses (Wikidata, Personal Property Taxes) -
Total Program Expenses 453
Table notes
  1. Movement Strategy and Wikimedia Brand and Identity will be funded with Board Designated Funds.


For 16 years, Wikimedians have worked together to build the largest free knowledge resource in human history. During this time, we've grown from a small group of editors to a diverse network of editors, developers, affiliates, readers, donors, and partners. Today, we are more than a group of websites. We are a global movement rooted in values and a powerful vision: a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

As a movement, we are working together to decide on how best to realize our vision over the coming years, and how to increase our effectiveness in doing so. This has three phases:

  • Phase 1: Strategic direction. As a movement, we will explore potential themes to develop a cohesive, inspiring strategic direction for the next 10-15 years. The existing Wikimedia community of editors, developers, affiliates, and contributors will collaborate on this direction, with input from research into the needs of our readers, donors, partners, and those who are not yet aware of or engaged with the Wikimedia projects. This work will include the definition of strategic focus areas and their implications.
  • Phase 2: Movement priorities and responsibilities. We, the movement contributors and organizational entities, will collaborate to determine what priorities we should engage with over the coming 3-5 years in order to make progress toward this strategic direction. We will consider the priorities, possible programs and actions, appropriate metrics, the roles and resources of the entities, and our overall movement structure and governance. This collaboration will be developed collaboratively and in the open, for feedback and general consensus. We will also begin connecting with external parties who have similar visions and are part of the bigger "free knowledge” movement.
  • Phase 3: Strategic planning / annual planning. Each of the movement players will build its own organizational strategy and annual plan to guide its part toward achieving the 3-5-year strategic priorities. Any major shifts in structure identified in phase 2 will be further defined and implemented in an appropriate timeline.


Develop a unifying strategic direction, gain alignment on roles and resourcing, and increase our ability as a collaborative network. This includes understanding how each organized group best supports the movement, building relationships and reducing the current barriers, and being more responsive to the evolving global knowledge needs. We will also look beyond our own people to partner with other groups with similar values and missions.

Segment 1: Strategic direction for 2030 (phase 1)[edit]

Lead team: Core team + Track Leads


  • Outcome 1: All organized groups - including the Foundation and affiliates – have a clear understanding of the shared strategic direction to inspire the movement for the next 15 years.
  • Outcome 2: We have participated in a legitimate, transparent, open process based on shared power, not hierarchy, which allows us all to trust and adopt the decisions made during the process.
  • Outcome 3: We are better able to make informed decisions using the new research on the movement ecosystem and the needs of readers.


  • Objective 1: Complete the movement strategy community discussion by 10 August to build agreement and support for the final strategic direction and focus areas.
  • Objective 2: Share all work in a transparent, open process and complete final documentation of the findings and process.
  • Objective 3: Discuss the final strategic direction at Wikimania (August 2017), where we more deeply unpack the potential implications and evaluate how the research on trends and our readers should influence our prioritization.


  • Milestone 1: Complete the three cycles of community discussions by 10 August, 2017 in an open, transparent manner.
  • Milestone 2: Post the final strategic direction, focus areas, and focus area descriptions by 5 August, 2017 for comment, incorporating outside research and interviews.
  • Milestone 3: Discuss the final strategic direction and focus areas at Wikimania in August 2017 and gain general acceptance.
  • Milestone 4: Complete the brochure/presentation of Strategic direction and focus area for donors and potential partners.
  • Milestone 5: Submit final research reports by 30 September, 2017:
    • Future trends regarding population, demographics, education, knowledge, and technology and other major areas identified
    • New and existing readers globally (Europe, US, Japan, Russia, England, Germany, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia)
    • New and existing partners globally, with focus on but not limited to those in Europe, US, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and India

Segment 2: Movement framework [roles, responsibilities, resources, and structure] (phase 2)[edit]

Lead Team: Community Engagement, Advancement, Communications, Nicole Ebber (WMDE, Guillaume Paumier (Product), Suzie Nussel (consultant)


  • Outcome 1: Organized groups, in consultation with the community, have developed a clear movement framework for its entities: roles, responsibilities, resources, governance structure, and processes.
  • Outcome 2: Organized groups clearly understand the mutually agreed-upon priorities for the next 3-5 years and how their work fits into the whole movement. The focus area implications of the strategic direction are defined for short-term.
  • Outcome 3: The movement’s structure is defined and accepted, including structure and roles of all major entities (including the Foundation and affiliates) and a fair and shared governance.


  • Objective 1: Prepare for Wikimedia sessions of organized groups and some representatives from our contributors, partners, and experts. The Foundation, in conjunction with organized groups, work together to:
    • Map movement-wide skills, processes, and structures
    • Give recommendation on prioritization of 3-5-year goals, based on research
    • Coordinate task forces to design prototypes of key opportunity/challenge areas to present during the sessions (e.g., funding models, affiliate structure, governance structure, division of product work, etc.)
    • Establish consensus on how decisions will be made during the working sessions
  • Objective 2: Host the Wikimedia sessions to gain consensus on key opportunities/challenges and to prioritize the 3-5-year goals. (target April 2018)
    • Discuss the recommendations and prioritize the 3-5-year goals
    • Present prototypes and work together to improve ideas and vote on each topic
    • Define how the organized groups (including Foundation and affiliates) will be structured and work together
    • Discuss and vote on a plan to initiate a fair and shared governance structure
  • Objective 3: Conduct a community-wide consultation to gain feedback and refine the work completed by organized groups. (target June 2018)


  • Milestone 1: Complete preparation for the working sessions (September through November):
    • Map the resources of the skills, processes, and structures of the major movement entities by early 2018.
    • Establish and support task forces
    • Secure facilitators session support
  • Milestone 2: Conduct sessions in April 2018 that lead to consensus on goals, structures, funding model, and governance structure.
  • Milestone 3: Complete a community-wide consultation (by June 2018) that helps refine the recommendations from the sessions and generates acceptance.

Segment 3: Strategic planning and annual planning (phase 3)[edit]

Lead team: Finance, Communications, Community Engagement, Advancement, Product


  • Outcome 1: Organized groups prepare organizational strategies that are aligned to the strategic direction and support the 3-5-year goals. They have a functional set of metrics to measure progress against these goals over time. They have the tools to make adjustments to the strategy as needed.
  • Outcome 2: We now have a network of partners and connections that form the “bigger WE” of the movement. Together, we accelerate the accessibility and scope of free knowledge to all people.


  • Objective 1: Build strategic plans and annual plans to implement the strategic direction and accurately measure progress against its goals.
  • Objective 2: Form partnerships or alliances to create a "bigger WE" and accelerate our ability to meet our vision.


  • Milestone 1: Foundation uses the strategic direction, session agreements, and refined 3-5-year goals to build its 3-5-year organizational strategy, establish metrics, and develop its 18-month product and programs roadmaps. (Once completed, this will drive annual planning and budgeting for the Foundation.)
  • Milestone 2: Foundation strategy is set, so that it is able to complete its Annual planning and budgeting process during its normal March-June timeline.
  • Milestone 3: The Wikimedia movement has new partners or alliances, which allows us to accelerate growth. (Note - this will be further defined once strategic direction is identified in August, 2017).
  • Milestone 4: Movement-wide metrics are built with ongoing measurement of performance against the movement’s 3-5-year goals.
  • Milestone 5: Foundation prepares to host the first-ever “free knowledge” Symposium in the next fiscal year, bringing people with similar values and missions together with our movement.

Department Programs[edit]

About the Foundation's department programs[edit]

We have included the major programs for each department, and these budgets are collectively shown on a department-level. The department budgets are further described by more detailed spending type categories, such personnel-related spending.

Each program includes a description, program goals, and SMART objectives. In some cases, additional milestones/targets are also included.

The Foundation's programs do not directly produce impact in the metrics used for other organizations, namely the metrics of participants, newly registered, and content pages. When it does, it is through its support of individuals, groups, and organizations that develop the activities allowing the tracking of these metrics. The evolution in grants metrics in the past few years makes it difficult to consolidate results across the whole movement into those three metrics. Thus, the Foundation is using "grantee-defined metrics," focusing on measurable objectives and milestones/targets as its own specific metrics. These will be monitored on a quarterly basis and reported via a mid-year report to show programmatic progress.

FDC instructions[edit]

Expand to see instructions (click to expand or collapse)
This section is about your organization's programs. A program is a defined set of activities that share the same objectives and a similar theory of change. Please share the general goal of each program, and then list the specific objectives that the program will meet. Please do not include information about your organization's operating activities in this section. You may provide information about activities like administration, staff and board training, fundraising, governance, and internal IT in another section or in a supplementary document, but please do not include these activities here as programs.
1. For each program, and overall
  • Include targets for each of the three shared measures for each program, and overall. If one or more of these required metrics are not relevant to any of your programs, please consult your program officer.
  • Also choose at least two grantee-defined metrics to highlight in this section, and include targets for each of these grantee-defined metrics for each program, and overall. (Other program-specific metrics may be included in your program objectives, in the detailed program sections below.)

Table 3

Shared metrics

  1. Participants: The number of people who attend your events, programs or activities, either in person or virtually. This definition does not include people organizing activities, social media followers, donors, or others not participating directly.
  2. Newly registered: The number of participants that create new accounts on a Wikimedia project. These include users who register up to two weeks before the start of the event.
  3. Content pages: A content page is an article on Wikipedia, an item on Wikidata, a content page on Wikisource, an entry on Wiktionary, and a media file on Commons, etc. This metric captures the total number of content pages created or improved across all Wikimedia projects.

Grantee-defined metrics

  1. A: A1
  2. B: B2


About Community Engagement[edit]

The goal of the Community Engagement department is to increase the quantity, quality, diversity, and reach of free knowledge by supporting people and organizations aligned with the Wikimedia Foundation mission and vision. We support contributors by representing them in the development of new technical tools, by supporting community governance and innovations, by implementing trust & safety, by scaling strategic programs, and by making grants to individuals, groups and organizations working on building community and growing content on Wikimedia projects and sites as well as related open knowledge projects. We are committed to supporting under-represented contributors and emerging regions, languages, and communities.

In FY2017-18, Community Engagement has programs within each of the three strategic areas: Reach, Communities and Knowledge. A major focus for us this year is expanding and diversifying participation and content in Wikimedia Projects. Beyond our core commitments, the majority of our programs were developed with this goal in mind. Where possible, core commitments will also be evaluated against this focus, to ensure that it is enhanced whenever possible within every program and action we make. Learn more on the department's meta page.

Community Resources[edit]

For more information, see Community Resources/2017-18 Annual Plan

The role of Community Resources is to resource impactful community-led ideas, programs, technologies and gatherings to build and diversify the Wikimedia movement.

Learning and Evaluation[edit]

The Learning and Evaluation team (L&E) helps monitor the impact of the work being done across the movement and guides other Community Engagement teams in executing effective grants through ongoing analysis, learning and evaluation support. The team is focused on sharing best practices and facilitating community knowledge sharing, listening to community voices for better decision making through community leader/editor surveys, and fostering collaboration and support to and with Wikimedia Affiliates.

Community Programs[edit]

The Community Programs team provides support for program leaders and community members in three particular domains: Education (EDU), Research (TWL) and Cultural Heritage (GLAM). The team supports community leaders through targeted infrastructure, community capacity, and external outreach projects, to improve the environment for community leaders to run successful programs and increase the reputation and impact of the Wikimedia movement.

Support and Safety[edit]

Support and Safety serves the Wikimedia Foundation, readers and contributors by providing support on Foundation initiatives with a focus on community consultations, governance, and training, and by addressing trust and safety concerns including around appropriately escalating threats communicated on our projects and helping to safeguard the safety of attendees of Wikimedia Foundation supported events.

Technical Collaboration[edit]

Technical Collaboration helps developers to build features in collaboration with our communities. The team supports WMF Product teams, volunteer developers, tech ambassadors, and other contributors willing to get involved in the planning, development, and deployment of software features in Wikimedia. They act as liaisons between non-technical communities and developers, and they organize developer outreach programs and events.

Program 1: Resourcing communities[edit]

University of Edinburgh Spy Week Wikipedia edit-a-thon 22.jpg

Team: Community Resources, with significant support from Legal & Finance departments and some support from Community Tech. Support from other teams will be needed dependent on Inspire Campaign themes (e.g., Reading, for a campaign focused on New Readers)

Strategic priorities: Knowledge, Communities (See the outcomes and program description for more details)

Time frame: 12 months. Many grant programs & Inspire Campaigns operate cyclically


Community organizers are an essential part of the Wikimedia movement. We believe supporting organizers and their work is critical for achieving our collective vision. Community Resources provides community organizers access to funding, mentorship, good project management practices, and technical support throughout the lifecycle of each grant. It is through a large ecosystem of services that we empower organizers with the skills and resources they need to grow, diversify, and build the Wikimedia movement.

We have seen tremendous growth and diversification in the last year, since we restructured our grant programs: in 6 months we awarded 258 grants, matching the total number of grants awarded in fiscal year 2014-15 (details). We now support over 40 countries on five continents: 70% of grantees in our new Rapid Grant program are Global South / emerging communities, supporting movement expansion into countries well beyond Western Europe and North America.

However, our current program activity is not sustainable at our current level of staffing. Without additional resourcing - specifically another Grants Administrator and junior Program Officer - we will have to significantly reduce the number of grants funded overall. This will likely result in closing 1 or 2 of our grant programs. While we recognize that the discontinuation of any grant program will negatively affect Wikimedia communities - and that the discontinuation of Rapid Grants would disproportionately affect non-European countries and communities - we cannot continue without additional staffing, nor will we be able to lead the Gender diversity program (described elsewhere).

For more detailed information, see our full Annual Plan page.


  • Empower and enable community organizers: Ensure community organizers worldwide - particularly our diverse set of leaders - have access to the skills and resources they need to pursue ideas, address the problems they see, and ultimately to grow, diversify, and build the Wikimedia movement.
  • Share decision-making power about movement funds: Provide a transparent, participatory process for disseminating movement funds.


  • Outcome 1: Knowledge: Through grants, content on the Wikimedia projects is created, curated, or improved. This results in the deepening and expansion of knowledge available through our projects. Previous-year baselines show significant content creation on our project through grants.
  • Outcome 2: Participation and Diversity: New and diverse people are able to join, participate and contribute to our global movement, particularly those voices in the minority - e.g., non-male contributors, emerging / Global South communities.
  • Outcome 3: Leadership: Community organizers (individuals, groups, organizations) take on leadership roles in the movement, at regional, global, or thematic levels.


  • Objective 1: Run six grant programs. WMF Grant program are run annually on different timelines, and support individuals and organizations of various sizes and needs:
    • Full Annual Plan Grants/FDC - for larger organizations needing unrestricted annual funding over $100K
    • Simple Annual Plan Grants - for smaller organizations needing annual funding below $100k
    • Project Grants - online & offline projects requiring $2-100k.
    • Rapid Grants - projects needing less than $2k, largely to emerging communities
    • Conference Grants - for good quality movement, regional, and thematic conference organizers worldwide
    • Wikimania Scholarships - for community members needing financial support to attend Wikimania, largely to emerging communities
  • Objective 2: Connect grantees to expertise and resources within and beyond the Wikimedia movement.
    • Grant program officers work with grantees to identify areas where the grantee will need support and/or development. For instance: budget management, project or event planning and management, evaluation, volunteer engagement and retention, community conflict, organizational effectiveness, etc.
    • Program officers then work to find people/training within or beyond the movement who can work with the grantee in this area. For example: directly mentoring on event planning, connecting a grantee with a WMF Engineer who can advise on their technical project, recommending a grantee attend Learning Day or another workshop.
  • Objective 3: Build out IdeaLab to support the development of ideas, by creating a space where community organizers can draft proposals, find interested collaborators, and access wider movement resources (e.g., help on how to approach policy change in a specific wiki).
    • Through IdeaLab, run two Inspire Campaigns annually. Inspire Campaigns invite movement-wide idea-building on topics consistent with community needs and our strategic priorities. These month-long events are run twice each year, with one theme directly aligned with a strategic priority (e.g., anti-harassment, new readers), and one theme derived organically from community feedback and activity. Past campaigns have brought in between 200 - 700 participants who have developed between 60-280 ideas to review.
  • Objective 4: Coordinate and support Wikimania, including supporting the local organizing team, securing fiscal sponsorships, and running the Wikimania Scholarship program (which brings ~120 community members to the event, majority from Global South).


  • Milestone 1: Participation:
    • 50,000 participants engaged through WMF grants
    • 10,000 new editors engaged through WMF grants
  • Milestone 2: Diversity:
    • 70% of grants awarded to emerging / Global South communities (contingent on staffing)
  • Milestone 3: Knowledge:
    • Over 500K Wikimedia pages will be created or improved (contingent on accessibility of grants programs)
  • Milestone 4: Leadership:
    • Grantees take leadership roles in the movement. Through access to idea support and funds, we have seen many organizers in the movement build leadership through the grants program, after or as a result of their grant-funded work. We specifically work to ensure diversity of our grantees, with KPIs on gender and emerging communities/global south. We also seek to ensure grant applicant satisfaction and are interested in tracking the number of returning grantees, as well as other indicators like the number of non-male organizers, and number of grantees who become organizers for the movement in new ways beyond their initial project.

Program 2: Gender diversity[edit]

Teams: Community Resources, Community Tech, and Support & Safety in conjunction with Research, Global Reach/Partnerships, and Communications

Program lead: Alex Wang (Community Resources)

Strategic priorities: Reach, Communities, Knowledge


  • Research and surveying: 6 months
  • Pilots = 12 months
  • Total = 18 months


Lack of gender diversity on Wikimedia projects, in terms of both contributors and content, has severe ramifications on our ability to serve our mission. Based on the incomplete data we have, we know that only 13-23% of our contributors on the Wikimedia projects are female, and we know nearly nothing about the participation rates of other genders.[1] There are many reasons for this imbalance and many initiatives across our movement to address the issue. However, we do not currently have a comprehensive understanding of the work that is being done across the movement to address this, the challenges women and other genders in our communities face, and what cultural, policy, or technical interventions could support an increase in gender diversity.

We will build this understanding through research, surveys, and interviews of both movement contributors and those outside of the movement. We’ll use that research in combination with community conversations to prioritize and pilot projects with 1-2 communities over the next 12-18 months. These projects could be admin trainings, support for policy change, the creation and implementation of safe spaces, mentorship models, or tools. It could also take the form of a more formalized and facilitated knowledge-sharing network for volunteers working in this area. We currently do not have enough information or community input to know what the possibilities are. This next year will be focused on obtaining that information and sharing it as broadly as possible.

Long-term goal[edit]

By working with the community to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the work being done to increase gender diversity on the Wikimedia projects and the landscape more broadly, we will be able to support more effective interventions (tools, trainings, knowledge sharing, policy change, etc.) that will lead to an increase in diversity in participation on our projects, likely leading to increasingly diverse content as well. Increased diversity of content and contributors improves the quality of the Wikimedia projects, impacting readership, the relevance of the information we share, and community health.

Goal 1: Map gender diversity work[edit]

Map gender diversity work to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the work currently being done to increase gender diversity on the Wikimedia projects

Lead team: Community Resources, with significant support from volunteers. Ideally, to conduct the interviews, we will contract a volunteer who is more familiar with gender diversity work and leaders in the community.


  • Outcome 1: Volunteers actively working to support gender diversity across the movement are aware of and understand what their peers on the Wikimedia projects are currently doing and planning in their communities. The way people are interacting with the Wikimedia projects on and offline is changing quickly. Volunteers have voiced significant challenges in not being able to know what others are doing, what are best practices, and how they can share information.
  • Outcome 2: We create an effective platform and process for sharing updates, best practices, experiences, materials and other knowledge, and we implement a process for management and facilitation of the platform. This information sharing leads to more effective projects, less “reinventing the wheel,” enhanced collaboration, and a greater sense of solidarity.
  • Outcome 3: The community has key research questions answered and data needed to develop pilot interventions. The research and data is shared across the movement.


  • Objective 1: Focusing on the last year and upcoming plans, conduct interviews with gender diversity champions across the movement. Understand who did what types of activities (and the specific tactics that did or did not work), what were the outcomes, and what have been the impacts 3-6 months after. Also reference previous work in this area, for example, the 2013 Gender Gap Strategy Link.
  • Objective 2: Present data and preliminary analysis from interviews at the upcoming WikiWomen Summit July 5-8th in Mexico City.
  • Objective 3: Based on mapping and interview phase, prioritize challenges or outstanding questions that have not yet been addressed and require additional data or research to determine possible activities or interventions.


  • Milestone/Target 1: Data from interviews of community leaders from various language communities/projects presented at the July WikiWomen Summit (Q1)
  • Milestone/Target 2: Next steps for a knowledge-sharing process decided on at the WikiWomen Summit. Platform and process piloted by Q2.
  • Milestone/Target 3: Research needs identified, prioritized and scoped by Q2.

Goal 2: Pilot interventions[edit]

Pilot interventions in 1-2 language communities/projects to improve gender diversity

Lead team: Community Resources, with significant support from teams TBD (based on what the pilots are)


  • Outcome 1: 1-2 language communities/projects pilot either one or a series of interventions to improve gender diversity. The pilots result in a measurable increase in gender diversity of content and/or contributors or decrease in systemic bias on the projects.
  • Outcome 2: Pilot outcomes are communicated broadly. Pilot methodologies are shared across the movement in a way that can be remixed and used by other groups.


  • Objective 1: Based on Segments 1 and 2 (mapping of current work and conducting research on prioritized questions), as well as discussions at the WikiWomen Summit, agree on pilot priorities. This will take additional community consultation to understand which communities have the appropriate conditions to implement a pilot.
  • Objective 2: Conduct pilots with 1-2 communities by the end of Q4. Pilots could focus on training, outreach and communications, partnership development, tools, policy change, etc.
    • For example, we could work with an interested community to build strategic partnerships with organizations that are primarily working with women to increase awareness and readership among women and girls in the Global Reach team priority countries. This pilot could serve as a model for other communities.

In terms of tools development, the work of the Community Health Initiative will certainly support gender diversity. If successful, community leaders will be better trained and better equipped to prevent and resolve incidents of harassment, ultimately resulting in a healthier communities. These healthier communities will be a more pleasant and nurturing environment for new contributors to participate. The Gender Diversity pilots could include testing tools developed under the Community Health Initiative or new tools scoped this year and then developed in 18/19, depending on the capacity of the Community Tech team.


  • Milestone/Target 1: Pilots determined by the end of Q2.
  • Milestone/Target 2: 1-2 pilots conducted Q4/Q1. Analysis and next steps for program determined. Q1/Q2 of FY18/19.

Proposed timeline[edit]

Time Activity Teams
FY16/17 Q4 (March-June) Map activities from past year CR, contractor to do mapping
FY17/18 Q1 (July 5-8) WikiWomen Summit in Mexico City
  • Present mapping
  • Identify needs, platform, process for knowledge sharing
  • Discuss outstanding research/data needs. Prioritize.
CR, Research, Global Reach, Community Tech
FY17/18 Q1 (July-Sept)
  • Develop knowledge sharing platform/process
  • Develop research proposal(s)
CR, Communications, Research
FY17/18 Q2 (Oct-Dec)
  • Conduct research
  • Implement knowledge sharing platform/process
  • Develop pilots based on mapping/research
CR, Research, TBD
FY17/18 Q4 (Jan-March) Pilot CR, TBD
FY 18/19 (April-June) Pilot CR, TBD

Program 3: Community Capacity Development (CCD)[edit]

Community Capacity Development in Brazil 09.jpg

Team: Community Resources

Strategic Priorities: Communities

Time frame: 12 months for phase one and then, based on evaluation, perpetually. Each individual capacity-building initiative is expected to take between 2 and 12 months, depending on the complexity of the capacity.


There are certain community capacities all thriving communities need developed.  Some Wikimedia communities have under-developed capacities, or have plateaued and aren't developing a particular capacity.  This past year, the Community Resources team successfully piloted a program where WMF usefully assisted particular communities to build specific capacities and to "level up".

Building on the pilot's demonstrated impact, and modestly scaling up the budget, this program aims to identify capacity-building opportunities in different emerging Wikimedia communities and to craft effective projects to build them in a sustainable and cost-effective way.


By inviting our communities to self-assess their different capacities according to suggested guidelines, we will create and maintain a community capacity map, helping to surface recurring needs and developing trainings and materials that will reach broader audiences.

By stepping in to build specific capacities in specific communities that are stalled or struggling in those capacities, WMF is assisting those communities to overcome development obstacles and resume organic growth and development.  


  • Outcome 1: Community Capacity Map: A set of well-described community capacities are mapped (i.e. assessed) across communities and (separately) affiliates, allowing decision-making and planning by WMF, affiliate networks, affiliates, and communities.
  • Outcome 2: Community Capacity Development: specific capacities are built, cost-effectively, in specific communities, in ways that are sustainable (i.e., continue to yield, and ideally multiply, after capacity-building project ends).


  • Objective 1: Community Capacity Map:
    • Develop draft list of capacities and assessment guidelines, publishing it on Meta and soliciting feedback and refinement by community
    • Settle on the list and guidelines for the FY, and invite communities and affiliates to self-assess.
    • Analyze map and identify clusters of opportunity for capacity-building; share results publicly and solicit feedback and collaborative planning (e.g. an affiliate network might want to pick up a capacity-building opportunity, i.e. not everything depends on direct WMF action)
  • Objective 2: Community Capacity Development: based on the Community Capacity Map, the CR team will work with communities and affiliates to identify and evaluate potential projects to build specific capacities in specific communities or affiliates.  Having selected promising and cost-effective projects to undertake in partnership with selected communities/affiliates, the CR team would produce and project-manage a capacity-building project, sometimes with the help of other WMF teams or outside contractors.


  • Milestone 1: Community Capacity Map list and guidelines finalized.
  • Milestone 2: Community Capacity Map populated with self-assessments by >50% of chapters, >25% of WUGs, >50% of >10K article Wikipedias, Commons, Wikidata, top 10 and Multilingual Wikisource.
  • Milestone 3: At least three capacity-building opportunities are identified and launched based on the CCM.
  • Milestone 4: Concluded capacity-building projects are evaluated and reported on.

Program 4: Community leadership development & mentoring[edit]

Team: Learning & Evaluation, with dependencies on Community Resources, Programs, Support & Safety, Technical Collaborations, Communications, Advancement (possibly), Legal (possibly)

Strategic priorities: Communities

Timeframe: 12 months for its annual cycle


Community mentors are the primary drivers for our websites and the Wikimedia movement. They initiate ideas, contribute content, and design events that create new momentum for our movement. As an essential component for long-term movement sustainability, building better pathways to community leadership is critical.  In 2017-2018, we will continue to support the development and recognition of peer mentors in communities – doing this through investment in strategic opportunities for the development of regional and thematic mentors and further developing our  capacity development and knowledge-sharing infrastructures.

This program involves events and staff support for capacity development and learning for community development programs and initiatives. Through learning and collaboration events and learning products, the Community Engagement department coordinates across the foundation and our worldwide communities to leverage high-potential opportunities for capacity development with communities on critical learning needs.  Learning events take place within special community convenings or alongside existing community events.


Bolster community leadership development through peer leadership academy: In 2017-18 we will continue to support scalable training and peer exchange styles of learning events and products in order to develop community leadership and peer mentoring.

By supporting strategic learning online and at international, regional, or thematic events, we will enable healthy program and community development. Through developing leadership and peer mentoring, and support for better managing movement learning resources, we promote the use of evaluation for learning and improved decision-making to better Wikimedia projects and communities.


  • An increase  of community leaders’ knowledge about program and community development strategies, best practices, and available resources
  • Further development of community leaders’ evaluation and community/programs leadership skills
  • Better connections of individuals & groups across communities and with the Wikimedia Foundation to facilitate engagement in our learning community


  • Objective 1:
    • Learning Day Events:  By the end of FY17-18, support 300+ community leaders’ engagements in direct leadership development activities. More specifically, we aim to:
    • Organize pre-conference events for over 100 community leaders to engage in training and peer mentoring on critical learning and resource topics for core programs and community development strategies.
      • The community continues to need professional development support in the area of program design and evaluation, and it would be much more costly for them to seek it out externally; aligning our training with an existing convening is a cost savings of over $100,000 per year and, because they are already planning to attend the convenings to which the trainings are attached, can allow for more participants to join the workshops and exchange sessions focused on capacity development. This effort empowers community leaders to develop and conduct their own programs and related evaluations in a self-sustaining path toward impactful programming
    • Collaborate to provide community development and evaluation learning resources and workshops at regional and thematic conference events as requested by community leaders, dependent on budget.
      • By equipping community leaders with information, this effort empowers community leaders to own learning and evaluation and to develop and conduct their own programs and related evaluations in a self-sustaining path toward impactful programming.  When we teach evaluation at existing conferences, we save 90% of convening costs.
  • Objective 2:
    • Learning Products: New L&E Portal Resources:
    • Learning Day Workshop Kits:
      • The capacity development that happens at regional conferences is very similar to development that takes place at Wikimedia Conference and Wikimania. We frequently get invited to conferences to host workshops like those at Learning Days.  
      • While only a few people from local communities can attend international events, we can capitalize the training of those who do and empower them to host the same workshops back at home. This small project seems like an achievable way of increasing the reach of Learning Day workshops and content, since we already have the workshop kit format and two workshop kits already developed, as well as trained community members to carry-out these workshops at their events.  With more kits based on our most popular workshops added to the set, we will better enable the deployment of  regional mentors to regional and thematic conferences at which the content is requested.
    • Evaluation Curriculum:
      • Often our program leaders do not know what they need to know about evaluation, which leads to frustration and, in a best-case scenario, staff and community resources spent on explaining on an individual basis.  (In a worst-case scenario, evaluations are skipped or done incorrectly.)
      • This project will work to build a more accessible evaluation curriculum, with clear explanations of what evaluation knowledge a program leader needs to know for different programs at different levels of program complexity. This isn’t creating new content, but chunking and curating existing content in a systematic way, scaffolding for learning at different levels, using templates as a standard format.


  • Milestone 1: Maintain or grow peer-mentoring engagement with community mentors leading as presenters or peer collaborators in 80% or more of Wikimedia Foundation-sponsored Learning Day events and workshops at existing movement events; and scale learning and evaluation teaching and best practices through community leadership in order to expand reach through community mentors and provide specific development supports for learning, evaluation, program design and management, and community listening.
  • Milestone 2: New L&E Portal Resources: In 2017/2018 the Learning & Evaluation team will adapt two additional Learning Day workshops into train-the-trainer kits that community members can use to host Learning Day workshops at regional meetups. (This year the aim is to develop workshops on Program Design and/or Logic Models.) The team will also curate a set of simple start guides for designing common program evaluations at various levels of complexity.

Program 5: Learning products: Community Engagement Insights[edit]

Team: Learning & Evaluation, with dependencies on all departments and teams across the Foundation who wish to survey communities through this mechanism

Strategic priorities: Communities

Timeframe: 12 months for its annual cycle


Over the last several years, there has been an increased demand for survey data across the Foundation and major hurdles for teams to conduct community surveys on their own.


Community Engagement Insights aims to use surveys to increase the Foundation's understanding of communities' needs as well as gather data that measures the outcomes of Foundation's work.


  • Outcome 1: In 2017-18, we will implement Community Engagement Insights for the second time. In 2016-17, we developed and distributed the first survey to editors, affiliates and volunteer developers. We also laid the groundwork to have a process that can be replicated each year. The data gathered will help the foundation measure various aspects of Wikimedia, such as demographics, behaviors, and opinions related to: (1) the movement as a whole, (2) Wikimedia projects, (3) Wikimedia affiliates, (4) Wikimedia programs, (5) Wikimedia software, and (6) Wikimedia Foundation programs, products, and services. The data gathered will be analyzed to support team decisionmaking and may be shared publicly upon privacy review.
    • Through our activities in this year’s survey, we anticipate (a) increasing completion and response rates, (b) improving our understanding of the survey environment within Wikimedia for smoother delivery of this year’s survey and those of future years, and (c) gaining a better understanding of data that may be needed by select Wikimedia community audiences (affiliates, researchers, editors)  to increase survey support to those audiences.


  • Objective 1: CE Insights uses a proposal-based process, in which teams at the Foundation submit a list of questions to be included in the survey. These proposals are reviewed, improved and then added to the survey. Staff from across the foundation support the delivery of the survey to community audiences. L&E will work with departments and teams within the Foundation to solicit these questions and improve upon them with clearly communicated criteria, deadlines and time commitment expectations. The data we gather will be shared internally with the Foundation as well as with communities.
  • Objective 2: This year L&E seeks to improve and expand upon the CE Insights survey. For the 2017-2018 CE Insights survey, we will use exploratory research about survey infrastructure to determine what improvements can be made to the CE Insights survey distribution system. We will also conduct exploratory research about survey needs and capacities among select Wikimedia community audiences (affiliates, researchers, editors).


  • Milestone 1: In 2017-18 we aim to increase completion and response rates by at least 10% (Overall response rate from 2017 is [TBD]).
  • Milestone 1: The CE Insights survey will be complete and data compiled and published in May 2018.

Program 6: Learning infrastructures: Wikimedia Resource Center[edit]

Team: Learning & Evaluation, with support from across the Foundation

Strategic priorities: Communities

Timeframe: 12 months for this annual cycle


“As a community we are great to organize world's knowledge but we suck to organize our own knowledge”  Kippelboy, 8 February 2016  

Whether it is being able to find the right data or community response or learning what resources exist to guide you through planning your next Wikimedia event, improvements in our learning and exchange systems are needed to better guide our movement in repeating what works, avoiding common points of failure, and accessing the right information, at the tight time. This program involves staff and contractor time to investigate and design improved systems for data collection, reporting, and knowledge sharing. We will map and prioritize community needs for improved learning and exchange.


To better connect communities to (a) information about Wikimedia Foundation and movement initiatives and activities and (b) access to peer-guidance and peer mentorship.


  • Outcome 1: To maintain and further develop our shared systems to better connect communities to critical foundation and movement opportunities and resources for learning, development, and support.
  • Outcome 2: To create systems to better connect community members to others that may be peer mentors as well as to community developed learning and development resources and opportunities.


  • Objective 1: Wikimedia Resource Center: To improve the curation and navigability of movement learning resources for programs and community engagement and to maintain and develop further the community leaders’ knowledge about program and community development strategies, best practices, and available resources, Learning & Evaluation staff will guide the Wikimedia Resource Center to the next phase of development.
  • Objective 2: Peer academy: Develop basic infrastructural supports for connecting people to community-developed learning resources and mentors as an expansion of the Wikimedia Resource Center..


  • Milestone 1:
    • The Wikimedia Resource Center is added as a link from the Main Page / sidebar of Meta Wikimedia
    • Identify and add key navigation patterns and resources for 2 program types: GLAM initiatives and Education.
    • Community members submit a minimum of 5 resources to the WRC.
  • Milestone 2:
    • Develop a user template for the WRC that anyone can use to add their profile on the WRC.
    • Develop a way of filtering search of program leaders by categories to be determined.
    • Add a minimum of 20 program leader profiles to the WRC
    • Support at least 5 opportunities (could be within the same event) where experienced program leaders can mentor other peers in movement conferences.

Program 7: Community programs infrastructure[edit]

Team: Education, The Wikipedia Library, GLAM

Strategic Priorities: Communities, Knowledge

Timeframe: 1-3 years


Each of the programs supported by the Community Engagement Programs teams have critical dependencies on software within the Wikimedia projects and on external applications of collaborators and partners. Supporting targeted development of technologies that support these programs bolsters the ability for community organizers to effectively implement their desired activities which expand knowledge within our projects.


Improve the ability of program leaders to implement programs and of prolific contributors to access resources through targeted technical interventions.


  • Outcome 1: EDU:
    • The Programs and Events Dashboard will facilitate the planning, execution and evaluation of education programs globally (available for every project and in each language);
    • program leaders will be able to quickly replicate previous courses and invest less time in tracking, and have quicker access to realtime contributions from their cohorts of users;
    • the Wikimedia Foundation will have increased access to both quantitative and qualitative outputs from global programs, which can be aggregated to tell a more cohesive story of impact;
    • Data will be more up-to-date and take less time to compile and use.
  • Outcome 2: TWL:  The Wikipedia Library Card Platform (available on on Labs is a centralized web application for signing up and receiving access to free publisher resources, making our partnerships more useful and efficient for editors. The Wikipedia Library Card Platform will include a) centralized signups; b) proxy authentication; c) bundled access; and d) integrated search and discovery of our 60+ partners content. This allows signups through a single platform to provide quick applications and reviewing. A majority of access will now be possible directly through the Library Card website, without having to go to or through each partner’s separate website and login. Further information can be found at the Wikimedia blog
  • Outcome 3: GLAM:  Integrate the needs of heritage partners and other programmatic stakeholders into the development of Structured Data on Commons (further described in the cross-departmental program.


  • Objective 1: EDU:
    • Orient education program leaders in using the Programs and Events Dashboard to manage and track their work;
    • Mine the Programs and Events Dashboard for global education program outputs and report global aggregates on a quarterly basis;
    • Work with internal and external engineers to maintain the tool, fix bugs in a timely manner, and consider future development that is requested by the community.
  • Objective 2: TWL:  Already delivering access from its phase 1 rollout year, the next year’s focus is expanding the Library Card platform in phases 2 and 3, adding state-of-the-field proxy and search features. Proxy will allow editors to authenticate into publishers like JSTOR using their Wikipedia username through OAuth. Search will make those 80,000 journals individually discoverable at the article level. Additionally we will add the Wikipedia Library Card Bundle, which will give any editor who meets account age, edit count, and recent activity criteria automatic access to certain partners. This expanded access covers about 25,000 editors.
  • Objective 3: GLAM:  GLAM stakeholder engagement and developing partnership case studies and documentation for modeling that identifies both technical and social needs.


  • Milestone 1: EDU:
    • At least one recorded video session to orient global program leaders in using the Programs and Events Dashboard;
    • 90% of global education programs adopt the Programs and Events Dashboard to regularly organize and track their work;
    • Increased usage of the Programs and Events Dashboard QoQ;
    • Depreciation of the MediaWiki Education Extension
  • Milestone 2: TWL:
    • The Library Card Platform will improve current signup speed from 3 weeks on average to 1 week for all regular (non-proxy, non-bundle) signups, improve signup speed to 2 days for proxy signups, and make bundle signup access instantaneous. By end of the year, 100% of our partners will be available through the platform; 50% should be using proxy access; and 10% participating in the bundle.
  • Milestone 3: GLAM:
    • Develop a group of representatives for at least 8 major GLAM institutions or GLAM networks (DPLA, Europeana, ICOM, IFLA, etc) ready to test, and provide feedback and advice on structured data on Commons, so that GLAM stakeholder needs are integrated into the development plans of the Structured Commons infrastructure.
    • Develop at least one workshops or set of training materials that can be used to upskill existing community members and GLAM partners in using structured data from the Wikimedia Community.  

Program 8: Community programs capacity[edit]

Team: Education, The Wikipedia Library, GLAM

Strategic priorities: Knowledge; Reach

Timeframe: Ongoing, with targeted timelines for outcomes


Given our core movement dedication to the principle of empowering people across the world, our communities take key leadership roles in driving many of our critical programs and in building content. They need resources to succeed in these areas -- information on how to build and execute educational programs, how to succeed in outreach to GLAM institutions -- and easily accessible reliable library resources on which to base their contributions. With approaches tailored to the audiences of each program, the three Community Engagement program teams provides direct support to the prolific contributors and community program leaders who implement projects and spearhead collaborations throughout our communities. We support community leaders who may lack knowledge to implement programs well and contributors who lack resources to edit effectively. Education and GLAM teams ensure that community leaders are equipped to learn from the existing wisdom within the broader community and more effectively reach their target outreach communities. Wikipedia Library puts resources directly into the hands of the most prolific Wikipedia contributors, building their capacity to create content. Combined, these three groups supply services to help communities most efficiently increase the quantity and quality of knowledge within Wikimedia projects.


As a result of support activities, program leaders in Education and GLAM will more effectively implement outreach and content-building programs, while prolific contributors will have improved access to educational resources, leading in all three groups to an increase in quality content on our projects.


  • Outcome 1: EDU:  Program leaders are supported to plan, implement and evaluate high quality education programs in their local contexts, either directly by education team staff, experienced peer mentors from the community, or a combination thereof. We hope this results in quality at the programmatic level and also in the form of contributions and learning in the classroom.
  • Outcome 2: TWL:  Contributors to Wikipedia’s content rely on access to reliable sources as a cornerstone of Verifiability. Wikipedia Library expands the number of leading publishers providing free access to educational resources, increasing the number of sources available for expanding and improving content. This directly equips our most dedicated editors with a knowledge-base that supports their content-creation work and expands their capacity for building the projects.
  • Outcome 3: GLAM:  Program leaders can find support for planning, implementing and evaluating different GLAM partnership tactics. Through this coordinated body of shared knowledge from GLAM-Wiki staff and experienced program leaders, emerging communities and new community leaders in existing communities can increase the effectiveness of their programs, in turn increasing the embeddedness of Wikimedia projects in GLAM professions.


  • Objective 1: EDU:
    • Provide responsive support to global program leaders;
    • Facilitate peer mentoring opportunities for members of the Education Collaborative; prioritize program support for pilot programs in emerging communities;
    • Facilitate learning exchange at pre-conference (Wikimania, Wikimedia Conference) sessions and regional conferences (WikiArabia, WikiIndaba, IberoCoop, CEE)  for program leaders;
    • Review our current offering of support materials (brochures, toolkit, learning patterns) and make updates based on best practices and other input from experienced community members;
  • Objective 2: TWL: Our main work involves contacting partners who will agree to donate access, setting them up with proxy access on the library card platform, and providing them regular metrics reports to encourage continued partnership--including joining the Bundle.
  • Objective 3: GLAM:
    • Integrate GLAM workflow mapping into existing documentation on meta and outreach, to improve availability and effective discovery of community program documentation.
    • Reorganize and rewrite existing GLAM documentation on Outreach and elsewhere for high-flexibility program models based on emerging GLAM-Wiki case studies.


  • Milestone 1: EDU:
    • Serve at least 100 program leaders with individual or group consultations;
    • Increased peer mentoring of global programs through the Education Collaborative;
    • Renewed co-created annual goals with the Education Collaborative that prioritize focus of the group of experienced program leaders;
  • Milestone 2: TWL:
    • Add 10 new partners to our 66 existing publishers, 4 of them non-English
  • Milestone 3: GLAM:
    • Integrated and functional GLAM Portal into the Wikimedia Resource Center that provides access to GLAM-Wiki documentation and best practices for appropriate audiences (experienced program leaders, new program leaders, and GLAM allies).
    • Develop case studies on at least 4 new tactics used by the GLAM-Wiki Community that model new or different approaches to GLAM outreach

Program 9: Community programs institutional and professional outreach and partnerships[edit]

Wikimedia’s brand transcends the impact our projects have on readers: international professional communities are directly affected by the projects’ educational activities and mission. The Community Programs team strategically works with international communities that have scopes beyond the capacity of local program leaders, to facilitate broader reach and community through awareness building and strategic alliances.

Goal: Increase awareness and readiness among targeted professional communities to collaborate with the Wikimedia movement.

Strategic priorities: Communities; Reach

Team: Education, The Wikipedia Library, GLAM

Timeframe: Ongoing, with targeted timelines for outcomes


  • Outcome 1: EDU:
    • The perceived value of using Wikipedia and the sister projects as a teaching tool increases, and Movement-aligned partners also advocate for the use of these platforms inside and outside the classroom;
    • At least 3 new pilot programs are planned and implemented by community members interested in investing their outreach efforts in education programs;
    • The value of investing resources into education programs is made more visible to community and other movement stakeholders
  • Outcome 2: TWL: Our Library network outreach has 3 targets: library conferences and (inter)national associations, the global #1lib1ref campaign, and the Wikipedia Library User Group & 22 independent language library branches. These efforts will result in more librarians participating on Wikipedia, greater acceptance of Wikipedia within the library field and library education, and a stronger collaboration between Wikipedians and librarians.
  • Outcome 3: GLAM: OpenGLAM is increasingly spreading throughout the cultural heritage sector, both in its importance to linked cultural heritage data and the broader opportunities that digital heritage offer. This activity will intimately associate Wikimedia projects and the movement with this broader effort.


  • Objective 1: EDU:
    • Represent education outreach activities at Movement and Partner events, with help from Wikimedia community members, focusing on the value of Wikimedia projects as a teaching tool with mutual benefits for learners, educators and open knowledge;
    • Co-manage social media accounts with members of the Education Collaborative on Facebook and Twitter;
    • Lead Education Collaborative members in exploring new methods of outreach to external educational audiences
  • Objective 2: TWL:
    • We’ll continue our alliance with IFLA -- the most global library body -- which as a result of our engagement last year officially endorsed library engagement with Wikipedia worldwide.
    • We’ll double-down on the #1lib1ref campaign with extensive engagement including emails, social media, mailing lists, blog posts and an in-person event kit.
    • Nurture the growth of the Wikipedia + Libraries Facebook group, now up to almost 700 members, into a usergroup. The usergroup will capture the interest and excitement around distributed participation and convert it into collaborations run by volunteers under a central banner.
    • To energize our 22 global branches and their respective regional outreach, we will have two global coordinators working to connect community library leaders and ramp up their activity and outreach.  
  • Objective 3: GLAM: Develop relationships with large body networks of heritage organizations, including ICOM, UNESCO, ICA or others, that can scale existing community efforts. These relationships include developing better outreach materials ready for scalable use across the movement.


  • Milestone 1: EDU:
    • Education Newsletter published on a monthly basis with contributions from the education community;
    • Outreach to regional education networks through conferences and meetings on a quarterly basis, with support from local community;
    • Make resources and other information easier to find on our portal (on Outreach), especially for non-technical and new audiences;
    • Map national and organizational learning standards to activities that use Wikimedia projects as an educational tool.
  • Milestone 2: TWL:
    • Attend and present at IFLA global conference in Poland
    • Double the size and impact of #1lib1ref in terms of participants, citations added, and social media reach
    • Nurture the launch of the Wikipedia Library Usergroup and organize its first 50 members
  • Milestone 3: GLAM: Develop working relationships with at least one more external networks that scale the impact of local community GLAM-Wiki outreach. Through these networks, implement at least one strategic campaign or program that increase awareness of the growing importance of Wikimedia projects in the GLAM sector.

Program 10: Training modules[edit]

This project builds on SuSa’s ongoing efforts to provide training for volunteers who deal with harassment reports on our projects, and at Wikimedia-related events. It addresses a lack of training around harassment issues in our movement, and provides a set of best practices to follow. Working with our newly completed Events and Online Harassment training modules, SuSa will work to get these trainings into the hands of the people who can benefit most - our events organizers and volunteer functionaries and admins. SuSa will also support the future creation of new modules through easy-to-use documentation on how to integrate content into the training platform.

Goal: To promote the use of existing, and creation of new, training modules, and work to integrate them into community processes.

Strategic priorities: Communities

Team: SuSa (Lead), Community Resources, Technical Collaboration

Timeframe: 12 months


  • Outcome 1: Event organisers will go into their events with a basic understanding of how to handle difficult situations and know how to get additional help when needed.
  • Outcome 2: More functionaries and admins will have training around harassment and be better equipped to handle cases when they arise.


  • Objective 1: Work with Community Resources and Technical Collaboration to get event grantees and technical spaces event organizers to take trainings and provide input for improvement
  • Objective 2: Work with our functionary groups and arbitration committees to find appropriate places and opportunities for new members of those groups to take the online anti-harassment training module
  • Objective 3: Compile and publish documentation on how to make a new training module. This will allow contributors to build new content on the training platform and expand training to other areas beyond harassment.


  • Milestone 1: 75 contributors view and complete events module; 50% of new event grantees and hackathon organizers take training
  • Milestone 2: 100 contributors view and complete harassment module; module is linked to project pages on at least 5 projects. Community discussion started on formal incorporation to onboarding process for new admins and functionaries by end of year.
  • Milestone 3: Communities informed of on-wiki step-by-step documentation for creating new training modules. Presentation at a major conference (WMNA, Wikimania, or Wikiconference) teaching contributors how to make their own modules.

Program 11: Community collaboration in product development[edit]

Team: Technical Collaboration (mainly the Community Liaisons subteam), product owners and lead developers in Product and Technology, Team Practices Group

Program Leads: Quim Gil, Toby Negrin, Victoria Coleman

Strategic priorities: Communities -  Increase communication and transparency with and between our communities and across Wikimedia affiliates

Timeframe: 12 months to consolidate this transition. After this period, the new way of working should become a regular workflow


Wikimedia communities and individual volunteers still struggle with following and participating in the Foundation’s product development activities. On the other end, many Foundation teams working on product development still struggle with their community engagement activities. In practice, only a very small and committed portion of volunteers are able to follow and have a good view of the Foundation’s plans and ongoing projects. The Community Liaisons (CLs) have been helping to bridge this gap.

As part of the previous Annual Plan, CLs started to organize their support to product development teams more flexibly than before, focusing on Product goals. However, this setup still left the Technology department out of CL’s scope, even if some of their teams also work in projects requiring community engagement. CLs and product managers are also driving the creation of the Technical Collaboration Guidance (TCG), a compilation of best practices for inviting community involvement in product development. One lesson learned was that the TCG was best applied to projects that had adopted these best practices since their inception.

After these initial steps, now it is time to standardize the CL support to better serve Product and Technology goals and to harmonize community engagement practices across product development teams. The TCG offers a starting point that is expected to improve as we apply these best practices and we learn from the consequent results.


The goal is to increase the awareness and participation of Wikimedia communities in our product development projects. A higher quantity and diversity of participation through our planning and development process will result in a better common understanding, a better collaboration, and better products.

A requirement to achieve this goal is to offer to our communities a simple and predictable way to stay informed about and to participate in our product development projects.  For this, our current reliance on CL support will be increasingly complemented by harmonization of community engagement practices across Product and Technology teams.

This shift will be based in these principles:

  • CLs will continue to be regularly involved in product planning, having resident specialists appointed to the different areas.
  • CLs will be directly involved in the most complex goals and tasks, as agreed on a regular basis with Product and Technology product owners.
  • All projects will take the TCG as a set of base recommendations to be adapted to their specific needs and circumstance


Lead team: Community Liaisons

  • Outcome 1: P&T's most strategic goals get full support by CLs;
    • Communities are a real partner, members are satisfied, more interested in technical collaboration activities and even proactive.
    • Lack of community involvement and satisfaction is no longer a factor preventing smooth rollouts and goals' achievement;
    • P&T teams' outputs fully adhere to TCG best practices, whenever applicable;
  • Outcome 2: CL support scales better across Product and Technology, also in projects without CLs directly assigned, and by having information necessary to successfully do basic community outreach all Product and Technology teams will more easily be able to update communities directly on lightweight communications that do not require CL intervention.
  • Outcome 3: TCG is adopted by Foundation teams, communities, affiliates and third parties' technical contributors;
    • Projects can run their basic community engagement activities with TCG and related docs


  • Objective 1: Support P&T teams in their path of adoption of TCG best practices (based on needs, via advice, or coaching, or a more stable embedding) and with current, ongoing projects;
    • Start applying current TCG draft systematically to new projects.
  • Objective 2: Develop internal processes (for example, a protocol to request CL support) to clarify terms of engagement, roles and responsibilities, and for a smarter triage of incoming requests.
  • Objective 3: Improve and finalize TCG based on P&T and community feedback; compile documentation (or create additional one) as a supplement to TCG, for teams that need or want practical, structured how-tos; compile and share list of adoption use cases, successes and misses.


  • Target 1: CL coverage:
    • At least one resident CL is allocated in every Product audience team, involved in product planning activities.
    • Product and Technology management teams have one CL assigned each, involved in relevant planning activities.
    • 100% of Product and Technology goals involving CL support developed through these co-planning activities are resourced.
    • Beyond team goals, 100% of support requests submitted to CL by Product or Technology receive a response within a week.
    • Beyond team goals, 80% of support requests accepted are resourced within three months.

Zero unanticipated clashes with the communities related to goals or tasks where CL support has been committed, or where TCG best practices have been followed by the Foundation teams. CL will ensure that development teams are aware of potential and emerging points of conflict.

At least three wiki projects requesting beta features and early deployments  (where applicable).

Top 25 wiki projects in terms of active contributors have at least one active tech ambassadors and one translator identified (could be the same person).

  • Target 2: Degree of satisfaction of teams receiving CL support or using TCG documentation is recorded via surveys and/or interviews as “Very satisfied”.
  • Target 3: Major community collaborations are rated as "good" by volunteers through surveys, to verify whether TCG expectations on best practices were met.

Program 12: Onboarding new developers[edit]

Tracked in Phabricator:
task T164084

Team: Technical Collaboration (mainly the Developer Relations subteam) will lead this program.

Strategic Priorities: This program addresses the two top Reach strategic priorities: “Improve our understanding of how and why our users come to and stay on our projects so we can better serve their needs” and “Increase frequency of use and number of users by adapting user experience to their needs”.

Timeframe: 12 months to change the current trend, and 12 more to consolidate the new trend.


Wikimedia is a top Internet project and also one of the biggest free software projects. However, Wikimedia doesn’t score high as a destination for free software developers. This problem connects with the Wikimedia Foundation strategic priority about understanding how and why our users come to and stay on our projects to better serve their needs, focusing on the developer audience. It also connects with the Technical Collaboration team strategy.

The Technical Collaboration team wants to work with the Wikimedia technical community to bring a new wave of developers to our projects. With the quantity and diversity of technologies and software projects Wikimedia comprises, reaching out to new developers and onboarding them is currently a daunting task. There have been many discussions and small initiatives aiming to improve the developer experience for newcomers, but they have been scattered, lacking support and a strategy. In order to address this problem, a coordinated effort is needed.


Our goal is to achieve a sustained increase of new developers contributing to Wikimedia projects, clearly departing from the current stagnant trend. For this, we will focus our developer outreach in selected projects ready to receive new contributors, helping them to improve their documentation, support, and activities for newcomers. We will explore new groups, new geographies, and new approaches to increase the diversity of our technical community and respond better to the technical needs of our movement and our users.


  • Outcome 1: An understanding of how and why new developers start contributing and stay or leave, focusing on selected areas geared toward newcomers. Starting on September 2017, community will have access to a quarterly report of our developer outreach activities including metrics and trends.
  • Outcome 2: A learning environment and growth paths for newcomers willing to complete a first task. There will be regularly updated, clearly identified best entry points for newcomers among all Wikimedia software projects which will be promoted in our developer outreach activities. The homepage and other key pages will better serve newcomers, connecting them with the selected projects, as a result of small and continuous iterations.
  • Outcome 3: Increasing onboarding and retention of new developers and those who recently joined through the Wikimedia Hackathon and the hackathon in Wikimania. During FY2017-18, these two events will be geared towards onboarding local developers and supporting existing developers willing to level up their participation in the Wikimedia technical community.


  • Objective 1: A quarterly report to understand how and why new developers start contributing and stay or leave, focusing on selected areas geared toward newcomers. Starting in September 2017, we will compile and publish a quarterly report of our developer outreach activities including metrics, trends, lessons learned, and recommendations. This report will inform all our work related to this program.
  • Objective 2: We will create a learning environment for newcomers, including growth paths to gain experience and build their personal network in the Wikimedia free software project and movement. This objective requires updates to the homepage and other key pages for newcomers, offering them the information they need (in simple English and translations) to find a suitable project and work on a first task. It also requires support channels where newcomers can get help.. These updates will be organized through small, continuous iterations.
  • Objective 3: We will produce a list of selected projects ready to become best entry points for newcomers. For this, we will set quality criteria for identification of good first tasks, documentation, support, and future plans. This selection is expected to include Wikimedia Foundation technical goals welcoming contributors and suitable Community Wishlist projects.
  • Objective 4: Conduct research into how to increase diversity of volunteer developers. With targeted research, we hope to increase both the number and diversity of our volunteer developer community. Research areas will include evaluating programs, events, activities, groups, and media which we might join or partner with to meet these goals. We will look into how to take advantage of Wikipedia’s popularity and large base of readers and donors.
  • Objective 5: Support developers and organizations willing to reach out to specific groups and geographies. We will invite Wikimedia organizations and Wikipedia Education Program members to partner in developer outreach activities in or around their communities, thinking of their own interests and potential benefits.
  • Objective 6: Organize the Hackathon in Wikimania 2017 and the Wikimedia Hackathon 2018. Each event will reach out to local developer groups and will offer activities for newcomers. We will invite a good representation of the best newcomers to the Wikimedia technical community and the best participants in previous local or regional Wikimedia developer meetups. Community Wishlist and Developer Wishlist projects will be promoted as much as possible.
  • Objective 7: A calendar of developer events where Wikimedia should participate in order to find new developers and improve collaboration with upstream projects we rely or other mission/technology aligned free software projects.


  • Milestone 1:
    • A Developer Outreach report is published quarterly, on time to inform Wikimedia Foundation’s quarterly check-ins.
    • The first report is published in September 2017.
  • Milestone 2:
    • A list of software projects recommended for new developers is updated on a quarterly basis, based on their ability to provide mentors, good entry-level documentation, first tasks, and a roadmap.
    • The list should always include projects related to Wikimedia Foundation goals, the Community Wishlist, and the Developer Wishlist.
    • These projects define the scope of the Developer Outreach report and related metrics.
    • These projects are easy to find by new developers willing to get involved through, Wikimedia developer events and our developer outreach programs (Google Summer of Code, Outreachy, Google Code-in…)
  • Milestone 3:
    • Through small and continuous iterations, the homepage and the pages under the “New contributors” category are updated in order to become informative and inviting to potential new developers.
    • The core information is available in the main languages spoken in emerging communities.
  • Milestone 4:
    • A report explaining Wikimedia’s developer outreach activities (through programs, events, activities, groups, and media) and including recommendations to increase the number and diversity of new developers contributing to Wikimedia.
    • This report addresses these questions: Can we find untapped or underexploited pools of developers through? Which partnerships should we aim for in the free software and free knowledge movements, and among other groups aligned or compatible with the Wikimedia mission?
    • The report also explores the potential use of Wikimedia brands, projects, and campaigns to better attract new developers among readers.
    • This report should be elaborated with the support of other Community Engagement teams, Communications, New contributorsTechnology, Product and Advancement, who will review it before its final publication.
  • Milestone 5:
    • Wikimedia affiliates and Wikipedia Education Program partners are informed about our developer outreach strategy and activities, and are invited to get involved, with specific information on opportunities and benefits for these organizations.
    • This call should emphasize developer diversity and new geographies, especially in emerging communities.
    • At least three Wikimedia affiliates and one Wikipedia Education Program partner will commit to organize developer outreach activities as a result of this call before June 2018.
  • Milestone 6: These targets are common for the hackathon in Wikimania and the Wikimedia Hackathon:
    • Logistics in place for a hackathon of 2-3 days for ~200 people.
    • New and junior developers are offered a variety of activities to meet new people, work on a task, and get involved in a project.
    • Hackathon web page includes main themes, community wishlist and developer wishlist recommended projects, and activities for newcomers.
    • Outcomes and actions are showcased at the end of the event and are compiled in a systematic way for better evaluation and followup.
    • Six months after the event, at least 10% of the newcomers have been retained as contributors in the Wikimedia technical community.
  • Milestone 7:
    • Before the end of 2017, a public calendar reflects the developer events where Wikimedia should participate in order to find new developers and to improve collaboration with upstream projects we rely or other mission/technology aligned free software projects.
    • Participation in these events is discussed within the Wikimedia technical community with the goal of identifying speakers and topics, and to coordinate activities in case that several people plans to attend.
    • These discussions inform travel budget decisions at the Wikimedia Foundation and Travel And Participation Support funding requests.

Department-wide program: Community Committee and Functionary Support[edit]

Strategic priorities: Communities

Team: Learning & Evaluation; Support and Safety; Community Resources

Timeframe: 12 months


In many critical areas of broad, specialized movement support, the Wikimedia movement relies on formally or informally constituted bodies to achieve many well-established tasks. These groups have been entrusted with critical functions, generally with a high commitment of activity, a high level of organization, and invested with a great degree of trust. They provide critical infrastructure for the governance of Wikimedia (the Affiliations Committee; the Election Committee). They represent community in the distribution of funds (the grants committees, including the Funds Dissemination Committee). They organize large numbers of international volunteers in critical, complex workflows (the OTRS administrators). They protect the integrity of our projects and the safety of our users with powerful access tools (Functionaries, including Checkusers, Oversighters and Stewards). Although their functions are disparate, they are a key component of our Wikimedia projects and a very visible model of the crowd-sourcing approach that is so fundamental to our movement’s governance. To assist them in their success, Community Engagement has regular ongoing commitments to offer them varying types and degrees of staff support.

Each year, we also have special projects related to one or more of these teams. This year, we will be collaborating closely with several of these groups with targeted activities and interventions to help them better perform their disparate roles. With several others, we will be refining our own service commitments. The work we will do with the groups in question (details below) will be different, appropriate to their individual and current needs, but will focus around the same broad themes: better practices to contribute to healthy, diverse communities.


To support community health and diversity by working with several key committee and functionary groups (as set out below) to (a) evolve their own practices, directly and indirectly improving diverse representation of communities within the movement, (b) clarify and improve their access to Wikimedia Foundation support, ensuring more even distribution of staff resources, and/or (c) raise awareness of their fields of work to encourage more international participation.


  • Outcome 1: AffCom & Affiliate Partnerships: Learning & Evaluation will energize and enable the AffCom to support affiliate development through facilitation support and administrative support for affiliate recognitions and renewals, proactive compliance monitoring, and supporting the derecognition process when necessary. We will help AffCom further develop in leadership capacity, working, with some added administrative support, to properly monitor affiliate development through their reports and to support the committee to design and advance cohort strategies to help support the onboarding and healthy development of new user groups. Specifically, we will work to design some social infrastructures for connecting leaders across new user groups to provide AffCom guidance and collegial support one another as they develop as new organized groups. In addition, in 2017/18 the staff liaisons will support the committee to review affiliates strategy and models in line with the movement strategy process and to develop clear expectations, protocols, and responsibilities for effective AffCom internal leadership for movement partnering, reporting, and storytelling about our affiliates network.
  • Outcome 2: Arbitration Committees, Checkusers, OTRS administrators, Oversighters and Stewards: These international groups have assigned staff liaisons within the Wikimedia Foundation’s Support and Safety team to offer them ad hoc support for emerging issues when major programs are not being conducted. However, access to Wikimedia Foundation support is not even across all groups, particularly where language barriers and cultural distance have prevented the organic development of working relationships. By the end of this fiscal year, each group will have clarity on its assigned liaison and an effective method for reaching out. Non-English Arbitration Committees will be aware of avenues of staff support, including the opportunity for regular consultation.
  • Outcome 3: Election Committee: The standing Election Committee has a self-stated goal of improving elections processes in this elections off-year so that the next election cycle will function more smoothly and with greater diversity. They will achieve this, with Support and Safety team assistance.
  • Outcome 4: Grants Committees: Participatory grant committees ensure a diverse group of movement stakeholders are represented in funding decisions. As a result there will be shared responsibility, increased community engagement throughout the grants process, and trust built. For more info on this program’s goals and outcomes, see Resourcing Communities.
  • Outcome 5: Ombudsman Commission: Increased visibility into the work of the Ombudsman Commission amongst our international communities will result in a more broadly diverse pool of candidates from which the group may be constituted, thus increasing opportunities for representation across the movement and improving awareness of the OC as an avenue of support for volunteers.


  • Objective 1: AffCom & Affiliate Partnerships: Staff support to the AffCom workflows and developing improved connections and support for Affiliate Partnerships. Provide staff support to the Affiliations Committee (AffCom) and affiliate partners. Learning & Evaluation will work with Wikimedia Foundation affiliates, giving them guidance on applications, learning, and reporting. In FY17-18, we will continue to improve support to the Affiliations Committee (AffCom) for proactive compliance monitoring while continuing consultative support to WMF annual plan grantees and affiliates for evaluation, design, and community listening strategies.
  • Objective 2: Arbitration Committees, Checkusers, OTRS administrators, Oversighters and Stewards: Support & Safety will provide efficient and effective response support to outreach from these groups of functionaries to deal with emerging project and global issues or to assist in locating necessary and available resources from staff. In addition, monthly meetings will be held with Wikimedia Stewards and, if requested, quarterly meetings with Arbitration Committees. International Arbitration Committees will be advised of the availability of this service, and there will be outreach to ensure that groups are aware of their liaison support. Impromptu meetings may be assembled depending on need and staffing availability.
  • Objective 3: Election Committee: Support & Safety will support the new Standing Election Committee in their first “off year” without an election in their planned pursuit of internal and external consultation on election process and procedures. The committee itself will drive this development, but Support & Safety will initiate conversations early in the calendar year and coordinate attention to the issue to ensure timely development of next steps.
  • Objective 4: Grants Committees: The Community Resources team recruits for, appoints, supports elections for, trains, facilitates, and oversees five participatory grant committees. These grant committees (Simple Annual Plan Grants, FDC Annual Plan Grants, Project Grants, Conference & Event Grants, and Wikimania Scholarship Committee) contain 60+ community members who make or inform recommendations or decisions, or perform specific community functions. The Community Resources team designs and stewards process and timelines to ensure effective action from volunteer groups, creates and coordinates inputs to committee decision-making, facilitate discussions to make recommendations, and regularly share knowledge and good practice to inform decisions.
  • Objective 5: Ombudsman Commission: Trust & Safety will begin early outreach to communities beginning in Q1 to familiarize communities with the committee and its functions and to encourage potential candidates to consider applying during the annual selection process, in an attempt to inspire more diverse candidates from across the movement to ensure the broadest representation possible.


  • AffCom:
    • Maintain quick response time: Throughout FY17-18, maintain initial staff review and response time of five business days or less for new affiliate applications to AffCom.
    • Maintain mentoring and consultation support: Throughout FY17-18, 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
    • Increase AffCom engagement and support to affiliate partnerships: In FY17-18, work to leverage AffCom as community leaders and mentors along with our existing service to bolster support for Affiliate Partnerships.
  • Arbitration Committees, Checkusers, Election Committee, OTRS administrators, Oversighters and Stewards: In FY17-18, SuSa will ensure that each served group is aware of staffing availability and our service level commitment. Outreach to international Arbitration Committees to survey their needs and build connections will begin in quarter 2.
  • Grants Committees: Recruit for and orient new community committee members, collect and analyze data for, and facilitate decision-making sessions for five committees several times a year, depending on needs of each committee.
  • Ombudsman Commission: In Q1, the Trust & Safety task force of SuSa will begin outreach to functionary and user groups to increase awareness of the Ombudsman Commission and to begin encouraging diverse applicants for the November election process at events and through outreach to diverse mailing lists. In November 2017, SuSa will launch the search for the 2018 commission and hopes to see a 30% increase in non-European and gender diverse applicants.

About Technology[edit]

The Technology department supports global access to the Wikimedia projects that is reliable, fast, and secure. This team supports performance, availability, development infrastructure, technical operations, security, architecture, release management, analytics engineering and Research. One of the larger teams, they support most of the core operations to make sure our projects, services and development pathways are 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 product 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 work closely with the Product team to support ongoing initiatives and cover development dependencies. We provide counsel by assisting product teams and other units within the organization and the movement to make good choices on technology by assessing costs, analyzing usability, anticipating failures, evaluating privacy, reviewing security, projecting impact, and suggesting alternatives.

We also work with the Product audiences providing research before new products or features are built. 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.

Our new initiatives for 2017-18 include a renewed emphasis and focus on the MediaWiki platform, launching the Wikimedia Cloud Services Team and expanding the machine learning capability of ORES to continue helping our editors with creating high quality content faster and more easily. Also for this year, all of Technology's work is programmatic. Highlights of our programs include a concerted effort to reduce technical debt and strengthening the technical community inside and outside the Foundation. A key initiative in our Research team will be an effort to increase content in multiple languages using recommendation technology to help our editors prioritize their work.

Program 1: Availability, performance, and maintenance[edit]

Team: TechOps, Cloud Services, Performance, Analytics, Release Engineering, Services

Strategic priorities: This applies strongly to all strategic priorities: Reach, Community, Knowledge. This is the baseline work needed so all wikimedia sites keep running reliably for editors and readers all over the world 24/7. In the absence of this work, no other program at the Foundation (or community) can be executed.

Time frame: Perpetual


The Wikimedia Foundation operates one of the world’s most popular web site properties, and it continues to expand with deployments of additional features and services as part of its programmatic work. These resources need to be maintained with high levels of availability, reliability, security, and performance.


We will maintain the availability of Wikimedia’s sites and services for our global audiences and ensure they’re running reliably, securely, and with high performance. We will do this while modernizing our infrastructure and improving current levels of service when it comes to testing, deployments, and maintenance of software and hardware.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: All production sites and services maintain current levels of availability or better.

  • Objective 1: Deploy, update, configure, and maintain production services (Traffic infrastructure, databases & storage, MediaWiki application servers, (micro)services, network, and miscellaneous sites & services)
  • Objective 2: Assist in the architectural design of new services and making them operate at scale
  • Objective 3: Maintain data center infrastructure and equipment lifecycle from procurement through break-fix to decommissioning
  • Objective 4: Incident response, diagnosis, and followup on system outages or alerts across our stack

Outcome 2: All our users consistently experience systems that perform well.

  • Objective 1: Maintain a comprehensive toolset to measure the performance of our platforms
  • Objective 2: Catch and address performance regressions in a timely fashion through automation
  • Objective 3: Modernize our performance toolset. We will measure performance metrics that are closer to what users experience.

Outcome 3: We have scalable, reliable and secure systems for data transport.

  • Objective 1: Consolidation of Kafka infrastructure to tier-1 requirements, including TLS encryption
  • Objective 2: Maintenance and expansion of current Hadoop cluster to support new use cases that require more computational resources
  • Objective 3: Software, hardware upgrades, and maintenance on analytics stack to maintain current level of service

Outcome 4: Wikimedia Cloud Services users can leverage a reliable and public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) product ecosystem for VPS hosting.

  • Objective 1: Maintain existing OpenStack infrastructure and services
  • Objective 2: Pay down technical debt and allow upgrading of the core OpenStack platform to modern, supported releases by replacing the current network topology layer with OpenStack Neutron, which has become the standard for most OpenStack deployments.
  • Objective 3: Increase availability of compute resources for the IaaS product by expanding deployment of physical resources beyond the current single broadcast domain

Outcome 5: We have effective and easy-to-use testing infrastructure and tooling for developers.

  • Objective 1: Maintain existing shared Continuous Integration infrastructure
  • Milestone 1: Develop and migrate to a JavaScript-based browser testing stack

Outcome 6: Engineering teams can effectively plan, track, and complete their work.

  • Milestone 1: Maintain and improve existing shared code-review platform (Gerrit)
  • Milestone 2: Maintain and improve existing shared project management platform (Phabricator)

Program 2: MediaWiki[edit]

Team: MediaWiki, TechOps

Strategic priorities: Knowledge, Reach & Community

Time frame: 24 months


This program represents some of the main activities of the new MediaWiki team.


We will strive for a refreshed, performant core platform by bringing renewed focus on MediaWiki.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: Stakeholders in MediaWiki development will have sense of progress and direction in MediaWiki.

  • Objective 1: Develop a MediaWiki roadmap
  • Milestone 1: Hire a product manager for MediaWiki by 2017-08-31

Outcome 2: MediaWiki code quality will be improved.

  • Objective 1: Increase measured unit test coverage
  • Objective 2: Break up large classes and source files

Outcome 3: MediaWiki security and stability will be improved.

  • Objective 1: Address the backlog of action items that arise from security and downtime post-mortems

Program 3: Addressing technical debt[edit]

Team: Release Engineering, Team Practices Group

Strategic priorities: Knowledge, Reach, Community

Time frame: This program is intended to create an ongoing process.


Over the last decade and a half the Wikimedia Foundation has accrued what is termed “technical debt”; historical choices and technical limitations that limit the velocity of development. The primary goal of this program is to development and implement practices that help the entire organization to identify and prioritize the resolution of technical debt properly. This program will have a positive multiplying effect on the speed and quality of all other programs the Foundation implements.


Wikimedia developers are able to create and release new features that integrate cleanly with the rest of the technical stack in a reasonable amount of time.

Outcomes, objectives, and milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: The amount of orphaned code that is running Wikimedia “production” services is reduced.

  • Objective 1: Define a set of code stewardship levels (from high to low expectations)
  • Objective 2: Identify and find stewards for high-priority/high use code segment orphans
  • Objective 3: Define and steward a light-weight process for adopting or orphaning/sunsetting products and infrastructure.

Outcome 2: Organizational technical debt is reduced.

  • Objective 1: Define a “Technical Debt Project Manager” role that regularly communicates with all Foundation engineering teams regarding their technical debt
  • Objective 2: Define and implement a process to regularly address technical debt across the Foundation
  • Objective 3: Promote and surface important technical debt topics at large gatherings of Wikimedia developers (e.g., DevSummit and Hackathon(s))

Program 4: Technical community building[edit]

Team: Cloud Services, Research and Data, Design Research, Scoring Platform (ORES), MediaWiki, Community Engagement, Resources

Strategic Priorities: Communities, Reach

Time Frame: 12 months


Wikimedia's software products and platforms have a diverse collection of technical communities including code contributors, documentation contributors, bug reporters, API consumers, volunteers who build innovative solutions to on-wiki workflow issues, researchers who examine the data generated by the Wikimedia projects, value-added vendors who provide services and support based on Wikimedia free and open-source software products, and true 'third parties' who install and use FLOSS software produced by the Wikimedia movement on their own computers for various reasons. These audiences contribute directly and indirectly to the broadest goal of the movement: to collect and disseminate knowledge. However, they have not always been well recognized for these contributions and supported in their work. The technical community support project will attempt to begin to address this shortcoming by providing better documentation, facilitating community building, and establishing better pathways for communication between these communities and the Foundation.


We will expand and strengthen our technical communities, focusing on understanding their needs and measuring the progress and outcome of our efforts. In particular, we will focus on three traditionally underserved communities: tool and bot developers; API and data consumers; and third-party users of our software.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: Becoming a technical contributor to the Wikimedia movement by creating and maintaining 'tools' (bots, webservices, etc) and other innovative solutions is easier than it has been historically because documentation is easier to find, more comprehensive, and descriptive of start to finish steps needed to solve common problems. Cloud Services product users feel comfortable sharing their knowledge with others as part of a community with a culture of sharing via documentation and mutual support.

  • Objective 1: Collaborate with community to find volunteers willing to form a documentation Special Interest Group to update documentation of existing Cloud Services products
  • Objective 2: Create tutorial content for common issues including but not limited to: creating initial account, deploying a functional web service, deploying a functional bot, and running periodic jobs with variations. Where applicable, produce variants for more than one implementation language (e.g. PHP, Python, etc).
    • Milestone 1: Hire a technical writing contractor
    • Milestone 2: Users are able to find documentation they need. Agree/Disagree answer ratio for "Documentation is easy to find" annual developer survey question improves compared to prior surveys.

Outcome 2: The adoption of Wikimedia technology can be reliably measured

  • Objective 1: Design a set of formal KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure the growth and diversity of our technology audience

Outcome 3: Value-added vendors who provide services and support based on Wikimedia software and true 'third parties' who install and use software produced by the Wikimedia movement on their own computers are more confident in recommending, deploying, and extending Wikimedia FLOSS projects.

  • Objective 1: Establish canonical point of contact for third-parties by promoting the existence of a dedicated technical liaison for software projects with support for third-party users
  • Objective 2: Clarify the Foundation’s short- and long-term commitments to third-party users. Create, publish, and promote a multi-tiered, third-party support level system for Wikimedia software projects. Document the support level of existing FLOSS projects and ensure that the documented levels of support are delivered.

Outcome 4: The collaboration with research in industry and academics is further scaled and supported, so that more findings and datasets are published and disseminated under an open license. This helps us solve strategically important questions.

  • Objective 1: Organize and host the annual Wiki Research Workshop to help align the interests of the academic community to issues of strategic importance for the movement. Continue to successfully run a research workshop at a major conference, as we have for the past 3 years.
  • Objective 2: Maintain the current capacity for formal research collaborations with industry and academia to reduce the overall cost for the organization to conduct research projects. As of March 2017, the Wikimedia Research departments works with 30 collaborators under the terms of our Open Access policy.

Outcome 5: Organize Wikimedia Developer Summit as a three day meeting of ~50 senior technical contributors focusing on one strategic theme announced before the call for participation and scholarship requests start.

  • Objective 1: Developer Summit web page published four months before the event includes dates and location (at least nearest airport), main theme, call for participation, call for scholarship requests, and calendar with deadlines. A good representation of non-WMF stakeholders related to the main theme are invited and participate at the event (preferred) or online.
  • Objective 2: A process allows prospect participants to submit statements and proposals about the main theme, and allows the Program Committee to review them and notify their decisions. Discussions start before the event with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, in order to identify the points that need to be addressed at the event.
  • Objective 3: Activities during the Summit are well documented, especially outcomes and actions, which will be compiled in a systematic way for better evaluation and followup.

Program 5. Scoring Platform (ORES)[edit]

Team: Scoring Platform (ORES), Research and Data, Operations, Services

Strategic Priorities:

  • Knowledge: We’re working with communities to use machine prediction to increase the quality and coverage of content in our projects.
  • Reach: We’re working with Community Engagement to target support for emerging communities.
  • Communities: ORES directly supports the developer community and editors indirectly by helping bring easy and efficiency to burdensome curation processes.

Time Frame: 6-9 years. By then, we’ll have built out the missing components of the platforms and published best practices documents that will enable others to follow in our footsteps.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has great potential to help our projects scale by reducing the work that our editors need to do and enhancing the value of our content to readers. However, AIs also have the potential to perpetuate biases and silence voices in novel and insidious ways. ORES , is a high-capacity, machine learning prediction service that is already heavily adopted within and outside the Wikimedia Foundation. By expanding the service to support new wiki processes and implementing auditing tools, we will help identify and mitigate the effects of prediction bias.


In the next fiscal year, we’ll create a dedicated team to further develop ORES and related technologies to balance efficiency and accuracy with transparency, ethics, and fairness.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: Tool developers and Product teams can innovate tools that use machine prediction to make wiki-work more efficient.

  • Objective 1: Expand vandalism & good-faith detection models to more wikis (focus on Emerging Communities)
  • Objective 2: Work with CE and a community liaison to develop and implement better processes for supporting new wikis with a focus on emerging communities
  • Objective 3: Improve documentation around ORES service, related tools, and contribution processes
  • Objective 4: Work with a professional tech writer to increase coherence around AI system documentation

Outcome 2: Volunteers are empowered to track trends in prediction bias and other failures of AI in the wiki.

  • Objective 1: Develop best practices for using community input to improve/correct predictions
  • Objective 2: Use re-judgement from humans to experiment with (1) retraining models, (2) reporting changes in model fitness to users, and (3) learning how users come to understand prediction models. Publish relevant reports and process documentation.

Program 6. Streamlined service delivery[edit]

Team: TechOps, Release Engineering, Services

Strategic Priorities: Community

Time Frame: This program will take longer than 12 months. The objectives below represent the work expected to complete within FY17-18.


We will streamline and integrate the delivery of services, by building a new production platform for integrated development, testing, deployment and hosting of applications.


We will build a new production platform for integrated development, testing, deployment, and hosting of applications. This will greatly reduce the complexity and speed of delivering a service and maintaining it throughout its lifecycle, with fewer dependencies between teams and greater automation and integration. The platform will offer more flexibility through support for automatic high-availability and scaling, abstraction from hardware, and a streamlined path from development through testing to deployment. Services will be isolated from each other for increased reliability and security.

Wikimedia developers, as well as third-party users, benefit from the ability to easily replicate the stack for development or their own use cases.

This work also represents an investment in the future; although this will not yet significantly materialize within FY17-18, this project will eventually result in significant cost savings on both capital expenditure (through consolidation of hardware capacity) and staff time (by streamlining development, testing, deployment and maintenance).

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: We have seamless productization and operation of (micro)services.

  • Objective 1: Set up production-ready Kubernetes cluster(s) with adequate capacity
  • Objective 2: Create a standardized application environment for running applications in Kubernetes

Outcome 2: Developers are able to develop and test their applications through a unified pipeline towards production deployment.

  • Objective 1: Create guidelines and abstractions for building and testing applications in containers
  • Objective 2: Set up a continuous integration and deployment pipeline to publish new versions of an application to production via testing and staging environments that reliably reproduce production
  • Objective 3: Provide a lightweight integrated development environment that lets developers test their code against a local miniature copy of the production stack

Program 7. Smart tools for better data[edit]

Team: Analytics, Cloud Services, Operations, Services, and Research and Data

Strategic Priorities: Provide some of the tools and data to be able to measure progress on strategic priorities. Also address specific data needs of our community such as updating (the community’s main source of metrics for Wikimedia projects) and revamping infrastructure on cloud cloud services environment for better data access.

Time Frame: 12 months


Our data is not as discoverable and accessible as it should be for both for the Foundation and our communities. This is most notable for data in the edit ecosystem. This program aims to make data of higher quality and to improve data access; the more accessible that data is, the more impact it can have. Most of the focus of this program is on infrastructure and tools for better public data access; however, we also include some improvements to private datasets.


Make Wikimedia data easily available for both the Foundation and the different Wiki communities by providing better tools, infrastructure, and access to data for editors, communities, and Foundation staff.

Outcomes and Objectives[edit]

Outcome 1: Foundation staff and community have better tools to access data.

  • Objective 1: Wikistats 2.0 redesign. Wikistats is the de-facto source of statistics for the wikimedia projects for community; this includes developing a basic and Advanced Frontend and an API powered backend.
  • Objective 2: Better visual access to EventLogging data
  • Objective 3: Experiments with real-time data and community support for new datasets available
  • Objective 4: Invest in Jupyter Notebook setup for hadoop, Data Lake, and other data sources

Outcome 2: Foundation staff and community have access to Wikimedia content and data with scalable APIs.

  • Objective 1: Develop a scalable and cost-effective storage solution backing an API exposing the full wiki edit history as structured data
  • Objective 2: Expand the REST API to cover high-volume content access needs

Outcome 3: Wikimedia Cloud Services users have easy access to public data.

  • Objective 1: Provide reliable and available access to Wikimedia database dumps by upgrading the hardware used and consolidating access by internal teams, Cloud Services users, external mirrors, and HTTPS downloaders to the new canonical location.
  • Objective 2: Complete migration of production database replica access for Cloud services customers to the new high-availability cluster, which uses 'row based' replication technology to provide a more consistent view of production data.
  • Objective 3: Collaborate with Wikimedia Cloud Services customers to publish new applicable data sets
  • Objective 4: Provision a cluster for public Data Lake access in labs that can be used as a Quarry backend. In this iteration the Data Lake will include historical data about editing (revisions, pages, users) for all Wikimedia projects since the beginning. Data is optimized to be queried in an analytics-friendly way that allows for simple and fast queries.
  • Objective 5: Deploy visual exploration tool for Data Lake for labs community

Outcome 4: Users see improvements on data computing and data quality.

  • Objective 1: Vetting and release of new metrics that measure content consumption
  • Objective 2: More efficient Bot filtering on pageview data
  • Objective 3: Build prototype for MediaWiki content processing. For example: ingest and process text on every wikipedia page to use later for analytics-style computations.
  • Objective 4: (carry over from last year) Experiment with real-time processing of pageview data to avoid costly batching computations.

Outcome 5: Foundation staff and Wikimedia communities have an objective measure to talk about impact of Foundation products and projects.

  • Objective 1: Pilot study on 1 wiki to measure the community backlog of work
  • Objective 2: Implement system to measure community backlog in wikis that wish to have it

Program 8. Multi-datacenter support[edit]

Team: TechOps, MediaWiki, Services, Performance

Strategic Priorities: Reach, Communities

Time Frame: 12 months


Although Wikimedia currently operates two data centers each independently capable of serving our core sites and services, many of our services – including our most important core platform component (MediaWiki) – are only active in a single data center at any point in time, with the other data center being on standby. Switching between the two data centers is currently a very involved manual process with significant impact to the availability of our services for our users and substantial risk of failure. By extending existing services (and MediaWiki in particular) with support for serving requests from multiple data centers concurrently, this impact can be minimized and currently unused performance benefits can be leveraged.


We will improve availability and performance for our users, while also minimizing the impact from fail-over testing and catastrophes. We will do this by expanding our multi-data center capabilities to serve requests from multiple data centers simultaneously.

Outcomes and Objectives[edit]

Outcome 1: Our audiences enjoy improved MediaWiki and REST API availability and reduced wiki read-only impact from data center fail-overs.

  • Objective 1: MediaWiki support for having read-only “read” requests (GET/HEAD) be routed to other data centers
  • Objective 2: Test an active/active deployment for read-only requests of the MediaWiki application platform and REST APIs
  • Objective 3: Integrate MediaWiki with dynamic configuration or service discovery, in order to reduce the time required for a master switch from one datacenter to another

Outcome 2: Backend infrastructure works reliably across data centers.

  • Objective 1: Set up a robust multi-data center event & job processing infrastructure, and migrate all job queue use cases
  • Objective 2: Full support for serving REST API requests from both core data centers simultaneously

Program 9: Growing Wikipedia across languages via recommendations[edit]

Team: Research, Editing, Reading, Services, Security

Strategic Priorities: Knowledge, Reach, Community

Time Frame: 12 months. Some initiatives are a continuation of work started in FY 2016-2017 and may continue beyond the next fiscal year.


There are significant gaps of knowledge in Wikipedia today, both in terms of the articles available in different languages as well as the depth of content available in existing articles. Recommendation systems that can help editors identify prioritized missing content across Wikipedia editions and contribute towards closing the gaps are key for accelerating the article creation rate.


Use machine learning to build recommendation algorithms that can help editors identify what to edit, in order to close the content gaps on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects

Outcomes and Objectives[edit]

Outcome 1: Interested editors will be able to use recommendation services that will allow them to have relevant information about the articles they want to edit immediately at their repository. Editathon organizers benefit from automatically generated templates and recommendations that can help them in onboarding new or less experienced editors.

  • Objective 1: Build, improve, and expand algorithms that can provide more detailed recommendations to editors about how an article could be expanded. This step will require running natural or controlled experiments and will involve recommendations at different levels of granularity (from section recommendations, to reference and image recommendations all the way to potentially providing guidance on how to expand, for example, sections, by offering statistics about typical section features).
  • Objective 2: Develop and gather design requirements for how the algorithms’ results should be exposed to the editors. This objective requires the continuation of the work with the community of editors and editathon organizers started in FY16-17.
  • Objective 3: Evaluate the usefulness of article expansion recommendations for target users in typical usage scenarios
  • Objective 4: Build Labs API(s) that can be used by researchers and developers to use and surface the recommendations in other products and research initiatives. (Note that building the productionized API(s), when relevant, will be done in collaboration with Product teams and is not captured in this objective.)

Outcome 2: Editors can benefit from improved recommendations exposed via recommendation API, in Content Translation, and the Editor Dashboard tool.

  • Objective 1: Continue experimenting (and implementing when applicable) algorithmic improvements on article recommendation for creation (the service behind GapFinder and Suggestions feature in Content Translation tool)
  • Objective 2: Develop (personalized) recommendations for the editor dashboard tool, in collaboration with the Editing team. This objective may involve exploring new types of recommendations.

Program 10. Public cloud services & support[edit]

Team: Cloud Services, Community Engagement

Strategic Priorities: Knowledge, Communities

Time Frame: Perpetual


The 'services' in the Wikimedia Cloud Services team name encompasses a collection of products that build upon the utility of the core infrastructure as a service (IaaS) product to present a well rounded and useful platform for volunteers. This helps solve the technical problems of the Wikimedia movement.


Empower volunteers to create technical solutions to the problems of on-wiki communities with a minimal investment of time and low friction for transferring maintainership from one individual to another.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: Members of the Wikimedia movement are able to develop and deploy technical solutions with a reasonable investment of time and resources on the Wikimedia Cloud Services Platform as a Service (PaaS) product.

  • Objective 1: Maintain existing Grid Engine and Kubernetes web services infrastructure and ecosystems.
  • Objective 2: Migrate Tool Labs account workflows from Wikitech to Striker where they are easier to integrate with the new user onboarding workflow and easier to maintain
    • Milestone 1: Maintain high overall customer satisfaction for the Tool Labs product as measured by the annual developer survey

Outcome 2: The 'Labs, labs, labs' branding confusion is eliminated. Branding is separated, so that all of these are no longer referred to as just ‘Labs”: infrastructure as a service product, the platform as a service product, the team that manages those products, and the community that uses them to produce technical solutions.

  • Objective 1: Complete initial outlined rebranding activities and announcements by 2017-12-31

Outcome 3: Wikimedia community members, Foundation staff, and potential contributors are aware of the breadth of products and services offered by the Cloud Services team.

  • Objective 1: Promote available services and products at relevant conferences, hackathons, and within the Wikimedia communities

Outcome 4: Support requests from Cloud Services users are addressed in a best effort manner without interrupting core operational and development work by the Cloud Services team towards other program goals.

  • Objective 1: Provide first line technical support resources to triage and respond to Cloud Services managed product support requests
    • Milestone 1: Hire first line tech support contractor

Program 11: Improving citations across Wikimedia projects[edit]

Team: Research

Strategic Priorities: Knowledge

Time frame: 12 months (FY 2017-2018). Some initiatives are a continuation of work started in FY 2016-2017 and may continue beyond the next fiscal year.


Wikimedia projects rely on verifiability as one of their core policies.There has been growing interest in building a stronger technological foundation to how sources are represented, stored and reused by contributors across Wikimedia projects. Sourcing of statements is a high priority in projects like Wikidata and a range of technical and programmatic initiatives (such as Citoid, the Wikipedia Library, OABot) have been designed to facilitate the creation of references. Despite over 10 years of community-driven efforts to design better ways to support citation-related work in Wikipedia, it’s only with the advent of Wikidata that these efforts have started to coalesce. The present program aims to develop a deeper understanding of how Wikimedia contributors use sources and lay the foundation for better technological support around sources and citations.


In the next fiscal year, we will conduct research aiming to: improve the user experience of editors and readers around sources and citations; quantify citation coverage across Wikimedia contents, identifying gaps and areas of low citation quality; help contributors identify topic areas of Wikimedia projects in greater need of sourcing work so that citation quality gaps are addressed. We will leverage our network to establish new formal collaborations and answer research questions related to the coverage, quality and accessibility of citations across Wikimedia projects. We will also continue to lead the WikiCite series, which started in 2016, in order to help align community and technical efforts related to citation data and infrastructure.

Outcomes and Objectives[edit]

Outcome 1: Quantitative research is available to help Wikipedia and Wikidata contributors focus and prioritize their sourcing efforts.

  • Objective 1: Estimate what proportion of content in Wikipedia or Wikidata is unsourced and in need of citations. Estimate what proportion of existing sources cited across Wikimedia projects are accessible by the general public.
  • Objective 2: Collect and analyze clickthrough data for footnotes and external links to understand how readers interact with them (after discussing and reviewing privacy and security implications)

Outcome 2: Readers and contributors’ needs around citations are better understood.

  • Objective 1: Learn about readers’ and contributors’ interactions, experience and needs with referencing and evaluating sources through literature review, surveys, and interviews

Outcome 3: Outreach activities continue to ensure community and technical efforts to improve the structure and quality of citations are aligned

  • Objective 1: Fundraise for, and host the 3rd annual meeting in the WikiCite series (previous events in 2016 and 2017 were entirely funded via restricted grants)

Program 12: Grow contributor diversity[edit]

Team Participants: Research in conjunction with Community Resources

Strategic Priorities: Knowledge, Community

Time Frame: 12 months


Only 10-15% of Wikipedia editors are known to be female. The issue of lack of gender diversity has long been acknowledged by the Wikimedia community. We are interested to focus on specific drivers of lack of gender diversity identified in the academic literature, design frameworks that can change such drivers, and measure the impact of such changes on contributor diversity in Wikipedia. (Please read more details about the program documented in Meta.)


Design and test socio-technical solutions that can help increase contributor diversity in Wikipedia

Outcome and Objectives[edit]

  • Outcome 1: We improve Wikipedia’s contributor diversity after designing and testing potential intervention(s).
    • Objective 1: Identify the underlying (potential) causes of lack of representative contribution from certain demographics
    • Objective 2: Design frameworks to change the current socio-technical infrastructure to address at least one of the underlying causes of lack of representativeness (“Lack of confidence” is considered one such underlying cause). This step will take place in collaboration with the community of editors already experienced in this area and it has already started.
    • Objective 3: Run experiment(s) to assess whether the recommended design will have the desired outcome

About Product[edit]

This year’s Product annual plan builds on the initiatives of the past year with a focus on getting better, learning more about our users, and building on our existing experiences. Our focus is not on grand initiatives, but deep and meaningful improvements in our focus and methods, preparing ourselves to fully support the movement strategy when it is unveiled later in the year. Nonetheless, there are some exciting developments in the works for all of our stakeholders.

We’ll augment the community wishlist with resources focused on programs. We’ll deep dive into supporting smaller editor communities and New Readers. We’ll address platform shifts in editing. We’ll continue to improve our reading experiences to make them richer and more accessible. Finding things on-wiki will be easier and faster, and will have better support. Fundraising tech will continue to support our donors.

The Product team has always been organized around audiences — traditionally Editors, Readers, Discovery, Community Tech and Donors. This year we will enhance this focus, based on more refined and systematic definitions of our audiences as shown in the audience map below. Our initiatives will balance sustaining existing communities with targeted developments focused on new audiences, platforms and technologies.

Our initiatives will be guided not only by deep engagement with our users but by deliberate and thoughtful support of our employees. The Team Practices Group will lead this effort by providing day-to-day support of our teams as well as taking on larger organizational issues. We will also continue to infuse our processes and initiatives with design, and support a greater footprint for this function across the organization.

As we mature, we are moving towards a focus on impact (as opposed to products or technology) using a Program format for our framing. This approach, which was fine-tuned by the New Readers team this year, helps us think outside the "product" — and allows us to work more effectively with additional stakeholders in the Foundation and the Community in support of clear, actionable outcomes. Note that the Product organization is contributing significantly to the cross-org programs detailed in another section, and here we discuss “product department only” programs.

We are deeply moved and inspired by our place in the movement. We believe that a mutual understanding and increasing collaboration with the community will accelerate our common progress towards the sum of all knowledge. It’s an honor to be a part of the movement, and we look forward to 2017–18 with a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

WMF Understanding of Audience Maps v3.pdf

Program 1: Make knowledge more easily discoverable[edit]

Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects have a wealth of knowledge and content that is not easily discoverable by our readers. Discovery’s mission is to make that knowledge more easily discoverable, on all interfaces, to aid in organic growth. Our primary products are Search (includes search querying, geo search, search result recommendations, etc.), Wikidata Query Service, the portal, and interactive Maps.

Discovery also maintains the Elasticsearch infrastructure that is used for critical functions such as Logstash and backend search on Phabricator.

Goal 1[edit]

Maintain our search systems and improve the relevance of search results.

Strategic priorities: Reach and Knowledge

Team: Discovery with Community Liaisons, Wikimedia Deutschland

Timeframe: Ongoing

Outcome, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: Through incremental Discovery improvements, readers are better able to discover and search for content.  

  • Objective 1: Implement advanced methodologies such as “learning to rank” machine learning techniques and signals to improve search result relevance across language Wikipedias.
  • Objective 2: Improve support for multiple languages by researching and deploying new language analyzers as they make sense to individual language wikis.
  • Objective 3: Maintain and expand on power-user search functionality to help with editor workflows.
    • Milestone 1: Enable more accurate search results based on a combination of methods, signals, and analyzers that we can create within CirrusSearch. The decrease of zero results rate (see also here) will be a good indicator, as well as a corresponding increase in user satisfaction rate.
    • Milestone 2: Provide more in-depth power user ability within the site and API.

Goal 2[edit]

The user experience of search on desktop is old and may significantly impede the ability of users to find content quickly and easily. To combat that, we will improve the user interface of search on desktop to help users find what they’re looking for.

Team: Discovery with Community Liaisons, Wikimedia Deutschland (Objective 2.4)

Strategic priorities: Reach and Knowledge

Timeframe: 9 - 12 months; Outcome 2/Objective 2.4 might take longer than 12 months

Outcome, Objectives, and Milestone[edit]

Outcome 1: Through improvements to the user experience of search interfaces, users are better able to find content in an intuitive and easy way.

  • Objective 1: Experiment with improvements to user interface of completion-suggester box on the desktop version
  • Objective 2: Improve user interface of search results page to help users explore content and discover more content across the projects
  • Objective 3: Experiment with to improve its ability to serve as a landing page for finding content in Wikimedia sites, such as trending articles
  • Objective 4: Investigate how to expand and scale Wikidata Query Service to improve its ability to power features on-wiki for readers
    • Milestone 1: Analysis of data collected in A/B tests and user research will show that the visual improvements are intuitive and easy to use

Goal 3[edit]

As part of the Discovery team, maps can help visitors to discover new, interesting, and relevant information within the Wikimedia projects.

Strategic priorities: Reach

Team: Discovery with Community Liaisons

Timeframe: 12 months

Outcome and objective[edit]

Outcome 1: Ensure that the current map functionality is rolled out and supported across the projects.

  • Objective 1: We are currently investigating various options in supporting the maps project and are sizing our commitments accordingly. At minimum, we will support existing functionality as well as security and operations.

Program 2: Better Encyclopedia[edit]

Team: Product: Reading

  • Dependencies: Technology > Analytics, Technology > Services, CE > CL
  • (standard reviews: security, legal, privacy, operations, performance)

Strategic priorities: Reach

Timeframe: This program is ongoing, but includes maintenance and creation.  The foundation needs to invest in the opportunities afforded by modern technology and usage patterns, and bring the Wikipedia experience in line with the expectations of today’s users.


Wikipedia is one of the top-10 Internet destinations worldwide, with one billion devices visiting Wikipedia every month.  We provide an important function to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.  However, learning on the site, as approximated by pageviews and number of devices*, appears relatively flat, despite continued growth in Internet usage.

This program is about celebrating Wikipedia’s strengths and leveraging them further.  It is about applying technological and design improvements to make it the best encyclopedia possible for our readers.  

*We also recognize that the current metric of pageviews and unique devices are not ideal proxies for learning.  We believe that time spent and return frequency will add color to our understanding, but consumption is not the ultimate goal: we hope to one day measure our human impact.  


Increase the amount of learning that happens on Wikipedia, which we will approximate through pageviews, unique devices (a proxy for users), how often users return, time spent on the site, and other ways.  

Through a combination of user research, community discussion, design and product development we hope to make Wikipedia a more rewarding experience for our users, which we believe will allow people to learn more.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: Users have better experiences when interacting with articles across mobile and desktop Web platforms, measured through a combination of metrics focused on user retention, pageviews, and time spent on page (Audience H)

  • Objective 1: Enable readers to gauge the quality and reliability of an article prior to reading
    • Milestone 1: Distinguish visually between pages with significant issues and pages that have less significant issues or have none at all
  • Objective 2: Build on existing work creating better metrics to generate a more nuanced measure of learning
    • Milestone 1: Begin including at least 1 new KPI relating to knowledge consumption in our reading reports
  • Objective 3: Increase learning for all users by providing articles that load quickly in various settings
    • Milestone 1: Integrate at least two new services for article rendering on mobile web
  • Objective 4: Provide a smoother reading experience by improving the ways that users can flag articles of interest for later consumption
  • Objective 5: Improve the end-user reading experience by applying a cohesive design language across multiple screen sizes
    • Milestone 1: Through qualitative testing, evaluate the effect of increased responsiveness of the mobile website for larger screens

Outcome 2: High-affinity readers ( audience G) benefit more from engaging with our sites, and are better aware of Wikimedia's apps.  

  • Objective 1: Iterate and improve new app features that drive reuse and learning by high-affinity readers
    • Milestone 1: Develop and deploy a push notifications service for more direct app messaging to users. Deliver at least one type recurring/regular notification for each app platform. Beta test notifications for mobile and/or desktop web.   
  • Objective 2: Run a targeted awareness campaign on wiki based on specific feature use or behavioral indicators that apps can optimize for (iOS)
    • Milestone 1: Raise awareness of the apps and their specific user value as measured by install volumes
  • Objective 3: Continue to improve accessibility of the apps
  • Objective 4: Increase engagement and retention by pushing content to users based on relevance, timeliness, interest, and/or preferences (RI/iOS/Android)
    • Milestone 1: Convert existing “pull” app notifications to use “push” notification infrastructure
    • Milestone 2: Maintaining core metrics and positive user feedback and reviews while broadening user base

Program 3: Increase device support for editing[edit]


  • Product > Editing
    • Editing engineering teams
    • Editing Design team
    • Editing Product team
  • Community Engagement
    • Community Liaisons team
  • Technology
    • MediaWiki team
    • Design Research team

Strategic priorities: Reach, Communities


With Internet access and mobile device usage rapidly growing, many people in our emerging communities access the Internet exclusively using mobile devices. With so many new users coming online, the steep learning curve involved in contributing to our projects leads to high reversion rates early on. We will extend the long-form editing experience so that it is great on all devices as well as investigate other contribution tasks that are appropriate for mobile devices.


Support content contribution on mobile devices


  • Outcome 1: In emerging communities, engagement and number of participants increases, and the proportion of mobile contributions continues its strong growth.


  • Objective 1: Improve and consolidate our unified editing platform so that it's great on all devices [Audience B1]
  • Objective 2: Invest in our future by researching a radically better multi-lingual content system (both reading and editing), compatible across all devices [Audiences B4, G, H, I]
  • Objective 3: Collaborate with Reading to create new mechanisms by which to contribute edits with lower context or in small ways on mobile devices (Audiences B1, G)
  • Objective 4: Maintain editing technologies with very high up-time for all our users. Reduce product and technical debt to modernise our tools and technologies, and to make future changes more effective and efficient [Audience B]
  • Objective 5: Modernise user interface technologies to encompass mobile and desktop platforms, with continued work on the Wikimedia-wide adoption of a standard Web user interface library [Audiences B, G, I, J]
  • Objective 6: Support work towards unifying MediaWiki's parser implementations, in liaison with Technology's MediaWiki team [Audience J]


  • Target 1: The proportion of mobile edits of all non-bot edits grows significantly across all Wikimedia wikis
  • Target 2: The proportion of mobile editors of all non-bot editors in emerging communities grows significantly
  • Target 3: The breadth and depth of content in emerging communities grows significantly
  • Target 4: The quantity of mobile contributions of a specific contribution type on a specific wiki with community approval increases
  • Target 5: We determine the future direction of Wikidata description editing, based on the initial launch, outcomes, and community feedback

Program 4: New editor success[edit]


  • Product > Editing
    • Editing engineering teams
    • Editing Design team
    • Editing Product team
  • Community Engagement
    • Community Liaisons team
  • Technology
  • Design Research

Strategic priorities: Reach, Communities, Knowledge

Timeframe: Ongoing; 12 months for this portion


A steady inflow of good-faith new editors, and the tools and resources to shape them into productive community members, is crucial to the long-term sustainability and diversity of Wikimedia projects. However, the number of new editors across Wikimedia projects has declined over the past several years even as the number of existing editors has remained stable. Compared to the experiences and perspectives of existing editors, relatively little is known about the experiences and perspectives of new editors. This lack of understanding is particularly acute outside the largest communities (such as English and German Wikipedias). Tenured users spend much of their time reviewing these incoming edits, many of which are unacceptable because of the simple mistakes new users commonly make.

We will work to improve the experience of our emerging communities, on mid-sized Wikimedia wikis with roughly 500–2,000 monthly active contributors, where we think we can provide the most benefit.


Improve the new editor experience


  • Outcome 1: In emerging communities, increase the retention of new editors, and the quality of their contributions.


  • Objective 1: Expand and deepen our understanding of the experiences of new editors in emerging communities based on generative research [Audience B1]
  • Objective 2: Improve, adjust, or create features geared at the needs identified in the research project. The features will be chosen based on research outcomes, but likely will be aimed at the following:
    • Providing better contextual guidance to new users facing social or technical obstacles during the editing process (such as a perceived lack of permission to edit, a lack of understanding of citations and linking, or a desire for real-time assistance) [Audiences B1, B2, B7]
    • Better supporting existing editors in mentoring and nurturing new users (such as by improving communications, helping identify good-faith newcomers, or helping new users express their interests and needs) [Audiences B1, B2, B7]


  • Target 1: In emerging communities, the second-month retention rate of new accounts increases
  • Target 2: In emerging communities, the revert rate for edits by new accounts and IPs decreases

Program 5: Increase current editor retention and engagement[edit]


  • Product > Editing
    • Editing engineering teams
    • Editing Design team
    • Editing Product team
  • Community Engagement
    • Community Liaisons team
  • Technology
    • Research & Data
    • Design Research
    • ORES Team

Strategic priorities: Reach, Communities

Timeframe: Ongoing; 12 months for this portion


We are seeking to understand and address our larger wikis communities’ extensive backlogs of work, and provide better monitoring, workflow and communication experiences. Identifying ideal contribution tasks is complex and slow, and monitoring changes has similar issues. Recommending specific contributions for users to make has been shown to increase engagement, when trialled with Content Translation. Some community-developed tools show demand for tasks, like FixMeBot from Labs, and on-wiki portals like the English Wikipedia's backlog page. This lack of support is particularly a key growth inhibitor on established communities (those with more than 2,000 monthly active contributors).

Goal 1[edit]

Recommend where new and tenured users can contribute


  • Outcome 1: We understand and begin addressing the issues our larger wikis' communities are facing with extensive backlogs of work


  • Objective 1: Develop a deeper understanding of how communities share, surface, and select contribution tasks on their wikis by researching community-built systems, especially focused on larger wikis [Audiences B1, B2, B7]
  • Objective 2: Improve, adjust, or create features geared at the needs identified in our research. The features will be decided upon based on the findings, but will likely be aimed at the following:
    • Supporting users by surfacing recommendations with community-wide contribution tasks, such as in a dashboard [Audiences B1, B2]
    • Provide users with recommendations for contribution tasks personalised to their activity and interests [Audiences B1, B2]


  • Target 1: In established communities, the contribution rate of tenured editors increases
  • Target 2: In established communities, the rate of increase in backlogs slows

Goal 2[edit]

Give better ways to monitor contributions


  • Outcome 1: Reviewing contributions is more accessible, efficient, and productive.


  • Objective 1: Apply the new recent changes filters technology with Machine Learning to other contexts like watchlists and history pages [Audiences B2, B7]
  • Objective 2: Improve the productivity of tenured editors through fixing long-standing issues with change-monitoring tools, in collaboration with Community Tech [Audiences B1, B2, B7]


  • Target 1: In established communities, increase the number of people involved in edit review

Goal 3[edit]

Provide better workflow and communication experiences


  • Outcome 1: We understand and begin addressing the issues our communities are facing with their processes to collaborate on content and conduct concerns ("workflows") whilst better supporting existing users of structured discussions


  • Objective 1: Evaluate initial opportunities for improving common workflows, consolidating and updating all the existing research on on-wiki behaviors [Audiences B1, B2, B7]
  • Objective 2: Improve structured discussion features for the communities that use them, based on user feedback and prioritising technical debt [Audiences B1, B7]


  • Target 1: We have at least one proposal for experimenting with supporting a common workflow
  • Target 2: Search in structured discussions is completed on or before 31 March 2018

Program 6: Community Wishlist[edit]

Team: Community Tech

Strategic priorities: This program benefits the core contributors in our volunteer communities, making their work on the projects easier and more productive. This supports increased production, curation and moderation of Wikimedia projects as sources of knowledge.

Timeframe: 12 months


The most active contributors on Wikimedia are the primary creators and caretakers of our projects. As volunteers, contributors have built tools and workflows based on templates, bots and gadgets, with limited support from the Foundation.

Sometimes, these volunteer tools break, and the volunteers who created them don’t have time to fix them. Workflows based on templates and categories add unnecessary burdens on volunteers’ time and patience. Limitations in the MediaWiki software can also prevent volunteers from being as efficient and productive as they want to be.


The Community Tech team works on features and fixes that support Wikimedia’s most active contributors. The core work of the team is determined by the top 10 wishes identified and prioritized in the annual Community Wishlist Survey.  The team also spends time working on prioritized wishes from smaller groups of contributors, and from WMF Community Engagement.


  • Outcome 1: Improved productivity and satisfaction for very active contributors


  • Objective 1: In 2017, the team is responsible for investigating and addressing the top 10 wishes from the 2016 survey, including: Global settings, Wikitext editor syntax highlighting, Warning on unsuccessful login attempts, Rewrite of Xtools.
  • Objective 2: Build features to benefit groups of users that work with WMF Community Engagement, including admins, stewards and grantees, as well as internal tools as prioritized by Community Engagement


  • Target 1: During calendar year 2017, the top 10 wishes identified on the 2016 Community Wishlist Survey will be addressed. For any wishes that aren’t completed, the team will provide an explanation of the investigation and any decisions. (In 2016, 5 of the 10 wishes were completed, with a sixth wish still in progress.) The team will also address several wishes that benefit smaller groups of contributors, and several from Community Engagement’s priority list.

Program 7: Payment processor investigation and long-term strategy[edit]

Teams: Advancement Management and all of Fundraising-tech

Strategic priorities: This is the cornerstone of almost all fundraising activities and supersedes strategic priorities.

Timeframe: Q1 and part of Q2 will involve market research, technical investigations, and negotiations with Payment Service Providers.


Currently 50% of all work is planned maintenance or new integrations of payment systems. We have steadily increased the number of payment processor relationships. We have also steadily increased the number of countries where we run campaigns (19% growth last year).

This is the cornerstone of almost all fundraising activities and supersedes strategic priorities. With the current high complexity, there are a number of ways to adjust our work and consider alternatives.


Evaluate several options through Q1 and Q2. We plan to choose our mix of options by the end of Q2 and begin executing on them in Q3.

The following options are not a complete list and could happen in parallel:

  • Support of the SmashPig donations payment initiative
  • Fewer processors that offer more payment options (lower maintenance but higher fees)
  • Changes to countries and payment options with low ROI.
  • Remain at current functionality with no planned expansion


  • Outcome 1: Advancement and fr-tech find a solution that lowers or does not increase current maintenance costs.


  • Objective 1: In Q1 and Q2 we will be running down our list of options and investigating them. We have priority meetings every 2 weeks to review progress.
    • Also during Q1 and Q2 we will be investigating retention features in between investigations of PsPs. We hope to repair some obvious bugs, testing and stats systems
  • Objective 2: In Q3 and Q4 we will be executing on the chosen plan


  • Milestone 1: End of Q2: Choose a mix of options
  • Milestone 2: End of Q3: Demonstrate the start of the new direction and plan as needed

Program 8: Donor retention[edit]

Teams: Advancement Management and all of Fundraising-tech

Strategic priorities: This is a reach and communities project. With more accurate donor histories, we can learn more about and communicate better with our communities.

Timeframe: 6 Months


Advancement stores critical donor data in our own installation of CiviCRM. Our instance has many duplicate records in its database. We have developed a method for combining (deduping) records from the same donor. Previously, this had only been done by hand. Our current system did not have a measurable impact on the manual process in our largest campaigns in December. We hope to devote more time to the optimization and expansion of this system this year.


Bring dedupe to a volume and quality level that can produce a measurable benefit for Wikimedia’s Foundations and Major Gifts team during the English Campaign.


  • Outcome 1: In FY 16/17 four well-trained team members spent 106 hours on deduping related to the English campaign. One of those employees may not be available for this task next year and a new contractor may help. We still hope to reduce the hours spent. We will need to track hours next year and assess impact.  


  • Objective 1: We currently have ~30 merge conflicts that are slated to be fixed and merged correctly. This counts as our first phase of work.


  • Milestone 1: Resolution of the first list of conflicts.
  • Milestone 2: Code freeze for the Big English in late October.

Program 9: Team practices and organizational development[edit]

Team: Team Practices Group

Strategic priorities: Reach, Communities, Knowledge

Timeframe: 12 months


The Team Practices Group (TPG) is collaboratively building a culture and organization that is well-equipped to focus on problem-solving, effective collaboration, and learning.  We support and champion the foundational skills, mindsets, and practices that underlie resilient, healthy, and adaptable teams and organizations. The TPG accomplishes its mission through day-to-day agile coaching and scrum mastering with the Foundation's Product teams. Demand for TPG’s services is higher than ever, and comes from across the entire organization. As a centralized team, TPG brings a useful degree of neutrality and objectivity to working with teams, adding value to the projects by bringing in domain knowledge grounded in context, but without core responsibility for the outputs.


By providing Wikimedia Foundation teams and individuals the support and training to define and solve their own problems, the Team Practices Group improves the organization’s capacity to cope with problems, adapt to change, and leverage opportunities.

Key to this approach is cultivating a safe climate for learning and change.

Through an organizational development and team-practices lens, we take a values-based approach to supporting individuals, teams, and the organization to reach the organization’s highest potential. The TPG accomplishes its mission through day-to-day agile coaching and scrum mastering with the Foundation's Product teams. Over the last year, the TPG experimented with expanding the scope of its operations by creating an “Agile Coach: Organizational Collaboration” role which is focussed on identifying and addressing bottlenecks in order to improve collaboration across all levels of the organization. Work in this domain is proposed to continue in FY 17-18. Demand for TPG’s services is higher than ever, and comes from across the entire organization. As a centralized team, TPG brings a useful degree of neutrality and objectivity to working with teams, adding value to the projects by bringing in domain knowledge grounded in context, but without core responsibility for the outputs.

Team Practices[edit]


  • Outcome 1: The Team Practices Group positively impacts and supports team health.
  • Outcome 2: Work with teams to promote a culture of trust and collaboration and improve ongoing team operations on a continuous basis.
  • Outcome 3: Through coaching and process support, create conditions for self-organization that build capacity for problem solving, autonomous decision-making, and learning.


  • Objective 1: Support and facilitate processes across the Foundation that encourage learning, feedback, excellence, and value delivery — leading to:
    • Iteration
    • Retrospectives / inspecting adapting
    • Working transparently and visualizing workflows
    • Other Lean practices
    • Conditions for increased self-organization, autonomy, and decision-making


  • Milestone 1: We will track specific engagements by one or more of the following mechanisms:
    • Quarterly (or other interval) team objectives (set with teams) and check-ins
    • TPG Customer Satisfaction survey
    • Agile Coaching Life Cycle tracking
    • TPG Light Engagement Survey

Organizational Development[edit]


  • Outcome 1: Improve the organization’s capacity to cope with problems, adapt to change, and leverage opportunities.
  • Outcome 2:Increased ability to define and solve their organizational problems.


  • Objective 1: Provide support and training across Wikimedia Foundation teams and groups to build skills and define and solve their own problems. Activities may include:
    • Organizational learning (retrospectives)
    • Facilitated workshops and events that build organizational capacity and collective ownership (e.g., Collab Jam)
    • Supporting organizational values in practice
    • Supporting organizational leadership framework in practice
    • Collaboratively-defined interventions TBD


  • Milestone 1: Summary/lessons learned

Program 10: Wikidata[edit]

Team: Wikidata (WMDE)

Strategic priorities: Knowledge

Timeframe: Work covers 12 months


Wikidata’s first and foremost function is to provide a structured data backbone for the Wikimedia projects. The Wikidata team will focus on two goals in this fiscal year: improving and building out Wikidata; and increasing its reach into the other Wikimedia projects. The primary targets here are Wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikipedia.


Continued support for funding and development of Wikidata

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

Outcome 1: Continue to assure the technical and social sustainability of Wikidata (software and community) as the central, structured knowledge data base for the Wikimedia movement and beyond. This will help users detect and fix data quality issues more easily, help institutions contribute in a productive way to Wikidata and are part of the community, and help more users write queries.

  • Objective 1: Improved constraint reports and related data quality tools: The amount of data in Wikidata is growing. We need to build out existing quality tools like the constraint reports and investigate which other tools will help the editors keep the data quality in Wikidata high without burning them out.
  • Objective 2: Make it easier to query Wikidata's data with specialized tools and UI improvements: The Wikidata Query Service is an incredibly powerful tool, but t is still hard for the majority of users to use it. A big hurdle is knowledge of SPARQL as a query language. We will experiment with ways to make it easier for people who are not familiar with SPARQL to adapt existing queries and create their own.
    • Milestone 1: Users can detect and fix data quality issues more easily
    • Milestone 2: More users write queries

Outcome 2: Continue to increase the reach of Wikidata into the Wikimedia projects. We aim to significantly increase the instances of data uses from Wikidata by Wikimedia projects. We will achieve this by removing barriers for editors on Wikipedia and enabling new kinds of data to be collected within Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons — thereby making Wikidata more useful to the other projects.

  • Objective 1: Enable automated list generation: A lot of work on Wikipedia is spent on maintaining list articles. This is magnified by the fact that each language edition of Wikipedia maintains its lists independently from the other Wikipedias. With the help of Wikidata we will make it possible for people to create list articles that are automatically updated based on data in Wikidata. This is aimed to especially help small Wikipedias keep lists (like the list of a country’s presidents) updated more easily.
  • Objective 2: Enable editing of Wikidata's data from Wikipedia via VisualEditor: Editors on Wikipedia care deeply about enabling anyone to edit. With the usage of data from Wikipedia, changes to this data also need to be made on Wikidata, to lower the barrier to participation. We will redesign the input widgets on Wikidata and make them more modular. We will then integrate them into VisualEditor to allow editors to change data from Wikidata right on their Wikipedia when editing an article.
  • Objective 3: Make it possible to store lexicographical data (Wiktionary support): Lexicographical data can so far not be stored on Wikidata. We will build out the support for lexicographical data in order to support Wiktionary and make this additional type of data available as structured data. This requires new entity types and specialized user-interface pieces for lexicographical data.
  • Objective 4: Supporting structured data for multimedia files (Wikimedia Commons support): Wikimedia Commons holds a large amount of images. The lack of structured data for the meta data like license, creator, location and more causes a number of significant issues for discoverability, management and re-use of our multimedia content. We will work on one of the big ground-work projects: Multi-Content-Revisions. With this feature, we will make it possible to store both wikitext and structured data in the same page. This will require significant changes to the core of MediaWiki.
    • Milestone 1: Users can create automated lists based on Wikidata
    • Milestone 2: Users edit Wikidata directly from sister projects
    • Milestone 3: First lexicographical data is stored in Wikidata and people query lexicographical data, build tools, etc.

About Advancement's Partnerships and Global Reach team[edit]

The Partnerships and Global Reach Team's core mission is to increase awareness and readership in countries where a significant number of the population do not know or use Wikimedia projects. In order to do that, we work with partners around the world. The global nature and scale of these partnerships require professional expertise and focused resources, which is the primary role of our team. In doing so, we always work in close coordination with the local communities to align with their goals and interests. This is the set of guidelines that we use to define the scope and methodology of our work:

  • We always strive to consult and work together with the local Wikimedia communities and affiliates before, during and after the execution of partnerships. Working with local affiliates and communities is essential to understand their interests and the best approach for that country or region.
  • In the case of readership and awareness based opportunities, we often lead the efforts to evaluate and facilitate the work among local communities, partners and the Foundation. On the other hand, when we identify editorship based opportunities, we present them to the local affiliates/communities and take a supportive role if they decide to pursue that opportunity.
  • We build strategic partnerships to support the Wikimedia movement with resources and platforms that will connect us to new audiences. Our partners include mission-aligned governments, non-profits, educational institutions and private companies.
  • Our team focuses on global regions with low Wikipedia awareness and use. This is predominantly in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia.
  • Our approach in these regions is to conduct pilots that are carefully designed and monitored, with community feedback and cross-departmental support and evaluation. If successful, we may scale up appropriately.

Program 1: Partnerships for Reach - Asia[edit]

The awareness and usage of Wikimedia projects in Asia are extremely low compared to the population, internet penetration, and the number of people seeking content in their native languages in this region. Taking India as an example:

  1. Even though India covers around 17% of the world’s population, only ~4% of Wikipedia page-views come from India
  2. Our phone survey covering 12 Indian languages showed that even though 64% of the respondents used the internet, only 25% of the respondents had heard of Wikipedia
  3. Based on unique devices accessing Wikipedia from India, we computed that not even  1% of native speakers in each Indian language might be accessing their language’s Wikipedia.
  4. Out of 462M internet users in India, even with the most conservative estimate, at least 70% are Indian-language speakers, but not even 10% of Wikipedia page-views in India are for Indian-language Wikipedias.
  5. Most Indian language Wikipedias have only 1 or less than 1 editor per million population.

Aligned with New Readers program target countries, we will focus our efforts in India and Indonesia.

To address this issue:

  1. In India, based on insights gained during the New Readers research done in India in 2016-2017, we aim to increase readership for Wikimedia projects through strategic partnerships with government, media, private entities, and nonprofits.
  2. In Indonesia, we will use the insights gained from design research conducted during Movement Strategy process to build a partnerships plan, with due consultation with the local chapter and communities.

Goal: Increase the awareness and readership of Wikimedia projects in India and Indonesia, covering both native languages and English.

Strategic priorities: Reach

Team: Partnerships and Global Reach

Timeframe: For this annual plan, we are focusing on a 12-month timeline. But the scale of the problem requires that the program should run for a period of 5 to 6 years. Moreover, insights from the ongoing 2017 movement strategy process may help further define the long-term timeline.


  • Outcome 1: Indian-language speakers become aware that Wikipedia exists in their own languages, and understand what Wikipedia is.
  • Outcome 2: More Indian-language speakers become Wikipedia readers.
  • Outcome 3: We understand the knowledge seeking behaviors in Indonesia and have a plan in place to start the partnerships work in that country.


  • Activity 1: Build partnerships with media houses and state governments in India to introduce Indian-language speakers to Wikimedia projects at scale, by surfacing WP content through mass media and government channels. Since most Indian language Wikipedias have only one or less than one editor per million population, our awareness building activities with clear goals and focus on readership are not expected to bring a sudden influx of new editors that may overwhelm the existing community. Instead, these activities will complement the community initiatives which are mostly editorship focused.
  • Activity 2: Build partnerships with private entities and nonprofits in India such that new readers start reading Indian language Wikipedias, by surfacing our content/site in the partners’ user experience.
  • Activity 3: Based on insights gained from design research conducted during Movement Strategy process, build a partnership plan for Indonesia. Attend relevant local community and industry events to start cultivating relationships with local entities.


  • Milestone 1: India: At least one partnership launched with either media or government in 2017, such that 5M people are introduced to Wikipedia. A media or government partnership will allow us to reach people at scale to create overall Wikipedia awareness.
  • Milestone 2: India: At least one partnership launched with either a private entity or nonprofit in 2017, such that 500K people start reading Wikipedia. A private entity or nonprofit partnership will likely allow us to measure how many people started reading Wikipedia, i.e. track adoption, though the scale of reach will be smaller.
  • Milestone 3: Indonesia: The narrative and partnerships plan drafted and shared with the organization, partners, communities, affiliates, and the wider movement. Built warm relationships with Indonesia contacts and community members to start discussing future partnerships.

Program 2: Partnerships for Reach - Latin America[edit]

Potential new readers in Latin America face different barriers to be online and therefore accessing Wikipedia. Particularly, affordability and lack of connectivity infrastructure are the main obstacles keeping people offline in this region. Within the population that do manage to be online, awareness of Wikimedia projects is also still very low compared to their online populations. Aligned with our prioritization for target countries of the New Readers program, we will focus our efforts in Mexico and Brazil.

  1. Our 2016 Mexico and Brazil phone surveys showed that only 45% of Mexicans and 32% of Brazilians have heard of Wikipedia.
  2. 55% of the Mexican population (over 70 million Mexicans) and 34% the Brazilian population have never been online, reflecting the problems of internet infrastructure both Mexico and Brazil have.

To address these issues:

  1. In Mexico, we will increase awareness of Wikipedia by partnering with local governments and mission-aligned private companies to increase readership of our projects. We will also work with relevant stakeholders to bring Wikipedia content for offline reading to those with limited or no internet connectivity, enabling them to engage with Wikimedia projects once they're fully online.
  2. In Brazil, collecting information from existing and new sources, in addition to the findings obtained through the Movement Strategy process, we will build a strategic plan that identifies the opportunities to increase the reach of our projects in the country.

Goal: Increase the awareness and readership of Wikimedia projects in targeted Latin American countries (Mexico and Brazil) in Spanish and Portuguese respectively.

Strategic priorities: Reach

Team: Partnerships and Global Reach

Timeframe: 12 months


  • Outcome 1: Mexico: More people recognize the Wikipedia brand and understand the value of Wikipedia content, so they seek out Wikipedia when they are looking for information.
  • Outcome 2: Through offline distribution of Wikipedia, potential readers in Brazil and Mexico with limited or no internet will be able to access our content.
  • Outcome 3: Brazil: Our team has a clear understanding of the most impactful partnerships opportunities to increase reach and awareness in that country.


  • Activity 1: Mexico: Partner with local governments and mission-aligned private companies to launch initiatives that allow potential readers to discover Wikipedia or Wikimedia content and understand what Wikipedia is.
  • Activity 2: Mexico: Based on a more robust and comprehensive understanding of the offline space, we will identify and approach the relevant stakeholders to provide offline content distribution for those with poor or no connectivity.
  • Activity 3: Brazil: We will build a partnership plan by processing the findings obtained through the Movement Strategy process, along with the existing available information (including the Brazil phone survey), insights obtained from local contacts, communities, affiliates, and participations in key multi-stakeholder events.  


  • Milestone 1: Mexico: Launch at least one partnership in Mexico with a local government or mission-aligned private company, where increasing awareness and recognition of Wikipedia is the main goal.
  • Milestone 2: Mexico: Build a partnership with at least one relevant stakeholder to pilot offline distribution of Wikipedia content.
  • Milestone 3: Brazil: Draft and publish the partnership strategy plan (including context mapping, identified findings, and actionable steps).

Program 3: Partnerships for Reach - Middle East & Africa[edit]

In the Middle East and Africa, Wikipedia awareness levels are extremely low compared to their large populations. As more and more people continue to go on-line, internet penetration is increasing along with the need for local relevant content. Here are a few examples:

  • In Iraq, only 19% of internet users have heard of Wikipedia. In a country with a rich history of education and scholarship, this is very low.
  • Our phone survey in Egypt showed that even though 59% of the respondents used the internet, only 21% of these respondents had ever heard of Wikipedia. As Arabic is the main language in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, there are significant opportunities to increase Wikimedia’s reach in the region.
  • As we know, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa (190 million people), our phone survey results showed that even though 65% of the respondents used the internet, only 23% of them had ever heard of Wikipedia.

To address this issue:

Goal: Increase awareness and readership of Wikimedia projects in Nigeria and Egypt in English, Arabic, and native languages.

Strategic priorities: Reach

Team: Partnerships and Global Reach

Timeframe: 12 months


  • Outcome 1: More people to be aware of Wikipedia, its brand, and understand what it is. This awareness will help drive a better understanding of the local relevance and value of Wikipedia.
  • Outcome 2: Nigeria: More Nigerians to become Wikipedia readers.
  • Outcome 3: Egypt: We understand the best potential partnerships to invest in and have a plan in place to start work more consistently in that country.  


  • Activity 1: Nigeria: Build partnerships with local governments (specifically with Ministries of Education) and educational institutions in Nigeria to increase the readership of Wikimedia projects.
  • Activity 2: Nigeria: Build partnerships with private entities in order to increase the readership of local language Wikipedias by including and branding our content in the partners’ service or product.
  • Activity 3: Egypt: Processing and communicating the research findings obtained during the Movement Strategy process to the organization and community at large.


  • Milestone 1: Nigeria: Launched at least one partnership in Nigeria with a local government or educational institution in which increasing awareness about Wikipedia is the main goal.
  • Milestone 2: Nigeria: Launched at least one partnership in Nigeria with a local government, educational institution, NGOs, or mission-aligned private company, to pilot a program designed to distribute Wikipedia with an offline reading solution.
  • Milestone 3: Egypt: The partnerships plan shared across the organization and movement

Program 4: Partnerships for Knowledge[edit]

Encouraging the creation of locally relevant content in native languages is key to driving increased use and value of our projects in emerging countries. By leveraging support from key technology partners, we intend to facilitate establishing the relationship between these partners and the local communities to create local content.

This program connects with the Strategic Priority of Knowledge (Approach 3) as it creates awareness among editors around the need for locally relevant content as a part of general awareness building of Wikimedia projects

Goal: Targeted increase of locally relevant content in native languages through partnerships that encourage content creation by building awareness about popular topics needed in native languages.

Strategic priorities: Knowledge

Team: Partnerships and Global Reach, Discovery, Editing

Timeframe: 12 months


  • Outcome 1: Editors  from emerging communities build new content from suggested topics based on knowledge gaps in their local Wikipedia.


  • Activity 1: Work with relevant Foundation staff teams and local communities to explore using article suggestions from search engines that failed to return Wikipedia content. These suggestions would be regionally oriented, based on local searches and languages. Also, the search results may take the shape of regularly updated resources (like this) when appropriate tools are made available by the Wikimedia Foundation.


  • Milestone 1: Partnership with at least one external entity or creation of at least one tool that allows editors to easily discover which in-demand local language articles are missing, and encourages them to contribute.

Program 5: Partnerships for Communities[edit]

The Partnerships and Global Reach team focuses on forging strategic partnerships to increase readership and awareness of Wikimedia projects. Many of these partnerships can enhance and add impact to the work undertaken by established and emerging communities. At the same time, many emerging Wikimedia communities also look out for formal support mechanisms to pursue partnerships based on their needs and interests. The Letter to Katherine written by participants of WikiIndaba 2017 is an example of communities’ needs and expectations to receive more proactive and direct support from the Wikimedia Foundation.

A joint and coordinated approach to partnerships between our team and movement affiliates/volunteers is not only natural but also desirable and necessary strengthen our movement and get us closer to our mission.

Goal: Communities and affiliates across our movement should know how to effectively connect to and work with the Partnerships and Global Reach team at the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation and the communities we serve should collaborate to identify and triage potential partners that have the capacity and means to advance our mission.

Strategic priorities: Communities

Team: Partnerships and Global Reach, Community Engagement, Communications

Timeframe: 12 months. (Note: As we see this program as one of the core activities of our team, we intend to maintain and improve its activities for the years to come based on the effectiveness of the outcomes we achieve this year.)


  • Outcome 1: Established communication channels and processes between the Partnerships and Global Reach team and the communities across our movement. Wikimedia Foundation’s roles, responsibilities and strategic goals for partnerships are clear to the affiliates and community at large.
  • Outcome 2: Movement affiliates from emerging communities learn and refine their partnerships related skills. They will have the knowledge to understand and apply these skills to their local context creating opportunities to further expand our mission.


  • Activity 1: Our team will continue to engage with our volunteer communities in different online and offline venues. We will maintain the quarterly Office Hours meetings per region (LATAM, Asia and Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa), and will improve our online presence. The team will also attend and add value to global and regional community facing events like Wikimania and Wikimedia Conference by conducting workshops, panel discussions and facilitating exchange of community best practices regarding partnership skills.
  • Activity 2: Collaborate with the Community Resources team to refine the Partnerships module of the Community Capacity Development program. Our goal is to include the Partnerships and Global Reach team’s experience and best practices in this community capacity building effort.


  • Milestone 1: Hold quarterly office hours for each region (LATAM, Asia and Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa).  
  • Milestone 2: Hold one Community Capacity development program session in each region (LATAM, Asia and Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa) during the next 12 months.

Program 6: Wikipedia’s Awareness and Usage Research[edit]

The program is designed to understand the adoption and perception of Wikipedia in our target countries. In order to formulate data-driven solutions, we conducted phone surveys in 5 target countries (Nigeria, India, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico) during the FY 16-17. These efforts were part of the New Readers research project. The quantitative data we gathered has been used to measure Wikipedia awareness, internet use, smartphone use, and other key metrics to extend our knowledge and reach in these countries.  

For the first time, we’ve used non-internet based surveys in countries where new users are just coming online using their mobile phones.  This approach enables us to discover if potential users know about Wikipedia, as well as important information about their internet and smartphone use.  One of our most significant findings is that awareness and usage of Wikimedia projects in our target countries is extremely low.  Knowing the magnitude of this problem is a key piece of information to consider as we define our future strategy.

Here are a few examples of things we have already learned:

  1. More people in Mexico learn about Wikipedia through word of mouth than by using the internet.
  2. Even in Mexico, the country with the highest Wikipedia awareness measured, nearly half of internet users have never heard of Wikipedia.
  3. In Nigeria, data cost is named as the most important reason why people know about Wikipedia but don’t use it.
  4. India is unique in that people use Wikipedia at the same rate for work as they do for school.
  5. Only 16% of internet users in Egypt actually use Wikipedia monthly or more.
  6. Among internet users in Iraq, less than 19% of them have heard of Wikipedia.  By comparison, 76% of them had heard of Google.

Goal: Get a better understanding of Wikipedia awareness and usage in emerging markets, especially within our target countries.  Gathering this information will help us define and prioritize our efforts with building partnerships, community initiatives, and product direction.

Strategic priorities: Reach

Team: Partnerships and Global Reach

Timeframe: This phase of the program will take 12 months, reaching an additional 4 countries in emerging markets.


  • Outcome 1: Understand and quantify key facts about Wikipedia awareness, internet usage, and smartphone usage.  Phone surveys are the only cost-effective means available to measure these key data points in these countries.  
  • Outcome 2: Understand how Wikipedia users in these countries discover, use and perceive Wikipedia.  This information will inform our efforts to build awareness and readership.


  • Activity 1: Conduct phone surveys in 4 new countries (mix of target and extended target country set).
  • Activity 2: Create on-wiki survey feature that works on all popular browsers in emerging markets.  This would be used to collect regional feedback from our readers around Wikipedia use, interest and needs of those users.
  • Activity 3: Share our learnings with communities across the movement, particularly in the regions that we have conducted this research through our office hours and participation in regional and international Wikimedia events.  Communities and movement affiliates will be able to use the collected data to review their own initiatives and identify which local partnerships will have the most impact.


  • Milestone 1: Complete 4 surveys by end of fiscal year.  We will complete one survey per quarter.
  • Milestone 2: Conduct an on-wiki survey targeted at Wikipedia Zero users.  This survey will  be a key assessment of the actual program’s impact.

Program 7: Wikipedia Zero: conducting impact assessment and focusing partnerships to target countries[edit]

Wikimedians of Iraq welcome Wikipedia Zero program by Asiacell. Screened during the launch of the program during Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, 2017

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 73 countries, which has provided Wikimedia project access to a subscriber base of more than 782 million people during the course of the program. We have been implementing Wikipedia Zero partnerships only when the local communities welcome and endorse the program. As an example, the partnership with Asiacell in Iraq was initiated and requested by local community members. On the other hand, we decided not to implement the program in Mexico because of the stand taken by the local chapter. We have held extensive community discussions and released public statements when the local community requests clarification about our policy stands.

Goal: To be strategically consistent with our prioritization for programmatic activities in our target countries (also part of the New Readers program), we will focus Wikipedia Zero activities in Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia.

  • Nigeria: we conducted in-depth research in Nigeria under the New Readers program, evidencing that mobile data costs are still very high - something confirmed by our 2016 phone survey.
  • Egypt:  although we have not conducted generative research as in Nigeria, our phone survey also showed Internet data cost as being a barrier to access.
  • Indonesia: we plan to start a Wikimedia design research project during FY 16-17 as part of the movement strategy work.

After over four years of launching, expanding and stabilizing the Wikipedia Zero program, our primary goal this year is to evaluate the program's impact to better inform its future operation.

Strategic priorities: Reach

Team: Partnerships and Global Reach

Timeframe: 12 months


  • Outcome 1: We will understand Wikipedia Zero's impact, allowing us and the organization to make data-driven decisions about the program.
  • Outcome 2: Audiences in one of our target countries will be better aware of the existence of the program (and of Wikipedia in general), through better promotion of the partnership in collaboration with the mobile carrier and the local Wikimedia community.


  • Activity 1: Analyze the results around affordability obtained in the 4 new phone surveys (Research - Activity 1.1), the Community Engagement Insights feedback from program leaders and affiliates,  and utilize the on-wiki survey feature (Research - Activity 2.1) to understand the program’s impact in existing Wikipedia Zero countries.
  • Activity 2: Encourage a Wikipedia Zero partner to further build awareness of Wikipedia in the country. Our team will also remain open to incoming Wikipedia Zero requests from mobile operators in our target countries, and handle them as per our usual evaluation and implementation process.


  • Milestone 1: Deliver a report from data gathered from what we have learned from Wikipedia Zero users with the on-wiki surveys. We will evaluate the collected information in alignment with prior research made around affordability.
  • Milestone 2: One marketing/promotion campaign, designed and vetted with inputs/participation from the local community for appropriate messaging, planned and executed with a Wikipedia Zero partner in one of our target countries.

Program 8: Public policy to support New Readers[edit]

Team: Partnerships & Global Reach; also see work also being done by Legal and Communications
Strategic priorities: Knowledge, Reach, Community
Time frame: 12 months


We will advocate for public policy changes that are critical for the Wikimedia mission and operations of the Wikimedia Foundation. In recognition that the Wikimedia mission is deeply rooted in policy goals that knowledge should be available freely and globally, we will work across the Wikimedia movement to increase our reach and expand the public's ability to participate in knowledge creation.


We will work together with Legal, Communications, and specific Wikimedia communities concerned to protect and improve the policy environment upon which the Wikimedia initiatives depend. We will investigate and engage in initiatives to increase access to knowledge in the priority regions identified by the New Readers program. Additionally, we will empower the Wikimedia communities to further these goals.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

  • Outcome 1: Wikimedia Foundation and movement understand the value of public policy actions in emerging countries as a way to support programs to increase reach and access to Wikimedia projects
    • Objective 1: Support and participate in research around public policy in emerging countries
    • Objective 2: Participate in Wikimedia events to share our policy positions and strategy
  • Outcome 2: Governments, civil society, and other external stakeholders understand Wikimedia's role within the access to knowledge movement
    • Objective 1: Governments, civil societies, and other relevant stakeholders in emerging countries understand Wikimedia's role within the access to knowledge movement
    • Objective 2: Identify strategic partnerships with public policy stakeholders to support our goal to address barriers for accessing our projects in emerging countries

About Legal[edit]

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 communities and their various projects, including Wikipedia and its sister Wikimedia projects.

Part of our budget and work focuses on core legal services for the Foundation. These services include, for example, contracts negotiation and review, employment and immigration law support, Board support, fundraising compliance, training, general internal legal advice, and product and tech support. We address these core services in a section on Legal Non-Programmatic Work.

A large part of our budget and work – which is addressed here – is devoted to programmatic services where we work globally to support the Wikimedia communities to achieve their mission on different fronts. For example, the legal team dedicates resources to supporting users in project-related litigation, and we engage with the Wikimedia communities through consultations and advice on core policies, such as our terms of use, trademark policy, and various privacy policies. The programmatic work that we do as a legal team is somewhat unusual for a traditional global website, but it represents the critical interest of community members in legal issues underlying our mission, such as censorship, copyright, free expression, privacy, trademarks, and access to knowledge.

Program 1: Defense of content & communities[edit]

Team: Legal, Community Engagement (Support & Safety) (on occasion), Communications (on occasion), Technology (Analytics) (rarely), Product (Reading) (rarely)

Strategic priorities: Reach, Communities, Knowledge

Time frame: 12 months


The Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia communities and content, and the free knowledge movement sometimes face legal threats. We defend against those threats through negotiation, collaboration, risk mitigation, and litigation as appropriate.


Protect the Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikimedia communities and content, and the free knowledge movement broadly from legal threats

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

  • Outcome 1: Strong defense of the Foundation, content, and communities
    • Objective 1: Defend against legal threats to the Foundation and Wikimedia content
    • *Milestone 1: Defend against informal legal threats against the Foundation and informal legal attempts (not including copyright claims/notices) to remove or alter Wikimedia content
    • Objective 2: Resist unreasonable or unlawful legal attempts to unmask community members
    • *Milestone 1: Resist attempts to obtain private information and oppose requests for nonpublic user or donor information where possible
    • Objective 3: Ensure compliance with applicable law
    • *Milestone 1: Evaluate copyright infringement claims and Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices carefully and push back against invalid claims and notices
    • Objective 4: Fund defensive litigation for community members and movement organizations in appropriate circumstances through the Legal Fees Assistance Program and Defense of Contributors Program
  • Outcome 2: Favorable laws and judicial precedent for the Wikimedia movement
    • Objective 1: Monitor relevant active litigation and proposed legislation and regulation
    • Objective 2: File amicus briefs and proactive litigation where appropriate to protect the Wikimedia movement

Program 2: Transparency Report[edit]

Team: Legal, Community Engagement (Support & Safety), & Communications

Strategic priorities: Communities

Time frame: 8 months - each report takes approximately 4-6 weeks to complete with scheduled release dates in July/August 2017 and January/February 2018


The transparency report is an important part of our efforts to uphold transparency, a key Foundation value. It provides information to the communities and the public about requests that we receive to alter or remove project content and disclose nonpublic data about users. It reassures community members that we believe they should determine project content, and that we will protect nonpublic user data.


To publish two transparency reports, one in July/August 2017, and one in January/February 2018

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

  • Outcome 1: Publication of the transparency report twice a year to provide information to users about how we protect user data and community control of project content. We hope that increased awareness of these efforts will help community members feel safe contributing to the projects, even about controversial topics.
    • Objective 1: Publish two transparency reports, in July/August 2017 and January/February 2018, along with a blog post and social media promotion to raise awareness of the report
    • *Milestone 1: Release a transparency report in July/August 2017, along with blog and other promotion
    • *Milestone 2: Release a transparency report in January/February 2018, along with blog and other promotion

Program 3: Fellowship Program[edit]

Team: Legal, Talent & Culture (Recruiting)

Strategic priorities: Knowledge, Reach, Communities

Time frame: Ongoing, with 3-5 month sessions in the spring, fall, and summer


The legal team's fellowship program offers an opportunity to train aspiring law students and attorneys in the intersection of technology and law, educate them in the Foundation’s mission, open source, and free culture values, and give them an opportunity to experience a variety of in-house legal work. In turn, the program provides the Foundation with high-quality legal research and writing to support ongoing legal workflows, and helps us create a network of highly energetic and skilled legal contacts around the world.


Recruit a class of top fellows each semester who provide the Foundation with high-quality legal work and are passionate about the opportunity to learn about the Wikimedia movement.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

  • Outcome 1: A class of fellows each semester who provide high-quality legal research
    • Objective 1: Have 3-7 legal fellows participate in the program each semester
    • Objective 2: Provide a challenging and supportive environment for fellows to experience in-house legal work and grow as attorneys
  • Outcome 2: Promotion of Wikimedia movement values to the broader legal community
    • Objective 1: Provide fellows with an opportunity to advance the Wikimedia movement values such as free culture and open source, as well as the ways that the Foundation supports those values
  • Outcome 3: Strong relationships with law schools and similar academic programs
    • Objective 1: Coordinate projects with clinics, students, professors, and other parts of academic institutions that further our team outcomes

Program 4: Promoting free culture[edit]

Team: Legal

Strategic priorities: Reach, Knowledge, Communities

Time frame: 12 months


A key component of the Foundation's mission is to promote the growth, development, and distribution of freely licensed content. We plan to promote free culture through our copyright strategy, promotion of free licensing, and risk mitigation for intellectual property issues.


We will facilitate creation and development of a body of freely licensed and public domain knowledge. Our goal is to ensure content can be freely distributed broadly according to Wikimedia principles, prevent unnecessary legal disputes over content, and lower barriers to participation.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

  • Outcome 1: Response to high-priority copyright issues identified by the Wikimedia communities
  • Outcome 2: Licensing that allows the public to contribute to and reuse content
    • Objective 1: Publish public resources on Creative Commons and free licensing
  • Outcome 3: Risk mitigation against intellectual property issues

Program 5: Public policy[edit]

Team: Legal; also see work also being done under Advancement (Partnerships & Global Reach) and Communications
Strategic priorities: Knowledge, Reach, Community
Time frame: 12 months


We will advocate for public policy changes that are critical for the Wikimedia mission and operations of the Wikimedia Foundation. In recognition that the Wikimedia mission is deeply rooted in policy goals that knowledge should be available freely and globally, we will work across the Wikimedia movement to increase our reach and expand the public's ability to participate in knowledge creation.


We will protect and improve the policy environment upon which the Wikimedia initiatives depend. We will investigate and engage in initiatives to increase access to knowledge in the priority regions identified by the New Readers program. We will oppose expansions to copyright rules that would impede the Wikimedia community's efforts, and propose alternative policies that expand the public domain. We will oppose policies that increase the risk of internet censorship. We will defend the intermediary liability regime that allows the Wikimedia Foundation to neutrally host the projects. We will promote privacy practices that do not chill expression. Additionally, we will empower the Wikimedia communities to further these goals.

Outcomes, Objectives, and Milestones[edit]

  • Outcome 1: The Wikimedia Foundation articulates positions on all public policy issues that are critical for the Wikimedia mission and operations of the Foundation
    • Objective 1: Monitor and assess ongoing policy developments worldwide, including issues that may affect other teams
    • *Milestone 1: Upon request, provide internal briefings or training on significant issues
  • Outcome 2: Local Wikimedia communities are empowered to work towards policy change
    • Objective 1: Publish updates and resources on the Wikimedia public policy page, mailing list, and other venues.
    • *Milestone 1: Publish at least two updates to the content on, based on community input
    • Objective 2: Organize meeting with select Wikimedians engaged in policy
  • Outcome 3: The Wikimedia Foundation supports Wikimedia communities around the world in resisting government censorship efforts, and increasing people's ability to access and participate in the Wikimedia projects
    • Objective 1: Create and maintain informational resources to help empower Wikimedia communities in anti-censorship efforts
    • Objective 2: Develop and maintain censorship monitoring capabilities in at-risk countries around the world

About Communications[edit]

The Communications department leads the Foundation's efforts to openly and effectively share information — about the Wikimedia movement, the Wikimedia projects, and the Wikimedia Foundation’s own work — with a global audience that includes volunteer editors, site readers and other stakeholders. The department’s work areas are:

  • Audience development
  • Digital media
  • Brand
  • Corporate communications
  • Community communications development
  • Public / media relations

Program 1: Share our culture[edit]

Team: Department-wide, Jeff Elder (lead)

Strategic priorities: Reach and Communities

Time frame: Ongoing


Share the Wikimedia story, values and experience. Through our projects and platforms, we tell the stories of the communities, initiatives, history, and people — of Wikimedia and the Foundation. Through these stories we reflect our accomplishments, help to spread understanding of the values that make us a community, and serve as a beacon to future readers, contributors, donors, and staff members.

This is required to fulfill our vision of sharing all knowledge with everyone. When people understand Wikimedia they want to participate and they learn ways to do so. This includes community members, donors, Foundation staff, thought-leaders, and partners.


Engage our audiences, particularly in places we have underserved. Explain our values and be accountable to them. Integrate with activities happening across the movement. Attract project and movement participants. Improve talent retention and recruiting.


  • Outcome 1: We originate media that captures the culture and values of the Foundation and movement
  • Outcome 2: We expand reach and engagement with Wikimedia communities
  • Outcome 3: We expand reach and connection to underserved communities


  • Objective 1: Social media: Grow and balance our social media followers through campaigns for specific groups; develop brand advocates around specific causes and events; engage daily on our channels about Wikimedia as a major brand
  • Objective 2: Creative projects: Continue efforts like the annual report that act as traditional nonprofit transparency and spread awareness of our projects and values
  • Objective 3: Video production: Record Wikimedia movement achievements and create assets that can be shared by Wikimedians
  • Objective 4: Blog and storytelling: Explain the work of the Foundation in a number of fields to find new staff, researchers, open technology contributors, donors, patrons, and other supporters


  • Milestone 1: Quarterly campaigns to tell the story of Wikimedia’s impact (community initiatives and experiences) on our social platforms, with supporting short-form videos
  • Milestone 2: Quarterly campaigns to increase the engagement of a specific audience on our social platforms
  • Milestone 3: Brand, design, and digital media plans that support and align to fundraising campaigns and goals, most significantly big english in Q2
  • Milestone 4: Development of the Wikimedia Foundation annual report Q1 through its distribution in Q2 or Q3

Program 2: Lead the narrative[edit]

Team: Cross-team, especially: Juliet, Jeff, Sam, Ed, Heather, and Minassian Media (external PR agency)

Strategic priorities: Reach and Communities

Time frame: Ongoing


Define narratives to support the Wikimedia mission and Foundation’s strategic objectives. Wikimedia is directly impacted by changes in policy, technology, media, culture and society. We should be included in the most visible and important conversations on these topics so we can advocate for our values and positions. We need to build and protect perceptions that affect our ability to reach organizational goals.

We have an opportunity to tell the Wikimedia story around the world by introducing and advocating for specific narratives that support our mission and values. Building on the Foundation’s messaging strategy developed in FY16-17, we will continue to refine our key messages and present them in influential venues, for example through the media, public speaking, and original content (blog and social). This program supports the Community strategic priority by empowering community members to tell their own stories, and supports the Reach priority by working to clarify global discourse and understanding of Wikimedia.


Position Wikimedia as a leader in the conversations and policies that are key to our vision’s growth and durability. Ensure that the public discourse around Wikipedia, the Wikimedia movement, and the Foundation is correct and understood. Clarify misinformation or misunderstandings that appear in global media.


  • Outcome 1: The Foundation initiates storytelling that is aligned with messaging strategy
  • Outcome 2: Through Foundation and community spokespeople, we include Wikimedia narratives and values in relevant international media
  • Outcome 3: We create new opportunities and resources for staff and community members to speak with the media, and publicly at events


  • Objective 1: Communications: Build a messaging platform that aligns Foundation communication around key organizational goals
  • Objective 2: Executive Director and Board: Support in public speaking, interviews, and statements
  • Objective 3: PR: Proactive pitching of priority issues, daily media responses and press releases
  • Objective 4: Crisis communications: Clarify public misunderstanding, and react to both internal and external issues
  • Objective 5: Foundation announcements: Assist with clear communications in and out of the organization
  • Objective 6: Media connections: Further develop relationships with journalists and other media experts, pitch important initiatives


  • Milestone 1: Refreshed messaging strategy for FY17-18 based on strategic direction and upcoming milestones in the community and organization. Shared with organization and community in Q1.
  • Milestone 2: Development of speaking calendar with spokespeople and narratives identified in Q1. Spokespeople (Foundation and community) appear in proactive speaking opportunities aligned with messaging strategy (Q2 - Q4)
  • Milestone 3: Spokesperson training plan in place for community and Foundation spokespeople by Q2.

Program 3: Connect and amplify[edit]

Team: Lead: Mel Kramer

Strategic priorities: Reach

  • Communications (This work touches on every other part of the Comms team.)
  • Other teams across the Foundation after we identify our highest priority audiences, determine how we’re currently reaching them, and brainstorm on platforms or strategies that will deepen our reach.]'

Time frame: Ongoing


Build a strong network of people and organizations that build, distribute, use, support and influence our work. Wikimedia seeks to serve every single person, but our Communications should focus on specific audiences. This helps us achieve the most impact and know when we’re reaching our goals. By piloting new forms of targeted engagement, we’ll reach the audiences that most directly impact our work across the Foundation and build a strong network that will amplify our influence in the world.


Ensure that we are reaching organizations and people who can help spread our mission, find collaboration partners and organizations that will help amplify our work, and build buy-in with other communities and organizations who can support the Wikimedia mission.


  • Outcome 1: Support organization’s programmatic goals by reaching priority audiences with tailored messaging and materials (ex: GLAM, educators, funders)
  • Outcome 2: Our messages and material reach more people and new audiences through collaboration with networked organizations and people
  • Outcome 3: Increase opportunity for future collaboration and build community of allies for specific topics


  • Objective 1: Cooperate with Wikimedia community: Connect with leaders in our own movement
  • Objective 2: Identify audiences: Find high-priority audiences who can amplify the work of our community and teams
  • Objective 3: Audience research: Learning the needs of our users to improve our products and other offerings
  • Objective 4: Interventions: Develop programmatic or platform-based projects based on strategies identified
  • Objective 5: Capacity building: Build our understanding in this area
  • Objective 6: CRM: Develop a customer relationship management tool to support audience development
  • Objective 7: Leverage like-minded organizations: Connect and share work


  • Milestone 1: 3-5 audiences are identified and strategies are developed with teams, approximately one per quarter.
  • Milestone 2: 3+ strategic campaigns with success metrics implemented by the end of FY 2017.

Program 4: Build awareness[edit]

Team: Department-wide, Zachary McCune (lead)

Strategic priorities: Reach and Communities

Time frame: Ongoing


Develop repeatable systems for promoting community messages & explaining Wikimedia projects to new audiences. A large portion of the world doesn’t know Wikipedia, and this is our main growth area. In the coming years, with billions of people accessing the Internet for the first time, and new generations of children matriculating in schools, our projects have great potential to attract new contributors. Wikimedia’s vision of universal knowledge won’t be achieved without their contributions.


Develop repeatable systems for promoting community messages and explaining Wikimedia projects to new audiences in lower awareness regions. Adapt media approaches to work across distinct cultures forming best practices for community marketing.


  • Outcome 1: Prototypes for Wikipedia brand messaging and values to develop common approaches across regions and create repeatable frameworks
  • Outcome 2: Fulfilled New Readers objectives, specifically increased awareness for Wikimedia projects where Wikimedia understanding and usage is low


  • Objective 1: Community marketing advisory committee: Build a team of community members from around the world who are experienced or interested in supporting awareness efforts
  • Objective 2: Awareness benchmarks: Establish awareness numbers and measure to know if we’re succeeding
  • Objective 3: Global agencies and partners: Find regional experts to plan and execute on awareness efforts
  • Objective 4: Awareness campaigns: Pilot plans and measure against benchmarks, fresh and localized messaging
  • Objective 5: Campaign guidance: Share what we learn with the whole Wikimedia movement to join us in improving awareness for Wikimedia


  • Milestone 1: Planned milestones are captured in the New Readers/Awareness subset.


This information is not required but has been added for informational purposes.

About Advancement's Fundraising team[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising team, a subset of the Advancement Department, secures financial support for existing and new initiatives, including those supporting the expansion of usage and contributions, and building relationships for new content delivery, distribution, and input.

Every year, we engage millions of people from countries around the world to support Wikipedia and its sister projects. The overwhelming majority of the Foundation's funding comes from individual readers from all over the world giving an average of $15.

The Fundraising team raises the Foundation's budget by running banners on Wikimedia sites, emailing donation requests, and soliciting and receiving major gifts from individuals and institutional funders. We also lead the WIkimedia Endowment. This year, the fundraising team will collectively raise USD $81.8 million – consisting of $76.8 million in donations to WMF and $5 million directly into the WIkimedia Endowment. In addition to fundraising, the team also aims to educate all readers and donors about Wikipedia and how our movement works.

Non-Program 1: Online Fundraising[edit]

Team: Online fundraising


The Fundraising Department raises the funds necessary to support a vibrant Wikimedia movement. We work to fulfill the short and long-term resource needs of the organization.


The online fundraising team will raise $68.8 million while educating readers about our movement.


  • Outcome 1: Readers will be inspired to donate quickly and easily while reading Wikipedia on their mobile devices.
  • Outcome 2:
    • Previous donors will be informed about how their funds are used and have a deeper connection to WMF than when they made their first donation. Past donors will give again to the 2017 and future campaigns.
    • Donors will have a high quality flow for monthly recurring donations. More readers will sign up to support WMF each month.
  • Outcome 3: Alternative revenue channels identified and evaluated. Initial experiment with at least one new channel carried out.


  • Activity 1:
    • Continue to optimize the fundraising performance on mobile web and build upon the first steps in mobile app fundraising from 2016.
    • Mobile research carried out in Q1 & Q2 (usertesting, consultation with reading team, external advisors, and like-minded organizations.)
    • A/B tests conducted in each country campaign and weekly English tests resulting in conversion gains in each type of mobile banner (currently using “large” and “small” mobile banners).
  • Activity 2:
    • Improve the performance and experience of recurring and renewing donations. Deepen our relationship with existing donors through email optimization.
    • Work with the fundraising tech team to improve the recurring donation flow (from the donation form, to thank you messages/receipts, and retention over time).
    • Analyze the long term donor retention trends of our entire database to identify areas for improvement.
    • Perform experiments to determine what kinds of educational emails most motivate donors to act on our mission. Find new ways to segment lists based on demographics that help us better target diverse preferences.
    • Train the Email Associate to support the effort to improve the performance of emails with a direct donation ask as well as educational emails to engage existing donors.
  • Activity 3: Research and experiment with alternative revenue channels, potentially off our site.


  • Milestone 1: Raise $43.8 million from banner fundraising.
  • Milestone 2: Raise $25 million from email fundraising.

Non-Program 2: Major Gifts & Foundations and Endowment[edit]


  • Major Gifts and Foundations
  • Endowment

Strategic priorities: Core support and Reach

Timeframe: 12 months


The Major Gifts & Foundations and Endowment Departments work in conjunction with the larger fundraising team to raise the funds necessary to support a vibrant Wikimedia movement. We work to fulfill the short- and long-term resource needs of the organization.


In conjunction with the Online Fundraising team, raise the annual operating budget and to grow the Wikimedia Endowment to help support our future..


  • Outcome 1: Renew major gifts from donors who gave in the previous fiscal year and before. Secure increased gifts when possible. Increase the number of donors annually renewing their gifts to enhance the revenue and resilience of this support stream. Increase the engagement of donors through personalized contact and education about our progress towards the Vision.
  • Outcome 2: Secure major gifts from new donors. Increase the number of donors in the major gift portfolio to enhance revenue and resilience of this support stream. Increase the engagement of donors through personalized contact and education about our progress towards the Vision.
  • Outcome 3: Secure direct and planned gifts to the Endowment. Increase the short-term and long-term health of the Endowment.


  • Activity 1: Revenue Development:
    • Engage donors in groups and individually at 2-4 fundraising events and many individual donor meetings. Secure new and renewed financial and in-kind commitments.
    • Development and execution of a multi-channel Annual Appeal to existing donors.
    • Secure multi-year support for unrestricted and restricted projects.
  • Activity 2: Donor Communication:
    • In conjunction with Communications, assist in the production and distribution of a multi-channel Annual Report to existing and potential donors.
    • Create and release frequent updates to donors about the impact of their contributions.
    • Report back to donors on progress achieved on ongoing large unrestricted and restricted donations.
  • Activity 3: In conjunction with Fundraising Tech, implement continuous improvement of donor information infrastructure, including CiviCRM development.


  • Milestone 1: Raise $8 million in major gifts, in support of the annual operating budget
  • Milestone 2: Raise $5 million in direct gifts and secure five additional planned gifts, in support of the Endowment.

Non-Program 3: Fundraising Operations[edit]

Team: Pats Pena, Michael Beattie, Joseph Seddon, Donor Services contractors

Timeframe: Core support - programmatic work


The Fundraising Operations program supports the logistics and operational needs of the Fundraising Team. The encompassing strategy is enabling Fundraising stakeholders (donors, fundraising team, wikipedia community, supporters) to have efficient channels to fundraise, communicate with donors and readers and reward/engage a community of supporters.


Raise official budget by supporting Online campaigns (banner & emails) and Major Gifts with payment processing and operational tools. Specific activities include:

  • Support and improve donation flow,
  • Manage donor communication,
  • Foster positive community relationships and activities in connection with fundraising programs and tools,
  • Support and improve volunteer rewards/engagement via management of the Wikipedia Store

Strategic priorities: Core support & Reach

Outcomes, objectives, and milestones[edit]

  • Outcome 1: Restructure Payment Processing setup in order to gain bandwidth to work on other important projects
    • Objective/Activity 1: .Consolidate payment providers while keeping redundancy of main method/markets and supporting growth in main regions.
      • Milestone/Target 1:
        • Based on Information gathered in Q1 and Q2, inform the tactical aspects of the restructure (consolidating systems versus giving up vendors/markets), etc.
        • Decrease the fr-tech time spent on PSPs work without losing main method/redundancy to the system (currently at 50%)
        • Raise official budget by supporting online campaigns (banner & emails) and Major Gifts with payment processing and operational tools
  • Outcome 2: Increase donor retention by improving recurring flow
    • Objective/Activity 2:
      • Improve recurring flow by enabling automated solutions and recurring methods.
      • Create tools to analyze abandonment during the donation flow
        • Milestone/Target 2:
          • Increase number of recurring donations
            • Decrease or eliminate manual work (bulk email) on recurring donors
  • Outcome 3: Improve the use of CentralNotice in engaging our users and communities
    • Objective/Activity 3:
      • Partner with Fundraising technology to develop and maintain a product roadmap for CentralNotice
      • Design and implement new types of engagement campaigns
      • Through user research, help inform the creation of new tools, processes and content for campaigns
        • Milestone/Target 3:
          • Minimum of 1 small-scale editor recruitment campaign
          • 90% in Q1 & Q2; 100% in Q3 & Q4, of community campaign banners mobile optimised,
          • Two new campaign tools or improvements to CentralNotice software

About Legal[edit]

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 communities and their various projects, including Wikipedia and its sister Wikimedia projects.

Part of our budget and work focuses on core legal services for the Foundation. These services include, for example, contracts negotiation and review, employment and immigration law support, Board support, fundraising compliance, training, general internal legal advice, and product and tech support. We address these core services in this section on Legal Non-Programmatic Work.

A large part of our budget and work is devoted to programmatic services where we work globally to support the Wikimedia communities to achieve their mission on different fronts. See Department Programs Legal section for more information.

Non-Program 1: Training[edit]

Team: Legal, Teams Receiving Training

Time frame: 12 months


Provide training on legal and policy topics to Foundation teams as needed. This program supports fundamental WMF operations ranging from contracts processing to education in copyright and data protection.


Provide skills for WMF employees and contractors to effectively navigate legal and policy issues that affect their work and empower them to work effectively with the Wikimedia communities

Outcome and objective[edit]

  • Outcome 1: WMF employees and contractors have the legal knowledge they need to effectively do their jobs
    • Objective 1: Monitor trainings and ensure that organization needs are being met

Non-Program 2: Board support[edit]

Team: Legal, Executive Director, Board

Time frame: 12 months


The General Counsel serves as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees and together with other members of the legal team, supports the Board in the fulfillment of its duties.

Non-Program 3: Copyright clearance[edit]

Team: Legal, Teams Supported

Time frame: 12 months


Review materials used for Wikimedia Foundation promotional efforts such as videos, presentations, and donor pamphlets to ensure compliance with copyright law and consistency with movement values.


Provide timely, accurate advice on desired materials to ensure that Foundation-produced media is legally compliant and in line with movement values

Outcome and objective[edit]

  • Outcome 1: Legally compliant media produced
    • Objective 1: Provide timely, clear, and helpful advice on the copyrighted works used in Foundation media

Non-Program 4: General Legal Advice & Support[edit]

Team: Legal, Teams Supported

Time frame: 12 months


The legal team provides general legal advice and support to all departments throughout the year to ensure legal compliance, best practices, and risk mitigation


Provide timely, innovative, and effective legal advice and support to all departments as needed on all subject areas, including, but not limited to licensing, product counseling, grantmaking, patents, governance, and contracts

Outcome and objective[edit]

  • Outcome 1: Organizational legal compliance, best practices, and risk mitigation achieved
    • Objective 1: Provide timely, innovative, and effective legal advice and support to all departments as needed

About Finance and Administration[edit]

The Finance and Administration Department is responsible for the timely and professional fiduciary overview of all finance activities, including procurement, and over-seeing the physical space and internal 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 and the procure to pay process, the processing of the Foundation’s financial transactions, external reporting, and treasury and compliance filings. The team also leads 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 the Legal Team 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. The team also supports and partners with the Community Resources Team, the Funds Dissemination Committee and other Movement organizations to enable their objectives by providing or securing ongoing financial expertise and capacity. Finally, the team enhances financial systems functionality to increase transparency and improve effective and efficient financial operating workflows.

Office IT and Administration provide the physical and information technology infrastructure that the Wikimedia Foundation 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, and video-conferencing equipment). The Administration Team provides support staff for each team, as well as maintaining 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, volunteers, and others working for the Foundation.

Our annual critical outcomes include: the responsive resolution of Staff's physical and internal information technology requests and requirements, the successful completion of the annual audit (which is approved by 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 Annual Plan reporting.

Non-Program 1: WMF Headquarters Office Relocation[edit]

The WMF offices will be relocated by October 1, 2017. Between July and October 2017 we will need to effectively implement an office design, as well as plan for a smooth move to 1 Montgomery, San Francisco, CA, while insuring minimal disruption of staff.


  • Outcome 1: Successful WMF HQ Office move by October 1, 2017 as well as continued facilities and building support provided to create the inclusive, varied office environment desired by staff and leadership.


  • Activity 1: Successful permit and construction as build designs are delivered to general contractor for construction completion. (Beginning Q2)
  • Activity 2: Successful planning and building of the network, technical, space, and budget information needed for the team and the organizational move to 1 Montgomery, San Francisco, CA.


  • Milestone 1: Commencement date of October 1, 2017.

Non-Program 2: Accounting and Procurement Operations:[edit]

Maintain our commitment to the Annual Audit, Form 990 filing and other compliance reporting. Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our business and accounting operations for Finance and Administration, and provide administrative and business operations services to our budget owners, leadership, and teams.


  • Outcome 1: Reduce the required business days for accounting close.
  • Outcome 2: Clearly document and improve workflow activities.
  • Outcome 3: Confirm clear expectations within each team about their roles as business operations professionals, supporting effective and best practices for managing events, contracts, travel and expenses as related to team collaborations and general administrative services.


  • Activity 1: Initiate an assessment and inventory of business workflows and systems handled within the Finance and Administration Department.
  • Activity 2: Establish a Roadmap for improvement - Revise objectives for our business/financial workflows, make potential refinements to systems and to our control activities.
  • Activity 3: Implement refinements needed in current business operations.


  • Milestone 1: Document the inventory of business operations. Q1
  • Milestone 2: Establish Roadmap - Document and share the SWOT analysis with identified timelined tasks.  Q2
  • Milestone 3: Outline and develop manageable training for areas of development. Q3
  • Milestone 4: Implement identified training and improvement plan that includes increased communications, clarified expectations, and updated documentation needed for improvements in business operations systems.  Q4

Non-Program 3: Internal Financial Management Process[edit]

We will provide clearer financial data to budget managers. We will continue to provide guidance on financial decisions and resource reallocation, and, by doing so, we expect to increase the transparency between Finance and other departments. Financial reporting will support a more timely and efficient budget management process. We will sustain an effective resource allocation workflow and management process that includes thorough planning, organizing, and controlling and monitoring financial resources in order to achieve WMF’s Annual Plan budget and objectives.


  • Outcome 1: Budget managers and stakeholders receive accurate and timely financial data throughout the year.
  • Outcome 2: The Foundation has an accurate and dynamic forecast of the end-of-year financial position that incorporates all recent financial data.
  • Outcome 3: The Foundation can accurately budget and track spending.


  • Activity 1: Build automated reports. Investigate integration between the budgeting platform and other internal information systems. (Complete by end of Q2)
  • Activity 2: Research reporting capability to produce real time updates on financial projections with multidimensional comparisons. (Complete by end of Q2)

Non-Program 4: Annual Plan Process Improvement - Programmatic and Non-programmatic[edit]

An effective planning process allows the Wikimedia Foundation to plan, organize and refine its work to enable a higher impact. The Finance Team facilitates the planning process. Refining and improving the Annual Plan process has been one of the team’s highest priority programs in 2016-17 and it will continue to be a top priority in 2017-18. Annual plans and budgets provide a clear roadmap regarding how the Foundation will achieve its mission and vision. The budgeting and planning process will be clear, efficient and effective, thus enabling external and internal audiences to have a greater understanding of the Foundation's plans and resource allocations across several relevant dimensions. The Annual Plan helps implement the outcomes of the Movement Strategy process in 2018-19 and beyond.


  • Outcome 1: Budget managers have expanded and refined budgeting and planning modules within the budgeting platform aimed at additional high-need budget lines. Budget managers are able to more effectively manage resources toward outcomes throughout the implementation of their Annual Plans.
  • Outcome 2: There is an improved process for identifying, planning and implementing cross-departmental programs.
  • Outcome 3: A process for multi-year planning and budgeting is piloted during the 2017-18 Annual Plan based on the outcomes of the Movement Strategy.


  • Activity 1: Explore and potentially develop additional financial planning tools for budget managers. Facilitate training to budget managers.
  • Activity 2: Collect, document and communicate learnings from 2017-18 Cross-Departmental program development and Annual Planning through a retrospective process. Develop and facilitate a refined cross-departmental development framework for the 2018-19 Annual Planning process.
  • Activity 3: Incorporate Movement Strategy and thematic directions to clarify the goals and purpose for multi-year planning.  Engage stakeholders around multiyear planning to identify requirements.  Partner with appropriate internal or external stakeholders to propose a multi-year planning process within the Annual Plan process.


  • Milestone 1: Build any required budget manager reports by Q2.
  • Milestone 2: By 1/1/2018, kick off 2018-19 Annual Planning, including a multiyear planning process and a refined cross-departmental program process.

Non-Program 5: Community Finance[edit]

The Community Finance program is designed to support the Community Resources Team and our movement affiliates with additional financial expertise and capacity. This program will elevate our communities’ ability to effectively utilize resources toward the mission and vision. More specifically, it will support the grant making team with an analysis of the implications of grant making decisions, and around issues of international accounting and compliance, as well as support our affiliates' expansion of their financial capacity. Financial analysis facilitates an increase in the impact of Wikimedia Foundation's grant making program.  All affiliates are empowered to effectively leverage financial resource management to maximize their impact.


  • Outcome 1: The Community Resource Team can make informed and effective grant making decisions with an understanding of the financial implications of those decisions on the Foundation and grantees.
  • Outcome 2: Affiliates who are encountering financial barriers to implementing programs or achieving impact, receive targeted support so that they overcome those barriers permanently.
  • Outcome 3: The community has a framework for understanding the financial needs of affiliates with different attributes.  That framework includes important inflection points and financial requirements. Common financial barriers are identified and analyzed.


  • Activity 1: Act as a resource for the Community Resources Team for issues that have significant financial implications. Identify areas where further financial expertise is needed. Facilitate advice and resources from other accounting, audit, and finance experts.  Provide financial analysis and guidelines for the FDC APG Applicants. Provide targeted financial consulting or reviews to APG applicants on-site or remotely.
  • Activity 2: Partner with all Program Officers and the Learning and Evaluation Team to identify affiliates encountering financial barriers. Provide targeted financial consulting directly to those affiliates. Connect affiliates with in-country financial expertise. Provide budgeting and accounting tools and templates for affiliates.
  • Activity 3: Build on the community analyses and frameworks developed by movement partners to describe financial requirements or challenges for a cross section of movement organizations and communities.
  • Activity 4: Conduct affiliate site visits and community consultations; review qualitative data and quantitative data; partner with internal members and experts to identify common financial attributes and requirements of communities and movement organizations.  


  • Milestone 1: Provide financial analysis to Program Officers and the FDC on relevant APG grant applications in accordance with grant deadlines.  
  • Milestone 2: Respond to community requests for financial support within 1 week.
    • Publish a budget template and accounting template on meta by Q2.
  • Milestone 3: Identify 2-5 common financial challenges of communities or affiliates by Q2.
    • Identify 1-3 common financial stages or inflection points for Wikimedia communities by Q4.

Non-Program 6: In-Kind Donation of Depreciated Machines (PILOT)[edit]

This initiative will use depreciated laptops not fully functional with the standard Foundation tools but completely functional for WMF Projects. Laptops will be redeployed for communities not able to afford them. This program offers a value add to engage with the Wikimedia program, thus extending the Foundation’s resources to enable communities with little or no resources to engage with Wikimedia projects.


  • Activity 1: Inventory and image machines. The Foundation will go through existing inventory to confirm how many machines are available and in working order to be used (includes: imaging, confirming peripherals are functional, power adapter included). Individual machines will be tested for the following:
    • Power Adapter;
    • WiFi enabled;
    • keyboard and trackpad fully operational;
    • Open Source operating system compatiblility with hardware.
  • Activity 2: Create Processes regarding who and how to deploy.
    • Consult within the Community Engagement Team and communities to help shape guidelines. (By Q2)
    • Develop a process on how to deliver machines.
  • Activity 3: Consult with communities after delivery of donated machines.


  • Milestone 1: Determine if the pilot has been successful. (Q3)
  • Milestone 2: If successful, formalize the in-kind donation program and continue to donate depreciated machines to communities.

NOTE: When WMF donates the used equipment to recipients, we no longer have responsibility for it, and will request that recipients responsibly dispose of the equipment when it's finally inoperable.

Non-Program 7: Continuous Information Systems Improvement[edit]

Through improvements to existing infrastructure, we bolster the Foundation’s tools and services that our Office IT department provides.  When the staff has better services and tools, their reach to our communities improves. The goal of this program is to provide services that empower employees and assist them in becoming more efficient.


  • Outcome 1: Realized cost savings for phone services by switching from on-site Primary Rate Interface (PRI) to a cloud Voice over IP (VoIP) provider, which can be used for other activities.
  • Outcome 2: Improved retention and destruction capabilities for emails through software services.
  • Outcome 3: Enhanced security measures, to reduce our security vulnerabilities.


  • Activity 1: Evaluate Business or Enterprise product to obtain added features.
  • Activity 2: Evaluate and potentially rebuild in-house PBX service (telephone network) and determine the benefit of a cloud-hosted service for VoIP services.
  • Activity 3: Improve the security of the Office systems and network by installing a System Information Event Monitoring (SIEM).


  • Milestone 1: Successful implementation of new VoIP cloud service and upgraded PBX system.
  • Milestone 2: Roll out of additional services for staff.

About Talent and Culture[edit]

The Talent and Culture team acts as a partner with the organization and organizational leadership to develop an inclusive 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 staff lifecycle – onboarding, performance management, compensation changes, life events, wellness and off-boarding processes. 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.

Non-Program 1: Inclusion & Diversity[edit]

As an organization focused on global projects, diversity and inclusion is critical not just for our projects, but also for staff. Although there is strong overall diversity, WMF still has challenges in some departments. FY16-17 has focused on putting diversity and inclusion programs and data in place.

Team: T&C, staff volunteer Diversity Alliance, staff volunteer ERGs (employee resource groups), Communications

Time frame: 12 months


Extend inclusion & diversity programs, create a “brand” for it, share externally.

  • Ongoing support and creation of internal inclusion & diversity.
  • Ongoing Recruiting programs to ensure diverse candidate pools.
  • Ongoing hiring manager training on inclusion & diversity.
  • Quarterly review of staff and candidate diversity data.
  • With Communications, publicly describe our interest in inclusion & diversity.


  • Milestone 1: FQ1- ERG & Alliance event support, Recruiting best practices, FQ4 data review
  • Milestone 2: FQ2- Update external hiring page, publicly share EEO data, FQ1 data review
  • Milestone 3: FQ3- Continued stories on staff, FQ2 data review
  • Milestone 4: FQ4- Manager training, FQ3 data review

Non-Program 2: Leadership Development[edit]

We need to grow leaders at all levels of the organization. We need to train a new generation of problem solvers.

Team: T&C, Hiring Managers, C-Levels

Time frame: 12 months


  • Develop current and future leaders
  • Establish a shared understanding of expectations at all levels of leadership: extend the leadership framework to directors and managers
  • Integrate leadership framework and accountabilities into performance reviews
  • Train leaders in succession planning
  • Deliver Wikilead, our leadership development program, to a new cohort
  • Deliver one module of Wikilead for C-levels


  • Milestone 1: FQ1- Roll out leadership framework
  • Milestone 2: FQ2- Next generation of ongoing manager training launched
  • Milestone 3: FQ3- Train managers in succession planning
  • Milestone 4: FQ4- Completed Wikilead cohort

Non-Program 3: Values[edit]

We need to integrate our values into the employee lifecycle and how we work day-to-day.

Team: T&C, all staff

Time frame: 12 months


  • Create a culture where we live and act within our values.
  • Integrate values into recruiting, cultural orientation, performance reviews, managing, promotions, and cause for letting someone go.


  • Milestone 1: FQ1 - Values added to hiring process
  • Milestone 2: FQ2 - Cultural orientation and performance
  • Milestone 3: FQ3 - Values added to terminations process

Staff and Contractors[edit]

Staffing by department[edit]

Table: Staffing Expenses by Department (Amounts are in thousands of USD)
Description FY16-17 Budget FY16-17 Forecast FY17-18 Plan
Advancement (Fundraising/Global Reach) 2,530 2,491 2,953
Community Engagement 4,387 4,175 4,973
Audiences (formerly Product) 13,162 13,461 12,018
Technology 8,129 7,154 11,843
Communications 1,389 1,111 1,382
Legal 1,747 1,360 1,760
Talent & Culture 1,733 1,457 1,907
Finance & Administration 2,727 2,474 2,677
Governance 435 507 539
Total Staffing Expenses 36,239 34,190 40,052

FY17-18 WMF AP staff count

Table: Number of FTEs by department and major program areas
Description FY16-17 Approved FTEs FY17-18 Planned Total FTEs
Advancement (Fundraising/Global Reach) 22 24
Community Engagement 44 46
Audiences (formerly Product) 101 89
Technology 66 84
Communications 10 10
Legal 11 12
Talent & Culture 14 13
Finance/Administration/IT 21 22
Governance 2 2
Total # of FTEs 291 302

(This table represents number of positions open for each department)

Full-time employees by department and major program areas[edit]


Note: The Technology team is in the process of additional organizing their personnel allocation by departmental programs and cross-departmental programs in FY17-18. This will allow us to trial another aspect of programmatic planning and reporting. We have included the breakdown of the Technology department by team for comparison with the other departments.

Technology - by Team
Analytics 7.0
Research 7.0
Wikimedia Cloud Services 6.0
ORES (Scoring Platform) 2.0
Performance 5.0
Release Engineering 7.0
Security 5.0
Services Platform 4.0
TechOps / Core Ops 13.0
TechOps / DC Ops 3.0
TechOps / Traffic 3.0
MediaWiki Platform 4.0
Fundraising Tech 9.0
Search Platform 6.0
CTO 3.0
Total 84.0

Audiences (formerly Product)

Audiences (formerly Product)
Product 4.5
Program Management 1.0
Reading 28.7
Editing 32.0
Community Tech 6.0
Parsing 1.0
Design 1.0
New Readers 6.8
Community Health 4.0
Structured Data 4.0
Total 89.0

Community Engagement[edit]

Community Engagement
Community Engagement 2.0
Community Resources 13.0[2]
Technical Collaboration 9.5
Learning and Evaluation 5.0
Wikipedia Library 1.0
Global Education 3.0
Community Programs 1.7
Support and Safety 7.2
Privacy and Security 0.2
Community Health 1.6
Structured Data 1.8
Total 46.0
  1. The 2010 UNU-MERIT survey was opt-in and found that less than 13% of Wikipedia contributors were female. The 2013 Benjamin Mako Hill survey, “The Wikipedia Gender Gap Revisited: Characterizing Survey Response Bias with Propensity Score Estimate”, estimated the proportion of female U.S. adult editors was 22.7%, and the total proportion of female editors around the world to be 16.1%.
  2. Please note that the second Community Resources headcount request to support grants is being filled by repurposing an existing requisition headcount.


Communications Team 9.4
New Readers 0.6
Total 10.0


Legal team 10.9
Community Health 0.2
Privacy and Security 0.9
Total 12.0


Fundraising (Online fundraising, Major gifts, and Endowment) 16.1
Wikimedia Merchandise and Other Programmatic work 0.7
Strategic Partnerships and Global Reach 5.8
New Readers 1.5
Total 24.0


Governance 2.0
Total 2.0

Talent & Culture[edit]

Talent & Culture
Talent & Culture 10.5
Talent & Culture - Programmatic 2.5
Total 13.0

Finance & Administration[edit]

Finance & Administration
Finance 9.3
Office Administration 7.0
Office IT 4.5
Privacy & Security 0.5
Finance - Programmatic Activities 0.8
Total 22.0


Verification and signature[edit]

Please enter "yes" or "no" for the verification below.

The term “political or legislative activities” includes any activities relating to political campaigns or candidates (including the contribution of funds and the publication of position statements relating to political campaigns or candidates); voter registration activities; meetings with or submissions and petitions to government executives, ministers, officers or agencies on political or policy issues; and any other activities seeking government intervention or policy implementation (like “lobbying”), whether directed toward the government or the community or public at large. General operating support through the FDC may not be used to cover political and legislative activities, although you may make a separate grant agreement with the WMF for these purposes.
I verify that no funds from the Wikimedia Foundation will be used
for political or legislative activities except as permitted by a grant agreement

This question is not applicable to the Foundation.

Please sign below to complete this proposal form.

IMPORTANT. Please do not make any changes to this proposal form after the proposal submission deadline for this round. If a change that is essential to an understanding of your organization's proposal is needed, please request the change on the discussion page of this form so it may be reviewed by FDC staff. Once submitted, complete and valid proposal forms submitted on time by eligible organizations will be considered unless an organization withdraws its application in writing or fails to remain eligible for the duration of the FDC process.
Please sign here once this proposal form is complete, using four tildes. JVillagomez (WMF) (talk) 01:34, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]


The Wikimedia Foundation Risks[edit]

As part of our annual plan, we identify some of the potential risks that could threaten the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission to empower people to share and contribute to the sum of free knowledge. These potential risks cover a broad spectrum, including technological, fundraising, community, legal, personnel, public relations, and other challenges. The risks below are organized by the cause of the risk – please note that the impacts of and solutions to the risks may involve different parts of the organization. The risks are summarized below for consideration to facilitate effective decision-making within reasonable and thoughtful parameters.  

Some 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 the Wikimedia culture, movement, and mission as well as resource constraints. That said, we must ensure reasonable assessment of risks to reduce risk where possible and support effective, comprehensive, and strategic planning.


As an organization based around online communities, many of the Foundation’s basic risks relate to the quality, operation, and resilience of the products and technology that it supports.

Risk: A bad actor attacks Foundation systems or attempts to access private data.

There is risk that a bad actor – whether acting alone, in concert with others, or on behalf of a government – may attack the Wikimedia sites or users’ privacy.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Review and act on security best practices.
  • Minimize the retention of personal data.

Risk: Failure of technology infrastructure disrupts Foundation operations.

In the past, the Foundation has suffered short website outages, although this risk has been reduced in recent years.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Continue analysis of technology infrastructure to determine bandwidth usage and prevent overloads.

Legal & Political[edit]

As an organization structured around a community-centric model, the Foundation operates in areas of law that are new and constantly evolving. Moreover, as an international organization that tries to cater to the needs of readers and editors in every nation in the world, we are at the forefront of developing international law, and these areas can create risks for us.

Risk: Changes to safe harbor immunity laws 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 up to lawsuits or require costly technical measures to monitor and remove content.

Mitigation strategies:

  • As part of our ongoing public policy strategy in partnership with the Wikimedia 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.
  • Engage in strategic advocacy litigation to improve the laws affecting the Foundation.


The Foundation operates only as well as the people who work for it. The diversity of expertise, perspectives, and experiences across the organization are what allow us all to serve the free knowledge movement effectively.

Risk: The transitions and interim nature of senior staff leads to slowdown or disruption of operations.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Ensure that multiple team members are knowledgeable about necessary workflows.
  • Encourage C-levels and the Executive Director to engage in succession planning.
  • Prepare effective transition materials so that any personnel changes will not interrupt ongoing workflows.
  • Continue developing cross-departmental workflows to better enable shared institutional experience and functioning projects through any staff transitions.

Risk: The Foundation fails to accomplish a critical task because only one unavailable or departing staff member has the necessary expertise.

Mitigation strategies:

  • With the guidance of Talent & Culture, C-levels identify critical roles and encourage development of redundancy, documentation of work and processes, succession planning, and talent management to ensure that substitutes are available.
  • Continue developing cross-departmental workflows to better enable shared institutional experience and functioning projects through any staff transitions.

Risk: A natural disaster, such as an earthquake, harms staff and disrupts Foundation operations.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Provide safety training to new and current staff.
  • Continue support and development of emergency remote working tools and processes for all staff.


The communities who work on the projects form the core of the Wikimedia movement, and our work is ultimately designed to support and enable them to collect knowledge from all over the world.

Risk: User harassment and other negative interpersonal user interactions lead to the loss of high quality contributors and increased difficulty recruiting new users to the projects, especially from populations that are underrepresented on the projects.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Implement cross-organization healthy community engagement strategy.
  • Work with the Support and Safety team to improve safe space and code of conduct policies and other techniques to make the Wikimedia projects safe places for a diverse user community.
  • Collaborate with other companies, such as Jigsaw, to help improve anti-harassment efforts.
  • Improve tools to detect harassing user behavior and flag it to administrators.
  • Implement technical spaces code of conduct policy.

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.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Engage in movement strategy process to determine best approach going forward.
  • Invest in and implement diverse technologies, research, communications, and delivery strategies that (a) raise awareness of the Wikimedia projects, (b) help us in identifying and building new audiences, and (c) improve the ability of users worldwide to access the projects.
  • Promote diversity in internal processes, such as product strategy and user interface design.
  • Pursue hiring practices to ensure that new tools and policies are developed accounting for a broad range of experiences and perspectives.
  • 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, and protection from harassment.
  • Provide public support and strong stances on contentious issues like the gender gap.

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.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Increase proactive awareness 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.

Risk: Community leadership does not develop effectively, damaging community participation, governance, and responsiveness.

Mitigation strategies:

  • 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.
  • Increase capacity development for the communities to help develop new leaders within the movement.


Significant changes to the markets we operate in or to the competition we face may substantially impact our ability to fulfill our mission of empowering and engaging people around the world to collect and disseminate free knowledge.

Risk: A competitor provides a better reader experience for Wikimedia content, diminishing our ability to attract readers, editors, and donors.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Understand impact of internet traffic patterns on readership, edits, and revenue.
  • Streamline reader engagement features and upgrade editing experiences to meet user needs.
  • Improve presentation and searchability of content.
  • Develop a strong partnership program to seek cooperative, working relationships.
  • Maintain strong relationships with past donors.

Public Relations[edit]

When the public doesn’t understand what we’re doing, or misunderstands it, it can lead to loss of support and harm to the Foundation’s reputation.

Risk: The Foundation Board or C-level management does not communicate effectively, leading to reputational and brand loss, as well as staff and public relations concerns.

Because the Foundation and the Wikimedia movement are committed to transparency and broad participation in decision-making, missteps from the Foundation Board or management can lead to new or continued anger or loss of trust and disrupt operations with serious staff and public relations consequences.

Mitigation strategies:

  • Improve board recruiting and onboarding policies to increase knowledge and understanding of board member duties.
  • Establish regular, well-known lines of communication for those interested in participating in Foundation decision-making, like feedback on the annual plan process.
  • Involve stakeholders early to provide input and help craft key policies or products affecting staff or communities.
  • Provide additional staff support for major Foundation releases.
  • Establish ties between the Board and Community Engagement to facilitate transparency with communities, such as through providing individual training to board members.