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Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2024-2025

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This year's Annual Plan comes at a time of growing uncertainty, volatility and complexity for the world and for the Wikimedia movement. Globally, the role of trusted information online is increasingly important and more under threat than ever before. Organizations and online platforms must navigate a changing internet that is more polarized and fragmented. New ways of searching for information, including chat-based search, are gaining traction. The ease of creating AI machine-generated content creates both opportunity and risk for Wikimedia's role as a human-led, tech-enabled knowledge system, as well as for Wikimedia's financial model.

As we face into these headwinds, the Foundation's annual and multi-year planning continues to be guided by the movement's 2030 Strategic Direction. Changes in the world around us make this direction more relevant than ever. A call to become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge is more than just an inspirational statement – it is a mandate to continually assess the sustainability of our projects and organizations in response to the shifting landscape around us.

The purpose of the Wikimedia movement continues to be grounded in the two key pillars of our Strategic Direction:

  1. Knowledge Equity: "advance our world by collecting knowledge that fully represents human diversity."
  2. Knowledge as a Service: "build the services and structures that enable others to do the same."

As a movement, we must continue providing trustworthy information to the world, and nurture volunteers that drive content creation and curation across more than 320 languages.

In this Annual Plan, we celebrate the success of many groups and individuals who are working to advance various Movement Strategy Recommendations alongside the Foundation's core work. In the years to come, the Foundation will also begin to signal more clearly where some recommendations are more informative than others in our collective pursuit of the 2030 Strategic Direction.

And we must plan even further ahead. Looking beyond 2030 is vital to our mission, which requires us to "make and keep useful information … available on the internet free of charge, in perpetuity." For decades, Wikipedia content has consistently appeared on the first page of 99% of Google searches. It has even been described as the "factual netting that holds the whole digital world together".

And yet, the shift from a link-based search architecture – which has served our projects and financial model well up to this point – to a chat-based search architecture is in its early days, but likely here to stay. We believe this is part of a generational shift in how people create and consume information online. These changes are accelerating as the internet has become more diverse and global, and less English-dominated.

What emerges is a strategic paradox: Wikimedia projects are becoming more vital to the knowledge infrastructure of the internet, while simultaneously becoming less visible to internet users. They are more vital, because Wikipedia is being ingested by large language models that are shaping the future of information retrieval, including search but also beyond it. By many estimates, English Wikipedia forms one of the top datasets for training large language modelsand among the highest-weighted for quality. Generally speaking, this is a good thing. Trustworthy AI needs a trustworthy fact base.

At the same time, Wikimedia content is becoming less visible as part of the internet's essential infrastructure because an increasingly closed and AI-mediated internet doesn't attribute the source of the facts, or even link back to Wikipedia. The social contract that underpins third-party use of content is under pressure. While the ultimate impact of AI remains to be seen, the impact of this pressure over time may contribute to some of our declining metrics like regional traffic and new contributors.

Any annual plan must be informed by multi-year and multigenerational strategies that advance our mission in perpetuity. Anchored in Wikimedia's movement strategy, the Foundation continues to engage in three areas to inform our multi-year planning and projections:

  1. FINANCIAL MODEL: Wikimedia's financial model and future projections for revenue streams in online fundraising (which we anticipate will not continue to grow at the same rate as in the past), the next phase of the Wikimedia Endowment, and the lessons we have learned so far from Wikimedia Enterprise.
  2. PRODUCT and TECHNOLOGY: Centering the Foundation's role to support the technology needs of the Wikimedia movement, understanding the needs of our many different contributor communities, leading innovations for future audiences, as well as evolving our infrastructure for a changing external landscape.
  3. ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES: More focused conversations to establish frameworks and principles for understanding the Foundation's core roles and responsibilities. This is intended to help to provide inputs into the movement charter deliberations and broader movement strategy conversations.

Similar to last year, this year's plan remains focused on the central importance of technology, given the Foundation's role as platform provider for communities leading peer-to-peer knowledge production systems around the world. The four overarching goals of this year's plan also remain constant (Infrastructure, Equity, Safety & Integrity, and Effectiveness), while the work and deliverables within each goal iterates on the progress made in the current year.

At a high level, our work for the coming year is focused on improving user experience on Wikimedia projects, providing both the ongoing maintenance needed to support a top 10 global website while also making future-focused investments to meet a changing internet. We will develop a more equitable approach to free knowledge by addressing knowledge gaps and expanding participation in the movement, protect our people and projects from growing external threats, and help ensure Wikimedia's long-term financial sustainability and effectiveness to support the movement into the future.

The Foundation's budget reflects ongoing trade-offs, as we see a slowing rate of new revenue growth. To meet this new reality, the Foundation has slowed its growth significantly over the past two years and made reductions in staffing and expenses last year. Since 2022, funding to movement entities has outpaced the rate of growth for the Foundation, which remains the case for this year's plan.

In this mission together[edit]

Our collective goal is to help our global community work better together and with us so we can all truly become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge. In the sections that follow, you will find more specific details on the work of various teams at the Foundation in support of these four goals. None of this is work that we can do alone; it will take all of us to create a world in which all people can share in the sum of all knowledge. That is why one of our core values is that we are in this mission together.

Your collaboration on-wiki here on Meta, in community spaces or on your projects's village pump (or equivalent) is welcomed.

What does the world need from us now?[edit]

This year, the Foundation is focused on four key external trends impacting our work:

  • Consumers are inundated with information, want it aggregated by trusted people
  • Contributors have many rewarding, potent ways to share knowledge online
  • Content veracity is more contested than ever before, and content will be highly weaponized
  • Regulation poses challenges, threats and opportunities that vary by jurisdiction

As we did last year, the Foundation started planning by asking the question, "What does the world need from us and the Wikimedia projects now?" We conducted research into external trends that are impacting our work, including a larger focus on immediate, bite-sized information; increasing presence of incentives, financial and otherwise, to attract contributors to some platforms; legal and regulatory threats, including platform regulations that can be weaponized against us and our contributors, as well as opportunities to positively advance the public interest; and issues of content veracity and the effect of AI on the information ecosystem.

Last year, we took several steps in response to these external trends, including new investments in the work of the Future Audiences team, such as the development of a ChatGPT plugin, to experiment with new platforms and develop learnings about how people may want to use generative AI to interact with knowledge on the Wikimedia projects. We also created a new working group and invested in tools for better and smarter patrolling for editors with extended rights to help contributors manage the potential growth of mis and disinformation on the Wikimedia projects. We revisited and learned from these trends over the course of the year; for example, even though ChatGPT was one of the fastest growing internet platforms in history, Wikipedia did not see a significant change in readership traffic during that same time period. People still relied on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects as a source of trusted, accurate information around the world.


To inform this year's Annual Plan, we began with Talking: 2024, conversations to share, listen, and learn with intention. As part of the initiative, Wikimedia Foundation Trustees, executives, and staff hosted 130 conversations on-wiki, with individuals, and in small groups – and the talking continues. These conversations stretch across all regions of the world. We continue to learn from prolific community members to recent newcomers, from technical volunteers to stewards, event organizers, and affiliate leaders.

The takeaways from these conversations also fed directly into our planning for this year, to 2030 and beyond – including thinking about what it would take to build our projects across generations:

  • We consistently heard the need for the Foundation to remain focused on upgrading technical infrastructure to supporting volunteer needs for tool maintenance and metrics. It is the most critical topic for our strategic efforts as we make tangible and practical a mission that calls for our work to continue in perpetuity. The discussions helped confirm that we continue to move more in the right direction.
  • Though technology featured prominently in most of these conversations, there remains no doubt that Wikimedia is a human-led movement. We heard how "It's all about people" and explored even more solutions that can address a familiar dilemma about how to balance the needs of existing editors with initiatives to welcome newcomers. Our human-led values came up in several conversations about Wikimedia's role in shaping the next generation of artificial intelligence.
  • The Talking: 2024 conversations also provided a space for movement entities to share a need for multi-year financial certainty in their support from the Foundation, which we will take into this annual plan. Other conversations highlighted the need to continue prioritizing limited resources and being more explicit about trade-offs.
  • Finally, the task of defining a Movement Charter came up in several conversations. These ranged from reflections about movement strategy recommendations and principles ("Will it always be first come, first served in this movement?") to questions about the purpose of different structures ("What decisions do we need the global council to make? Why are decisions moving from one center to another?" "We are taking a hammer to solve this issue when they are actually screws."). Unsurprisingly, there were varying perspectives ("The editing community in many regions doesn't see an immediate benefit in affiliates, hubs, or other governance structures." "The community still feels unheard by the Foundation." "The good work that affiliates do in certain regions is commendable, especially where those affiliates are deeply engaged with the community."). And a deep recognition of the complex task at hand ("The community is so huge and it's hard to tie everyone together.")

Foundation 2024-2025 Goals[edit]

Our approach to annual planning

Given this context, our approach to annual planning this year remains guided by the following design principles:

  • Anchor in Movement Strategy. Tie to Knowledge Equity and Knowledge as a Service as part of movement strategy.
  • Take an external perspective. Start with: what's happening in the world around us. Look outward. Identify the key External Trends impacting our work.
  • Focus on Product + Tech. Continued focus on the Foundation's role as a platform provider enabling product and technology at scale.
  • Align on four goals year on year. The four goals of the annual plan remain consistent from last year, with work that builds on the previous progress.
  • Take a longer multi-year view. Ground our annual plan in multi-year planning. Consider longer-term trends for our revenue model, tech strategy, and movement roles & responsibilities.
  • Grow funding to movement groups. Funding to movement entities has outpaced the rate at which the Foundation continues to grow.

The Wikimedia Foundation has four main goals for 2024−2025. These big organizational goals have not changed from last year's plan, although the specific work and objectives underneath each goal continues to evolve. (A summary of the Foundations 2024-25 goals is also available in slide form.) These goals are designed to align with the Wikimedia Movement's Strategic Direction and Movement Strategy Recommendations, and to respond to the key external trends shaping our work.

The Wikimedia Foundation's 2024-25 goals are:

  1. INFRASTRUCTURE: Advance Knowledge as a Service. Improve User Experience on the wikis, especially for established editors. Strengthen metrics and reporting.
  2. EQUITY: Support Knowledge Equity. Strengthen equity in decision-making via movement governance, equitable resource distribution, closing knowledge gaps, and connecting the movement.
  3. SAFETY & INTEGRITY: Protect our people and projects. Strengthen the systems that provide safety for volunteers. Defend the integrity of our projects. Advance the environment for free knowledge.
  4. EFFECTIVENESS: Strengthen the Foundation's overall performance and effectiveness. Evaluate, iterate and adapt our processes for maximum impact with more limited resources.

2024-25 Goal Summary[edit]

This section provides an overview of the key work inside each of the Foundation's goals.

GOAL 1: INFRASTRUCTURE: Advance Knowledge as a Service by focusing on wiki experience, future audiences, and signals and data services.

    • Contributor experience: Help experienced and new contributors rally together to build a trustworthy encyclopedia.
    • Consumer experience: Engage a new generation of readers and donors to build a lasting connection with encyclopedic content.
    • MediaWiki: Evolve the MediaWiki platform and interfaces to meet Wikipedia's core needs.
    • Test hypotheses. Test future-oriented hypotheses to better understand technology trends, online behavior, and extend the reach of Wikipedia's content.
    • Metrics: Track and publish essential metrics to understand our impact and inform decision-making.
    • Experimentation platform: Launch a robust experimentation platform to better evaluate the impact of product features.

GOAL 2: EQUITY: Support Knowledge Equity by focusing on movement governance and decision-making, equitable resource distribution, closing knowledge gaps and connecting the movement.

    • Decision-making: Support effective and equitable movement decision-making. Ensure volunteers understand and can fully participate in key movement processes (eg, Charter, Global Council, Hubs, Committees).
    • Grantmaking: Continue to align grantmaking with Movement Strategy. Work with communities to support equitable resource distribution and bolster Affiliate fundraising capacity.
    • Content growth: Accelerate growth in trustworthy encyclopedic content. Help communities close knowledge gaps by making our tools and support systems easier to access, adapt and improve.
    • Connect the movement: Help Wikimedians connect, share and learn from peers. (eg, Wikimedian of the Year, WikiCelebrate, Regional & Global connections, Wikimania, Regional Conferences, Wikimedia Hackathon, Let's Connect.)

GOAL 3: SAFETY and INTEGRITY: Protect our people and projects by focusing on project governance support, human rights, responding to changing legal frameworks, tackling disinformation, and advancing the Wikimedia model.

    • Trust and safety: Support project governance workflows like ArbCom, Stewards, and others who protect people and support content integrity. Work with administrators who protect against litigation and overzealous legislation.
    • Human rights: Support a safer environment for sharing, receiving, and responsibly deploying information on Wikimedia projects.
    • Scaled abuse: Protect communities and systems from scaled abuse by improving our infrastructure, tools and process.
    • Laws & regulation: Respond to changing legal frameworks, including regulator education, legal analysis and compliance.
    • Disinformation: Continue supporting a strong, diverse community as the best defense. Support volunteer efforts via investigations, expert connections and legal defense.
    • Policy advocacy: Promote the value of Wikimedia's model in the legal and policy environment.

GOAL 4: EFFECTIVENESS: Strengthen the Foundation's overall performance + effectiveness by focusing on financial sustainability and efficiency, strengthening employee engagement and effectiveness, and streamlining foundation processes.

    • Revenue: Raise $188M for annual fund and invest in longer-term revenue strategies.
    • Efficiency: Ensure our financial model meets / exceeds industry best practices; maintain a Programmatic Expense Ratio of at least 77%.
    • Affiliates: Ensure affiliates are well-positioned to engage in multi-year budgeting and planning.
    • People processes: Strengthen people policies, processes and experiences to improve employee engagement and effectiveness.
    • Philanthropic mission: Expand opportunities for staff to be ambassadors for our mission with donors and the public, as part of an organizational commitment to a culture of philanthropy.
    • Streamline Foundation processes: Create more efficient, automated and customer-centered processes. (eg, Fundraising Payment Orchestration, Enterprise Risk Management, Working Environments, Business Operations Workflows.)
    • Quarterly metrics: Implement a stronger process to review quarterly metrics and accountability against annual goals.

Progress made on last year's plan[edit]

What follows is a snapshot of highlights and progress that we've made on our 2023-2024 annual plan. We continue to share ongoing progress on our annual plan goals on Diff and in other updates.

Progress made on GOAL 1: INFRASTRUCTURE

Progress made on GOAL 2: EQUITY

Progress made on GOAL 3: SAFETY and INTEGRITY

  • EU Digital Services Act: took steps to comply with the new Digital Services Act, an act that went into effect in August 2023 that regulates internet platforms operating in the European Union.
  • Advocacy: educated regulators, policymakers and government leaders about Wikimedia's model
  • Disclosure: met our reporting and disclosure obligations, including publishing a supplemental transparency report
  • Disinformation: supported volunteers and project integrity by mapping anti-disinformation initiatives across the ecosystem; tackled disinformation on the projects in an Anti-Disinformation Repository
  • Volunteer safety: supported community measures for safety and inclusion by working with the Affiliations Committee, Case Review Committee and Ombuds Commission.

Progress made on GOAL 4: EFFECTIVENESS

  • Increased efficiency: we are on track to increase the percentage of our budget that goes to directly supporting Wikimedia's mission (our "Programmatic Efficiency Ratio") through increasing our internal efficiency around administrative and fundraising costs.
  • Additional investment into supporting the movement: this increased efficiency will enable an additional investment of $1.8M into funding in areas like grants, feature development, site infrastructure and more.