Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2024-2025/Budget Details

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Budget Breakdown[edit]

Budget by Goal Budget (in millions USD) % of Budget % of staff
Infrastructure $92.8 49.2% 57%
Equity $32.8 17.4% 11%
Safety & Integrity $18.5 9.8% 10%
Effectiveness $44.7 23.7% 22%
Total $188.7

In 2024-2025, we will continue to align our budget resource allocation with the four goals of our annual plan. While much of the budget is allocated to Infrastructure, the work that goes into creating and improving our infrastructure is, in many cases, also supporting the work happening in other goals. Similar work happening in other goals also supports our infrastructure work.

Growing investment in Infrastructure[edit]

Our Infrastructure goal still reflects the most significant investment area. This includes our work to deliver on wiki experiences that enable the distribution of free knowledge worldwide; run and support a top-10 global website; enable data, models, insights, and tools that can help assess the impact of our work; explore strategies for expanding beyond our existing audiences of consumers and contributors; provide all of the critical functions which must exist at the Foundation to support our basic operations; and all of the other work described in our infrastructure goal. It includes the costs of all of the teams that do this work, the cost of running our data centers, and more.

Since 2022-2023, our total investment in Infrastructure has grown from $74.7M to $92.8M, representing a growing proportion of our budget from 44.2% to 49.2%.  It reflects our continued focus on centering the Foundation's role to support the technology needs of the Wikimedia movement.

Prioritizing support for the Movement[edit]

Most of the budget for our Equity goal goes to direct movement support in the form of grants to affiliates, professional staffing for volunteer committees (e.g. AffCom, Regional Funds Committees) and support for peer-learning and movement-wide connection and collaboration.

Because of our commitment to the financial sustainability of movement entities that rely on funding from these resources, our 2024-2025 budget prioritizes larger growth in direct movement funding than our general growth as an organization. The overall budget for grants and movement funding will increase by 9% next year, compared to approximately 5% for the Foundation's overall expenses. This growth enables regional budgets to keep up with global inflationary increases, support some newcomers to the Movement, and increase funding for movement events and gatherings.

Our ongoing commitment to prioritizing direct funding to Wikimedia affiliates, user groups, and volunteers is reflected in the relative growth of grants and movement support as a percentage of our budget, which funds these groups. It has grown from 8.8% to 14.3% of our budget over the last five years.

Enabling multi-year planning in the movement. This year, we will also be advancing support for longer-term planning in the movement by providing a multi-year view of expected budgets for our grant programs. It will equip affiliates with the information they need for sustainable budgeting and planning.

Our financial modeling suggests that our overall budget will grow by about 5% per year in 2025–2026 and 2026–2027, enabling a similar growth in overall grantmaking. If our revenue growth changes in those years, we plan to grow our grantmaking to at least as much as our overall revenue growth.

The chart below shows the expected grantmaking. The Grants Budget bar shows our combined grant programs, such as the Community Support Fund, Conference Fund, and Rapid Fund. The Wikidata support section of the chart shows the Foundation's funding for work on Wikidata. The current collaboration agreement will be completed by the end of 2024-2025, and the next phase of the project will be determined over the next year.  

As described in our Effectiveness Goal, we will work directly with the Regional Funds Committee to decide how movement funds should be distributed over the next three years.

Programmatic / Fundraising / General & Administrative Expenses[edit]

Budget by Expense Type (in millions USD)
Programmatic $145.1
Fundraising $21.2
General & Admin $22.4

In 2024-2025, the proportion of the Foundation's budget funding direct work on the mission, also called "Programmatic Expenses," is planned to be about 77% of the budget, similar to the level we expect in 2023-2024.  

Our goal for this programmatic expense ratio is to align with nonprofit sector best practices. Independent charity assessment organizations like Charity Navigator help establish these best practices. Charity Navigator sets its benchmark for highest-scoring nonprofits as exceeding >70% programmatic expenses.

Every year, we ensure that we significantly exceed Charity Navigator's >70% best practice target and work to ensure our organization operates efficiently and effectively. That is how we've been able to average over >75% in recent years.  

We will maintain our top-rated charity status while also increasing our fundraising investment. In last year's plan, we described an anticipated increase in fundraising costs in the years to come as we are planning for more growth in major gifts, email fundraising, and other newer channels that are less efficient than banner fundraising. Continuing to diversify our revenue channels is critical for a more resilient fundraising program. We understand that it will slightly impact our fundraising and programmatic ratios.

Staff overview[edit]

Staff at the Foundation are a group of over 640 people who collectively speak over 75 languages (and counting!) and span almost every timezone, across all eight Wikimedia regions. The Foundation will share this snapshot of total headcount, geographic distribution, and growth analytics on a yearly basis in the Annual Plan.

At a Glance on 31 December 2023
Our total headcount 644 We had 644 total Foundation staff on 31 December 2023.

This number includes employees at the Foundation, at Employers of Record, and fixed-term contractors who have been at the Foundation for 6 months or longer.

Countries 54 Our people are located across 54 countries and all continents except Antarctica.
Growth in headcount -9% The headcount has decreased by 9% in the past 12 months (Dec 2022 – Dec 2023).
Non-US Workers 49% 49% of our workers are located outside of the USA.
Tenure in years 4.2 Staff members are staying on the average for about 4.2 years.