Wikimedia Foundation Medium-term plan 2019/Annual Plan 2021-2022
The 2021-2022 Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan represents completed, cooperative work across the Foundation to define our goals for the July 2021-June 2022 fiscal year (FY 21-22). It is guided by ongoing discussions with volunteers, such as the Movement Strategy process, and our long term mission to promote free knowledge. It uses our Medium Term Plan as its overarching framework.
This page contains full plan materials, including our list of objectives and videos from the Wikimedia Foundation executive team with subtitles in Arabic, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. Questions should be directed to our talk page, and to the live Annual Plan Conversations held at the end of the month.
This year’s plan involves three overarching priorities—ensuring a thriving movement, an evolved platform on which that movement can thrive, and a resilient and inclusive Foundation to carry out this work.
Together, Thriving Movement, Platform Evolution, and a Resilient & Inclusive Foundation are complementary efforts toward the same steadfast goal—to set knowledge free, for everyone.
Our first focus area within Thriving Movement for FY 21-22 is to ensure that Wikimedians have the systems they need to succeed and the tools and information to safely succeed within those systems.
The direction for this comes from Movement Strategy, which has informed the work of the Foundation, affiliates, and volunteers for years, including through the Foundation’s Medium Term Plan. This year, we will address key movement governance issues, including a movement charter, global council, hubs, leadership training, and create enforcing mechanisms for our Universal Code of Conduct. We will also:
- Evolve trust and safety tools, including IP masking and prioritizing several functionary asks,
- Provide access to information to help communities prioritize strategic initiatives and address challenges that exist across platforms, such as disinformation, and
- Help prepare community members to undertake governance roles, ensuring that people across the diversity of experience and identities of our global movement are ready to help lead the movement into the future.
We want to support the movement in building independent systems, leaders and structures of self-governance that serve our editing communities, welcome diverse newcomers, sustain and protect contributors of all kinds, and reflect the movement’s values.
Our second focus area within the Thriving Movement priority is to become more welcoming to diverse contributors, with systems encouraging global growth. Later this week, the Foundation will launch a new grants strategy. This strategy was built through broad-reaching discussions with volunteers and grant recipients around the globe. It will involve a shift toward regional grantmaking, and increased involvement of community members in grant decision-making.
We are also increasing our total Foundation grants budget from an estimated over $8 million to $15.6 million, an increase of 95% across movement strategy, community programs, and community resources.
As an additional commitment to this priority, we will work with emerging communities to promote growth across the wikis. We will work with local communities to develop three pilot programs that welcome contributors in parts of the world where Wikimedia is currently underrepresented. Our success will be measured by newcomers from historically underserved populations feeling welcomed and staying. We will continue our current work to support volunteers through an updated grants program, language support, and regional safety protocols in areas where volunteers face risks due to their participation.
Overall, the largest part of new investments this year is the increased investment in Thriving Movement. The Thriving Movement budget has increased from $14.3 million last fiscal year to $36.7 million in this budget which represents an increase of $22.4 million or 157%. It has also grown from being 13.2% of the Foundation’s overall budget to 24.5%.
In order to ensure that our technical systems can support our aspirations for equitable, global growth we will focus on ensuring that our platform and processes are ready and able to invite all of the world’s population to join us in the creation and sharing of free knowledge. This includes making our content more machine readable and scaling our ability to use relationships between content. We will work toward ensuring that people in emerging communities have the same level of performance for their contribution workflows as those in established communities. We will also work toward making Wikimedia application data easily discoverable and well-prepared to enable data-informed decision making, application development, and research by the community and the Foundation.
Resilient and Inclusive Foundation
Our other focus area is strengthening our organizational capacities. A resilient, inclusive organization is essential to meet the needs of our growing global movement, and to champion free knowledge throughout the world. To champion free knowledge we maintain a massive and complex technical collaboration platform, steward Wikimedia’s public image, drive readership and use of Wikimedia content, fund a global network of volunteers and affiliates, and advocate for free knowledge around the world.
This year, we will continue to invest in creating a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace. Our work will include attracting and hiring top talent from a broad range of backgrounds. We will generate ownership and accountability for inclusion efforts across management tiers and strengthening a workplace culture where people feel valued and able to do their best work.
Furthermore, through targeted interventions aimed at supporting specific underrepresented groups, we will help create equitable outcomes for all staff members at the Wikimedia Foundation. We also seek to strengthen internal capabilities to make data-informed decisions—specifically the ability to allocate costs and measure the impact of initiatives across departments.
Annual Plan Videos
Wikimedia Foundation executives explain their contributions to this year's Annual Plan in this series of short videos. Subtitles are being made available in multiple languages.
Legal Department (Amanda Keton)
Technology Department (Grant Ingersoll)
Communications Department (Heather Walls)
Finance Department (Jaime Villagomez)
Advancement Department (Lisa Seitz-Gruwell)
Talent and Culture Department (Robyn Arville)
Product Department (Toby Negrin)
Annual Plan Conversations
Each executive hosted open conversation with community members to discuss their contributions to the Annual Plan. Community members were able to join and ask questions live, or submit questions ahead of time. Recordings of those conversations are linked below. Any follow-up questions from these conversations can be asked on this talk page.
|Annual Plan Conversations - Legal and Talent and Culture Departments||Amanda Keton (General Counsel), Maggie Dennis (Vice President of Community Resilience and Sustainability), Vignesh Ashok (Vice President of Global Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), & Robyn Arville (Chief Talent and Culture Officer)||File on Commons||Watch recording on YouTube • Commons|
|Annual Plan Conversations - Product and Technology Departments||Toby Negrin (Chief Product Officer) and Tajh Taylor (Vice President of Data Science and Engineering)||File on Commons||Watch recording on YouTube • Commons|
|Annual Plan Conversations - Finance and Administration and Advancement Departments||Jaime Villagomez (Chief Financial Officer) and Lisa Seitz-Gruwell (Chief Advancement Officer)||File on Commons||Watch recording on YouTube • Commons|
|Annual Plan Conversations - Communications Department||Anusha Alikhan (Senior Director of Communications) and Mayur Paul (Director of Movement Communications)||File on Commons||Watch recording on YouTube • Commons|
Annual Plan Objectives: Focus Areas
A complete list of all organizational objectives related to the Medium Term Plan, organized by Medium Term Plan priority area.
Focus area: Ensure Wikimedians have the systems and tools they need to succeed.
- Objective 1: Wikimedians will have collaboratively and equitably built systems of governance to support effective movement management.
- Objective 2: Our platform and our contributors will be better protected with improved movement management & curation tools (software and practices).
- Objective 3: Wikimedians will have equitable access to key resources and information needed to advance movement goals.
Focus area: The Wikimedia world will become more welcoming to diverse contributors with systems encouraging global growth.
- Objective 1: New contributors in underserved communities will feel welcomed and successful and continue to contribute over time.
- Objective 2: Contributors in underserved communities will be empowered to grow and drive forward movement goals through grants, information, language and communication support and regionally oriented safety protocols in high risk areas.
Focus Area: Provide technical systems to support equitable, global growth of our content and movement.
- Objective 1: Our platform and processes are ready and able to invite all of the world's population to join us.
- Objective 2: People in emerging communities have the same level of performance for their contribution workflows as those in established communities.
- Objective 3: Wikimedia application data is easily discoverable and well-prepared to enable data-informed decision making, application development, and research by the community and the Foundation.
Resilient and Inclusive Foundation
Focus Area: Create a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace informed through data for continuous improvement.
- Objective 1: Foundation leadership have access to organizational data, insights and dashboards for impactful decision making.
- Objective 2: All staff will have access to engaging, accessible learning opportunities that drive the needed skills and capabilities for our mission.
- Objective 3: Foster a diverse, inclusive environment for staff which encourages and supports optimal engagement.
- Objectives: Increase site utility amongst readers; Maintain utility for our existing editors; Ensure our content has a positive, meaningful impact on people's lives.
- Objectives: Strengthen the worldwide narrative of Wikipedia; Increase brand awareness of our projects and our social good mission in new markets so people join our movement.
- Objectives: Expand access to knowledge and champion fundamental rights online by influencing policymakers and inspiring the public to advocate for our agenda.
Annual Plan Objectives: Other Work
A list of other objectives outside the Annual Plan focus areas. Much of this represents continuing areas of work from previous years.
|See other work|
The following budget information comes from the Annual Plan, and is pasted here for translatability. Please refer to the plan itself for additional information.
Highlighted budget growth areas
Total Expenses graph: Factoring in regular grants that are returning in this budget cycle, the full cost of staff hired mid-year, the return to limited travel and other costs create existing investments of approximately $125M. This will be complemented with new investments of approximately $25M. Total expenses will increase 34%, from $112M to $150M. In terms of new investments, the largest part is the increase for Thriving Movement.
Thriving Movement graph: The growth in Thriving Movement expenses reflects a large increase in grants to the movement along with additional investments in our Thriving Movement focus areas. It also reflects existing internal resources being redirected toward Thriving Movement objectives. Investment in Thriving Movement will increase 157%, from $14.3M to $36.7M.
Platform Evolution graph: The growth in Platform Evolution is to provide technical systems to support equitable, global growth such as through the addition of a caching center that serves Africa and the Middle East, as well as investing in the technical future of our projects. Investment in Platform Evolution will increase 329%, from $2.4M to $7.9M.
|In US$ million||FY20-21 Preliminary Projection
(as of July 15, 2021)
|General & Administrative||15||19.0|
Growth in grants budget
The Grantmaking budget will increase +95% in FY21-22, which is a faster growth than the overall Foundation’s budget of +34%
Grant increases in FY21-22 include:
- Funding the new grants strategy
- Providing budget increases for all regions with the largest increases in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East
- Funding for implementing Movement Strategy
Grants in FY20-21 were budgeted at a higher amount than was spent. COVID impacted grantee programs and movement events and some grantees requested small grants than previous years and/or underspent their grants as a result.
All amounts are based on when grants were awarded to grantees and this does not always match the timing of expenses under US GAAP, which is used in other charts and tables of our budget. For example, the amounts awarded FY20-21 (2021 in chart) were partially recorded as expenses in 2020 but awarded to our grantees in 2021, so listed here in 2021. Additionally, 2021 amounts are preliminary estimates.
Prioritize investments in programmatic growth
The programmatic budget category includes all of our work under the Medium Term Plan:
- Worldwide Readership,
- Thriving movement,
- Platform evolution,
- Brand awareness, and
- Global Advocacy.
Plus our other work in:
- Mission Support
- Technical Infrastructure
- Shared Services
The Thriving Movement budget increased from $14.3M last fiscal year to $36.7M in this budget which represents an increase of $22.4M or 157%. Thriving Movement has grown from being 13.2% of the Foundation’s overall budget to 24.5%.
Technical Infrastructure includes all the engineering and technology needed to build and maintain our projects, platform, and internal infrastructure that is outside of our Medium-term Plan priorities like Worldwide Readership and Thriving Movement.
Shared Services include the functions that enable our other work, like Research, Communications, Operations, and Governance.
Mission Support includes the work we do in grants, partnership development, legal support, and community outreach outside of the MTP Priorities.
|Resilient and Inclusive Foundation: General & Admin||12.6%|
|Resilient and Inclusive Foundation: Fundraising||10.9%|