Fundraiser ended

Wikimedia fundraiser exceeds target, ends early

The Wikimedia Foundation's fundraiser Archived 2005-04-05 at the Wayback Machine for the first quarter of 2005 surpassed its goals and ended early last Tuesday, with nearly US$100,000 having been raised.

Wikimedia CFO Daniel Mayer announced the official end of the campaign on Tuesday (midnight Monday based on PayPal's eastern U.S. time zone) when it became clear that the US$75,000 target had been reached. Mayer said the fundraiser, which had originally been planned to run through 10 March, was "a phenomenal success". The site-wide notice used to call attention to the drive was converted into a "Thank you" message to donors for a few more days, then removed.

In his final updated report on Thursday, Mayer indicated that the Foundation had brought in a total of $94,648.70, with more than half of this being funds in other currencies converted into U.S. dollars. A few people still indicated that they weren't able to donate in the currency they had available, since PayPal only supports six currencies. Donations could also be made in Moneybookers, which supports 27 different currencies, but the fundraiser information page only said that Moneybookers' fees were often lower, without mentioning the availability of other currencies.

Planning for the next round

For the next fundraiser, Mayer said that direct processing of credit card payments would almost certainly be provided, without needing to use PayPal or Moneybookers, although those options would still be available.

Another issue raised as a result of the fundraiser was the possibility of starting additional local chapters of the Wikimedia Foundation in the United Kingdom and Canada. The donations generated by this fundraiser included €15,254.66 raised by the German chapter of the Foundation, helped by the fact that the chapter has its own bank account in order to support bank transfers (a more common form of transaction there), along with the eligibility of donations for tax deductions. Meanwhile, at last report the Foundation is still awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that it qualifies for tax exemption, which will allow U.S. taxpayers who itemize to deduct donations as a charitable contribution.

In related news, Yann announced on Monday that the French chapter of the Foundation had been officially registered as a nonprofit organization.

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