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Fundraising update; FDC recommendations

Wikimedia Foundation Director of Online Fundraising Megan Hernandez

In the run-up to the December fundraiser, Wikimedia Foundation Director of Online Fundraising Megan Hernandez posted another fundraising update on the Wikimedia-l mailing list (see last month's Signpost coverage of the previous update).

Some key points

Below is the full text of Megan's update.


FDC recommendations

The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) has published its recommendations for round 1 of the 2015–2016 Annual Plan Grant program, as summarised in the following table:

Applicant Amount requested Amount recommended Indicative recommendation
in USD (approx)
Change in allocation
from last year
Amical Wikimedia EUR 68,000 EUR 68,000 $76,000 100.0% −17.2%
Wikimedia Argentina* USD 241,680 USD 232,500 $232,500 96.2% 9.7%
Wikimedia CH CHF 315,000 CHF 294,000 $305,000 93.3% −16.0%
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. EUR 1,500,000 EUR 1,200,000 $1,346,000 80.0% 42.9%
Wikimedia Israel* NIS 834,000 NIS 834,000 $212,000 100.0% 8.3%
Wikimedia Nederland EUR 340,000 EUR 340,000 $381,000 100.0% 11.8%
Wikimedia Serbia EUR 112,500 EUR 112,500 $126,000 100.0% 13.9%
Wikimedia Sverige SEK 2,616,000 SEK 2,616,000 $309,000 100.0% 2.3%
Wikimedia UK* GBP 310,000 GBP 277,300 $427,000 89.5% −11.7%
Wikimedia Ukraine USD 75,000 USD 75,000 $75,000 100.0% 82.2%
Wikimedia Österreich EUR 250,000 EUR 250,000 $280,000 100.0% 9.6%
Total ~ USD 4,189,000 ~$3,770,000

The FDC noted

Current voting FDC members. Left to right:
Itzik, Liam, Osmar, Michał, Anne, Matanya, Lorenzo, Mike, (Dumisani not present)
Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia UK, the two biggest chapters involved in this round of FDC recommendations, saw the greatest discrepancies between requested and recommended funding, with the FDC recommending that they be granted 80% (Germany) and 89.5% (UK) of the amounts requested.

Wikidata costs were a particular point of contention in the FDC recommendations:

The publication of the Funds Dissemination Committee recommendations was also announced on the Wikimedia blog. The blog post contains further background on the FDC's work and methods. AK

Telephone fundraising by Wikimedia Germany sparks controversy

Members of Wikimedia Germany reported on November 20 receiving phone calls from a call centre agency thanking them for their contributions, and suggesting they increase their financial support. Wikimedia Germany's Till Mletzko confirmed that the agency's calls were indeed made on behalf of Wikimedia Germany, and that there was a parallel mailing campaign to the same effect.

Community feedback was overwhelmingly negative. Volunteers objected to the fact that the call centre employee presented himself as "working for Wikipedia" and to the nuisance factor inherent in the "cold calling" approach. Achim Raschka, a founding member and former board member of Wikimedia Germany, went so far as to suggest it might be time to release a press statement "in the name of the authors of Wikipedia", advising the public to ignore calls for donations from the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Germany.

Mletzko at first defended the action, saying that many non-profits use telephone fundraising very successfully and this was merely an attempt to find out whether the same approach might also work for Wikimedia Germany, but promised to take community feedback into account in the campaign's evaluation. On November 23 he posted an update, saying the telephone campaign would be stopped with immediate effect. 108 members from a pool of 3,000 had been called; 44% of them agreed to increase their contributions. AK

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  • Odd, if the 25 million USD is the goal for the English Wikipedia, as it appears to be. Neither the 2014-2015 fundraising report, nor the detailed fundraising data provided by WMF, breaks out fundraising by language version. What the data does show is that total donations to the WMF, during the period December 1 to December 31, 2014, were 31.0 million USD. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 03:48, 29 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • The target for the December fundraiser last year was $20 million (which, as you correctly point out, was exceeded by more than $10 million). [1][2] Andreas JN466 10:42, 29 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]


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