[Wikimedia-l] Re: Sharing more details about the Equity Fund

2021-06-15 Thread Lisa Gruwell
The links to the donor FAQ are there.  The smaller banners expand when you
click on a payment method.

On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 3:06 AM Andreas Kolbe  wrote:

> Thanks for those links, Lisa. I note that the January press release[1]
> merely said,
>
>
> *"In addition, the Foundation recently developed a $4.5 million Equity
> Fund that will offer grants to advance more equitable, inclusive
> representation in Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia."*
>
> This tells the reader very little. In particular, it does not make clear
> that these are grants for recipients that would be ineligible for
> Wikimedia's traditional community grants.
>
> The 2019/2020 audit report[2] said, in the notes on page 14,
>
> *During the year ended June 30, 2020, the Foundation provided an
> unconditional grant to Tides Advocacy in the amount of of $8.723 million
> for the Wikimedia Knowledge Equity Fund. This fund will be used to invest
> in grant-making opportunities to increase the availability of free
> knowledge and counteract structural inequalities to foster a just and
> equitable representation of knowledge and people in the Wikimedia movement,
> and to fund the annual operating expenses of other Wikimedia chapter
> organizations in service of our mission of free knowledge. The Wikimedia
> Knowledge Equity Fund is managed and controlled by Tides Advocacy. For the
> year ended June 30, 2020, the amount funded is recorded in awards and
> grants expense.*
>
> Neither of these really provided enough detail to give the reader an
> adequate sense of these plans, or explained how the funds will be disbursed.
>
> $4.5 million is a substantial amount of money. It represents no less than
> 4% of total 2019/2020 expenses. In my view, this warrants more visible
> communication than a single sentence buried in a 1,000-word blog post that
> was about a different topic altogether, and an unpublicised page on Meta
> that no one but an insider is likely to find.
>
> Lastly, you say that every banner includes a link to the donor FAQ. When
> the Latin American fundraising campaign was announced on Spanish Wikipedia,
> Camille posted[3] the following to show the community what the banners
> would look like:
>
> Lo siento, envié URL obsoletas. Aquí están los actualizados. Desktop Large
> <https://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_Wikipedias=B2021_0503_esLA_dsk_p1_lg_twin1=CL>
>  // Desktop Small
> <https://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_Wikipedias=B2021_0503_esLA_dsk_p2_sm_twin1=CL>
>  // Mobile Large
> <https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia?banner=B2021_0503_esLA_m_p1_lg_twin1=CL>
>  // Mobile Small
> <https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia?banner=B2021_0503_esLA_m_p2_sm_twin1=CL>
>  --CDenes (WMF) <https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usuario:CDenes_(WMF)> (
> discusión
> <https://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Usuario_discusi%C3%B3n:CDenes_(WMF)=edit=1>)
> 19:30 30 abr 2021 (UTC)
>
> Clicking on her links on my desktop, I find that only one of the four
> banners (Desktop Large), as displayed on the Wikipedia page that comes up,
> includes a link, in small print, to the FAQ ("Preguntas frecuentes"). None
> of the others do. Can anyone else see such links on the pages that come up
> when you click on Camille's links?
>
> The recent Brazilian press screenshot available at
> https://img.olhardigital.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Doacao-Wikipedia.jpg
> lacks such a link as well, does it not? While it is in Portuguese rather
> than Spanish, it matches the layout of what Camille posted precisely (with
> the wording as adjusted following the recent community complaints at the
> Portuguese Village Pump).[4]
>
> As far as I can see, the user will only ever be shown a small FAQ link if
> and after they initiate the payment process. At that point, their attention
> is distracted, because they have to select a money amount or mode of
> payment, email option etc. This seems designed to minimise the likelihood
> that a user will actually go and read the FAQ.
>
> Best,
> Andreas
>
> [1]
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/news/2021/01/14/wikipedia-celebrates-20-years/
> [2]
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/f/f7/Wikimedia_Foundation_FY2019-2020_Audit_Report.pdf
> [3]
> https://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Café/Archivo/Miscelánea/Actual=135491333#WMF_Fundraising_on_Spanish_Wiki_in_AR,_CL,_CO,_PE,_UY
> [4]
> https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Esplanada/geral/Banner_solicitando_doações_(20abr2021)
>
> On Tue, Jun 15, 2021 at 1:56 AM Lisa Gruwell 
> wrote:
>
>> Thank you to those who attended our Equity Fund Office Hours. We had a
>> small turnout with about three peo

[Wikimedia-l] Re: Sharing more details about the Equity Fund

2021-06-14 Thread Lisa Gruwell
onors should be told?
>
> Best,
> Andreas
>
> [1] https://tidesadvocacy.org
> [2]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/hyperkitty/list/wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org/message/XI5A4FKDJUK3VWOQWZIPIZXMWAMIX5IW/
> [3]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Equity_Fund/Frequently_asked_questions#9._How_will_the_Equity_Fund_work_with_existing_grants_programmes
> ?
>
> On Fri, Jun 11, 2021 at 6:42 PM Nadee Gunasena 
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> We realized we had shared the wrong date for the Equity Fund Office
>> Hours. Lisa's email initially said these would be Monday, June 13 - that
>> should be Monday, June 14. Sorry for any confusion - Updated times below.
>> You can also find these details and  more information on Meta:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Equity_Fund
>>
>>
>>-
>>
>>Monday, June 14 at 0100-0200 UTC meet.google.com/myf-zcaw-ubg
>>-
>>
>>Monday, June 14 at 1500-1600 UTC meet.google.com/dzu-edej-wva
>>
>> ᐧ
>>
>> On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 10:15 AM Lisa Gruwell 
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi everyone,
>>>
>>> I’m excited to share more information about the Wikimedia Foundation’s
>>> Knowledge Equity Fund.
>>>
>>> The Equity Fund is a pilot initiative that came out of the commitment
>>> the Foundation’s leadership team made in June 2020 [1] in the wake of
>>> global protests against racial injustice. Our goal was to create a
>>> grant-making fund with an explicit focus on addressing barriers to free
>>> knowledge experienced by Black, indigenous and communities of color around
>>> the world.
>>>
>>> This is a $4.5 million USD fund to address racial inequities that impact
>>> the work of free knowledge. It was created to provide focused grants to
>>> organizations that are advancing knowledge equity, one of two key pillars
>>> of our 2030 strategic direction of becoming the essential infrastructure of
>>> free knowledge. Specifically, the fund is meant to support organizations
>>> working to address the racial injustices and barriers that prevent
>>> participation in free knowledge.
>>>
>>> We allocated funds for the Equity Fund at the end of the Foundation’s
>>> fiscal year last June. [2] It took more time than we expected to share our
>>> plans for this pilot program, as we’ve been navigating the operational
>>> and logistical issues of creating a new type of fund. Over the past
>>> several months since the Equity Fund was first announced, Foundation staff
>>> and volunteers have been meeting to discuss the goals and the details of
>>> the Equity Fund, and we finally have more to share.
>>>
>>> The Equity Fund will be used to support local and international
>>> organizations that don’t currently qualify for grants funding from the
>>> Foundation, such as external organizations that can help advance our
>>> mission and are not working directly on wikiprojects. We recognize that the
>>> work of knowledge equity is work that we as a movement cannot do alone. Our
>>> projects can only do so much when, for example, academic and mass media
>>> representation of marginalized communities remains insufficient, which in
>>> turn limits citations and primary sources for us to build from.  Through
>>> Equity Fund investments, we wish to create an ecosystem of partners,
>>> collaborators, and grantees working on knowledge equity that will benefit
>>> the movement. This could include journalism projects to increase content
>>> about underrepresented regions of the world, or scholarship and research
>>> initiatives that are focused on expanding academic understanding of
>>> structural barriers to knowledge and potential solutions.
>>>
>>> The Equity Fund is separate from the grants that are available for
>>> community groups and the ongoing Grants Relaunch [3]. It is a new pool of
>>> funds that we can use to directly impact knowledge equity, and specifically
>>> barriers due to race that prevent access and participation in free
>>> knowledge.
>>>
>>> We are currently working to identify the first grant recipients for the
>>> Equity Fund.  The Meta page for the Equity Fund [4] includes more
>>> information (the members of the Equity Fund Committee, the five specific
>>> focus areas we will be investing in) and next steps. We are also currently
>>> looking for recommendations on organizations for grants - you can visit
>>> Meta or fill out this

[Wikimedia-l] Sharing more details about the Equity Fund

2021-06-09 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi everyone,

I’m excited to share more information about the Wikimedia Foundation’s
Knowledge Equity Fund.

The Equity Fund is a pilot initiative that came out of the commitment the
Foundation’s leadership team made in June 2020 [1] in the wake of global
protests against racial injustice. Our goal was to create a grant-making
fund with an explicit focus on addressing barriers to free knowledge
experienced by Black, indigenous and communities of color around the world.

This is a $4.5 million USD fund to address racial inequities that impact
the work of free knowledge. It was created to provide focused grants to
organizations that are advancing knowledge equity, one of two key pillars
of our 2030 strategic direction of becoming the essential infrastructure of
free knowledge. Specifically, the fund is meant to support organizations
working to address the racial injustices and barriers that prevent
participation in free knowledge.

We allocated funds for the Equity Fund at the end of the Foundation’s
fiscal year last June. [2] It took more time than we expected to share our
plans for this pilot program, as we’ve been navigating the operational and
logistical issues of creating a new type of fund. Over the past several
months since the Equity Fund was first announced, Foundation staff and
volunteers have been meeting to discuss the goals and the details of the
Equity Fund, and we finally have more to share.

The Equity Fund will be used to support local and international
organizations that don’t currently qualify for grants funding from the
Foundation, such as external organizations that can help advance our
mission and are not working directly on wikiprojects. We recognize that the
work of knowledge equity is work that we as a movement cannot do alone. Our
projects can only do so much when, for example, academic and mass media
representation of marginalized communities remains insufficient, which in
turn limits citations and primary sources for us to build from.  Through
Equity Fund investments, we wish to create an ecosystem of partners,
collaborators, and grantees working on knowledge equity that will benefit
the movement. This could include journalism projects to increase content
about underrepresented regions of the world, or scholarship and research
initiatives that are focused on expanding academic understanding of
structural barriers to knowledge and potential solutions.

The Equity Fund is separate from the grants that are available for
community groups and the ongoing Grants Relaunch [3]. It is a new pool of
funds that we can use to directly impact knowledge equity, and specifically
barriers due to race that prevent access and participation in free
knowledge.

We are currently working to identify the first grant recipients for the
Equity Fund.  The Meta page for the Equity Fund [4] includes more
information (the members of the Equity Fund Committee, the five specific
focus areas we will be investing in) and next steps. We are also currently
looking for recommendations on organizations for grants - you can visit
Meta or fill out this survey [5] if you have organizations that are already
doing this work and would be a good fit.

Lastly, we do want to emphasize that this is a pilot. There are a lot of
open questions that have been raised by community members that we are still
figuring out, on topics such as ensuring investment in global organizations
and inclusive definitions of racial equity. We welcome additional questions
as the project evolves from this early stage. We’re answering questions on
Meta, so please join us there. We will also be hosting Office Hours in the
coming week:

   -

   Monday, June 13 at 0100-0200 UTC meet.google.com/myf-zcaw-ubg
   -

   Monday, June 13 at 1500-1600 UTC meet.google.com/dzu-edej-wva


This is an active step towards addressing the barriers that perpetuate
knowledge gaps on our projects and prevent participation in free knowledge.
We’re excited to try this new pilot and share our progress.

Thank you,

Lisa Gruwell, Janeen Uzzell, Tony Sebro and the Equity Fund Committee


[1]
https://medium.com/freely-sharing-the-sum-of-all-knowledge/we-stand-for-racial-justice-49c31afbabca?source=collection_home---4--6---


[2]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2020-December/096022.html

[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Resources/Grants_Strategy_Relaunch_2020-2021


[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Equity_Fund

[5] https://forms.gle/gzqRH7yMFEGgZb4e6


-- 

Lisa Seitz Gruwell

Chief Advancement Officer

Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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[Wikimedia-l] Update: Wikimedia Endowment reaching the next planned stage

2021-03-01 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi all -

I have some good news to share. Five years ago, we launched the Wikimedia
Endowment <https://wikimediaendowment.org/> as a permanent safekeeping fund
to enable us to fulfill the part of our mission that says we will provide
support to the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Mission_statement>. Our goal was to
raise an initial USD $100 million for the Endowment by 2026, after which income
earned from investing the fund
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Endowment#Endowment_Investment_Policy>would
become a new stream of financial support for Wikimedia projects.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters and the hard work of
the staff and the Endowment Board, the Endowment now holds $90 million. We
anticipate that we will surpass the $100 million goal next fiscal year.

At the outset, the Endowment was established as a Collective Action Fund at
Tides Foundation, with the plan to move it to a permanent structure as the
fund neared critical mass. In preparation for the approaching $100 million
milestone, we are now beginning the work of taking the Endowment to its
next stage of maturity: establishing it as an independent public charity
with the mission of providing financial support for the Wikimedia projects.

We are grateful to the future-focused community members who began
considering the idea of an endowment years ago, to those who participated
in community conversations on meta
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Endowment_Essay> to help us think through
initial decisions regarding its launch, to the WMF Board that gave the
Endowment its full support, and especially to the Endowment Board
<https://wikimediaendowment.org/#undefined>who, among many other things,
introduced us to their friends and opened their homes to host fundraising
events for us.

While we look forward to celebrating the achievement of the $100 million
milestone in the next year, the work of growing the Endowment will not be
over. Our direct fundraising efforts will continue, as will our pursuit of
planned gifts (such as gifts in wills and other legacy gifts). To date, we
have over 1,000 members of the Wikimedia Legacy Society – donors who have
agreed to leave a portion of their estate to the Wikimedia Endowment. Their
long-term commitment is a sign of deep respect for the work of our
volunteer communities and of a desire to help us reach the ambitious 2030
Strategic Direction.

As we move forward in these efforts, you can follow updates on meta
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Endowment>, and we welcome
your questions
on the Endowment’s Talk page
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Endowment>. We started this
endowment conversation with the community on that page five years ago and
that is the best place to continue it as we move into this next phase.
Thank you to everyone who has helped bring us to this point in the road.

Best regards,

Lisa Gruwell

Chief Advancement Officer

-- 

Lisa Seitz Gruwell

Chief Advancement Officer

Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF transfers $8.7 million to "Wikimedia Knowledge Equity Fund"

2020-12-14 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Mike-

Thanks for the question.  The review and oversight that we will get from
Tides is nothing like the FDC review.  They will be looking at, for
example, "Is this grant supporting activity that is legal for a 501c3 to
fund?"  It is in no way a replacement for the work that the FDC or the
Global Council would do regarding grants.

Best,
Lisa

On Mon, Dec 14, 2020 at 12:55 PM Michael Peel  wrote:

> Hi Lisa,
>
> Isn’t this the oversight work that the WMF wanted to be able to do when it
> changed from Wikimedia affiliates being able to fundraise directly to the
> FDC process? Why has WMF chosen to outsource this to Tides rather than
> continuing to do it in-house? And why does Tides now get to approve such
> grants, rather than a community appointed committee?
>
> FDC was a process that worked extremely well, and was discontinued for
> obscure reasons. The Global Council approach that the strategy was heading
> towards looked like it might be a good replacement. Outsourcing it to Tides
> seems really bad.
>
> Boldly creating a new fund for fellow organisations looks nice, but
> without community involvement it’s a controversy in development.
>
> Thanks,
> Mike
>
> On 14 Dec 2020, at 20:11, Lisa Gruwell  wrote:
>
> Hi Chris-
>
> I am happy to answer your questions about Tides.  No, Tides is not picking
> the grantees.  The docket of grantees and the specific of the grants comes
> from us.  Tides provides legal and administrative review of the
> grants,  approves them, and processes the grants(i.e. wires the funding to
> the grantees).  It is rare that there is ever a problem, but if Tides were
> to see one, we actually appreciate the outside review and would be open to
> hearing their reasons.  There is no change for the reporting and
> transparency requirements for APG grants. Tides will also not be making
> recommendations for the grants for the Knowledge Equity Fund.  They will
> play a similar role as I described for the APG grants. Again, I know there
> will be more info on the Knowledge Equity Fund in the new year.  I ask your
> patience for the folks initiating this and trust that they will share more
> soon.
>
> Best,
> Lisa
>
> On Mon, Dec 14, 2020 at 10:18 AM Chris Keating 
> wrote:
>
>> Thanks Lisa. That statement makes a lot of sense, though I do have some
>> questions still.
>>
>>>
>>> Our first priority was to ensure that we had enough funding to support
>>> community grants. We transferred the full amount for Annual Plan Grants
>>> (APG) for FY20-21 over to Tides to ensure that all funding for
>>> affiliates for this year was secured, regardless of how fundraising
>>> performed. It also gives staff at affiliates and the Foundation more time
>>> to work together to make thoughtful grants, instead of an end-of-year rush.
>>> All affiliates who will be receiving funding through Tides were informed of
>>> the arrangement last summer. All other grantmaking (Community Grants,
>>> Rapid Grants, Project Grants) are still being funded through WMF directly,
>>> as usual. There is a round of APG grants set to go out via Tides this week.
>>>
>>
>> Are Tides simply administering these funds at the WMF's direction, or
>> will Tides start to take over decisions about who gets these grants and
>> what amount different entities are eligible for? Has there been any change
>> to the reporting and transparency requirements that go with the APG grants?
>> What is the intention about how APG grants will work, since the FDC was
>> abolished a couple of years ago and there is unlikely to be any
>> community-driven replacement for it until at least a year or two's work has
>> gone into the implementation of the strategy?
>>
>>
>>> As of now, this is a one-time commitment of approximately $4.5 million.
>>> We are still working on the specific initial objectives of the fund and how
>>> it will operate. As a pilot initiative, we’ll be learning and adapting as
>>> we go.
>>>
>>
>> Funding knowledge equity sounds like a great idea, but I have not
>> previously heard of an organisation making an irrecoverable $4.5 million
>> transfer without knowing what that money will be used to fund. Is there
>> anything more that can be shared apart from "it'll be used to fund
>> knowledge equity somehow"? And as above - is this going to be a WMF-led
>> process (maybe even involving the community), or will Tides be actually
>> making recommendations about who and what is funded? If the latter, how are
>> Tides going to adjust to the Wikimedia community's expectations about
>> transparency?
>

Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF transfers $8.7 million to "Wikimedia Knowledge Equity Fund"

2020-12-14 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Chris-

I am happy to answer your questions about Tides.  No, Tides is not picking
the grantees.  The docket of grantees and the specific of the grants comes
from us.  Tides provides legal and administrative review of the
grants,  approves them, and processes the grants(i.e. wires the funding to
the grantees).  It is rare that there is ever a problem, but if Tides were
to see one, we actually appreciate the outside review and would be open to
hearing their reasons.  There is no change for the reporting and
transparency requirements for APG grants. Tides will also not be making
recommendations for the grants for the Knowledge Equity Fund.  They will
play a similar role as I described for the APG grants. Again, I know there
will be more info on the Knowledge Equity Fund in the new year.  I ask your
patience for the folks initiating this and trust that they will share more
soon.

Best,
Lisa

On Mon, Dec 14, 2020 at 10:18 AM Chris Keating 
wrote:

> Thanks Lisa. That statement makes a lot of sense, though I do have some
> questions still.
>
>>
>> Our first priority was to ensure that we had enough funding to support
>> community grants. We transferred the full amount for Annual Plan Grants
>> (APG) for FY20-21 over to Tides to ensure that all funding for
>> affiliates for this year was secured, regardless of how fundraising
>> performed. It also gives staff at affiliates and the Foundation more time
>> to work together to make thoughtful grants, instead of an end-of-year rush.
>> All affiliates who will be receiving funding through Tides were informed of
>> the arrangement last summer. All other grantmaking (Community Grants,
>> Rapid Grants, Project Grants) are still being funded through WMF directly,
>> as usual. There is a round of APG grants set to go out via Tides this week.
>>
>
> Are Tides simply administering these funds at the WMF's direction, or will
> Tides start to take over decisions about who gets these grants and what
> amount different entities are eligible for? Has there been any change to
> the reporting and transparency requirements that go with the APG grants?
> What is the intention about how APG grants will work, since the FDC was
> abolished a couple of years ago and there is unlikely to be any
> community-driven replacement for it until at least a year or two's work has
> gone into the implementation of the strategy?
>
>
>> As of now, this is a one-time commitment of approximately $4.5 million.
>> We are still working on the specific initial objectives of the fund and how
>> it will operate. As a pilot initiative, we’ll be learning and adapting as
>> we go.
>>
>
> Funding knowledge equity sounds like a great idea, but I have not
> previously heard of an organisation making an irrecoverable $4.5 million
> transfer without knowing what that money will be used to fund. Is there
> anything more that can be shared apart from "it'll be used to fund
> knowledge equity somehow"? And as above - is this going to be a WMF-led
> process (maybe even involving the community), or will Tides be actually
> making recommendations about who and what is funded? If the latter, how are
> Tides going to adjust to the Wikimedia community's expectations about
> transparency?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Chris
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-- 

Lisa Seitz Gruwell

Chief Advancement Officer

Wikimedia Foundation 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF transfers $8.7 million to "Wikimedia Knowledge Equity Fund"

2020-12-14 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi all,

Thanks for the questions. We intend to announce the Knowledge Equity Fund
in early 2021, once we have a bit more details and specifics worked out.
However, we can share the overall intention today.

Some background: Our fiscal year runs from July through June, which means
that the second half of last year was heavily affected by the unforeseen
effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Community events were canceled, hiring
slowed, and we put work on pause while we responded to the changing
circumstances. As a result, we ended the year with funds that were
underspent, relative to what we had planned for the budget.

In May of last year, we were also planning for this current fiscal year and
had very little insight about how fundraising would perform in this
pandemic. People around the world were losing their sources of income, as
unemployment soared. We worked with the board to plan for different
scenarios, including if fundraising went really poorly.

As a general matter, when the budget is underspent, any remainder goes into
the reserve. For accounting purposes, it cannot be carried over into the
budget of a new fiscal year. Because we were concerned about the
uncertainty of fundraising this year, we decided to set aside underspent
funds from the past fiscal year, so that we could keep our commitment to
our grantees even if fundraising fell short and also make progress on
knowledge equity. (Good news: Fundraising ended up going a lot better than
we expected when we were planning in the early months of this pandemic.
More to come on that.)

With the WMF board’s approval, we set up a US$8.7 million grantmaking fund
at Tides Advocacy, which has two purposes: 1) Funding Annual Plan Grants
(APG) to the affiliates this year and 2) Funding Knowledge Equity. We have
been working with Tides since 2016 when we launched the Endowment. The
relationship has gone well and they have a lot of expertise at
administering grants internationally.

Our first priority was to ensure that we had enough funding to support
community grants. We transferred the full amount for Annual Plan Grants
(APG) for FY20-21 over to Tides to ensure that all funding for affiliates
for this year was secured, regardless of how fundraising performed. It also
gives staff at affiliates and the Foundation more time to work together to
make thoughtful grants, instead of an end-of-year rush. All affiliates who
will be receiving funding through Tides were informed of the arrangement
last summer. All other grantmaking (Community Grants, Rapid Grants, Project
Grants) are still being funded through WMF directly, as usual. There is a
round of APG grants set to go out via Tides this week.

As the Audit Report FAQ states,[1] the remaining funds will be used to
launch the Wikimedia Knowledge Equity Fund. This new fund is in addition to
the existing grants that are already available for the communities
(Community Grants, Rapid Grants, Project Grants, and APGs) and does not
impact the amount of funds in those grant portfolios.

Our goal is to use this fund to invest in new opportunities that increase the
availability of free knowledge for marginalized people and counteract
structural inequalities. Knowledge equity is a key pillar of the 2030
movement strategy, and this investment will help us to address some of the
barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free
knowledge.

As of now, this is a one-time commitment of approximately $4.5 million. We
are still working on the specific initial objectives of the fund and how it
will operate. As a pilot initiative, we’ll be learning and adapting as we
go.

We’ll share more details in early 2021 about the Knowledge Equity Fund. We
are excited to see what progress we can make for knowledge equity with this
investment.

Thank you,

Lisa Gruwell

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_reports/Financial/Audits/2019-2020_-_frequently_asked_questions/id#This_year%E2%80%99s_report_says_that_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_provided_an_unconditional_grant_of_$8.723_million_to_Tides_Advocacy_for_the_Wikimedia_Knowledge_Equity_Fund._What_is_the_Wikimedia_Knowledge_Equity_Fund?
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_reports/Financial/Audits/2019-2020_-_frequently_asked_questions/id#This_year%E2%80%99s_report_says_that_the_Wikimedia_Foundation_provided_an_unconditional_grant_of_$8.723_million_to_Tides_Advocacy_for_the_Wikimedia_Knowledge_Equity_Fund._What_is_the_Wikimedia_Knowledge_Equity_Fund?>


On Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 12:35 PM Katherine Maher 
wrote:

> Hi folks,
>
> Happy Sunday from San Francisco -- we've seen the questions on this list,
> and we'll reply tomorrow when folks are back at work. Thanks for your
> understanding!
>
> Hope everyone is staying well and safe,
>
> Katherine
>
> On Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 5:36 AM Isaac Olatunde 
> wrote:
>
>> I agree with Dan. A question about this should have been directed to the
>&g

[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Update on Wikimedia partnerships

2018-02-16 Thread Lisa Gruwell
-- Forwarded message --
From: Lisa Gruwell <lgruw...@wikimedia.org>
Date: Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 1:08 PM
Subject: Update on Wikimedia partnerships
To: "Staff (All)" <wmf...@lists.wikimedia.org>


*Hi everyone,As we consider the new strategic direction we identified from
Wikimedia 2030[1], the Foundation is evolving how we work with partners to
address barriers to participating in free knowledge around the world. After
careful evaluation, we’ve decided to discontinue the Wikipedia Zero
program[2] as one of the partnership approaches we offer. Over the course
of this year, we won’t be taking on any new Wikipedia Zero partnerships,
and current partnerships will expire. The Wikipedia Zero program was first
created to address one barrier to participating in free knowledge globally:
high mobile data costs. Through the program, we partnered with mobile
operators to waive mobile data fees for their customers to freely access
Wikipedia on mobile devices. In the program’s six year tenure, we have
partnered with 97 mobile carriers in 72 countries to provide access to
Wikipedia to more than 800 million people free of mobile data charges. As
stewards of Wikipedia Zero, I want to congratulate and thank the Global
Reach team for the success of this program during its tenure, and for their
leadership in continuing to support new and meaningful partnerships aligned
with our movement’s values and vision. In the past couple of years, we
identified a few developments that have impacted Wikipedia Zero’s continued
relevance. Beginning in 2016, we’ve seen a significant drop off in adoption
and interest in Wikipedia Zero, and as a result, our reach today stands at
a quarter of where it was at its peak. During this time, we also conducted
research[3] to better understand the full scope of barriers to using
Wikipedia around the world. For example, awareness is one of the key issues
we identified - even when people have smartphones and use Facebook, Google,
or WhatsApp, many of those same people have never heard of Wikipedia.  In
addition, limited local language content is another barrier we identified
that inhibits the discovery and use of our projects. We’ve had initial
success with projects and partnerships[4] designed to build awareness in
parts of the world where Wikipedia is not widely known or used. These
successes have given us several ideas for where we may take our partnership
work next, and over the coming year, we will explore other ways we can
leverage the findings from our research and the Wikipedia Zero program to
direct future work with partners. We remain committed to creating impactful
partnerships that align with our own values and direction for the Wikimedia
movement’s future. We look forward to sharing more information and updates
on our work with partners in the coming year. Thank you, LisaWe’ve also
published a blog post about this announcement here:
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2018/02/16/partnerships-new-approach/
<https://blog.wikimedia.org/2018/02/16/partnerships-new-approach/>[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Direction
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Direction>[2]
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Zero
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Zero>[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_Reach/Insights
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_Reach/Insights> and
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/New_Readers
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/New_Readers>[4]
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/09/21/nigeria-wikipedia-awareness/
<https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/09/21/nigeria-wikipedia-awareness/>*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The 2016-2017 Wikimedia Foundation Annual Report

2018-01-19 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Thanks for the question, James.  Performance benchmarking for the Wikimedia
Endowment is described in the Investment Policy, which can be found here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Endowment#Endowment_Investment_Policy

On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 1:00 AM, James Salsman  wrote:

> Thanks, Zack.
>
> Does anyone know what interest rates the $56 million short-term and $6
> million long-term investments earn?
>
> Are the CFO and the Endowment benchmarking their performance against
> commercial institutional endowment-grade mutual funds? I recently wrote the
> below to regulators; I hope it helps explain this question:
>
> --- excerpt ---
>
> ...Regarding the extent to which index funds may be siphoning wealth
> very sharply upward because of questionable inefficient practices in
> capital services, you know index funds comprise a huge portion of
> consumer savings and investment. I noticed that they have reliably
> been underperforming mutual funds such as institutional endowment
> funds which aren't required to rebalance, but follow the same general
> investment strategy
>
> https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/fs/rzeckhau/EndowmentsPaperPartII.pdf
>
> https://institutional.vanguard.com/iam/pdf/EndowmentPerformanceResearch.
> pdf
>
> https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/s342.pdf
>
>
> On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 12:35 AM, Zachary McCune 
> wrote:
>
> > Hello all-
> >
> >
> > Last year, the Wikimedia Foundation received more than 6 million
> donations
> > to support free knowledge. Today, we would like to share the Foundation’s
> > 2016 - 2017 Annual Report which helps document how those donations were
> put
> > to use. [1]
> >
> > This Report is meant mostly for donors, but it may be of use to any
> > audience looking to learn more about the Wikimedia Foundation, our
> > activities, and our community support.
> >
> > In (very) brief, last year:
> >
> > * We worked on building safer communities with new tools like Abuse
> Filter
> > and Mute to reduce harassment on Wikipedia.
> >
> > * We improved our services for mobile devices: making images smaller and
> > articles load faster, streamlining our apps to assist users.
> >
> > * We partnered with international organizations to add missing languages
> > and knowledge to our sites.
> >
> > Over 2017, our grants team disbursed 392 grants totaling more than 7
> > million dollars. More than half of these grants went to emerging
> > communities. [2]
> >
> > We also began to plan the future of our movement, holding months of
> > discussions with thousands of volunteers. We were guided by a recurring
> > phrase that has become the theme of this year’s Annual Report: Knowledge
> > belongs to all of us.
> >
> > Everything listed and linked above is possible because of you, the
> > Wikimedia movement. Y’all are great.
> >
> > So please take a look at the 2016-2017 Wikimedia Foundation Annual
> Report,
> > and if you are moved- share it with a friend.
> >
> >
> >
> > Thank you,
> >
> > - Zack McCune, Danny Kaufman, Lena Traer, Heather Walls, María Cruz, Ravi
> > Ayyakkannu, Caitlin Cogdill (the 2017 Annual Report team)
> >
> >
> >
> > [1] https://annual.wikimedia.org/2017/
> >
> > [2] https://annual.wikimedia.org/2017/community.html
> >
> > --
> > Zachary McCune
> > Global Audiences
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> > zmcc...@wikimedia.org
> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Funding the endowment

2017-08-22 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Sorry, I wasn't at the meeting, so I can't speak to that.

On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 12:09 PM, Rogol Domedonfors <domedonf...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Lisa
>
> Thanks for that explanation.  If it had already been decided to contribute
> the $5M to the Endowment before the offer of matching funds, then there
> would be no appearance of the offer influencing the Board's decision.  Can
> you confirm that was the case?  But the main point of my question to the
> Board is to ask why they decided that placing this large sum into the
> Endowment was more important than using it to support the work of the
> volunteer community (whether or not the offer of matching funds was part of
> that decision) directly.  Can you throw any light on their reasons?
>
> Rudyard
>
> On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 6:38 PM, Lisa Gruwell <lgruw...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Just jumping in with a few points of information regarding the Endowment:
> >
> > 1) I met with Lukas at Wikimania regarding SRI and the endowment.  As
> James
> > indicated, the endowment is invested through the Tides Foundation and
> this
> > is one of the areas of expertise.  We have been looking at environmental,
> > social, and governance (ESG) ratings as well as how funds perform against
> > the benchmarks financially.  We are going to be publishing more
> information
> > about this soon.
> >
> > 2) Regarding the matching grant, this funder has made large grants to the
> > Wikimedia Foundation for general support for our annual work for almost a
> > decade.  They have also now provided major support to the endowment.
> They
> > have provided generous support for our present work and our future work.
> > It is positive thing that this grant was positioned as a matching grant.
> > It doubles the impact of a portion of the contributions that our online
> > donors made this year.  It is a great story that we are sharing with
> other
> > potential endowment donors.  We are hoping to find another major donor
> (or
> > donors) that will match the $5 million for the endowment that is in the
> FY
> > 2017-18 annual plan as well.
> >
> > Best,
> > Lisa
> >
> > On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:15 AM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I have been send further details. As expected Tides (who runs our
> > > endowment) has a strong philosophy around social justice.
> > >
> > > https://www.tides.org/
> > >
> > > James
> > >
> > > On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 11:01 AM, Cristian Consonni <
> crist...@balist.es>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 22/08/2017 17:03, James Heilman wrote:
> > > > > Andrea I agree completely that movement monies should be invested
> > > inline
> > > > > with our values. We should not be invested in stuff that promotes
> war
> > > or
> > > > > surveillance for example. I would image this is currently the case
> > but
> > > > > would have to verify.
> > > >
> > > > I wholeheartedly agree with Andrea.
> > > >
> > > > C
> > > >
> > > > ___
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> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > James Heilman
> > > MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
> > >
> > > The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> > > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Exciting update about development of structured data on Commons

2017-01-09 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Pete and Gerard-

I just wanted to give my thoughts on restricted gifts.  Like most things,
there are both good and bad restricted gifts.  They can be bad if a funder
is making a well-intentioned gift that none-the-less pulls the organization
in direction that they were not planning to go.  Or even worse, when a
funder pays for something outside of an org's plans that has ongoing
maintenance cost that are not covered in the grant.

This is why the WMF board reviews all restricted grants per our gift policy
.  Those are the types of
dynamics that the board considers when they review a restricted grant.

Structured Data on Commons was in our product roadmap, so this grant is not
diverting our attention.  The grant simply enables us to accelerate the
work we were planning to do.  In terms of restrictions, we have to follow
through with the plan we submitted.  In other words, do what we said we are
going to do.  I think that accountability is a good thing.  And the Sloan
Foundation is a great long-term funder of WMF.  If something changes as the
work progress, I have no doubt we could have a reasonable conversation with
them about adjusting the plan.

Best,
Lisa

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 1:03 PM, Gerard Meijssen 
wrote:

> Hoi,
> Maybe restricted but the subject matter is exactly what we want anyway.
> Where I have my reservations is that Wikidata will be set in stone and
> stuff that just is not right will be with us for forever. With more money
> it does not need to be a huge problem because it makes it more manageable.
> Thanks,
>   GerardM
>
> On 9 January 2017 at 21:52, Pete Forsyth  wrote:
>
> > Structured data on Commons is a huge and important area -- for one thing,
> > the whole Media Viewer project would have gone much more smoothly if
> there
> > were underlying structured data to rely on. Kudos to WMF and Sloan for
> the
> > focus on this issue!
> >
> > If I'm not mistaken, this is by far the most extravagant restricted grant
> > in the history of the WMF. I believe the Stanton Foundation's usability
> > grant ($890k in 2008)[1] and Public Policy Initiative grant ($1.2 million
> > in 2010)[2] are the only ones that comes close. In the past, WMF board
> > members have expressed great skepticism about -- specifically -- the
> Sloan
> > Foundation's influence, when it sought to place an observer in WMF board
> > meetings. A former WMF Executive Director has written at length about the
> > dangers of restricted grants.
> >
> > It appears there is a new theory in play around restricted grants. Will
> > somebody be expressing it publicly? Will the past practice of publishing
> > the details of the grant expectations be followed?[3]
> >
> > -Pete
> > --
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > [1] https://blog.wikimedia.org/2008/12/03/improved-usability-
> > in-our-future/
> > [2]
> > https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/May_
> > 2010_Wikimedia_Foundation_will_engage_academic_experts_
> > and_students_to_improve_public_policy_information
> > [3]
> > https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Public_Policy_
> > Initiative_project_details
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 11:48 AM, Wes Moran  wrote:
> >
> > > Hello Wikimedia community,
> > >
> > > It’s our delight to inform you that we received a US$3,015,000 grant
> from
> > > the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
> > >  [1] to
> > expedite
> > > development of structured data on Commons. The grant will be given over
> > the
> > > course of three years, and will allow us to develop a team, in
> > > collaboration with the Wikidata team at Wikimedia Deutschland, that can
> > > focus on integrating the structured data features of Wikidata into
> > > describing the media files on Commons.
> > >
> > > This work will allow us to expedite features both on the Wikidata
> > > development roadmap, and in other products supported by the Wikimedia
> > > Foundation. The grant also provides funding to ensure that movement
> > > stakeholders, like Wiki Loves Monuments and GLAM-Wiki program leaders,
> > and
> > > external partners who contribute heavily to Commons, such as GLAMs, can
> > be
> > > involved in the development.
> > >
> > > We have drafted a high level overview of the grant and its scope,
> > available
> > > on Commons
> > >  data/Sloan_Grant>
> > > [2]. A blog post about the grant is also available on the Wikimedia
> blog
> > >  structured-data>
> > > [3].
> > >
> > > We are currently in the process of identifying the technical lead for
> the
> > > project. If you have questions, Alex Stinson, the Foundation’s
> GLAM-Wiki
> > > strategist, will be leading the community engagement and communications
> > for
> > > the project until we hire a community liaison as part of the 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] English Fundraiser Update

2016-12-22 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi All-

Just a quick update on this:  We concluded the English-language banner
campaign on Monday (12/19) – at the three week point of the campaign. This
is the shortest campaign in recent memory. We were able to reach the goal
and raise some extra funds for these initiatives and the endowment
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/FAQ/en#How_will_you_use_the_funds_if_donations_exceed_the_goal.3F>.
We will be running a “thank you banner” around the New Year to thank
everyone for their support  – instead of an appeal as we had planned.  Look
for our report on the English-language fundraiser soon in January once the
numbers have settled and we have time for more analysis. Thanks to everyone
who helped make this campaign a success!

Best,
Lisa Gruwell

On Sat, Dec 17, 2016 at 11:44 AM, Sam Klein <sjkl...@hcs.harvard.edu> wrote:

> Lisa & Jaime -
>
> Congratulations to all on a fast campaign.  Is this the fastest
> time-to-goal on record?
>
> This is a season in which neutrality and genuineness are precious
> commodities. No surprise that many people I know have given more than usual
> to projects such as ours.  I hope you can complement this with open and
> genuine messaging.
>
> On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 6:52 PM, Michael Peel <em...@mikepeel.net> wrote:
>
> > Continuing the English fundraiser as part of reaching the global
> > fundraising target makes sense to me.
>
> Continuing the fundraiser after the global target has been reached is
> > rather more concerning - except where the funds are being raised
> > specifically for the endowment.
> >
>
> This seems right to me.
>
> Clear and welcoming messages build trust.  You can thank everyone for
> helping reach the goal quickly, and be clear about where further funds go.
> Funds raised over the annual target, before the end of the fiscal year, can
> go into the endowment - again with clear & grateful language once the
> annual goal is reached.
>
> Budgeting deserves its own consideration.  Having a prioritized list of
> future projects is great for communicating intent and helping the movement
> plan.  But expanding the budget has implications for reserves, endowment,
> and future budgets + strategy.  If surplus goes to new projects, then
> "everyone giving $3" would not mean "no fundraising needed for years to
> come". In fact the overhead associated with persistent projects could make
> it harder to sustain operations next year.
>
> Finally, as you find that you have spare banner-cycles because of the
> successful campaign, *please use that same banner space* and your talent
> for connection to honor and inspire editors, donors, and readers.  A more
> than perfunctory thank-you. A good fundraiser is a victory over the
> commercial forces that make the Internet and most media suck; its success
> should be a story we can all hold on to and share. :)
>
> Warmly,
> SJ
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[Wikimedia-l] English Fundraiser Update

2016-12-16 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi everyone,

As most of you know, we run our English-language online fundraiser on
Wikipedia every year in December. It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year.
During this time we raise the bulk of funds to support our operating budget
to support the projects, fund community efforts around the world, and run
the Wikimedia Foundation.

This year, we are happy to report we’ve reached our goal of US$25 million
in record time. This is a testament to the importance of Wikimedia and how
much support we have from people all over the world.

Given this momentum, we believe that it would be wise and worthwhile to
continue to fundraise more in the month of December, for the following
reasons:

1. While we have reached our goal for the December campaign, we have not
yet reached our fundraising goal for Fiscal Year 2016-17 (July 2016 - July
2017).

Continuing the English fundraiser gives us security and flexibility through
the end of the fiscal year. It allows us to have a less aggressive banner
schedule in coming months, which gives us time for more research and better
localization.

2. We have clear programmatic uses for additional funds.

We have some important projects that could use additional funds and are
ready to proceed. We plan to direct additional funds to the following work:


   1.

   The buildout of an additional caching center, to improve site
   performance for users across Asia and Oceania [1].
   2.

   Investment in additional support for structured data on Wikimedia
   Commons and improved integration with the Wikidata roadmap [2].
   3.

   Support for community health initiatives, including additional support
   for the Community Engagement team [3].
   4.

   Support for an inclusive and truly global movement strategy process [4].
   5.

   Growing the endowment in order to secure our future [5].


You can find more information about each of these areas of work below.



We have chosen these projects because they directly support our mission and
respond to the needs of Wikimedia communities and users. We also believe
these investments are investments in our future: support for a diverse
global community, increased resourcing for sister projects, a healthier
community culture, a shared direction for the future of the movement, and
security for our mission in perpetuity.

Here is what we will do: We intend to continue with the banners for a few
more days. We would then take them down over the Christmas holiday, before
making an end-of-year push in the final couple days of the year. (Many
people choose to give at the very end of the year, and they are expecting
to hear from us as usual -- so it is an opportunity to give people who plan
to give the easiest means to participate).

We’ve been following the conversations on this list about the fundraiser
and the target. On Wednesday, we sent this recommendation to our Board of
Trustees, who were broadly supportive of this course of action. Today, we
are sending it to you. We believe we can make good use of the funds in the
coming year, without additional unsustainable commitments into coming
fiscal years. It is fiscally responsible and programmatically sound. The
additional work strengthens our movement, and the additional funds make
these efforts possible.

We welcome your questions and feedback.

Best regards,

Lisa Seitz Gruwell and Jaime Villagomez


More information about the projects:

[1] An additional caching center to improve performance in Asia and Oceania

Our current caching centers in have provided significant value to users,
and the Wikimedia Foundation invested further in them in 2014-15. We
believe that further expanding these efforts and their reach into other
parts of the world would further help us provide the best user experience
to our global audience. With that in mind, we are considering a number of
different locations for an additional caching center to enhance our
performance for Wikimedia communities in Asia and Oceania. Most internet
organizations compete to reach users by establishing local points of
presence, and as a result the performance expectations of users in Asia are
getting higher. Establishing this new caching center will help us meet
those expectations for site performance.

[2] Structured data on Commons*

The Structured Data project
 is an effort
to store information for media files in a structured way on Wikimedia
Commons, so they are easier to view, translate, search, edit, curate and
use. This would be done on Commons with the same technology as the one
developed for Wikidata. Wikimedia Commons holds a lot of data about the
files it hosts. Structuring this data more and making it machine-readable
would have many benefits to making our files more accessible in multiple
languages, improving the process for uploading media, increasing the
usability of the search function, and decreasing ambiguity for people
interested in re-use of media on Commons. A 

[Wikimedia-l] Annette Campbell-White joins the Wikimedia Endowment Advisory Board

2016-05-11 Thread Lisa Gruwell
I wanted to share with you an announcement
<http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/05/11/annette-campbell-white-endowment/> I
just posted to the Wikimedia blog. The WMF Board of Trustees has appointed
Annette Campbell-White as one of the founding members of the Wikimedia
Endowment Advisory Board.

Annette has been a supporter of WMF since 2010.  She frequently attends our
events and a few staff members have gotten to know her.  We could not be
more thrilled to have her stepping up her involvement and sharing her
expertise for the benefit of the movement.

As background on the the process: In December, the WMF board passed a
resolution <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Establishment_of_Endowment>
creating the endowment.  As part of that, they are appointing the first
three founding members of the Endowment Advisory Board.   Jimmy Wales was
appointed in December and the board appointed Annette Campbell-White at
their meeting last month in Berlin.

If you have thoughts on the endowment, this is still a good place on meta
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Endowment_Essay> to have a discussion.

Please join me in welcoming and congratulating Annette!

Best,

Lisa Gruwell
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Wikimedia Foundation ED search steering group created

2016-04-17 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Pine-

I can answer your second question for you.  We are moving forward with
hiring the CTO, VP of HR, and VP of Community (in that order) during the
interim.

Best,
Lisa

On Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 1:52 PM, Pine W  wrote:

> Hi Alice,
>
> Thank you for moving forward with this.
>
> Questions:
>
> 1. One of the characteristics listed is "Experience in leading an
> organization as ED or CEO, very preferably an NGO or F/L/OSS
> (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) organization, with 250 people or more."
> But recent discussions have included the possibility of spinning off
> components of WMF and/or a breakup of the WMF organization, partly as a way
> to mitigate the systemic risk from a dysfunctional or underperforming WMF.
> So, should we be looking for an ED with the expectation that he or she will
> manage an organization with 250+ employees, or should we look for someone
> who has experience with spinoffs and/or breakups?
>
> 2. Will the hiring for execs for HR, Tech, and Community wait until after
> the new ED is selected, or will those recruiting processes happen
> independent of the ED hiring process?
>
> 3. For the search steering group. would you consider adding a
> representative elected from the affiliates, and a representative elected
> from the community, who are not WMF board members and can therefore be
> responsive to the affiliate and community constituencies without potential
> conflict with WMF interests?
>
> Thanks!
> Pine
>
> Pine
> On Apr 17, 2016 11:37, "Alice Wiegand"  wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Finding the next Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director is a clear
> > priority for the Board. To address this challenge, the Board has created
> a
> > steering group tasked with crafting the actual job description, planning
> > and conducting the search, and finding ways to include community
> > perspectives. This steering group will be regularly consulting with the
> > Board throughout the search process.
> >
> > Please see the ED transition team page on meta [1] to find more
> information
> > about the steering group, and get the latest updates. We have also
> included
> > three questions on the participation page to help us start forming a
> better
> > understanding of the community’s various opinions and expectations.
> >
> > [1]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Executive_Director_Transition_Team/2016
> >
> > Alice.
> >
> >
> > --
> > Alice Wiegand
> > Board of Trustees
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> > Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Who runs the Wikimedia Shop ?

2016-03-21 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Adding my thoughts to build upon what Seddon has already said:

The store is not the most mission critical work that we do, but it is
working well. It is good to have people wearing Wikipedia t-shirts out
there and to meet the need of the people who want to purchase Wikimedia
merch.   It is also a very nice thing to be able to thank an editor
 with a Wikipedia
coffee mug from time to time. The store is a lean operation and is self
sufficient.  And the profits from the store fund the give away program, so
the more we sell the more we give away.

The team who works on this has done a very good job of keeping the costs
low, producing products people want, and executing the operational side
(they get people the products they ordered on time).  We don't have large
quantities of merch ringing up high warehouse costs.  The merch is stored
in Springfield, Missouri (not San Francisco) where the rent is low.
Between sales and the giveaway program, the inventory moves pretty quickly.

If we had to build out our own sales platform in order to do this, it
probably would not be worth it.  As it is, the shop is meeting a expressed
need, turning a profit, and allowing us to give merch away.  I think the
team has done a very good job with the shop this year.

On Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 2:01 PM, Vi to  wrote:

> Above all hosting a shop means:
> *production on demand: no "risks" but products become more expensive and
> slow to deliver
> *warehousing: means immobilizing a certain amount of money at the risk to
> accumulate unsold items.
> IMHO an internal shop would be justified by turnover at least 10 times
> greater than Joseph's estimate in following email.
>
> Vito
>
> 2016-03-21 20:43 GMT+01:00 Gerard Meijssen :
>
> > Hoi,
> > Have you considered the cost? It is not free to run a shop. When another
> > organisation can do it for you for less, it would be not good to have an
> > own shop on principles only.
> > Thanks,
> >   GerardM
> >
> > On 21 March 2016 at 20:39, Steinsplitter Wiki <
> steinsplitter-w...@live.com
> > >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Why do we need such a Shop?
> > >
> > > (I must admit that i tested the job a year ago, the product was fine,
> the
> > > shipment fast. A bit expensive for my taste.)
> > >
> > > I agree with other users that the shop schould be hosted on wikimedia
> > > servers.
> > >
> > > --Steinsplitter
> > >
> > > > Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 17:41:46 +0100
> > > > From: rupert.thur...@gmail.com
> > > > To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Who runs the Wikimedia Shop ?
> > > >
> > > > How many orders are handled by this shop?
> > > >
> > > > Rupert
> > > > On Mar 21, 2016 17:32, "Joseph Seddon" 
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > In an ideal world then I would definitely be pushing for a fully
> > > wikimedia
> > > > > hosted online shop. I completely agree with the principles you've
> > > raised.
> > > > > But moving in-house would require resources for building and
> > > maintaining an
> > > > > ecommerce workflow that I don't think we collectively can justify.
> > The
> > > > > setup and maintenance of any solution would require a degree of
> > people
> > > > > power that I personally think could be spent better elsewhere in
> the
> > > > > movement as I am sure you would agree.
> > > > >
> > > > > Throwing together an e-commerce site can be easy. But doing it
> well,
> > > > > ensuring you are PCI compliant, ensuring its stable, secure etc.
> etc.
> > > and
> > > > > making it user friendly both front and back end. That takes time
> and
> > > money.
> > > > > Even if we did all that we would still in end up using a third
> party
> > > > > payment gateway. To ensure the shop is viable and not a drain we
> need
> > > to
> > > > > keep it as efficient as possible.
> > > > >
> > > > > As Marc said Shopify may not be completely FLOSS but many of the
> > > frameworks
> > > > > that Shopify use in their hosted service are on available on Github
> > > [1] and
> > > > > I would encourage you to take a look.
> > > > >
> > > > > With regards to the URL, I as a customer would find a top 10
> website
> > > > > sending me to a third party URL for their shop highly suspicious
> and
> > I
> > > > > certainly could treat it with suspicion. Making it clear that it is
> > > hosted
> > > > > by shopify I think would at least improve the situation.
> > > > >
> > > > > Regards
> > > > >
> > > > > Seddon
> > > > >
> > > > > On Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 7:34 PM, Ricordisamoa
> > > > >  wrote:
> > > > > > Il 21/03/2016 13:14, Marc A. Pelletier ha scritto:
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >> On 2016-03-21 8:03 AM, Ricordisamoa wrote:
> > > > > >>>
> > > > > >>> As in [1] I'd like to know whether the use of Shopify is
> > > acceptable for
> > > > > a
> > > > > >>> FOSS-friendly organization. Thanks in advance.
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wmfall] Wikimedia Foundation executive transition update

2016-03-10 Thread Lisa Gruwell
 This is fantastic news for WMF and the movement!!  I am extremely grateful
to Katherine for stepping up to take this very difficult role at a very
challenging time.



Katherine is widely respected at WMF by staff and, in my opinion, is the
perfect person to lead us right now.  I have worked on the C-Team with
Katherine for two years now.  She is very smart and talented and has a
great open leaderships style that is in line with our values.



I think the board and the community will enjoy getting to know Katherine
better over the next few months. I don’t expect her to just keep the seat
warm . . . we can accomplish great things under Katherine’s leadership!



Onward,

Lisa Gruwell

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 7:23 PM, Rachel diCerbo <rdic...@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> This is excellent news! Thank you to the C-levels and Board for making
> this decision. Katherine, thank you for stepping up during this time.
> Looking forward to improving trust and transparency!
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 7:14 PM, Anna Stillwell <astillw...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
>> Katherine,
>>
>> You have my *full* support. So excited to build trust, a good vibe, and
>> over achieve. :)
>>
>> Warmly,
>> /a
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 7:05 PM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> A very positive move. Thank you Katherine for agreeing to step up and
>>> take
>>> on this role. You have my full confidence :-)
>>>
>>> James
>>>
>>> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 8:01 PM, Pharos <pharosofalexand...@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> > Congratulations, Katherine!
>>> >
>>> > She is an excellent choice to navigate us through for this difficult
>>> time.
>>> >
>>> > Thanks,
>>> > Pharos
>>> >
>>> > On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 9:55 PM, Patricio Lorente <
>>> > patricio.lore...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > > Hello all,
>>> > >
>>> > > I’m happy to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation leadership team
>>> has
>>> > > proposed an interim Executive Director, and the Board has given our
>>> full
>>> > > support. Starting on March 14th, current Chief Communications Officer
>>> > > Katherine Maher (
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Katherine_(WMF))
>>> > > will
>>> > > step into the role of interim Executive Director. We thank the
>>> C-levels
>>> > for
>>> > > their careful consideration in this process, and Katherine for
>>> stepping
>>> > up
>>> > > during this period of transition.
>>> > >
>>> > > In choosing an interim ED, the C-levels started by identifying
>>> immediate
>>> > > priorities for the coming months, including building trust, improving
>>> > > communications, and filling key leadership positions. They felt, and
>>> we
>>> > > agree, that Katherine is the right person to lead the organization
>>> while
>>> > it
>>> > > addresses these and other important issues. Additionally, this will
>>> allow
>>> > > the rest of the executive team to focus on critical organizational
>>> > > functions, including community and engineering management,
>>> fundraising,
>>> > and
>>> > > strengthening our human resources function. You can read more about
>>> our
>>> > > process and thinking here:
>>> > >
>>> > >
>>> >
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/March_2016_-_Leadership_Team_transition_planning
>>> > >
>>> > >
>>> > > Katherine has been with the Foundation as Chief Communications
>>> Officer
>>> > for
>>> > > about two years now. During that time, she has developed a versatile
>>> and
>>> > > effective team that serves the needs of the organization and
>>> movement,
>>> > > collaborating closely with other departments and the community. She
>>> has
>>> > > thoughtfully introduced new capacities and led her team through
>>> > > transitions, and played a critical role in shepherding the strategy
>>> > process
>>> > > and the annual plan, in collaboration with other C-levels. She is
>>> known
>>> > for
>>> > > listening to and empowering the people that she works wi

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Can we see the Knight grant application and grant offer?

2016-02-11 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi All-

The funder has agreed to share the Knowledge Engine grant agreement.  Here
are the links to that document and other relevant communication about the
Discovery team's work:

1) Knowledge Engine Grant Agreement
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/File:Knowledge_engine_grant_agreement.pdf>
2) Statement from Lila on her talk page and discussion
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:LilaTretikov_(WMF)#Knowledge_Engine_grant>
3) Discovery FAQ <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Discovery/FAQ>

Thank you,
Lisa Gruwell

On Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 1:03 AM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> My impression of this whole situation with the Knight Foundation is that
> the WMF's strong tendency toward closed-door and closed-loop processes are
> hurting WMF more than helping it. If WMF had been transparent with the
> community about this situation in the first place and a consultation with
> the community had happened as negotiations were underway with Knight, I am
> wondering if a mutually agreeable solution could have been created at that
> time. Now we're in the midst of a lot of skepticism, suspicion, and
> political difficulties.
>
> Perhaps after the experiences of the past few months WMF governance will
> re-align itself with the value of openness.
>
> Hope springs eternal,
>
> Pine
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[Wikimedia-l] Seddon joins the Advancement team

2016-02-09 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi All-


I am happy to announce that Joseph Seddon (User:Seddon) has joined the
Advancement team to lead up our Community Engagement! Many of you have been
asking for us to add a position like this to our team and we are thrilled
that Seddon agreed to join us because he has both a deep understanding of
the community and of our team’s work.

Many of you may already know Seddon, as he has been a Wikipedian since
2006, twice former WMUK trustee, and has helped the Fundraising team as a
contractor (on and off) since 2011. Seddon will be a first point of contact
for the community on all fundraising and partnerships work.  Rest assured,
all of us on the fundraising team will still be engaged with the community
on meta, this list, etc.  Seddon will simply be leading the effort in terms
communication and collaboration and making us better.


Welcome (back) Seddon!


Best,

Lisa Gruwell

P.S. For those of you who have never met him, here's an intro is his own
words:

Having been involved in the chapters, online community or working for the
foundation in some shape or form since 2007, I have stood on pretty much on
all sides of all the fences and even found myself straddling one or two in
that time. That has given me a pretty unique perspective in terms of
fundraising within the movement and one that I hope will serve both the
community and my colleagues well going forward. On a more personal note,
I’m based near London but originally from Wales. Interests include Rugby,
Formula 1 and Cooking and prefer the hills to the city.

If you ever have any questions relating to any of the work the Advancement
department does then feel free to drop me a message on my talk page [1], by
email [2] or right here on this list.

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jseddon_(WMF)
[2] jseddon at wikimedia.org
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[Wikimedia-l] Endowment Update

2016-01-14 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi all-

As you may have seen today, we announcing the Wikimedia Endowment as a part
of WIkipedia’s 15th birthday.

I want to thank everyone who engaged on meta
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Endowment_Essay> to help us think
through the initial decisions regarding the endowment.  Here is a summary
of the steps we have taken so far:


   1.

   We are announcing the endowment today!  For more information, please
   read the announcement
   
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikipedia_celebrates_15_years_of_free_knowledge>
   .
   2.

   The purpose of this endowment is to act as a permanent safekeeping fund
   to generate income to ensure a base level of support for the Wikimedia
   projects in perpetuity.  It will not fully fund WMF’s work, so it is not a
   replacement for annual fundraising, but it will supplement it in the
   future.  We are setting the initial goal at $100 million over 10 years.
   There is a strategic distinction between the endowment and the annual
   fundraising effort.  The endowment will help ensure that Wikipedia lives
   forever; It will enable us to fulfill the part of our mission
   <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Mission_statement> that says we
   will provide support to the projects in perpetuity.  Our annual fundraising
   campaigns aim to fund the work we are doing in the coming year and sustain
   the operating reserve.
   3.

   The Wikimedia Endowment has been established as a Collective Action Fund
   at Tides Foundation <https://www.tides.org/> as a permanent,
   income-generating fund to support the Wikimedia projects. Tides has over 40
   years of experience administering funds for nonprofits and helping to
   launch such efforts.  They often serve as fiscal sponsors for organizations
   when they are first starting out and will be providing administrative
   support to the Wikimedia Endowment.  The endowment will be independent from
   WMF but an Advisory Board, nominated by the WMF and appointed by Tides,
   will make recommendations to Tides related to the endowment.  We have the
   option in the future to transfer the endowment out of Tides to the WMF or
   to a new charitable entity. The endowment will continue to be a permanent,
   income-generating fund to support the Wikimedia projects under any entity.
   For now, we feel Tides is a great, cost effective place to start and we
   will look at other options when the endowment reaches critical mass.
   4.

   We have hired an Endowment Director, Marc Brent.  Marc is an experienced
   fundraiser, having worked at Harvard University and Code for America.  Marc
   is excited to lead this effort and we are thrilled that he has joined us!
   5.

   We are using the gift from Jim Pacha
   <http://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/05/12/the-story-of-jim-pacha/> to start
   the endowment.  This was Jim’s request.  He asked us that if we ever
   started an endowment to please move his gift from the reserve to the
   endowment.  We are happy to be able to honor his wishes and to start the
   endowment with Jim’s generous and inspirational gift.


There is still a lot to figure out about the endowment over the next few
months. Marc or I will be posting some more questions on the discussion
page on meta to get your thoughts on this next set of decisions. (I just
added a new question related to governance
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Endowment_Essay>.)

Thank you to everyone who helped inform our thinking.  We have lots of work
ahead of us to make this successful and I hope you continue to help us
going forward.

Best regards,

Lisa Gruwell
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] (no subject)

2015-12-03 Thread Lisa Gruwell
We agree with you that WMF fundraising should not use stock photography.
This was a mistake by a designer.  We specify in our contracts with outside
designers that the images used should be custom artwork that WMF owns (and
can then share) or freely licensed images.  We pulled that banner yesterday
and asked our designers for a new custom image that we can freely license.
We are running another banner with a custom light bulb image at 100% now.
This artwork will be added to Commons.   We also have a few new banners
featuring some beautiful Commons images that are under development:   Stars

, Penguin

 Thank
you for pointing this out to us.



Best,

Lisa

On Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 10:58 AM, Rob  wrote:

> I don't think this rises to the level of outrage, but it's a little
> important.  The goal of the WMF should be to promote free and open
> content, and this adds to the perception that the WMF is disconnected
> from those goals and the community.  I don't care if they use a stock
> photo if they need to, but when they have smart, capable, and creative
> people like Victor Grigas on staff, they can certainly manage to
> photograph a cup of coffee and release it as a CC photo to set a good
> example for the community and movement.
>
> On Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 4:41 AM, Gerard Meijssen
>  wrote:
> > Hoi,
> > It is that time of year where money is asked from the people. Arguably we
> > would do more when the Wikimedia foundation was not so FF-ing Wikipedia
> > centred.The arguments for not giving Wikisource have passed their sell by
> > date and usability for exposing its wonderful work is imho a
> disfigurement
> > on the resume of the WMF (among others). This is a cheap one to fix. It
> > makes sense to fix it as I understand sources are part of "Wikimedia
> Zero"
> > and it would make a world of a difference when the sources can actually
> be
> > found.
> >
> > Unicef among others has fundraising campaigns for education because it is
> > not its most important priority. As long as kids die because of lack of
> > food, safe water, preventable disease and temperature it is obvious why.
> > Such an excuse the WMF does not have. It could ask for additional funding
> > for Wikisource, for Wikidata for ... and it would have a solid argument.
> > Thanks,
> >   GerardM
> >
> > On 3 December 2015 at 10:25, Andrea Zanni 
> wrote:
> >
> >> On Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 10:09 AM, Pine W  wrote:
> >>
> >> > Under the redesigned grants scheme, WMF Project grants might be able
> to
> >> > help with this kind of software development work for Commons and/or
> >> > Wikisource. I happen to know a developer here in Cascadia who might be
> >> > interested, either as an individual or in association with a Wikimedia
> >> > affiliate, in doing this kind of work on a grant or contract basis.
> >> >
> >> > Pinging Kacie for comment about possible grant funding. (:
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Hi Pine, thanks for the comment.
> >> I understand what you mean, and I do believe there is space to work on
> >> Wikisource via grants, BUT.
> >>
> >> But I already did a Individual Engagement Grant in 2013 (with David
> Cuenca)
> >> regarding Wikisource.
> >> It was great, but IEGs don't give you staff time. So me and David used
> >> Google Summer of Code, and we mentored 4 projects: if I'm not mistaken,
> >> only one was really finished, meaning it produced concrete results on
> >> Wikisource. Others stopped before (for example, two dedicated mediawiki
> >> extensions were not put in production). Within the IEG, we made a big
> >> survey among Wikisource communities, to develop a wishlist and a roadmap
> >> for WS communities. We set up a Wikisource Community User Group. We
> talked
> >> and talked. Bugs were and are reported, from years. Two weeks ago, we
> >> convened the very first internationl Wikisource conference, in Vienna,
> >> hosted by Wikimedia Austria (3 members from WMF were there, and we had a
> >> great and productive time, reports will follow).
> >>
> >> I've personally been involved in all of these efforts, so I've also seen
> >> that real impact of Wikisource infrastructure (core WS extension,
> design,
> >> interface, performance, development) has been minimal. I don't really
> want
> >> to have this conversation here and now, but I have had a fair amount of
> >> experience in this to say that until the WMF (or some affiliate big
> enough
> >> and high enough in the software pipeline) commit to WS, change won't
> >> magically happen by itself. We have practically one real volunteer
> >> developer, and he's full of work to do (also, I already asked him if he
> >> would like to receive a grant to work on certain issues, and he can't,
> and
> >> he's the only one who could do that, thanks to his unique 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banner (again)

2015-12-02 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Chris-

A quick clarification on the invert numbers you mentioned.  These results
are on slide 27.  Here they are:

"I don't mind when I see fundraising messages on Wikipedia."
67% agree, 20% disagree, 12% had no opinion

"I am not annoyed when I see fundraising messages on Wikipedia."
55% agree, 27% disagree, 18% had no opinion

Thank you,
Lisa

On Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 10:53 AM, Chris Keating 
wrote:

> Yes, I also thought that was interesting. To invert the presentation of the
> statistics, 33% of users did mind the banners and 45% were irritated by
> them. These are actually quite high numbers in my view.
>
> (Not to say that the decision to proceed with these banners is wrong, which
> is a much more complicated topic, and full credit to the fundraising team
> for firstly conducting and secondly publishing this research).
>
> On Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 6:39 PM, Chris Koerner  wrote:
>
> > In light of this recent conversation I found this quote to be of
> interest.
> >
> > "Wikipedia readers tend not to be bothered by the fundraising messages
> they
> > see on Wikipedia. Two-thirds (67%) say they don’t mind them, and a
> majority
> > (55%) say they are not annoyed by these messages. Roughly equal shares of
> > readers do (44%) and don’t (41%) pay attention to these messages,
> according
> > to their self-reports."
> >
> > From
> >
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wikimedia_Reader_Survey_November_2015.pdf
> >
> > I'm merely presenting for reference.
> >
> > Yours,
> > Chris Koerner
> > clkoerner.com
> > ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banner (again)

2015-12-02 Thread Lisa Gruwell
I thought this might be a good point in the conversation to share some of
the comments we have received from donors over the past day and a half. I
think they really appreciate all of your work:


Wikipedia has provided an unfathomable outlet for the inexhaustible chorus
of "why? why? why?" that has run through my brain since I was old enough to
think. I also believe its a factor in why I am currently in the eligible
Jeopardy! contestant pool. In short, thanks Wikipedia.

Wikipedia helps me almost daily, I cannot count the number of times me and
friends have been debating the answer to life, the universe and everything
(42, in case you were wondering!) and Wikipedia has dispelled the
discrepancies in one or more of our arguments. Thanks to wiki, we have been
able to convince each other we were wrong, and educate on topics we have
never considered. Wiki is very important, and for this I will continue to
donate as long as I can afford to. The more the world has open access to
information for free, the sooner mankind will get along. Wikipedia is
making the world a better place one article at a time. Thank you.

I've had a roadrunner and wild turkey with poults in my yard and I've used
Wiki to obtain information about them.

There was a time I used to get embarrassed due to lack of general
knowledge. Wikipedia gave me confidence. Thank you.

well, over time, using it became a reflex, like breathing but when i pause
to think about it, it is one of the source of knowledge I use most and I am
the better for it.

It's one of a tiny number of fund raising calls that I respond to. The
charter or quest of Wikipedia , I think is among the highest ideals that
humans can aspire to.

Wikipedia is the first point of call for any research i am performing,
especially on a new subject. It has been a life-saver on more than one
occasions

Wikipedia is part of my information ecosystem. It's like a road map for new
intellectual territory.

There was (more than) one time when I needed to know if some dumb obscure
TV actor from the 70s was still alive and Wikipedia was there for me. Plus
all the other times when I just need a quick bit of info: size of a
country's population, name of a president, details about a math function;
it's endless.

Helped me with my uni degree, gave me medical information on health
problems, let me learn new things about animals that I like :D Helps me
answer questions from my kid about the world that I want to give her, but
don't know the answers to

I think you're the only organisation that can fundraise that way and you
deserve it.

My older sister doesn't have a computer (she's 82), so we talk on the phone
and I look up stuff for her. It's a nice way to spend time with her, and it
brings us together

As a journalist and travel writer, this online research is often my first
port of call. For a quick scan of even just the most basic information
about a topic, I used to have to walk down to the basement of the national
television building I worked in to ask the archivist to dig out a series of
reference books that applied to my topic. Sometimes the books were already
in use by someone else, which meant I had to wait even longer or beg the
person to share the book with me. Now, I just Google it and often end up on
Wikipedia. While I always still double check everything I read on these
pages and use other sources for my actual fact finding, it no longer takes
hours or days to get started with my research

I've lost many bets because of wikipedia. So because of you I have looked
stupider than if you didn't exist

Wikipedia is the first step in any student's research. When it comes to
education, Wikipedia is the real MVP!

As a student, Wikipedia is a goldmine. I love you guys.

I use it for everything from government and politics to celebrities and tv
shows to authors and books. There's a facebook group I'm a part of called
"Cool Freaks' Wikipedia Club." People post weird, strange, interesting
wikipedia pages they've found. Basically, wikipedia is awesome! (I'd really
love there to be an accuracy scale though, since I usually end up
researching stuff after I read the wikipedia page, just to make sure it's
correct.)

I'm an engineer. I was not the smartest nor the dumbest in uni. I was
average and over the years I forget concepts/theories/formulae all the time
and I use Wikipedia to give my memory the nudge it needs to get back on
track. Thank you.

It is my main source of information.

Taking AP Physics in high school I would constantly get confused with all
of the unites and what they actually measured. Joules, watts, newton's,
difference between power and work. Lucky wiki saved that day with wonderful
articles that explained what everything meant. It helped me solidify my
foundation in physics, helping me to conquer a college level class at the
age of 16.

Keeps Me from lying awake at night wondering about past events & historical
data

it is just just always super handy

I see Wikipedia as my 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banner (again)

2015-12-02 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Pine-

We are definitely trying to disrupt the user experience as little as
possible, while still reaching the fundraising target. It is a bit of a
balancing act. We have looked into the issue of the size of the banner
some.  Of course, A/B tests show the larger banners raise more donations,
more quickly.  We have also looked into reader opinions of the
intrusiveness of the banner.  Readers found the larger banners only
slightly more intrusive than the smaller ones.  Those findings are here
(slide 24):
 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Wikimedia_2014_English_Fundraiser_Survey.pdf=24


We also know that most donors give the very first time they see a banner.
The donation rate drops off significantly on each subsequent impression, so
lengthening the campaign has a diminished return.  Here is the data on that
from last December:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Fundraising_Quarterly_Review_-_Q2-1415.pdf=12


With these learnings, we use a large banner on the first impressions and
then switch to the smaller banner for later impressions.  Not everyone
visits the site everyday, so the first banner impressions happen over the
course of weeks.

Also, we have a new banner running now – with a lightbulb graphic.  Let us
know what you think.

Thank you,
Lisa

On Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 1:21 PM, Pine W  wrote:

> Thanks Lisa.
>
> More directly on the topic of fundraising banners, I appreciate that the
> wording has been tweaked this year to address the major integrity concerns.
> I can appreciate that fundraising is necessary for Wikipedia. It would be
> nice to disrupt the user experience as little as possible, so one issue I
> think should get a look going forward (if it hasn't already) is the size of
> the banner in proportion to viewer screen size. Others have mentioned the
> color issue. I suppose that the trick is to get the reader's attention
> while minimizing the disruption to the content experience. It seems to me
> that a moderately longer campaign in exchange for less intrusive banners
> might be a good tradeoff.
>
> I'm also continuing to hope that WMF will have a top-line budget freeze for
> next year, which could take some pressure off of the online campaigns to
> continue to grow income.
>
> Pine
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[Wikimedia-l] Endowment Discussion

2015-11-30 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi all-

For several years, the Wikimedia movement has been having discussions
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Endowment> about whether and when to begin
building an endowment. I put an essay up on meta recently in an attempt to
rekindle this conversation with the community.  We included launching an
endowment in the FY 2015-16 annual plan.  We also plan to have this
conversation as a part of the larger strategic planning process because
building an endowment means prioritizing some future needs over some
current needs.

Before we can begin to support an endowment, there is strategic groundwork
that should be completed to ensure that the effort is both thoughtful and
successful. To help get the conversation moving, I seeded the discussion
page with a few questions that we are hoping you will help us answer.
Please add the questions I didn't think to ask, too. We'd appreciate
hearing your thoughts on this and your help in thinking through some of the
strategic questions.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Endowment_Essay
Best regards,

Lisa Gruwell
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising Update

2015-11-22 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Peter-

Yes, we have mockups of the banners on the Fundraising Ideas
<>
page on meta. We will be making further refinements and possibly adding a
couple more banners this week.

Thank you,
Lisa

On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 10:01 PM, Peter Southwood <
peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:

> Are these new improved banners available for inspection and comment?
> Cheers,
> Peter
>
> -Original Message-
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> Behalf Of Megan Hernandez
> Sent: Friday, 20 November 2015 10:07 PM
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising Update
>
> Hi all,
>
>
> We are just a few weeks away from the launch of the December English
> fundraiser.  The end of the year is the most critical time of the year for
> Wikimedia’s fundraising: The goal this year is $25 million.  The campaign
> will launch in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland on
> Giving Tuesday , December
> 1st.
>
> In these past months of preparation, we have relied on feedback from the
> volunteer community, readers, and staff through discussion pages, feedback
> sessions, phone calls, interviews, user testing, surveys and A/B tests.
> Thank you to everyone for participating! It has truly been a helpful
> experience and wonderful to hear from so many voices from all different
> parts of the movement.
>
> In just the last two weeks, an independent research firm conducted a new
> survey of Wikipedia readers. (You may remember that we did a similar survey
> last February.) We heard from you last spring that there were some
> additional concerns that you would like us to explore with readers.  We
> tried to look into those concerns in this survey. We have uploaded the
> survey report on Commons <
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Wikimedia_Reader_Survey_November_2015.pdf
> >
> for anyone who is interested in reading it. We have also setup a section
> on the Fundraising Meta page <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fundraising#Reader_Survey_November_2015
> >
> to discuss the survey.
>
> The feedback from readers, the volunteer community and staff has been
> critical to shape the campaign. Several improvements have been made so far
> as a direct result of this input.  We have changed a few specific sentences
> of the message that were discussed heavily on meta pages and also tried a
> variety of design ideas based on comments.
>
> We also have some fresh banner ideas that came about through a recent
> workshop with staff.  We will be testing those new banner ideas in small
> runs throughout the campaign as well.  And we’re still gathering ideas! To
> see the latest version of the message and submit your ideas, please visit
> the fundraising ideas meta page <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas>.
>
> Since last year, we have made improvements to our banner targeting and
> analytics systems with the goal of raising the budget, while limiting the
> number of banners and disruption for our readers. We aim to run the
> campaign for roughly two weeks at a high traffic level and then at a much
> reduced level for the rest of December.
>
> The fundraising team faces a great challenge this year: the highest
> revenue target in WMF history along with a decline in page views –
> particularly in desktop pageviews where readers are more likely to donate.
> The team has and will continue to work hard to make improvements needed to
> reach this goal.
> We cannot do this alone.  Thank you to everyone who has offered input,
> expertise, time and energy into helping make this fundraiser a success.
>
> We look forward to your ideas and questions. Since the team experiences an
> incredibly high volume of seasonal work, we will not be able to respond
> immediately to questions or feedback.  We will review feedback and bug
> reports regularly and we have dedicated time to post an update by
> mid-December and again at the end of the campaign.  Here’s how to get
> involved:
>
>-
>
>To file a bug report or technical issue, please create a phabricator
>ticket
><
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/maniphest/task/create/?template=118862>
>or email problemsdonat...@wikimedia.org
>-
>
>To see the latest news from the team, see the fundraising meta page
>
>-
>
>To suggest a banner idea, visit the test ideas meta page
>
>-
>
>To read the latest reader survey, see the
><
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Wikimedia_Reader_Survey_November_2015.pdf
> >full
>report on commons
><
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Wikimedia_Reader_Survey_November_2015.pdf
> >
>-
>
>To learn more about the fundraising 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update

2015-10-29 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Sure, Pine.  I am happy offer some thoughts:

The two main challenges for the online fundraising team are the decrease in
page views in the countries where we raise the most funds and the shift
from desktop to mobile, where the donation rate and the donation size are
much smaller.  In response to this, we estimate that we will need a
campaign that performs approximately 20 percent better than last year –
just to keep revenue constant – not to grow.


Leila is right that page views are not a perfect indicator.  Page views do
not donate, people do.  We know page views are going down but we do not
know who is leaving us. Still, we *are* seeing an impact on donations from
a decrease in page views.  This is the second big fundraising season where
we have been up against a page view decline.  Last year, we responded with
a dramatic shift in tactics.  This year, we are focusing on finding smaller
refinements that will get us there.  The good news is that we are getting
close!  And, I think the online fundraising team is working in earnest to
engage with community members and other staff who have ideas around the
message.  Some ideas have been incorporated into the campaign, others not.
The process has been helpful to us and I hopefully not too disappointing
for you.  For what it is worth, the team does not use the vast majority of
my ideas – and I respect them for that. :)


There are some concerns around the urgency of the message that we are still
trying to work through.  To be honest, we haven’t seen this surface in past
research or when we talk to our donors.  Still, we recognize that we may
not have been asking the right questions or framing it right. We care a lot
that that we are giving an accurate impression about our need for
donations.  So, we have drilled down on this more in our research to better
understand what our readers think on this topic.  We should have more to
share on that in a week or two.


The concerns raised about the size of the budget and the rate of growth of
the organization need to involve more people than just fundraising.  We
will give our perspectives on what is happening with the “topline” as a
part of a larger planning conversation.


Best,


Lisa Gruwell

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 11:12 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Fundraising folks, can we get an update in response to the concerns raised
> in this thread?
>
> Thanks,
> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wiki Loves Monuments] Wiki Loves Monuments in Italy largely blocked by WMF fundraising

2015-08-21 Thread Lisa Gruwell
I know the Italian Chapter, the online fundraising team, and community
liaisons have been talking about solutions for a while and I won’t get in
the way of that, but I thought I would offer a few ideas on some of the
online organizing tactics being discussed here.  This probably falls in the
category of unsolicited advice and it might be bad advice at that.  To
quote a good song, “It’s bad advice only if you use it.”

On the topic of limiting impressions,  I agree that the fundraising use
case is different than WLM organizing.  I am still fairly sure that there
has to something more effective than running a full-time banner for a
month.  It would take testing a bunch of ideas to figure that out and
Central Notice has much more capacity now to test different things.  We are
happy to help brainstorm ideas for that if anyone wanted.

I understand that WLM’s has a common organizing challenge in that it’s a
couple step process for participation.  Would it make sense to prioritize a
“Sign up” or “Enter the Contest” feature on the landing pages that asks
people to submit their email addresses, so that you can followup with
them?  I mention this because online fundraising has experimented with a
“Remind me later” feature on mobile where we have people enter their email
addresses, so that we can send them a followup fundraising email. It has
had some good results. It seems like having email addresses for followup
would help keep people engaged in WLM and you could also reach out to them
next year.

Lastly, we could add an appeal to participate in WLM to the thank you email
we send to donors in Italy.  We would be happy to do it, if it’s useful.

Best regards,

Lisa

On Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 5:20 AM, Romaine Wiki romaine.w...@gmail.com
wrote:

 This is not the first time this conflict appears, but this is the worst
 outcome ever so far. In all the years I have been asking for an explanation
 why it is not possible to move it, or why it is urgently to do it in
 September, nothing reasonable has been provided for that. Nothing in all
 those years.

 If a fundraising banner has a big negative influence on a project, I think
 it is time to have the community involved and have them speak out what they
 think about the situation. As FR only speaks to a few people, they seem to
 have the impression that they can freely decide without taking the
 community in account. I think it will be time to have the community speak
 out what they think in a request for comment/voting or something on Meta.
 Anyone an idea or the experience how to set such up?

 Romaine

 2015-08-20 13:26 GMT+02:00 MF-Warburg mfwarb...@googlemail.com:

  Which is Fundraising's point? I haven't seen anything here about why WMF
 so
  urgently needs to request Italian donations in September.
  Am 20.08.2015 07:27 schrieb Risker risker...@gmail.com:
 
   I can understand the frustration that members of WMIT are expressing
  here,
   but I also see Fundraising's point.  I wonder if there are not some
 other
   options that could be considered.  For example, instead of a banner,
   perhaps a big bright button on the sidebar that says Upload images for
   Wiki Loves Monuments here! may be technically feasible.  It's not
 quite
   the equivalent of a banner, but it does address the wayfinding issue at
   least.  (I think that's possibly the biggest downside of not having the
  WLM
   banners in rotation.)
  
   Let's give ourselves permission to think outside the box a bit here;
 both
   of these activities are valuable and important to our movement, each of
   them have different but viable reasons for wanting to proceed during
 that
   specific period. There are a lot of smart people reading this mailing
  list.
   I'd like to think between the several-hundred of us we might be able to
   come up with a solution that works to accommodate both groups.
  
   Risker/Anne
  
   On 20 August 2015 at 01:19, Romaine Wiki romaine.w...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  
Yes, Andrew is right. Navigation is a very important focus point of
organising every Wiki Loves Monuments.
   
The complexity of the navigation is that MediaWiki and the whole
 group
  of
Wikimedia wikis is not designed for navigation, but designed for
  showing
content. In the past eight years small improvements have been made in
   this
field, but in general speaking it is still not easy to navigate for
 the
majority of the people.
   
Romaine
   
2015-08-19 20:45 GMT+02:00 Andrea Zanni zanni.andre...@gmail.com:
   
 I think Andrew is right: the WLM banner serves as a pointer, and
 it's
very
 easy to remember go on Wikipedia and click into the banner on the
   top.
 It's much more difficult to remember the strange name of the
 contest
   (in
 Italy it's still called Wiki Loves Monuments, even if it's
  English).

 And of course we do not have good analytics for the banner: nobody
   knows
 homw many page views there are in a single wiki per day, so 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Most obnoxious banner yet

2015-01-16 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Andreas-

Thanks for the questions. There are lots of differences between the 2013
and 2014 campaigns and there are many variables at play here.  One big
difference is mobile.  In 2013, we were just experimenting with mobile.  In
2014, we launched a mobile campaign a week after we launched the desktop
campaign.  We also had a more successful email campaign this year, which we
delivered in small batches nearly everyday.  Also, the data you are looking
at includes foundations and major gifts as well.  There is a lot going on
there besides just desktop donations this year.  We look forward to sharing
more on all of this in our upcoming report.

Best,
Lisa

On Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 4:10 PM, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 9:11 PM, Megan Hernandez mhernan...@wikimedia.org
 
 wrote:

  Hi all,
 
  Here's a quick follow up on a couple issues from this thread.
 
  The fundraising team will be posting feedback analysis on March 1.
 


 Thanks, Megan. I look forward to your feedback analysis.



  To clear up some confusion around the duration of the campaign, we ran
  banners to 100% traffic for the first two weeks of December.  We limited
  the impressions per reader for two weeks before turning the traffic back
 up
  to 100% for a final year-end push. This is very similar to the campaign
  schedule in December 2013.



 Yes, though I would say that the figures for Dec 2 to Dec 31 2013, as given
 in the yeardata-day-vs-sum.csv spreadsheet at
 https://frdata.wikimedia.org/, exhibit
 a somewhat different pattern from those for the same period in 2014.

 If you compare the columns for the two years, the relative drop in daily
 takings from Dec 17 onward was significantly smaller in 2014 than in 2013.
 This suggests to me that the number of impressions delivered on those days
 probably remained higher in 2014 than it did in 2013.

 The total for Dec 25 (Christmas), for example, was $377,751.86 in 2014, vs.
 $108,304.01 in 2013.

 Summing the first and second halves of the month, starting on Dec 2,
 takings in 2013 were

 $13,675,900.28 in the period Dec 2 to Dec 16 (note Dec 2 was before the
 campaign and had a low total)
 $04,864,577.57 in the period Dec 17 to Dec 31

 Thus in 2013, takings in the second half of December dropped to 35.6% of
 the total for the first half.

 In 2014, on the other hand, takings were

 $20,602,217.70 in the period Dec 2 to Dec 16 (Dec 2 was part of the
 campaign)
 $10,005,446.51 in the period Dec 17 to Dec 31

 Takings in the second half of December 2014 thus ran at 48.6% of the total
 for the first half.

 Similar indeed, but also different.



  To check out the updates we posted throughout
  the campaign, take a look at the latest updates section of the
  fundraising meta page for more information:
 
  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#Latest_Updates
 



 There is no doubt that Wikipedia generates an enormous amount of goodwill,
 which the Foundation is monetising very effectively. But to balance the
 enthusiastic quotes from readers provided on the update page, I could also
 show you quotes from donors who felt betrayed once they saw the 2013/2014
 financial statement[1], with its $51 million in cash/cash equivalents and
 investments.

 Andreas

 [1]

 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/e/e3/FINAL_13_14From_KPMG.pdf#page=4




  If you have a specific technical issue to address, please send it
 directly
  to use at don...@wikimedia.org or to phabricator at
  https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/view/363/ (project is called
  #wikimedia-fundraising). We receive a lot of feedback from readers and
  volunteers, so we try to make it easy for different audiences to connect
  with us. Most of them do not have phabricator accounts, so the email
  feedback channel is critical.   We really appreciate feedback and help
  testing our setup.
 
  Megan
 
 
 
  On Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 9:44 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:
 
   We now have at least a partial understanding of the reason the
  fundraising
   campaign was extended, which is found in the minutes of the Board of
   Trustees meeting of November 2014.[1]
  
   Board members asked Lila and Lisa to consider and evaluate ways to
 raise
   additional revenue to increase the reserve for future needs of the
   organization and movement, including the possibility of adjustments in
   fundraising methods as appropriate. 
  
  
  
   Risker/Anne
  
   [1]
  
  
 
 https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2014-11-21#Executive_Update_from_Fundraising
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  --
 
  Megan Hernandez
 
  Director of Online Fundraising
  Wikimedia Foundation
  

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising in the UK

2014-12-08 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Russavia-

Thanks for clarification. There is a lot of room for confusion here and I
sure I have not been as clear when talking about this as I needed to be.
Here are the details: The pricing structure is based on cumulative
donations.  We paid 20% on the first £100 in donations (which was covered
with our very first donation), 10% on the next £9899, and 1% on every
donation after that – which is the fee assessed on any donation made during
this December campaign that requests Gift Aid.  We will share the totals
after we receive our quarterly statement toward the end of February.  Sorry
for the confusion.

Thank you,
Lisa

On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 4:12 AM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com
wrote:

 Lisa,

 I posted a link to the WMF Board discussion to this list on 6 December,
 it's no problem if you missed it, here it is again:


 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard#Fundraising

 I quote from that:

 The [UK Fund for Charities channels gifts to validated non-UK based
 charities. We were able to use their service this year for large
 Wikimania-related donations. They charge 1% for large gifts, making this an
 effective way to receive gift aid. However this is not a great solution for
 individual donors: for gifts under £100, they charge up to 20%, consuming
 most of the gift aid. –SJ talk  00:28, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

 Given the nature of fundraising drives by the WMF (e.g banners) most of
 the donations from the UK would surely come from the under £100 category,
 and many of these donations would likely be made because of the gift aid
 that is no longer able to be collected by WMUK or the WMF.

 Hopefully you can give us some clear answers to the issues which have been
 raised on both the Board noticeboard and this list; myself and others feel
 we are still none the wiser as to the reality.

 Cheers

 Russavia



 On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 9:31 AM, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:

 Hi Russavia-

 I haven't seen the specific comment from SJ that you are referencing, but
 I am guessing that he is referring to the Gift Aid percentage match, which
 used to be 20% and is now 25%.  The 1% I mentioned is the processing fee
 WMF pays to the U.K. Fund for Charities for processing our donations.  We
 most often see large donors asking about Gift Aid and that is why we set up
 the account, but it is not exclusively for large donations.  We refer
 anyone who is wishing to add Gift Aid to their donation to our account with
 the U.K. Fund for Charities.

 When I said in country, I meant anyone wishing to give to the chapter,
 instead of WMF.  Those donations stay with the chapter and do not come back
 to WMF.  We should be able to provide some numbers around this when our
 donor services team comes up for air in January.

 Thank you,
 Lisa

 On Sun, Dec 7, 2014 at 12:33 AM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 Lisa

 On Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 2:56 AM, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:
 
  2)  When a U.K. donor is looking to add Gift Aid to their donation, we
  process the donation through our account with the U.K. Fund for
 Charities,
  which charges 1% for this service and returns the donor data to WMF.
 When
  a donor is looking to donate in country, we direct them to the chapter.

 Can you please confirm whether you are talking about large donors, or
 the every day type donors who keep Wikipedia free by clicking on the
 banners. The reason this is needed is that it contradicts what Sj has
 stated on the Board noticeboard, where a figure of 20% was mentioned
 for the nickel and dime donors (which come about by way of the
 banners, etc).

 Can you also give some further information on how many of these in
 country donors the WMF has sent WMUK's way? And what $/£ amount would
 we be talking about here? And are funds from these in country donors
 funnelled back to the WMF?

 Apologies if this is covered elsewhere.

 Russavia




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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising in the UK

2014-12-07 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Russavia-

I haven't seen the specific comment from SJ that you are referencing, but I
am guessing that he is referring to the Gift Aid percentage match, which
used to be 20% and is now 25%.  The 1% I mentioned is the processing fee
WMF pays to the U.K. Fund for Charities for processing our donations.  We
most often see large donors asking about Gift Aid and that is why we set up
the account, but it is not exclusively for large donations.  We refer
anyone who is wishing to add Gift Aid to their donation to our account with
the U.K. Fund for Charities.

When I said in country, I meant anyone wishing to give to the chapter,
instead of WMF.  Those donations stay with the chapter and do not come back
to WMF.  We should be able to provide some numbers around this when our
donor services team comes up for air in January.

Thank you,
Lisa

On Sun, Dec 7, 2014 at 12:33 AM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com
wrote:

 Lisa

 On Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 2:56 AM, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:
 
  2)  When a U.K. donor is looking to add Gift Aid to their donation, we
  process the donation through our account with the U.K. Fund for
 Charities,
  which charges 1% for this service and returns the donor data to WMF.
 When
  a donor is looking to donate in country, we direct them to the chapter.

 Can you please confirm whether you are talking about large donors, or
 the every day type donors who keep Wikipedia free by clicking on the
 banners. The reason this is needed is that it contradicts what Sj has
 stated on the Board noticeboard, where a figure of 20% was mentioned
 for the nickel and dime donors (which come about by way of the
 banners, etc).

 Can you also give some further information on how many of these in
 country donors the WMF has sent WMUK's way? And what $/£ amount would
 we be talking about here? And are funds from these in country donors
 funnelled back to the WMF?

 Apologies if this is covered elsewhere.

 Russavia

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising in the UK

2014-12-05 Thread Lisa Gruwell
You can find information on the tax deductibility of donations to WMF here:

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Tax_Deductibility/en#.C2.A0Netherlands

Quickly, to address a few points that have been raised:

1) Yes, donations to WMF are tax deductible in the Netherlands

2)  When a U.K. donor is looking to add Gift Aid to their donation, we
process the donation through our account with the U.K. Fund for Charities,
which charges 1% for this service and returns the donor data to WMF.  When
a donor is looking to donate in country, we direct them to the chapter.

Thank you,
Lisa Gruwell

On Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM, Chris Keating chriskeatingw...@gmail.com
wrote:

 Also, if anyone's interested in the latest news on Wikimedia UK's
 governance, do have a look at our most recent governance audit - further
 info here:


 https://blog.wikimedia.org.uk/2014/11/final-report-on-wikimedia-uk-governance-released/

 Some quotes include;

 *“The charity has very largely addressed the 50 recommendations found
 within the original review. WMUK has developed very quickly, and the
 charity has clearly put a lot of effort into ensuring that its governance
 now meets best practice expectations. It has a cohesive, skilled and
 experienced board in place. They have a clear understanding of the
 charity’s vision and mission”.*

 *“For the stage that Wikimedia is in its life cycle it compares well with
 similar UK charities. Its transparency about its procedures is a beacon of
 best practice, and its conflicts of interest procedures are robust and
 well-tested”.*

 Regards,

 Chris


 On Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 6:22 PM, Michael Maggs mich...@maggs.name wrote:

  Hi Nick
 
  Over the last few years the Foundation has decisively moved away from
  allowing local chapters to take part in the on-screen fundraiser,
  preferring to centralise the work in spite of the loss of the available
  local tax reliefs (such as Gift Aid in the UK).  Many chapters, including
  the UK, would have liked to have been part of the fundraiser, but the
  previous ED, Sue Gardner, determined that that would not be permitted.
  WMUK regretted that decision, and we responded to it here:
  https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Open_letter_to_Sue_Gardner.
 
  We accept that decisions such as these are entirely within the WMF's
  remit, and we are now actively working on improving our ability - as
  recommended by the Foundation and the FDC -  to seek charitable funds
  directly from local sources, on which we can reclaim Gift Aid.
 
  Best regards
 
  Michael
 
  
  Michael Maggs
  Chair, Wikimedia UK
 
   Nick Birse mailto:w...@nbir.se
  5 December 2014 17:28
 
  I don't want to be seen to be taking sides and don't intend to become
  embroiled in WMUK internal politics (which is why I've never joined the
  chapter).
 
  I've never received an explanation as to why around $500,000 of Gift Aid
  is
  out of reach and unavailable to either WMUK or WMF, despite asking this
 be
  dealt with at Wikimania 2014.
 
  Are there easily explainable circumstances, legislation changes or new
  rules which prevent donations to WMF to be processed in such a way as to
  be
  eligible to collect Gift Aid ?
 
  If not, why hasn't WMF set up a British office to collect this money in
  the
  UK and/or why isn't WMUK processing payments and collecting Gift Aid
 this
  year ? This is a significant portion of what WMF will spend in the UK
 (via
  WMUK's request from the FDC) and would have made up to $500,000
 available
  to spend elsewhere, either UK and/or globally.
 
  The Institute of Fundraising suggests overseas charities fundraising in
  the
  UK should find a British charity that can act as a strategic partner, or
  have a local office (see
  http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/guidance/
  about-fundraising/raising-money-for-charities-abroad/
  ). I understand the structure is quite different, but Greenpeace does
 this
  through the UK based Greenpeace Environmental Trust which is a
  registered
  charity and which can collect Gift Aid. The donations + Gift Aid are
 then
  passed to Greenpeace International in Amsterdam, and that funds things
  like the Rainbow Warrior.
 
  I would also appreciate analysis being conducted to see if the loss of
  Gift
  Aid has deterred people in the UK from donating, because not collecting
  Gift Aid is bad enough, but also losing donations would be entirely
  unforgivable.
 
  Kind Regards,
  Nick
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Fundraiser] fundraising blocked in Russia

2014-11-12 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hello rubin16,

We are not running fundraising in Russia at this time, but I want to assure
you that this was not a decision motivated by politics.

We take compliance with appropriate laws very seriously in everything we
do. Out of an abundance of caution, we're not fundraising in Russia right
now.

Of course, the fact that we are not fundraising in Russia does and will not
have any impact at all on how the WMF continues to support the Russian
language Wikipedia, its sister projects, and the Russian Wikimedian
community.

Thank you,
Lisa Gruwell

On Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 7:44 PM, rubin.happy rubin.ha...@gmail.com wrote:

 There were no recent changes in sanctions and I don't understand why this
 turn off in donations happened just now.

 Ideas about SWIFT kick out are not relevant here, as it was just a
 discussion some months ago but no such action happened.

 Furthermore, the sanctions were placed on particular companies and
 individuals, there were no prohibitions against all financial relations.
 So, I could understand if donations weren't accepted when they were sent
 via a couple of banks under sanctions, but I want to repeat that there is,
 for example, no prohibition to receive money from Russians.

 rubin16
 13 нояб. 2014 г. 4:01 пользователь David Gerard dger...@gmail.com
 написал:

  I'm presuming this is sanctions against Russia kicking in; all sorts
  of business has been stopped dead in its tracks, not just charity
  donations. There's even serious moves to kick Russia out of the SWIFT
  network:
 
 http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-09-04/ultimate-sanction-barring-russian-banks-from-swift-money-system
  It strikes me as quite unlikely that there's anything at all WMF can
  actually do about this. Possibly it could have been handled better,
  but that won't change the fact.
 
  On 13 November 2014 00:12, Craig Franklin cfrank...@halonetwork.net
  wrote:
   I'm sure that you're correct here Joseph, but this is another example I
   think where the Foundation should have notified the relevant chapter
   *before* taking the action, so that they would be ready when the
  questions
   started rolling in.
  
   Unfortunately, I think we're getting back to the bad old days of
 chapter
   and user group press contacts being the last people to find out about
   potentially controversial issues like this.
  
   Regards,
   Craig Franklin
   (personal view only)
  
  
   On 13 November 2014 10:07, Joseph Seddon josephsed...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  
   I would hate to preclude any answer from the foundation. However the
  laws
   that govern the foundation are that of the US. Given the previous and
   renewed ongoing palaver with Ukraine and the presence of economic
  sanctions
   and the increasing likelihood of on top of what is already present, I
   imagine this related to that.
  
   Im not sure of what legal risks accepting such donations would expose
  the
   foundation to. However such precautions have been made in the past
  relating
   to unrest.
  
   Its no slight on the country or its individuals, just a precautionary
   measure.
  
   Seddon
On 12 Nov 2014 19:48, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com
  wrote:
  
   rubin.happy, 12/11/2014 18:48:
  
   We received some alerts from our users that donations are now
 blocked
   when user is from Russia:
  
  http://habrastorage.org/files/31b/b1f/ec9/31bb1fec9b9e45abb6ac4babcc2371
   84.png
  
  
   Thanks for the information. Everyone can see the same warning by
  clicking
   the Russia link in
 https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Ways_to_Give
   Through what channels are donations blocked? Did anyone try sending a
   wire to the EU (SEPA) account (IBAN GB54CHAS60924241034640), or a
  PayPal
   donation?
  
   Nemo
  
   P.s.: ROTFLOL Please email don...@wikimedia.org for more
 information
  on
   how to make a bank transfer to the Wikimedia Foundation. In case
  someone
   forgets there is an ocean between Europe and USA.
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising reports after 2011

2014-10-05 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Thanks for the timely question!  We are actually just double checking the
numbers in our FY 2013-14 Fundraising Report right now.  We are aiming to
publish it toward the end of the week.

On Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 6:56 AM, rupert THURNER rupert.thur...@gmail.com
wrote:

 that would be indeed valuable information.

 rupert


 On Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
 nemow...@gmail.com wrote:
  Since 2012 it's almost impossible to get information about the WMF
  fundraising... Does someone have insight in how WMF could be made again
  interested in fundraising transparency? Poking doesn't help.
 
  For instance: me, Perohanych and Mike Peel have been waiting 16 months
 for
  two simple and crucial pieces of information: how many times the
 fundraising
  banners have been displayed; what are the totals raised per country.
  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Fundraising_2012/Report
 
  Nemo
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] $20 donation to WMF for vandalism edit from US House of Representatives

2014-08-01 Thread Lisa Gruwell
We do not see any donations from anyone by that name.

Best,
Lisa Gruwell


On Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 5:52 AM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com
wrote:

 On Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 12:23 AM, Newyorkbrad newyorkb...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  The activity you describe is obviously unacceptable.  However, the amount
  of time and effort that out associated with tracking down and returning a
  particular $20 contribution would not be worth it.
 
  Newyorkbrad

 Newyorkbrad, it wouldn't be all that difficult, given that the
 person's name is known, it was clearly done with Paypal, we have the
 date the donation was made, etc, etc.

 Furthermore, as the WMF have publicly spoken on these edits,[1] it
 would be amiss to condemn the edits but not disavow donations made as
 part of those edits.

 The WMF should be refunding the donation.

  Even more worse, the Kremlin is using the English Wikipedia to support a
  misinformation campaign around the shoot down of MH17 by Russian
  separatists in Ukraine.[1] Thankfully we have these new watchdog Twitter
  bots to spot interference by unsophisticated government actors, of both
 the
  playfully harmless and the dangerously harmful varieties.

 Nathan, it is fantastic that Jen Psaki wishes to engage with the
 Wikimedia community, but could you please in future ask her to send
 her brainfarts from her own account. :)

 Cheers

 Scotty


 [1]
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/07/24/wikipedia-blocks-anonymous-edits-and-trolling-from-a-congressional-ip-address/

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Bitcoin now accepted, but there are privacy concerns

2014-07-30 Thread Lisa Gruwell
As Andrew said, it is complicated.  We decided that asking for the
information was the safest approach and best enables to comply with U.S.
laws as well as laws in other countries.  For example, we are required to
send a receipt for tax purposes to U.S. donors who give over a certain
amount and we have already today received gifts through bitcoin over that
threshold.


On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:

 Nonprofits in the US are only required to report major donors AFAIK.
 Bitcoins aren't assets with more  complicated transfer rules like real
 estate or stock shares. Simple property donations like a can of food for a
 food bank don't require identification info.
 Pine
 On Jul 30, 2014 1:01 PM, Andrew Gray andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk wrote:

  Hi Pine,
 
  The IRS link includes the note that:
 
  A payment made using virtual currency is subject to information
  reporting to the same extent as any other payment made in property.
 
  - no expert, but I suspect this is the explanation. Because the IRS
  treat bitcoin as property (like, eg, shares) rather than currency,
  it triggers different - and presumably more complex - reporting
  requirements.
 
  Andrew.
 
  On 30 July 2014 20:20, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:
   There is a post on the blog saying that bitcoin is accepted but there
 are
   several questions about why WMF is asking for contact info. Is that an
  IRS
   requirement? Might want to post the reason in the blog entry. AFAIK
 with
   the nonprofits I donate to none require personal info for small
   contributions.
  
   Thanks,
   Pine
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  --
  - Andrew Gray
andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Bitcoin now accepted, but there are privacy concerns

2014-07-30 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Pine-

The threshold is an aggregate limit in a calendar year.  If we were to
limit the donation amount to under $5000, a person could give several
donations that totaled over $5000 in a single year (which happens) and then
we would not be compliance.  Instead of trying to create a spike for every
scenario like this, we find it safest just to ask for the information.

Best,
Lisa


On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 2:57 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:

 Heh. If this discussion gets too technical we can move it off-list. At the
 moment if Fundraising just wants to say we'll work on this for future
 improvenents to the Bitcoin donation system and posting that statement in
 the blog entry and the donation screen would be ok IMO.

 I am rarely satisfied with it's complicated as an answer to anything. (:

 Pine
  On Jul 30, 2014 2:47 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com wrote:

  Sure -- I think it's a perfectly legitimate question to ask, and
 reasonable
  discussion to have. It just appeared to me that you were expecting a
  detailed explanation from the chief revenue officer, which didn't seem
 like
  a reasonable expectation. Maybe I was wrong though. If others want to use
  this list to debate the finer points of US tax law and effective privacy
  practices for donations, I won't be the one standing in the way :)
 
  Pete
 
 
  On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 2:39 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:
 
   In the crowdsourced world, I like to think that we evaluate ideas and
   programs based on their merits rather than who makes a decision. I
 grant
   that some heirarchy is good and necessary, and in this case the
 heirarchy
   made a reasoned decision to include Bitcoin in the donation options,
 and
   did so in a way that makes a lot of sense except that one of the
 primary
   attractions of Bitcoin, privacy, seems to have not been a priority. I'm
   asking about how this can be addressed. It's possible that WMF can't
  offer
   to accept anonymous bitcoin donations at all, but as an optimist I like
  to
   think that it can, and my experience with other nonprofits is that
   anonymous donations are possible.
  
   Pine
   On Jul 30, 2014 2:26 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com wrote:
  
Pine, I think Lisa already answered your question -- it's
 complicated.
   It's
possible (based on my limited knowledge, anyway) that what you
 suggest
  is
possible; but she never said it was impossible. She said it was the
   safest
approach, given a complicated scenario. This is her professional
   expertise,
so we have to assume a basic level of competence to make those
 judgment
calls.
   
Don't we?
Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]
   
   
On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 2:14 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:
   
 Hi Lisa,

 Hm, that is different from my understanding of the IRC. You are
   required
to
 offer a receipt, not to actually send one if the donor declines,
  right?
 Then you could have a checkbox to disable personal info and the
   receipt.
 You could also enable anonymous donations under $5000 or whatever
 the
 threshold is for reporting the donor's info to the IRS, right?

 Pine
 On Jul 30, 2014 2:06 PM, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.org
   wrote:

  As Andrew said, it is complicated.  We decided that asking for
 the
  information was the safest approach and best enables to comply
 with
U.S.
  laws as well as laws in other countries.  For example, we are
   required
to
  send a receipt for tax purposes to U.S. donors who give over a
   certain
  amount and we have already today received gifts through bitcoin
  over
that
  threshold.
 
 
  On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com
  wrote:
 
   Nonprofits in the US are only required to report major donors
   AFAIK.
   Bitcoins aren't assets with more  complicated transfer rules
 like
real
   estate or stock shares. Simple property donations like a can of
   food
 for
  a
   food bank don't require identification info.
   Pine
   On Jul 30, 2014 1:01 PM, Andrew Gray 
  andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk
  wrote:
  
Hi Pine,
   
The IRS link includes the note that:
   
A payment made using virtual currency is subject to
  information
reporting to the same extent as any other payment made in
property.
   
- no expert, but I suspect this is the explanation. Because
 the
   IRS
treat bitcoin as property (like, eg, shares) rather than
currency,
it triggers different - and presumably more complex -
 reporting
requirements.
   
Andrew.
   
On 30 July 2014 20:20, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:
 There is a post on the blog saying that bitcoin is accepted
  but
 there
   are
 several questions about why WMF is asking for contact info

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Link to Wikimedia Shop now included in theEnglish Wikipedia sidebar

2014-02-27 Thread Lisa Gruwell
We agree with you, Cynthia, and are planning to expand the product line
very soon.  We are currently looking to hire a new member of the
fundraising team to lead the store, so if you know anyone with talent in
this area, please send them my way. :)

http://hire.jobvite.com/CompanyJobs/Careers.aspx?c=qSa9VfwQcs=9UL9Vfwtpage=Job%20Descriptionj=oXirYfwo


On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 10:21 AM, cindam...@gmail.com wrote:

 I know the link has been up through last year and possibly even longer.
 The hooded sweatshirt sure has kept me warm through the past couple of
 winters. I certainly wish they would expand the product line. Slim
 pickings. I've always wondered why the WMF has chosen to limit the
 offerings. I think they should open it up to the community and ask people
 what they want. And find a different vendor for the luggage/bags. In my
 opinion, they appear low in quality, yet high in price.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dillon gallery?

2013-08-30 Thread Lisa Gruwell
As far as I know, WMF has done one or two small fundraising events most
years.  It is a minor part of overall fundraising strategy.  We have some
donors who like to give at social events, instead of online, and these
events are for largely initiated and organized by them.  They have all been
held at fairly small (usually donated) venues. I don't see this as a change
in policy.  The revenue plan calls for us to have online fundraising as our
primary strategy and major donors (who typically give through events),
foundations, etc. as a secondary revenue stream.  The fundraising team's
work is in line with that direction.


On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 11:19 AM, HaeB haebw...@gmail.com wrote:

 2013/8/30 Renata St renataw...@gmail.com:
  Hi Lisa,
 
  Thanks for the reply, I never doubted it's WM event -- it just majorly
  surprised me and I still have a bunch of questions:
 
  1) is this the first fundraising event? I have never heard of them
 before...

 FWIW, here is a Signpost article about a previous fundraising event:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-10-18/News_and_notes#Wikipedia_community_gathers_for_fundraising_event

  2) what's going to happen at that event and why should I go? Invitation
 had
  not a peep about that...
  3) why there is nothing about it anywhere?
  4) when did this policy change come about? I know Sue was quite adamantly
  against it...
 
  Thanks!
  Renata
 
 
  On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 8:39 PM, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:
 
  Hi Renata St and Dan-
 
  I just wanted to assure you that there is no change in fundraising
  strategy. WMF raises that great majority of its funds from online
  donations, with most of them being under USD $30.
 
  We also raise approximately $6 million from foundations and major
 donors.
  The guidance for this comes from the Revenue Plan that was developed in
 the
  five year strategic plan (page 17):
 
   “In addition to seeking increased support from community donations,
  Wikimedia will continue to raise limited but critical funds from
  foundations, major donors, and licensing and other business
 partnerships.”
 
  Yes, the event at the Dillion Gallery is our. That said, we focus the
  lion’s share of our work on the online donation model.
 
  Thank you,
 
  Lisa Seitz Gruwell
 
 
 
  On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM, Dan Collins en.wp.s...@gmail.com
 wrote:
 
   What are you talking about? A quick Google reveals no evidence that
 the
   Wikimedia Foundation and the Dillon Gallery have any association,
 apart
   from we have a wiki page on them. Who is the mail from - WMF or a
  chapter?
   Do you often receive snail mail from them? If not, do you have any
  evidence
   that you haven't fallen victim to an elaborate scam? What is an
   invitation(?) and how does it differ from an invitation?
  
   To borrow your TL;DR, In short: huh???
  
  
   On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 8:09 PM, Renata St renataw...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  
Hi, so I got this snail mail with an invitation(?) to an event(?) at
   Dillon
Gallery on Oct 1 for a suggested(?) donation of $500... and it left
 me
confused more than anything else.
   
What's the event about? I can't find anything anywhere else (not
 that I
looked very hard). I understand it's a fundraising function, but
  besides
that? If I go there, what am I going to get (other than Cocktails 
  Hors
d'oeuvres)?
   
What if I don't do the suggested donation?
   
On a whole different level, since when does Wikimedia do fundraising
events? I thought it was a policy to abandon attempts to gain major
   donors
and to focus on the $10 donations? When did that change?
   
In short: huh???
   
R.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Dillon gallery?

2013-08-29 Thread Lisa Gruwell
Hi Renata St and Dan-

I just wanted to assure you that there is no change in fundraising
strategy. WMF raises that great majority of its funds from online
donations, with most of them being under USD $30.

We also raise approximately $6 million from foundations and major donors.
The guidance for this comes from the Revenue Plan that was developed in the
five year strategic plan (page 17):

 “In addition to seeking increased support from community donations,
Wikimedia will continue to raise limited but critical funds from
foundations, major donors, and licensing and other business partnerships.”

Yes, the event at the Dillion Gallery is our. That said, we focus the
lion’s share of our work on the online donation model.

Thank you,

Lisa Seitz Gruwell



On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM, Dan Collins en.wp.s...@gmail.com wrote:

 What are you talking about? A quick Google reveals no evidence that the
 Wikimedia Foundation and the Dillon Gallery have any association, apart
 from we have a wiki page on them. Who is the mail from - WMF or a chapter?
 Do you often receive snail mail from them? If not, do you have any evidence
 that you haven't fallen victim to an elaborate scam? What is an
 invitation(?) and how does it differ from an invitation?

 To borrow your TL;DR, In short: huh???


 On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 8:09 PM, Renata St renataw...@gmail.com wrote:

  Hi, so I got this snail mail with an invitation(?) to an event(?) at
 Dillon
  Gallery on Oct 1 for a suggested(?) donation of $500... and it left me
  confused more than anything else.
 
  What's the event about? I can't find anything anywhere else (not that I
  looked very hard). I understand it's a fundraising function, but besides
  that? If I go there, what am I going to get (other than Cocktails  Hors
  d'oeuvres)?
 
  What if I don't do the suggested donation?
 
  On a whole different level, since when does Wikimedia do fundraising
  events? I thought it was a policy to abandon attempts to gain major
 donors
  and to focus on the $10 donations? When did that change?
 
  In short: huh???
 
  R.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

2013-03-14 Thread Lisa Gruwell
My team here at the foundation has begun to do a little leg work so that we
are ready to go, if the Board should decide to pursue an endowment.  We
have begun to tip our toes into the world of planned giving and have had
conversations with some of our major donors about it.  At this point, the
planned gifts are for general support, but our strategy would likely be to
direct these types of gifts to an endowment, if we go that route.  We also
set up a simple page on the foundation site about planned giving or Legacy
Gifts, as we are calling it.
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Legacy_Gift

So far, the conversations have gone well.  There is an interesting
challenge in that donors have to be convinced that the organization is
going to be relevant in 20 or 30 years (or in the case of an endowment –
forever).  I'd love to hear your best arguments for why that this true. (Or
maybe we could devote some thinking to this during the next strategic
planning process).

Best,
Lisa Gruwell

On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:

 Aha, a welcome topic :)

 MZMcBride writes:
  I think we need to decide, as a community, whether this is something we
  want. If it is, we should set up an endowment fund sooner rather than
  later, so that people willing to donate to such an endowment have a place
  to put their money, I think.

 Yes, let us build an endowment.
 It makes practical sense: As a community institution that aims to
 serve our society for the next 100 years, it matches our scope and
 vision.  And as a respected and visible global project, we can raise
 the funds we need.

 It also makes financial sense: Some donors prefer to donate to one.
 And there are economies of scale: the flexibility of long-term
 investments let them generate better average returns, and large funds
 can invest significantly more effectively than small ones.


 Anders Wennersten m...@anderswennersten.se writes:
  I was marginally involved on this issue two years ago. And by then the
  focus/priority was to ramp up the Fundraising activities.
 
  As this now has been successfully done, I believe this discussion is
  now much better in timing, and worthwhile to work through

 Right.  When we first considered an endowment, the WMF didn't have the
 financial expertise to set one up; later, in 2010, fundraising was
 growing quite quickly and took priority.  Now we are in a good
 position to plan longer-term investments.

 This is good timing for another reason as well.  These issues were
 raised at the WMF Audit Committee meeting last week, and the WMF is
 considering what an endowment might look like.  Strong community
 support would speed that consideration.

 SJ
 --
 Samuel Klein  @metasj   w:user:sj  +1 617 529 4266

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

2013-03-14 Thread Lisa Gruwell
We also have to consider what these costs will be in 5 years and beyond to
know really how big an endowment would need to be.  This will require some
fairly complicated projects, that will most certainly be wrong at some
point in time.  :)

On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 7:16 PM, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 8:45 PM, George Herbert
 george.herb...@gmail.com wrote:
  [Hosting...] Then various operational and administrative costs. My
 finger in the
  air estimate would be a total of about $4m-$5m.
 
  It is important to know how much money is going on essentials and how
 much
  on nice-to-haves. (That ought to be how the core/non-core split works,
 really)

 I think a useful breakdown is
 {([hosting + core operations] + core projects) + additional
 projects} = budget

 The boundaries get fuzzier, moving out.
  Hosting :Bandwidth and hardware; has two line-items in the budget.
  Core ops :  Everything needed to make hosting work with [reasonable]
 uptime / disaster response / critical updates.
  Core projects :  Everything needed to make the Projects and
 Foundation work with [reasonable] efficiency and accessibility.
 Including fundraising, financial and legal project support,
 development of major features, mediawiki platform innovation, support
 for community tech innovation.
  Additional projects A :  Efforts to upgrade reasonable service to
 excellent.  Support for new Projects. Experiments in engagement /
 collaboration / governance.
  Additional projects B :  Work to bridge gaps in current projects,
 research to find solutions to unsolved problems, outreach to new
 audiences.  Other exploratory work, e.g., in design / communication /
 education / dissemination / translation.

 There are other ways we could classify our work.  There are options
 for in-kind donations or volunteer-run versions of many costs, though
 this is not always sustainable.  There are options for degrading the
 quality of services rather than dropping them entirely.

 This classification isn't perfectly tied to long-term importance: it
 focuses on things we've already done and want to protect.  Something
 supported by an additional project today may become a core project
 tomorrow, or key to the future of the movement... or it may be spun
 off or handed off to a partner.

 Last year, our definition of non-core WMF projects was I believe
 similar to group B above.

 SJ

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