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:


   We are announcing the endowment today!  For more information, please
   read the announcement

   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.

   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.

   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!

   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

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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