I can see the logic in trying for a different funding source, fundraising 
banners and their messaging have been a cause of tension between the WMF and 
the community; and asking our readers for money relies on our readers coming to 
our desktop sites directly and is at risk in a world where our data becomes 
ubiquitous, but increasingly repackaged and presented by others.

But there are a couple of alternate strategies which I think would serve us 
better.

Firstly evolution is better than revolution, and in our case that could mean 
shifting the emphasis from annual one off donations to signing people up for 
recurring donations. Here in the UK many people open a bank account in their 
teens and keep it for life. So if you sign people up for a regular payment by 
direct debit you have a revenue stream that will persist for decades. Short of 
financial disaster or death people rarely cancel direct debits to charities. I 
know WIkimedia UK had a lot of success at signing people up for direct debits 
back in 2011 when they were part of the fundraiser, there has also been some 
work done on asking former donors to give again. Shifting from a strategy of 
asking our readers for donations to one of asking new and past donors to sign 
up for a regular contribution would give us more financial security, less 
dependence on people using our sites directly and hopefully open the way for 
less intrusive messaging that is more mission aligned and doesn't scare people 
into thinking that Wikipedia is under financial threat. It would also be a much 
smaller step from our current strategy than one of asking big corporates and 
grant givers for money. When a donor who gives 0.0001% of the WMF's income 
threatens to stop donating you can ignore the threat and treat their complaint 
on its merits. When a donor who gives 0.1% of the WMF's income is upset they 
are likely to have inside contacts whose job it is to keep such donors donating.

Secondly having CC-BY-SA contributions repackaged and reused as if they were 
CC0 is a trend that the WMF could resist, first with diplomacy and if necessary 
with lawyers. Remember in most languages we aren't currently under threat from 
someone creating a rival to Wikipedia, our threat is from mirrors that present 
Wikipedia in more attractive ways. Attribution would undermine the business 
model of those mirrors who aim for the ads they wrap our content in to be less 
intrusive than WMF fundraising, legalese and editing options. It would keep a 
proportion of the really interested and the really grateful clicking through to 
Wikimedia sites where they can be recruited as donors of either time or money. 
It would also realign the strategy of the WMF with the aspirations of a large 
part of the community, those whose motivation comes in part from contributing 
under CC-BY-SA rather than CC0.

Regards

Jonathan/WereSpielChequers



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