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

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

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

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:


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

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

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

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

   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
<https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Structured_data> 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 demo system is currently
available: https://structured-commons.wmflabs.org

[3] Responding to harassment and toxic behaviour*

On November 13th, the Board issued a letter
to the Wikimedia community in support of efforts to improve overall
community culture and health. The letter confirmed the value of allocating
resources to this work. The WMF Support and Safety team detailed some of
the possible approaches in a letter by Patrick Earley. Funding from this
year’s fundraiser would be directed at supporting these approaches,
including technical tools for better blocking and detection.

[4] Movement strategy process

Katherine recently shared the exciting news that the Board has approved a
US$2.5million spending resolution to support the development of a Wikimedia
movement strategy
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017>. Coming
to consensus on a strategic direction will help us know what destination we
are headed, which path we will take, and how we will ensure our work is
well supported.

[5] The Wikimedia Endowment

The Wikimedia Endowment <https://15.wikipedia.org/endowment.html>, launched
earlier this year during the Wikipedia 15 celebration, serves as a
perpetual source of support for Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.
Since then, we have already received some major gifts and are recruiting a
talented and committed board for the endowment. In June, we seeded the
endowment in part with contributions from last year's campaign. Further
investment in the endowment is an investment in building a sustainable
future for Wikimedia projects.

*Note: We are also seeking foundation grants for these projects –
Structured Data on Commons and responding to harassing and toxic behavior –
which may cover all or a portion of their costs this fiscal year.
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