Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the update - it's great to hear that the target has been achieved so 

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.

The extra uses of additional funds sound great, but they should really go 
through an annual planning process to make sure that they will be effective 
uses of those donations, particularly if they might be funded by grants rather 
than needing donor money. Perhaps those donations would be more effectively 
spent by other Wikimedia organisations, rather than the Wikimedia Foundation.

If the English fundraiser continues, then I'd encourage you to either focus 
specifically on the endowment (ensuring the long-term survival of Wikipedia is 
surely a winning appeal!), or to avoid promising to donors that money will be 
spent on a specific project (and please don't say that the fundraiser will now 
finish if only people donate a few more dollars for an extra cup of coffee!).


> On 16 Dec 2016, at 16:05, Lisa Gruwell <lgruw...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> 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
> <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
> <https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-December/085668.html>
> 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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