Hey Benjamin, Your dad is right, in some regards. More than 85% of our revenue comes from the general public. It's how we've survived and has supported our growth over the last decade.
We have conducted surveys, focus groups and user testing over the years to get better insights into our readers and donors and have published results from some of our research surveys.  We definitely monitor feedback on social media for reader reactions to our fundraising but I don’t think we have specifically researched the question you raised about readers taking away the wrong impression. It's definitely something for us to consider for the future. It’s worth noting that readers arrive at our website with misconceptions. Until only very recently, half of our readers didn’t realise that Wikipedia was non-profit and a quarter of them thought we were funded by commercial advertising. Our current messaging has moved on from previous years. There is definitely a sense of urgency in the fundraising message because there is urgency behind our work. We aren't saying that our sites are going to be taken down, and we avoid using that kind of messaging these days, but the movement has set itself some pretty significant goals for the next 10 years. If we are to be genuinely serious about achieving or making headway in those areas, we need the support of our readers. We are trying to get that urgency across without causing anxiety and it is certainly a challenge. One thing to keep in mind is unlike websites like the Guardian, Wikipedia doesn’t fundraise year round in all countries. In our larger campaigns, other than “pre-campaign testing,” we generally fundraise for a total of 4 weeks in any one country each year. In just a few moments, we need to try and educate our readers efficiently and effectively about who we are and make a convincing pitch for their support. Our messaging isn’t static and it is in a constant state of change. And our content doesn’t just change according to test results. Specifically it changes in response to feedback like yours and the others on this thread. When we hear from community members, donors or members of the public that something in our banners isn’t working or seems disingenuous, we take that feedback extremely seriously and it will help guide where we spend our efforts testing. In the last year in our desktop messaging, we removed lines such as “If Wikipedia became commercial, it would be a great loss to the world”. The reference to coffee has also, for the time being, been retired from the desktop large banner for the past 10 days. As recently as today, we’ve softened the intro to our desktop messaging in an attempt to reduce a perceived alarmist tone. A few weeks back, when we asked the community to choose a rewrite for the second half of our desktop large appeal, 40 people took part and we adopted the most popular variant. Last year, we received important feedback on our mobile banners regarding their length. Whilst we made changes to the designs last year, it doesn’t mean that we have forgotten about that feedback. Throughout the last 3 weeks, we have run numerous tests focused on decreasing the length of the banner through design or messaging changes, and we’ve been able to shave off a further fraction from the banner even though there was a reduction in effectiveness. Going forward, if community members want me to look into setting up regular office hours on IRC or Google Hangouts or some other venue we can do that. We’ve run it before and if the interest is there happy to do this again. If there other venues or methods you feel would work I’m open to ideas. Either way the fundraising team does listen to feedback and does act on that feedback. The team genuinely believes it's possible to reach our goals and make the community proud and I think we’ve come a long way over the years. Thank you again for your questions and others for their feedback. Seddon  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fundraising_donor_research_findings.pdf  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/e/ef/Report.WikimediaJapan.f.071916.pdf On Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 8:27 PM Benjamin Ikuta <benjaminik...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > My dad recently said to me: > > "I was solitated by them after looking something up. I thought it strange > the way they were pleading for donations. They made it sound like they > might be shutting down if we the general public didn't donate." > > Has there been any research into how common it is for readers to get the > wrong impression from the marketing messaging? > > I've heard of this sort of thing happening before, and I think it's highly > antithetical to our values to be deceptive. > > > > > > _______________________________________________ > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l > New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, > <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe> -- Seddon *Community and Audience Engagement Associate* *Advancement (Fundraising), Wikimedia Foundation* _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l New messages to: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>