Proposal:Directed community fundraising

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Request for Discussion / Sign-Ups

Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Hold fundraisers where the donated funds would be used for a specific charitable cause.


Directed fundraisers could be held in aid of mission-relevant goals, for example, increasing literacy and internet access in Third World countries.

Spending of the funds would necessarily be dependant on established charities who have the relevant expertise, and already work in the relevant areas. These organisations would be described as partners. Funds would be transferred from Wikimedia to the partner organisation in the form of a directed grant, with a condition that the money be spent in the way that our banners specified. The target spending area, the language used in promotional materials, and the form of the agreement, would all be decided before the fundraising drive begins, by agreement with the partner organisation, and depending to a large extent on their expertise.

For the donor, these fundraisers would appear as an advertisement-like banner located at the top or bottom of the article page. The donor would click on the banner and land on a page which describes who the partner is and how they would spend the money.


Wikimedia's credibility as a charitable foundation is at risk as long as it makes grand claims about its goals for bringing knowledge to the less wealthy half of the world, but does nothing to actually achieve those goals.

Fundraisers which raise money for general WMF operations have an extremely low ratio of donations to page views. Many generous, charitable people are ignoring these fundraising banners because they believe that their charitable giving would be better directed to an organisation which spends its funds in locations where the needs of the people are more dire, and where the donated money will go further towards achieving good outcomes.

Thus, our page view rate represents a wasted opportunity for mission-relevant fundraising. Our lack of experience in offline charitable work needn't be an impediment to our mission. We can partner with charitable organisations, and combine our high exposure with their experience and established structure for spending, to do more than either could do alone.

I have previously suggested that Wikimedia advertises these charitable organisations directly, but that suggestion has never gained any support. This proposal is for a co-branded campaign where Wikimedia has some control over the direction of spending, and I hope that these elements of increased Wikimedia involvement are enough to answer the previous silent objections.

Key Questions

  • Will the community accept having fundraising banners appear on Wikimedia websites more often?

Potential Costs

  • Staff will be required to liase with partners.


Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Directed community fundraising.

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