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Proposal talk:Wikipedia Fund

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Latest comment: 14 years ago by WereSpielChequers in topic A suggestion


Common problem of fundraising - where is the passion ?

The passion amongst members is to add content value.

Where do we get the people, the money, to run a major fundraising effort ? Not from the same Volunteers. You cannot ask them to be passionate about both things.

It is a common problem of volunteer organisations that the people who are passionate abou the cuase are not the people who are passionate about the hard slog of fundraising.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is well worthwhile pursuing this is A Funding strategy.

    • I agree with you, fund raising is a hard task and not a lot of volunteers are willing to put in the effort and the money but wikimedia foundation practices the same fund raising exercise every year with a smaller annual target. My proposal only states a continued effort that remains open for years and has a much larger target. volunteer have supported the past fund raising drives, it would only make it more feasible and easier for them to have a longer continued drive.I believe Wikipedia already has dedicated personnel on staff for similar purposes, a core team solely for funding is imperative. also, the part about collaborations with local chapters and educational institutions like museums, libraries etc. would provide a lot of resources for the fund raising effort. Wikipedia is well known and respected in not just academic circuits but with most people using the internet on par with the likes of google or hotmail , it would have instant recognition with its event. I agree there is a limited number of volunteer who would be passionate about their efforts, so shouldn't we make it easier and more flexible for them. over the years I have seen a greater number of individuals including academics and intellectuals who are passionate about their efforts for dispensation of information on Wikipedia, the quality has only improved with better and more concise edits and discussions, I doubt that Wikipedia would be unable to find passionate volunteers given the time and information. Theo10011 05:00, 25 September 2009 (UTC)Reply

why not "in addition to"

I saw that peteforsyth edited the first line about why this fund can't be done in addition to vs. the original instead of the current one. I would like to explain that the current cost are pretty high to maintain, the fund doesnt necessarily have to be an endowment legally or officially, I suggested it as a model to follow, it could be classified as anything else. the operational expense will keep ballooning larger and larger as the wikipedia grows, the current model is suitable for small community sites, torrent sites etc. who have to make a bare minimum to keep the servers online not something like wikipedia. secondly I would like to point out that fund raising is a very hard and time consuming task, if 2 concurrent fund raising drives are undertaken it would seriously affect each others effectiveness. the cost of operation for the next 5 years would be around 40-50% of the proposed fund, if you were to do it in addition to the drive for operating expense it would cannibalize the long term effort. it has to be instead of the current one, funds would have to be prepared and budgeted for in advance for the operating expense during the drive so that the entire drive seems like one coordinated effort. The target could be increased by 20-30% to account for ongoing expenses during the drive. I would like to request peteforsyth or anyone else reading this to atleast post his concerns in the discussion page and give me a chance to defend myself before editing the proposal outright. Thank you

See also Funding ideas and Financial vision

A suggestion

Obviously it would be nice to have an endowment that funded our activities without an annual fundraiser, but raising money for an endowment is going to be more difficult than for annual fundraisers - you need much more money for an endowment and you are basically saying "why not give us much more money now in case you change your mind and aren't willing to give us money in the future". Many organisations with endowments either collected them over very long periods of time or got their endowments from people's wills. If you started an endowment fund and asked people to remember wikimedia in their wills it would hopefully be a long time before enough of us died that this became a major fund - but strategy is for longterm planning. What you do need to do is avoid building up too large a reserve, charities who give grants do look at applicants annual reports and are less likely to be generous if reserves are high, though endowment funds are treated separately from reserves. WereSpielChequers 09:29, 13 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

Hi werespiel, I know the proposal sounds like "why not give us much more money now". Let me explain my intentions here, the proposal only relates to the management of the money instead of any fund raising drives or efforts though there are some mentioned. most people are getting hung up on the endowment idea, I only used it as a point of reference to manage the fund, it doesn't have to be like a regular university endowment hopefully not made from contributions from our wills or any others. What I wanted to suggest is some kind of a model that would stop or hopefully limit the efforts and dependence on annual fundraisers, for example a fund could be created solely to keep the servers running and Wikipedia online, no other administrative cost etc. since that is the top most priority, that would be much more feasible than the entire budget idea- resources, hardware or bandwidth could be donated instead of money by corporate sponsors, some form of thanking and acknowledging their donations would have to be thought of. As you already stated charities who give grants look at applicants annual reports, they also look at the rapid pace of cost increases annually and how much would their support matter, the expenses have been ballooning very fast, we have to go through the same charities every year hoping to make the bare minimum to keep Wikipedia online. the foundation has to be constantly subjected every year, to fund raisers for its survival, we cant keep outrunning the clock, it shouldn't be like this. Here's the MAIN POINT that I would like to make here - Charities and other organization would be more likely to contribute to a larger one time fund that would make Wikipedia self-sufficient rather than pay its running bill every year, they could know that their effort and resources mattered and would be acknowledged for years to come, rather than the next fund raising drive when someone else pays more. any contributor would be acknowledged and thanked for at least the next 10 years as a benefactor, that is the only way their efforts and contributions would live on, most charities would be more interested in contributing to a fund rather than pay a part of the bill for the year. I think you'd be surprised at just how many avenues for funding might open up if the proposed fund was to become a reality- anything from government grants to private contribution would be available if there one time contribution mattered in the long run - off the top of my head National Science foundation grant, Direct Government grant, private institutions and universities not to mention large companies like Google who have publicly supported Wikipedia from its inception might be interested.

Also, I have edited the proposal to make my point more succinctly with more explanation. User talk:Theo10011

Thanks Theo, I met the wikimedia UK board a couple of days ago and they seem quite confident that they will get charitable status here fairly soon. I think that and similar developments will make us more international and efficient in our future fundraising. However I'm not optimistic about the idea of fundraising for an endowment fund, other than by asking people to remember us in their will as a permanent legacy. If you look at the grants that have recently been given several are for specific projects such as usability improvements. My experience of fundraising is that people like to give money that is needed this year and don't like the idea of their money sitting hoarded and unspent. WereSpielChequers 14:00, 13 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

Hi werespiel, well its a proposal, what it should be in an ideal world but we still have to make do with what we got. you seem to have firsthand experience with fundraising, I just find it hard to believe that charities would be stingy contributing to a permanent funding solution instead of offering to flip the bill every year, year after year just as long as they know that there's no money left anywhere else. some alternative strategy or solutions have to be considered, this cant go on for much longer. Lets hope it gets easier.........Theo10011 21:13, 13 October 2009 (UTC)Reply

Hi Theo, There are charities out there that have been fundraising every year for their annual budget for decades, in some cases more than a century. There are others that have been conserving their original endowments for centuries and carefully only spending an income that allows them to maintain the value of their endowment. One of the unusual things about Wikimedia as a charity is its steep growth path. Another is the dependence on annual appeal money. My suggestion would be to gain some medium term security of funding by encouraging annual donors to move to a standing order donation, or for UK taxpayers to suggest they sign up to support Wikimedia through their employer's en:payroll giving program. Charities with income through such regular donations can budget for substantial parts of that still coming in many years later. As for a permanent funding solution as opposed to an annual grant, many charities will be unable to donate part of their endowment and would probably think it wrong to build up another charities endowment as opposed to considering an annual application and reconfirming their commitment to an organisation each year. Of course that may not stop them either formally or informally indicating that they hope to maintain current donations for a certain number of years in the future, or for that matter funding some capital investment that would reduce our future costs. WereSpielChequers 23:12, 13 October 2009 (UTC)Reply