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Wikimedia Movement Strategic Plan Summary/The Resources We'll Need

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The Resources We'll Need

The Wikimedia Foundation is young. As it takes on new responsibilities and proactively works toward the movement’s priorities, its spending will increase. During the strategic planning process, the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation, with the help of The Bridgespan Group, developed detailed assumptions about staffing, operating and capital expenditures, and other costs the Foundation would incur over the next five years. Based on these projections, we estimate that the Foundation’s budget might grow to approximately $50 million by 2015.

The [strategy plan decision] – to emphasize small donors -- is a sound one that I strongly support. Small donors have by far proven to be the most successful, most strongly growing, and least distorting source of revenue for Wikimedia Deutschland. User:sebmol

Revenue Plan

In 2009, the Wikimedia Foundation decided to focus its fundraising energies on a “many small donors” model, and in 2009-10, the Foundation raised $8 million from more than 250,000 individual donors, significantly more than the previous year.[1] We will continue this approach, because it:

  • Aligns fundraising with the rest of the Wikimedia movement. It is global and it empowers ordinary people. 

  • Enables the organization to stay focused on its mission and strategy. It reduces the possibility that needs and desires of large funders could pull the organization off-target.

  • Creates the correct incentives. Wikimedia should be accountable and responsive to its readers and editors.

  • Reduces risk. It ensures that donors will not inappropriately grow to become more valued to the organization than editors. 

  • Is highly efficient and effective. It is by far the most scalable model.

  • Is highly stable. Individual donations happen on a relatively predictable schedule all year round.

  • Is inclusive of chapters and the global Wikimedia community. Individual donations can easily become part of community-level fundraising.

In addition to seeking increased support from community donations, Wikimedia will continue to raise limited but critical funds from foundations, major donors, and licensing and other business partnerships.

We believe that major donors and foundations contribute important resources to the Foundation, including connections to useful expertise, thought leadership, and potential partners. As a matter of general practice, however, the Foundation will no longer enter into restricted grants for non-core operational activities and programs.

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  1. For more detailed information about Foundation fundraising, see: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_fundraising