I've little to add to this thread than my personal point of view and take on how I
I've been very involved in organisational work with Wikimedia Australia (the comments
here are mine and mine alone) so haven't been logging on and editing as much as of
late but continue to refer to Wikipedia daily. I found the fundraising banners (I actually
first typed out "ads") intrusive, and they do follow you down the screen. I
realise WMF needs to fundraise but I preferred the personal appeal from Brandon,
GorillaWarfare and other users. It allowed readers to learn about the people that keep
Wikipedia going and why they do it. I don't fundraise. But if we are trying to get
people to donate to us I don't agree giant banners that nag them into donating or
reminder emails that, when you boil it down, read along the lines of "zomg donate to
us or we will have no money and have to put up ads"
I've never really spoken out about the Foundation and I don't really plan about
continuing to do so. But this fundraiser bothered me and while this likely won't be
read, I felt it should be said.
Sent from my iPhone
On 12 Jan 2015, at 11:25 pm, Liam Wyatt
*TL;DR summary: I don't want the discussion about fundraising principles to
be forgotten for another year until we do the whole thing again in 11
months... We need to finish the discussion about whether it is acceptable
for all other values to be made secondary to the goal of maximising
Now that the 2014 Fundraising campaign has finished and which, according to
a WMF blogpost from a week ago, "surpassed our goal of $20 million"
(receiving donations from 2.5 million people in 4 weeks) , I hope that
the fundraising team has had the time to get some well-earned rest and
relaxation over the new-year period.
With that "busiest time of year" now over, but with all the discussions
still fresh in our mind, I was hoping that the Fundraising team or
Executive would have the time to respond to the various concerns that were
raised here (and elsewhere) about the theory and practice of WMF fundraising.
If responding here isn't appropriate, then at least over on Meta at [[Talk:
Fundraising Principles]] where a fair amount of detail has been compiled,
particularly by WMF Board of Trustees member SJ .
There were some practical/specific questions, including:
- why isn't fundraising using the same software to receive bug reports (
phabricator) as everyone else?
- why haven't the crowdsourced banner text suggestions been A/B tested?
- why were new banners shown to people who had chosen to dismiss previous
ones, and why were they allowed take up such a large proportion of the
- has anyone responded to the Russian community yet to their polite and
[This is a non-exhaustive list, of course]
But there were also more fundamental/theoretical questions, including:
- what degree of 'urgency' is morally acceptable in a donation request,
especially when the financial situation of the WMF has never been
healthier/stable? (e.g. threatening phrases like "keep us online and
ad-free for another year")
- Is the practice of "finishing the fundraiser period as fast as possible
by any means" the correct interpretation of the the official fundraising
principle of "minimal disruption"?
- Is the official fundraising principle of "maximal participation" being
adhered to? That principle calls for "empowering individuals to
constructively contribute to direct messaging, public outreach..." Does the
WMF Board believe this has happened?
- Is the current "we don't like asking for money so just give it to us and
we'll stop annoying you" approach to fundraising (implied by the final
phrase in the final 2014 campaign email "Please help us forget fundraising and
get back to improving Wikipedia.") potentially damaging to the Wikimedia
brand value, even if it does raise the money in the short term? Lila said
that there has been "sentiment analysis" done about this, what was the
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: