Hello everyone,

The Wikimedia Foundation has submitted our annual Form 990 for the Fiscal Year 2018-19 to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and posted on-wiki[1]. The Form 990 is the annual financial reporting, known as an “information return,” which the IRS requires nonprofit organizations in the United States to file.

In addition to posting the Form 990 on-wiki, we have also posted an accompanying page with answers to frequently asked questions related to the form and information we reported.[2]

Here are a few key highlights on this year’s Form 990:

-          The Wikimedia Foundation's total revenue for fiscal year 2018-2019 was US $118.6 million. Our total expenses during this period were US $90.1 million and our total net assets at the end of the fiscal year were US $165.6 million. 

-      At the end of our fiscal year 2018-2019, our revenue exceeded our expenses by US $28.5 million, which increased our operating reserve to $166.5 million, or the equivalent of 17-18 months of expenses per the fiscal year 2019-2020 annual plan. As reported under our prior Form 990, we have been maintaining the operating reserve at 17-18 months.  Our goal is to have sufficient reserve funds to conservatively provide at least 12-18 months of operating expenses in order to mitigate against unforeseen risk, secure operational stability, and ensure the overall financial health of the organization. This principle is consistent with many other financially stable, non-profit organizations that are rated by Charity Navigator. With a stable and secure reserve, we have the ability to fund specific Wikimedia Movement investment opportunities that may arise.

-          During the fiscal year 2018-2019, we continued to experience growth in our fundraising revenue and success that was attributed to our fundraising campaigns.

-          We continue to invest in programmatic activities and evaluate to ensure that our allocation percentage is at or above the standard benchmark of 65%. During the fiscal year 2018-2019, we invested 74% in programmatic activities, 14% in Management & General activities, and 12% in fundraising activities. For fiscal year 2019-2020, we continued to maintain our commitment to our programmatic activities and invested approximately 76% of our total spending.

-          Our expenses increased due to the investment to support our strategic direction with the focus on knowledge equity and knowledge as a service, that is outlined in the Annual Plan. The major programmatic areas are to evolve our systems and structures and to grow new contributors and content.

-          Our Governance, Management, and Disclosure practices are committed to maintaining best practices for non-profit charitable organizations, we’ve achieved a score of 100% from Charity Navigator for our accountability and transparency and meet the IRS requirements as applicable. 

Through reports and discussions like these, the Wikimedia Foundation will continue to strive to provide a responsible level of transparency and accountability. I imagine there are other questions, and I invite you to review the on-wiki FAQ[2], or post your questions on the discussion page should you have any.

Thank you to the Foundation's Audit Committee for their oversight and our Staff for their work in developing this year's Form 990 and related communications for filing and public disclosure.

Best Regards and Be Well,


[1] - https://wikimediafoundation.org/about/financial-reports/

[2] - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IRS_tax_related_information/2018_Wikimedia_Foundation_Form_990_Frequently_Asked_Questions

Jaime Villagomez

Chief Financial Officer

Wikimedia Foundation

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.Donate.