---- Sending on behalf of Jaime Villagomez ----
The Wikimedia Foundation has submitted our annual Form 990 to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and posted on-wiki. The Form 990 is the annual financial reporting, known as an “information return,” which the federal government 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. Almost all financial reports by their very nature can be confusing, so to add clarity here is a simple breakdown of key disclosures this form covers.
We have previously explained that the applicable dates for information disclosed on our financial reports can be confusing, given that our July 1 fiscal year is different from the January 1 calendar year. For example, this "2016 Form 990" covers the financial activities of the Wikimedia Foundation for our 2016-2017 fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. However, the calendar year applies to disclosure of compensation of our officers, key employees, highest paid staff and independent contractors. Those disclosures are based on payments made during the 2016 calendar year -- in other words, compensation paid from January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2106. The compensation paid to individuals that is disclosed therefore spans part of Foundation’s 2015-2016 fiscal year and part of its 2016-2017 fiscal year.
The Wikimedia Foundation's total revenue in our fiscal year 2016-2017 was US $89,973,967. Our total expenses during this period were US $69,076,192 and our total net assets at the end of the fiscal year were US $113,330,197.
The Form 990 also includes information about compensation paid to the Wikimedia Foundation's five highest paid employees. The salaries for all paid positions are set according to salary bands which are determined bi-annually based on independent third party survey data. Executive salaries are subject to this same standard. All executive salaries, with the exception of the Executive Director's salary, are set by the Executive Director, using the survey data, and in discussion with the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees also uses the independent third party survey data, as well as comparative data from other nonprofit organizations, to set the salary of the Executive Director, and to assess and advise on other executive salaries. This is not only a best practice, but is a process that is required under applicable law.
In addition to salary information, the report includes other payments made to certain of the highest employees upon their departure from the organization -- even where those departures may have occurred in 2016, but prior to the Foundation’s fiscal year. Following our regular practice for staff departures, these severance amounts are set on a case-by-case based on a person's tenure with the organization. We recognize that people have an interest in this topic, and that there will be some questions. However, as an employer we are limited in what we can discuss publicly, both because of legal requirements, as well as respect for employees’ confidentiality. We are very transparent about executive payments, while ensuring that our transparency is consistent with a respectful work environment that does not violate the confidential personnel information of our staff.
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, or email me if your question is not answered there.
Thank you to the Foundation's Talent & Culture, Legal, Advancement and Communications departments for their assistance with developing this year's Form 990 and related communications. A very big thank you to our Finance and Administration department for their hard work preparing this important public filing.
Chief Financial Officer