[Foundation-l] Fundraising totals as of Oct 7, 2007 @ 5:00 PM (EST)

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 9 20:09:13 UTC 2007

On 2007.11.08 18:35:48 -0800, Robert Rohde <rarohde at gmail.com> scribbled 0 lines:
> For a bit of perspective, those numbers still aren't great.
> Overall traffic is up 40% since the 2006 fund drive, but after a similar
> number of days, the 2006 fundraiser had slightly more donors[1] and about
> $350,000 more in donations.
> If I understand correctly, much of the extra income was from donation
> matching (including $286,000 from one source), while thus far we don't seem
> to have had any donor matching efforts.  Even given that, it is also
> disappointing to see that the number of individual donations hasn't grown in
> response to growth in traffic to Wikimedia sites.
> Overall, I'd say that thus far the performance of this drive is poor.  The
> bump from the new banner has kept it from being awful, but we are still
> quite a ways from what I would call good.
> If the Foundation is really serious about a budget of $4.6M for the next
> year (or anything approaching that), then raising only $30k per day isn't
> going to do it.  At that rate, they would need 5 months of fundraising even
> with the unrealistic assumption that income wouldn't decline due to donor
> fatigue.
> -Robert Rohde
> [1] I'm excluding the 900 donations of 1 penny.  It appears that 1 or more
> people are systematically donating pennies to pump the donor counter.  A
> similar trend was not present in 2006.

I find this very troubling, for two main reasons.

The first is, as you point out, this would seem to put next year's budget out of reach if it's based solely on the fundraiser. What about the Foundation's move to San Francisco? That sounded like it was going to be expensive.

The second is - what the heck is wrong with our readers, or us, that - even though a) we have so much more content, b) said content is even better than before, and c) there are ever more people reading and otherwise making use of our stuff - the drive is doing *worse* than last year, even in absolute dollar amounts? I feel modestly outraged at this apparent ingratitude, but I wonder more at what went wrong. Has all the publicity about vandalism, too-high/too-low deletion standards, n00b biting, and so on finally come home to roost? Is the assumption that Wikia is the for-profit arm of the WMF really so wide spread people feel no need to donate? Or is it just that people are being selfish and assume that "Well, if Wikipedia really needs money, they can just turn on ads for a little while. No skin off my nose"?

SecDef special Defcon MSCJ Terrorism ISTA Clandestine 2A 26 racal
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