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

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Sun Nov 11 19:16:14 UTC 2007

On Nov 11, 2007 6:19 AM, Andrew Gray <shimgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 09/11/2007, Robert Rohde <rarohde at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 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.
> Indeed. Once we factor out donation matching, what's the donation disjoint
> like?
> (ie, what is the year-on-year difference in money actually given by
> our normal donors)

I don't know what is attributable to donor matching, per se, but those
contributions are generally added to the total as large lump sums.  If one
removes every donation larger than $2k, then the current drive is slightly
ahead of the 2006 drive in income after the same number of days, by $38k (
6.7%).  If one includes the large donations, we are behind $309k (53%).  We
have also slightly surpassed last year in number of donors at this point
with 770 more (3.9%), after discouting the tiny (i.e. penny
pushing) donations in each drive.  Whatever else one might say, these
results certainly haven't kept up with the 40% growth in site traffic.

> >  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.
> Are donors homogenously distributed among the population? It strikes
> me as plausible that the "early adopter" population is more likely to
> donate than the residue - in other words, we'd get diminishing returns
> from here on in.

It's a fair question.  One could also raise other extrinsic factors, like
changes in the economy, or a decreased willingness to donate in Oct/Nov
versus Dec/Jan (the 2006 fundraiser time frame).

That said, adjusted for changes in site traffic, the 2006, 2005 Q4 and 2005
Q3 fundraisers all had very similar amounts of income.  On a per page view
basis, 2006 was slightly better than 2005 Q4 which was slighty better than
2005 Q3.  On that same basis, the 2007 fundraiser income is off by about 40%
from where the other three drives were at the same time frame.

> > [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.
> There were a noticeable number of $0.01 (or 1 yen or whatever)
> donations in the previous fundraiser - I don't have the comparative
> figures to hand, but anecdotally it seems about comparable.
> I also wouldn't be so confident it's solely to pump the donor banner.
> Many people have spotted the donation comments and are under the
> impression these are live (or randomly selected from a pool), so will
> make multiple donations to try and get a comment up there. (Again,
> surmisal, but I've seen pretty plausible indicators for it)
> As Danny mentions below, though, it's probably a seperate reason, not
> linked to our banner.

Well whatever the reason that people are throwing pennies in, the rate of it
is still growing with some 1350 penny donors so far, which you might note
means that they acount for greater than 5% of the total in our
number-of-donors bar.  However, most penny donations are not accompanied by
a comment, so I think we can rule out comment spam as a primary factor.
Also, I would note that the majority occur in rapid fire sprees.  Whether
that indicates a bot-like automated process, or just some person reloading a
donation form over and over again, I don't know.

-Robert Rohde

PS.  I am planning to publish some charts comparing current and past
fundraiser, probably later today.

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