[Foundation-l] Fundraising & Networking updates
erik at wikimedia.org
Tue Jan 8 22:33:31 UTC 2008
The 07-08 fundraiser has concluded, and we've raised altogether more
than 2 million dollars (ca. $1.5M in donations by almost 45,000
donors, averaging $33, and a single unrestricted $500K donation by an
anonymous donor). The PayPal donations can be tracked through
and give you a general picture of the trends during the fundraiser; a
full analysis will be published later this month as we collate all the
Last month, Sue & I took a first tour through the Silicon Valley, and
with the help of one of Jimmy's friends, we've been able to meet with
a number of key people in the area who could make major contributions
to the Foundation. We're planning a dinner with potential major donors
and rainmakers next month, and we hope to also form some stable group
or committee of influential & networked people who can help us raise
Our general process with these individuals has been to give them a
standard presentation about the past & present, and a highly tentative
view of the future of the organization, to answer any questions they
have, and to then follow-up and cultivate the relationships further.
What we seek is preferably completely unrestricted, philanthropic seed
funding as we set up headquarters in San Francisco.
In addition to these meetings, we've also had some first exploratory
discussions with Sun Microsystems about developing some kind of
partnership(s) - this is still very provisional, and we'll follow up
in the next month.
We will continue our major donor strategy, and we hope to have a
dedicated head of fundraising to lead this process by February. (We
work with a dedicated recruiting agency that specializes on such
positions.) As we mature as an organization, we hope to also add
additional sources of revenue, beginning with a more systematic
approach to business development (led by our new head of BD, Kul
Wadhwa, as recently announced), and working towards a
grants/partnerships strategy later this year. Grants, which are
typically contingent on certain conditions being met, require the rest
of the organization to be functioning reliably & neatly, so we're
putting the other pieces in place first.
Let me know if you have any questions about any of these developments. :-)
On a personal note, I'm currently still in Berlin & wrapping things up
here, but will be living & working in the US from January 15 on.
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