[Wikimedia-l] deliberately lowered fundraising growth rate (was: Fundraising updates?)

James Salsman jsalsman at gmail.com
Fri Dec 21 15:54:48 UTC 2012


I appreciate your kind words because I am somewhat frustrated.

> thank you for your nuanced statistical comments; something we could use more of.

Well, I have two additional questions for you and your colleagues
concerning fiduciary duties relative to the observed growth rates. I'm
not going to go into my issues with the volunteer contributed
messaging not being tested, or whether multivariate testing can or can
not measure donations. My previous message should make my sentiment on
those issues clear.

This year, after the Chief Revenue Officer claimed that it would be
unlikely to "significantly" exceed last year's fundraising,[1] the
Annual Plan was adjusted to reflect a much slower growth rate in
fundraising.[2] However, page views grew from 16.4 billion last
December to 20.8 billion last month in line with their longstanding
exponential trend,[3] and it became immediately apparent from the
first days of presenting banners to all readers on November 27th that
fundraising was occurring at about double last year's rate.[4] In
spite of that, fundraising was deactivated just over a week later.[4]
Then, on December 14, the fundraiser goal was announced for the first
time as $25 million.[5] And now, apparently, fundraising has been
discontinued for the year.[6]

Would you and the other members of the Board of Trustees please state
whether, and why or why not, deliberately slowing fundraising while
page views continue to grow at the same exponential rate they have
been over the past several years, is compatible with the fiduciary
duty of the Board and employees? Would you please request comment
concerning whether the community has confidence in this deliberate
slow-down? Thank you.

Best regards,
James Salsman

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2012/How_Wikimedia_revenue_grows#So_how_much_more_can_we_raise_in_2012.3F

[2] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2012-2013_Annual_Plan_Questions_and_Answers#What.27s_the_revenue_target_for_2012-13.2C_and_how_does_it_compare_to_previous_years.3F

[3] http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/graphs/pageviews

[4] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:FundraiserStatistics

[5] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2012-December/123043.html

[6] http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Fundraising_2012&diff=4885494&oldid=4884949

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