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

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Fri Dec 21 16:18:53 UTC 2012

Raising money you don't need would be a gross breach of a charity trustee's
fiduciary duties...
On Dec 21, 2012 3:55 PM, "James Salsman" <jsalsman at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sj,
> 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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