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

Peter Coombe thewub.wiki at googlemail.com
Fri Dec 21 17:41:52 UTC 2012

On 21 December 2012 17:00, James Salsman <jsalsman at gmail.com> wrote:
>> How do you see the fiduciary responsibilities of the board playing into
>> fundraising targets?
> The employees of the board share their fiduciary responsibilities.
>> Are you suggesting the Board has a duty to raise as
>> much money as possible?
> No. When actual fundraising far exceeded expectations, it was scaled
> back to meet expectations based on the nonquantative predictions of
> the Chief Revenue Officer. That is questionable behavior to say the
> least, and suggests that the current leadership does not want to
> continue to grow the organization to reach the full potential of the
> current programs. In addition to the pageview growth continuing at
> exponential rates, much of the Strategic Plan has been abandoned in a
> recent reorganization, while employees other than executives are paid
> far less than typical technology workers in San Francisco, and some of
> the best performing Foundation efforts, such as the Education Program,
> are so woefully understaffed that they continually cause serious
> problems for the community. Have you seen how few Education Program
> article talk page templates contain the correct date? Meanwhile, the
> senior staff's most vaunted projects are behind schedule and lack
> meaningful community volunteer participation. The leadership has not
> been able or willing to address these issues.
>> I'm also curious why you highlight "deliberately
>> slowing fundraising" despite the 32% increase in revenue goals for the
>> 12-13 fiscal year. That is an aggressive increase, even if less aggressive
>> proportionally than we've seen in prior years.
> If pageviews weren't increasing at double that rate, projects were on
> time, and junior staff didn't have to live in high crime area Oakland
> hovels, I would be less concerned.

Costs don't scale linearly with pageviews. Nor do donations,
especially when you consider that much of that growth in pageviews now
comes from the 'Global South' (where people generally have less
disposable income to donate) and from mobile devices (which we don't
really fundraise on, although I believe this is something WMF wants to
work on next year).

Peter / the wub
(a personal view)

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