[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

James Salsman jsalsman at gmail.com
Thu Mar 14 22:58:06 UTC 2013

Rupert Thurner wrote:
> why should somebody who earns a little salary want to give 10
> dollars to a foundation which has 40 million on its bank account?

Donors are on average much more well off than editors: 88% of them
have a college degree, more than three quarters work in skilled
professions, their worldwide median income is about USD $75,000, and
more than 5% make over $200,000 per year. And they depend on
Wikipedia: 89% of donors visit several times per week and 40% visit at
least once a day.

But more importantly, all of their email addresses are on file.
There's no point using staff and Board time to cogitate about
endowment strategies when it would take a few hours at most to email a
survey to randomly selected donors asking them what *they* think about
it. (And Leslie's champagne bonus/market pay fund to keep Facebook
etc. from hiring her away, for that matter, but I digress.) Do donors
think Wikipedia will last as long as brick-and-mortar universities?
There is only one way to find out. The value proposition of an
endowment is easy: We're fundraising not just to support current
operations, but to buy enough investment grade bonds so that current
operations can be supported without needing donations in the future.

More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list