Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-10-22/Fundraiser, budget

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The Wikipedia Signpost


Fundraiser opens, budget released

By Ral315, 22 October, 2007

This Monday, the Wikimedia Foundation's fall fundraiser opened. The fundraiser is set to last two months; no goal for the fundraiser was set publicly. Further, instead of assessing the success of the fundraiser through amount of money, it is decided that the success be assessed by the number of people who donated.

So far, the fundraiser has raised an estimated US$26,600 in just over 14 hours. As of press time, 910 individual donations have been received so far; the largest single donations so far were two separate, anonymous $500 donations made on Tuesday.

The fundraising notice, linked from all pages on the English Wikipedia, caused some controversy at the beginning of the fundraiser, because it contained a scrolling marquee element that some users found distracting. The marquee was removed and replaced with a single quote that changes upon page reload; trustee Erik Moeller commented, "Surely I agree with you that running a marquee wasn't a particularly good idea. :-) I think in a few weeks/months we'll all laugh about it. ... Getting attention is always going to be a balancing act between success & irritation."

In related news, a preliminary budget distribution has been released. This distribution for FY2007-2008 estimates spending for the year at $4,611,000, in the following areas:

  • Technology (bandwidth, hardware, salaries): $2,573,000
  • Finance and Administration: $699,000
  • Office of the Executive Director (director, assistant, relocation and consulting fees): $509,000
  • Program Services: $185,000
  • Legal: $182,000
  • Board of Trustees: $201,000
  • Wikimania Conference: $150,000
  • Communications: $113,000

The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008. Advisor Sue Gardner commented on various aspects of the budget. On the topic of commission work, which is not reflected directly in the budget, Gardner said, "We are setting aside a small amount of money to commission work that can't be done by the staff, for either capacity or expertise reasons. For example, we've occasionally been hiring project managers, developers, legal firms, and analysts/advisors/consultants of various kinds."

On the topic of "Program Services", meanwhile, Gardner explained:

In the non-profit world, "program services" generally refers to initiatives designed to deliver core-mission services. So for the Foundation, for example, it would include partnering with NGOs to get Wikipedia materials into schools in the developing world, or staging Wikipedia Academies to strengthen the smaller-language projects. In this budget, the "program services" allocation will fund, for example, positions dedicated to partnerships development, volunteer coordination and public outreach. Typically in non-profits, the higher the percentage of the overall budget dedicated to program services, the better. That's because most charities want to reduce administrative overhead and reserve as much of their resources as possible for mission-related service delivery. In our case however, we would likely consider that the "Technology" portion of the budget part of core services delivery as well, since that money pays for bandwidth, servers, and so on. So, the fact that only 4% of our budget goes to program services doesn't really suggest that WMF underallocates towards core service delivery.




Also this week:

Fundraiser, budget — Living people — WikiWorld — News and notes — WikiProject report — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report


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