Fundraiser: Jimmy’s Appeal

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There is just no doubt in my mind that Jimmy’s Appeal letter has been the cause of our wonderful, incredible fundraising bump over the last 7 days.  None of us here predicted  such a wonderful response…but when you think about it, it really makes sense.
A few blog posts back, we proved that people do read our site notices…our messages matter.  So is it so hard to imagine these results?

Fundraiser Snapshot 122908
Fundraiser Snapshot 122908

Yeah… I guess it might be hard to imagine.   Those LONG green lines are the donation totals for Jimmy’s Appeal.  It’s roughly 8 times what we had been raising on a daily basis previous to the appeal.
Date    # Donors    $USD
12/23/08    8,192     $283,994.98
12/24/08    6,823     $229,293.59
12/25/08    5,139     $169,109.73
12/26/08    5,995     $213,963.27
12/27/08    5,791     $200,988.24
12/28/08    5,627     $196,524.30
12/29/08    5,850     $207,349.76
Compare those results to the recent weeks (when we were averaging about $30,000 per day), the biggest change is running the Jimmy Appeal at 50% of the time.
Site Notice Frequency 12/20/08 to 12/22/08:
There Need it Meter: 25%
Rely on donations Meter: 25%
Wikipedia is a Non Profit: 25%
Various Quotes:  25%
And from 12/23 to present:
Jimmy Appeal Red Border:  25%
Jimmy Appeal Grey Border:  25%
There Need it Meter: 10%
Rely on donations Meter: 10%
Wikipedia is a Non Profit: 10%
Various Quotes:  20%
Incidentally, how did the grey bordered vs. red bordered vs. quotes and other site notices do?
# donations        sum           average
red border            13,372      $441,163.75     $32.99       25%
grey border          12,215       $419,911.63     $34.38       25%
quotes                     1,560        $59,445.81     $37.69       20%
Helped Meter           963        $35,814.23     $37.19       10%
Need it Meter           927        $32,502.97     $35.06      10%
NonProfit Meter      867        $38,412.25     $44.30      10%
Nope… no doubt.   The Jimmy Appeal was a huge push.
The Appeal really hit the right notes for our community:  direct and honest.  It was straight to the point and forceful.  And it helped our donors understand why we needed the money and what we were going to do with it.
As I write this, we’re at approximately $5,500,000.00 and still going strong toward our $6 million goal.   That’s with over 100,000 donors (many of them new donors) averaging over $30.00 per donation.   That speaks very well for the depth of our donor pool and the future.
Rand Montoya
Head of Community Giving


Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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What is really amazing as well is … the long lasting effect. It could have been a one or two days shot, but it has been on for several days now, with the same effect. Fascinating. Rand, I’d like that you give us afterwards the impact of the statement that “we are a charity”. Something odd happened to me two weeks ago. The day I got this medal in France, I gave a little speech, during which I mentionned that “Wikimedia Foundation est une organisation caritative” (that’s the French translation for charity). Several people came to me saying “great speech,… Read more »

Thanks for an amazing technology, and keeping it free! One good idea (I thought) I came up with while thinking about your situation; why not have ads that users can turn on? I know you have stated that you are seeking to keep the site ad free, but for people that don’t mind ads (or may be interested in related products) this would be a “win-win” for the user and the site. It would be a way for people to “donate”, in a sense, if they don’t use paypal or are not inclined to donate money. I don’t think this… Read more »

>What is really amazing as well is … the long lasting effect. It could have been a one or two days shot, but it has been on for several days now, with the same effect. Fascinating My guess is that it has to do with : * the message is progressively being translated and extended to other languages even now, which makes a steady flux of new visitors discovering it all over the world, one wiki after another – I was suprised by Jimbo’s lessage’s impact on other wikis, since he a lot less reknowned outside USA ; for example,… Read more »

* Also since it’s X-mas, it mean it’s one of the moments people feel the most happy to give something (I think) Hmmm. Or not. In many countries, there are bad rumors about the eco situation. Heck, many people were laid off JUST before Christmas. And Christmas times are expensive times. Current situation is properly amazing because most charities saw a serious decrease in the gifts they received. Medecins sans Frontieres is even doing home-calls fundraising (just got their phone call yesterday !). Also, to be practical, if we run the fundraiser at that time is not because of Christmas,… Read more »

The word “charity” is country-specific. In Britain, you’re a charity if the Charity Commission says so, and the word applies pretty universally. “Charity” is technically correct in the US. In Australia, “tax-deductible nonprofit” is understood to mean the same thing and “charity” is more commonly applied to organisations that do direct charitable work for people.
So the main thing is to heavily localise translations 🙂

I enjoy your websites for obtaining information, yet I find many that do not include Important information…example, the site on auguste rodin, it mentions his death but not that he died broke and starving and that his request, to the french government, to live in the museum, where his sculptures ,where being housed, was denied. This is another example of worshiping the dead, but ignoring their gifts while they are Living, as a poor determined writer, I was told that most Artist are not Appreciated,until long after there demise….After much reaserch I have come to the conclusion, this is a… Read more »