Every year in November and December, the Wikimedia Foundation launches an annual giving campaign to raise the money that’s needed to support the Wikimedia Foundation, our world-wide Chapters, and the projects used by millions of people every day, including Wikipedia. Over the next few weeks you may see signs of our recognizable fundraising ‘banners’ (or site notices as we call them) a little earlier than usual as we advance-test some messages.
This year, we’re excited about the truly collaborative “contribution” campaign that’s planned. Recognizing that messages that work in the United States don’t always work worldwide, we’ve asked our volunteer chapters and a number of language communities to help us maximize the potential of the fundraiser by getting deeply involved in the messaging, planning, and execution of this year’s fundraiser. From our vast global user-base we’re asking for money, of course, but we’re also encouraging people to contribute in other ways to the projects, as well. Contributions might include adding photographs, editing, categorizing information, or organizing volunteers both on-line and off-line.
I’ve had an exciting week – I’ve been meeting with members of some of our European chapters in an attempt to get things up and started. I was in the United Kingdom, and then Sweden, and finally the Netherlands – all regions where we see considerable fundraising activity. It’s been incredible – talking to chapters about the plans, and watching them run with it: when I left our Swedish chapter volunteers, they were brainstorming banner ideas.
The Foundation’s message to our chapter volunteers: own the fundraiser. Tell us what’s going to work in Sweden, collaborate to make it the most effective and profitable fundraiser yet. That same message will be delivered to many groups over the next few weeks as we reach out to language communities and wikis throughout the world. It’s impossible for the handful of Foundation staff to know what’s going to work best on every wiki, so we strongly encourage local communities to get involved.
We’re discussing fundraising banners on the Wikimedia collaborative workspace meta.wikimedia.org, but encourage local communities and wikis to discuss locally as well.
Banners are scheduled to go “live” on November 8th. Leading up to that date, there will be test runs of banners to limited numbers of users every Thursday, so small segments of the users will see them as we test messages and technology, but the real fundraiser will launch in November.
Get involved. Own the fundraiser. Collaborate. Tell us what works.
Head of Reader Relations