Wikimedia Foundation FY20-21 Annual Plan

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The Wikimedia Foundation would like to announce that our final FY20-21 Annual Plan is now available on Meta. The Annual Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees on September 28th, 2020.

As you know, we finalized the plan several months further into the year than we normally would, and into a world full of uncertainty: the COVID-19 pandemic, a global economic downturn, and a changing political landscape marked both by inspiring civic protests for racial justice and by rising threats to freedom of information. In light of these circumstances, we built this plan with one thing at the forefront: our responsibility to the stability and continuity of our projects, and the commitment to secure the resources to steward free knowledge and to serve our global communities. Much of our work will focus on securing these fundamentals.

At the same time, we want to continue our progress towards our strategic direction as an organization serving our movement and vision. Thus, this Annual Plan represents an important balance between both the current needs of our movement and the aspirational goals that we all share. The projects outlined in the Annual Plan align with the two goals, and five priorities, of our 2019 medium-term plan, which is the Foundation’s three-year roadmap of work to help move us toward the overall movement strategic direction.

These projects include work as varied and adventurous as exploring new knowledge formats through our newest Wikimedia project, Abstract Wikipedia; introducing new improvements to our tech stack and new tools for editors, and investing to close knowledge gaps through a pilot fund for knowledge equity.

As a movement, we are now in the exciting phase of the movement strategy process where we begin the implementation of the final recommendations. Over the past three years, the movement strategy process highlighted the long-term impact we can have when we come together as a movement. In that same spirit, implementing these recommendations will be a collaborative effort.

The projects that we have prioritized in this year’s Annual Plan will allow us to improve our capacity to support the global communities as we enter this implementation phase, together, and lay the groundwork for greater investment in the coming years as the movement builds out the initiatives prioritized in the strategy. Thank you to all the work of everyone, especially the Annual Plan team, for making this possible.

In this year’s Annual Plan, we increased community funding through the grants program, safeguarded APG funds through a fiscal set-aside, and developed new resources for community events. We are also investing in improving our staff capacity to support the communities more systematically, through improved consultation practices, multilingual communication, Trust & Safety support, and online events, among other areas.

The Annual Plan also includes one of the most significant milestones for our movement, Wikipedia’s 20th birthday this January. We’re devastated that this birthday comes amidst a pandemic that is keeping us apart, but it’s all the more reason for us to celebrate the strength and breadth of our global movement.

As in previous years, this marks the start of an open community discussion period, where we invite your reflections (comments and clarifying questions) on how the Annual Plan aligns with our movement strategy and Strategic Direction. In the past, we’ve called this process a consultation. This year, we want to be more precise: this is an invitation to provide comments and ask questions, but it is not a consultation in the traditional Wikimedia sense, as we will not be able to make changes to the entire plan, as it has already been approved by the Board of Trustees.

Instead of asking for consultation on what we are planning to do, we are asking for your feedback on how to improve and strengthen the planned work itself. This means that we will look for your feedback on this document, as well as continue to engage with communities throughout the year on specific projects within the plan. We want to be more intentional about your time, in order to get deeper, more meaningful consultation on our work to support you and the projects, and create more chances for input and collaboration across the movement.

Finally, a personal apology: the delay in sharing this plan is squarely on me. My colleagues in the Foundation finished planning and the Board approved the budget in September. However, every year we deliver the Annual Plan with a note from the ED to explain our goals, intentions, and why we made certain decisions. As we have been working to deliver the movement strategy implementation plan, recalibrate program work based on community and staff capacity in the pandemic, and as I have had to be available for my own family, I found it difficult to find the time until now to sit down to write this note. I hope you will accept my apologies for this delay.

(On that note: although we didn’t plan it this way, I know that we are heading into a quiet period to allow people to step back from movement activities and take a break. This quiet period is meant to run from today through January 5th, 2021, so if you are posting this month, please know that we will be monitoring the talk page and share responses starting in January.)

I’m looking forward to the year ahead and what we can achieve together. Thank you for all you do!

Take care, stay safe, wear a mask,

Katherine Maher
Executive Director
Wikimedia Foundation

Originally published by Katherine Maher on wikimedia-l, December 15, 2020

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