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Wikimedia Fundraiser Follow-up


The Wikimedia fundraiser has generated a few interesting posts and received further analysis today:

  • Erik Möller sent a wrap-up email stating that the fundraiser has also gained "a single unrestricted $500K donation by an anonymous donor". Him quoting that the Fundraiser "raised altogether more
    than 2 million dollars" may also explain why the fundraiser ran two days longer. "More than two million" just sounds so much better than "nearly two million"... :-)
  • He also explains "Last month, Sue & I took a first tour through the Silicon Valley, and with the help of one of Jimmy's friends [ed: Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners], we've been able to meet with a number of key people in the area who could make major contributions to the Foundation. We're planning a dinner with potential major donors and rainmakers next month, and we hope to also form some stable group or committee of influential & networked people who can help us raise major contributions.

    Our general process with these individuals has been to give them a standard presentation about the past & present, and a highly tentative view of the future of the organization, to answer any questions they have, and to then follow-up and cultivate the relationships further. What we seek is preferably completely unrestricted, philanthropic seed funding as we set up headquarters in San Francisco.

    In addition to these meetings, we've also had some first exploratory discussions with Sun Microsystems about developing some kind of partnership(s) - this is still very provisional, and we'll follow up in the next month." as a result to a leaked confidential Powerpoint presentation from the mentioned Sun meeting.

  • That Powerpoint ("Wikimedia Foundation: Past, Present, and Future") was published more widely in a Wikinews article "Will Wikimedia 'run on Sun'?" and the presentation itself is available as a pdf here. It details the hiring plans that the foundation would like to find further donations for and contains nice tidbits all over. E.g. the organisation is trying to build a continuous three month operating reserve or the estimated budget for fiscal year 2008/2009: $8.5m. At that point in time the organisation plans to employ four managers, nine developers or sysadmins, eight people for charity programmes and communications and five associates for fundraising, accounting, office management and other overhead functions. And one lawyer. See slides 12-14 in the pdf.
    In case you wondered what to expect for 2008...the presentation has a roadmap:

  • Last but not least, Robert A. Rohde (Dragons_flight) has continued to scrape the data off Wikimedia's web reporting of individual donations like I did for the original Wikimedia fundraiser article and presents informative graphs comparing the 2008 fundraiser to previous years here. Thanks for the email Robert!

    From the sample graph above, we can see that the 2008 fundraiser (blue line) was slower than the 2006 one but easily out-performed the 2005 fundraisers. Relative to the reach of Wikipedia (measured by Alexa Traffic reports) the 2008 fundraiser was (even?) less convincing. Further analysis needs to be done at Wikimedia based on Robert's graphs and other community input. Eric stated "a full analysis will be published later this month as we collate all the data" (ib.) in his email already quoted above. We hope the results will be published proactively this time and need not be leaked like to organisations resource plans or the road map both detailled to Sun but not to the Wikipedia community.


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