Fundraising 2011/Test Updates/November/5

Pre-fundraiser Testing RecapEdit

We’re quickly approaching the launch of the 2011 Wikimedia annual fundraiser. These past few months have been critical to ramp up our operation in preparation of the year-end campaign.

Last year, after testing hundreds of banner messages, we saw the appeal from our founder, Jimmy Wales, was the most effective message in compelling readers to donate. This year, we have been committed to breaking the dependence on Jimmy’s appeal and expanding the range of voices and faces from our community to reach our fundraising goals. And we’re going to do it.

Throughout our summer testing, we found new stories from different members of the Wikimedia community that perform as well as or better than our successful Jimmy appeal. We’re still gathering more stories, but so far, we have seen successful appeals from Wikipedia editors and several Wikimedia Foundation staff members. Please take a look at our test updates below for results on specific tests.

The Storytellers traveled to Wikimania and kicked off our interviewing sprint with over 50 editors and contributors. The story-gathering mission has continued since then, and will continue throughout the fundraiser so we can have a truly global fundraiser with a wide variety of personal appeals. We still need unique stories from contributors all over the world, please sign up to get involved or visit the meta page to help draft an appeal from the Wikimedia community.

What have we learned so far about what makes for a successful appeal? That authenticity matters. Our successful personal appeals have all been written using people’s own passionate words to tell readers what’s so incredible about Wikipedia and why it is personally invaluable to them. Using that genuine message, we also highlight a few key points:

  • Beauty: Wikipedia is an amazing, beautiful thing run by volunteers doing it out of the goodness of their hearts and for the love of free knowledge.
  • Tell a story: Clarify people's understanding of Wikipedia and that it needs them to keep the story going.
  • Free and ad-free: People love that it's free to use, free to be used in any way, and ad-free.
  • Importance: We're #5 and everyone uses us!
  • Efficiency: Compared to the other top sites, we run on a shoestring budget.
  • Strong, quick start: Opening line is key. It must be straightforward and compelling.
  • Ask: tell people where the money goes, be specific and concrete.

To build out our global campaign, we have spent the past several months working to set up the systems to accept more currencies and local payment methods in different countries than we ever have in the past. Our tech team is currently pouring an enormous amount of work into this goal to optimize our donations worldwide.

Wikimedia chapters have also started diving into testing to prepare for the fundraiser. The German, UK, and French chapters have held successful tests and are in the midst of numerous other preparations.

Over the summer, we launched a translation outreach campaign to build up a team of volunteers to localize different messages into as many languages as possible. So far, over 1,000 people from over 80 languages have signed up to help localize our campaign. That might sound like a lot, but believe me; we still need a lot more. Please help us out by signing up to get involved.

Here’s where we’re at now: Starting Monday November 7, we would like to launch the fundraiser to only logged-in users. Last year, we took down banners for logged in users about a month into the fundraiser. This year, we want to take the banners down even earlier for logged in users and starting next week will allow us to do that.

We’re asking every community member who is planning to donate, to make their donation in this first week to help us test our donation forms in all different countries and languages. We’ve put a lot of effort into localizing our messages and forms. If you see any errors or ways we can improve the setup in your country or language, please let us know over the next week so we can make these improvements before we put up banners for all users on Wednesday, November 16.

We’ll be sending out notices about the logged-in launch/test to mailing lists and village pumps this week. Please help us spread the word!

Thanks for helping us get off to a strong start.

Mhernandez 00:39, 6 November 2011 (UTC)