Talk:Fundraising/Archive 3

Latest comment: 6 years ago by Seddon (WMF) in topic Donor records

Anglo-Saxon survey edit

Is File:Wikimedia 2014 English Fundraiser Survey.pdf all the LRP consultants produced? I find it really hard to understand this document, in particular I can't find any serious information on the methodology.

Some slides are particularly laughable:

Question: "About how many times have you seen a fundraising message on Wikipedia in the past year?"

The report says some 20 % of users think money is collected via ads, not fundraising. Yet, the report gives value to a question which asked about "fundraising messages", a term that presumably a large portion of people didn't understand. What is this question measuring?

--Nemo 13:10, 18 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is noted on the slide that this question was asked only of those who reported having seen a fundraising message on Wikipedia in the past year. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 10:30, 27 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fwd: [Bug-gnuzilla] SpyBlock Wikipedia centralNotice edit

I stumbled upon this "funny" discussion, leaving a link here. --Nemo 18:03, 25 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for letting us know! We don't allow ads on Wikipedia for very important reasons, as detailed in the WMF FAQ.

Translatability assessment edit

Was it considered to have a professional translatability assessment on source banners, landing pages, FAQs etc.? (Disclaimer: a friend works in that company. I don't know if others offer the service.) --Nemo 22:32, 16 April 2015 (UTC) Thank you for the suggestion Nemo.Reply[reply]

We will look into and consider this as a possibility. JRobell (WMF) (talk)

Fundraising principles edit

During and immediately after the most recent fundraising 'peak season' a lot of discussion happened about whether the fundraiser was managed in accordance with the spirt and the letter of the official Fundraising principles. There is now a lot of detail about the various concerns raised (by me, and others) on that talkpage - Talk:Fundraising principles - feedback that was collated and published there, in part, by WMF Board of Trustees members.

With the 2014-15 Fiscal year wrap-up having just been published, now seems like an excellent time to address these issues. Wittylama (talk) 16:35, 8 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In the absence of a reply, I've reworded this question and asked it (and another related one) over on page for the Board Q&A for Wikimania (questions 14 and 15). Wittylama (talk) 14:45, 13 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The fundraising team takes the effect of our campaign on the reader experience very seriously. Prior to the December campaign, we ran several user tests, surveys, and focus groups to collect feedback on our banners. One of the major concerns raised in December was around needing more feedback and data. We listened to these comments and addressed many of the concerns through additional research. After the December campaign, we commissioned a reader opinion survey of the December English campaign. This research was covered in the Signpost and the results of the survey was posted on commons. At the April 2015 monthly metrics meeting, we presented the reader survey findings along with findings from the donor survey, social media analysis, reader email feedback, focus groups, user testing, wikimedia-l, meta, and A/B tests. Overall, the feedback collected did not raise a significant concern with the banners run in December 2014.
As we continue to develop new fundraising ideas, we will also continue the research to make sure that banners are financially effective and consistent with Wikimedia's mission without harming the reader experience or perceptions. I would really love to hear any ideas you have for how we could do this better this year. I know there is a lot of room for improvement. New ideas are very welcome!
We are drafting new ideas as well. There are many message ideas to inform our readers about different parts of our project. We also plan to try new images to visually convey parts of the message that are currently communicated by text. I do not have a complete list of every idea we will ever try, new ideas arise all the time as a result of learning what approaches work. What else do you think could help us effectively raise a higher budget while also reflecting Wikimedia's mission and values?
I am excited to hear and test more ideas from our community members as well as to share updates from the team. We will review this talk page once a week. Thank you for participating, I know this year's fundraising will be more powerful in terms of both revenue and supporting our mission. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 21:14, 13 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You only created the "fundraising ideas" page 7 minutes before posting your reply here, and (as of the time of my writing this), nothing links to it... "let's discuss it on-wiki" is sometimes a shorthand for hiding criticism from the broadcast medium of mailing lists, but your announcement of the 'fiscal year wrap-up' said to bring comments here - so I did. But now you're asking me to send my comments to a new page of Meta with no inbound links... This is a perfect example of my concern that the official Fundraising principles are not being adhered to. An orphan sub-page called "Fundraising ideas" is not within either the spirit or the letter of the principle of "maximal participation". [I also note that the Fundraising team has never tried to engage with the the concerns being raised over at Talk:Fundraising principles, nor has the substantive point of my post above been addressed.]
I genuinely appreciate, and followed with interest, the reporting of the reader-survey from the previous fundraiser. I also note that it was published in the timeframe that was promised months earlier! I also acknowledge my personal bias in responding to the results of that survey - I noticed myself looking for results that concurred with opinions that I already hold and, not finding them, I am instinctively liable to reject the results out of hand. That said, I also suspect that the Fundraising department is also suffering from confirmation bias - seeing the things that they want to see in the results and and enabling you to mentally dismiss alternative views as outlying datapoints. The survey results as published, as well as your comment above, seem to combine to say "there is no problem, stop worrying, go back to doing what you do and leave this stuff to the professionals." This is saddening, frustrating, because it's quite different from an acknowledgement of my (and others!) concerns as something that we can work on together, but instead is a rejection of the validity of the issue itself.
"Back in the day" Wikimedians used to forward the fundraising message with their friends and family, ask for donations to the WMF in-lieu of christmas presents, and generally use the campaign as an opportunity to open conversations with people about their hobby and its social value. I certainly did, and heck, I even wrote the WMF into my will. The fundraiser was used (intentionally or unintentionally) in a way that empowered the community to "spread the word" of the Wikimedia mission - not just to get more money. Yes of course there have always been complaints about the banners, BUT when the community supports the underlying goal for the fundraiser, then they become evangelists for the mission. We used to say "we want you to donate your time, and your knowledge, but if you can't then please donate some money". I don't remember the last time I heard someone doing any of these things.
Nowadays, the fundraiser is something that "someone in San Francisco" does, that the community has no way to get involved in or support, and is generally something that we "put up with" like it's a bad smell that just has to be endured. [This is why I think the idea of the endowment is so enticing to many - as a way to avoid having to run a fundraiser.] I think the WMF is in a uniquely lucky position to be a charity with the world's-largest billboard that we can advertise ourselves on. However, this also means we can firewall fundraising from the rest of the operation - that department pays the bills so the rest of us can do our thing. This makes us complacent, IMO, because it means the WMF doesn't have to build a social contract with the community to support the annual plan (and consequently, the budget). It means that the WMF doesn't have to work with the community to build the motivation to spread the word about that annual plan (and consequently the donation request). Instead, the annual plan and fundraising target are considered effectively internal operating documents that are only published because it's our organisational-culture to do so. A good practical example of this is the way that fundraising donation methods (or entire donor-countries) appear and disappear without the local community in that country even being informed [e.g. for 2014 iDeal in the Netherlands, Russian donations altogether, and WMF banner testing in Italy at the same time as the local Chapters' tax-time appeal].
So, what I'm proposing is a different way of doing things. Instead of firewalling the WMF Fundraising department as law-unto-itself in the wikiverse that can do no wrong because it pays all the bills - integrate fundraising intellectually into the idea of spreading the mission. Make the fundraiser the global, annual, opportunity for the community and especially Chapters to talk about the mission, and not just about the A/B testing of banners to identify the right balance between efficient and obnoxious. We should be thinking in terms of annual-appeal effectiveness not just fundraising banner efficiency.
[By the way, please don't give me platitudes like "Thank you for participating, I know this year's fundraising will be more powerful in terms of both revenue and supporting our mission", it sounds like an impersonal robocall ]. Wittylama (talk) 12:22, 14 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, I was talking about this page with someone from Fundraising-tech at Wikimania who hadn't been involved in these discussions over the years (sorry, can't remember her name It was User:AGomez (WMF)). She made the impossible-to-refute point that - if I've got the time to write a 7 paragraph letter expressing my frustrations with past practices and suggesting a new fundraising paradigm, then I've also got the time to pull together a list of perennial concerns. People like myself and MeganHernandez (WMF) see the same debates every single year. But, given the average job-lifespan in the fundraising-tech industry is about 2 years, most of the people in the WMF fundraising team won't understand "we mentioned this last year, it's on Meta". So, in the interests of showing my good-faith to the fundraising process (and the team itself), I've taken the above request for feedback at its word and written a whole bunch of ideas down at Fundraising/2015-16 Fundraising ideas in one big edit. Some are longstanding and frequently-expressed things which are copied from previous suggestion lists, some are thoughts I only came up with in that conversation at Wikimania. But I've specifically tried to edit them down to only practical/usable (or to use the WMF-jargon - actionable :-) ) things within the current fundraising framework.
I'd really like to see this become the start of a conversation about how we can make the 2015/16 fundraiser not only the best in terms of income generated, but also the best in terms of community support. The 2015-16 Fundraising ideas page was created as a specific call for practical suggestions (and I hope others get involved too - ping Nemo et al.). But, I also really hope that that page will initiate a genuine conversation and not just be a list of ideas-submitted. That page could indeed represent the turning point in fundraising/community relations so that we can build mutual expectations/understanding. Otherwise, we'll just end up back at square one next year with the new fundraising staff being frustrated at hearing "we mentioned this last year, it's on Meta". Wittylama (talk) 16:43, 22 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because you mentioned me... You deserve a monument for having the force to write that list, but I'm afraid I'm not as strong. I've been involved in Wikimedia Foundation fundraising since 2008, while perhaps you skipped some rounds ;) (from a quick look at list archives). WMF can pay someone to read the archives and summarise/recover the proposals themselves; or we can hope in the existence of fresh, young blood that has not yet lost all hope. As for banner proposals, I think I made some in 2010 or earlier, like many others; I did my share and I don't feel a need to feed the black box further. --Nemo 08:31, 24 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: thank you to four million readers edit

What, you don't thank donors if they're editors? Just say "users". --Nemo 17:47, 8 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I strongly advise against "user" - which is understood among Wikipedians usually as "editor" or "contributor". If you say "reader", it's much more clear. --Ziko (talk) 17:58, 8 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is a semantic argument, but... as the essay to which you've contributed points out, "Reader" and "editor" are not separate people, but different roles that an individual can be at any point. All people who edit Wikipedia are by definition also people who read Wikipedia (people-who-edit are a sub-set of people-who-read) - but the reverse is not true. So, thanking "readers" for their donation is a perfectly legitimate. I agree with Ziko that "user" is a term-of-art in wikimedia and, also, is a quite unattractive word to use in English :-) If you really need to find an alternative to "reader" then "people" would be fine, or even just, "donors" (and that would also address the question below, about philanthropic grants and corporate donations)! Wittylama (talk) 11:22, 9 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whether a person donates as a reader or editor is not a choice we can impose on them from outside. Every editor is also a reader at some point, sure; but not necessarily when they donate. It's highly inappropriate to attribute intentions which have not been expressly stated. --Nemo 18:03, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Funding sources edit

In the survey into Anglo-Saxon Attitudes, slide 5, I was puzzled by the lack of an option for non-reader donations. After all, many of the larger donations seem to come from trusts, foundations, etc which cannot reasonably be termed "readers". Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:30, 8 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I suspect "readers" in WMF-speak means "the silent majority which supports us [and allows us to ignore everyone who speaks up]"; such foundations etc. would comply with the definition. --Nemo 18:05, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe so. Either way, it renders the answers to that particular question rather meaningless. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:51, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for reading the survey. It's a good point. There's often a balance to strike in the number of answer options for surveys. We will definitely consider this feedback when drafting similar questions in future surveys. Thanks a lot. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 21:18, 13 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

VentureBeat article edit

[ This section has been moved to here from where it was originally published, on Fundraising/2015-16 Fundraising ideas ]

According to VentureBeat, "Wikipedia tests full-screen ads to help drive donations". (The headline originally read "Lack of donations drives Wikipedia to test massive new ads", but VentureBeat seem to have realised belatedly that the Foundation presently has reserves of around $70 million, more than at any other point in its history.)

The sample ad depicted in that article still has the wordings, "If Wikipedia is useful to you, please take one minute to keep it online and ad-free" and "the price of a cup of coffee is all we need".

What the depicted ad is not talking about is what the money is actually going to be spent on:

  • further staff expansion (to a total of 280) mostly in engineering, finance/admin and PR,
  • the projects the paid staff will be working on (very little if any of which is content-related),
  • beginning to build an endowment, and so forth.

I don't expect anyone to contradict me if I say that this means the "online and ad-free" catchphrase is clearly here to stay because it is effective at making people donate, and that the vociferous community objections to that wording and its implications a few months ago have fallen on deaf ears. Andreas JN466 11:18, 29 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See also the public Facebook conversation about this article. I've expressed my personal frustrations there, no need to repeat them here. Wittylama (talk) 16:15, 30 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OMG, "dear readers". Sounds like a slap in their face, "get outta here!". Liam, that link is not public, it requires login; archival on a public place would be welcome. --Nemo 19:28, 1 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This banner was from a 1-hour test. We are trying a variety of new banner approaches (some with a lot of text, very little text, and visual images.) We’re trying many pretty different approaches to learn about what ideas work before refining on each detail. So far, it looks like readers respond most to banners with more facts in the message. We’ll keep working through new variations on the design as well as the message, but we will not be testing that exact banner again. The Communications department is in the loop on the article, and was part of a conversation about it on the ComCom mailing list.
We are very fortunate to have supportive readers. It really is reader donations that keep Wikimedia online and ad-free. Long ago, we decided to ask for donations instead of running ads, but we need to continue to ask people to donate. Reader donations do more than just keep us online and ad-free. In the past year, we have added lines to the donation message that talk about more parts of the project (costs, programs, and the community volunteers sharing the world’s knowledge). We want to find more ways to educate our readers about more parts of the Wikimedia projects, in a way that’s also powerful for raising the budget. Do you have other suggestions to try? If so, will you add them to the fundraising ideas meta page? MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 18:31, 12 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tempora mutantur edit

Are the pages Fundraising facts and Fundraising drive still considered relevant? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:13, 1 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, thanks for asking. Those pages are very old and out-dated. I'll talk with my team about the best way to archive these old pages. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 18:35, 12 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I added the {{essay}} template and some context to Fundraising facts, and moved the content of Fundraising drive to this page's discussion archive. Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 17:01, 13 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for that. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 17:26, 13 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Apparent latest banners edit

To whom it may concern, here's the fundraising banner I got today. Despite the criticism of some, the WMF appears to be doubling down on the "price of a cup of coffee" spiel, now complete with artwork! Here's the image itself. I've gotten donation banners three or four times over the past few months (I gather these are shown randomly throughout the year, outside of the main fundraiser), although this is the first time I've gotten the artwork. Guess I should go ahead and block site notices in AdBlock. -- 15:39, 12 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This banner was from a brief 30-minute test. We are trying a variety of new banner approaches (some with a lot of text, very little text, and visual images.) We’re trying many pretty different approaches to learn about what ideas work before refining on each detail.
To limit the disruption from the fundraising campaign, we do not run banners to logged in users, all banners include a close button, and we also provide instructions for anyone who requests to not see banners anymore. If you do not want to see anymore banners, please click on this link or create a user account. If you have any ideas for new messages to try, please add to the 2015-16 test ideas page. Thanks! MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 18:47, 12 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hehe, I hope the USA coffee container/bicchiere format was not used in Europe! This is the only correct format of coffee ;)   --Nemo 17:48, 13 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for adding! The testing team has actually been talking about this as well. Your idea was pasted on the test ideas page. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 18:01, 31 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Google fails sites with big banners edit

Those ads typically block all the content on the site until you find that little small ‘x’ to click away the ad and Google will move people away from them. How are such banners/interstitials detected? Is there a chance for the huge fundraising banners to be caught by this system? --Nemo 06:33, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Nemo bis: Thanks for pointing that out. From Google's announcement and all the discussion that I could find, it looks like this change is targeted specifically at app install interstitials, and not ones used for other purposes. Also our fundraising banners are designed not to be loaded by Googlebot and other crawlers (you may recall the issue last year when they were), so this shouldn't affect us even if Google do broaden the scope. I double-checked using Google's testing tool, our interstitial banner doesn't show up and the site is still deemed mobile-friendly: [1]
Of course we'll still try to limit the use of such banners (we currently aim to show a user roughly one per year, cookies permitting) and keep them easy to dismiss. Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 19:51, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

French-speaking Wikipedia edit


Could the french community give its opinion BEFORE october 19th and the beginning of the campaign ?

We'll have to answer a lot of questions from anonymous users so we'd prefer to be associated to the content. Thank you. 10:35, 13 October 2015 (UTC) (added signature) Kvardek du (talk) 11:44, 14 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Kvardek du

Ensuring the community is informed so that they can assist with any queries from the wider public is an excellent idea. In addition, we always appreciate and take seriously the constructive feedback we get back from the community.

We have posted an initial message on the Bistro to inform the community of the campaign and, have followed up with more details about what we are looking to be starting with next week. I apologize that the message is in English for now, I will follow up with a French translation tomorrow. Also, please remember that with the fundraiser, things can change at the last minute so it won't necessarily be the final banner but the community will at least know what sort of thing to expect. We are also collaborating with Wikimedia France regarding the French fundraising campaign and banner messaging. Thank you for your support.

Regards JRobell (WMF) (talk) 11:16, 18 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As I said on the Bistro (French WP Village Pump) about the final banners, some are just the same grim black as last year. The implied message it conveys is "we are dying from lack of money", which may have been objectively measured as more effective but is not in line with Fundraising principles/Transparency "All Wikimedia fundraising activities must be truthful with prospective donors"; also see Talk:Fundraising principles#message content "message sounds like an obituary".
On the same day on the Bistro there was a question whether emails from Wikipedia asking for money are phishing or not, what is telling about their content is that everybody was sure they are until I answered that (wmf:2014-2015 Fundraising Report) "Readers submit their email address for future communications when they make a donation and a year later the fundraising team sends an annual reminder to donate." Oliv0 (talk) 08:43, 23 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Oliv0,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Some of the banners we run on the site are black this year as well. We are however running a number of color tests, testing lighter colors, as well as other designs and text variations. We have also decreased the size of the banner running on the French site, you can compare the one you linked to with a current one. Also, thank you for pointing me to the page regarding email feedback. We are looking into different ways that we can make it more clear to donors that the emails are indeed sincere donation requests, and not a matter of spam. We are collaborating with French translators as well as other French natives on the messaging in French. If you have ideas on how to make the appeals sound more natural, following your comments on this page, we are open to and appreciate all feedback and advice. Please feel free to leave ideas on the [Fundraising ideas talk page] or reach out to me directly on my talk page or via email. Thank you for your support. JRobell (WMF) (talk) 16:05, 29 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Oliv0, I hope this message finds you well. We have one week to go of the fundraiser in France. (The banner impressions are however limited to three at this point. Ie, if you have already seen three banners, you won't be seeing any more banners.) If you or other community members you have been in touch with have ideas on how to further improve the banner or suggestions for tests, please don't hesitate to share. Here is the version of the large banner we are currently using in France. As you can see, the size of the banner is smaller now than the beginning of the campaign, and there have been some changes in the text. If you have suggestions or ideas, please add them to [this page] or reach out to me directly. Many thanks, JRobell (WMF) (talk) 14:14, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Q: How do banners & campaigns work? edit

This is to add more information about how banners work, in response to questions received at

A: We currently run banners at a low level throughout the year as well as in main campaigns that run ~2-4 weeks per country. Banners are complemented by email requests to previous donors. Throughout the year, it’s possible for readers to see a couple of banners outside of the main campaign (but only after seeing several pages without banners and never more than one banner at a time). There are still a significant amount of readers who report not seeing any banners. Of the readers who do report seeing banners, most see a few banners a year. We are still refining our banner targeting system and will be improving individual banner targeting this year. If you do spot any issues, please let us know so we can investigate. For more information on fundraising campaigns and reader feedback, please see the 2014-15 fundraising report:

Donation banners are designed to show to readers that have enabled cookies on their browser, and to hide after the banner is shown a few times or after a donation. Hiding, however, depends upon a cookie that we insert in the browser. Banner hiding won't work if you clear your browser's cache, delete cookies, or change browsers or computers. Also, if you happen to see a large banner, this is designed to show only one time, and will appear in a reduced size on subsequent views. We do not show banners to readers who have cookies disabled.

If you would not like to see fundraising banners, there are several options available to you. We test a variety of banners, but all fundraising banners include a close option. If you visit the 'Donor Thank You' page, a cookie will be inserted in your browser to stop showing you banners: You can also create an account on Wikipedia - fundraising banners are not shown to users that log-in to Wikipedia accounts. More information on creating an account can be found at

MBeattie (WMF) (talk) 21:38, 15 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cf. comment at [2]. Nemo 09:23, 7 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikimedia Fundraising and Nudging ... edit

Less than 1% of the readers donate -- is this a useful message? (signaling social norm)

Hi, I have two questions regarding the fundraising campagnes and en:Nudge theory

  1. Who are the guys in charge selecting the default-options for donation? E.g. 3, 5, 10, ... Dollars? Is Wikimedia experimenting on which small amounts are best to choose in order to maximize fundraising? In the german wikipedia there were two versions available thesedays, with a minimum of 5 euro and 2 euro. (not representative) but I got the impression that the low amount of 2 euro was much more successfull (corresponding to say a coffee instead of 5 euro like a fast-food menu).
  2. Why don't we apply those social norm finding (e.g. beginners literature Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness 2008) that a more positive formulation of the people donating should be implemented? In this case, instead of communicating that the share of readers donating is soooo small, we could emphasize that there are nearly 500.000 (half a million) individuals donating (and compare this to, e.g. the size of population of en:Luxembourg)?

Thank you, --WissensDürster (talk) 18:02, 8 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey WissensDurster thanks for the suggestions. Really appreciate them.
  1. In terms of the ask amounts, over the years we have tested various different combinations in particular the larger currencies (Euro and USD) . In fact very recently we did a test on mobile between 5 and 7 ask amounts.
  2. The idea of a small donation actually performs really well. We have tested this against the idea of a lot of people giving, but this hasn't worked as well. We are interested in testing more ideas around this concept so please do send any you have our way, would definitely be appreciated.
Thank you on behalf of the team :) Jseddon (WMF) (talk) 01:19, 14 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inappropriate content in the translation of an e-mail edit

There is a discussion on the French village pump about this tweet, where a user says he received an e-mail related to the fundraising whose first sentence was « finissons-en ». This wording is at best impolite and at worst threatening. It basically means "we don't want to waste more time with you, now give us your money and go away".

No one seems to have found the text of this e-mail anywhere on meta-wiki so far, so I can't say for sure that it is authentic, but could you please check?


Orlodrim (talk) 19:47, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can you also add your definition to wikt:finissons while you are it? Thanks! Nemo 21:16, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Finissons-en would mean something like "let's put this to an end" (Italian: facciamola finita), a strange phrasing indeed. The parts shown in the tweet, the subject "<firstname> – Finissons-en" and the first words "Il y a un an, vous avez fait un don" ("one year ago you donated") are not from Fundraising/Translation/Email 1/fr or Fundraising/Translation/Email 2/fr, are some other versions being emailed? Oliv0 (talk) 21:18, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, what I wrote was not really a translation. But when you use this expression, it comes with the assumption that you are talking about something unpleasant, and that's how I would understand the intent in this context (→ en:wikt:en finir). Orlodrim (talk) 23:13, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The full text of the email in the tweet is not as shocking as the subject line and is in line with the typical French fundraising banner, as has been confirmed by a WP user (who however found "lack of taste" in the way it starts, highlighted in yellow: "one year ago you donated $X to keep Wikipedia online and ad-free"). So maybe someone else translated quickly the email subject as "Let's put this to an end" (Finissons-en) and did not realise that this very short piece of text is the most important of all. Oliv0 (talk) 17:27, 13 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dear all,

I have posted a French reply on the Bistro page and am also following up with an English reply here.

I am writing following recent feedback regarding a subject line used for an email sent out to French donors last week. Thank you to those who have sent valuable feedback on the latest email. Our current best performing subject line for English donor emails reads ‘Let’s end it’. In French, the line that was used was “Finissons-en”. We recognize that this French translation was received poorly by some donors, who perceived the message as impolite, threatening, or in other ways negative. This was certainly not our intention and we sincerely apologize to those of you who were in any way offended by this message. We do work with French native speakers and translators on the translation and localization of our messaging. However, from these reactions it seems we were not cautious enough regarding the connotation of “Finissons-en” in French when this subject line was chosen. We have learned from previous testing that using messages that involve a deadline, or somehow point to the end of the campaign, perform very well. We are considerate of our donors’ time and aim to limit the time we run fundraisers and the number of appeals we send, ‘Let’s end it’ is intended to reflect that. As mentioned on various threads, we are always open to and highly appreciate feedback on how we can improve our fundraising banner messages and email appeals. If you want to become part of a group of French speaking community members who would be open to sharing your ideas and give us feedback on translation and localization, we encourage you to sign up here.

Also, please be informed that the French fundraiser ended on Friday, a couple of days earlier than planned, following the tragic events in Paris. Our thoughts go out to the entire French community and to everyone affected. We will post another note here to wrap up the fundraiser shortly. In the meanwhile, thank you again for your support.


JRobell (WMF) (talk) 13:58, 18 November 2015 (UTC) on behalf of the Wikimedia Fundraising teamReply[reply]

Thanks for your answer.
So a literal translation would be "mettons-y fin" (maybe a bit dramatic, but it is clear that the pronoun "y" is about something that will be explained in the message, whereas "en" in "finissons-en" could mean "the relationship between Wikimedia and the recipient").
I think it would be more natural not to use a pronoun and say for instance "Terminons au plus vite l'appel aux dons" (let's end the call for donations as soon as possible). But I don't have a lot of experience in making up catchy sentences ;-)
Orlodrim (talk) 20:43, 18 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you very much Orlodrim . I highly appreciate the feedback! Kind regards, JRobell (WMF) (talk) 10:01, 19 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Request in deWP to inform you edit

Please inform those, who are involved

Dear Donation collectors!

I was ready to support a project like Wikipedia financially with a donation of 150€. But the precondition is to be able to use the project at all. A huge advertising banner, that nearly filled up the whole screen and was impossible to turn off didn't help in any way. So, no donation by me.

To put it different: GET RID OF THIS F**** ADVERT - THEN I'LL DONATE.

I think, this here ist the right place to make this known to those responsible. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:21, 14 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for the note. The local chapter manages the fundraiser in Germany. We are collaborating with the team in Germany and have let them know about this note here and will follow up with them on feedback. MeganHernandez (WMF) (talk) 19:33, 20 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reader Survey November 2015 edit

A consistent portion of respondents said to be brought to believe falsehoods by the banners

I still have no idea what purpose this survey is supposed to have. My main take away is that a smaller banner is considered less intrusive, woah! Groundbreaking!

  • It's also sad that such surveys are used to further spread falsehoods, such as that donors are "donating to Wikipedia". It's troubling how many respondents believe such a thing, showing a complete failure of the fundraising team's at giving objective information to the donors in order to get informed donations.
  • The comments about some of the results are either laughable or worryingly unethical or totally unscientific, such as the one pictured above. The survey did not test what "[the] banners tested give". AFAIK, the usual way to measure such a thing is to survey the respondents' knowledge before and after targeting them with some campaign material.
  • Next time I suggest to focus on things we are unable to measure, like "the banners made me feel sick", "the banners caused me technical issues", "I saw no banners, only occasional malware", "the banners scared me", "banners made me less likely to visit the site again", "banners increased my likelihood to edit", etc. etc.
  • I see that several questions have a big level of "rebellion" by respondends, as hinted by the number of "Other" and "None of the above" answers. For instance, in "Why Did NOT Donate to Wikipedia*", the two non-options total to almost as many responses as four other options combined, showing that the options provided are unable to capture the real answers of the respondents.

Nemo 23:12, 20 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • This survey was only run in the US, but a lot of the concerns I've heard about the banners have been how they translate to other countries (particularly the $/£/€/<insert currency here> cup of coffee banner. Would it be possible to run the survey again in the other countries that funds are being raised from, to see if cultural differences in the results can be identified? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 06:16, 21 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the question, Mike. This survey was U.S. only, so it did not dig into the cultural differences you mentioned. We have explored that other ways though, mostly focus groups and user testing. We are always looking for better ways to represent the concept in different cultural terms and we are using some other concepts in different countries. Also, we have one banner the emphasizes the coffee comparison and one that uses a lightbulb image. Lastly, we will be doing a similar reader survey in a non-English speaking country and this will be one of the things we try to understand\represent better. --Lgruwell-WMF (talk) 22:47, 22 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The three banners shown in this survey don't reflect the ones that were most troubling (the ones that made it sound like Wikimedia was dying and it was urgent that people donated). If that copy is being dropped in this fundraiser, bravo. If not, then this survey doesn't really address a major concern from the last fundraiser. --Ryan Lane (talk) 19:55, 24 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Ryan. Hope you are doing well. Yes, the language in the banners used in the survey is the language we plan to use this year. We have dropped the language from last year that I think concerned you. --Lgruwell-WMF (talk) 18:03, 25 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ridiculous Banner Size edit

The 2015-12 Fundraising Banner looks on a 1366 x 768 display

Who came up with this banner? Who thought it acceptable to take so much screen estate that none of the front page content is visible? You can't even see the whole logo. If you're going to make the front page unusable on first entry - just have an interstitial. Readers will hate it just as much, but designers have more space to play with. 1366 x 768 is one of the most popular laptop resolutions, my experience is not niche.

Maybe this banner A/B tested really well. But take a look at the commercial web, it's full of awful distracting adverts that mislead, it's like that because that awfulness A/B tests really well. Stop making Wikipedia awful. - hahnchen (talk) 21:54, 1 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hahnchen I was curious to see how common your screen size was. Interestingly enough it's a pretty common size! Especially if you consider the height as being the most obtrusive vector. Ckoerner (talk) 18:45, 2 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Related discussion on the EasyList (ad-blocking) forum. [3] - hahnchen (talk) 17:11, 3 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just realised that this issue was raised on Phabricator in August - It too referred to the banner size as ridiculous, but the response seems to be, "no one gives a shit". - hahnchen (talk) 12:02, 4 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Hahnchen: Thanks for the report. Sorry, we hadn't realised the banner was so large at this screen size. I added some code to the large banners last night which adjusts the size based on window height, as well as the adjustments based on width that we already had. This should make it somewhat smaller at 1366x768. Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 14:33, 4 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Pcoombe (WMF): should banner size be responsive to HTML viewport geometry? EllenCT (talk) 18:13, 12 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia has a ton of money. So why is it begging you to donate yours? edit

Two days ago there was an article in the WP about this years begging spree: Wikipedia has a ton of money. So why is it begging you to donate yours?

The headline is a really good question. The WMF is awash with tons of money, that would last for decades if only spent for "keeping up the servers" and "maintaining the software". Why beg at all for more cash, if the current one can't be spent in a matter that helps the communities? --Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:09, 4 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I completely agree with you that the strategy and the budget of the WMF needs to be better justified and consulted-upon with the editing-community and wider-public. An excellent example of this is the comments section on the Wikipedia related Sub-Reddit in the thread asking people to donate to Wikimedia. The top comment says that they're a wikipedian editor but that they won't donate money because - and I summarise here - they can't see what benefit all the added money is actually bringing. From the perspective of the editing community, and also from the reading public, there is no difference to the Wikipedia under the budget three years ago from the target budget today.
HOWEVER: I don't think that's an issue that the Fundraising department is able to answer, nor is it responsible for it. That's a question for the executive (who set the strategy, and the budget) and the Board (who approve it). Wittylama (talk) 22:51, 6 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi @Sänger:

My name is Sam, and I work on the Communications team at the Foundation. We (Communications) wanted to share a bit of context about the Washington Post article. WMF Communications had been in contact with the reporter, and followed up with her after the story published to correct an inaccurate figure of the Foundation’s reserve. The article originally stated that the Foundation’s reserve amounts to three times our expenses, when in reality it is closer to 1.5 times. As we mentioned to the reporter, maintaining a reserve is a best practice in non-profit management. It’s a safety net to protect Wikipedia against external factors that could affect our ability to raise funds for our operating budget each year. The Washington Post changed the article and added a correction note that reads: “Correction: Due to a math error, this story originally reported that Wikipedia’s net assets are “about three times” the site’s annual expenses. In fact, they are about 1.5 times the site’s annual expenses. We regret the error.”

We also clarified a few additional points in the article, including those around community funds distribution and WMF employee benefits. For example, we do share detailed information about community funds distribution, including applications, feedback, and monitoring and evaluation reports on the Grantmaking portal. Additionally, WMF full time employees do have wellness benefits, but the sentence in the article describing these benefits is pretty misleading. Unlike many Bay Area companies, we don’t have on-site cafeterias, gyms, or dry-cleaning services. We have pretzels and coffee machines, and are otherwise similar to other non-profit organizations of our size. We seek to recruit great people in a highly competitive market, and provide our employees benefits that allow them to stay healthy and fit, while covering the occasional babysitter.

I hope this helps to offer more context to this article. If you have any questions about this article or how we work with the media more generally, please feel free to reach out to me on my user page or by email. Thank you. SLien (WMF) (talk) 23:36, 16 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not really. WMF is awash with tons of money, full stop. OK, they somehow expanded paid satff in a way, nobody would have expected, but is it really so good for the core of this, being the maintenance and service hub for the communities? Or do they do stuff nobody wants, hire excessive amounts of people to this, and wonder why they are alienating the people that really matter, those that generate content.
Take for example the desasters with VE and MV, and looming on the horizont Flow. Here tons of money and goodwill were burned for dubious goals of some central entity, that failed to recognize it's service charakter and tried to be som kind of central command. On the other hand, the real core of its business, the running and keeping up of the servers and maintenance of existing software, is not that high on the agenda. This year the tool server was down for a considerable time. It must never ever be down more then seconds, if the maintenance organization, whose firstmost priority is the keepüing up of the servers didn' manage to do it's core business, they simply failed. And that on a time, where need for money was nothing to be taken as an excuse, there were and still are more ressources on the pockets to hire enough technichians to guarrantee a real good uptime of all the servers, and the tool server ios a real core one that never must fail.
Flashy and unwanted new projects like MV or Flow shouldn't get any priority, they are just pet tools by some higher-ups who don't want to be bothered by the core business: maintenance. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 05:31, 17 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I read the new sentence "Please help us end the fundraiser and improve Wikipedia" ([4]) as saying that Wikipedia's problem is the fundraiser, hence Wikipedia can be improved by ending it: is that the intended meaning? If so, congrats for honesty. :) Nemo 12:40, 17 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree the mission statement should be more prominently featured in the ask. EllenCT (talk) 16:39, 12 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Verifying knowledge edit

«Wikipedia exists to verify, protect, and share the combined knowledge of humanity» ([5]): what? I never heard such a thing, you seem to be saying that Wikipedia does original research. Please get your facts straight. Nemo 12:43, 17 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You don't think that all follows by fully entailed logical deduction from the terms of the Foundation mission? EllenCT (talk) 16:38, 12 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you saying the WMF mission includes original research? But the sentence was about Wikipedia. Nemo 06:01, 13 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is fact checking original research, or secondary research? EllenCT (talk) 13:04, 3 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please measure effect of providing desktop interface to mobile users edit

As per [6] please measure whether mobile users offered the standard desktop experience by default tend to contribute by editing more and donate more money than mobile site or mobile app users. Thank you. EllenCT (talk) 16:09, 12 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Ellen, I can't see the reasoning for testing this. Is there any evidence which suggests that this might increase donation rates? Besides, such a major change to the site experience would be outside the remit of the Fundraising team alone. We're not going to make radical changes and potentially degrade users' experience on mobile devices just on the off chance it might make a few extra dollars. Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 15:43, 25 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Pcoombe (WMF): yes; don't we already have good evidence that standard desktop experience users contribute more money and edit more? Do you think running a small experimental group based only on ignoring the device user agent is a radical change? EllenCT (talk) 08:31, 10 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Pcoombe (WMF): I note that there were no objections when I asked about this in greater detail on Jimbo's talk page. Do you intend to measure this? If not, why not? EllenCT (talk) 16:08, 27 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


we already have good evidence that standard desktop experience users contribute more money and edit more

It's true that we do get more donations and a higher completion rate on the desktop site. But this is simply because users of that site are overwhelmingly using desktop/laptop computers rather than mobile devices. It's well established among fundraisers that users on mobile devices are less likely to complete a donation [7]. Moving them away from a mobile-optimised experience seems like it's only going to make things worse.
We have no plans to do this as a fundraising test because it would be a radical change, even if only for a small subset of users, and would have a large amount of other effects beyond Fundraising. If you feel it should be tried for other reasons, I think the Desktop & Mobile Web team is the best group to approach (but I can't imagine they would be enthusiastic about it either). Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 18:37, 3 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Pcoombe (WMF): so we do have evidence, but you exclude the possibility because it "seems like" it wouldn't produce greater donations or editorial contributions? I am convinced your decision is ill-considered and would like to appeal it to management instead of the staff and contractors to whom you refer. Who is an appropriate manager with decision making authority concerning this measurement to whom I may appeal? EllenCT (talk) 18:58, 3 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Pcoombe (WMF): No, I've just explained why that "evidence" doesn't actually support this test from a fundraising perspective. Megan Hernandez is our Director of Online Fundraising, she is on vacation today but I'll ask her to comment here. Wes Moran is Vice President of Product, and would probably be most responsible for any decisions about switching the default mobile experience. Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 21:36, 3 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. Please see subsequent discussion here. @MeganHernandez (WMF): will you please make such a measurement? 14:44, 8 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Ellen et al -- per Peter's reference the reason that mobile sites don't perform as well as desktop sites is because they are not optimized for mobile experiences. We continue to work on ways to engage mobile users for reading, editing and donating, but showing the desktop experience to mobile users to increase donations isn't one of the strategies under consideration because it contradicts this logic. We're all for ideas to increase the effectiveness of our fundraising efforts, but you can please speak to this issue? TNegrin (WMF) (talk) 20:25, 21 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@MeganHernandez (WMF): has anyone ever measured whether edits or contributions increase when mobile users are offered the standard desktop experience? How about as a function of general screen geometry categories? If not, would you please? EllenCT (talk) 21:33, 4 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Kudos edit

I was very glad to see that the year-to-date fundraising has returned to all-time high levels last seen in 2013. Are there any plans to limit fundraising to a specific dollar target this year? If so, what is that target? EllenCT (talk) 16:11, 27 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Endowment goal? edit

What is the goal for endowment fundraising, in US dollars? EllenCT (talk) 13:04, 3 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please see Talk:Endowment#Goal proposal. EllenCT (talk) 16:51, 3 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Japanese study edit

On wmf:file:Report.WikimediaJapan.f.071916.pdf, the most interesting part is IMHO where we get numbers for our long-held suspicion that Japanese contribute less to non-profits and international efforts. Having a Japanese chapter would be very valuable!

We also get a confirmation of the importance of proper translation and translation validation (by the way, phabricator:T96552 is quite pressing).

I don't know how a single focus group in Tokyo can be representative of such a varied country, but it's a first step. On the other hand, I'm curious to hear how the results from the online survey were normalised to become (more) representative of the general population. For instance, the results say that mobile is used less often, but that would mean little if users were interviewed/recruited only on desktop. Nemo 22:52, 1 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Misleading Italian emails edit

I see from [8] that WMF sent an email which actively spreads misinformation, such as the concept that "Wikipedia Italy" exists (the biggest misconception handled by the WMIT FAQ, wmit:10.3), and contains some false friends such as "articoli". Such campaigns by WMF are enormously harmful to the Wikipedia community. --Nemo 16:11, 26 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fundraising banner edit

Typical experience:

Using a non-home computer one goes to the (English) Wikipedia site and is immediately confronted by an advert taking up half the page, which one has to click to dismiss.

Then one signs in - and is not aware of any further requests.

Who is more likely to give - IP Wikipedia-ists or registered members?

Rationalwiki (whatever else one thinks of it) has a smaller banner (and a 'percentage of target reached' ribbon - which can go above 100%). Would this be possible? 16:21, 8 December 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Following on from the above - just got a full page advert: likely to dissuade quite a few people. 16:44, 8 December 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More people who would prefer commercials: --Nemo 09:21, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Payments from India edit

Can people donate from India with Oxigen, Paytm, MobiKwik, RuPay? See Digital payments soar by up to 300% after demonetisation. --Nemo 16:39, 30 December 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Text of Dutch e-mail leads to suspicion of phishing edit

A got a message from a Dutch donor (through OTRS) who thought the mail he received was phising/fraud. This was because of 1 particular sentence: "Mensen hebben me gewaarschuwd dat ik spijt zou krijgen, <name of the donor>". Personally I must say I wouldn't trust an e-mail starting with that sentence either. Mbch331 (talk) 08:08, 1 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the report. I'm also curious where this sentence comes from: I can't find it in the translation system.[9] --Nemo 13:39, 3 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hey @Mbch331:, what would you recommend as an alternative? Seddon (WMF) (talk)
A ping without a timestamp won't work. So pinging @Mbch331: again. Stryn (talk) 19:59, 7 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Insults are a bad way to get donations edit

Please remove the comment about "the price of a cup of coffee" from the Israel version. When you write that our money is so meaningless that we should consider 15 shekels to be the price of a cup of coffee (the actual price being 6 shekels), you're probably not helping get donations. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 04:44, 13 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the feedback. We hadn't heard that from any of our Israeli reviewers, but after doing a bit more research we have removed that line from the banners. We also have some tests lined up to see the effect of asking for lower amounts. Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 20:51, 13 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Donor records edit

I'm a bit surprised by the outcome at wmf:Resolution:Approval for the Document Retention Policy#Part B - Fundraising Department. Storing records for millions of donors for 10 years doesn't sound like a good idea: that's a lot of subpoena potential! Is there really such an excessive requirement by any applicable law? In Italy for instance most records can be deleted after 5 years, and I'd expect USA federal laws to have some minimum threshold on donation amount. It would be nice to reduce the amount or duration of the information recorded, e.g. for people who donated less than 10 $ (or whatever other threshold would exclude, say, 95 % of the donors). --Nemo 08:06, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey @Nemo bis:, I want to double check my response with legal to confirm but our data retention policy relating to donor records is in line with charitable best practice for the State of California. In the United States, document retention policies are typically shaped by the statute of limitation that applies to a certain activity, which can be set at both Federal and, most importantly in this case, State level. California which has one of the longest statutes of limitation for charitable activities within the United States at 10 years. So you are correct in that the retention policy is longer than usual in comparison to most charities and non-profits, but it is the norm for those based within the State of California. Seddon (WMF) (talk) 17:28, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Return to "Fundraising/Archive 3" page.