Timeline of distribution of oversight + fundingEdit

Agency + OversightEdit

One of the remarkable aspects of Wikipedia is the full oversight and responsibility for site governance given to the community. This has led to better moderation practice and nuance, btter tools for same, and better distribution among languages and subcommunities of all sizes, than most community networks have. It has also extended to a solid regional network of stable organizations building lasting connections with GLAM, government, and news organizations, though their growth has slowed greatly in the last 6 years.


2000-01: Tiered editor permissions.

2001-03: Open editor permissions, adminship is now big deal, everyone is wikipress. Name + server technically owned by [J+B]

2004-06: WMDE founded, as a membership organization. WMF founded (History of the WMF), considers membership to choose one trustee and community elections to choose another, but membership is hard to define + this is revised to just be community elections. Name + servers are owned by this independent Foundation, aiming for community governance. 0 staff at first, then an office manager + single dev + ED.

Chapters network takes shape, AffCom is founded.

Thematic organizations and other Affiliates are recognized.

Board expanded to 7 seats, board-appointed members added.

2012: Wikimedia Chapters Association concept is developed, and a Charter drafted. Fae and Ziko are interim chair and deputy, 30 chapters sign on. 2013: Markus is elected chair of the WCA; later in the year, around Wikimania, it disbands.

2014: Two community Board seats designated for selection by Chapters and Thematic Orgs, bringing back early visions of a membership that elects some trustees.

2017: 6-year term limits instantiated.

2019: Term limits extended to 9 years.

2020: Trustee election postponed due to COVID-19 for up to a year. ElecComm not involved in the decision or process. Board expansion to 16 trustees proposed.

In September, a comprehensive rewrite of the Bylaws is proposed that not only expands the Board but changes every aspect of the selection process and removes the clause mandating a majority of Trustees be selected by the community.

Funding and other resourcesEdit

The distribution of funds and technical resources across the movement.

2000-03: Server(s) + bandwidth funded by Jimbo. No other costs.

2003-05: Crowdfunding. Brion Vibber laptop replacement. First tiny grants (Lounsbery), Grants Committee. Conference grants (mania: Kapor, OSI). In-kind grants (Yahoo +).

2004: Hypothetical sample budget developed for pursuing grants. WMDE forms, w/ membership fees. Later, WMF forms.

2006-08: Banner campaigns, first large grants. WMDE pursues grants and partnerships, other chapters form. Push for chapter professionalization + local fundraising capacity, chapters encouraged to expand.

2009-2012: Various approaches by different chapters in fundraising and building their own mailing lists.

2012: Fundraising guidelines announced by WMF, made obligatory, partially limiting development of local fundraising capacity. FDC founded. Annual chapter budgets at ~15% of total global fundraising.

Small grants, directly to Wikimedians for software + content projects, were declared as a priority (but never rose above $500k/yr in granted funds? overhead generally exceeded grants made.)

APG budgets essentially frozen by WMF on a few occasions: once around 2011-2012, while setting up the FDC, again around 2017 while also freezing WMF budgets, and again in 2018 when starting the strategy process.

Timeline of funds distributionEdit

detailed financials are no longer obviously available in one place...? Annual plans on meta.
For the rough financials below: the WMF # is net WMF income := (total WMF revenue - funds processing - $5M annual endowment grant). %s shown are estimates of (funds that WMF gives as grants to affiliates + individuals)/(total WMF revenue - funds processing - endowment grant). For a number of years, WMDE's budget added another ~5% to the global total from their direct fundraising (including a mix of banner fundraising and direct-mail and membership funds). Other chapters have smaller independent revenue sources + grants; summing to a further 1-3% of global fundraising.
Starting in 2013 or so, a number of foundation efforts, including the costs of staff and events, have been counted as community engagement; grants make up roughly half of this.

2006: (financials)

2007: (financials, letter from the Board)

2008: (financials, Q&A)

2009 (plan): (financials) NB: links broken for 2008 + 2009 Annual Reports (1, 2)

2010: WMF $10M (after donation processing), internet hosting 1M, grants 200k (at the time, donations went directly to WMDE, CH, IT; the latter two gave some back to WMF as gifts), WMDE ?

2011: WMF 18M, internet hosting 2M, grants 500k ( " ", contributions from Wikimedia AU, AT, CH, DE, FR, HU, NL, SV, UK ), WMDE ? ( >15% of global fundraising goes to chapters, incl direct gifts ?)

2012: WMF ?, hosting ?, grants 1M (" ". FDC launched, fundraising recentralize through it. Forecast of $10M of annual plan grants in 2012.), WMDE ? ( >15% of global fundraising goes to chapters, incl direct gifts. we stop calculating this total in 2013 ?)

2013: WMF 35M, hosting 2.5M, grants 2.7M + WMDE ~2M directly? (~13%; what happened to the forecast of 10M?)

For a time, WMDE processed its own banner fundraising, and sent some to WMF; at some point this switched and banner-fundraising processing happed at WMF, and a set amount was sent to WMDE. Hence the apparent bump in total grants in the 2014 budget, mainly a shift in accounting.

2014 (plan): WMF ~44M, hosting 2.5M, "Direct support to the community" 11M, incl. grants of 5.7M (13%)

The FDC asks the WMF to go through the Annual Plan process as well. This offers a chance for 360-degree feedback that is accepted for one season, but contentious the next year. (starting this year, WMF budget is listed excluding payment-processing fees but including grants + endowment)

2015 (plan): WMF 50M, hosting ?, grants 4.5 (APG), total per 2020 report 6M (12%).

WMF Endowment launched w/ 5M. This ends up being a flat 5M contribution each year from the WMF budget, less than the initial idea of "funds raised beyond the planned budget + reserve". Future Annual Plans add this $5M to the total for 'awards and grants'. Add note on the large drop in grants this year...

2016 (plan): WMF 62M, hosting 2M, "Direct support" 17.5M incl. grants of 6.4M (10%) + endowment 5M

2017 (plan): All budget sectors roughly frozen from previous year (9% ?)

2018 (plan): WMF 77M, hosting 2M, "Direct support" 27M incl. grants of 8.5M, but the later grantmaking report suggests 7.5M (10%)+ endowment 5M. What is the other 13M?

This is the last year the FDC is operational (last set of recommendations). It is put on hiatus without a Board resolution during the ongoing Strategy process, leading APGs to ; pages are not marked historical on Meta.

2019 fin. (plan): WMF 86M, hosting 2M, grants 7.5M (9%), endowment 5M

2020+: (Medium-term plan) - WMF ?, hosting ?, grants 8.5M (9%), endowment 5M?

See the excellent 2019-20 grantmaking report. 68% of grants made went to Europe and North America.

Message + ImpactEdit

Wiki LovesEdit

Wiki Loves MonumentsEdit

Wiki Loves XEdit

Anniversary celebrationsEdit

10th, 15th, 20th

Government and Policy influenceEdit

EU: Influence at regional level

National examples: <long list>