Wikimedia Deutschland/2014 annual plan/en


This is the draft of the Annual Plan 2014 by Wikimedia Deutschland.

Draft Annual Plan 2014 – to connect and enable

Introduction edit

This document is a draft version of the 2014 Annual Plan. The final version will be approved by the Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) general assembly. The plan describes the goals that the association has set itself for 2014, explains why it has set these goals, and defines how their success can be measured. The goals are anchored in the purpose of the association and its charter: to promote the creation, collection, and dissemination of free content. This plan and its programs are based on the lessons learned during the implementation of the 2013 Annual Plan.

About the method edit

Work on the 2014 Annual Plan began in early August 2013. The first step involved preparatory work by the WMDE departments. The Evaluation Unit was responsible for managing and coordinating the methodology during this stage. As a starting point, all current projects were grouped in cross-departmental programs that each share one common long-term goal. This facilitates systematic project evaluation and meeting the formal requirements for Wikimedia movement fund applications (see Funds Dissemination Committee). We also developed a change model for each program, describing the goal and the means by which it is to be achieved step by step. We drew up preliminary indicators for all change models in order to facilitate impact measurement. The Evaluation Unit published the models and indicators along with the Annual Plan, and will be responsible for reviewing and developing them in the long term and in line with recognized standards. The change models provide the conceptual basis for planning and evaluating the projects and, consequently, for this Annual Plan. The present document was compiled by the departments, the Executive Director, and the Supervisory Board with the support of the Communications Unit. It informs about the goals that Wikimedia Deutschland has set itself for 2014 and the funds to be used for these purposes.

Looking back and looking ahead: 2013–2014 edit

Our experiences and the lessons that we have learned in 2013 have shaped this draft. This holds true for the goals of the programs that we have developed, but just as well for our self-image: Volunteers in the Wikimedia projects have especially credited and welcomed activities for which they identified great need and which have enabled them and others to get involved. However, we are not yet where we want ourselves to be: providing more flexible, quicker and simpler support opportunities that people consider very reliable.

In cases where we didn't meet explicit needs with our support we repeatedly encountered criticism in 2013. This included the manner in which decisions were communicated and the early exchange of information on the status of planning processes and activities. A lack of opportunities for volunteers to participate and shortcomings in presenting progress eventually caused problems with handing over things to the community, as well as the implemenation of necessary structures.

As a direct consequence of all these experiences we have placed the focus of this draft for 2014 on connecting and enabling, rather than on directing and deciding. Wikimedia Deutschland considers its work to be less of a center point but more of a connection of different networks. Identifying and meeting explicit needs for support is the recurrent theme of the three programs that are outlined below. The leitmotifs that have been created by the Supervisory Board of Wikimedia Deutschland serve as a kind of public test pattern for this approach.

For many people in the community, it makes a difference whether activities are based on initiatives by volunteers or by paid staff. As a result, funding and support mechanisms in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects are being better structured and made simpler and more flexible. In 2013, we decided to provide support on social and communication issues in the communities as required, an approach that we will continue in 2014. We will put more emphasis on local support activities and expand them to reach potential new volunteers.

Connecting and enabling will also be the focus of our activities in education, research, and culture. In order to increase the reach of our activities, we will focus on institutions rather than on individual workshops in the education area. This decision is based on our lessons learned from the analysis of our acitivities, which concluded that the direct education of interested people showed hardly any sustainable effects regarding contributions to the Wikimedia projects. It makes more sense to provide information for institutions, thus introducing them to free knowledge and obtaining content from them this way.

We will, however, carry on with measures promoting diversity such as workshops, events, or online formats, as well as with pilot projects and events on open educational resources. By doing so we do not aim at increasing the number of contributors, but at supporting individuals and institutions in their endeavors to collaborate. We will take the lessons learned from the Wikipedian in Residence model and from the Silberwissen (Silver Knowledge) project, which has now ended, into account when drawing up participative ways for institutions to work with us.

The 2014 Science Year will be dedicated to digital society. We should keep this in mind when continuing our work on the Wikipedia Academy and on events and collaborative projects in the science sector.

2014 will also see our ten-year anniversary, and the number of Wikimedia Deutschland members will most likely pass the 10,000 mark. This will provide a good occasion to improve our contacts with this large number of supporters. In fall 2013, we wrote to over 6,000 of our members for the first time with the aim of getting in touch with members in the cultural sector in order to promote free knowledge. Should this approach prove successful, we will pursue and expand it in 2014.

Programs in 2014 edit

The descriptions of the following three programs include their operational goals, the WMDE departments involved in achieving them, success criteria, and the planned costs of personnel and materials.

Volunteer Support Program

The purpose of this program is to ensure that community support needs are easy to submit and that we meet them as reliably and quickly as possible. The idea is to obtain content and to motivate volunteers in their activities. In order to achieve this, we have set ourselves three operational goals for 2014. Firstly, we will make support opportunities more flexible, comprehensible, and better known by the end of the year. Secondly, we want external people (i.e. people we have not managed to reach so far) to make use of these opportunities. Thirdly, we will support social processes (inner framework, collaboration) within the communities in order to improve the Wikimedia projects. The details are as follows:

Operational goals for 2014
"We will have achieved the following results in the Volunteers Support Program by December 31, 2014:"

  • Existing support opportunities have been taken up more readily in the Wikimedia movement because they are simple, quick, and easy to understand.
    • The number of requests for support will have increased from around 850 (number of tickets in the OTRS queue from 8.31.2012 to 9.1.2013) to 1,900 (in the same period).
      • Team Communities (personnel costs: € 170,000; material costs: € 550,000). As in 2013 € 250,000 from the 2014 budget will be reserved specifically for projects from the communities for the communities; the rest can be used to continue and optimize existing funding structures, from literature scholarships to WikiCon.
      • Politics and Society (personnel costs: € 30,000; material costs: € 20,000)
  • The support opportunities attract more volunteers, both in the Wikimedia projects and beyond.
    • The number of supported volunteers will have increased from 250 to 400. (Please note that this number refers to volunteers who have requested support for their projects. Participants in supported projects are not included.)
      • Team Communities (personnel costs: € 35,000; material costs: € 100,000) Local activities will receive more support and new offers will be directed at other active Wikimedia platforms that have not yet been sufficiently addressed.
  • The need for support for social processes in the Wikimedia communities has been evaluated and is met.
    • In 2014 we will support the Wikimedia communitys through mediation in processes like Flow and Echo (Notifcations), as well as regarding internal community discussions. We would like to further coordinate and deepen our commitment after this year's experiences with the VisualEditor, the Article Feedback Tool or the community project budget's paid editing project, all of which had us assist the community in complex and far-reaching discussions. The number of supported social processes will have increased from four (in the period from 1.1.2013 to 12.31.2013) to ten (in the same period) by the end of 2014.
      • Team Communities (personnel costs: € 120,000; material costs: € 30,000)
      • Education and Knowledge (personnel costs: € 35,000; material costs: € 30,000)

Selected activities

  • Revised structure with simpler criteria for funding and supporting volunteer work (Team Communities)
  • Tools for support requests from volunteers (Team Communities)
  • Support opportunities for Wikipedia’s sister projects (Team Communities)
  • Guidance and communication on community issues e.g. diversity, software, social issues (Team Communities, Education and Knowledge)
  • Measures to increase legal certainty (photo handbook, advice, training) (Politics and Society)
  • Local groups – creation and support, e.g. community support points (Team Communities)
  • GLAM networking events (e.g. Kaufbeuren, Hanover) with volunteers working in the cultural sector (Politics and Society)
  • Volunteer meet-ups at local events on diversity (Education and Knowledge)

Technical support through software development (personnel costs: € 620,000; material costs: € 40,000)

  • As our largest technical project, Wikidata plays an important role in this program. We plan to develop a tagging system for Wikimedia Commons in order to enhance the existing categories system and to partly replace it. Furthermore, the complicated process of reusing metadata is planned to be addressed. Software development staff will also be available to support volunteers in their work and to deal directly with technical requests from the communities.
Institutional Partnerships Program

The aim of this program is to foster sustainable relationships between Wikimedians and institutions from the arts, education, and science sectors. The desired long-term result is for institutions to actively contribute free content to the Wikimedia projects on the basis of these relationships. We have set ourselves three operational goals for this program in 2014. Firstly, we will work with volunteers to identify content gaps in the Wikimedia projects. Secondly, we will bring institutions and interested volunteers from the communities together on a local level. Thirdly, we will create education, information, and participation opportunities for institutions. Participation opportunities include classical formats like dialog processes, planning cells or idea contests, as well as internet-based approaches. The details are as follows:

Operational goals for 2014
"We will have achieved the following results in the Institutional Partnerships Program by December 31, 2014:"

  • Institutions are in dialogue with volunteers and meetings will have been held to coordinate local activities.
    • Successful joint projects are documented and made available to the Wikimedia movement.
      • Politics and Society (personnel costs: € 60,000; material costs: € 45,000)
  • Wikimedia Deutschland ensures the implementation of pilot projects at institutions by providing education and participation opportunities, software resources, and clear guidelines on content release.
    • Successful joint projects are documented and made available to the Wikimedia movement.
      • Education and Knowledge' (personnel costs: € 90,000; material costs: € 90,000)
      • Politics and Society (personnel costs: € 20,000; material costs: € 30,000)

Selected activities

  • Support program for institutions: for concepts on digitization and free licensing of content (Politics and Society)
  • Material on image rights or metadata for the culture, education and/or science sectors: (Education and Knowledge, Politics and Society)
  • Formats of participation: modules on free licenses, collaborative projects (Education and Knowledge)
  • Wikipedia Academy in the science sector (Education and Knowledge)
  • Reuse tool for Creative Commons (CC) licenses (Politics and Society, Software Development)

Technical support through software development (personnel costs: € 85,000)

  • In this program, we will develop a reuse tool for CC licenses in order to facilitate the use of CC-licensed pictures.
Legal and Social Framework Program

We want society’s decision-makers to contribute to ensuring that the general conditions for free knowledge do not deteriorate, but instead – in an ideal case – improve. These conditions should serve to ensure that it remains possible to increase the quality and quantity of Wikimedia project content in the long term. The program has four operational goals for 2014: firstly, to increase the exchange of information within the international Wikimedia movement in order to strengthen its position at the EU level; secondly, to improve the movement’s visibility at the EU level, as well as in the science and education sectors; thirdly, to raise awareness of and publish an action plan for state-owned works; and fourthly, to develop a position on open educational resources and open education.

Operational goals for 2014
"We will have achieved the following results in the Legal and Social Framework Program by December 31, 2014:"

  • The Wikimedia movement has binding decision-making processes, regular discussions, and contacts in order to position itself at EU level.
    • There are guidelines for writing EU statements, as well as designated contact people within the Wikimedia Foundation and in at least 70 percent of the EU chapters.
      • Politics and Society (personnel costs: € 45,000; material costs: € 40,000)
  • Visibility for Wikimedia-related issues has been achieved by enhancing our networks, monitoring, materials, and events.
    • We create collaborative products (events, pilot projects) and intensify cooperation (frequency of contact, communication intensity).
      • Politics and Society (personnel costs: € 30,000; material costs: € 30,000)
      • Education and Knowledge (personnel costs: € 80,000; material costs: € 50,000)
  • An argumentation for why more state-owned works should be in the public domain has been documented and is recognized within the Wikimedia movement.
    • By working together to formulate key concerns and recommendations for action, we increase the number of specialist knowledge within the Wikimedia movement.
      • Politics and Society (personnel costs: € 30,000; material costs: € 30,000)
  • A position on OER has been drawn up and is recognized within the Wikimedia movement.
    • By working together to formulate key concerns and recommendations for action, we increase the number of specialist knowledge within the Wikimedia movement.
      • Education and Knowledge (personnel costs: € 35,000; material costs: € 30,000)

Selected activities

  • Position papers/recommendations for action on OER and free education (Education and Knowledge)
  • OER conference (Education and Knowledge)
  • Public campaign day on April 23 – World Book and Copyright Day (Politics and Society)
  • Meet and greet in Brussels (Politics and Society)
  • Open-content brochures (Politics and Society)
  • Think tank on OER and free education (Education and Knowledge)

Technical support via software development (personnel costs: € 65,000)

  • Setting up a Digital Openness Benchmark (DO:Index project) to present a clear and comparable overview of the contribution public bodies are making to digital common goods (such as data, information, knowledge, and infrastructure). A broad and partially structured indicator matrix should provide a basis for ranking selected regional authorities in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (with partners), and for developing a self-assessment software tool for ranking local authorities that are not listed. Data from the DO:Index will make it easier for Wikimedia Deutschland and others to specifically point out local and regional shortcomings regarding openness policies, and to pave the way for free knowledge collaborations.

Cross-departmental edit

Ideas Lab edit

The main focuses of our work for 2014 are defined within the three programs, which set goals, develop indicators, plan measures, and allocate budgets. However, the Wikimedia projects are by definition open and unfinished. Users have always been able to change content and structures and to try out new ideas. However, until now there has been nowhere to collect, display, and share ideas about future developments. The same applies to Wikimedia Deutschland, which has not been able to share ideas or suggestions that did not relate to existing activities.

The new Ideas Lab should provide a forum for anyone to launch or discuss potential pilot projects. Anyone wanting to try out an idea will be able to use the Ideas Lab to find contacts, establish a network, or discuss their thoughts. If an idea receives broad support, we will give it the support and funding it requires.

Software development edit

All three programs include scheduled tasks that are meant to be solved by software development. As our largest technological project Wikidata will continue to play an important role here in 2014. We are planning to develop a tagging system for Wikimedia Commons in order to improve the monolingual categories system, and in particular to address the difficulties of reusing metadata.

Software development will also be necessary across all departments for the Digital Openness Benchmark and for the tool for reusing CC licenses. It will also ensure that technical requests from the communities quickly receive the necessary support.

Supporting the departments edit

Communications Unit edit

The Communications Unit helps us to formulate and achieve Wikimedia Deutschland's goals as regards our work for, with, and in the public. Its tasks mainly involve encapsulating our strategic direction in communications goals, achieving these goals, providing the departments with communications advice and services, and developing and fine-tuning our mission statement.

The Fundraising Team is an integral part of the Communications Unit. Aside from the annual online fundraising campaign it will place a stronger emphasis on member campaigns and on marketing to foundations and potential investors. This should allow us to become less dependent on the annual fundraising campaign and to secure long-term financing.

International Affairs Unit edit

As free knowledge is not subject to national borders, our programs, projects, and decisions all have an international dimension. The International Affairs Unit promotes communication and networking between actors in the Wikimedia movement around the world. It picks up on issues in the global community and regularly updates Wikimedia Deutschland and the communities with relevant information. It aims to provide both with the necessary advice and support in order to ensure that our interests are better represented in international decisions.

The International Affairs Unit also ensures that our experiences, materials, and tools are disseminated around the world. We aim to foster collaborative projects and joint programs that will extend the scope of our work and provide fresh ideas and inspiration.

Evaluation Unit edit

Monitoring and evaluation are essential if we are to continually improve our work to achieve the goals of the global Wikimedia movement. With this in mind, we set up a new Evaluation Unit in 2013 to develop a long-term evaluation framework for our work. The framework should meet recognized international standards and will be implemented step by step in the coming years.

In 2013, the Evaluation Unit has taken a participatory approach to developing programs with causal performance models, thus establishing a common theoretical basis for developing and evaluating projects. It has also worked with the Communications Unit to adapt our reports to meet international requirements. In doing so, the Evaluation Unit has also laid the groundwork for a monitoring system to continually report to the Wikimedia movement on progress and lessons learned. In 2014, the Evaluation Unit will further develop our processes for monitoring and evaluation in collaboration with the global Wikimedia movement.

Event Management edit

Wikimedia organizes many events throughout the year – from the OER conference, which took place for the first time in 2013 and welcomed around 300 participants, to the public Zedler Prize award ceremony with 200 guests, the WMDE general assemblies, and the smaller event formats such as the Wikimedia Forum. These events provide opportunities to discuss current issues, to present our work, and to share experiences with the communities and the public.

The Event Management team supports the departments in two ways. On the one hand, it provides them with the support they need to manage the event project and ensure it runs as smoothly as possible. This includes advice on the event concept and budget. And on the other hand, the team takes on the logistics of organizing and holding the event (e.g. finding a venue, negotiating with technicians and catering companies), and collects and evaluates participant numbers and feedback. This allows the departments to focus their attention on the organization and implementation of their events as regards content and strategy.

The Event Management Team also oversees the new event venues in our office in Berlin, and ensures that workshops, meetings and small conferences (with up to two days notice) can be held there.

Administration edit

The item covers the entire running of our office, including the reception, back office, internal IT setup and personnel management, as well as items such as rent, operating costs, and insurance.

We are creating a new full-time position in this department for a head of administration. The person filling the role will be responsible for managing all employees working in support roles – a task previously covered by the Executive Director – as well as for updating and optimizing the many processes that have not been covered during our rapid growth in recent years (travel bookings, purchasing orders, internal office procedures, etc.). The advertisement for the position will also specify that the role includes responsibility for all personnel processes that have been managed by the Finance Department or the Executive Director so far.

We would like this new position to bring together all the most important administrative processes so that our other employees can focus better on their actual roles. Moreover, this position is meant to provide all staff members with excellent internal services.

The largest budget item unrelated to personnel is the rent for our new office. Its 1,400 square meter (15,069 square feet) floor area provides enough space to allow future growth and, more significantly, opens up a range of new possibilities for our work.

The premises will include a dedicated community space where supporters of free knowledge can come together to meet, work, and share ideas. Our new event and meeting rooms also provide venues for anyone looking to promote our goals in a small to mid-size event or a conference for up to 100 people.

The most significant budget items are:

  • € 200,000 for personnel costs (for 3.625 full time employees)
  • € 660,000 for material costs, including
    • € 300,000 for rent (including operating expenses)
    • € 220,000 for operating expenses (electricity, cleaning, IT, insurance, materials, etc.)
    • € 70,000 for leasing, office furniture and equipment, depreciation, etc.
    • € 70,000 for the security deposit

Finance edit

Preliminary comments edit

In Germany, Wikimedia consists of two organizations: Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. (WMDE) and its 100-percent subsidiary "gemeinnützige Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft mbH" (WMFG).

WMFG receives donations. Its purpose is to forward funds to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) to help fund the operation and further development of the Wikimedia projects and international programs. WMFG also forwards funds to WMDE, which is the body responsible for the Wikimedia projects. A Fundraising Agreement between WMF and WMDE forms the basis for raising donations and regulates the procedures.

Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft (WMFG) edit

In the past few years, we have seen a steady and substantial increase in donations. We are nonetheless referring to a lower rate of growth in donations for 2014 than in the previous years. This is firstly because the donation model we have used so far, which is very much based on banners and focused on a few weeks at the end of the year, no longer provides such clear potential for increasing donations that it has until now. And secondly, in 2014, we are also planning a lower rate of growth in terms of organization, staff, and content than in previous years. We plan to focus on continuing and developing effective programs and projects and to streamline our structures. For these two reasons we have decided to set a target of a 28-percent increase in donations in 2013/2014, which is a lower growth rate than in the previous year.


  Item 2014 2013
Income from donations from the FDC process (carry forward from 2013) € 5,600,000 € 4,557,831 [1]
WMDE income from donations (carry forward from 2013) € 1,800,000 € 1,392,132 [2]
Total carry forward from 2013 (item 1 and 2) € 7,400,000 € 5,949,963
Income from donations from the FDC process (January – June 2014) € 700,000 € 442,703 [3]
WMDE income from donations (January – June 2014) € 304,000 € 130,090 [4]
Income from donations from the FDC process (July – December 2014) – to be transferred to WMF € 6,800,000 € 6,700,000 € [5]
WMDE income from donations (July – December 2014) – to be used in 2015 € 2,100,000 N/A
Interest € 20,000 € 5,000
Total income in 2014 (items 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) € 9,924,000 € 7,277,793
10  Total budget for 2014 € 17,324,000 € 13,227,756
  1. actual value
  2. actual value
  3. actual value
  4. actual value
  5. expected income for WMDE donations and donations from the FDC process according to annual plan 2013

Item 1: Donations received by WMFG from July to December 2013 through banners on and on our sister/associated projects that are covered by the fundraising contract for 2013/14. These funds are initially transferred to WMF and then distributed by the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) to Wikimedia chapters and other organizations. WMDE also uses this process by applying to the FDC for funds (see Item 21). Once the amount applied for by WMDE is approved by the FDC at the end of 2013, WMFG will transfer the approved funds to WMDE (see Item 13) and the remainder to the FDC for further distribution.

Item 2: Donations made directly to Wikimedia Deutschland from July to December 2013 and which, after consultation with WMF, are not covered by the current fundraising contract, as they are received through mailshots to past donors, or via the site, etc. In addition, many people donate to Wikimedia Deutschland directly and cannot be verified as having used one of the banners on All such donations received between July and December 2013 are included in this item.

Item 3: Total sum of donations received in 2013 from July to December 2013 (the sum of Items 1 and 2).

Item 4: As Item 1, but for the second half of the term of the current fundraising contract, from January to June 2014.

Item 5: As Item 2, but for the period from January to June 2014.

Item 6: As Item 1, but for the period from July to December 2014 (For the 2013 figure: plan value from the annual plan 2013).

Item 7: As Item 2, but for the period from July to December 2014.

Item 8: Income from interest on bank deposits (on principle, WMFG and WMDE only invest funds in money market accounts).

Item 9: Total donations and interest received in 2014 (the sum of Items 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8).

Item 10: Total donations and interest received from July 2013 to June 2014 and interest received in 2014.


After subtracting the fundraising costs, WMFG forwards all its revenue to WMF and WMDE as laid down in its charter.

  Item 2014 2013 [1]
11  Transfer to WMDE on 1.1.2014 € –1,800,000 € –1,392,132
12  Transfer to WMDE on 9.1.2014 € –304,000 € –130,090
13  Transfer to WMDE (FDC) € –1,296,000 € –1,376,923
14  Transfer to WMF on 4.1.2014 € –3,860,000 € –3,004,298
15  Transfer to WMF on 9.1.2014 € –700,000 € –269,313
16  Personnel costs € –200,000 € –125,000
17  Material costs € –240,000 € –225,000
18  Total expenditure € –8,400,000 € –6,522,756
  1. actual value

Item 11: Donations received by WMFG which will be donated directly to WMDE from July 2013 to December 2013. This item corresponds to Item 2.

Item 12: Donations received by WMFG which will be donated directly to WMDE from January 2014 to June 2014. This item corresponds to Item 5.

Item 13: WMDE is expected to receive additional funds from global donations through the FDC Process. In this process, the sum of these funds is deducted from the amount to be transferred to WMF and paid directly to WMDE in order to avoid unnecessary transatlantic transfers. (This item depends on the FDC’s recommendation and the final decision of the WMF board which is expected by the end of 2013.)

Item 14: Compliant with the Fundraising Agreement this item covers the funds from Item 1 and the respective donations from January of the following year that are transferred directly to WMF for distribution through the FDC process, minus the FDC funds approved for WMDE (Item 13) and the fundraising costs (Items 16 and 17).

Item 15: This item covers the funds from Item 4 (but just for the period February - June of the respective year) that are transferred directly to WMF for distribution through the FDC process.

Item 16: As agreed in the fundraising agreement, the costs incurred in collecting donations are subtracted from the sum of donations. This item covers WMFG's personnel costs.

Item 17: As agreed in the fundraising agreement, the costs incurred in collecting donations are subtracted from the sum of donations. These costs include the costs for mailing donation receipts for tax purposes, use of the fundraising software, rent, etc.

Item 18: Total expenditure by WMFG in 2014.


We have budgeted fundraising costs of € 440,000 for 2014, including material costs of € 240,000. The biggest item here is the costs for mailing the donation receipts for tax purposes to donors[1] Other costs in this item are software and IT costs, costs for bank transactions, bookkeeping and auditing.

There are also personnel costs of € 200,000. These costs cover the following three fundraising aspects:

  1. Preparation, implementation, and follow-up of the annual fall campaign.
  2. Activation of past donors during the year using targeted e-mails and member campaigns.
  3. Internal consultation for the acquisition of third-party funds.

The background to the third aspect is that we have experimented with a series of different sources of revenue in the past (corporate social responsibility, sponsoring). As our efforts in these areas did not bring the expected results, we have decided to concentrate on cooperating with partner organizations and with foundations in particular from now on. The advantage for us is obvious: This does not "just" bring in money, but also provides the opportunity to develop and implement projects with partner organizations. (A current position in the fundraising team will be restructured to include this work.)

  1. Surveys have revealed that many donors expect to automatically receive a receipt and do not use the simplified donation notice. We therefore send a donation receipt to all donors who have donated more than € 25 that year.

Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. (WMDE) edit


  Item 2014 2013
19  Transfer from WMFG on 1.1.2014 € 1,800,000 € 1,400,000 [1]
20  Transfer from WMFG on 9.1.2014 € 304,000 N/A
21  FDC funds € 1,296,000 € 1,400,000 [2]
22  Carry forward from 2013 € 500,000 N/A
23  Membership fees € 490.000 € 150.000
24  Subsidies € 390,000 € 200,000
25  Other income € 90,000 € 1,600,000
26  Total income € 4,870,000 € 4,750,000
  1. actual value
  2. actual value

Item 19: This is the sum of direct donations to WMDE, collected by WMFG from July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.

Item 20: As Item 19, but for the period from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014.

Item 21: WMDE is expected to receive additional funds from global donations through the FDC process. (This item depends on the FDC’s recommendation and the final decision of the WMF board which is expected by the end of 2013.)

Item 22: These are funds that were budgeted for 2013 but not spent. Firstly, we did not carry out certain programs. (We budgeted € 250,000 for funding the CPB project, but funding was not allocated; we also budgeted € 200,000 for the Wikimedia Chapters Association (WCA), but did not forward it to the WCA – instead, some of this money was used for other international chapter work). Secondly, in some cases, we used fewer funds than budgeted because projects started later or staff members were appointed later than planned. This surplus from 2013 means that we are able to continue working on important software developments and to finance them from our operating budget rather than using special grants as we have in the past.

Item 23: Our target is to have 10,000 members by the end of 2013. This number is based on the current average membership fee of € 41.

Item 24: We should work far more closely with partner organizations in the future as regards project implementation. We will approach foundations, public institutions, etc. to request third-party funds. Such cooperation can either be on specific projects (such as support on a conference), or long-term (joint projects).

Item 25: This includes event attendance fees and financial contributions from other chapters and WMF to finance Hackathons or a Wikimedia Conference.

Item 26: This is the sum available for 2014 for pursuing the purpose of WMDE as laid down in the charter.


  Department 2014 2013
27  Communities Team € –1,000,000 € –790,000
28  Software Development € –810,000 € –1,230,000
29  Politics and Society € –410,000 € –390,000
30  Education and Knowledge € –440,000 € –430,000
31  International Affairs Unit € –230,000 € –345,000
32  Communications Unit € –390,000 € –340,000
33  Evaluation Unit € –190,000 € –175,000
34  Event Management € –90,000 € –90,000
35  Finance € –110,000 € –90,000
36  Administration € –860,000 € –480,000
37  Executive Director € –220,000 € –220,000
38  Supervisory Board € –120,000 € –90,000
39  subtotal expenditure € –4,870,000 € –4,670,000
40  reserve Community Projects Budget (round 3) N/A € –250,000
41  setting up and operating the House of Free Knowledge N/A € –600,000
42  Fundraising N/A € –90,000
43  Monitoring and Controlling N/A € –140,000
44  Total expenditure € –4,870,000 € –5,750,000

Item 27: The focus of our work is on supporting the communities. The largest individual item in this budget provides funding for projects in and by the communities, for which we have budgeted € 250,000 as in previous years. After expanding our funding and support activities last year, we want to concentrate on further developing content in 2014. We aim to provide an open and inviting funding and support system that is based more on community ideas rather than on fragmented funding programs; to develop clearer and more intuitive funding criteria and tools; and, not least, to produce documentation that makes it easier to learn from each other. Working closely with the communities, we also want to support projects that focus on social issues. For details on this item, please see the programs described above.

Item 28: We started Wikidata, our first major development project, last year. Our original plan was to hand the project over to WMF at the end of 2013. However, the positive experience we have had with this project has led us to not only continue managing and developing Wikidata but to further engage in software development. We are now planning a separate Software Development department to work on three main areas: (1) maintenance and further development of Wikidata and possibly of other projects in consultation with the Wikimedia Foundation, (2) community-initiated software projects and (3) technical support for WMDE's projects (migration of tools from the Toolserver, fundraising, etc.). In contrast to the Wikidata project, which has been financed by four large donations specifically for this purpose, the new Software Development will be financed in full from our operating budget. For details on this item, please see the programs described above.

Item 29: The key legal issues of relevance to the topic of free knowledge are regulated on an EU level and have a direct impact on our daily work. Within the European internal market, the EU is authorized to regulate issues pertaining to copyright law and associated intellectual property rights, including topics such as the copyright status of state-owned works and freedom of panorama.

In 2013, we laid the groundwork by outlining a possible structure for representing our interests and defining preliminary key objectives in collaboration with interested Wikimedians from all over Europe. Many other chapters and WMF share our enthusiasm for this project. From the beginning, our guiding principle has been to give community members opportunities to participate on a wide range of levels.

The next and most important step – putting our ideas into practice – is scheduled for 2014. Firstly, we want to fully launch our monitoring work in Brussels. Secondly, we plan to create the prerequisites for proactively putting our issues on the agenda of the institutional system in Brussels. For details on this item, please see the program described above.

Item 30: In 2013, we held an OER conference, thus laying the foundation for creating further links between active participants from the science sector and the communities. In 2014, we plan to use this network on various levels (science, politics, the communities) in order to promote the development and use of free teaching and learning material in Germany. The new science coordinator position will be of particular importance here.

In the area of diversity, we also plan to use the analysis produced in 2013 to implement projects in 2014 that reflect social realities more accurately. We need to establish successful projects such as "Women edit" in many regions. For details on this item, please see the programs described above.

Item 31: Following the unsuccessful Wikimedia Chapters Association in 2013, we will focus on smaller initiatives in our collaboration with other chapters in 2014. We will use the findings from the Chapters Dialogue to develop measures to promote the sharing of ideas and networking between chapters. Our activities in this area will include participating in Wikimania 2014 in London and supporting the Wikimedia Conference.

Item 32: Communication (online, brochures, flyers, press) plays a central role in everything we do. Our communications contents are provided by the various departments. The Communications Unit provides expertise and coordinates the implementation of communications strategies. The budget includes all production costs for communications material, design and maintenance of the websites, and merchandising.

Item 33: The Evaluation Unit set up in 2013 will monitor all of our programs and projects in 2014 in order to provide an ongoing evaluation of our performance and progress. The unit only carries out the actual evaluation in exceptional cases, as its main role is to lead the evaluation process in the various departments. Among other things, software tools will be created and used for this purpose, also to ensure comparability on an international level.

Item 34: With our move to new premises, we now have our own space for events that we will use on a regular basis. We also participate in numerous events in order to achieve our goals. The Event Management Unit coordinates our participation in public events, organizes the logistics, identifies suitable locations, and manages the registration procedures. As with all of our units, these services are not just available for internal use but can, on request, be made available to community projects and events.

Item 35: This item comprises financial controlling, bookkeeping, reporting, and the corresponding software.

Item 36: This item includes the office rent and operating expenses, as well as office furnishings, office supplies, etc. The increase in costs compared with 2013 is not just due to our growth as an association, but also to the higher rent for the larger premises needed to accommodate new staff. Part of our new premises is a community space with work stations and a room for internal and external events. Please see the section on administration for further details.

Item 37: The largest item here is the remuneration of the Executive Director amounting to € 90,100 gross, plus a performance-related bonus which is agreed on on an annual basis. This was a maximum of € 23,850 in 2013; the bonus has not yet been fixed for 2014. This item also includes travel and consulting costs and the costs for the assistant to the Executive Director.

Item 38: Our Supervisory Board works on a voluntary basis and is supported by an assistant. This item also includes the costs for up to four conclaves and three meetings, external consulting, travel costs, and participation costs, e.g. Wikimania.

Item 39: Subtotal of expenditure.

Items 40-43: Items that will not be part of the 2014 expenditure in their current form.

Item 44: Total expenditure.

Personnel edit

Our association has grown at a tremendous rate in the last few years. Our team, which consisted of 12 full-time employees (FTE) on January 1, 2011, had grown to 42 by the end of July 2013. Our revenue has also multiplied, from around € 1.3 million in 2010 to € 9.8 million in 2012.

This growth has enabled us to run projects such as Wikidata, to support the work of WMF with over € 3.5 million per year, and to substantially expand our support of the Wikimedia communities. In 2014, however, we aim to intensify our activities rather than to expand them. The idea is to continue working on successful initiatives rather than to constantly tackle new fields. We also want to consolidate our work in important areas.

For 2014, we are planning to have a total number of around 51 FTE. We also have space for four interns and up to ten student trainees.

Software Development has the highest number of employees (24 percent), followed by Team Communities (12 percent), Politics and Society (11 percent), and Education and Knowledge (10 percent).

Alongside Software Development, which will appoint an additional frontend developer and a new product manager for Wikidata, the Communications Unit will grow the most with the creation of a new position for the production of material (online and offline). We are also going to appoint a new fundraiser to deal with our cooperation with foundations and other donors.

The Administration team will be reinforced through the appointment of a third FTE and a head of administration focused on personnel management. These additional employees will help to improve both our internal processes (procurement, travel bookings, billing, etc.) and personnel development.

The table below shows the distribution of personnel in detail (including student trainees and interns):

Unit Plan 2014 (FTE) Difference (2013) Students und
Interns, Plan 2014 (FTE)
Communities Team 6.425 0.45    1.0
Software Development 12.55 1.325    2.0
Politics and Society 5.55 0.75    0
Education and Knowledge 5.05 0.75    1.0
International Affairs Unit 2.0 0    0
Communications Unit 4.0 2.0    0
Evaluation Unit 2.0 0.5    0
Event Management 1.95 0    0
Finance 1.5 0    0.5
Administration 4.425 2.0    1.0
Executive Director 2.0 0    0.5
Supervisory Board 0.875 0    0
Fundraising 3.4 1.0    1.0
51.725 8.775    7.0

The figures on personnel development reflect the current situation. In the course of implementing projects it may become necessary to shift expenditure on personnel to material resources or vice versa.

Statement by Wikimedia Deutschland’s auditors edit

The auditors were given access to the 2014 budget draft on September 28, 2013, via the Chapter’s office wiki (version as of September 30, 3:35 p. m.). This access date is nine weeks ahead of the General Assembly. In accordance with the eighth General Assembly’s resolution the budget draft is to be published together with a statement by the auditors at least eight weeks before the final version that will be submitted for General Assembly resolution. Since the Executive Director had to be reminded that the published draft needs to include a statement by the auditors, the inspection was performed on short notice and the budget draft was initially published without the statement by the auditors.

The Executive Director and the Supervisory Board are expected to make next year’s budget draft available to the auditors in a timely manner. A request to that end has been submitted to the 13th General Assembly.

The fundraising agreement that forms the basis for the 2014 budget draft covered the time from July 1, 2012 until June 30, 2013. It has been extended automatically for one year until June 30, 2014. Both contractual parties have a right of cancellation until 60 days before the contract terminates. This may mean that funding of the budget beyond July 1, 2014 is unsettled. This risk is not addressed in the report.

The structure of the budget -- which is labeled “Annual Plan” -- is highly similar to last year’s version. The wish of numerous members to provide the budget with more detailed information regarding planned expenses has not been satisfied. The auditors are likewise unsatisfied with the too abstract character of items. The Executive Director and the Supervisory Board are expected to present a significantly more detailed budget next year. In order to achieve this, the few but financially large items are to be broken down, so that -- where possible -- each item amounts to less than € 100,000. Known projects like the WikiCon, Wikidata or the Community Project Budget must be clearly identifiable. The amount of many expenditure items has changed compared to last year. In the majority of cases it is incomprehensible how theses changes have come about. The Executive Director and the Supervisory Board are expected to give a more comprehensible presentation next year.

The auditors consider it desirable to have every item’s actual value come with the target value of the preceding year and the actual value (e. g. per June, 30) of the current year. This way developments would be more comprehensible. If possible, this should still be implemented for the current draft.

The auditors consider it critical that the eighth’s General Assembly’s resolution, according to which the budget draft is to be “drawn up in an open, collaborative process” in which “every interested person may participate” (resolution of the eighth GA, March 19, 2011, A2/2), has not been put into practice here. Yet again the Wikimedia Deutschland office has published and submitted a budget to the FDC without the members having had the opportunity to actively participate in an open draft. Moreover, the members were only inadequately informed about the publication of the budget.

The auditors do not identitfy violations of the association’s charter in the present budget draft.

Daniel Baur
Thomas Goldammer
Olaf Kosinsky
Holger Motzkau

The Executive Director in reply to the auditor’s statement edit

I thank the auditors for the work that has resulted in their statement. From my perspective as Wikimedia Deutschland’s Executive Director I would like to elaborate:

The funding that this plan requires is not unsettled beyond July 1, 2014, but secured. Accordingly, there is no statement to the contrary in the draft. There are two reasons for this: Firstly, funding requests that are granted by the FDC cover the full year of 2014. Secondly, all revenues that are subject to any fundraising agreement, covering the time after July 1, 2014, are to be spent in 2015. They must not be spent in 2014. Consequently, in neither of the two cases is funding for 2014 affected. With that being said, the Executive Director will of course negotiate appropriate agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation in the years to come, as to secure the Chapter’s capacities to act.

The plan’s structure covers two very distinct parts: programmatic contents and financial/HR statements. The program part is based on change models and is substantially different from last year’s set of goals. The financial and HR contents are actually very close to the preceding way of presenting them. However, the financial items are broken down in a more detailed manner -- as was requested -- in the programs’ operational goals themselves. The financial tables have been structured in order to make this year’s and last year’s figures comparable.

There is an inherent contradiction to expectations that this draft is impossible to resolve: Planning is supposed to be adjustable, so as to not set in stone our activities for the next one and a half years. This is exactly why this plan details what Wikimedia Deutschland is to have achieved, instead of how this is to happen in individual cases. Adjustability and supporting activities that are driven by the needs of the community are impossible, though, if we are expected to predetermine them all the way down to the level of single events and workshops. In order to resolve the contradiction, this plan and its items draw on the collective experiences and lessons learned from recent years.

GLAM workshops and the Tacheles tour have played a huge role in both drafting processes and discussions of the three programs. The Supervisory Board provided for both online and offline opportunities to get involved. And with their plans to continue the strategic development in 2014 we are convinced that more ways to participate will be created yet again.

All of this has laid the foundations for this draft -- even though a bigger scope would have been preferable. Accordingly, I am not at all content with the opportunities to participate that we have been offering and I hope for constructive suggestions as to how we can offer them in the future.

However, what needs to be made very clear regarding (especially) the financial planning is that in my function as Executive Director I bear full personal responsibility for this plan. In addition, the FDC sets formal prerequisites that this plan needs to meet, because funds dissemination through this volunteer body is a cornerstone for all Wikimedia Chapters, enabling public comparison among peers. What we have here is an area of potential conflicts: means of participation for all involved parties, overall responsibility of the Executive Director, FDC prerequisites regarding planning -- all of which are potential conflicts we need to counter. Any kind of solution will only be found by our joint efforts.

Pavel Richter