|This consultation is now closed. Thank you to all who shared thoughts. The final version of the annual plan is available at Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2016-2017/Final.|
Financials: FY 2015-16
Programs: upcoming year's annual plan
Financials: FY 2016-17
Appendix 1: Wikimedia Foundation Risks
As part of our annual plan cycle, we identify some of the top potential risks that could threaten the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission to empower people to contribute to the sum of free knowledge. These potential risks cover a broad spectrum, including product and technology, fundraising, community health, legal, operations, communications, and other domains. Below we set out a number of examples.
Mitigation strategies are set out below as well, but such strategies can never eliminate all risks. Among other things, this is due to the nature of our culture, movement, and mission as well as resource constraints. That said, we must ensure reasonable assessment of risks to support smart strategic and comprehensive planning.
☛ Risk: Failure of technology infrastructure disrupts Foundation operations.
In the past, the Foundation has suffered short website outages, which have been the result of technology operations depending on a single data center. Recent efforts adding an additional data center have reduced this risk.
- Conduct analysis of technology infrastructure to determine bandwidth usage and prevent overloads.
- Analyze technology infrastructure and location of data centers to identify vulnerable points of failure and extend redundancy where appropriate.
☛ Risk: A competitor provides a better reader experience for Wikimedia content, diminishing our ability to attract readers, editors, and donors.
This is an ongoing risk based on for-profit and individual efforts to use our content as well as many third-party apps available in iOS and Android.
- Understand impact of Internet traffic patterns on readership, edits, and revenue.
- Streamline reader engagement features and upgrade editing experiences to meet user needs.
- Improve presentation and searchability of content.
- Develop a strong partnership program to seek cooperative, working relationships.
☛ Risk: We experience a greater readership decrease than anticipated in key so-called Global North countries, where we raise the bulk of our funds.
While readership remains fairly steady overall, we are seeing a decrease in readership in many of the so-called Global North countries where the Foundation raises the bulk of its funds.
- Deepen our relationships with our existing donors and expand their engagement with the organization.
- Achieve a higher banner donation rate than the previous year.
- Explore alternative revenue streams that are in line with the Foundation’s mission and values.
☛ Risk: The Wikimedia global movement does not improve in cultural, geographic, or demographic diversity, leading to less relevant and lower-quality content for a global audience.
- Invest in and implement diverse technologies and delivery strategies that (a) raise awareness of Wikimedia projects, (b) help us in identifying and building new audiences, and (c) improve the ability of users worldwide to access the projects.
- Promote community initiatives related to diversity and emerging regions through monetary, communications, programmatic, and evaluation resources.
- Support programs to increase participation from diverse volunteers such as recognition and mentorship.
☛ Risk: Foundation-community relations worsen and lead to decreased Foundation effectiveness, reduced on-project civility, editor and contributor attrition, and lower-quality content.
- Focus strategically on community needs in part through the Community Engagement department.
- Improve transparency and increase communications between the Foundation, the communities, and Wikimedia affiliates.
- Work with the Support and Safety team to improve “safe space” policies and other techniques to make the Wikimedia projects safe places for a diverse user community.
- Allocate dedicated financial and technical resources through the new Community Tech team for community requests and tools that positively impact civility and interactions with new users.
- Provide public support and strong stances on contentious issues like gender gap.
☛ Risk: Changes to attract new users trigger a strong negative reaction among established editors and contributors that causes them to stop or reduce participation on the Wikimedia projects.
- Ensure constructive user input and respectful socialization of changes early.
- Improve tools to facilitate the introduction of new products.
- Use incremental approaches when introducing new products, including small group beta tests or default settings only for new users.
☛ Risk: Community leadership does not develop effectively, damaging community participation, governance, and responsiveness.
- With a greater focus through our Community Engagement department, create spaces and support for innovation, training, and mentorship for existing and new community leadership.
- Support diversification in candidates for the Board of Directors and community governance bodies.
- Improve tools for community administration and management on the projects.
☛ Risk: Changes to safe harbor immunity laws abroad expose the Foundation to new, extensive liability, costs, and technology burdens.
Immunity laws - known as safe harbor statutes - now protect the Foundation from being sued for content uploaded by users. Changes in those statutes could open us to lawsuits or require costly technical measures to monitor and remove content.
- As part of ongoing public policy strategy in partnership with our communities, engage in education to inform the public and lawmakers about the importance of safe harbor laws while opposing any threatening proposals.
- Ally with like-minded organizations to persuade lawmakers to pass strong safe harbor protections for hosting companies like the Foundation.
☛ Risk: The transition of executive directors causes operational slowdown or the failure to accomplish a critical task.
- Engage in an open and transparent process to select a new ED who will support Foundation and movement values.
- Commit Foundation resources to shoring up core operations and executing key strategic initiatives, while building in flexibility for a new ED.
- Maintain operational accountability to Annual Plan commitments, while building in flexibility for a new ED.
- Identify critical roles and develop succession planning and talent management to ensure that substitutes are available.
☛Risk: Part of our communities take a position that is problematic or out-of-step with public sentiment, resulting in damage to brand and reputation.
This risk is most acute in areas where the Wikimedia community is not reflective of the diversity of the broader society. Past examples have included controversy around the Gamergate article and discussions on the Wikipedia gender gap.
- Increase proactive monitoring capacities to better anticipate major community policy or bureaucratic decisions.
- Increase transparency and communications between the Foundation, the communities, and the public.
- Develop strategic messaging with unified narrative, reframing as needed, and with an emphasis on facts and the way forward.
Appendix 2: Program - Non Staffing Expenses
|Community Engagement||336,085||253,995||590,080||Movement travel associated with Developer Summit, Hackathon, FDC deliberations, Community Capacity Development Convenings, AffCom, Peer Mentoring Events and Wikimedia Conference|
|Governance||80,000||45,000||125,000||Movement travel for Board meetings and attendance at community events and ED's attendance at community wide events such as Wikimedia Conference|
|Product & Technology||N/A||706,848||706,848||Travel associated with Developer Summit, Hackathon, Development and Research Conferences, Peer Mentoring Events and Wikimedia Conference.|
|Communications||10,000||23,650||33,650||Movement travel associated with attendance at community-wide events such as Wikimedia Conference|
|Strategic Partnerships||N/A||105,727||105,727||Travel required to meet program objectives described under Strategic Partnerships, primarily to secure partnership or Wikipedia integration in Latin America/Middle East and Africa/Asia region|
|Community Engagement||381,922||3rd party resources such as research work, design/build IdeaLab and Grants portal, and contractors for Wikipedia Library support required for the program activities described under Community Engagement|
|Governance||250,000||3rd party resources for programmatic specialized projects such as strategic consulting and board support|
|Product||447,121||3rd party resources required for the program activities described under Product. Including Bi-weekly regression testings, daily QA, bots/APIs for both copyright/plagiarism detection, and miscellaneous contracting cost to support the program objectives.|
|Technology||382,720||3rd party resources required for the program activities described under Technology. Including benchmarking, mobile research, research to improve detection and response capabilities of operations|
|Communications||897,000||3rd party resources to support increased global awareness of, positive sentiment regarding, and engagement with Wikimedia movement, Wikipedia and sister projects. This includes external research on new readers, proactive public messaging for Wikimedia Projects, campaigns & promotion for volunteer efforts and events, positive media coverage, media and social media monitoring, photography, videography, and other production, the creation of brand materials such as the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Report, and support for design and brand standards. See Program section of Communications.|
|Strategic Partnerships||40,000||3rd party resources to support research and survey efforts around content usage and Wikipedia’s awareness and access.|
|Payroll fees||568,591||Contractual obligation with payroll processor for international staff as a dependency of geo-diversity in staffing resources.|
|Other Project Expenses||600,000||Project fundings - In support of the Annual Plan|
|Data Center Hardware Warranty||160,000||Costs associated with Program 3 - Improve Site Reliability and Program 4 - Improve Site Performance under Technology.|
|Volunteer Support/Interns||90,000||Program 6 and 7 for Technical Collaboration under Community Engagement|
|Security Testing||90,000||Program 3 - Improve Site Reliability under Technology.|
|Computer Software||45,200||Grants, research and other required software.|
|Other operating expenses||328,020||Staff development, memberships, subscriptions, phone services, merchandise giveaways and other minor miscellaneous expenses.|
- The Wikimedia Foundation will be providing further details of this line item privately to the FDC.