The community comment period has now closed. Thank you for your feedback! The Foundation will consider the comments and questions we have received as we prepare our final draft of the Annual Plan. We will be present the final draft to the Board of Trustees and publish it on Meta by June 30th.
A movement with a direction
Over its 17 year history, the Wikimedia movement has accomplished the seemingly impossible. What started as a small, volunteer-led experiment has grown into one of the most widely used sources of information on the planet -- accessed by more than a billion devices every month, and still created and maintained by volunteers. Today, we are a robust, global movement of researchers, writers, photographers, developers, and institutions, based in ideals of freedom of information and free knowledge for all.
The Wikimedia vision calls for a world in which every single person can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. In recent years, we as a movement have taken a close look at our progress towards that vision. We still have a ways to go together, and we are determined to see the Wikimedia movement thrive well into the future.
To that end, in 2017 we embarked on an ambitious global consultation to collaboratively develop a direction for the Wikimedia movement. We convened volunteers, partners, experts, Wikimedia chapters and other affiliates, and Wikimedia Foundation staff to discuss our future in roughly 20 languages, with participants from more than 70 countries.
The result was the Wikimedia 2030 strategic direction, summarizing the hundreds of conversations that took place all over the world, on wiki and off, and extensive research about where Wikimedia should go next. Nearly 100 Wikimedia affiliates have signed on to the direction, expressing their support for the guide we collectively created for our future.
The direction we’ve built together calls on us to become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and a place where anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us. To achieve that, we will invest in two key areas: knowledge equity and knowledge as a service.
- Knowledge equity means focussing on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege, and welcoming people from every background to build strong and diverse communities.
- Knowledge as a service enables us to become a platform that serves open knowledge to the world across interfaces and communities, empowers allies and partners to organize and exchange free knowledge beyond Wikimedia, and allows us to collect and use different forms of free, trusted knowledge.
The year ahead
As we enter the 2018-19 fiscal year (July 2018 to June 2019), the Wikimedia movement finds itself in a moment of transition. Having completed a global consultation that yielded a powerful and ambitious strategic direction for our future, we now begin our work to achieve that vision.
It will take the entire Wikimedia movement -- including affiliate organizations, volunteers, donors, and partners -- to achieve our objectives. As the non-profit that supports the Wikimedia projects and movement, the Wikimedia Foundation plays a central role in this effort. This year, we will lay the groundwork for the central goals of that direction: knowledge equity and knowledge as a service.
Over the course of this year, the Wikimedia Foundation will make critical improvements to our systems and structures to ensure that we can effectively, securely, and rapidly achieve our long-term goals of knowledge equity and knowledge as a service. We will modernize and evolve our technical infrastructure, advance our privacy and security-related systems, and invest in structured data. We will implement scalable, measurable programs that increase the amount and diversity of content and contributors, particularly from parts of the world where we are underrepresented. We will extend the reach of the Wikimedia projects and brand, increasing our global traffic and making it possible for more people around the world to participate.
This work will not only move us closer to our strategic direction, but will prepare us to execute against a 3 to 5 year strategic plan, which the Wikimedia Foundation will create this year to guide our future organizational strategy. This plan will chart our path toward becoming the essential infrastructure for free knowledge.
Evolve our systems and structures
Wikimedia’s very existence is remarkable. It’s not just the idea that has proven compelling and useful to hundreds of millions of people around the globe. It is also remarkable that the Wikimedia community, and Wikimedia Foundation, has done so much with so little. Our traffic, community, use, and influence belie the lean nature of the organization. In the year to come, we will invest in the underlying systems and structures that quantify and sustain our projects, with the purpose of preparing ourselves for future work in support of our mission. This could include processes and norms internal to the Foundation, metrics that measure progress towards our strategic objectives, systems and structures that govern and support our movement, as well as the platforms and architecture that underlie our projects.
To achieve this goal, we will:
- Modernize our technology infrastructure, including our applications stack, services, and production platform; advance privacy and security-related systems; and invest in development of Wikibase and Wikidata.
- Increase support for the global Wikimedia community by rethinking and improving our community grantmaking, leadership development, and tools to make contributors’ work easier and more productive
- Grow the Wikimedia Endowment to ensure the long-term health of the movement
- Live our values by supporting diversity and inclusion, staff development, and operational excellence across our organization, and including environmental sustainability in our decision-making processes
We will know we’re successful when:
- Our technological infrastructure is robust, flexible, sustainable, and secure, and can meet our needs for the future
- We are able to serve 95% of our services out of more than one data center
- We see a 20% increase of services adopting the modernized metrics stack
- 100% of services involved in page views are using centralized logging
- We have made progress in the journey to unify our core software assets by converging MediaWiki with our Node.js services
- We are able to quickly iterate high-quality end-user experiences and measure success by running product experiments twice monthly
- Use of Wikidata increases by 15%, reaching 386 million data uses by the end of the 2018 calendar year
- We invest community resources according to a targeted set of funding priorities aligned with the strategic direction
- We have a 3% increase in overall engagement of Wikimedia Foundation staff
- We have grown the Wikimedia Endowment by USD 5 million and deepened our relationships with major donors
Grow new contributors and content
Wikimedia’s core strength is its global community of volunteer contributors. Contributors curate and create the knowledge (content) that is so valuable to hundreds of millions of people around the world. The people who make up this movement, and their knowledge, diversity, and ability to participate on our projects, make it possible for Wikimedia projects to exist and thrive. We will focus on increasing not just the net number of contributors and amount of content, but the linguistic, geographic, and demographic diversity of contributors and the breadth and depth of Wikimedia content. We will ensure that people everywhere can share their knowledge, including the 5 billion people who use smartphones to access the internet and the billions of people who only use phones, especially in underrepresented regions.
To achieve this goal, we will:
- Invest in the overall health of the Wikimedia community with tools and programs that help contributors respond to harassment and increase positive collaboration
- Support new and existing contributors through a richer suite of onboarding tools and intuitive mobile contribution experiences
- Create techniques to measure contributor demographics at a granularity suitable for understanding improvements in this area
- Expand contributors’ capacity to address content gaps, bias, and more diverse content via machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) and improved translation tools
- Increase the participation of local communities in underrepresented regions through funding, mentorship, capacity building, and strategic partnerships support
- Advance the Wikimedia policy agenda and build a robust case for our values around the world through education, advocacy, government relations, and community mobilization
We will know we’re successful when:
- The number of English Wikipedia administrators who report having the skills and tools to intervene in cases of harassment increases by 25%
- More people contribute to the Wikimedia projects, particularly from underrepresented regions or groups
- New contributor retention in target languages increases by 10% year-over-year
- Number of edits on mobile increases by 20% year-over-year in target languages
- We have the capacity and baseline data to measure diversity in contributor demographics
- The amount, diversity, and quality of content on Wikimedia projects increases, particularly in underrepresented languages
- The rate of content growth in target languages increases by 10% year-over-year
- Our research leads to better understanding of knowledge gaps across languages
- Article section recommendation technology that helps contributors expand already existing articles is available in at least 10 languages
- Artificial intelligence technology providing edit and article quality prediction is in use on five new language versions of Wikipedia
- Wikimedia values, projects and communities are present in global policy discussions on issues that directly impact our mission
Increase our reach
Much like growing new content and contributors, increasing our reach throughout the world is fundamental to our ability to achieve our vision, which calls upon every single human to share in knowledge. We currently reach a very large proportion of the planet. But there is no question that there are many more people who are not yet able to participate in free knowledge. We will focus on expanding our reach - the awareness and usage of the Wikimedia projects - across demographics. We are already a resource to many, we should become a service for all.
To achieve this goal, we will:
- Bring more people onto the Wikimedia projects by investing in Wikipedia’s search engine optimization (SEO), and creating delightful, understandable experiences with improved user experiences for targeted geographies
- Raise awareness of Wikimedia, particularly in underrepresented communities and groups, through targeted communications campaigns and support for local communities to conduct their own outreach
- Build and maintain partnerships with mobile providers and invest in third-party infrastructure for offline access to Wikipedia to extend reach of Wikimedia content for users in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America
- Improve discoverability and verifiability of knowledge through structured data integration on Wikimedia Commons, support for the WikiCite community, and technical partnerships
- Expand our network of institutional allies in libraries, education, and cultural heritage who contribute knowledge to Wikimedia projects
We will know we’re successful when:
- More people in underrepresented demographics, countries, and languages have been introduced to Wikipedia, use it, and come back
- Global traffic increases by 1 - 10% (pending baseline analysis)
- 15% increase in awareness of Wikipedia in target regions
- Wikipedia is meaningful to 1 billion women
- 1 million users in underrepresented regions can directly access Wikipedia through mobile provider and offline partnerships
- More institutions contribute high-quality content to our projects, integrate our projects into their workflows, and see Wikimedia as a natural ally in pursuing their missions
- Kiwix, a core part of the offline content distribution ecosystem, improves their platform and increases the number of end users by 15%
- Citations and links to external sources cited from Wikipedia articles are immediately and comprehensively archived and remain available readers in perpetuity
The Foundation continues to strive to allocate our resources toward programmatic work without compromising the important fundraising and general & administrative work that keeps our organization healthy. In the first table we have broken down our budget by program expenses and non-program expenses. Non-program expenses combine fundraising and general and administrative expenses together. The chart that follows illustrates the percentage of expenses in all three categories.
We’ve expanded the planning framework we instituted last year with cross-departmental programs to all of our programs across the organization. This allows us to link each program’s resources to outcomes and measures. As such, we have organized our budget below into programs. This allows us to show our investments in specific programs that supports our three defined goals. We are open to answering questions or providing additional information so that we can meaningfully describe our resource plans.
|FY17-18 Budget||FY18-19 Plan|
|Fundraising & Other income||76,800||93,115|
|Data Center Expenses||4,465||4,676|
|Outside Contract Services||2,826||3,777|
|Travel, Events & Conferences||2,277||2,935|
|Sub Total Program Expenses||59,193||70,974|
|Donation Processing Fees||3,228||4,045|
|Outside Contract Services||1,947||2,336|
|Travel, Events & Conferences||446||629|
|Sub Total Non-Program Expenses||17,607||21,170|
|Total Annual Operating Expenses||76,800||92,144|
|Funds available for a specific purpose|
|Funds available for a specific purpose||2,000||0|
|Evolve our Systems and Structures||Grow New Contributors and Content||Increase Reach||Other||Total|
|New additional FTE||13||8||6||10||37|
|Data Center Expenses||0||0||0||4,676||4,676|
|Outside Contract Services||1,222||413||403||1,739||3,777|
|Travel, Events & Conferences||562||575||132||1,666||2,935|
|Sub Total Program Expenses||21,337||18,613||4,707||26,317||70,974|
|Donation Processing Fees||0||0||0||4,045||4,045|
|Outside Contract Services||439||0||0||1,897||2,336|
|Travel, Events & Conferences||32||0||0||597||629|
|Sub Total Non-Program Expenses||2,705||0||0||18,465||21,170|
Appendix 1: resources
- Summary Foundation risk assessment
- Overview questions from FDC proposal form
- Detailed program plans
References and notes
- "2017 Wikimedia Movement Strategic Direction".
- "The web is under threat. Join us and fight for it.". The Web Foundation. March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- To be developed by an engineering team at Wikimedia Deutschland, the German Wikimedia chapter
- "Mobile is eating the world". Benedict Evans (in en-GB). Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- "The Global Mobile Report". comScore, Inc. (in en-US). Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- Unique devices in major languages will be used as a proxy for individuals.
- Certain expense categories have been changed in the FY17-18 budget to conform to the FY18-19 presentation.
- FY18-19 amount represents data center equipment depreciation expenses and operating expenses to conform to our reporting in accordance to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
- Other expenses include: Facilities, Wikidata, Insurance, Furniture, Equipment, Software, Recruiting, Property Taxes, etc.
- Funds budgeted to allow the Foundation the ability to take on additional projects when they are ready, take advantage of opportunities as they arise, support uncertainty, and tweak our growth trajectory throughout the year as we grow and further develop our plan.
- These expenses are funded from our surplus for specific and non-recurring investments.
- "Other" category includes all remaining programmatic and non-programmatic expenses that are not classified into the three goals.