Mailing List Archive

[Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update
Hi all,

There's a new Q1 fundraising update on meta
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#2015-2016_Q1_Update> and
posted here as well.

The Wikimedia Foundation has just wrapped up the first quarter of the
2015-16 fiscal year. Over these past three months, the fundraising team has
been running ran campaigns in Japan, Brazil, Malaysia, South Africa,
Belgium and Luxembourg and prepared for the upcoming year-end English
fundraising campaign. The online fundraising team missed the $6 million
goal for the quarter due to postponing the Italy fundraiser to October to
support the Wiki Loves Monuments campaign. We raised roughly $5.7 million
in the first quarter of the year and plan to make up for the loss in the
next quarter. The 2014-15 fiscal year fundraising report
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2014-2015_Fundraising_Report> was
also posted in this quarter. If you haven’t read it yet, please do check
out the report for a wealth of information on the last fiscal year.

The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand new
banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons, and
different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the fundraising
message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended the
quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the best-
performing banner from last quarter. Better performing banners are required
to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue testing new
banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.

The banner message has also been updated with suggestions from the
Wikimedia community. Thank you to everyone who has suggested improvements
so far! We have changed “We survive on donations averaging about $15” to
“We are sustained by donations averaging about $15.” We’ve also changed
“Please help us end the fundraiser and get back to improving Wikipedia” to
“Please help us end the fundraiser and improve Wikipedia.” These message
edits did not positively or negatively affect donations and were made in
response to community feedback. In the past, we have also relied on
community feedback to improve our campaigns. In the last year, community
feedback has led to improvements to the usability of the close X icon and a
new line to highlight the editing community, “Wikipedia is written by a
community of volunteers with a passion for sharing the world’s knowledge.”
All of these community suggestions remain in the banner. Another sentence
that was briefly tested on a small percentage of users about a year ago
that received negative community feedback was “If everyone reading this
gave $3, we could keep it online and ad-free another year.” We did not end
up using that sentence for the campaign and we commit to not using it in
any future campaign. In the next quarter, we are planning many more message
tests -- with both brand new ideas as well as smaller tweaks to the
existing text. If you have an idea to test, please share on the 2015-16
test ideas page
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas>.
Thanks again to everyone who has shared ideas so far.

This upcoming quarter will be our biggest of the year with campaigns in
Italy, France, the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. The
team is focused on providing the best donation invitation and experience
possible to readers. We will be sharing plenty of more information about
the upcoming campaigns over the next couple of months. Thank you for your
support!

--

Megan Hernandez

Director of Online Fundraising
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Hi Megan,

Thank you for the update and all the hard work the team has done during Q1.
My comments below.

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Megan Hernandez <mhernandez@wikimedia.org>
wrote:


> The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand new
> banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons, and
> different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the fundraising
> message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended the
> quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the best-
> performing banner from last quarter.


I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it even if
it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier to skip for
whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\


> Better performing banners are required
> to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue testing new
> banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
>

I've said this couple of times in the past through different channels
(sorry to those of you who have heard this before) but I think it's key to
repeat it here just so we are all clear about what we know and what we
don't know.

We know that our pageviews are not growing globally (depending on how you
look at the trend and predictions, they are going down with a slow slope or
are almost flat, neither case is good.).

We also know that a higher budget means more work for Furndraising to meet
the budget.

We do not know the relation between the decline in pageviews and our
ability to raise money, we do not have research evidence for the above
statement given the data we have, so I highly encourage all of us not to
repeat this statement (even though it sounds very intuitive) until we show
such evidence because the more we say it, the more we believe it. Ellery
explains what we know and don't know about this specific topic when I ask
him a question about this in Metrics Meeting in April 2015. That discussion
is recorded starting minute 37, second 38 here
<https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/WMF_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting_April_8%2C_2015.ogv>
.

Best,
Leila

p.s. Here is the story:
I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for an
upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only source of
light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015BannerEx.png>.
I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a sudden
feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think someone very
important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red colors, then I
think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm getting quite
nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to parse it at that
moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I look more at the
background, I see some orange colors, some yellow colors, and a little
human circled, I first think that whole color combination is a flame (red,
orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a flame), then I think someone is
jailed/executed. My eyes finally manage to see the right-hand-side of the
page, and I see there are dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief, and
then I get really upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon). Now, if
I was not involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not
(maybe I would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I got
really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know more.
I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds and
experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may not be a
signal for many other people (though the color black is almost universally
used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that you cannot accommodate
everyone. But please be aware, some people get really scared seeing this
kind of banner.

I said the story above, but I also want to say that I understand the
pressure on you. I've said it here
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas#Banner_test_ideas>
(and btw, huge thanks for being open to suggestions :-), and I'm saying it
here as well: I'm happy to help us to fix such an experience for our users.
Please let me know if you're open to test new designs. I'm more than happy
to help you for some time for us to bring in more designers and community
members into this conversation. I'm sure we can do this.

>
> --
>
> Megan Hernandez
>
> Director of Online Fundraising
> Wikimedia Foundation
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
I agree, that banner does not reflect the values of this movement. Pure and
simple; it's not a grey area, and not worth my time to discuss for the 97th
time.

Personally, I long ago gave up participating in these discussions, for the
most part -- because the same valid points get made over and over again,
and the same *AWFUL* errors are made year after year in the fund-raising
campaign.

Leila's post here is heartening, and I'm glad that somebody has the energy
to articulate the concerns so well. I, myself, do not; I have simply lost
faith in the integrity of the Wikimedia Foundation's fund-raising
operation. I am, honestly, ashamed to tell people that I used to work in
the fund-raising department there (though I believe the work we did was
valuable).

I recently heard from a high-ranking executive at a software company. She
told me that she had given money to the Wikimedia Foundation, and then
looked into the WMF's budget, and the messages in the campaign she had
responded to. The word she used to describe her feeling was "mortified."
She had considered asking for her money back, but had decided against it.

Fortunately, she was sophisticated enough not apply her negative feelings
to Wikipedia, but rather to the Wikimedia Foundation. But can the WMF
afford to assume that will always be the case?

Apparently, the thinking thus far is, "yes."

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 2:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi Megan,
>
> Thank you for the update and all the hard work the team has done during Q1.
> My comments below.
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Megan Hernandez <mhernandez@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
>
> > The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand new
> > banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons, and
> > different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the fundraising
> > message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended the
> > quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the best-
> > performing banner from last quarter.
>
>
> I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it even if
> it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier to skip for
> whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\
>
>
> > Better performing banners are required
> > to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue testing
> new
> > banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
> >
>
> I've said this couple of times in the past through different channels
> (sorry to those of you who have heard this before) but I think it's key to
> repeat it here just so we are all clear about what we know and what we
> don't know.
>
> We know that our pageviews are not growing globally (depending on how you
> look at the trend and predictions, they are going down with a slow slope or
> are almost flat, neither case is good.).
>
> We also know that a higher budget means more work for Furndraising to meet
> the budget.
>
> We do not know the relation between the decline in pageviews and our
> ability to raise money, we do not have research evidence for the above
> statement given the data we have, so I highly encourage all of us not to
> repeat this statement (even though it sounds very intuitive) until we show
> such evidence because the more we say it, the more we believe it. Ellery
> explains what we know and don't know about this specific topic when I ask
> him a question about this in Metrics Meeting in April 2015. That discussion
> is recorded starting minute 37, second 38 here
> <
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/WMF_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting_April_8%2C_2015.ogv
> >
> .
>
> Best,
> Leila
>
> p.s. Here is the story:
> I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for an
> upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only source of
> light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015BannerEx.png
> >.
> I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
> normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a sudden
> feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think someone very
> important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red colors, then I
> think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm getting quite
> nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to parse it at that
> moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I look more at the
> background, I see some orange colors, some yellow colors, and a little
> human circled, I first think that whole color combination is a flame (red,
> orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a flame), then I think someone is
> jailed/executed. My eyes finally manage to see the right-hand-side of the
> page, and I see there are dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief, and
> then I get really upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon). Now, if
> I was not involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not
> (maybe I would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I got
> really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know more.
> I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds and
> experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may not be a
> signal for many other people (though the color black is almost universally
> used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that you cannot accommodate
> everyone. But please be aware, some people get really scared seeing this
> kind of banner.
>
> I said the story above, but I also want to say that I understand the
> pressure on you. I've said it here
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas#Banner_test_ideas
> >
> (and btw, huge thanks for being open to suggestions :-), and I'm saying it
> here as well: I'm happy to help us to fix such an experience for our users.
> Please let me know if you're open to test new designs. I'm more than happy
> to help you for some time for us to bring in more designers and community
> members into this conversation. I'm sure we can do this.
>
> >
> > --
> >
> > Megan Hernandez
> >
> > Director of Online Fundraising
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
I want to be clear about my previous message -- I am not questioning any
individual person's integrity in the process, and I know from firsthand
experience that a tremendous amount of good work goes into this stuff. But
I think the process that has evolved around developing the campaign is
broken.

In Megan's message, I see a great deal of emphasis on the specific points
that are attributable to community suggestions/requests. But there is a
bigger point that gets lost: It's not about where the ideas come from, it's
about whether the final result "gets it right."

If the WMF produced mission-compatible banners without any community
consultation at all, I'd be happy, and I think most others would be too.
Running an open process is not the right way to measure success here. An
open process is one of many ways to surface problems, and maybe to generate
ideas; but it's not the be-all end-all.

The fund-raising department is clearly held accountable on its
easily-measured performance. It needs to also be held accountable to the
mission. How to do that is a difficult design and management problem, and I
don't pretend to have the perfect answer. But it's something that needs to
be done.

Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 3:58 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com> wrote:

> I agree, that banner does not reflect the values of this movement. Pure
> and simple; it's not a grey area, and not worth my time to discuss for the
> 97th time.
>
> Personally, I long ago gave up participating in these discussions, for the
> most part -- because the same valid points get made over and over again,
> and the same *AWFUL* errors are made year after year in the fund-raising
> campaign.
>
> Leila's post here is heartening, and I'm glad that somebody has the energy
> to articulate the concerns so well. I, myself, do not; I have simply lost
> faith in the integrity of the Wikimedia Foundation's fund-raising
> operation. I am, honestly, ashamed to tell people that I used to work in
> the fund-raising department there (though I believe the work we did was
> valuable).
>
> I recently heard from a high-ranking executive at a software company. She
> told me that she had given money to the Wikimedia Foundation, and then
> looked into the WMF's budget, and the messages in the campaign she had
> responded to. The word she used to describe her feeling was "mortified."
> She had considered asking for her money back, but had decided against it.
>
> Fortunately, she was sophisticated enough not apply her negative feelings
> to Wikipedia, but rather to the Wikimedia Foundation. But can the WMF
> afford to assume that will always be the case?
>
> Apparently, the thinking thus far is, "yes."
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 2:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
>> Hi Megan,
>>
>> Thank you for the update and all the hard work the team has done during
>> Q1.
>> My comments below.
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Megan Hernandez <mhernandez@wikimedia.org
>> >
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>> > The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand new
>> > banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons, and
>> > different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the fundraising
>> > message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended the
>> > quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the best-
>> > performing banner from last quarter.
>>
>>
>> I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it even
>> if
>> it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier to skip for
>> whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\
>>
>>
>> > Better performing banners are required
>> > to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue testing
>> new
>> > banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
>> >
>>
>> I've said this couple of times in the past through different channels
>> (sorry to those of you who have heard this before) but I think it's key to
>> repeat it here just so we are all clear about what we know and what we
>> don't know.
>>
>> We know that our pageviews are not growing globally (depending on how you
>> look at the trend and predictions, they are going down with a slow slope
>> or
>> are almost flat, neither case is good.).
>>
>> We also know that a higher budget means more work for Furndraising to meet
>> the budget.
>>
>> We do not know the relation between the decline in pageviews and our
>> ability to raise money, we do not have research evidence for the above
>> statement given the data we have, so I highly encourage all of us not to
>> repeat this statement (even though it sounds very intuitive) until we show
>> such evidence because the more we say it, the more we believe it. Ellery
>> explains what we know and don't know about this specific topic when I ask
>> him a question about this in Metrics Meeting in April 2015. That
>> discussion
>> is recorded starting minute 37, second 38 here
>> <
>> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/WMF_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting_April_8%2C_2015.ogv
>> >
>> .
>>
>> Best,
>> Leila
>>
>> p.s. Here is the story:
>> I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for an
>> upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only source of
>> light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
>> <
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015BannerEx.png
>> >.
>> I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
>> normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a
>> sudden
>> feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think someone very
>> important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red colors, then I
>> think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm getting quite
>> nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to parse it at that
>> moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I look more at the
>> background, I see some orange colors, some yellow colors, and a little
>> human circled, I first think that whole color combination is a flame (red,
>> orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a flame), then I think someone is
>> jailed/executed. My eyes finally manage to see the right-hand-side of the
>> page, and I see there are dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief, and
>> then I get really upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon). Now, if
>> I was not involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not
>> (maybe I would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I got
>> really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know
>> more.
>> I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds and
>> experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may not be a
>> signal for many other people (though the color black is almost universally
>> used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that you cannot accommodate
>> everyone. But please be aware, some people get really scared seeing this
>> kind of banner.
>>
>> I said the story above, but I also want to say that I understand the
>> pressure on you. I've said it here
>> <
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas#Banner_test_ideas
>> >
>> (and btw, huge thanks for being open to suggestions :-), and I'm saying it
>> here as well: I'm happy to help us to fix such an experience for our
>> users.
>> Please let me know if you're open to test new designs. I'm more than happy
>> to help you for some time for us to bring in more designers and community
>> members into this conversation. I'm sure we can do this.
>>
>> >
>> > --
>> >
>> > Megan Hernandez
>> >
>> > Director of Online Fundraising
>> > Wikimedia Foundation
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/GuidelinesWikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
On 9 October 2015 at 22:58, Megan Hernandez <mhernandez@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> All of these community suggestions remain in the banner. Another sentence
> that was briefly tested on a small percentage of users about a year ago
> that received negative community feedback was “If everyone reading this
> gave $3, we could keep it online and ad-free another year.” We did not end
> up using that sentence for the campaign and we commit to not using it in
> any future campaign. In the next quarter, we are planning many more message
> tests -- with both brand new ideas as well as smaller tweaks to the
> existing text. If you have an idea to test, please share on the 2015-16
> test ideas page
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas>.
> Thanks again to everyone who has shared ideas so far.
>

For what it's worth, as the person who's made by far the most edits to that
page and as one of the people responsible for some of that 'negative
community feedback', I'd like to say thanks to the fundraising team for
being very responsive to all the feedback that has been given. This is
doubly so because the fundraising department doesn't have a dedicated
'community liaison' staff role, meaning that the responsibility for
reading, triaging, enacting those suggestions is spread across the team.
Not all of the suggestions have been put in place, some have - as mentioned
in Megan's email, but they have all been responded to in good faith. So...
thanks :-)

-Liam

wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Hi Megan,

Thanks for sharing the update.

I'm a little confused though, so I hope you (or someone else) can clarify
something for me: what does a campaign look like these days? Because I'm
seeing banners all year round (I live in the Netherlands, maybe that makes
a difference), every now and then. But I also understood that the campaigns
nowadays are more sophisticated, and don't show the banner 100% any longer,
but only once per IP/computer/person?

Is the difference only the intensity of the banner? Or is there also a
media campaign involved?

Thanks,

Lodewijk

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 10:58 PM, Megan Hernandez <mhernandez@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> There's a new Q1 fundraising update on meta
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#2015-2016_Q1_Update> and
> posted here as well.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation has just wrapped up the first quarter of the
> 2015-16 fiscal year. Over these past three months, the fundraising team has
> been running ran campaigns in Japan, Brazil, Malaysia, South Africa,
> Belgium and Luxembourg and prepared for the upcoming year-end English
> fundraising campaign. The online fundraising team missed the $6 million
> goal for the quarter due to postponing the Italy fundraiser to October to
> support the Wiki Loves Monuments campaign. We raised roughly $5.7 million
> in the first quarter of the year and plan to make up for the loss in the
> next quarter. The 2014-15 fiscal year fundraising report
> <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2014-2015_Fundraising_Report> was
> also posted in this quarter. If you haven’t read it yet, please do check
> out the report for a wealth of information on the last fiscal year.
>
> The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand new
> banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons, and
> different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the fundraising
> message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended the
> quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the best-
> performing banner from last quarter. Better performing banners are required
> to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue testing new
> banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
>
> The banner message has also been updated with suggestions from the
> Wikimedia community. Thank you to everyone who has suggested improvements
> so far! We have changed “We survive on donations averaging about $15” to
> “We are sustained by donations averaging about $15.” We’ve also changed
> “Please help us end the fundraiser and get back to improving Wikipedia” to
> “Please help us end the fundraiser and improve Wikipedia.” These message
> edits did not positively or negatively affect donations and were made in
> response to community feedback. In the past, we have also relied on
> community feedback to improve our campaigns. In the last year, community
> feedback has led to improvements to the usability of the close X icon and a
> new line to highlight the editing community, “Wikipedia is written by a
> community of volunteers with a passion for sharing the world’s knowledge.”
> All of these community suggestions remain in the banner. Another sentence
> that was briefly tested on a small percentage of users about a year ago
> that received negative community feedback was “If everyone reading this
> gave $3, we could keep it online and ad-free another year.” We did not end
> up using that sentence for the campaign and we commit to not using it in
> any future campaign. In the next quarter, we are planning many more message
> tests -- with both brand new ideas as well as smaller tweaks to the
> existing text. If you have an idea to test, please share on the 2015-16
> test ideas page
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas>.
> Thanks again to everyone who has shared ideas so far.
>
> This upcoming quarter will be our biggest of the year with campaigns in
> Italy, France, the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. The
> team is focused on providing the best donation invitation and experience
> possible to readers. We will be sharing plenty of more information about
> the upcoming campaigns over the next couple of months. Thank you for your
> support!
>
> --
>
> Megan Hernandez
>
> Director of Online Fundraising
> Wikimedia Foundation
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Hi Folks --

I would suggest that if you are unhappy with the banners you apply your
energy to the annual planning process[1]. As long as the budget goes up 20%
year over year and page views fall, the Fundraising team will need to crank
up the banners.

It's worth pointing out that Fundraising is one of the strongest voices for
fiscal restraint at the Foundation.

-Toby

[1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2015-2016_Annual_Plan

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 4:09 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com> wrote:

> I want to be clear about my previous message -- I am not questioning any
> individual person's integrity in the process, and I know from firsthand
> experience that a tremendous amount of good work goes into this stuff. But
> I think the process that has evolved around developing the campaign is
> broken.
>
> In Megan's message, I see a great deal of emphasis on the specific points
> that are attributable to community suggestions/requests. But there is a
> bigger point that gets lost: It's not about where the ideas come from, it's
> about whether the final result "gets it right."
>
> If the WMF produced mission-compatible banners without any community
> consultation at all, I'd be happy, and I think most others would be too.
> Running an open process is not the right way to measure success here. An
> open process is one of many ways to surface problems, and maybe to generate
> ideas; but it's not the be-all end-all.
>
> The fund-raising department is clearly held accountable on its
> easily-measured performance. It needs to also be held accountable to the
> mission. How to do that is a difficult design and management problem, and I
> don't pretend to have the perfect answer. But it's something that needs to
> be done.
>
> Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 3:58 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I agree, that banner does not reflect the values of this movement. Pure
> > and simple; it's not a grey area, and not worth my time to discuss for
> the
> > 97th time.
> >
> > Personally, I long ago gave up participating in these discussions, for
> the
> > most part -- because the same valid points get made over and over again,
> > and the same *AWFUL* errors are made year after year in the fund-raising
> > campaign.
> >
> > Leila's post here is heartening, and I'm glad that somebody has the
> energy
> > to articulate the concerns so well. I, myself, do not; I have simply lost
> > faith in the integrity of the Wikimedia Foundation's fund-raising
> > operation. I am, honestly, ashamed to tell people that I used to work in
> > the fund-raising department there (though I believe the work we did was
> > valuable).
> >
> > I recently heard from a high-ranking executive at a software company. She
> > told me that she had given money to the Wikimedia Foundation, and then
> > looked into the WMF's budget, and the messages in the campaign she had
> > responded to. The word she used to describe her feeling was "mortified."
> > She had considered asking for her money back, but had decided against it.
> >
> > Fortunately, she was sophisticated enough not apply her negative feelings
> > to Wikipedia, but rather to the Wikimedia Foundation. But can the WMF
> > afford to assume that will always be the case?
> >
> > Apparently, the thinking thus far is, "yes."
> >
> > -Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 2:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Megan,
> >>
> >> Thank you for the update and all the hard work the team has done during
> >> Q1.
> >> My comments below.
> >>
> >> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Megan Hernandez <
> mhernandez@wikimedia.org
> >> >
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> > The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand
> new
> >> > banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons, and
> >> > different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the
> fundraising
> >> > message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended the
> >> > quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the best-
> >> > performing banner from last quarter.
> >>
> >>
> >> I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it even
> >> if
> >> it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier to skip
> for
> >> whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\
> >>
> >>
> >> > Better performing banners are required
> >> > to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue
> testing
> >> new
> >> > banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
> >> >
> >>
> >> I've said this couple of times in the past through different channels
> >> (sorry to those of you who have heard this before) but I think it's key
> to
> >> repeat it here just so we are all clear about what we know and what we
> >> don't know.
> >>
> >> We know that our pageviews are not growing globally (depending on how
> you
> >> look at the trend and predictions, they are going down with a slow slope
> >> or
> >> are almost flat, neither case is good.).
> >>
> >> We also know that a higher budget means more work for Furndraising to
> meet
> >> the budget.
> >>
> >> We do not know the relation between the decline in pageviews and our
> >> ability to raise money, we do not have research evidence for the above
> >> statement given the data we have, so I highly encourage all of us not to
> >> repeat this statement (even though it sounds very intuitive) until we
> show
> >> such evidence because the more we say it, the more we believe it. Ellery
> >> explains what we know and don't know about this specific topic when I
> ask
> >> him a question about this in Metrics Meeting in April 2015. That
> >> discussion
> >> is recorded starting minute 37, second 38 here
> >> <
> >>
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/WMF_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting_April_8%2C_2015.ogv
> >> >
> >> .
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Leila
> >>
> >> p.s. Here is the story:
> >> I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for an
> >> upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only source of
> >> light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
> >> <
> >>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015BannerEx.png
> >> >.
> >> I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
> >> normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a
> >> sudden
> >> feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think someone very
> >> important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red colors, then I
> >> think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm getting quite
> >> nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to parse it at
> that
> >> moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I look more at the
> >> background, I see some orange colors, some yellow colors, and a little
> >> human circled, I first think that whole color combination is a flame
> (red,
> >> orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a flame), then I think someone is
> >> jailed/executed. My eyes finally manage to see the right-hand-side of
> the
> >> page, and I see there are dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief,
> and
> >> then I get really upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon). Now,
> if
> >> I was not involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not
> >> (maybe I would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I
> got
> >> really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know
> >> more.
> >> I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds and
> >> experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may not be a
> >> signal for many other people (though the color black is almost
> universally
> >> used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that you cannot
> accommodate
> >> everyone. But please be aware, some people get really scared seeing this
> >> kind of banner.
> >>
> >> I said the story above, but I also want to say that I understand the
> >> pressure on you. I've said it here
> >> <
> >>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas#Banner_test_ideas
> >> >
> >> (and btw, huge thanks for being open to suggestions :-), and I'm saying
> it
> >> here as well: I'm happy to help us to fix such an experience for our
> >> users.
> >> Please let me know if you're open to test new designs. I'm more than
> happy
> >> to help you for some time for us to bring in more designers and
> community
> >> members into this conversation. I'm sure we can do this.
> >>
> >> >
> >> > --
> >> >
> >> > Megan Hernandez
> >> >
> >> > Director of Online Fundraising
> >> > Wikimedia Foundation
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/GuidelinesWikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Hi Toby,

On Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 9:43 AM, Toby Negrin <tnegrin@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi Folks --
>
> I would suggest that if you are unhappy with the banners you apply your
> energy to the annual planning process[1]. As long as the budget goes up 20%
> year over year and page views fall, the Fundraising team will need to crank
> up the banners.
>

There are few things to address related to your suggestion:

1) Some banners involve messages that can clearly invoke potential donors
to donate for a reason they think they are donating for, but in reality
that reason is not completely valid. Those messages really should not be
shown, whether they are for meeting a budget need or any other reason.
Every person in the movement should agree on this simple statement and
support the Fundraising team for not showing those messages.

2) Banners are our most outward facing signals, especially when they
involve requests for donations. What goes to the banner is the face of the
Movement, not the Foundation (because we know many people don't know what
is the difference between Wikipedia, for example, and the source who is
asking for donation), so it's essential for our many volunteers to get
behind its message. Some things are the matter of taste and we can never
make everyone happy with, some things are more generally understood as
problematic: we need to address those.

3) The argument here is not that the Fundraising team should not crank up,
of course if they are asked to deliver more they should do something
differently. The issue is about the content of the messages and what they
deliver. If the Fundraising techniques with all the correct messages the
Movement can get behind don't deliver as much as the budget requires, then
the Movement should brainstorm about what to do. That conversation can
involve budget cuts, new approaches for raising more money, showing ads,
etc. My point is, we should make this decision together so we can all
support it. Raising money is not the Foundation's problem only, it's the
Movement's problem, and we need to solve it together.

4) The Fundraising team needs to get the budget they need to operate in a
way that is healthy for them and the movement. If they don't, all of us in
the Foundation should help them get the resources they need, if that means
some of us giving 10% of our time to the team, so be it. I'm happy to offer
that time if I see we, as a whole, are willing to make a difference, but I
would advocate for the team getting what they need in the first place
without extra help because it's a critical team.

5) The Fundraising team has been very receptive to my comments (both on the
meta page and offline) and I will talk to them offline some time next week
as well. I'm going to slow down a bit on this thread after couple of more
emails. :-)

Best,
Leila


> -Toby
>
> [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2015-2016_Annual_Plan
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 4:09 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I want to be clear about my previous message -- I am not questioning any
> > individual person's integrity in the process, and I know from firsthand
> > experience that a tremendous amount of good work goes into this stuff.
> But
> > I think the process that has evolved around developing the campaign is
> > broken.
> >
> > In Megan's message, I see a great deal of emphasis on the specific points
> > that are attributable to community suggestions/requests. But there is a
> > bigger point that gets lost: It's not about where the ideas come from,
> it's
> > about whether the final result "gets it right."
> >
> > If the WMF produced mission-compatible banners without any community
> > consultation at all, I'd be happy, and I think most others would be too.
> > Running an open process is not the right way to measure success here. An
> > open process is one of many ways to surface problems, and maybe to
> generate
> > ideas; but it's not the be-all end-all.
> >
> > The fund-raising department is clearly held accountable on its
> > easily-measured performance. It needs to also be held accountable to the
> > mission. How to do that is a difficult design and management problem,
> and I
> > don't pretend to have the perfect answer. But it's something that needs
> to
> > be done.
> >
> > Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 3:58 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I agree, that banner does not reflect the values of this movement. Pure
> > > and simple; it's not a grey area, and not worth my time to discuss for
> > the
> > > 97th time.
> > >
> > > Personally, I long ago gave up participating in these discussions, for
> > the
> > > most part -- because the same valid points get made over and over
> again,
> > > and the same *AWFUL* errors are made year after year in the
> fund-raising
> > > campaign.
> > >
> > > Leila's post here is heartening, and I'm glad that somebody has the
> > energy
> > > to articulate the concerns so well. I, myself, do not; I have simply
> lost
> > > faith in the integrity of the Wikimedia Foundation's fund-raising
> > > operation. I am, honestly, ashamed to tell people that I used to work
> in
> > > the fund-raising department there (though I believe the work we did was
> > > valuable).
> > >
> > > I recently heard from a high-ranking executive at a software company.
> She
> > > told me that she had given money to the Wikimedia Foundation, and then
> > > looked into the WMF's budget, and the messages in the campaign she had
> > > responded to. The word she used to describe her feeling was
> "mortified."
> > > She had considered asking for her money back, but had decided against
> it.
> > >
> > > Fortunately, she was sophisticated enough not apply her negative
> feelings
> > > to Wikipedia, but rather to the Wikimedia Foundation. But can the WMF
> > > afford to assume that will always be the case?
> > >
> > > Apparently, the thinking thus far is, "yes."
> > >
> > > -Pete
> > > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> > >
> > > On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 2:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hi Megan,
> > >>
> > >> Thank you for the update and all the hard work the team has done
> during
> > >> Q1.
> > >> My comments below.
> > >>
> > >> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Megan Hernandez <
> > mhernandez@wikimedia.org
> > >> >
> > >> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> > The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand
> > new
> > >> > banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons,
> and
> > >> > different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the
> > fundraising
> > >> > message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended
> the
> > >> > quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the
> best-
> > >> > performing banner from last quarter.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it
> even
> > >> if
> > >> it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier to skip
> > for
> > >> whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> > Better performing banners are required
> > >> > to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue
> > testing
> > >> new
> > >> > banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
> > >> >
> > >>
> > >> I've said this couple of times in the past through different channels
> > >> (sorry to those of you who have heard this before) but I think it's
> key
> > to
> > >> repeat it here just so we are all clear about what we know and what we
> > >> don't know.
> > >>
> > >> We know that our pageviews are not growing globally (depending on how
> > you
> > >> look at the trend and predictions, they are going down with a slow
> slope
> > >> or
> > >> are almost flat, neither case is good.).
> > >>
> > >> We also know that a higher budget means more work for Furndraising to
> > meet
> > >> the budget.
> > >>
> > >> We do not know the relation between the decline in pageviews and our
> > >> ability to raise money, we do not have research evidence for the above
> > >> statement given the data we have, so I highly encourage all of us not
> to
> > >> repeat this statement (even though it sounds very intuitive) until we
> > show
> > >> such evidence because the more we say it, the more we believe it.
> Ellery
> > >> explains what we know and don't know about this specific topic when I
> > ask
> > >> him a question about this in Metrics Meeting in April 2015. That
> > >> discussion
> > >> is recorded starting minute 37, second 38 here
> > >> <
> > >>
> >
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/WMF_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting_April_8%2C_2015.ogv
> > >> >
> > >> .
> > >>
> > >> Best,
> > >> Leila
> > >>
> > >> p.s. Here is the story:
> > >> I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for
> an
> > >> upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only source
> of
> > >> light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
> > >> <
> > >>
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015BannerEx.png
> > >> >.
> > >> I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
> > >> normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a
> > >> sudden
> > >> feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think someone
> very
> > >> important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red colors,
> then I
> > >> think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm getting quite
> > >> nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to parse it at
> > that
> > >> moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I look more at the
> > >> background, I see some orange colors, some yellow colors, and a little
> > >> human circled, I first think that whole color combination is a flame
> > (red,
> > >> orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a flame), then I think someone
> is
> > >> jailed/executed. My eyes finally manage to see the right-hand-side of
> > the
> > >> page, and I see there are dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief,
> > and
> > >> then I get really upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon).
> Now,
> > if
> > >> I was not involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not
> > >> (maybe I would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I
> > got
> > >> really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know
> > >> more.
> > >> I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds
> and
> > >> experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may not
> be a
> > >> signal for many other people (though the color black is almost
> > universally
> > >> used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that you cannot
> > accommodate
> > >> everyone. But please be aware, some people get really scared seeing
> this
> > >> kind of banner.
> > >>
> > >> I said the story above, but I also want to say that I understand the
> > >> pressure on you. I've said it here
> > >> <
> > >>
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas#Banner_test_ideas
> > >> >
> > >> (and btw, huge thanks for being open to suggestions :-), and I'm
> saying
> > it
> > >> here as well: I'm happy to help us to fix such an experience for our
> > >> users.
> > >> Please let me know if you're open to test new designs. I'm more than
> > happy
> > >> to help you for some time for us to bring in more designers and
> > community
> > >> members into this conversation. I'm sure we can do this.
> > >>
> > >> >
> > >> > --
> > >> >
> > >> > Megan Hernandez
> > >> >
> > >> > Director of Online Fundraising
> > >> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > >> > _______________________________________________
> > >> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > >> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > >> > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > ,
> > >> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >> _______________________________________________
> > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > >> <
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/GuidelinesWikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > >
> > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> > >> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Hi Lodewijk,

On Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 6:20 AM, Lodewijk <lodewijk@effeietsanders.org>
wrote:

>
> I'm a little confused though, so I hope you (or someone else) can clarify
> something for me: what does a campaign look like these days? Because I'm
> seeing banners all year round (I live in the Netherlands, maybe that makes
> a difference), every now and then. But I also understood that the campaigns
> nowadays are more sophisticated, and don't show the banner 100% any longer,
> but only once per IP/computer/person?
>

The Fundraising team can better address this but since we're in a long
weekend, I'll say as much as I know:
There are different kinds of campaigns, ones that go constantly in a
country for a period of time, those that go on for a sample of the traffic
in a country for a specific period of time. The team is trying to spread
the effort across the year so all our eggs are not in one basket which is
December. :-)

In terms of frequency, I think the team experiments with different banner
frequencies. We know that if you see the banner more than 5 times, banner
fatigue will take over. So, I think we are mostly testing with showing
banners less than 5 times. For the December campaign in the US last year,
if I remember correctly, you would see it once big, and then after that as
a little bar on top of the page until you would close it or donate.

Leila


> Thanks,
>
> Lodewijk
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 10:58 PM, Megan Hernandez <mhernandez@wikimedia.org
> >
> wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > There's a new Q1 fundraising update on meta
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#2015-2016_Q1_Update> and
> > posted here as well.
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation has just wrapped up the first quarter of the
> > 2015-16 fiscal year. Over these past three months, the fundraising team
> has
> > been running ran campaigns in Japan, Brazil, Malaysia, South Africa,
> > Belgium and Luxembourg and prepared for the upcoming year-end English
> > fundraising campaign. The online fundraising team missed the $6 million
> > goal for the quarter due to postponing the Italy fundraiser to October to
> > support the Wiki Loves Monuments campaign. We raised roughly $5.7 million
> > in the first quarter of the year and plan to make up for the loss in the
> > next quarter. The 2014-15 fiscal year fundraising report
> > <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2014-2015_Fundraising_Report> was
> > also posted in this quarter. If you haven’t read it yet, please do check
> > out the report for a wealth of information on the last fiscal year.
> >
> > The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand new
> > banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons, and
> > different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the fundraising
> > message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended the
> > quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the best-
> > performing banner from last quarter. Better performing banners are
> required
> > to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue testing
> new
> > banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
> >
> > The banner message has also been updated with suggestions from the
> > Wikimedia community. Thank you to everyone who has suggested improvements
> > so far! We have changed “We survive on donations averaging about $15” to
> > “We are sustained by donations averaging about $15.” We’ve also changed
> > “Please help us end the fundraiser and get back to improving Wikipedia”
> to
> > “Please help us end the fundraiser and improve Wikipedia.” These message
> > edits did not positively or negatively affect donations and were made in
> > response to community feedback. In the past, we have also relied on
> > community feedback to improve our campaigns. In the last year, community
> > feedback has led to improvements to the usability of the close X icon
> and a
> > new line to highlight the editing community, “Wikipedia is written by a
> > community of volunteers with a passion for sharing the world’s
> knowledge.”
> > All of these community suggestions remain in the banner. Another sentence
> > that was briefly tested on a small percentage of users about a year ago
> > that received negative community feedback was “If everyone reading this
> > gave $3, we could keep it online and ad-free another year.” We did not
> end
> > up using that sentence for the campaign and we commit to not using it in
> > any future campaign. In the next quarter, we are planning many more
> message
> > tests -- with both brand new ideas as well as smaller tweaks to the
> > existing text. If you have an idea to test, please share on the 2015-16
> > test ideas page
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas>.
> > Thanks again to everyone who has shared ideas so far.
> >
> > This upcoming quarter will be our biggest of the year with campaigns in
> > Italy, France, the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
> The
> > team is focused on providing the best donation invitation and experience
> > possible to readers. We will be sharing plenty of more information about
> > the upcoming campaigns over the next couple of months. Thank you for your
> > support!
> >
> > --
> >
> > Megan Hernandez
> >
> > Director of Online Fundraising
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 5:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:


> Thank you for the update and all the hard work the team has done during Q1.
> My comments below.
>

Thanks likewise, Megan. I'm always impressed by your team's work.


> > Better performing banners are required
> > to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue testing
> new
> > banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
>

I think a more pressing response to this is to reduce the budget to get
some breathing room, increase work through partnerships (which Wikimedia
doesn't have to fund entirely on its own), and increase non-banner revenue
streams.

It's also key to improve banner effectiveness. How nice it would be to
have a composite that combines measures of the favorability of the banner
among readers (most of whom don't donate anyway), mood setting & meme
propagation, and the reduction in usability of the site (which may have an
effect over months), against the immediate fundraising impact. A banner
that is 5% better with improved favorability among readers may be better
than a banner that is 20% better but with double the unfavorability.

There are thousands of worthy projects that have expanded their budgets as
far as they could, then expand in-your-face banners as far as they can, and
only stop once their sites are quite difficult to use. It happens
gradually (I'm looking at you, Wikia ;) but the result is the usability
equivalent of linkrot. Let's not let WP end up like that.

Sam
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Hi Toby,

I asked several questions about this year's Annual Plan, only some of which
received responses even after multiple pings from me, so I regret to say
that I get the impression that community questions and input on the annual
plan may be brushed aside. I wish that the situation was different. It
seems to me that responding to good-faith community inquiries and comments
about the Annual Plan should be a high priority throughout WMF. I would be
grateful to receive answers to my questions that are still awaiting replies.

Pine
On Oct 10, 2015 12:43 PM, "Toby Negrin" <tnegrin@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi Folks --
>
> I would suggest that if you are unhappy with the banners you apply your
> energy to the annual planning process[1]. As long as the budget goes up 20%
> year over year and page views fall, the Fundraising team will need to crank
> up the banners.
>
> It's worth pointing out that Fundraising is one of the strongest voices for
> fiscal restraint at the Foundation.
>
> -Toby
>
> [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2015-2016_Annual_Plan
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 4:09 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I want to be clear about my previous message -- I am not questioning any
> > individual person's integrity in the process, and I know from firsthand
> > experience that a tremendous amount of good work goes into this stuff.
> But
> > I think the process that has evolved around developing the campaign is
> > broken.
> >
> > In Megan's message, I see a great deal of emphasis on the specific points
> > that are attributable to community suggestions/requests. But there is a
> > bigger point that gets lost: It's not about where the ideas come from,
> it's
> > about whether the final result "gets it right."
> >
> > If the WMF produced mission-compatible banners without any community
> > consultation at all, I'd be happy, and I think most others would be too.
> > Running an open process is not the right way to measure success here. An
> > open process is one of many ways to surface problems, and maybe to
> generate
> > ideas; but it's not the be-all end-all.
> >
> > The fund-raising department is clearly held accountable on its
> > easily-measured performance. It needs to also be held accountable to the
> > mission. How to do that is a difficult design and management problem,
> and I
> > don't pretend to have the perfect answer. But it's something that needs
> to
> > be done.
> >
> > Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 3:58 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I agree, that banner does not reflect the values of this movement. Pure
> > > and simple; it's not a grey area, and not worth my time to discuss for
> > the
> > > 97th time.
> > >
> > > Personally, I long ago gave up participating in these discussions, for
> > the
> > > most part -- because the same valid points get made over and over
> again,
> > > and the same *AWFUL* errors are made year after year in the
> fund-raising
> > > campaign.
> > >
> > > Leila's post here is heartening, and I'm glad that somebody has the
> > energy
> > > to articulate the concerns so well. I, myself, do not; I have simply
> lost
> > > faith in the integrity of the Wikimedia Foundation's fund-raising
> > > operation. I am, honestly, ashamed to tell people that I used to work
> in
> > > the fund-raising department there (though I believe the work we did was
> > > valuable).
> > >
> > > I recently heard from a high-ranking executive at a software company.
> She
> > > told me that she had given money to the Wikimedia Foundation, and then
> > > looked into the WMF's budget, and the messages in the campaign she had
> > > responded to. The word she used to describe her feeling was
> "mortified."
> > > She had considered asking for her money back, but had decided against
> it.
> > >
> > > Fortunately, she was sophisticated enough not apply her negative
> feelings
> > > to Wikipedia, but rather to the Wikimedia Foundation. But can the WMF
> > > afford to assume that will always be the case?
> > >
> > > Apparently, the thinking thus far is, "yes."
> > >
> > > -Pete
> > > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> > >
> > > On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 2:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hi Megan,
> > >>
> > >> Thank you for the update and all the hard work the team has done
> during
> > >> Q1.
> > >> My comments below.
> > >>
> > >> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Megan Hernandez <
> > mhernandez@wikimedia.org
> > >> >
> > >> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> > The team has used this first quarter to test a wide variety of brand
> > new
> > >> > banners. From images, to banners highlighting photos from Commons,
> and
> > >> > different messages, we’ve found a few new ways to share the
> > fundraising
> > >> > message with Wikipedia readers. With updated designs, we’ve ended
> the
> > >> > quarter with a banner that performs roughly 20% better than the
> best-
> > >> > performing banner from last quarter.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it
> even
> > >> if
> > >> it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier to skip
> > for
> > >> whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> > Better performing banners are required
> > >> > to raise a higher budget with declining traffic. We’ll continue
> > testing
> > >> new
> > >> > banners into the next quarter and sharing highlights as we go.
> > >> >
> > >>
> > >> I've said this couple of times in the past through different channels
> > >> (sorry to those of you who have heard this before) but I think it's
> key
> > to
> > >> repeat it here just so we are all clear about what we know and what we
> > >> don't know.
> > >>
> > >> We know that our pageviews are not growing globally (depending on how
> > you
> > >> look at the trend and predictions, they are going down with a slow
> slope
> > >> or
> > >> are almost flat, neither case is good.).
> > >>
> > >> We also know that a higher budget means more work for Furndraising to
> > meet
> > >> the budget.
> > >>
> > >> We do not know the relation between the decline in pageviews and our
> > >> ability to raise money, we do not have research evidence for the above
> > >> statement given the data we have, so I highly encourage all of us not
> to
> > >> repeat this statement (even though it sounds very intuitive) until we
> > show
> > >> such evidence because the more we say it, the more we believe it.
> Ellery
> > >> explains what we know and don't know about this specific topic when I
> > ask
> > >> him a question about this in Metrics Meeting in April 2015. That
> > >> discussion
> > >> is recorded starting minute 37, second 38 here
> > >> <
> > >>
> >
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/WMF_Monthly_Metrics_Meeting_April_8%2C_2015.ogv
> > >> >
> > >> .
> > >>
> > >> Best,
> > >> Leila
> > >>
> > >> p.s. Here is the story:
> > >> I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for
> an
> > >> upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only source
> of
> > >> light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
> > >> <
> > >>
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015BannerEx.png
> > >> >.
> > >> I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
> > >> normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a
> > >> sudden
> > >> feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think someone
> very
> > >> important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red colors,
> then I
> > >> think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm getting quite
> > >> nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to parse it at
> > that
> > >> moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I look more at the
> > >> background, I see some orange colors, some yellow colors, and a little
> > >> human circled, I first think that whole color combination is a flame
> > (red,
> > >> orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a flame), then I think someone
> is
> > >> jailed/executed. My eyes finally manage to see the right-hand-side of
> > the
> > >> page, and I see there are dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief,
> > and
> > >> then I get really upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon).
> Now,
> > if
> > >> I was not involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not
> > >> (maybe I would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I
> > got
> > >> really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know
> > >> more.
> > >> I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds
> and
> > >> experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may not
> be a
> > >> signal for many other people (though the color black is almost
> > universally
> > >> used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that you cannot
> > accommodate
> > >> everyone. But please be aware, some people get really scared seeing
> this
> > >> kind of banner.
> > >>
> > >> I said the story above, but I also want to say that I understand the
> > >> pressure on you. I've said it here
> > >> <
> > >>
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising/2015-16_Fundraising_ideas#Banner_test_ideas
> > >> >
> > >> (and btw, huge thanks for being open to suggestions :-), and I'm
> saying
> > it
> > >> here as well: I'm happy to help us to fix such an experience for our
> > >> users.
> > >> Please let me know if you're open to test new designs. I'm more than
> > happy
> > >> to help you for some time for us to bring in more designers and
> > community
> > >> members into this conversation. I'm sure we can do this.
> > >>
> > >> >
> > >> > --
> > >> >
> > >> > Megan Hernandez
> > >> >
> > >> > Director of Online Fundraising
> > >> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > >> > _______________________________________________
> > >> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > >> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Le 10/10/2015 18:43, Toby Negrin a écrit :
> Hi Folks --
>
> I would suggest that if you are unhappy with the banners you apply your
> energy to the annual planning process[1]. As long as the budget goes up 20%
> year over year and page views fall, the Fundraising team will need to crank
> up the banners.

For sure. Thus we may question why the budget should go up 20% year over
year.
The 2015-2016 Annual Plan doesn't really justify it. How long do they
plan to keep this growth? What is the limits to this growth if the
fundraising team is just supposed to meet the targets it is given ? Will
the limit be by choice of the WMF or one day failing to meet theses
targets, despite more and more insistent banners?

What about capping the WMF growth just as the chapters funding was
capped? What about degrowth? Would it be impossible for the WMF to
fulfil its mission with the budget it had, say, 3 years ago?

> It's worth pointing out that Fundraising is one of the strongest voices for
> fiscal restraint at the Foundation.
>
> -Toby
>
> [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2015-2016_Annual_Plan
>
> On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 4:09 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I want to be clear about my previous message -- I am not questioning any
>> individual person's integrity in the process, and I know from firsthand
>> experience that a tremendous amount of good work goes into this stuff. But
>> I think the process that has evolved around developing the campaign is
>> broken.
>>
>> In Megan's message, I see a great deal of emphasis on the specific points
>> that are attributable to community suggestions/requests. But there is a
>> bigger point that gets lost: It's not about where the ideas come from, it's
>> about whether the final result "gets it right."
>>
>> If the WMF produced mission-compatible banners without any community
>> consultation at all, I'd be happy, and I think most others would be too.
>> Running an open process is not the right way to measure success here. An
>> open process is one of many ways to surface problems, and maybe to generate
>> ideas; but it's not the be-all end-all.
>>
>> The fund-raising department is clearly held accountable on its
>> easily-measured performance. It needs to also be held accountable to the
>> mission. How to do that is a difficult design and management problem, and I
>> don't pretend to have the perfect answer. But it's something that needs to
>> be done.
>>
>> Pete
>> [[User:Peteforsyth]]

--
Mathias Damour
[[User:Astirmays]]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 9:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it even if
> it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier to skip for
> whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\
>

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 10:58 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com> wrote:

> I agree, that banner does not reflect the values of this movement. Pure and
> simple; it's not a grey area, and not worth my time to discuss for the 97th
> time.
>
> Personally, I long ago gave up participating in these discussions, for the
> most part -- because the same valid points get made over and over again,
> and the same *AWFUL* errors are made year after year in the fund-raising
> campaign.
>
> Leila's post here is heartening, and I'm glad that somebody has the energy
> to articulate the concerns so well. I, myself, do not; I have simply lost
> faith in the integrity of the Wikimedia Foundation's fund-raising
> operation. I am, honestly, ashamed to tell people that I used to work in
> the fund-raising department there (though I believe the work we did was
> valuable).
>
> I recently heard from a high-ranking executive at a software company. She
> told me that she had given money to the Wikimedia Foundation, and then
> looked into the WMF's budget, and the messages in the campaign she had
> responded to. The word she used to describe her feeling was "mortified."
> She had considered asking for her money back, but had decided against it.
>
> Fortunately, she was sophisticated enough not apply her negative feelings
> to Wikipedia, but rather to the Wikimedia Foundation. But can the WMF
> afford to assume that will always be the case?
>



I endorse what Leila and Pete said above. My responses to the black banner
differ in details from Leila's, but the overall impression is the same: it
is fear-inducing, as though someone or something has been murdered, or is
about to be. Looking at the black banner, my eyes are first drawn to the
highlighted sentence, and then the one following it, about "keeping
Wikipedia online and ad-free."

Of course the banner "works". But it works for the wrong reasons. (The same
could be said for the #keepitfree hashtag on Twitter.) It's the result of
purely Darwinian A/B testing run amok, untempered by reason and conscience.
As Pete Forsyth has said: that process is broken. It seems not unlike the
process by which the yellow press come up with its headlines, designed to
pander to the basest, most primal instincts.

I will reiterate here that, according to the recent fundraising report[1],
the Foundation took $75.5 million in 2014/2015, exactly five times what it
had taken five years prior, in 2009-2010 ($15.1 million). Most
organisations would see such revenue growth not as evidence of a looming
financial crisis calling for desperate appeals for more cash, but as an
amazing, stunning success.

Credibility, once lost, is hard to regain. So far, you have lost it only
for a number of individuals, like that software executive Pete mentioned in
his post. But that number is increasing, and as your bank balance grows and
your appeals become more desperate-sounding, there will come a tipping
point.

If you are going to ask people this December to donate money "to keep
Wikipedia online and ad-free" (something that in the narrow sense costs the
WMF no more than $3 million p.a.), when in reality you are shooting for $70
million to $100 million, including several million dollars for an endowment
and several million more for further staff expansion, you risk doing
catastrophic damage to the Foundation's future fundraising ability.

Would you like that to be your legacy?


[1] See graphic in Signpost report:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-09-30/News_and_notes



> p.s. Here is the story:
> I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for an
> upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only source of
> light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015BannerEx.png
> >.
> I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
> normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a sudden
> feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think someone very
> important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red colors, then I
> think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm getting quite
> nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to parse it at that
> moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I look more at the
> background, I see some orange colors, some yellow colors, and a little
> human circled, I first think that whole color combination is a flame (red,
> orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a flame), then I think someone is
> jailed/executed. My eyes finally manage to see the right-hand-side of the
> page, and I see there are dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief, and
> then I get really upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon). Now, if
> I was not involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not
> (maybe I would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I got
> really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know more.
> I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds and
> experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may not be a
> signal for many other people (though the color black is almost universally
> used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that you cannot accommodate
> everyone. But please be aware, some people get really scared seeing this
> kind of banner.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
+1

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-bounces@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Andreas Kolbe
Sent: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 7:01 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 9:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it
> even if it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier
> to skip for whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\
>

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 10:58 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com> wrote:

> I agree, that banner does not reflect the values of this movement.
> Pure and simple; it's not a grey area, and not worth my time to
> discuss for the 97th time.
>
> Personally, I long ago gave up participating in these discussions, for
> the most part -- because the same valid points get made over and over
> again, and the same *AWFUL* errors are made year after year in the
> fund-raising campaign.
>
> Leila's post here is heartening, and I'm glad that somebody has the
> energy to articulate the concerns so well. I, myself, do not; I have
> simply lost faith in the integrity of the Wikimedia Foundation's
> fund-raising operation. I am, honestly, ashamed to tell people that I
> used to work in the fund-raising department there (though I believe
> the work we did was valuable).
>
> I recently heard from a high-ranking executive at a software company.
> She told me that she had given money to the Wikimedia Foundation, and
> then looked into the WMF's budget, and the messages in the campaign
> she had responded to. The word she used to describe her feeling was "mortified."
> She had considered asking for her money back, but had decided against it.
>
> Fortunately, she was sophisticated enough not apply her negative
> feelings to Wikipedia, but rather to the Wikimedia Foundation. But can
> the WMF afford to assume that will always be the case?
>



I endorse what Leila and Pete said above. My responses to the black banner differ in details from Leila's, but the overall impression is the same: it is fear-inducing, as though someone or something has been murdered, or is about to be. Looking at the black banner, my eyes are first drawn to the highlighted sentence, and then the one following it, about "keeping Wikipedia online and ad-free."

Of course the banner "works". But it works for the wrong reasons. (The same could be said for the #keepitfree hashtag on Twitter.) It's the result of purely Darwinian A/B testing run amok, untempered by reason and conscience.
As Pete Forsyth has said: that process is broken. It seems not unlike the process by which the yellow press come up with its headlines, designed to pander to the basest, most primal instincts.

I will reiterate here that, according to the recent fundraising report[1], the Foundation took $75.5 million in 2014/2015, exactly five times what it had taken five years prior, in 2009-2010 ($15.1 million). Most organisations would see such revenue growth not as evidence of a looming financial crisis calling for desperate appeals for more cash, but as an amazing, stunning success.

Credibility, once lost, is hard to regain. So far, you have lost it only for a number of individuals, like that software executive Pete mentioned in his post. But that number is increasing, and as your bank balance grows and your appeals become more desperate-sounding, there will come a tipping point.

If you are going to ask people this December to donate money "to keep Wikipedia online and ad-free" (something that in the narrow sense costs the WMF no more than $3 million p.a.), when in reality you are shooting for $70 million to $100 million, including several million dollars for an endowment and several million more for further staff expansion, you risk doing catastrophic damage to the Foundation's future fundraising ability.

Would you like that to be your legacy?


[1] See graphic in Signpost report:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-09-30/News_and_notes



> p.s. Here is the story:
> I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for
> an upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only
> source of light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015Banner
> Ex.png
> >.
> I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
> normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a
> sudden feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think
> someone very important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red
> colors, then I think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm
> getting quite nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to
> parse it at that moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I
> look more at the background, I see some orange colors, some yellow
> colors, and a little human circled, I first think that whole color
> combination is a flame (red, orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a
> flame), then I think someone is jailed/executed. My eyes finally
> manage to see the right-hand-side of the page, and I see there are
> dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief, and then I get really
> upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon). Now, if I was not
> involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not (maybe I
> would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I got really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know more.
> I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds
> and experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may
> not be a signal for many other people (though the color black is
> almost universally used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that
> you cannot accommodate everyone. But please be aware, some people get
> really scared seeing this kind of banner.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
I also feel disheartened about this yearly controversy, which seems to go nowhere.
I also am scared by even considering https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015BannerEx.png

In my opinion this very ambitious budget (maybe too ambitious if such extreme doomsday measures are needed to reach our goals),
may well be putting our reputation at risk, and perhaps even alienate part of our community.
"Trust arrives on foot but leaves on horseback"

So who should we address to bring about change, and set more modest goals?
I belief fundraising is doing as they're told, the best they can.
The Wikimedia Foundation gets a lot of flak in these discussions.
But isn't WMF operating within limits set by the Board of Trustees?
Lila can propose a budget, but the Board is ultimately responsible, needs to approve that budget, and can amend it.

Erik Zachte

(disclaimer: I'm speaking in my role as volunteer, not as contractor for WMF)


-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-bounces@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Peter Southwood
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 12:38
To: 'Wikimedia Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update

+1

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-bounces@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Andreas Kolbe
Sent: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 7:01 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 9:56 PM, Leila Zia <leila@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> I saw that banner and I want to do all I can to help you not use it
> even if it performs 20% better. I put my story in p.s. so it's easier
> to skip for whoever chooses to skip. This is a true story. :-\
>

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 10:58 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com> wrote:

> I agree, that banner does not reflect the values of this movement.
> Pure and simple; it's not a grey area, and not worth my time to
> discuss for the 97th time.
>
> Personally, I long ago gave up participating in these discussions, for
> the most part -- because the same valid points get made over and over
> again, and the same *AWFUL* errors are made year after year in the
> fund-raising campaign.
>
> Leila's post here is heartening, and I'm glad that somebody has the
> energy to articulate the concerns so well. I, myself, do not; I have
> simply lost faith in the integrity of the Wikimedia Foundation's
> fund-raising operation. I am, honestly, ashamed to tell people that I
> used to work in the fund-raising department there (though I believe
> the work we did was valuable).
>
> I recently heard from a high-ranking executive at a software company.
> She told me that she had given money to the Wikimedia Foundation, and
> then looked into the WMF's budget, and the messages in the campaign
> she had responded to. The word she used to describe her feeling was "mortified."
> She had considered asking for her money back, but had decided against it.
>
> Fortunately, she was sophisticated enough not apply her negative
> feelings to Wikipedia, but rather to the Wikimedia Foundation. But can
> the WMF afford to assume that will always be the case?
>



I endorse what Leila and Pete said above. My responses to the black banner differ in details from Leila's, but the overall impression is the same: it is fear-inducing, as though someone or something has been murdered, or is about to be. Looking at the black banner, my eyes are first drawn to the highlighted sentence, and then the one following it, about "keeping Wikipedia online and ad-free."

Of course the banner "works". But it works for the wrong reasons. (The same could be said for the #keepitfree hashtag on Twitter.) It's the result of purely Darwinian A/B testing run amok, untempered by reason and conscience.
As Pete Forsyth has said: that process is broken. It seems not unlike the process by which the yellow press come up with its headlines, designed to pander to the basest, most primal instincts.

I will reiterate here that, according to the recent fundraising report[1], the Foundation took $75.5 million in 2014/2015, exactly five times what it had taken five years prior, in 2009-2010 ($15.1 million). Most organisations would see such revenue growth not as evidence of a looming financial crisis calling for desperate appeals for more cash, but as an amazing, stunning success.

Credibility, once lost, is hard to regain. So far, you have lost it only for a number of individuals, like that software executive Pete mentioned in his post. But that number is increasing, and as your bank balance grows and your appeals become more desperate-sounding, there will come a tipping point.

If you are going to ask people this December to donate money "to keep Wikipedia online and ad-free" (something that in the narrow sense costs the WMF no more than $3 million p.a.), when in reality you are shooting for $70 million to $100 million, including several million dollars for an endowment and several million more for further staff expansion, you risk doing catastrophic damage to the Foundation's future fundraising ability.

Would you like that to be your legacy?


[1] See graphic in Signpost report:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-09-30/News_and_notes



> p.s. Here is the story:
> I open my laptop at 5:30am to check few definitions on Wikipedia for
> an upcoming early morning meeting. The room is dark and the only
> source of light is my laptop, I go to Wikipedia and I see that banner
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising#/media/File:Sept2015Banner
> Ex.png
> >.
> I'm still sleepy, and probably my mind is not functioning the way it
> normally does, nevertheless, here is what comes to my mind: I have a
> sudden feeling of fear. I see a very black background, and I think
> someone very important has died. I look a bit more, and I see some red
> colors, then I think something in the order of SOPA has happened. I'm
> getting quite nervous. I look at the text, but it's too long for me to
> parse it at that moment with the thoughts I have in the background. I
> look more at the background, I see some orange colors, some yellow
> colors, and a little human circled, I first think that whole color
> combination is a flame (red, orange, yellow, and the semi shape of a
> flame), then I think someone is jailed/executed. My eyes finally
> manage to see the right-hand-side of the page, and I see there are
> dollar signs and numbers. I sigh in relief, and then I get really
> upset (though I manage to pass that stage soon). Now, if I was not
> involved in the movement, I'm not sure if I would pay or not (maybe I
> would) seeing that banner, but because I'm in the Movement, I got really sad seeing myself going through that experience because I know more.
> I also acknowledge that different people have different backgrounds
> and experiences in life. What I see as a sign of death and war, may
> not be a signal for many other people (though the color black is
> almost universally used for signalling death), and I acknowledge that
> you cannot accommodate everyone. But please be aware, some people get
> really scared seeing this kind of banner.
>
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
I agree that the WMF needs to slow its growth and look at stabilizing
around its currently level of funding. Continuing to grow at 20% is simply
not sustainable while maintaining our values and our reputation. I am not
yet sure what the rest of the board's position is on this matter but I
share many of the concerns raised here.

--
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com

As of July 2015 I am a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation
My emails; however, do not represent the official position of the WMF
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Dear everyone,

The ad industry took ages to reckon they were messing things up¹,
looking only at how much money they were earning. I sincerely hope
WMF's fundraising is not following the same path. I wouldn't be honest
if I didn't write that year after year, I find the fundraising banners
more intrusive and less respectful of readers and that I observe much
more angry readers around me. No offense to whoever works on
fundraising: the issue is in the objectives the fundraising team has
to meet.

Best regards,

¹ http://www.iab.com/news/lean/

--
Jérémie

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
The world's economy is driven by greed and stupidity.
Can we be different?
Cheers,
Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-bounces@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Jérémie Roquet
Sent: Friday, 16 October 2015 12:23 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update

Dear everyone,

The ad industry took ages to reckon they were messing things up¹, looking only at how much money they were earning. I sincerely hope WMF's fundraising is not following the same path. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't write that year after year, I find the fundraising banners more intrusive and less respectful of readers and that I observe much more angry readers around me. No offense to whoever works on
fundraising: the issue is in the objectives the fundraising team has to meet.

Best regards,

¹ http://www.iab.com/news/lean/

--
Jérémie

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Fundraising folks, can we get an update in response to the concerns raised
in this thread?

Thanks,
Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Sure, Pine. I am happy offer some thoughts:

The two main challenges for the online fundraising team are the decrease in
page views in the countries where we raise the most funds and the shift
from desktop to mobile, where the donation rate and the donation size are
much smaller. In response to this, we estimate that we will need a
campaign that performs approximately 20 percent better than last year –
just to keep revenue constant – not to grow.


Leila is right that page views are not a perfect indicator. Page views do
not donate, people do. We know page views are going down but we do not
know who is leaving us. Still, we *are* seeing an impact on donations from
a decrease in page views. This is the second big fundraising season where
we have been up against a page view decline. Last year, we responded with
a dramatic shift in tactics. This year, we are focusing on finding smaller
refinements that will get us there. The good news is that we are getting
close! And, I think the online fundraising team is working in earnest to
engage with community members and other staff who have ideas around the
message. Some ideas have been incorporated into the campaign, others not.
The process has been helpful to us and I hopefully not too disappointing
for you. For what it is worth, the team does not use the vast majority of
my ideas – and I respect them for that. :)


There are some concerns around the urgency of the message that we are still
trying to work through. To be honest, we haven’t seen this surface in past
research or when we talk to our donors. Still, we recognize that we may
not have been asking the right questions or framing it right. We care a lot
that that we are giving an accurate impression about our need for
donations. So, we have drilled down on this more in our research to better
understand what our readers think on this topic. We should have more to
share on that in a week or two.


The concerns raised about the size of the budget and the rate of growth of
the organization need to involve more people than just fundraising. We
will give our perspectives on what is happening with the “topline” as a
part of a larger planning conversation.


Best,


Lisa Gruwell

On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 11:12 PM, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:

> Fundraising folks, can we get an update in response to the concerns raised
> in this thread?
>
> Thanks,
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
Thanks for following up.

Regarding the topline number: given the issues that happened with the
2015-2016 WMF annual plan, I am wondering if WMF Finance can start planning
early for 2016-2017 around with the following goals. These are some
brainstorms, other people may want to add their own suggestions.

* Zero topline budget growth
* 3 percent reduction in recurring non-labor costs such as energy and
supplies
* 10 percent increase in the value of major gifts and in kind donations
(thus reducing pressure on the online fundraising)
* 5 percent increase in the combined budgets for grants to be disbursed to
individuals and affiliates
* 5 percent reduction in travel costs
* 10 percent average monthly increase in global readership
* 10 percent increase in total active editors
* 5 percent increase in the quantity of content (measured in bytes)
* 10 percent increase in the number of educational organizations in WEP
* 10 percent increase in the number of people who are registered members of
affiliates.

Further thoughts and comments welcome. We can move this discussion to Meta
if more than a handful of budget and governance geeks are interested. (:

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 4:56 PM, Lisa Gruwell <lgruwell@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> So, we have drilled down on this more in our research to better
> understand what our readers think on this topic. We should have more to
> share on that in a week or two.
>


What readers think about this topic will very much depend on what
information they have been given.

You need to find out what readers think who know

1. the cost of Internet hosting relative to the total budget (about 3
percent);
2. that you took five times as much money last year as you took five years
ago;
3. how much money the Foundation has in cash and investments;
4. that the number of paid staff has increased more than twentyfold since
2007;
5. how the vastly increased spending is affecting reader experience.

Do you know what readers who know all of this think about the banners? Have
there been focus groups with donors who were given all of this information?

This is necessary to make sure that when (not if) readers do find all of
this information out, there won't be a storm of protest from people who
feel they were misled as to the Foundation's financial situation.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
(Sorry, something went awry with my mail client. Let's try this again to
keep the thread intact).

Besides what readers think when they're fully informed, I'm also concerned
about the legal issues surrounding the fundraising. IANAL, but I have a
feeling that consumer protection attorneys may take an interest if they
feel that there is a meaningful disconnect between what messages FR conveys
and (1) how the funds are actually spent and/or (2) the overall financial
health of WMF. Let's avoid inflicting legal costs and PR damage on
ourselves, please. (:

Pine

On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 7:17 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 4:56 PM, Lisa Gruwell <lgruwell@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > So, we have drilled down on this more in our research to better
> > understand what our readers think on this topic. We should have more to
> > share on that in a week or two.
> >
>
>
> What readers think about this topic will very much depend on what
> information they have been given.
>
> You need to find out what readers think who know
>
> 1. the cost of Internet hosting relative to the total budget (about 3
> percent);
> 2. that you took five times as much money last year as you took five years
> ago;
> 3. how much money the Foundation has in cash and investments;
> 4. that the number of paid staff has increased more than twentyfold since
> 2007;
> 5. how the vastly increased spending is affecting reader experience.
>
> Do you know what readers who know all of this think about the banners? Have
> there been focus groups with donors who were given all of this information?
>
> This is necessary to make sure that when (not if) readers do find all of
> this information out, there won't be a storm of protest from people who
> feel they were misled as to the Foundation's financial situation.
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
I think the PR people really need to be more reflective in the reasons and
uses of the donations in their messages because its rather easy to show the
inconsistancy between the message and the use of donated funds... IMHO some
of the drop off in donations is due to this lack reflectivity in the
messages being sent .


even the simplest throw away tag in almost every banner of "lets us get
to back to improving wikipedia" doesnt hold as everyone knows WMF doesnt
have any control over content and therefore cant improve it, very little of
the fu nds ever trickles down to coal face where the contributors are.

On 4 November 2015 at 10:04, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:

> (Sorry, something went awry with my mail client. Let's try this again to
> keep the thread intact).
>
> Besides what readers think when they're fully informed, I'm also concerned
> about the legal issues surrounding the fundraising. IANAL, but I have a
> feeling that consumer protection attorneys may take an interest if they
> feel that there is a meaningful disconnect between what messages FR conveys
> and (1) how the funds are actually spent and/or (2) the overall financial
> health of WMF. Let's avoid inflicting legal costs and PR damage on
> ourselves, please. (:
>
> Pine
>
> On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 7:17 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 4:56 PM, Lisa Gruwell <lgruwell@wikimedia.org>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > So, we have drilled down on this more in our research to better
> > > understand what our readers think on this topic. We should have more
> to
> > > share on that in a week or two.
> > >
> >
> >
> > What readers think about this topic will very much depend on what
> > information they have been given.
> >
> > You need to find out what readers think who know
> >
> > 1. the cost of Internet hosting relative to the total budget (about 3
> > percent);
> > 2. that you took five times as much money last year as you took five
> years
> > ago;
> > 3. how much money the Foundation has in cash and investments;
> > 4. that the number of paid staff has increased more than twentyfold since
> > 2007;
> > 5. how the vastly increased spending is affecting reader experience.
> >
> > Do you know what readers who know all of this think about the banners?
> Have
> > there been focus groups with donors who were given all of this
> information?
> >
> > This is necessary to make sure that when (not if) readers do find all of
> > this information out, there won't be a storm of protest from people who
> > feel they were misled as to the Foundation's financial situation.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
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--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update [ In reply to ]
What gnangarra has wroten is soo true...

100% agree
> Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 11:23:29 +0800
> From: gnangarra@gmail.com
> To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Q1 Fundraising Update
>
> I think the PR people really need to be more reflective in the reasons and
> uses of the donations in their messages because its rather easy to show the
> inconsistancy between the message and the use of donated funds... IMHO some
> of the drop off in donations is due to this lack reflectivity in the
> messages being sent .
>
>
> even the simplest throw away tag in almost every banner of "lets us get
> to back to improving wikipedia" doesnt hold as everyone knows WMF doesnt
> have any control over content and therefore cant improve it, very little of
> the fu nds ever trickles down to coal face where the contributors are.
>
> On 4 November 2015 at 10:04, Pine W <wiki.pine@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > (Sorry, something went awry with my mail client. Let's try this again to
> > keep the thread intact).
> >
> > Besides what readers think when they're fully informed, I'm also concerned
> > about the legal issues surrounding the fundraising. IANAL, but I have a
> > feeling that consumer protection attorneys may take an interest if they
> > feel that there is a meaningful disconnect between what messages FR conveys
> > and (1) how the funds are actually spent and/or (2) the overall financial
> > health of WMF. Let's avoid inflicting legal costs and PR damage on
> > ourselves, please. (:
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 7:17 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > On Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 4:56 PM, Lisa Gruwell <lgruwell@wikimedia.org>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > So, we have drilled down on this more in our research to better
> > > > understand what our readers think on this topic. We should have more
> > to
> > > > share on that in a week or two.
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > > What readers think about this topic will very much depend on what
> > > information they have been given.
> > >
> > > You need to find out what readers think who know
> > >
> > > 1. the cost of Internet hosting relative to the total budget (about 3
> > > percent);
> > > 2. that you took five times as much money last year as you took five
> > years
> > > ago;
> > > 3. how much money the Foundation has in cash and investments;
> > > 4. that the number of paid staff has increased more than twentyfold since
> > > 2007;
> > > 5. how the vastly increased spending is affecting reader experience.
> > >
> > > Do you know what readers who know all of this think about the banners?
> > Have
> > > there been focus groups with donors who were given all of this
> > information?
> > >
> > > This is necessary to make sure that when (not if) readers do find all of
> > > this information out, there won't be a storm of protest from people who
> > > feel they were misled as to the Foundation's financial situation.
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>

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