Wikimedia UK is participating in the 2011 Wikimedia Fundraiser. This page is about what we are doing and how you can get involved.
Last year Wikimedia UK raised getting on for £600,000, over half of which was then transferred to the Wikimedia Foundation. You can see last year's fundraising report here. This year we have set an ambitious target of £1,000,000, which will be spent to promote open knowledge in the UK and worldwide, in line with our 2012 Activity Plan. Our participation in the Fundraiser is governed by the Fundraising Agreement we negotiated with the Wikimedia Foundation earlier this year.
You can help!
Here are some ways you can get involved and help us make the 2011 Fundraiser really successful
- Tell us your Wikimedia story on this form so we can use the widest possible range of Wikimedia stories in our fundraising
- Help improve our Thankyou page - just jump in
- Web developers/tech types: If you can understand this appeal page and what it does, and are interested in getting involved in the fundraiser, please drop us a line at fundraising at wikimedia.org.uk. We are anticipating some technical bottlenecks and your help could be really important (we may well end up hiring someone.
- Writers/marketers/fundraisers: If you're a Wikimedian with experience in writing fundraising copy or something similar to it, we could use your help to write more banner messages.
- If you're a Wikimedia UK member, we need you to come to the EGM 2011 (or at least submit a proxy authority) so that we can become a Registered Charity in time for the start of the fundraiser
As in previous fundraisers, people reading Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects will see a fundraising banner. When they click on the banner they will go to an appeal landing page which basically consists of a letter and a donate button. The Wikimedia Foundation has done a lot of work on coming up with effective appeal banners which feature people other than Jimmy Wales - you can see some of the new appeals on the meta page for the 2011 Fundraiser.
Evidence from previous years is that is a banner or appeal works in the USA then it will also work in the UK, so most of the material we use will be stuff that has been developed by the Foundation. We would like to try some UK-specific appeals, and please feel free to contribute your Wikipedia story. You can tell us your Wikimedia story on this form. You can also see some draft banners at /UKBanners.
Towards the start of the fundraiser, logged-in users will still see fundraising banners, but we will turn this off after a few weeks and restrict the fundraiser to people who aren't logged in.
We will be accepting two payment methods online: PayPal (with payment either by credit/debit card or PayPal account), and recurring Direct Debit. We can accept monthly and quarterly Direct Debits with a maximum instalment payment of £250. Our Direct Debits are handled on our behalf by SmartDebit.
We will also accept cheque and Direct Debit donations offline. The address for offline donations to be sent to is: (Link to a Direct Debit form).
We're taking part in a programme of testing, which started in late September and will continue for the duration of the Fundraiser. You can find testing documentation here. The aim of this testing is to make sure we're optimising the fundraiser, in particular by;
- Testing banners, appeals and forms which ask explicitly for Direct Debits, vs. asking for cash donations.
- Testing prompt amounts e.g. is asking for "£5, £10, or £15" more profitable than asking for "£10, £20, £50"
- Testing any banners/appeals we write against what the Foundation have come up with.
It's helpful to have translations of our fundraising work in any of the languages spoken in the UK. Since we will mainly be using banners produced by the Foundation, the best place to start is Meta page for translations. However, there are also various pieces of text that are specific to the UK which can be found at /translation
Launch & Followup
We sent a launch email to everyone who has donated in previous years asking them to give again this year. This email performed very well. The total value of donations made in response to the email was in the region of £50,000. (some stats are here.
We will also be sending thankyou emails, and sending letters to donors shortly after they have made a donation. Surveys suggest that most donors only have a superficial understanding of what Wikipedia really is, let alone the vision and breadth of the Wikimedia movement, so this is an opportunity for us to share our vision with them, and hopefully persuade them to engage with us in a more long-term way. The main thing we will be asking for is for people who haven't already set up a Direct Debit to do so, but we will also get people wanting to join, and identify more keen people at potential partner institutions.
Running totals are  and will be updated every few days.