Fundraising FAQ 2007-2008

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This FAQ was used in the 2007-2008 annual Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser. Please see Donations FAQ for an up-to-date list of Frequently Asked Questions about donating to the Wikimedia Foundation.

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  • When did the fundraiser begin?

October 22, 2007.

  • When did the fundraiser end?

January 3, 2008.

  • What can I do to help you spread the word?

Spread the word any way you can! Tell your friends and family. Put buttons and banners on your blog. Use this text as the sig file on the bottom of your e-mails: Your continued donations keep Wikipedia running! Support the Wikimedia Foundation today: http://donate.wikimedia.org

  • How do I donate? (e.g., what methods, what currencies, etc.)

To donate, please visit http://donate.wikimedia.org. You can donate using any major credit card (including VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express), PayPal, Moneybookers, direct deposit into our Belgian bank account, or by sending a cheque to the Foundation. You can send cheques in any currency you like, and our other donation options also support multiple (although not all) currencies.

  • Where do I send cheques?

Send cheques to:

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 98204
Washington, DC 20090-8204
USA
Note: donations by check are processed directly at our centralized lockbox location which is in Washington, DC.

  • Are my donations tax-deductible?

Donations are only tax-deductible in the United States. Canadian citizens may also deduct their contribution on any income earned in the United States.

  • If I make a donation, how do I get my tax receipt?

Anyone who donates $100 or more will automatically receive a tax receipt as long as their contact information was included with the donation. You may request a tax receipt for a smaller amount, by sending an e-mail to donate @ wikimedia.org. Please specify your contact information and tell us the method you used to donate, and the amount of your donation.

  • What if I’m not in the United States?

You can request a tax receipt; however, donations are only tax-deductible in the United States.

  • If I send you a huge donation, do I get anything special?

Yes. This year, people who donate between USD 10,000 and 24,999 will get a personal phone call from Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. (You will need to include your phone number with your donation.) People who donate USD 25,000 or more will be treated to dinner with Jimmy.

  • Can I give you a targeted or restricted donation -- meaning, can I give you money to do something very specific, that can't be used for other purposes?

Charities based in the United States -- like the Wikimedia Foundation -- are required to honor restrictions requested by donors. That means if you specify your donation needs to be restricted for a specific use, we will either honor your request or return your donation. But before you decide to do that, please consider that unrestricted donations are much more useful for us. As quickly as Wikimedia's projects evolve, Wikimedia needs unrestricted donations to remain agile.

  • What amounts may I donate?

You may donate any amount you like. We have set out some options for you (USD 200, 100, 60 and 40) to show you the kind of impact each dollar amount would have. Be aware though that unless you specify otherwise, your donations, regardless of the amount, will be put in a general pool and not restricted for specific usages.

  • If I can’t afford to donate, or don’t want to, what else can I do to support the Foundation?

There are many ways to show your support, and your time is just as important as a monetary contribution. You can teach a friend to edit Wikipedia. Upload some of your photos to Commons under a free content license. Or share the love by submitting a photo to the "Why Do You Love Wikipedia" Flickr group.

  • What is the financial target for this year’s fundraiser?

We are not announcing a specific financial target this year. However, we will tell you how much money we have raised.

  • Why aren't you announcing a target?

We had internal discussion about whether to announce a target, and good arguments were made supporting a variety of positions. Ultimately, we decided not to. We wanted instead to experiment with tracking the number of people who contributed donations, rather than the number of dollars donated. This just seems more consistent with the spirit of the projects.

  • If you don't have a financial target, how are you measuring success?

This year, we're trying something new. We are proud of the fact that 96% of the Foundation's budget comes from individual donations, mostly quite small ones. (The remainder comes from a small number of additional revenue streams, including sales of live feeds, T-shirt sales, and similar things.) This tells us we are serving lots of different people. This year, for the first time, we will track the success of the fundraiser not by the number of dollars donated, but by the number of people who donate. We think this is very much in the spirit of the projects, and their collaborative ethos.

  • What do you plan to do with the money?

First, we need money to keep our projects online: to pay for servers, bandwidth, office space and other necessities. Second, we want to focus more attention on program development, particularly in communities underrepresented in the projects, some of which have little or no access to educational resources. For example, in early November we will hold several Wikipedia Academies in South Africa, with the hope of increasing the number of Wikipedians contributing in African languages. We hope to do more of this kind of outreach work. Our operating budget for 2007-08 is USD 4.6m. You can see how it will be spent on our budget overview page.

  • What is Wikipedia Academy?

The Academies are public events designed to encourage people to write for Wikipedia. They are usually dedicated to a single subject area (e.g., mathematics), or a particular language, usually one that is small or threatened. They were started in 2005 by Frank Schulenburg of the German Wikipedia.

  • How does Wikipedia help support language diversity?

Wikipedia is one of only a few reference sources available in languages such as Maori (an Eastern Polynesian language spoken in New Zealand), Swahili (a Bantu language used in sub-Saharan Africa), Upper Sorbian (a Slavic language spoken in eastern Germany), and Basque (spoken in north-central Spain and southwestern France).

  • How does Wikipedia help people in developing countries?

Educational programs in developing countries use our content in phenomenal ways. Our material is available around the world on DVDs and books, and installed on low-cost laptops through the One Laptop Per Child program.

  • Where can I find the results of the most recent audit?

The 2007 audit is underway. We expect it to be finished in late November. We will post the audit report to the Wikimedia Foundation website as soon as it is done.

  • When can I find the Form 990?

The most recent Form 990 is for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, and can be found here. The Form 990 for last fiscal, 2006-07, will be posted on the Foundation website once the 2006-07 audit is completed.

  • Will there be matching donations this year – and if so, how will they work?

Yes. As always, a site notice will be placed on top of each project page on the days that donations will be matched. The site notice will be removed at the end of the day, once the targeted amount has been met.

  • How is the fundraiser being promoted to the public?

We are promoting the fundraiser in many different ways. First, we are putting a banner on the top of each page, across all projects. Second, we are sending out a press release to media outlets around the world, and Jimmy and Florence will be doing media interviews. Third, we are asking community members to promote the fundraiser in various ways to their friends and family.

  • Where can I find the video of Jimmy?

This video is available at http://upload.wikimedia.org/fundraising/2007/psa/ .

  • If I made a mistake with my donation, what can I do?

If you donated the wrong amount or made some other mistake, please send an e-mail explaining the situation to donate @ wikimedia.org. Please ensure you include all your contact information, and everything you can remember about the donation process (e.g., amount, method used, etc.).

  • What is the counter at the top of the sitenotice banner?

That counter represents the total number of donations made during the fundraiser. This year, we are tracking and promoting total number of donations instead of number of dollars donated. We think this is truer to the participatory, volunteer-driven nature of the projects.

  • Where do the quotes at the top of the sitenotice banner come from?

Those are all real quotes from real users of the projects. We have put them in the sitenotice to demonstrate that real people use and appreciate the projects, and to give them a voice telling us why.

  • Where is your donor privacy policy?

Here is the Donor Privacy Policy.

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