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Archive:2007-2008 Annual Report Questions and Answers

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2007/2008 Annual Report Questions and Answers

Now that you have the finalized, audited figures for 2007/2008 how do they compare with the previous fiscal year period?
In general, both revenue and spending are increasing from our previous fiscal year, and through our projected Annual Plan for 2008/2009. We've established a fundraising team to help us increase our donation levels from previous years. The money they bring in will go towards spending on technical infrastructure to keep pace with Wikipedia's growing audience and will also be spent to hire new software developers and staff with responsibility for public outreach and partnerships.
Why do you include the full "pledge" from the Sloan Foundation in your overall revenue statement for 2007/2008?
Accounting practices require us to declare the entire $3mm pledge from the Sloan Foundation into our revenue statement for this year. We received $1mm in actual funding this year. We will receive another $1mm in the 2008/2009 fiscal and then a third $1mm in the 2009/2010 fiscal year.
When you've only actually received 1m from the Sloan Foundation thus far, why do you include the total 3m from the Sloan Foundation in your 2007/08 revenues?
This is consistent with generally-accepted accounting principles in the United States: under the circumstances we're required to report the pledge in this way. We don't include in our revenues verbal commitments or soft promises, but we do include pledges in which both parties have signed a legally enforceable agreement. During 2007/08, the Sloan Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation signed a contract agreeing that 3m will be transferred to Wikimedia over three years: in those circumstances it is normal to include the full total in our revenues for the year in which the agreement was signed.
What are your other revenue sources?
The vast majority of our revenue comes from donations from individuals: we are happy that every year, tens of thousands of people support the Wikimedia Foundation by making a personal donation. We also receive gifts from corporations and foundations, and we earn a small amount of money through mission-friendly business activities such as the sale of live-feed data services.
What is 'In-kind' revenue?
Goods and services that would normally be paid for but have been donated to us no charge, such as bandwidth and hosting services and pro-bono legal services.
What expenses fall under the 'Office of the ED'?
In 07-08, the expenses of the Executive Director included the salaries for the Executive Director and Deputy Director, as well as miscellaneous costs including travel, some fundraising expenses and the costs of the annual staff meeting. In 08-09, the budget included those costs and increased spending for staff and volunteer development.
What expenses fall under 'Technology'?
In 07-08, the expenses of the Technology department included salaries for tech staff, an allocation for contractors, and bandwidth and hardware costs. In 08-09, the budget included those costs and increased spending for bandwidth, equipment and additional software developers.
What expenses fall under 'Finance & Administration'?
In 07-08, the expenses of Finance & Administration included salaries for all finance and administrative staff; the Chief Financial and Operating Officer, the Accountant, the Head of Business Development, the Office Manager, and the Assistant to the ED and DD. It also included staff development and staff meeting expenses, recruiting fees, the fees for the annual audit and some consultant costs. In 08-09, the budget included those costs and the salaries of the fundraising team as well as consulting costs related to donation record-keeping and streamlining the online fundraiser.
What expenses fall under 'Programs'?
In 07-08, the expenses of the Programs department included salaries for the Chapters Coordinator, the Volunteer Coordinator, and the Head of Communications as well as the costs for the annual chapters meeting in April and communication materials such as brochures and promotional products. In 08-09, the budget included those costs and funding for the Chief Program Officer, the Head of Public Outreach, outreach activities such as the Wikipedia Academies and volunteer development.
What expenses fall under 'Legal'?
In 07-08 and 08-09, the Legal expenses and budget include the salary for our in-house Counsel, business and legal-related costs for business registrations, state-by-state fundraising registrations, domain names, trademark registration and defense, employment and immigration support and external litigation fees.
What expenses fall under 'Wikimania'?
In 07-08 and 08-09, these expenses represent the cost of travel for the Foundation Board/Advisory Board/staff which is not covered by the sponsorship revenues.