Wikimedia Endowment Spending Policy

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Purpose

The purpose of the Wikimedia Endowment ("Endowment") is to act as a permanent safekeeping fund that can support in perpetuity the operations and activities of current and future Wikimedia projects.

The objectives of the Spending Policy for the Endowment are:

  1. to aid the Wikimedia Projects by sustainably distributing funding;
  2. to preserve the Endowment principal and sustain purchasing power into perpetuity; and
  3. to operationalize overall spending goals in conjunction with the Endowment's Investment Policy.

The Spending Policy shall adhere to the principles of Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act ("UPMIFA").

Spending Rate

The target spending rate for the Endowment is 4.0% of the ending market value of the Endowment's investment portfolio in a given fiscal year. At no point will the spending rate exceed 4.0%. The Finance Committee has the ability to adjust the spending rate down to 2.5% and up to 4.0%.

Exceptions Process

If market value and/or economic conditions materially change the performance of the Endowment's investment portfolio, distributions may decrease to 2.5%. If management anticipates a material change in the spend rate above 4.0%, the Board directs management to consult the Finance Committee promptly. The recommendation to reduce or cease spending is at the discretion of the Finance Committee and requires approval of the Wikimedia Endowment Board.

Operations Budget

The Spending Policy is grounded in assumptions related to the operational needs of the Endowment. As such, the spending rate is governed by budgetary needs of the organization as well as annual grantmaking goals. We shall aim to avoid negative spend from the investment portfolio in market-down years by restricting grantmaking, as needed.

Restricted Gifts

In partnership with the Community and Grantmaking Committee, the Treasury and Finance teams shall monitor and report any gift restrictions which may impact the Spending Policy and the overall decision-making of the Finance Committee.

Policy Ownership

This policy has been approved by Wikimedia Endowment Board of Directors and is maintained by the Finance Committee in conjunction with the Treasury team at the Endowment.

Review Cycle

The Finance Committee shall review the Spending Policy on an annual basis, at a minimum. Modifications to the Spending Policy can be made following a recommendation by the Finance Committee, a review by the Governance Committee, and upon approval by the full Endowment Board. The spending rate range of 2.5%-4.0% as well as the general spending approach shall be reevaluated when the Endowment's investment portfolio reaches US$250 million valuation.


Adopted July 20, 2023 by the Wikimedia Endowment Board of Directors.