Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising Principles
This policy or procedure is maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Please note that in the event of any differences in meaning or interpretation between the original English version of this content and a translation, the original English version takes precedence.
These are principles for fundraising, and criteria for organizations that handle donor data and process donor information. They were originally drafted by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), and apply to the raising of all funds under the Wikimedia umbrella.
Principles for fundraising:
- Consistency with mission, vision and values
- All Wikimedia fundraising activities must be conducted in a manner that's consistent with our overall mission, vision and values. They must not create unnecessary legal exposure for the projects, or otherwise unduly interfere with our ability to achieve our mission.
- Minimal cost and minimal disruption
- All Wikimedia fundraising activities must aim to raise money from donors effectively - minimizing administrative costs, causing minimal disruption and annoyance for users of the projects, and avoiding slowing the donation flow.
- All Wikimedia fundraising activities must be truthful with prospective donors. We need to tell people what we intend to use their money for, before they donate. And we need to report in a timely fashion on how it was actually spent.
- All Wikimedia fundraising activities must ensure funds received are safe from fraud or misuse as determined by existing third-party standards for appropriate financial controls, and must adhere to relevant laws and regulations.
- Our movement is international in scope, and our fundraising practices must support the easiest possible transfer of money internationally in support of the movement's priorities.
- We prefer a fundraising model in which we are supported primarily via the many-small-donors model, because this is the model that best supports our independence.
- We do not need to adhere to a single monolithic model for fundraising: multiple donation streams are fine.
- Sustainable donor relations
- We must safeguard donor privacy in all fundraising interactions, and support effective communication with donors.
- Good faith
- The Wikimedia movement assumes that all movement participants are acting in good faith, with regards to each other's actions and intentions.
- Maximal participation
- Consistent with the principles of empowerment underlying Wikimedia’s success, we should empower individuals and groups world-wide to constructively contribute to direct messaging, public outreach, and other activities that drive the success of Wikimedia’s fundraising efforts.
Local payment processing
The WMF is deeply committed to decentralized pursuit of our mission and to supporting the long-term sustainability of chapters and other movement partners. Because of its role as operator of the websites, it has to be satisfied that any organization directly receiving donor funds will treat them with an appropriately high level of care and transparency.
An organization can directly receive donor funds as a payment processor if the following criteria are met:
- Sufficient money is raised by the movement annually in the organization's geography to merit the logistical effort.
- The organization offers tax deductibility or other incentives to local donors.
- There are no major regulatory issues limiting international flows of funds out of the country.
- The organization's current financial resources are not enough to fund proposed program work.
- The organization has a strong track record of transparency and efficiency, allowing the WMF to confidently assure donors that donations to the organization will be safeguarded, and used in line with our transparency principles and the messages used to attract donors.
- The organization is living up to current fundraising agreements and reporting deadlines.
- The donation process clearly discloses information about the organization.
- ↑ Originally from an October, 2010 letter and a January, 2012 WMF resolution
- ↑ Originally from the August 2011 Board letter regarding fundraising accountability