Last modified on 2 March 2010, at 03:17

Financial reports/July 2009 to December 2009 Mid-Year FAQ

FAQs for Financial Statements (July 2009 to December 2009)
What is the purpose of these statements?
These financial statements provide an overview of basic information about the Wikimedia Foundation's financial status during the first six months of the 2009-10 fiscal year. They cover the period of July 1, 2009 until December 31, 2009.
What currency are these statements in?
All numbers reported on these financial statements and any accompanying documents are in U.S. Dollars.
Who created these statements?
They were created by the accounting and financial staff of the Wikimedia Foundation for the Executive Director. The Executive Director, in turn, shared them with the Board in February 2010.
How often does the Wikimedia Foundation publish financial statements?
The Wikimedia Foundation publishes its audited financial statements annually. Beginning in fiscal year 2007-2008, the Wikimedia Foundation began the process of also publishing mid-year unaudited financial statements. Previous statements can be found on the Wikimedia Foundation's wiki under Financial reports.
So what is the main message of the statements? What is the big picture?
The Wikimedia Foundation's financial situation is strong. Revenue has exceeded the mid-year plan as well as the total annual plan. This is primarily due to another strong online fundraiser campaign and also due to higher than planned foundation giving. Spending is slightly below plan due primarily to underspending in the first quarter of the fiscal year but is evening out as hiring vacancies are filled and departments increase spending knowing that we are not going to be in a shortfall position.
Why do you need a reserve or savings?
It is normal for organizations to plan to have reserve or contingency funds. Reserve funds are critical to prepare the organization in the event of unplanned expenses, emergencies and/or revenue shortfalls. They are especially critical in today's global economic context. As we develop the business portion of the strategy plan and begin to plan spending not just for the next year but for the next five years, we will analyze how much of a reserve will be needed based on the future trajectory of the organization.
How much fundraising revenue is from community donors (i.e. donations of less than $10,000)?
In 2009-10, community fundraising has already exceeded its targets, even though the year is not yet over. In the time period covered by these financial statements, we received donations from 226,382 donors at an average donation of $33.18. This accounts for the majority of our fundraising revenue for this statement and represent a 74% increase in the number of donors from the previous year. We are very grateful to all our supporters.
How did you increase so significantly the number of donors this year versus last year?
We have been fortunate that each year's campaign has been more successful than the previous year. The fundraising team has another year of experience and continues to draw on that experience, to improve on proven methods and to experiment with different methods. The result has been another monumental year.
What is program income?
Program income is income from business development activities and includes agreements to license the Wikipedia trademark for commercial use when consistent with our values and mission, as well as technical services such as real-time access to content feeds. As of this statement, we are slightly behind against plan and due to delays in starting up a new licensing agreement; we may be slightly behind our annual target.
What do operating expenses consist of?
Operating expenses consist of anything that doesn’t fall into the other financial statement categories. Operating expenses includes expenses such as rent, utilities, supplies, bank fees, outside contract services, legal fees, accounting fees, etc.
How many more people do you expect to hire in the near-future?
Our budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 includes a Chief Development Officer position and several tech positions.
What will the budget next year look like?
We will begin the budget process for the 2010-11 fiscal year in March 2010. Simultaneously, we will be working on the business planning portion of the strategic plan which means that we will develop financial plans for the years 2011-2015 as well. The 2010-11 budget will be submitted to the Board for its approval in late June. We expect the budget to reflect continued, deliberate growth that will contribute towards accomplishing the objectives of the strategic plan initiatives.