Thank you to our supporters – an an exclusive event for donors

Head of a sunflower
Event attendees will learn how to add images like this one to Wikimedia Commons

This post was written by Katherine Bavage, Wikimedia UK’s Fundraising Organiser

As the Fundraising Organiser for Wikimedia UK there is nothing nicer than opening an envelope like I did last week that contained not only a donation, but a brief note. It simply read “Thank you for exisiting!’ The donation was without address, which was a shame, as it would have been nice to write a quick reply along the lines of ‘Same to you too!’

As the Wikimedia Foundation’s 2012 fundraiser kicks off for readers in the UK, it seems a good moment to highlight the vast and generous donor community that has supported Wikimedia UK’s work. 2012 has been a year of highlights for the Wikimedia mission, reaching over 4 million articles in English Language wikipedia, and the launching of Wikidata – the bare bones of stats and structured data that will underpin and strengthen encyclopaedic articles.

Much of this is down to the dedication of the volunteer community, who work so hard to edit, create and safeguard the content of the world’s 6th most read website. However, it is timely to recall the donors, who have helped grow the staff teams that coordinate and support this work, the servers and tech teams that develop site improvements, and who have have funded projects like Wikidata from ‘acorn-to-flourishing-oaks’ stage.

Believe me, as donor and new editor, the feel good factor from seeing your pictures used in a Signpost article or your creating your first article (how ever tiny!) is easily as powerful as donating to support a project you care about. For any Wikimedia UK donors who’ve wanted to take their first steps into the wiki-world, I’d recommend signing up for our donor exclusive editing workshop next week; failing that, keeping your eyes peeled for upcoming events for donors. One of the ways Wikimedia UK will be thanking our donors for existing more in 2013, is by offering them more personal and direct access to involvement in the encyclopaedia and sister projects.

If you have any useful suggestions for how we might do this please do get in touch.