Today, we’re sharing Wiki Education’s 2020–21 Annual Plan. The plan, and budget, were approved by the Board of Trustees at its June meeting. We’re sharing the plan here as part of Wiki Education’s commitment to sharing information about our goals and spending. It’s a report on our work last year, and a look ahead to what we’re aiming to achieve during the coming fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).
I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on what we’ve achieved last year, and what we will do in the year ahead.
The last year has been a time of great achievement for Wiki Education:
- Our Student Program supported more than 16,000 student editors as they improved Wikipedia articles on academic topics, supported by our staff. Wiki Education’s student editors represent an impressive 20% of all new active editors on the English Wikipedia. Although we saw a drop in editing activity after COVID-19 hit the United States, this has been one of the best years of “Teaching with Wikipedia” ever.
- We launched a popular new Wikidata course. Participants from a wide range of important cultural institutions like the Smithsonian, the Met, and the Frick participated in the course, learning the technical skills needed to make edits, create items, and query items as well as the underlying concepts required to connect their collections to Wikidata. Most importantly, participants in these courses started thinking about how to use Wikidata as a means to interpret, share, and grow their own data collection.
- Our Wikipedia course program for empowering subject-matter experts to share their knowledge with the general public has also grown this year, bringing partnerships with organizations like the Society of Family Planning, the American Physical Society, and the WITH Foundation to improve the quality of information on Wikipedia.
- Wiki Education’s Communicating Science initiative had a banner year, improving the availability of scientific information on Wikipedia through all our programs, and giving science communication skills to thousands of early career scientists.
In the coming year, we will continue to support the Wikipedia Student Program and our Scholars & Scientists Program, with courses on editing both Wikipedia and Wikidata, just with smaller participant numbers. Over the last several years, our staff has done incredible work developing technical tools, support materials, and processes that have set us up to be able to more than double our programmatic impact compared with five years ago, when we last had a staff this size. We anticipate continuing to develop our model for selling services as well as forming an Advisory Board to support our ongoing fundraising work. Through this work, we are confident we will be able to make a meaningful difference to Wikipedia and Wikidata, on our three strategic pillars of equity, quality, and reach.
This is a difficult time, and to survive it, Wiki Education has needed to significantly reduce expenses. We believe our plan will enable us to continue to achieve substantial programmatic impact, while also ensuring the financial sustainability of the organization, not just for this year, but for many years to come.
We are grateful for the support of our board, staff, funders, and community as we navigate these turbulent times together.