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Increase visibility of "Donate to Wikipedia" desktop web sidebar item
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Description

Problem

In 2018, around 5 million people donated to support Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. Donating is a popular and necessary way for readers to contributor back to the movement; not everyone who cares about Wikipedia can be an editor. The online fundraising team has put considerable time into optimizing our campaign-focused banner appeals, but these typically run for only around 6 weeks out of the year. Many readers do not see these banners. There is a simple sidebar link to Donate on desktop, but it is easy to miss in a menu of unrelated items.

Please figure out a persistence way for people to support our mission thru monetary means, reducing the dependency on banner campaigns in the long run.

Background on initial test

In December 2018, during our annual English Campaign, the online fundraising team ran a short experiment via a CentralNotice banner to understand how donor conversion is impacted by increasing the visibility of desktop Wikipedia's sidebar Donate to Wikipedia link. Online Fundraising styled the link as a blue button:

Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 5.23.13 PM.png (532×608 px, 124 KB)

link to page

And in our test, donations per impressions increased by 165%.

We're interested in further experimentation and discussion to answer some of the following questions:

  1. How do results look in other countries and languages?
  2. How is donor conversion affected over longer periods of time (our initial test ran for around 5 days)?
  3. Does a more visible donate link decrease clicks on other sidebar or page elements?
  4. Are there any community or foundation concerns about increasing the visibility of the link?

Event Timeline

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Hey @alexhollender, has your team had the chance to discuss this item? Anything I can do to be helpful in determining alternate treatments for some next tests?

spatton updated the task description. (Show Details)
spatton updated the task description. (Show Details)

@alexhollender, @Pcoombe and I spoke to Nirzar yesterday and he suggested we step back a bit and describe the problem we're trying to solve. I've done that with a revision to the initial task - please see the new Problem statement and prompt at top and LMK if there's anything I should clarify. TY TY!

At this point it seems like this should be considered as part of the Desktop Improvements project. @spatton could you add the data you collected around the value of the Donate button, as well as the current hypothesis about why this button is important (i.e. some people see the banner but prefer to click on the link), to this task? Also, what's your current thinking about logged-in users, is the Donate button important in that case as well?

Here is a sketch with the donate button in the site header

image.png (775×1 px, 324 KB)

Removing task assignee due to inactivity, as this open task has been assigned for more than two years (see emails sent to assignee on May26 and Jun17, and T270544). Please assign this task to yourself again if you still realistically [plan to] work on this task - it would be very welcome!

(See https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Bug_management/Assignee_cleanup for tips how to best manage your individual work in Phabricator.)

@spatton could you add the data you collected around the value of the Donate button, as well as the current hypothesis about why this button is important (i.e. some people see the banner but prefer to click on the link), to this task? Also, what's your current thinking about logged-in users, is the Donate button important in that case as well?

Here is a sketch with the donate button in the site header

image.png (775×1 px, 324 KB)

@spatton do you have this data?

@Jdlrobson Here's some data (private to WMF) on sidebar (desktop and mobile) donations for FY2020-21.

We talked about this briefly in a call with the Desktop Improvements team on Monday. Fundraising will be monitoring any change in sidebar donations from early adopter wikis when they switch to sidebar collapsed by default. Getting a donate link in the header or elsewhere would certainly be nice, but it's not an immediate priority for us.