2013 Wikimedia fundraiser/status
Last update on: 2013-10-monthly
The majority of February was spent paying down the more glaring examples of technical debt we acquired during the 2012 English fundraiser, before jumping straight into a whole new round of International fundraising that kicked off on February 27th at approximately 15:00 UTC (7am PST). Due to unforeseen problems with one of our payment gateways, we were forced to scrap our plans for a continuous international fundraising effort spanning March through June, and will instead attempt to raise as much of the remaining budget in March as we are able. All other plans have been precluded by the March fundraising efforts.
In March, we wrapped up our 2012/13 non-English international fundraising efforts, making approximately 5 million USD over the course of the month. Originally, we had planned to run the non-English international fundraiser continuously until June, but were forced to accelerate our plans due to some potential instability at the beginning of April with one of our crucial payment gateways. At the very end of March, we started publishing aggregate public fundraising data to samarium.wikimedia.org.
The fundraising team deployed a public reporting site, made of aggregate live and historical fundraising data, which were notably used by the webcomic xkcd to dynamically change the outcome in the last panel of their 2013 April 1st comic, 'Externalities'. We also upgraded the payments- and fundraising- wikis to MediaWiki 1.22, upgraded CiviCRM to 4.2.8 and Drupal to 7, and migrated the banner impression log pipeline to the Eqiad data center.
The Operations team moved db1025 into the firewalled fundraising cluster (frack), rebuilt it on Precise with MariaDB. RAID monitoring tools were updated to support RAID controllers used in frack. We've mostly finished building/puppetizing the new payments listener (thulium) as well as a new CiviCRM host (barium), both of which are in frack.
The initial work on the Adyen payments gateway was finally completed and deployed to production, though we have not yet used the gateway in a campaign. Plans for a mobile fundraising campaign and workflow continued to move forward: We expect to do the first mobile-targeted campaign in mid to late July. Some last-minute tweaking was done to the payments cluster in preparation for the resumption of continuous fundraising on July 1, coinciding with the start of the fiscal year.
Payments listener (thulium) deploy was completed, db1013 was moved into the firewalled fundraising cluster and rebuilt as a fundraising QA server, and work continued on the new CiviCRM server (barium). Fundraising backups were overhauled.
In July, the fundraising team did its first successful tests of our new payments gateway: Adyen. The (as yet) US-only Credit Card backup gateway performed similarly to our primary credit card processor in A/B testing, and can be successfully used as a failover.
We also ran, for the first time, several short campaign tests targeted at mobile devices in the US. In these tests, users were able to choose between Paypal or Amazon Payments. Additional tests to determine peak times, appropriate localities, and optimum messaging for mobile campaigns will continue throughout August, as the campaigns are prepared.
This month, the team mostly focused on preparing for the upcoming English fundraiser. Planning began for periodic tests throughout October, which will help determine the launch date and other aspects of our fundraising efforts in November and December.
The fundraising team has been steadily ramping up to the big English fundraiser, and so the fundraising tech team has been transitioning into their usual year-end fundraising monitoring and support role. At the end of October, we went in to a feature freeze for CentralNotice, and have been concentrating on bugfixes with the intent of increasing stability on the payments cluster and in the rest of the donation pipeline.
We have also started planning for the international fundraising campaigns targeted for early 2014.