5 project teams were funded in the first round of Wikimedias Accelerator program “Unlock”.

For 5 years, Wikimedia Deutschland and its partners ran the Free Knowledge Fellows Program, supporting 90 young scientists and strengthening open science.

Around 90,000 members are supporting Free Knowledge together with us (as of March 2021, compared to 80,000 in the previous year).


According to accounting, revenues of 2020 increased to EUR 10.6 million (compared to EUR 9.6 million in the previous year). Revenues from membership fees increased significantly to EUR 4.0 million (previous year: EUR 3.6 million), as the number of members rose to 80,291 as of December 31 (previous year: 73,658). Although the total revenue of donations nominally decreased to EUR 3.0 million (previous year: EUR 3.2 million) it is worth pointing out that according to accounting standard HFA 21, donations can only be posted as revenue once they have been disbursed. Other revenues increased significantly to EUR 3.4 million (previous year: EUR 2.6 million). This results from increased support of Wikimedia Foundation as well as an inheritance of EUR 0.2 million.


In 2020, expenditures increased to EUR 10.6 million (previous year: EUR 9.6 million). Personnel expenditures increased to EUR 6.4 million (previous year: EUR 5.3 million), while operational expenditures dropped to EUR 4.0 million (previous year: EUR 4.1 million). The decrease results directly from the cancellation of various events because of the corona pandemic including Wikimedia Summit 2020, Tag des Freien Wissens and WikiCon, which led to a decrease in relevant expenditures.

The summary “Use of Funds” of this report provides a more detailed account of the actual use of funds.

340,000 images were uploaded to the free media archive Wikimedia Commons by volunteer photographers worldwide in 2020 as part of the Wiki Loves Earth and Wiki Loves Monuments photo competitions.

Unused Donations / Reserves

Wikimedia Deutschland applies the HFA 21 accounting standard. A unique feature of this standard is that revenue from donations is only posted at the time of the donation’s disbursement. For this reason, the item “Unused Donations” posted under liabilites on the balance sheet is an important benchmark for assessing the financial situation of Wikimedia Deutschland. This amount increased to EUR 8.8 million (previous year: EUR 7.8 million). The total is shown in full as a tax reserve in accordance with §62 AO of the German Fiscal Code.

Gemeinnützige Wikimedia
Fördergesellschaft mbH (WMFG)

The organization has a wholly owned subsidiary with the sole purpose of generating donations as forwarding funds.The 2020 balance sheet of Gemeinnützige Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft mbH (WMFG) reads as follows: donation revenue increased to EUR 11.9 million (previous year: EUR 11.0 million).Personnel expenditures and material expenditures increased to EUR 1.4 million (previous year: EUR 1.1 million). As a result, EUR 8.7 million (previous year: EUR 7.8 million) were forwarded to the Wikimedia Foundation in the USA and EUR 1.8 million (previous year: EUR 2.4 million) were forwarded to the organization in Germany. Unused donations amounted to EUR 0.8 million (previous year: EUR 0.7 million); this amount will be available to the organization in the following year.

One Medal of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany went to Wikipedia active Bernd Schwabe.

Use of Funds

Wikimedia Deutschland, like many fundraising organizations, strives to maximize funds used for substantive work while minimizing costs of activities related to public relations, advertising and administration. However, the latter are necessary and meaningful as they help organize the use of funds as well as provide accountability and transparency. The expenses for activities relating to public relations and advertising of Wikimedia Deutschland and Gemeinnützige Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft amounted to EUR 2.4 million in 2020 (previous year: EUR 2.0 million). The administrative expenses amounted to EUR 2.4 million (previous year: EUR 1.9 million). Taking this into account, the overall share of costs for activities relating to administration, advertising and public relations of both organizations amounted to 23.4% in 2020 (previous year: 21.2%). While the costs for activities relating to administration, advertising and public relations were on target, expenditures for planned events did not rise to meet the target as a result of the corona pandemic, which adversely affected the share of costs for activities relating to administration, advertising and public relations.


Wikimedia Deutschland voluntarily allows audits of its financial position, financial performance and cash flow as well as its internal processes. The audit of Wikimedia Deutschland – Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V. and Gemeinnützige Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft mbH was conducted in December 2020 and March 2021 by Curacon GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft. The auditor’s report included an unqualified opinion. According to the auditor’s report, the financial statements of both organizations, Wikimedia Deutschland and Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft, were produced in accordance with the relevant accounting standards and convey a true and fair view of their financial position, financial performance and cash flow. The auditor’s report concluded that the financial statements comply with relevant accounting standards.