The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that
operates Wikipedia, officially launched its Fifth Annual Giving
Campaign today. The goal of the global campaign is to raise $6 million
to fund the Foundation´s 2008-09 operating costs, including projects
aimed at encouraging new people to edit the encyclopedia, and at
increasing its quality. The campaign runs until Jan. 15, 2009
(Wikipedia´s eight-year anniversary). In addition to raising funds for
the organization, the campaign is also engaging users by asking how
Wikipedia has made their lives easier.
Wikipedia, the fourth most popular site on the Internet according
to comScore´s September 2008 data, was launched in 2001 by Jimmy
Wales, the visionary who helped introduce web users to the potential
of on-line collaboration.
As the world´s largest and most up-to-date encyclopedia, Wikipedia
is visited by 30 million unique visitors every day. It includes 11
million articles, on a wide variety of topics, written collaboratively
by volunteers around the world. Of the world´s 10 most frequently
visited sites, Wikipedia is the only one operated by a non-profit
As said by Wales, "When I started Wikipedia, I had no idea it
would succeed the way it has. Today, Wikipedia is available in more
than 250 languages, and is one of the most popular websites in
practically every country where Internet access is available.
Wikipedia´s success is entirely based on the goodwill of strangers:
people who may never meet each other, but share a common vision. I am
asking the people who read it to help us help others around the world,
by making a donation."
The campaign has already raised leadership gifts of $2 million,
including $1 million from the Sloan Foundation (www.sloan.org),
$262,000 from the Stanton Foundation, $250,000 from an anonymous
donor, and $170,000 from the United Kingdom-based Arcadia Trust
(www.arcadiafund.org.uk). All donations to the Wikimedia Foundation
are assumed to be anonymous, unless the donor specifies otherwise.
Nearly all of the Wikimedia Foundation´s revenues come from
individual donations, foundation grants and in-kind gifts. "Since
Wikipedia is free of advertising and free to use, it is dependent on
donations from individuals around the world who use the site and want
to support it," said Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia
Foundation. "The proceeds of the 2008 campaign will help Wikipedia´s
efforts to increase global access and user participation. By 2020, we
want to grow the user base to touch one in three people around the
world and motivate one in ten users to become active participants."
During the campaign banners will appear at the top of all
Wikipedia pages, pointing readers to donate.wikimedia,org, where they
can make a donation. Users will also have the opportunity to submit
their stories about how Wikipedia has made their lives easier. The
Wikimedia Foundation will be sharing selections of those stories on
the Wikimedia blog, at blog.wikimedia.org. The donation page will also
feature downloadable buttons for blogs or websites, audio public
service announcements, and the Foundation´s first-ever annual report.
Broadcast quality audio public service announcements and quotes
from this release can be found at:
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit, 501(c)3 charitable
foundation that operates Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects.
The Foundation was established by Jimmy Wales in 2003, two years after
creating Wikipedia, to build a long-term future for free knowledge
projects on the internet. Based in San Francisco, California, the
Wikimedia Foundation maintains the technical infrastructure that
provides millions of people with access to Wikipedia and its sister
projects, and also develops outreach programs and partnerships that
focus on increasing project participation, reach and quality.