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05-11-2008 18:52:00

Wikimedia Foundation Launches Annual Campaign to Support Wikipedia

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

organization.

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:

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_room/Audio_content

About the Wikimedia Foundation

wikimediafoundation.org

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.

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