SAN FRANCISCO, CA – July 11, 2011 – The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic grantmaking institution that supports science, technology and economic institutions, announced today that it will award a grant of $3 million (USD) to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia. This is the second grant of this amount awarded to the Wikimedia Foundation from the Sloan Foundation’s Universal Access to Knowledge component of its Digital Information Technology program. The Wikimedia Foundation is delighted to have received this vote of continued confidence in its work.
The Sloan Foundation’s first grant of $3 million, awarded from 2008 through 2010, is the largest single grant ever received by the Wikimedia Foundation. These funds bootstrapped the organization so that it could grow its core operations to support and sustain Wikipedia as a high-quality free knowledge resource. The new funds will support Wikimedia's strategic plan that focuses on increasing Wikipedia’s quality, increasing the number and demographic diversity of its editors, and reaching more readers, particularly in the global south.
“Three years ago, at a time when cultural elites were ambivalent about Wikipedia, the Sloan Foundation took a risk by supporting us. I will always be grateful to Sloan for its courage in doing that,” said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Today the academic community in particular has begun to appreciate Wikipedia, and is starting to work closely with us to make it even better. I’m grateful to Sloan for sending an important signal that helped make that happen, and I’m thrilled at this renewed expression of confidence in our work.”
"We are delighted to support Wikimedia in developing and sustaining its educational mission while continuously improving quality, diversity and access to knowledge for people everywhere," said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "Wikipedia embodies the ideal values of the world wide web and we are proud to be part of this bold endeavor to use the wisdom and the altruism of the crowd to create the biggest, most up-to-date and most open global encyclopedia in human history."
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization which operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 390 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property world-wide (May, 2011). Available in more than 270 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 18 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a New York based philanthropy founded in 1934, makes grants to support research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance. Sloan's program in Digital Information Technology/Universal Access to Knowledge aims to increase access to human knowledge and the fruits of human culture in an open, non-exclusive manner for the benefit of all. The program has supported the Digital Public Library of America, the Library of Congress, the Internet Archive, Lyrasis, and on-demand books to help achieve the goal of universal access.