*Wikimedia Foundation Rings In New Year With Record-breaking Fundraiser*
*Over one million donors contribute to Wikimedia’s annual, global campaign*
San Francisco, CA -- January 2, 2012 - The Wikimedia Foundation’s annual
fundraising campaign reached a successful conclusion on Sunday, January 1,
having raised a record-breaking USD 20 million from more than one million
donors in nearly every country in the world. It is the Wikimedia
Foundation’s most successful campaign ever, continuing an unbroken streak
in which donations have risen every year since the campaigns began in 2003.
Wikimedia websites serve more than 470 million people every month. It is
the only major website supported not by advertising, but by donations from
“Our model is working fantastically well,” said Sue Gardner, Executive
Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Ordinary people use Wikipedia and
they like it, so they chip in some cash so it will continue to thrive. That
maintains our independence and lets us focus solely on providing a useful
public service. I am so grateful to our donors for making that possible. I
promise them we will use their money carefully and well.”
Since 2008, the number of Wikimedia Foundation donors has increased
ten-fold, and the total dollar amount raised in the campaign has risen to
over $20 million from $4.5 million.
The annual fundraiser is how the Wikimedia Foundation pays its bills. Funds
raised in this campaign will be used to buy and install servers and other
hardware, to develop new site functionality, expand mobile services,
provide legal defense for the projects, and support the large global
community of Wikimedia volunteers. The Wikimedia Foundation's total 2011-12
planned spending is 28.3 million USD. The bulk of that is raised during the
annual campaign, and the remainder comes throughout the year in the form of
grants from institutions such as the Sloan Foundation, and many other small
donations year round.
This year’s campaign highlighted the volunteers who help to create
Wikipedia. It featured testimonials from volunteer editors in countries
such as Argentina, Brazil, India, Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United
States ranging in age from 18 to 76, explaining why they edit Wikipedia and
why they think readers should support the Wikimedia Foundation. More than
100 volunteers translated the banners and appeals into dozens of languages,
reaching hundreds of millions of people.
With over 20 million articles in 282 languages, Wikipedia is the largest
encyclopedia in human history. Over 100,000 volunteers work on Wikipedia
and its 10 sister projects (including projects like Wikimedia Commons,
Wikibooks, and Wiktionary), furthering the Wikimedia Foundation's mission
to freely share the sum of all human knowledge. On January 15, 2012,
Wikipedia will celebrate its 11th anniversary.
*About the Wikimedia Foundation*
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 474 million unique visitors per month, making them the
fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, November 2011).
Available in more than 280 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 20
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.
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