The Wikimedia Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign, which this year featured banner photos of its participants and employees, resulted in the non-profit organization having an addition $20 million to operate Wikipedia and its other endeavors. In a reflection of the encyclopedia’s egalitarian attitude, that sum represents an average donation of $20.
“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.”
The Wikimedia Foundation’s total 2011-12 planned spending is $28.3 million to buy and install servers and other hardware, to develop new site functionality, expand mobile services, provide legal defense for the projects, and support its global community of volunteers.
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.