(The Hosting News) – Supported by half a million people from all over the world, the Wikimedia Foundation today announced it has exceeded its goal of $16 million USD to support Wikipedia and its sister projects for the 2010-11 fiscal year. To close the annual giving campaign, Wikipedia will transition to banners to both thank its global community of contributors and invite its 400 million readers to become volunteer editors.
In just 50 days, the shortest fundraiser in Wikimedia history, the Foundation received an average of $22 per individual donation from people living in about 140 countries, to reach its goal. This year, the Wikimedia Foundation received over 500,000 donations, more than doubling the number of individual donations in 2009, which garnered 230,000 total contributions.
“We’re overwhelmed with gratitude,” said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “On behalf of all of the volunteers who make Wikipedia possible, I’d like to thank our generous donors. We’re thankful to all of our supporters, from the volunteers who worked along-side Wikimedia staff to help create the campaign, to the editors who write and take care of Wikipedia to the amazing donors who make sure we have the support to continue our work. Wikipedia is the only major, top-ten site in the world that is ad-free and funded primarily by its readers and users — we’re lucky to have such a dedicated community of supporters.”
“This outpouring of support by hundreds of thousands of ordinary people from all walks of life is a testament to the spirit of the Wikimedia movement,” said Wikipedia Founder, Jimmy Wales. “Wikipedia is a public resource created and maintained by hundreds of thousands of volunteers, relied on by over 400 million people and paid for by half a million donors. It’s truly user-created, supported and maintained.”
With the official close of the 2010 Fundraiser, Wikipedia will now kick-off its 10-year birthday celebration, taking place on January 15, 2011. To support celebrations, the Foundation will be offering limited edition Wikipedia t-shirts, customizable in over 200 languages. The shirts will only be available until midnight, UTC on January 15, 2011, for a minimum donation of $25, shipping included. All donations will go into the Foundation’s operating fund.
Funds raised by the Foundation’s annual campaign will contribute to the $20.4 million, 2010-11 operating budget. The Foundation’s budget pays for technology costs to keep Wikimedia sites running and available to people throughout the world, programs to help make Wikipedia easier to use, and programs to encourage more people to participate and contribute as volunteers.
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 410 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property world-wide (Nov, 2010). Available in more than 270 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 16 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.