The Wikimedia Foundation Aims to Raise $16M Over Two Months

WikimediaFoundationLogo.jpgThe Wikimedia Foundation set a fundraising goal of $16 million over the next two months, saying it needs the money “to maintain the infrastructure necessary to keep these sites free, stable, and running smoothly, while also continually improving the systems and architecture behind them.”

From a post on the Wikimedia Blog by Philippe Beaudette of its community department:

Today, I’m pleased to announce the launch of our 2010 annual fundraising drive, which we are referring to as a “contribution campaign.” This year marks a major milestone for Wikipedia. Ten years of revolutionizing access to knowledge. Ten years of our joint commitment to deliver the sum of human knowledge to every human being on the planet. For free.

Wikipedia and its sister sites champion a mission of effectively disseminating knowledge, free for use, free of copyright, and free of external advertising. Since its founding in 2001, the site has grown to 17 million articles in over 270 languages, and for many of those languages, Wikipedia is the only encyclopedia ever written. Wikipedia, and all the Wikimedia projects, are always there when we need them; for students, educators, professionals, and curious minds worldwide, these projects are simply the most convenient and readily accessible sources of information.

This year’s fundraising goal is an ambitious one — $16 million over two months. Wikimedia sites are the fifth-most-visited Web properties worldwide (visited by about 400 million people each month), and Wikimedia is the only nonprofit organization in the top 10. Since 2007, our readership has doubled, with this past September seeing our highest traffic yet. With this incredible feat comes an enormous duty: to maintain the infrastructure necessary to keep these sites free, stable, and running smoothly, while also continually improving the systems and architecture behind them.

For more information about where your donations go, see this year’s annual plan.

In addition to new technology, we’re introducing a new perspective; this year’s contribution campaign is designed to invite not only financial contributions, but to also encourage people to contribute their expertise and knowledge to the projects. We want readers to make their first edit, upload their first photograph to Wikimedia Commons, write their first article, and, through this, to become more deeply affiliated with the projects.

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