Press releases/Wikimedia Foundation announces 2012 fundraiser

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The Wikimedia Foundation launches ninth annual fundraiser to support Wikipedia and free knowledge

SAN FRANCISCO, November 27, 2012 - The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia and its sister projects, today announced the launch of its ninth annual fundraising campaign. The online fundraiser aims to raise $25 million, while the remainder of the Wikimedia Foundation’s funding will come from foundation grants and donations given outside the annual campaign.

The annual Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser brings in the resources needed to keep the Wikimedia projects freely available to everyone around the world in their own language, and guarantees that Wikipedia will never have to rely on advertising. Donations help the Wikimedia Foundation maintain server infrastructure, support global projects to increase the number of editors, improve and simplify the software that supports our projects, and make Wikipedia accessible globally to billions of people who are just beginning to access the internet.

“Our fundraiser succeeds the same way Wikipedia does, with millions of people contributing what they can so we can keep the site freely available for everyone around the world,” said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “People tell me they donate to Wikipedia because they find it useful, and they trust it because they know it's written for them. Our readers fund the site, which keeps us independent and able to deliver what they need and want from Wikipedia--exactly as it should be.”

During the 2011 fundraiser, more than 1.1 million people donated an average of $30 from nearly every country on the planet, and banners and fundraising messages were translated into over 100 languages by more than 1,000 volunteers.

The 2012 campaign will build on the success of previous years and will run through the end of this year. To make a donation, click the banners at the top of Wikipedia, or go directly to donate.wikimedia.org.

Wikipedians in the 2012 fundraiser

The 2012 campaign will showcase stories from Wikimedia editors, photographers and free-knowledge advocates from around the world who contribute to Wikimedia projects.

Poongothai Balasubramanian (photo), a retired math teacher from India, has created 250 articles on quadratic functions, probability, charts, graphs, and has recorded pronunciations for 6,000 words in Tamil, her native language. “I'm a volunteer. No one pays me. But helping edit Wikipedia has become my life's work,” she said. “Even though I'm not in the classroom, I'm still doing what I care about most: helping a new generation of students learn, in the language I love.”

Andrea Zanni (photo), a Wikimedia Italy chapter member and digital librarian who contributes public domain and freely-licensed texts to Wikisource, said his experience with the Wikimedia movement has facilitated his self-expression and shaped his life. “Wikipedia is one of the few things that really enables people to be useful, to have an impact with a little effort,” he said. “Wikipedia is really empowering. It’s really a framework of good faith, of good will.”

Ravan Jaafar Altaie (photo), a Wikipedian from Iraq who writes about Leonardo da Vinci and the moons of Jupiter, tells her story of contributing to Arabic Wikipedia and influencing hundreds of thousands of people through articles she’s written. “This is my wish and one of my dreams to make a real change in the world. I think Wikipedia gave me this chance to make a huge difference in this world,” she said. “It's like an investment for your future, for your children's future.”

Ken Thomas (photo), a photographer from North Carolina, donates his photos to Wikimedia Commons under the CC0 public domain license. “Putting a photo on Wikipedia is an act of generosity,” he said. “I don’t own the bird. I don’t own the light. I don’t own the tree branch that the bird was sitting on. I take these pictures because I want people to see how beautiful these things are. Who am I to charge for that?”

Erlan Vega (photo), an English teacher from La Paz, Bolivia, said he improved his English competency and earned international certifications because of his experience editing Wiktionary and collaborating with English speaking Wikipedians. “In my education system, people don’t usually write or create,” he said. “Giving me the opportunity to be creative and to be recognized for something I write has really been a turning point in my life.”

About the Wikimedia Foundation

http://wikimediafoundation.org

http://blog.wikimedia.org

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 488 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, October 2012). Available in 285 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 24 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of roughly 80,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

Press contact
Jay Walsh
Head of Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
Tel. +1 415-860-8166
jwalsh@wikimedia.org