Press releases/2008-9 Annual Giving Campaign Launch

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Wikimedia Foundation Launches Annual Campaign to Support Wikipedia

Campaign Engages Users by Asking, “How Has Wikipedia Made Your Life Easier?"

San Francisco, CA – November 5, 2008 — The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, officially launched its Fifth Annual Giving Campaign today. The goal of the global campaign is to raise $6 million to fund the Foundation's 2008-09 operating costs, including projects aimed at encouraging new people to edit the encyclopedia, and at increasing its quality. The campaign runs until Jan. 15, 2009 (Wikipedia's eight-year anniversary). In addition to raising funds for the organization, the campaign is also engaging users by asking how Wikipedia has made their lives easier.

Wikipedia, the fourth most popular site on the Internet according to comScore’s September 2008 data, was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, the visionary who helped introduce web users to the potential of on- line collaboration.

As the world's largest and most up-to-date encyclopedia, Wikipedia is visited by 30 million unique visitors every day. It includes 11 million articles, on a wide variety of topics, written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Of the world's 10 most frequently visited sites, Wikipedia is the only one operated by a non-profit organization.

As said by Wales, “When I started Wikipedia, I had no idea it would succeed the way it has. Today, Wikipedia is available in more than 250 languages, and is one of the most popular websites in practically every country where Internet access is available. Wikipedia's success is entirely based on the goodwill of strangers: people who may never meet each other, but share a common vision. I am asking the people who read it to help us help others around the world, by making a donation."

The campaign has already raised leadership gifts of $2 million, including $1 million from the Sloan Foundation, $262,000 from the Stanton Foundation, $250,000 from an anonymous donor, and $170,000 from the United Kingdom-based grant-making fund Arcadia. All donations to the Wikimedia Foundation are assumed to be anonymous, unless the donor specifies otherwise.

Nearly all of the Wikimedia Foundation's revenues come from individual donations, foundation grants and in-kind gifts. "Since Wikipedia is free of advertising and free to use, it is dependent on donations from individuals around the world who use the site and want to support it," said Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. "The proceeds of the 2008 campaign will help Wikipedia's efforts to increase global access and user participation. By 2020, we want to grow the user base to touch one in three people around the world and motivate one in ten users to become active participants."

During the campaign banners will appear at the top of all Wikipedia pages, pointing readers to donate.wikimedia.org, where they can make a donation. Users will also have the opportunity to submit their stories about how Wikipedia has made their lives easier. The Wikimedia Foundation will be sharing selections of those stories on the Wikimedia blog, at blog.wikimedia.org. The donation page will also feature downloadable buttons for blogs or websites, audio public service announcements, and the Foundation's first-ever Annual Report.

Broadcast quality audio public service announcements and quotes from this release can be found at:

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_room/Audio_content

About us

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit, 501(c)3 charitable foundation that operates Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects. The Foundation was established by Jimmy Wales in 2003, two years after creating Wikipedia, to build a long-term future for free knowledge projects on the internet. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation maintains the technical infrastructure that provides millions of people with access to Wikipedia and its sister projects, and also develops outreach programs and partnerships that focus on increasing project participation, reach and quality.

Press inquiries

For more information, contact:

Jay Walsh
Head of Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
jwalsh@wikimedia.org
+1 415-839-6885, ext 609
April Reading
Account Executive
Peppercom for Wikimedia
areading@peppercom.com
+1 415-633-3225