Press releases/Funddrive Dec 2006

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GIVE THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE: WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION LAUNCHES YEAR-END FUNDRAISER TO SUPPORT PROJECTS

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, UNITED STATES -- December 16, 2006 -- The Wikimedia Foundation (http://wikimediafoundation.org) today announced a three-week fundraising campaign to help support the future operation and expansion of its free, multilingual wiki-based projects. The fundraiser runs from December 16, 2006 through January 6, 2007, and Wikimedia will accept donations in dozens of currencies from individuals and organizations around the globe.

The nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of its wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), one of the Internet's 10 most visited Web sites.

"This is a great opportunity for us," said Florence Nibart-Devouard, the Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board. "As we plan for the future of Wikipedia and all of the Wikimedia projects, our two most important goals now are the reliability of our content and the long-term sustainability of every project in which we are involved. We need the help of the millions of people who visit our site each day."

"Every donation we receive from an individual or an organization helps us bring free educational content to millions of people, including those who cannot afford print encyclopedias and dictionaries," said Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikimedia Foundation. "Every dollar, piece of equipment or contributor's time donated has an immeasurable impact on our ability to keep projects going and expand them to help more people."

The Wikimedia Foundation relies primarily on support from individual contributors. Thousands of individuals and organizations around the world have made donations of time, money or hardware, to help support Wikimedia's mission of providing free educational content and information. Thanks in large part to these donations, Wikipedia expanded to approximately 6 million total articles covering more than 200 languages. In addition, Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, now contains more than 1 million free image, audio and video files (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page).

The Wikimedia Foundation has 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in the United States. Donations made from other nations may also be tax deductible. See http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Deductibility_of_donations for further information. Please see our fundraising page at http://www.wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Fundraising for details of making donations via PayPal, MoneyBookers or by postal mail. For all other types of donation, please contact the Wikimedia Board at board at wikimedia.org.

About Wikipedia

Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is currently the world's fastest-growing, most current, and largest encyclopedia, with nearly 6 million articles under active development in over 200 languages. It is created entirely by volunteers who contribute, update, and revise articles in a collaborative process. The English-language edition contains more than 1.5 million articles and 30 million internal links. Wikipedias in twelve languages each have more than one hundred thousand articles. (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wikipedias)

Wikipedia's content is written for a general audience, and is continually being revised for clarity, readability, and accuracy. Original text, images and sounds contributed to Wikipedia are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation Licence (GFDL), which lets users copy and modify each other's work based on a principle known as "copyleft". The entire database is freely downloadable.

About Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit charitable corporation based in Florida, USA. It was founded in 2003 to maintain and develop free-content projects like Wikipedia, and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge. It has national chapters in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Serbia, and the Netherlands.

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