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Wikimedia raises record-breaking $20m

Wikimedia raises record-breaking $20m
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Wikimedia raises record-breaking $20m

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 4 Jan 2012

More than one million donors have contributed to a $20m fundraising campaign for the foundation behind the online crowd-sourced encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.

Ahead of Wikipedia's 11th birthday tomorrow the Wikimedia Foundation, which funds the website’s existence, announced on New Year’s Day that it has raised $20m for its next year’s operations in its latest fundraising campaign. Wikimedia Foundation has been running an online, public fundraising campaign for Wikipedia every year since 2003 – and every year it has increased its fundraising total.

The total number of donors giving to the campaign has increased ten times over since the 2008 campaign and is double the number of donors which gave in the previous, 2010/2011 campaign. More than one million people donated to the 2011/2012 campaign, but this remains a small fraction of the 470 million who visit the website every month. The fundraising total equates to one donor for every 20 articles on Wikipedia.

Wikimedia UK was granted charitable status by the Charity Commission in November, after which it began fundraising in the UK. The charity set itself a target of £1m, which it has exceeded by £40,000.

Jon Davies, chief executive of Wikimedia UK, told civilsociety.co.uk that the final total may end up “a little bit more yet”. Davies said that the campaign, which ends as soon as it has raised enough to cover budgeted costs, was “really intense” and that the organisation will likely look to increase the total in its next fundraising effort.  

The campaign, which features banners on Wikipedia and its sister sites, concentrated on the individual volunteers behind Wikipedia, those who translate and edit pages of user-contributed information which makes up the free encyclopaedia.  

In the 2010/11 campaign, the average donation was $22 per donor and raised just over $16m.

Wikipedia has budgeted for $28.3m in 2011/12, the bulk of which has come from this campaign. The remainder of the money will be raised via trusts and foundations, and ad hoc smaller donations throughout the year. 

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