Archive:Press releases/Stanton Foundation Awards Wikimedia $3.6 Million for Technology Improvements

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Stanton Foundation Awards Wikimedia $3.6 Million for Technology Improvements

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 5, 2011 – The Wikimedia Foundation announced today it has been awarded the largest-ever grant in its history: $3.6 million from the Stanton Foundation. The purpose of the grant is to fund major investments in the technology infrastructure that supports Wikipedia and its sister projects, in order to successfully serve their growing readership. The Wikimedia projects currently reach more than 422 million unique visitors around the world every month (comScore, August 2011), making Wikipedia the fifth most-popular website in the world.

The grant will fund development of a new editing interface that will make it possible for people to easily edit Wikipedia without needing to learn special wiki syntax. It will also support development of new technical features to make Wikimedia a friendlier and more understandable environment for new editors, and an improved mobile experience for readers and editors.

"The Stanton Foundation is a long-time funder of the Wikimedia Foundation, and I am thrilled they're increasing their investment in us," said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. "The Stanton Foundation was one of the first institutions to recognize that Wikipedia is a serious educational endeavour that's having a significant impact on people around the world. I will always be grateful to them for taking a risk in first funding us, many years ago."

The Stanton Foundation is the foundation created by the American broadcasting executive and media pioneer Frank Stanton, who, in 1960, organized the first-ever televised presidential debate. Among its previous grants to the Wikimedia Foundation, the Stanton Foundation provided $1.2 million in 2010 for the Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative, a program designed to improve the quality and quantity of information related to public policy topics in Wikipedia. The project resulted in 800 American students at universities such as Harvard and University of California Berkeley adding the equivalent of 5,800 printed pages of material to Wikipedia, and has now been expanded to include universities in Canada and India.

About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization which operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 422 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, September 2011). Available in more than 280 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 18 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

Media Contact:
Jay Walsh
Head of Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
Tel. +1 415 839 6885 x 6609