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The Wikimedia Foundation raises $25 million in record time during 2012 Wikipedia fundraiser

More than 1.2 million Wikipedia readers donated to keep Wikipedia and sister sites ad free and free to all.

SAN FRANCISCO, December 27, 2012. – The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia and its sister projects, today announced the successful completion of its ninth annual fundraising campaign in record time. Wikipedia readers donated $25 million and once again affirmed the value of the project by guaranteeing that the online encyclopedia will remain ad-free.

“I’m grateful that the Wikipedia fundraiser was so successful. Our supporters are wonderful and without them we could not do the job of delivering free content worldwide,” said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “We're thrilled to be able to introduce our readers to the editors around the world who create Wikipedia and to invite our readers to join in editing.”

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.

More than 1.2 million donors contributed to the 2012 campaign, which ran on English Wikipedia in 5 countries (United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand) for only 9 full days, down from 46 days in 2011. The most-successful 24-hour period for donations this year brought in $2,365,564 million from 145,573 donors. Messages and formats optimized in this year’s campaign will be used in another short fundraising drive for the rest of the world in April 2013.

Though the fundraiser is an important part of Wikipedia’s success, volunteer contributors are the heart of the world’s largest encyclopedia. To highlight the tens of millions of hours they put into the projects each year, the Wikimedia Foundation will conduct a thank you campaign with short videos that showcase some of the roughly 80,000 volunteer editors, photographers and free-knowledge advocates from around the world who regularly contribute to Wikimedia projects. The campaign starts on December 27th, 2013 and runs through the end of the year.

Meet the Wikimedians who we’re profiling in our thank you campaign here.

Some of the Wikimedians being profiled:

Mei Jiun Kwek is a botanist from Malaysia who uploads photos to Wikimedia Commons to accompany her work on crop species in her country. She encourages researchers to share their material on a freely licensed database to improve open access to knowledge. (Video link on Wikimedia Commons and on YouTube)

Dumisani Ndubane is an electrical engineer from South Africa who started uploading his circuit analysis class notes to Wikiversity, a project supporting open educational resources, which did not have much information in his field at the time. By participating with volunteers from around the world, Ndubane not only grew to appreciate the value of collaboration, he helped improve the quality of free tutorials and coursework. (Video link on Wikimedia Commons and on YouTube)

Adrianne Wadewitz is a professor from California who uses Wikipedia as a teaching tool in her classroom and helps her faculty peers to incorporate digital technology in their teaching and research methods. She describes a memorable moment when one of her students turned in an essay largely plagiarized from a Wikipedia article Wadewitz had written. (Video link on Wikimedia Commons and on YouTube)

About the Wikimedia Foundation:

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 483 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, November 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:
Matthew Roth
Global Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
Tel.: +1 415-839-6885 x6635
E-mail: mroth@wikimedia.org.