Wikipedia Raises $20M, Will Continue to be the Only Major Website Funded by its Users

Remember those huge fundraising banners atop every Wikipedia page? Well, now it's gone, thanks to its loyal users from all across the globe who pitched in with whatever they can. Wikimedia Foundation has raised some 20 million USD during the fundraising drive, enough to meet most of its requirements for the year ahead. 

Wikipedia Raises $20M

Wikipedia Will Remain as the Only Major Website Entirely Supported by its Users
"We've taken down our fundraising banners, because we’ve hit our target", wrote Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation's Executive Director, in a recent blog post.

"Over the past few months, more than one million people have come together from all over the world to keep Wikipedia and its sister sites alive and flourishing for another year." And that one million donations came from almost every country on the planet. 

Wikimedia Foundation’s communications chief, Jay Walsh, wrote, "it is our most successful campaign ever, continuing an unbroken streak in which donations have risen every year since the campaigns began in 2003." The number of Wikimedia Foundation donors has increased ten-fold since 2008 and the total dollar amount raised in the campaign has risen to over $20 million from $4.5 million.

Funds raised in this campaign will be used to buy and install servers and other hardware, to develop new site functionality, expand mobile services, provide legal defense for the projects, and support the large global community of Wikimedia volunteers. The Wikimedia Foundation’s total 2011-12 planned spending is 28.3 million USD. The bulk of that is raised during the annual campaign and the remainder comes throughout the year in the form of grants from institutions (such as the Sloan Foundation) and many other small donations year round.

Wikimedia Foundation websites serve more than 470 million people every month. It is the only major website supported not by advertising, but by donations from readers, wrote Walsh.