On Nov. 15, Wikipedia parent the Wikimedia Foundation announced a fund-raising goal of $16 million by the end of 2010 “to maintain the infrastructure necessary to keep these sites free, stable, and running smoothly, while also continually improving the systems and architecture behind them.” On Jan. 1, the foundation announced that it had reached and exceeded its goal.
The Wikimedia Foundation said it received an average donation of $22 over the 50-day period, and contributions came from some 140 countries. For 2010 as a whole, the organization received more than 500,000 donations, more than doubling its total of 230,000 in 2009.
Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner said:
We’re overwhelmed with gratitude. On behalf of all of the volunteers who make Wikipedia possible, I’d like to thank our generous donors. We’re thankful to all of our supporters, from the volunteers who worked alongside Wikimedia staff to help create the campaign, to the editors who write and take care of Wikipedia, to the amazing donors who make sure we have the support to continue our work. Wikipedia is the only major, top-10 site in the world that is ad-free and funded primarily by its readers and users — we’re lucky to have such a dedicated community of supporters.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales added:
This outpouring of support by hundreds of thousands of ordinary people from all walks of life is a testament to the spirit of the Wikimedia movement. Wikipedia is a public resource created and maintained by hundreds of thousands of volunteers, relied on by over 400 million people, and paid for by half a million donors. It’s truly user-created, supported, and maintained.