January 1, 2011; Source: CNET | Wikipedia, which bills itself as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” depends on more than just the willingness of individuals around the globe to contribute articles and maintain the accuracy of the online site’s editorial content. It also needs people to contribute cash, especially to remain free of advertisements.
Judging from the results of the holiday fundraiser that its parent, the Wikimedia Foundation, kicked off in mid-November, the website has a very committed group of supporters. CNET reports that Wikimedia raised $16 million, its most successful campaign to date. “This year is a little more incredible than most because this year we celebrate Wikipedia’s tenth anniversary,” said founder Jimmy Wales. “It’s so important that we kick the year off just like this: by fully funding the Wikimedia Foundation’s budget to support Wikipedia and all the sister projects as we head into the next decade of our work together.”
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All told, the foundation received more than 500,000 donations, which averaged about $22 each. “This fundraiser had all the ingredients of what we love about Wikimedia projects: people come together, contribute what they have, and together we do something amazing,” said Wales. Wikipedia turns 10 on January 15.—Bruce Trachtenberg