Wikipedia, Stronger and More Stable than Ever, thanks to our Community's Support
Don't believe everything you read—Wikipedia isn't closing down anytime soon. In fact, the online encyclopedia is stronger and more stable than ever, thanks to its growing popularity and worldwide support. But despite its success, Wikipedia relies entirely on the support of the public, like most nonprofits, and has ongoing and pressing needs for funds.
The free-content online encyclopedia has experienced a tremendous spurt of growth in the last year and is now one of the 10 most visited websites in the world. As a result, the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit running the sites, has needed to purchase more hardware and bandwidth to help keep up with this growth.
”Currently, Wikipedia has 6 million articles in 200 languages. And those numbers keep on growing. That’s a lot of information to store, and a lot of traffic to manage. Of course our costs have increased tremendously. And as a nonprofit with a global outreach, we have to be very creative on how we meet these growing challenges, which are very real,” states Wikimedia Chair Florence Devouard.
However, users should not be alarmed. As Wikipedia’s last fundraiser proved, the global community loves Wikipedia and is intent on ensuring that it remains strong.
”In four weeks, we managed to raise over 1 million dollars. I say over 1 million, because donations keep on trickling in. They ranged from big donations given by big-time players, to $1 donations given by students. The fundraiser did a good job at reflecting the diversity of support that we receive,“ Devouard continues.
Last week, during the Lift conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, Ms. Devouard was quoted as saying that Wikipedia had enough cash to pay for its servers for the next three months. Some individuals misinterpreted this statement, and began reporting that Wikipedia would be closing in that time frame. However, Ms. Devouard followed the statement by commenting that the idea of Wikipedia closing was a radical one, and would not be happening any time soon.
In fact, Ms. Devouard was simply trying to illustrate Wikipedia's current need for funding. During the Wikimedia Foundation’s last audit, it was recommended that the Foundation have, at any one time, enough money in the bank to cover 6 months of operating costs. Currently, the Foundation has enough to cover four months.
To see Wikimedia's operating expenses, please refer to: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/What_we_need_the_money_for
To see a list of common Fundraising questions, please refer to: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Fundraising_FAQ
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging the growth and development of freely distributed content in many languages, such as the well-known Wikipedia encyclopedia, now in over 100 languages. Wikimedia projects include some of the largest collaboratively edited reference works in the world created using wiki software. Along with Wikipedia, one of the top 20 most visited Web sites on the Internet, these projects include Wiktionary (a dictionary), Wikibooks (textbooks), Wikiquote (quotations), Wikisource (source documents), Wikinews (news stories), and the Wikimedia Commons (a media repository).