Wikipedia hits $20 million fundraising target

Wikipedia, one of the most popular web sites in the world, can continue with its operations for at least another year. Today the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that funds the free online encyclopedia, announced on its web site, "We've taken down our fundraising banners, because we’ve hit our target." In another blog post, the group stated that it had raised over $20 million in this new fundraising effort. Back in 2008, the non-profit raised just $4.5 million to keep Wikipedia online for a year.

In this year's fundraising campaign, the Wikimedia Foundation said that over one million people donated money to keep Wikipedia going. That represents an increase of 10 times the number of people who donated money to the group back in 2008.

The $20 million that was raised this year will be used by the foundation 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 actual budget for the web site's next fiscal year is $28.3 million. The foundation will raise the rest of the money via grants from other organizations along with small donations made by individuals year round.

Wikipedia will celebrate its 11th anniversary on January 15. Over 100,000 volunteers write for Wikipedia and its various sister sites. Wikipedia now has 20 million articles in 282 languages and is the fifth busiest web site in the world.

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