38 Facts About Wikimedia Foundation


Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, or Wikimedia for short and abbreviated as WMF, is an American 50(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in San Francisco, California and registered as a charitable foundation under local laws.

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Wikimedia Foundation was established in 2003 in St Petersburg, Florida, by Jimmy Wales as a nonprofit way to fund Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and other crowdsourced wiki projects that had until then been hosted by Bomis, Wales's for-profit company.

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Wikimedia Foundation's mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

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The Foundation's "strategic direction", formulated in 2017 for the next 15 years, envisages that the Wikimedia Foundation "will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge" by 2030.

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The Foundation was granted section 50(3) status by the U S Internal Revenue Code as a public charity in 2005, meaning all contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible for U S federal income tax purposes.

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On December 11, 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation's board noted that the corporation could not become the membership organization initially planned but never implemented due to an inability to meet the registration requirements of Florida statutory law.

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On September 25, 2007, the Wikimedia Foundation's board gave notice that its operations would be moving from Florida to the San Francisco Bay Area.

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The Wikimedia Foundation owns and operates 11 wikis whose content is written and curated by unpaid volunteers.

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Wikimedia Foundation affiliates are "independent and formally recognized" groups of people intended to work together to support and contribute to the Wikimedia Foundation movement.

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Affiliates are formally recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation, but are independent of it, with no legal control of or responsibility for Wikimedia projects and their content.

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In 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation approved, finalized and adopted the thematic organization and user group recognition models.

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Wikimedia Foundation employs technology including hardware and software to run its projects.

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In 2017, Wikimedia Foundation deployed a caching cluster in an Equinix facility in Singapore, the first of its kind in Asia.

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Wikimedia Foundation published official Wikipedia mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and in March 2015, the apps were updated to include mobile user-friendly features.

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Wikimedia Foundation is exempt from federal income tax and from state income tax.

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The Wikimedia Foundation OAI-PMH update feed service, targeted primarily at search engines and similar bulk analysis and republishing, was a source of revenue for a number of years.

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In January 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation announced the creation of an endowment to safeguard its future.

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The Wikimedia Endowment was established as a collective action fund at the Tides Foundation, with a stated goal to raise in the next 10 years.

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In September 2021, the Foundation announced that the Wikimedia Endowment had reached its initial $100 million fundraising goal in June 2021, five years early.

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In 2008, the Wikimedia Foundation received a grant from the Open Society Institute to create a printable version of Wikipedia.

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In March 2008, the Foundation announced what was then its largest donation yet: a three-year, grant from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation.

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In March 2011, the Alfred P Sloan Foundation authorized another grant, to be funded over three years, with the first to come in July 2011 and the remaining to be funded in August 2012 and 2013.

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In 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation was awarded a grant of from Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin through the Charities Aid Wikimedia Foundation, scheduled to be funded in five equal installments from 2012 through 2015.

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In 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation received the largest single gift in its history, a $5 million unrestricted donation from an anonymous donor supporting $1 million worth of expenses annually for the next five years.

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In March 2012, The Gordon and Betty Moore Wikimedia Foundation, established by the Intel co-founder and his wife, awarded a grant to develop Wikidata.

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Between 2014 and 2015, the Wikimedia Foundation received from the Monarch Fund, from the Arcadia Fund and an undisclosed amount from the Stavros Niarchos Wikimedia Foundation to support the Wikipedia Zero initiative.

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In 2015, a grant agreement was reached with the John S and James L Knight Foundation to build a search engine called the "Knowledge Engine", a project that proved controversial.

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In 2017, the Alfred P Sloan Foundation awarded another grant for a three-year period, and Google donated another $1.

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In 2004, the Wikimedia Foundation appointed Tim Starling as developer liaison to help improve the MediaWiki software, Daniel Mayer as chief financial officer, and Erik Moller as content partnership coordinator.

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In January 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation created a number of committees, including the Communication Committee, in an attempt to further organize activities somewhat handled by volunteers at that time.

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Wikimedia Foundation was replaced by Mike Godwin who served as general counsel and legal coordinator from July 2007 to 2010.

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Florence Devouard cited Doran's departure from the organization as one of the reasons the Wikimedia Foundation took about seven months to release its fiscal 2007 financial audit.

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Wikimedia Foundation accused Wales of misusing the Foundation's funds for recreational purposes and said that Wales had his Wikimedia credit card taken away in part because of his spending habits, a claim Wales denied.

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In February 2007, the Wikimedia Foundation added a position, chapters coordinator, and hired Delphine Menard, who had been occupying the position as a volunteer since August 2005.

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In January 2008, the Wikimedia Foundation appointed Veronique Kessler as the new chief financial and operating officer, Kul Wadhwa as head of business development and Jay Walsh as head of communications.

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At the time of the hire, the Wikimedia Foundation was concerned specifically about a bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act.

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Wikimedia Foundation acknowledged that he had "been frustrated as well about the endless controversies about the rollout of inadequate software not developed with sufficient community consultation and without proper incremental rollout to catch show-stopping bugs".

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The Wikimedia Foundation vowed to improve wording on further fundraising campaigns to avoid these issues.

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