Wikipedia Passes Fundraising Goal

    January 5, 2009

If this recession thing gets really bad, maybe the government can just call in Jimmy Wales.  Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, seems to have been instrumental in helping the online encyclopedia hit a fundraising goal, and Wikipedia should be set for at least six months as a result.

Jimmy Wales

Between July 1st and December 22nd last year, Wikipedia collected about $4 million in donations.  This may sound respectable, but it fell short of a $6 million target.  Then Wales stepped in with a "personal" appeal that was plastered at the top of every page on the site.

Cue the cash flow.  A Wikimedia Foundation press release states in no uncertain terms that Wales’s message was followed by over 50,000 contributions – totaling $2 million – in eight days.  A fundraising chart with some sharp spikes backs the claim.  So the operating expenses of Wikipedia’s current fiscal year (which ends June 30th, 2009) are under control.

Wales wrote to users in a thank you post, "You have proven that Wikipedia matters to you, and that you support our mission: to bring free knowledge to the planet, free of charge and free of advertising.  You’ve helped make and keep Wikipedia available for the whole world."

And in case anybody’s still feeling generous, contributions of time and money (with $6.2 million collected to date) remain welcome.