I’m delighted to report that the Wikimedia Foundation can ring in the New Year with the close of our seventh annual fundraiser, having exceeded our goal of $16 million. More than half a million people pitched in an average of around $22 each to support Wikipedia and its sister projects, in our shortest (and most successful) fundraiser to date.

Our community of volunteers is deeply honored that, in only 50 days, 500,000 people from 140 countries came together to support the only non-profit, user supported top-10 website in the world.  In addition to this humbling support for the Wikimedia Foundation, our chapters around the world have raised millions of dollars from hundreds of thousands of donors of their own.

We want to thank every one of our donors for making this year a success, and on behalf of the fundraising team, I personally wish to thank the one-thousand community members who helped us create and test messages, who wrote appeals, and translated banners and letters into over 80 languages.

In 15 days, Wikipedia will turn 10 years old. Since the beginning, Wikipedia’s community of readers and editors have remained dedicated to keeping the site ad-free, and free for use for its 400 million monthly visitors.  This year’s success demonstrates a continued commitment to those principles.

With the close of our annual fundraiser, we are transitioning into the contribution phase of the campaign. We will be running banners for the next few days to thank everyone who came together in the spirit of creating and “effectively disseminating the sum of human knowledge available for all.”  We will also begin to celebrate Wikipedia’s tenth birthday, with banner ads encouraging readers to join us in a local celebration.

We want to invite every one of the readers of Wikipedia and its sister sites to make their  first edit, or upload their first photograph, and join our community of volunteer contributors to continue the growth of Wikipedia for the next 10 years.

Thank you again, and happy New Year! Here’s to 2011, and to the next 10 years!

Regards,

Philippe Beaudette
Head of Reader Relations