Today, I’m excited to announce the kick-off of Wikimedia’s annual fundraising campaign.

Lots of people love Wikipedia, but surprisingly few know it’s run by a non-profit, the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation has just one purpose: to support the free and open sharing of knowledge. We don’t sell information and we don’t accept advertising.  Your donation is what makes Wikipedia possible.

When Jimmy Wales founded Wikipedia in 2001, it was just an experiment. Nobody imagined Wikipedia would really succeed — least of all, probably, Jimmy.  He just thought it would be interesting to try.

But now, fewer than 10 years later, the number of people who use Wikipedia has grown to 330 million.  Students, teachers, tourists, entrepreneurs, parents, job-hunters, retired people, doctors, artists, engineers — everywhere around the world.  We use Wikipedia because it’s free, it’s convenient, and it gives us the information we’re looking for.  It’s always there when we want it.

This fundraising campaign offers Wikipedia readers the opportunity to celebrate Wikipedia and protect it for the future — for yourself, and for everyone else.

I’m aiming this year to raise 7.5 million dollars, up from five million last year.  That money will go towards technology and people — the servers and bandwidth required to operate the site, and the staff of 30 people who keep it running. You can find more information about how the money is spent, here.

There are some changes in the campaign this year.

  • For the first time, you can give through your cellphone.  Just text WIKI to 25383 to make a ten dollar donation that’ll be charged to your phone bill. Currently this will only work for US cellphones, but in future we’ll expand it beyond the US.
  • There are also buttons and badges you can put on your own site to encourage your friends to donate.
  • Now you can donate via credit card, without having to enter the PayPal site. (For some people, the PayPal branding has been a deterrent — they thought they might need to join PayPal to donate.) To give easily without joining PayPal, using your VISA, Mastercard, American Express or Discover card, go here.

You can stay up-to-date on the campaign by checking back here at the Wikimedia Foundation blog, where Wikimedia’s Head of Community Gifts Rand Montoya will be giving regular updates.  On and Twitter, you can look for, and use yourself, @wikipedia and @wikimedia.

Thank you so much for using Wikipedia.

Since 2001, people around the world have joined together to create the greatest collection of shared knowledge in human history.  We are united by our love of knowledge, by our sense of curiosity and discovery, and by the understanding that we know more together than any one of us could possibly know alone.  Please donate to support Wikipedia, and everything it stands for.

Sue Gardner, Executive Director