The Wikimedia Foundation is happy to announce the successful completion of our ninth annual fundraising campaign in record time. Wikipedia readers donated $25 million and once again affirmed the value of the project by guaranteeing that the online encyclopedia will remain ad-free.

Donations help the Wikimedia Foundation maintain server infrastructure, support global projects to increase the number of editors, improve and simplify the software that supports our projects, and make Wikipedia accessible globally to billions of people who are just beginning to access the internet.

More than 1.2 million donors contributed to the campaign, which ran on English Wikipedia in 5 countries (United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand) for only 9 full days, down from 46 days in 2011. The most-successful 24-hour period for donations this year brought in $2,365,564 from 145,573 donors. Messages and formats optimized in this year’s campaign will be used in another short fundraising drive for the rest of the world in April 2013.

“I’m grateful that the Wikipedia fundraiser was so successful. Our supporters are wonderful and without them we could not do the job of delivering free content worldwide,” said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “We’re thrilled to be able to introduce our readers to the editors around the world who create Wikipedia and to invite our readers to join in editing.”

Volunteer contributors are the heart of the world’s largest encyclopedia. To highlight the tens of millions of hours they put into the projects each year, the Wikimedia Foundation has started a thank you campaign with short videos that showcase some of the roughly 80,000 volunteer editors, photographers and free-knowledge advocates from around the world who regularly contribute to Wikimedia projects. The campaign started today and will run through the end of the year.

You can meet the Wikimedians who we’re profiling in our thank you campaign here and continue to tune into the Wikimedia blog for further profiles of volunteer contributors.

Matthew Roth, Global Communications Manager