"Tamme-Lauri oak tree photo" by Abrget47j, under CC-BY-SA-3.0

Wikimedia supporters donated generously this holiday season to keep knowledge free and accessible. Thanks for helping grow our collective tree of knowledge!
“Tamme-Lauri oak tree” photo by Abrget47j, licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0

A month ago, the Wikimedia Foundation kicked off its year-end contribution campaign on English Wikipedia. Thanks to the generosity of everyday readers from around the world, we’re very happy to share that we’ve surpassed our goal of $20 million. Your support for this critical campaign helps cover operating expenses of the Wikimedia sites and global outreach programs in order to keep the largest free knowledge resource accessible to the world.

In just four weeks, more than 2.5 million people around the world made a gift to Wikipedia and its sister projects. This incredible demonstration of support, along with the continued contributions to Wikimedia content from tens of thousands of editors around the world, is critical to ensuring Wikipedia remains a living, trusted resource that anyone can use to understand, learn, and grow.

We deeply appreciate the generosity of Wikipedia readers. It is this generosity that allows us to maintain our independence while working toward our vision: to make the sum of all human knowledge freely available to everyone in the world.

Wikipedia, together with its sister free knowledge projects like Wikimedia Commons, is one of the most popular websites in the world. It attracts nearly half a billion unique visitors and more than 20 billion monthly page views each month. Volunteer editors collectively create, improve, and maintain its more than 33.5 million articles in 287 languages. In 2014 alone, these editors created more than three million pages and made more than 100 million edits on Wikipedias across all languages. During this time, Wikipedia content was viewed around 250 billion times worldwide.

Unlike other top websites, however, Wikimedia sites survive largely on donations from readers. As the non-profit that supports Wikipedia, its sister projects and a community of volunteers, the Wikimedia Foundation uses reader contributions to cover the costs of operating Wikipedia, including servers, and staff. These contributions also allow us to invest in improvements to the technology behind Wikipedia, ensuring that free knowledge is easily accessible to as many people around the world as possible. We receive contributions of all sizes, but every gift is meaningful: the average donation is just $15.

We are deeply grateful to all our contributors for their support — and to our volunteers who help make these campaigns a widely localized and internationalized effort. We hear from many of our donors throughout the year about why they decided to give. Here are just a few of our favorite quotes from this most recent campaign that show the value of Wikipedia:

“Wikipedia is too valuable to be taken for granted. Donating is for me an act of fairness, responsibility, and gratitude.”

“Going to Wikipedia has become second nature to me. It is synonymous with knowledge – there’s nothing more profound. I support it with the small donations I can afford in the hope of setting an example, and so that others may have the same opportunities I’ve had.”

“Keep doing what you are doing. I love Wikipedia. My most visited site by a mile. Any time I watch a new documentary, nature show, or read a book about a topic I find fascinating, I always Wikipedia the information. Irreplaceable!”


Thank you again to all Wikimedia supporters for your commitment to keeping knowledge free and accessible for the world.

Lisa Gruwell, Chief Revenue Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation