File:A chat with Katherine Maher - Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation.webm

Video by Victor Grigas, CC BY-SA 3.0. You can also view it on YouTube, Vimeo, and
without burned-in English subtitles on Wikimedia Commons.

Blink! In that short moment, people like you opened more than 2,000 articles on Wikipedia to find information they need.[1] Today, Giving Tuesday, and through the month of December, we invite anyone who values this experience to donate and help keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come.

Wikipedia exists because everyone, everywhere should have access to free knowledge. Because we need a clear picture of history to prepare for the future. Because the world is a better place when humans can connect across time and space, and share knowledge without boundaries. Like blinking, it’s easy to forget everything that makes Wikipedia possible: a community of volunteers around the world; a secure connection so you can access Wikipedia without sacrificing privacy or safety; a commitment to never run ads and preserve our independence.

Wikipedia and the other free knowledge projects are supported by donations from millions of people around the world, with an average gift of $15. This support is critical to the future of Wikipedia and free knowledge.

“Now, more than ever, the world needs access to reliable, neutral information,” said Wikimedia Foundation executive director Katherine Maher. “Wikipedia gives us that: 40 million articles across hundreds of languages ranging from ancient history to current affairs, supported by reliable sources. Along with other Wikimedia projects such as Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia represents an ever-growing repository of knowledge, curated and owned by the public. We are committed to protecting and upholding this incredible resource, and we hope you will join us.”

Why donate?

At the Wikimedia Foundation, we support Wikipedia, the Wikimedia sites, and the volunteers who contribute to them. The donations we raise help keep Wikipedia free, neutral and easily accessible for you and everyone in the world– anytime, anywhere.

So what happens when you click through the banner and make a donation? Last year, we were able to do some incredible things with the donations we received. Here are some of the things your contributions made possible:

  • 24/7 availability of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia sites through maintenance of more than 1,200 servers and a team of dedicated engineers around the world.
  • More than 15,000 code contributions to create new site features, address bugs, and make improvements to the Wikimedia sites’ performance.
  • Improvements to desktop, mobile web, and mobile app reader experiences, including a more efficient mobile download process that saves our readers about 450 terabytes of data each year.
  • Events and workshops reaching thousands of volunteers, enriching content on the Wikimedia sites, inviting new editors to join, and supporting volunteer work around the world.
  • Legal defense to preserve your right to access, share, and remix knowledge, including court battles won over Wikimedia content in Brazil, Germany, France, and India.
  • Research around the world, including in Nigeria, Mexico, and India, to better understand and serve the needs of our global users.

Contributions from millions of donors like you make this work, and much more, possible. By donating to the Wikimedia Foundation, you’re joining a movement of people who support free knowledge.

About the 2016 contribution campaign

The 2016 contribution campaign will run on the English Wikipedia through the month of December. Our goal for this campaign is to raise $25 million by the end of the month. Donations received from the online campaign will go primarily toward the Wikimedia Foundation’s operating budget for the next fiscal year—the funds we use to sustain our work at the Foundation for a given year. The remainder of the Wikimedia Foundation’s funding comes from individuals gifts given outside the year-end campaign, and from a handful of foundation grants.

To make a donation, click the fundraising appeal on Wikipedia, or go directly to donate.wikimedia.org.

If you’d like to see exactly how every dollar is spent, please take a look at our 2016–17 Annual Plan and our Financial Reports. We publish these documents every year; transparency is one of our guiding principles at the Wikimedia Foundation.

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[1] For the purpose of this metric, the blink of an eye is estimated at 0.3–0.4 seconds, and the pageview statistics are based on an October 2016 recording of pageviews/second across all language Wikipedias.