Photo by Halfblue, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation begins its annual English fundraising appeal, asking anyone who values Wikipedia to support the site. Beginning today, on Giving Tuesday, banners will appear on English Wikipedia asking our readers to share a donation and help keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come.

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

Our fundraising team works year round to raise funds to support the Foundation’s work, but for many, the year end fundraising appeal marks the time of year when they get to peek behind the curtain of what makes Wikipedia possible. Many readers are not aware Wikipedia is run by a non-profit organization and created by a community of volunteers. This year’s campaign aims to increase awareness through social media and messages on the site.

When you give to Wikipedia, you help keep the site online, ad-free, and improving. You also support the guiding vision behind Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement—a world in which everyone can freely share and participate in knowledge. There is a lot that goes into making this vision possible. Over the past year, we at the Wikimedia Foundation have worked on a variety of projects, initiatives, and improvements to support this vision and the future of free knowledge.

Here’s a snapshot of some of our work over the past year, and where we hope to go in the next.

We support free, neutral, and reliable information.

We supported the veracity of information on Wikipedia and across the web, including through projects like the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) and WikiCite, as well as the structured data initiative to improve search and accessibility of freely-licensed media files on Wikimedia Commons.

We support inclusive participation.

In 2017, we began work on a community health initiative to support an inclusive community culture where anyone feels welcome to participate on Wikipedia. We also made improvements to our mobile apps, including major design and accessibility improvements that have been recognized by awards like the “Editor’s Choice” distinction in Apple’s App Store.

We support policies that allow Wikipedia and free knowledge to thrive.

We continued to defend the rights of our users to freely access and explore information online without fear of government surveillance through our lawsuit against the United States National Security Agency. We also spoke out in support of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which has been integral to the creation of collaborative projects like Wikipedia and other platforms that host user-generated content.

We support the future of free knowledge.

At the beginning of 2017, the Wikimedia Foundation launched a global discussion to define the future of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia movement by the year 2030. We called it Wikimedia 2030. Throughout the process, we asked ourselves questions like, where might we want Wikipedia, and the Wikimedia movement, to go next? What opportunities and challenges lie ahead of us? What trends in technology, education, information, and access will shape our future?

Based on this discussion and our research, we are uniting around a direction that will help us build a more sustainable, resilient, and engaged movement that anyone who shares our vision can join. We will adapt to the shifting trends in technology, to ensure we meet the needs of our users and continue to provide reliable, transparent, and neutral information. We will invite new voices to join us and ensure that anyone who wants to share knowledge on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia sites can do so. And we will advocate for the policies and values that have allowed Wikipedia and its sister sites to thrive.

Our vision is remarkable, powerful, and challenging. There is so much more work ahead of us still to do, work that extends beyond this next fiscal year, and far into building, sustaining, and supporting the future of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia sites for generations to come.

Most of the banners you’ll see on English Wikipedia will launch on 28 November 2017. Banner messaging and design from this year’s campaign are the result of extensive testing and feedback from volunteer editors and Wikimedia Foundation staff. Donations from the campaign support the Wikimedia Foundation’s operating budget for the next fiscal year. For the 2017–18 fiscal year, our goal is to raise $81.8 million; funds received from the English language appeal campaign will go toward this annual goal. Click the fundraising appeal on Wikipedia, or go directly to donate.wikimedia.org

Megan Hernandez, Director of Online Fundraising, Advancement
Lisa Seitz-Gruwell, Chief Advancement Officer, Advancement
Wikimedia Foundation