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Wikipedia's goal is to raise $100 million for a new endowment fund

by: Nancy Yoshihara |

The leading encyclopedia on the internet celebrated its 15th anniversary on January 15 by kicking off an ambitious plan to raise funds so that Wikipedia will be around for future generations.

Beginning with a $1 million donation from the estate of Jim Pacha, a software engineer who died in 2014, the Wikimedia Endowment, embarks on a 10-year campaign to raise $100 million. Funds will not be drawn from the endowment until after it is fully funded.

Lisa Gruwell, chief advancement officer for the Wikimedia Foundation which oversees Wikipedia, told AP the eventual funds from the endowment will help Wikipedia endure future economic jolts and other potential threats to its sustainability.  

“We have a great fundraising model right now, but things on the Internet change so it’s not something we can count on forever,” Gruwell said in an interview with AP. “Wikipedia is a pretty rare thing, and the endowment is there to ensure this cultural treasure will never go away.”

The Wikimedia Endowment was established by the Foundation as a Collective Action Fund at Tides Foundation, which is a public charity with a 40-year track record of holding and managing charitable funds for nonprofit organizations, according the Wikipedia announcement.

Earlier this month, the Wikimedia Foundation was awarded $250,000 from the Knight Foundation to support six months of investigation around search and browsing on Wikimedia and its other projects, with the ultimate goal of building better experiences to help people discover knowledge. This exploratory project will include deep research, analysis, and prototyping to assess potential improvements in how people find information on Wikipedia and its sister projects.

Nancy Yoshihara

Nancy Yoshihara is content manager at KDMC and its website with a focus on News for Digital Innovators and Tools, Tips
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