Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s founder, only used one word to describe the encyclopedic website’s latest fundraiser:


In what he called “the shortest fundraiser we’ve ever had,” Wales reported that Wikipedia raised some $16 million.

“Every year the Wikimedia Foundation sets a goal that it knows will be a stretch. They have to do it, because the Wikimedia websites and movement keep growing,” he wrote in a blog announcing the results. “Wikipedia is now the fifth most visited website in the world, but our staff, infrastructure and budget are just a fraction of any other top 10 website’s.

“Every year, the world comes together to support Wikipedia and its sister sites. Our very first fundraiser was just a community effort to buy a volunteer—who later became our first CTO—a much-needed new laptop.

“But this year is a little more incredible than most because this year we celebrate Wikipedia’s tenth anniversary. It’s so important that we kick the year off just like this: by fully funding the Wikimedia Foundation’s budget to support Wikipedia and all the sister projects as we head into the next decade of our work together.

“Even though we raised more this year than any other year—$16 million—it was also the shortest fundraiser we’ve ever had.”

Wales pointed out that more than 500,000 donations were made to Wikipedia’s parent foundation and that the average donation was $22.

“This fundraiser had all the ingredients of what we love about Wikimedia projects: people come together, contribute what they have, and together we do something amazing,” he wrote. “The contribution of a technology worker in Mumbai, India joins with the contribution of a stock broker from London, and of a student in Moscow, and the result is that we’re able to sustain and support this joint endeavor for another year.

“So now, we’ll celebrate.

“From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of the more than 100,000 active volunteers,
thank you.”

The fundraiser started Nov. 16.

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