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*Wikimedia Foundation launches year-end contribution campaign*

   - *Wikipedia appeals to readers to support the world’s largest free
   knowledge resource*

On December 2, 2014, Giving Tuesday, the Wikimedia Foundation kicked off
its year-end contribution campaign on English Wikipedia, requesting
donations to support the operating expenses of the Wikimedia sites and
global outreach programs. Wikipedia is overwhelmingly supported by small
individual donations averaging $15. It is a unique campaign that relies on
the power of individuals to keep knowledge free and accessible for the

Wikipedia is written entirely by a community of volunteers who have a
passion for sharing and expanding the world’s knowledge. The Wikimedia
Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports Wikipedia, its
sister free knowledge projects, and that community of volunteers. Every
year, we ask those who value the site to make a contribution to ensure
Wikimedia projects are freely available to everyone around the world, in
their own language.

Wikipedia attracts nearly half a billion unique visitors and more than 20
billion monthly page views each month. Every month roughly 70,000 people
edit Wikipedia, collectively creating, improving, and maintaining its more
than 33.5 million articles in 287 languages. From articles on national
revolutions <>
to feathered
dinosaurs <> and comet
landers <> to football
tournaments <>, the world
trusts Wikipedia. Together with its sister free knowledge projects such as
Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the

This year, hundreds of millions of people turned to Wikipedia to not just
understand but also shape the world around them. Here are just a few ways
people used Wikipedia:

   - This year the article on the Ebola virus disease
   <> on the
   English-language version of Wikipedia received 17 million visits in one
   month alone, and remained among the most visited articles on Wikipedia
   throughout the year. Wikipedians at the WikiProject Med Foundation worked
   with volunteer translators to make the article on Ebola available in more
   than 50 languages.
   - This summer more than 2,000 of the volunteer writers, readers, and
   users of Wikipedia met in London at Wikimania
   <>, to share and
   discuss the future of knowledge. Among them was 17 year old Jack Andraka
   <> who, as a high school
   student, used knowledge found on Wikipedia to develop a new test for
   pancreatic cancer.
   - This autumn, a group of Wikipedia’s volunteer editors were recognized
   by *Foreign Policy* magazine as among the world’s 100 top leading global
   their project, Art+Feminism, designed to advance understanding of the
   contributions of the world’s female artists and innovators.

Small donations allow the Wikimedia Foundation to cover the costs of
operating Wikipedia, including electricity, servers, and staff. These
contributions also allow us to invest in improvements to the technology
behind Wikipedia, such as this year’s introduction of a free, fast, native
Wikipedia app for iOS and Android, and ongoing improvements to Wikipedia’s
search functions and speed.

Donations also support Foundation initiatives to bring knowledge to people
around the world, such as Wikipedia Zero. Wikipedia Zero is a program that
enables people who can’t afford mobile data charges to access or contribute
to all knowledge on Wikipedia for free on their mobile phone. An estimated
400 million people now have free access to Wikipedia, thanks to 40
operators in 34 countries. This includes users of MTN in South Africa,
which introduced Wikipedia Zero after receiving an open letter from grade
12 students at Sinenjongo High School, in the township of Joe Slovo Park,
as featured in this short film

As with previous campaigns, this year the Wikimedia Foundation will use a
variety of banner formats to reach the movement’s diverse global audience.

“We are always looking for new ways to reach our readers while minimizing
interruption of their experience on Wikipedia,” said Megan Hernandez,
Director of Online Fundraising at the Wikimedia Foundation. “This year, our
goal is to reach our target more quickly, in order to limit the total
number of banners each reader sees. We thank all our contributors for their
support and our volunteers who help make these campaigns a widely localized
and internationalized effort.”

“Wikipedia content is growing every year, and it is growing most where it
is needed the most. From Cape Town to Naypyidaw and Cairo to Kyiv,
Wikipedia is there with free, uncensored content. Individual contributions
from ordinary users all over the world are what makes it possible to share
knowledge beyond languages, borders or generations” said Lila Tretikov,
Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation.

“All knowledge gathered on Wikipedia is being shared freely and for
everybody to edit, change and use as they will. It has been created by the
work of hundreds of thousands of people, for the use of millions more.
Wikipedia relies on the contributions of many people -- in the form of
edits and small donations -- to maintain this independence. It’s always a
testament to how much Wikipedia matters that so many people come out to
support it every year!” said Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia.

The online fundraising campaign aims to raise $20 million in December. The
remainder of the Wikimedia Foundation’s funding comes from individuals
gifts given outside the year-end campaign, and from a handful of foundation

To make a donation, click the fundraising appeal on Wikipedia, or go
directly to

*About the Wikimedia Foundation*


The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia consists of more than 33.5
million articles in 287 languages. Every month, roughly 80,000 active
volunteers contribute to Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects.
According to comScore Media Metrix, the projects operated by the Wikimedia
Foundation receive 460 million unique visitors per month on desktop alone,
making them one of the ten most popular web properties worldwide (October
2014). Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an
audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and

*Wikimedia Foundation Press Contact*

Katherine Maher

   - +1 415-839-6885 ext 6633
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