Wikipedia Kicks Off 2010 Fundraising Campaign

Wikipedia has kicked off 2010's donation campaign and this year the Wikimedia foundation is sticking to what works best, a personal message from the site and foundation's founder Jimmy Wales. The foundation hasn't made any announcement yet, but the banner has been live, in places around the world, at least for the past day.

"I got a lot of funny looks ten years ago when I started talking to people about Wikipedia," Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, writes.

"A decade after its founding, nearly 400 million people use Wikipedia and its sister sites every month - almost a third of the Internet-connected world. It is the 5th most popular website in the world but Wikipedia isn’t anything like a commercial website," he says.

"Each year at this time, we reach out to ask you and others all across the Wikimedia community to help sustain our joint enterprise with a modest donation of $20, $35, $50 or more," he adds.

Wikimedia, the foundation behind Wikipedia and several related sites, holds a donations campaign each year around this time. Every year a goal is set and it has been surpassed every time.

Last year, the campaign started around the same date. By the end of the year the site managed to raise $7.5 million in donations from users and reach its goal.

For 2009, the plan was to invest in a longer-term strategy to help the site grow further in the years to come.

After the campaign ended, Google pledged an additional $2 million for the foundation, raising the total amount to close to $10 million, more than enough to pay for the site's maintenance and for the full-time staff.

Last year, the personal appeal from Jimmy Wales got the most attention so the foundation started this year's campaign with another one. There's no word on how much Wikimedia is trying to raise this time around.

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