Skip to main content

The new Wikimedia Endowment will try to keep Wikipedia free for another 15 years

person using wikipedia
The smartest person you know just turned 15. Well, not a person, but an entity that always seems to have all the answers when you need them most: Wikipedia. And while the digital encyclopedia does have a very annoying gift of spending what seems like a significant portion of the year asking for birthday gifts in the form of cash donations, Wikipedia must’ve done something right this year as it blew out its birthday candles. The Wikimedia Foundation has just launched the Wikimedia Endowment, which will serve as a “permanent safekeeping fund” that hopes to diminish Wikipedia’s reliance upon ad hoc donations. The goal is to raise $100 million over the next decade, “ensur[ing] that Wikipedia lives forever.”

Wikipedia has crossed a number of impressive milestones in the last few weeks, many of which its founders never thought possible. Today, over 36 million articles have been logged, and some 80,000 volunteers make around 15,000 edits and create 7,000 new articles each and every hour. “Wikipedia seemed like an impossible idea at the time — an online encyclopedia that everyone can edit. However, it has surpassed everyone’s expectations over the past 15 years,” co-founder Jimmy Wales told The Guardian.

Related Videos

But of course, much of that success has been contingent upon the generosity of its readers. Enter the Endowment. The first $1 million has been donated by the estate of software engineer Jim Pacha, and Wikimedia hopes to attain the rest of the $100 million goal over the course of the next several years, hitting its target by 2026. Thus far, over the course of the site’s history, Wikipedia has managed to raise $250 million through its regular campaigns, but a permanent endowment should provide more stability.

“We have a great fundraising model right now, but things on the Internet change so it’s not something we can count on forever,” said The Wikimedia Foundation’s chief advancement officer Lisa Gruwell. While you won’t be completely rid of those “donations please” banners, you may be able to see a little less of them … if you contribute to the Wikimedia Endowment.

Editors' Recommendations

Apple Maps now shows you COVID-19 vaccination locations
blood biomarker pain indiana university injection

Apple has added a new feature to Apple Maps that shows where you can get a COVID-19 vaccination.

The feature is powered by data from VaccineFinder, an online service developed by Boston Children’s Hospital that offers the latest vaccine availability information at providers and pharmacies throughout the U.S.

Read more
Here are all the helpful new features coming to Microsoft Teams soon
A video call in progress on Microsoft Teams.

Building on the momentum of the previously announced Together Mode video chat feature for Microsoft Teams, Microsoft is introducing a list of new abilities and features for its Teams collaboration service.

Announced at Microsoft's all-digital Ignite 2020 conference, the list includes new well-being tools for employees, calling enhancements, and a whole lot more. Here's a look at everything you need to know.
Virtual Commute

Read more
This fungus-based coffin doesn’t preserve your corpse. It decomposes it
Loop coffin

There’s not much room inside Bob Hendrikx’s “living coffins.” But there’s plenty of mushroom. Terrible pun aside, the Netherlands-based Hendrikx, founder of Delft University of Technology-born company Loop, has come up with what is surely one of the most original startup ideas of 2020: Caskets made out of mycelium.

Mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms that allow fungi to grow, turns out to be a pretty good building material. Recently, Digital Trends covered another university lab which is exploring the use of mycelium to create faux leather, wound dressings, and building materials. Loop, on the other hand, wants to use it to make living cocoons for the deceased. And, yes, they have already been used for actual funerals.

Read more