The history of the Wikimedia Movement officially starts with the creation of the English Wikipedia on 15 January 2001. Other language versions (German, French and Spanish) and sister projects were founded in the following months and years.
In 2003, Jimmy Wales announced the creation of the “Wikimedia Foundation”, the official body to maintain and foster the Wikimedia projects. In 2004, the first Board of Trustees was set up and the community elected its first representatives to the Board.
In 2004, German Wikipedians founded an association called “Wikimedia Deutschland” to support the local Wikimedia community and to promote Free Knowledge in Germany. The first Wikimedia Chapter was born.
Chapters are independent organizations founded to support and promote the Wikimedia projects in a specified geographical region (country). Like the Wikimedia Foundation, they aim to "empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally". 40 chapters currently exist, with at least one Chapter on every inhabited continent.
In 2012, the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation approved User Groups and Thematic Organisations as additional models of Wikimedia groups. As of July 2014, there are 40 Chapters, 1 Thematic Organisation and 12 User Groups officially recognised as Wikimedia affiliates.
Today, almost 500 Million people visit the Wikimedia projects, and more than 80,000 people are actively contributing to those projects every month.
Existing chapters, both founded (dark blue
) and approved (dark turquoise
), planned chapters (green
), and chapters in discussion (light blue
) as of 7 September 2017
Links and documents
The following collection of links and documents gives an overview over the context, history and development of the Wikimedia movement.
||Creation of the Wikimedia Foundation
||Creation of the Chapters Committee
||Appointment of Sue Gardner as ED
||Paper “Managing Boundaries between Organizations and Communities: Comparing Creative Commons and Wikimedia” by Dobusch and Quack
||Movement roles project
||“Organizational Growth & Development Network”
||Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees letter regarding fundraising accountability (“Haifa letter”)
||Collection of documents, discussions and decisions about the Fundraising and Funds Dissemination Discussion.
||Board resolution “Recognizing Models of Affiliations”
||Document “Framework for the Creation and Initial Operation of the FDC”, by Sue Gardner (WMF)
||Document “Narrowing Focus”, by Sue Gardner (WMF)
||Letter from the Board of Trustees regarding the Chapters Association
|, , 
||Documents regarding the Governance Review process of Wikimedia UK
||Blog post “Wikimedia Chapters Association und Chapters Dialogue” by Delphine Ménard (then WMDE board member), in German
||Minutes of the Board of Trustees of their session April 18-19, 2013; section on "Guidance for the FDC"
||Annual report on the Funds Dissemination Committee process 2012-2013, chapter “The WMF Executive Director’s Reflections on the FDC Process“, by Sue Gardner (WMF)
||Board decision regarding FDC freeze and Chapter moratorium
Pages on meta: Wikimedia chapters, Affiliations Committee, FDC Portal, Grants:Start, Wikimedia history, Wikimedia Chapters Association, Wikimedia Conference 2012, Wikimedia Conference 2013 and Wikimedia Conference 2014
Homepage of the Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia blog (of the Foundation and of the movement)
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