Grants given to Wikimedia Foundation
This page documents grants given to the Wikimedia Foundation.
- For older grant discussions, see 2005 grants
- For grants distributed to individual projects through chapters, see Grants:Index
- For a discussion of types of sponsorship, see also corporate sponsorship
- For gifts given to the Wikimedia Endowment, see Wikimedia Endowment#Funding.
Other pages dealing with grants are in Category:Grants.
Supporting grant applications by community members
WMF supports community grant applications in a few ways:
- Letters of support, especially for research proposals
- Support with grant-writing itself
WMF can also serve as the distributor of a grant to individuals, as was done with a 2008 Mozilla grant to support free video development.
This is a compilation of grants received by the Wikimedia Foundation. It includes only grants that have been publicly disclosed by the WMF, the grantmaker or the US Government (through tax reports).
|Open Society Institute||$40,000||2008||"to obtain high quality print and word processor copies of articles from Wikipedia and other wiki educational resources."||press release|
|Stanton Foundation||$262,000||2008||"to support the purchase of database servers, application servers, network equipment and other hardware."||Fundraising_2008/benefactors|
|Amar Foundation (Vinod and Neeru Khosla)||$500,000||2008||Unrestricted||press release, Form 990|
|Alfred P. Sloan Foundation||$3,000,000||2008-2010||"support Wikimedia's organizational development and help to increase the quality of its content and the reach of its services."||press release|
|Arcadia (Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin)||$177,376 (£100,000)||2008||"to help with Wikipedia's costs"||Fundraising_2008/benefactors|
|Stanton Foundation||$890,000||2008||"to help study and simplify user interface for first-time authors"||press release|
|Ford Foundation||$300,000||2009||"to make it easier for people around the world to participate in Wikimedia Commons"||press release|
|Hewlett Foundation||$500,000||2009||"to expand its work bringing free educational content to everyone on the planet"||press release|
|Omidyar Network||$2,000,000||2009-2010||"to bring free educational content to every person on the planet, to engage and empower more people to author that content and to continually increase the quality and breadth of the information provided through Wikimedia’s projects."||press release|
|Stanton Foundation||$1,200,000||2010-2011||"a new project designed to improve the quality of public policy-related articles on Wikipedia."||press release, Public Policy Initiative|
|$2,000,000||2010||"The funds will support core operational costs of the Wikimedia Foundation, including investments in technical infrastructure to support rapidly-increasing global traffic and capacity demands. The funds will also be used to support the organization's efforts to make Wikipedia easier to use and more accessible."||press release|
|Indigo Trust||£10,000||2011||"upgrading Wikimedia’s mobile platform"||press release|
|Stanton Foundation||$3,600,000||2011-2012||"The grant will fund development of a new editing interface that will make it possible for people to easily edit Wikipedia without needing to learn special wiki syntax. It will also support development of new technical features to make Wikimedia a friendlier and more understandable environment for new editors, and an improved mobile experience for readers and editors."||press release, Fundraising 2011/Foundation Grants|
|Brin Wojcicki Foundation||$500,000||2011||Unrestricted||press release, Fundraising 2011/Foundation Grants|
|Pavel Durov||$1,000,000||2011||Unrestricted||Fundraising 2011/Foundation Grants|
|Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin||$1,250,000||2011-2015||Unrestricted||Fundraising 2011/Foundation Grants|
|Kaphan Foundation||$100,000||2011||Unrestricted||Fundraising 2011/Foundation Grants|
|Alfred P. Sloan Foundation||$3,000,000||2011-2013||press release|
|Knight Foundation||$250,000||2012-2013||"To support Wikimedia Foundation's operation of Wikipedia and other knowledge sharing platforms"||grant details 990 Form|
|Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation||$449,636||2012||Wikidata development||grant details, Fundraising 2011/Foundation Grants|
|Charina Endowment Fund||$100,000||2012||Unrestricted||Benefactors/2016-2017, 2012 Form 990|
|Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation||Undisclosed||2012-?||Unrestricted||page at Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation|
|Knight Foundation||$600,000||2013-2015||Wikipedia Mobile||grant details|
|Arcadia (Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin)||$100,000||2014||Wikipedia Zero||Arcadia pamphlet|
|Stavros Niarchos Foundation||Undisclosed||2014||Wikipedia Zero||SNF grant details|
|Two Sigma Investments||Undisclosed||2014-2015?||Unrestricted||Benefactors/2014-2015|
|Laura and John Arnold||Undisclosed||2014-2015?||Unrestricted||Benefactors/2014-2015|
|Charina Endowment Fund||$150,000||2015?||Unrestricted||Benefactors/2016-2017, 2015 Form 990|
|Monarch Fund (Mary Graham)||$500,000||2015||Wikipedia Zero|
|The Rothschild Foundation||Undisclosed||2015-2016?||Unrestricted||Benefactors/2015-2016|
|Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation||Undisclosed||2015-?||Wikipedia Education Program||page at Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation|
|Knight Foundation||$250,000||2015-2016||Knowledge Engine||grant details|
|Kaphan Foundation||$75,000||2016?||Form 990|
|Siegel Family Endowment||Undisclosed||2016-2017?||Unrestricted||Benefactors/2016-2017|
|Alfred P. Sloan Foundation||$3,000,000||2017-2019||"The project will support contributors’ efforts to integrate Commons’ media more readily into the rest of the web, making it easier for people and institutions to share, access, and reuse high-quality and free educational content."||press release|
|Craig Newmark Foundation and craigslist Charitable Fund||$500,000||2017||"support the development of tools for volunteer editors and staff to reduce harassment on Wikipedia and block harassers."||press release|
The Wiki Education Foundation, a WMF spin-off, received another $500,000 grant from Monarch Fund in 2014.
According to the WMF, the amount of anonymous major gifts (+$50,000) done so far is:
Old information (2009)
- for WikiJunior creation
- for Theora improvement & integration with MediaWiki (Mozilla)
Grants without application process
- Philip Greenspun illustration project to improve the quality of animation: (Philip Greenspun)
- personal grants, sometimes anonymous
Grants in progress
Archived grant ideas
these may still be valid for future proposals
- Soros foundation grant (from 2004) - OSI has since funded travel scholarships to most Wikimania conferences
- Wikiversität - request sent in 2004. Results?
- Free Knowledge Communities - not sent
- The Africa Project - not sent?
Older discussion and process (2005)
- Gather a team of motivated people, who will later on form a cross-project committee. (See Grants department.)
- Develop and budget precise and well thought out project plans. (1. A plan for attracting consultants for future projects, orgs who want to collaborate with us, and a board of advisors. 2. A plan for a longer-scale project focused on world history, for instance...)
- Projects, its history, its size and mission, and its current activities.
- Resumes for its board members, and for active contributors who are potential project coordinators for specific projects.
- Resumes for contributors who are potential consultants for various projects (technical & software consultants, translation consultants &c.)
- Resumes for other potential project-related employees (e.g., a librarian)
- Research standard practices for editing, peer review, archival storage, dissemination, &c.
- Research competing and complementary resources -- encyclopedias, textbooks, online references...
- Make a running comparison of Wikimedia projects with these related projects, to clarify our role in the grander scheme of things to potential grantors.
- Appoint a grant coordinator from the committee. This official position will coordinate grant writing. Users with experience of grant writing in various countries will be beneficial.
- Develop a formal budget to show what we intend to do with the grant money.
- Build the costs of overhead into the grant proposals.
- From whom should we accept grants? How do we deal with potentially controversial sources of funding? (e.g. the Gates Foundation, National Lottery, Ted Turner, tax-funded government grants). By consensus? By voting?
- Do we accept grants with strings attached? How do we deal with perceived strings, even where there are no formal strings?
- We need to be careful about becoming dependent on any one funding source in order to avoid having to compromise our goals, such as NPOV, to meet what a donor asks of us.
- We need to know if the Wikimedia Foundation has been granted 501(c)(3) status by the IRS in order to qualify for some grants.
- Many US government grants require 1:1 matching funds from non-government sources.
Problems Outside the U.S.
- Obtaining grants for the Foundation outside of the U.S. could be difficult. Setting up local Wikimedia chapters could help. For example, Wikimedia Deutschland will be more likely to find funds within Germany. A future British Wikimedia Chapter would have more success of finding funding within the UK.
Possible sources of funding
See Grants/Potential grants for a full list
Ideas to work on
Proposed ideas should be specific projects, not general needs like hardware funding.
- Providing schools with Wikipedia on DVDs.
- Publishing dead-tree subsets of WM content (e.g., WikiReaders).
- Drawing from Wikipedia, Wikiquote, Wikisource and Wikibooks
- Defining an ideal corpus for a specific subject, filling in any gaps in current Wikipedia coverage in a few major languages, and publishing in those languages.
- Paying a translator to translate articles for a new language Wikipedia.
- To develop critical mass in a language-community.
- To translate a central corpus (which must be defined) into a target language.
- See above (on publishing)
- Obtaining computer terminals with an installation of Wikipedia for schools in a developing country.
- Teaching students to research and collaborate via Wikipedia -- supporting a subset of Wikipedians geared towards working with students (students of translation, of digital library science, of targeted fields), creation of educational materials to supplement the Wikimedia projects, &c.
- Encouraging photographers in rural or war-torn parts of the world to record the world around them (cf. Belizian)
Possibly off-topic for this page: While I think grants are more appropriate than corporate sponsorship, what we should really try to do in the long run is set up an endowment fund, a chunk of invested money that gives the foundation a steady income. That way, we'd reduce our dependence on any form of outside income. The problem of course is getting this money in the first place, but when we do acquire any large chunks of money (through grants or donations,) we should think about setting aside some of it to begin an endowment fund. Isomorphic 14:17, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
- I don't think this is off-topic at all. An endowment fund to support a project is one thing that a grant application can be made for, rather than a specific raft of short-term expenditures. +sj+ 06:49, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
- This is actually an excellent idea. Some banks will offer 2% or better on normal savings accounts. We would need $5 million in order to make $100,000/year pre-tax (if there is any on a non-profit like this). Another option is bonds with an annual yield--they tend to have a higher rate than normal savings accounts but are harder to set up/get money out of. If we had a 4% rate from a bond we'd only need $2.5 million, which is somewhat more achievable. We obviously couldn't achieve this with normal fundraising. We could go to the normal benefactors in society: ludicrously rich people with charitable foundations. The Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, DuPont, Heinz foundations are all potentials. The only problem is getting time with these people and convincing them our cause is worthy--a long shot. The other problem is that if the nest-egg is only big enough to cover yearly costs, there will be no growth. The nest egg ought to be big enough so that the annual yield is substantially greater than our costs, allowing for reinvestment of the yield into the endowment, such that the endowment can slowly grow as well. So, if we had a $5 mil. nest-egg, at 4% yield, resulting in $200,000 a year, and spent $100,000 a year, we could reinvest the other $100,000 back into the endowment each year.
- There is a purchasable CD-ROM that lists all relevant information about thousands of charitable foundations in the U.S. that give money to many different causes. I just looked up Interest:Technology and came up with 283 hits. Education is huge, and there are many other categories. We should look in to either purchasing a copy of this disk or at least obtaining as much information as possible from it. Another point to consider is that if we were to send out letters of inquiry with a WP packet (including basic promotional materials) to all of these organizations, postage alone would be prohibitive. ... Danny 23:32, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Wikimedia Foundation policy:
Related financial pages: