Wikimedia Foundation/Annual Report/2010-2011/Single

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The Way the World Tells its Story[edit]

Wikimedia Foundation Annual Report 2010–2011

The Gypsy Girl mosaic fragment from the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep, Turkey, is an example of the global effort to capture images of important cultural artifacts and make them available to all on Wikipedia. This fragment, made up of many small pieces, also can be seen as symbolic of the collaborative story-telling method used by hundreds of thousands of Wikimedian volunteers to document the "sum of all human knowledge."


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In Rennes, France, ten large installations representing Wikipedia entries for local landmarks were posted around the city in celebration of Wikipedia’s tenth anniversary. These signs were placed so as to spotlight places like the opera house, the Parliament, and a street named after former mayor Jean Janvier (left).
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Wikipédia dans Rennes - Cathédrale.jpg
Wikipédia dans Rennes - Parlement de Bretagne - vue de loin.jpg

Letter from the Directors

Back in January 2001, few people could have imagined the extraordinary impact of what was then just a tiny project driven by a big idea. But ten years later, we find ourselves at the center of a free knowledge movement built around our flagship project, Wikipedia, which has become the most important collaboratively created repository of knowledge in history.

Today, Wikimedia volunteers around the world work in more than 280 languages to document the stories of their communities and cultures, past and present. During 2011, for example, hundreds of volunteers contributed to the articles on the Arab Spring rebellions, capturing one of the major stories of our time as it unfolded.

The Wikimedia Foundation is part of a broad global network of individuals, organizations, chapters, clubs and communities who together work to create Wikipedia, the most powerful example of volunteer collaboration and open content sharing in the world today. In 2010–11, the bulk of the Foundation’s spending was focused towards putting in place solid technical and organizational infrastructure. In 2011–12, the majority of spending goes towards growing, strengthening and increasing the diversity of the editing community, simplifying our wiki-editing interface, making investments to grow the projects’ readers and editors in key geographic areas such as India, Brazil and the Middle East and North Africa, and improving our presence on mobile devices.

Over the past year, more than 500,000 people donated to the Wikimedia Foundation, giving us more than $23 million USD. Thank you for your incredible generosity, and for your outpouring of support and love for Wikipedia and its sister projects, enabling the work of nearly 100,000 active editors. We owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

The Wikimedia Foundation especially wants to thank the editing community. Your work is essential, and it is what donors are enjoying and supporting: thank you for everything you do. A big thanks as well to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and Advisory Board, and a warm welcome to our new Advisory Board members Veronique Kessler and Jessamyn West.


Sue Gardner Executive Director

Ting Chen, Chair Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

Dispatch from India: Stories from the Future[edit]

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The rise of India

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Wikipedia is the only place that’s allowed for a system where generosities can be coupled and multiplied and leapfrogged upon, where therefore one’s individual generosity, the fruits of it and the results of it are something that are just far beyond the effect of that act alone.

— Achal Prabhala
Bangalore, India
Wikimedia advisory board member

Helping Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects flourish in India is one of the Foundation’s highest strategic priorities.

With the help of a strong community in India, the Indian chapter and a team of consultants based out of Delhi, Wikipedia is poised for rapid growth in this large and diverse country.

More Indians speak English than anywhere outside of the United States of America. Several hundred million people speak Hindi, and there may be more than 30 other languages with more than a million native speakers each. Today, there are Wikipedia projects in 20 Indic languages with 20 more in incubation. Indians are important contributors to Wikimedia projects in English and other languages.

The Foundation sees India as the most logical place to support community growth because of the country’s rapidly growing population of Internet users, its tradition of free speech, and the presence of a committed community. Through our work in India we are learning about the challenges of growing free knowledge projects in a developing country.

Wikimedians in India created the “Narayam” MediaWiki extension, an input tool that allows wiki users to type in Indic language scripts. For many, Wikipedia is the first Internet location where they contribute in their mother tongue.

India presents many daunting challenges. Approximately 37 percent of the nation’s population lives in abject poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 per day. Outside of the major cities, electricity is rare, and Internet access is a luxury for most. Only 7 percent of the population have online access, yet that translates into the fourth-largest national Internet audience — 81 million — in the world.

And, while 71 percent of the population is literate, less than half of women can read and write. Only 15 percent have completed a high school education.

The number of Indian contributors to Wikimedia to date, around 2,000, is small relative to India’s size, but they are extremely active and passionate about their work on the projects. They also are especially creative. Among the most impressive breakthroughs by Wikimedians in India is an innovation by local software programmers that allows Indic language scripts to be expressed as text on a keyboard, and therefore to be integrated into Wikipedia.

In 2008, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Foundation executive director Sue Gardner went to India to evaluate how best to stimulate interest and growth in the Foundation’s projects there. Since then, the Foundation has added an Indian, Bishakha Datta, to its board of trustees and Foundation managers have traveled frequently to the country, where they see indications that the multiple language versions of Wikipedia are gaining traction and more Indians are reading and contributing to Wikipedia.

Early in 2011, almost a quarter (about 95) of Wikipedia’s tenth-anniversary celebrations held around the world (over 400) occurred in India. In partnership with the Indian community, the Foundation is just getting started in the work to catalyze Wikimedia’s free knowledge projects in India with the expectation of planting deep roots in the world’s second most populous country.

Class Assignment: Wikipedia[edit]

Recruiting on campus today

Advanced editing workshop at Wikipedia in Higher Education Summit, 2011-07-09 - retouch for WMF annual report 2010-11 (RGB).jpg

The Wikipedia Education Program is an ambitious initiative to transform post-secondary education the world over by fostering critical thinking, media literacy and collaborative learning, while improving Wikipedia at the same time.

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Wikipedia in Higher Education Summit attendees participating in activity - from behind.jpg

Due to the enthusiastic endorsement of our early efforts by professors and students at leading universities, this program is gaining traction both in the U.S. and overseas. Professors who participate in our program assign their students to improve Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework. Students are assisted by trained “Wikipedia Ambassadors” — a newly developed concept — who help both in the class and virtually, thereby evangelizing and recruiting students and others to join in the effort.

As a Wikipedia volunteer my major project is distributing the offline version of Wikipedia in schools, this is a compressed version of Wikipedia and contains articles that are relevant to the Kenyan curriculum. This project has changed the lives of thousands of school children and is revolutionizing education in Kenya.

— Isaac Kosegi
Georgetown student Patrick Friedel originated Wikipedia's article for the National Democratic Party of Egypt as a course requirement. Months later, as revolution gripped the region, Friedel’s article attracted thousands of readers, sparking a debate that left Friedel a firm believer in Wikipedia’s power for enhancing collaborative learning.

The 17-month pilot project (initially called the Public Policy Initiative, as it focused on that academic discipline) was funded by a grant from the Stanton Foundation, and professors and students at 24 leading U.S. universities participated. In the pilot program, more than 800 students contributed the equivalent of more than 5,800 printed pages of content to Wikipedia. And the contributions were excellent: On average, the quality of articles students worked on improved 64 percent. Research from the pilot program found that students are much more motivated by a Wikipedia assignment than they were by a traditional term paper because it was a useful assignment. Through the Wikipedia Education Program, students have a global audience for their assignment, instead of working on something that will be read only by their professor and never used again. After great successes in the U.S., the program recently expanded into three additional countries: Brazil, Canada, and India.

A key goal is to develop new ways of assessing article quality, including tests of a new tool allowing readers to provide article feedback. Throughout the past academic year, students worked with the blessing of their professors to improve the quality of a wide range of project content, helping us reach by the end of 2010 the milestone 10,000th quality article on Wikipedia.

This development prompted a great deal of press coverage, and appears to represent a turning point in the relationship of the academy and Wikipedia. During the early years, many U.S. educators remained deeply skeptical of the online encyclopedia’s reliability for research and learning purposes. But in recent years, more and more professors have come to the conclusion that their students are going to rely on Wikipedia no matter what, so why not help improve the quality of its entries?

This breakthrough comes as the Foundation extends the lessons of its educational initiatives into a sustained effort to work with academics worldwide to promote collaborative learning models in pursuit of our goal to provide free access to the sum of the world’s knowledge to all.

New Tools for the Knowledge Trade[edit]

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Making it all possible: technology

All of the Foundation’s technology initiatives can be boiled down to one goal — reducing the barriers to sharing knowledge.

I remember being really frustrated back in the days when I didn’t know Wikipedia. I didn’t have a way to express my love for knowledge, my struggle to be useful in this world, to be meaningful for my fellow humans.

I really don’t know how I could have ended up without knowing this project.

— Andrea Zanni
Modena, Italy
Staff and volunteer developers at a "hackathon" meeting, improving the MediaWiki software.
Hackathon Berlin 2011 - 3ter Tag - TS (54).jpg
Foundation tech staff and volunteers are constantly striving to develop more efficient workflow processes.
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But this is challenging. Just consider the scope of our work: The number of articles in the English version of Wikipedia alone passed 3.5 million in 2010, and the number of media files on Wikimedia Commons reached 10 million early in 2011. Also over the past year, we logged our one-billionth edit.

Hosting and supporting this content in over 280 languages requires a massive ongoing effort by our tech staff and community volunteers. That includes improving our MediaWiki software, the platform running Wikimedia’s sites. This past year we added the “ResourceLoader” system to speed up page-loading times; plus the new “UploadWizard,” which makes contributing media files easier; and developed the “Article Feedback Tool,” to engage Wikipedia readers in quality assessment.

Another major focus during the year was improving our collaboration with Wikimedia volunteers. We hired a volunteer development coordinator, and a “bugmeister” tasked with managing the myriad suggestions for software improvements and fixes that come from the community. A huge effort was also made to reduce the code review backlog. Previously, volunteer developers had to wait a long time, sometimes years, before their work was accepted, because so few staff were available to attack the backlog. And for the fifth time, the Foundation took part in the “Google Summer of Code,” where six students worked on improvements and new features for MediaWiki.

A new, much more powerful data center was built out in Virginia over the past year, to keep pace with the rapid growth envisioned in our five-year plan.

Since Wikipedia appeared in 2001, the web has dramatically changed, including the widespread adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and the rise of social networking sites. User expectations are now very different. During our Usability Initiative, many people told us our editing interface was confusing and difficult to use. This may also be related to another serious issue confronting our community — the decline in the number of active editors working on our projects.

We are therefore working on multiple levels to update and improve our editing interface and recruit more volunteers to participate in our projects in the years going forward.

The Revolution Will Be Mobilized[edit]

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Mobile moves forward

The mobile web is growing faster than the desktop Internet around the world, and most new users from the Global South will come online via cell phones.

Currently users can read Wikipedia on their phones, but a major development effort is under way to ensure they will be able to edit it in on mobile devices as well.

Wikipedia is perhaps one of the few truly global endeavors that really brings together people from all races, religions, nationalities, points of view...Wikipedia will continue working and has established a new way because deep down, deep inside of us, we want to share. Deep inside we are all generous persons and deep inside we want the best for the human race.

— Alfonso Luna
Caracas, Venezuela, Donor

In India alone, there are an estimated 500–600 million mobile users, a population roughly seven times larger than the number of people there who have any sort of Internet access (81 million).

At the current pace, research indicates the mobile web will overtake the desktop web in 2014, i.e., more users will access the Internet globally using a mobile phone rather than a PC by that time. By 2015, it is projected that fully 87 percent of the world’s population will have cell phone subscriptions, which translates to about 6.35 billion people. It’s expected that about a third of them, some 2 billion people, will be accessing the Internet on mobile phones.

But there is a deep disparity between those in the more developed world who have access to high-speed mobile networks (3G or higher), and those in the poorer, rural parts of the planet whose only access to the mobile Internet is over slower-speed networks.

As part of our commitment to help everyone gain free access to knowledge, the Foundation is reworking our mobile platform to enable both an enhanced experience on fast 3G and 4G networks, as well as allow for usage on lower bandwidth networks by simplifying the experience where needed. The redesign of our mobile platform creates a base for new feature development and, because the new platform is integrated into our free and open MediaWiki software, organizations that use MediaWiki now have access to a convenient mobile web capability.

We are starting to explore solutions for short message service (SMS) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) communications that would provide Wikimedia’s free knowledge to billions more people in an accessible form.

Also, we are striving to develop partnerships with network providers in key regions of the Global South to provide their customers with no or low-cost access to Wikipedia on a range of devices.

A Decade that Changed the World[edit]

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Jimmy Wales greeted celebrants at more than 450 events in 120 countries by video upon the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Wikipedia.

“I remember the first day Wikipedia existed. And I thought about what was to come and of course I really didn’t know what was to come. (O)ver the years I had many opportunities to (meet) with Wikipedians in India, in China, in South America, really all around the world. (And) it turns out that we tend to be very much the same even though we come from very different cultures. We share the same values, the same ideals, the things we are working for, a free encyclopedia for every person of the planet written really by thoughtful people, (who) try to be neutral, try to be honest. It’s still as exciting for me today as it was in the very early days. We’ve still got a lot of work left to do. So, thank you again and happy birthday to Wikipedia!”


  • 2001 - Wikipedia is launched on January 15.
  • 2002 - First release of the MediaWiki software, on which Wikipedia and its sister projects are still running today.
  • 2003 - Jimmy Wales hands over operation of Wikipedia to the newly founded Wikimedia Foundation.
  • 2004 - Wikimedia Commons is founded as a central repository of free media.
  • 2005 - The first Wikimania (the annual global conference of Wikimedians) takes place in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 2006 - There are Wikimedia chapters — local organizations supporting the mission — in seven countries.
  • 2007 - An independent study finds the German Wikipedia to be more accurate, complete and up-to-date than the longstanding German print encyclopedia Brockhaus.
  • 2008 - The ten millionth Wikipedia article is published, a biography of 16th-century painter Nicholas Hilliard in the Hungarian Wikipedia.
  • 2009 - Wikimedians vote to adopt the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike license (CC BY SA) as the primary license for Wikipedia and its projects, allowing much wider reuse of the content.
  • 2010 - The Wikimedia projects reach 1,000,000,000 (one billion) edits.
  • 2011 - Wikipedia celebrates 10 years of sharing the sum of all knowledge.
Contributors the world over adapted and contributed to the “Wikipedia 10” design style to fit their cultures and geographies.
Wikipedia 10 anniversary event map (December 2011).png

"Our revolution is like Wikipedia"[edit]

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Telling the story of the Arab Spring

the revolution will be charted and edited

Facts about the article at time of printing.
Number of references

  • 400+

Total number of revisions

  • 4,849

Users who contributed

  • 1,248

Top article editor

  • User:Kudzu1

Views of article in September 2011:

  • 186,023

Watchers for accuracy

  • 220

There have been few developments in modern times as dramatic as the series of popular uprisings known as the “Arab Spring” that erupted at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. As such, they provide one of the best case studies for understanding how people around the world today rely on Wikipedia to share the story of current events even as they are unfolding around them.

Starting in Tunisia and Egypt, and spreading all across North Africa and the Middle East during 2011, over 1200 volunteers uploaded text and images from the demonstrations directly to Wikipedia, turning to the world’s largest free knowledge resource to share the dramas they were witnessing with the rest of the world.

Many of the contributors had first-hand experience of the events themselves. In fact, Wael Ghonim, the Google employee in Egypt widely quoted by media sources as an influential leader in the uprising there, stated “Our revolution is like Wikipedia...Everyone is contributing content, [but] you don’t know the names of the people contributing the content. This is exactly what happened.”

In response to specific requests from Wikipedians, and recognizing Wikipedia’s central role in documenting the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera donated video footage of the historic events on Cairo’s streets.

In 2010, the year before the Arab Spring, the Foundation decided to make the Middle East/North Africa region a priority. During 2011 we began collaborating with our Arabic Wikipedia community and potential partners to evaluate opportunities. Our work seeks to expand our community of dedicated contributors who want to build a truly great Arabic Wikipedia for the more than 300 million people in the Arabic speaking world.

With thousands of edits and hundreds of references, the repository of articles and photos about the Arab Spring already stands as a living example of how people around the world increasingly see Wikipedia as a vital channel for telling the most important stories of our time.

Case Stories[edit]

“Encyclopedia of Life: A Wikipedia Sampler,” is a print version capturing our ongoing collaboration with leading scientists to document life on earth.

Proof-of-concept for Expert Reviews: Encyclopedia of Life Curates Wikipedia Articles

EOL Wikipedia book 01.jpg

There are more than 1.9 million animals, plants, and other forms of life on Earth. In May 2007, some of the world’s leading scientists announced the development of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) to document them all. Inspired by biologist E.O. Wilson and supported by more than $25 million in funding, the project aggregates and makes accessible information about species, ranging from 19th century journals to modern online databases, including Wikipedia content. EOL’s curators vet these Wikipedia articles for factual accuracy, and are encouraged to improve Wikipedia directly if errors or omissions are found. Over a hundred Wikipedia articles that were marked as “trusted” in this way have been collected into a hardcover book called “Encyclopedia of Life: A Wikipedia Sampler.”

The landmark 10,000,000th file uploaded to Wikimedia Commons was user Leinad’s photograph of a waterfowl observation platform near Lipno Lake in Poland’s Wdzydze Landscape Park. Taken during 2nd Wikiexpedition

10,000,000th File Uploaded to Commons

Wikimedia Commons, the sight and sound of Wikipedia, logged its ten millionth file in April. With more than five million new files added in less than two years, the Foundation’s repository of educational media is growing faster than ever, in part thanks to volunteers building enthusiastic relationships with cultural institutions around the world. The breadth and variety of the imagery is invaluable.

Wikipedia Editors Survey

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Every word on Wikipedia is the result of work by a volunteer editor somewhere in the world. Early in 2011, we conducted an Editor Survey as the first iteration of what will continue as a biannual endeavor in an attempt to better understand the people who make Wikipedia what it is, and how their potential as a whole can be more fully realized. As the Foundation continues to expand its reach globally, an advanced knowledge of the existing community will increase efficiency as we grow across diverse cultures, as well as help us to retain core editors who keep improving the quality of Wikipedia going forward.


Wikipedia partnered with the Derby Museum and Art Gallery in England this year to launch QRpedia, an initiative that brings QR codes to museum walls, linking visitors with exhibit-specific articles on Wikipedia. Volunteers participated in the first-ever Wikipedia Multilingual Challenge to translate relevant articles into as many languages as possible. Museum visitors can point their mobile device to a QR code for an object, and Wikipedia’s QR tool, conceived with Roger Bamkin, chair of Wikimedia UK, then uses the language settings of the device to ensure the proper article is displayed. Unveiled in April, QRpedia is already in use at four other museums internationally. At a time when cultural funding is hugely constrained, the creation of a multilingual visitor experience that any museum is welcome to adopt at virtually no cost is an achievement to celebrate.

Licensing tutorial ar.svg

UploadWizard: A New Way to Share Pictures, Sounds and Video

As an outcome of the “Multimedia Usability Project,” a one-year effort funded by the Ford Foundation to increase multimedia participation on Wikimedia websites, the “UploadWizard” became the default upload tool on Wikimedia Commons. It replaced the earlier complicated upload form by a simple step-by-step process. The software improvement was flanked by the creation of an illustrated licensing tutorial, where a cartoon character explains copyright issues in an accessible way, to help novice users determine if their material can be uploaded and freely shared with the world. To date, the community has translated the tutorial into at least 35 different languages.

WikiLove is a cookie, or a cappuccino, or a skewer of meat — whatever image warmly sends the message of “job well done” from one volunteer to another.

WikiLove Rollout

A survey among Wikipedia editors revealed that 70 percent are motivated by receiving barnstars or other virtual rewards from the community for their work. In June, the Foundation unveiled the “WikiLove” feature. Designed to provide contributors with an easier way to bestow personalized virtual gifts upon one another in recognition of a job well done, user pages now play host to kittens, beer steins, and other images crafted by grateful editors. No matter the size of the contribution, editing Wikipedia should not be viewed by anyone as a thankless hobby. And now that there’s an easier way to share the love, we aim to continue perfecting methods of ensuring all users know they’re appreciated.

Eight researchers spent the summer digging up illuminating insights into the nature of Wikipedia’s collaborative online environment.

Summer of Research

Beginning in June and spanning three intense months, this year’s first-ever Summer of Research welcomed eight academics from around the world to Wikimedia’s San Francisco offices. Intended to spark an interdisciplinary examination of both Wikipedia communities and the online influences that either help or hinder collaboration, the researchers were selected primarily based upon previous commitments to studying Wikipedia topics. Of the eight, six were pursuing PhDs in fields ranging from computer science to social interaction on collaborative online environments. Timely, ambitious discussion and walls of intricately linked sticky notes began attempting answers to questions revolving around editor retention, editing policy, and community size.

Wikimedians as Officially Accredited Photographers

The world’s increasing recognition of Wikimedians as its storytellers becomes visible in the numerous events where they are officially accredited as photographers or reporters. When the wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling drew half a million visitors to Stockholm last year, two Wikimedians were among the media representatives that were granted special access to cover the event. With help from the Swedish and German Wikimedia chapters, they had obtained official accreditation from the Swedish foreign ministry, showing the Swedish government’s awareness of the importance of free information. Apart from the royal family, the event presented opportunities for portraying the guests of honor, who numbered more than a thousand.

Among the many other events where Wikimedians have been granted official accreditation are an international football match between Portugal and Argentina, the Prix de Lausanne ballet competition, and the 2011 G8 summit.

Wikimedia takes the Château de Versailles - Cabinet des dépêches - Behind the scenes 1 - March 25, 2011.JPG

Cultural Partnerships Take Off

More and more galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) are partnering with Wikimedia to increase the reach of their collections. Many are uploading images and other media to Wikimedia Commons, thereby making them available for the whole world to use and enabling them to be employed as illustrations for Wikipedia articles. They are also providing Wikimedians with special access to their collections and to the expertise of their curators.

Many GLAMs are opening their doors to “Wikipedians in Residence.” Pioneered at the British Museum in 2010, this collaboration model has Wikimedia volunteers working in-house at a cultural institution, improving content in collaboration with staff and the Wikimedia community, organizing “backstage pass” or “editathon” events for Wikipedians, and generally laying the foundation for a lasting partnership. Among the GLAMs with Wikipedians in Residence are The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Château de Versailles, the Museu Picasso, the Archives of American Art, the U.S. National Archives, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Derby Art Gallery and Museum.

Among the image collections of cultural icons are over 1,000 photos of the Château de Versailles.

Gdańsk welcomes Wikimania[edit]

Wikimedians converge in the birthplace of Solidarność

Wikimania provides an annual venue for community leaders, tech enthusiasts, and free-knowledge supporters to celebrate and deepen their collaborative spirit.

The sixth annual Wikimania, the global conference of Wikimedians, took place in the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk. Poland succeeded Argentina and Egypt, the hosting countries in the previous two years. During three days, Wikimedians got together to celebrate the free knowledge movement, to meet their collaborators in their year-round online work on Wikipedia and its sister projects, and to share insights informing the continuing evolution of the projects. Foundation travel scholarships enabled Wikimedians from 39 countries to participate.

On the conference T-shirts, the motto “Free Knowledge in the City of Freedom” tied Wikimedia values to the history of Gdańsk, where the Solidarność movement had defied communist rulers in the 1980s — led by Lech Wałęsa, who sent his greetings to Wikimania attendees, noting that he was a frequent user of Wikipedia.

The Polish Baltic F. Chopin Philharmonic in Gdańsk was founded in 1945 as the Gdańsk Symphony Orchestra. Its building on the Ołowianka island hosted Wikimania 2010.
Gdansk panorama z kosciola.jpg

Governance and Chapters[edit]

Board of Trustees[edit]

Ting Chen, Chair
Jimmy Wales, Founder
Jan-Bart de Vreede, Vice-chair
Phoebe Ayers, Executive Secretary
Stu West, Treasurer
Bishakha Datta
Matt Halprin
Samuel Klein
Arne Klempert
Kat Walsh

Advisory Board[edit]

Angela Beesley
Ward Cunningham
Florence Devouard
Melissa Hagemann
Mimi Ito
Mitch Kapor
Veronique Kessler
Neeru Khosla
Teemu Leinonen
Nhlanhla Mabaso
Rebecca MacKinnon
Wayne Mackintosh
Benjamin Mako Hill
Roger McNamee
Domas Mituzas
Trevor Neilson
Craig Newmark
Achal Prabhala
Clay Shirky
Michael Snow
Jing Wang
Jessamyn West
Ethan Zuckerman

Executive Director[edit]

Sue Gardner

Wikimedia chapters[edit]

During 2010–11, Wikimedia’s network of volunteer-driven international chapters grew from 30 to 35. Wikimedia’s chapters, which are independent from the Wikimedia Foundation, are made up of local members and directors, and in some cases employees. They focus on region-specific work. Typically, that work includes building awareness of Wikimedia projects, handling media inquiries, staging public outreach events, and forming partnerships with local educational and cultural organizations.

Chapters as of November 2011

AR Wikimedia Argentina
AT Wikimedia Österreich (Austria)
AU Wikimedia Australia
BD Wikimedia Bangladesh
CA Wikimedia Canada
CH Wikimedia CH (Switzerland)
CL Wikimedia Chile
CZ Wikimedia Česká republika (Czech Republic)
DE Wikimedia Deutschland (Germany)
DK Wikimedia Danmark (Denmark)
EE Wikimedia Eesti (Estonia)
ES Wikimedia España (Spain)
FI Wikimedia Suomi (Finland)
FR Wikimédia France
GB Wikimedia UK (United Kingdom)
HK 香港維基媒體協會 (Hong Kong)
HU Wikimédia Magyarország (Hungary)
ID Wikimedia Indonesia
IL ويكيمديا إسرائيل, ויקימדיה-ישראל (Israel)
IN Wikimedia India
IT Wikimedia Italia (Italy)
MK Викимедија Македонија (Macedonia)
MO Wikimedia Macau
MX Wikimedia México
NL Wikimedia Nederland (Netherlands)
NO Wikimedia Norge (Norway)
PH Wikimedia Philippines
PL Wikimedia Polska (Poland)
PT Wikimedia Portugal
RS Викимедија Србије (Serbia)
RU Викимедиа РУ (Russia)
SE Wikimedia Sverige (Sweden)
TW 中華民國維基媒體協會 (Taiwan)
UA Вікімедіа Україна (Ukraine)
US DC Wikimedia District of Columbia
US NYC Wikimedia New York City
VE Wikimedia Venezuela
ZA Wikimedia South Africa


The Wikimedia Foundation continues to enjoy a stable base of revenue, stemming largely from its annual community giving campaign. In 2010–11, we doubled the number of small donors to over 500,000 individuals from all over the world. Now in the second year of our five-year strategic plan, we are hiring new staff members, increasing the capacity of our server network to deliver Wikipedia and our other projects to the world, and intensifying our efforts to expand the reach of our projects in the Global South through on-the-ground initiatives.

Where the money goes[edit]

WMF annual report 2010-11, financials pie chart.jpg
Maintaining our site and improving our software
Operations and engineering, purchasing servers, maintaining and improving our data center, internet hosting, and software development and product engineering.
$8,869,675 44%
Expanding our global reach
Improving access to Wikipedia on mobile devices in the Global South, public and education outreach, support and grants for our global chapters.
$2,388,698 12%
Direct support to our volunteer community
Researching community activity trends, increasing editor retention and recruitment, improving new technologies to help project editors.
$1,889,084 9%
Planning and development of our annual giving campaign, global payment collection fees (including Paypal and other fees).
$2,142,217 11%
Board of Trustees and special projects
Travel and professional development for our governing Board, as well as special research projects and initiatives to support the Wikimedia community.
$1,172,654 6%
Benefits and related administration costs for Foundation staff, capital expenses, leases, training, travel, and other costs.
$3,636,236 18%
Total cash expenditures, including all capital purchases. $20,098,564

2010-11 Financial Performance[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation’s 2010–11 fiscal year took place from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Throughout this report all financial data is reported in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.

Statement of Activities
in thousands of dollars
Description Amount
Support and revenues
Contributions 23,020
Restricted contributions 666
In-kind service revenue 350
Investment income, net 37
Other income, net 712
Total — revenue 24,785
Salaries and wages 7,312
Awards and grants 471
Internet hosting 1,800
In-kind service expenses 350
Operating expenses 5,761
Travel 1,159
Depreciation and amortization 1,001
other expenses, including special events 36
Total — expenses 17,890
Increase in net assets 6,895
Balance Sheet
in thousands of dollars
Assets Liabilities & Net Assets
Cash and cash equivalents 12,026 Liabilities
Contributions receivable 1,000 Accounts payable and accrued expenses 1,431
Accounts receivable 695 Deferred revenue 375
Investments 5,849 Other liabilities 168
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 1,215 Total liabilities 1,974
Total current assets 20,785 Net Assets
Property, plant, and equipment 3,402 Unrestricted net assets 20,772
Nonconcurrent portion of contributions receivable 1,979 Temporarily restricted net assets 3,420
Total net assets 24,192
Total assets 26,166 Total liabilities and net assets 26,166
Google 31,350 employees 1.05 billion unique visitors
Microsoft 92,000 employees 900 million unique visitors
Facebook 3,000 employees 752 million unique visitors
Yahoo 13,600 employees 686 million unique visitors
Wikimedia: 80 employees 423 million unique visitors

Who supports us[edit]

2009-10 2010-11
Number of individual donors 261,339 573,568

219% Increase in total number of funding sources

$40.10 Average donation for 2010-11

The Wikimedia Foundation is a four-star rated charity according to Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator.


The Wikimedia Foundation benefits from its unique global community of volunteer editors and financial contributors. We thrive due to the vital support we receive from this community, which in 2010–11 made over 155 million edits and over 500,000 financial contributions. Going forward, we intend to continue to serve this worldwide community with every resource at our command.

$1 million +[edit]

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Stanton Foundation

$100.000 – $999.999[edit]

The Brin Wojcicki Foundation
David and Jamie Cummings
The Ford Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Omidyar Network
The James and Angela Thompson Foundation

$25,000 – $99,999[edit]

The Craigslist Charitable Fund
John N. Caulkins
The Google Matching Gifts Program
The Kaphan Foundation
The Shor Family Foundation
Two Sigma Investments, LLC
Yardi Systems, Inc.
Anonymous (4)

$5,000 – $24,999[edit]

Andras Konya, Jr.
Annette J. Campbell-White
The Apple Pickers Foundation
The Arlene & Arnold Goldstein Family Foundation
Armen Avanessians
The Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation
Brian Kim
Casey DeGroot
Christopher Ruddy
Craig Hatkoff
Djordje Jankovic
Elon Musk
Galip Tomac
Goldman, Sachs, and Company Matching Gifts Program
Ilja Pljusnin
J. Willis Jarvis
Jeff Hartline
Jeffrey Dauber
Jeffrey Weber
Jeremy Coller
John Baldridge
John Doerr
John Little
Kaz Foundation for Social Advancement
Kevin O'Shea
Kevin Shepherd
The King and Linda Won Family Fund
Laurent Drion
Leon David Michaud
Liam Connell
The Madan Family Gift Fund
The Marc Haas Foundation
Marco Teubner
Margo Seltzer and Keith Bostic
Mattias Söderhielm
Mehrdad Golabgir
The Microsoft Matching Gifts Program
Milonja Bjelic
Neil Riordan
The Nora Roberts Foundation
Paul Spraos
Peter Macaulay
Purnendu Ojha
Ron Unz
Ruslan Panasovskyi
The Ruth and David Levine Charitable Fund
Sarah Wesley
Sean Lennon
Shabbir Moosabhoy
Shvat Shaked
The Sigrid Rausing Trust
The Skowronski Family Foundation
Srinivasan Krishnan
Stephen B. Ippolito
Susan Petersmeyer
Tripling Elephants
Anonymous (4)

$1,000 – $4,999[edit]

Aaia Nugent
Aase Lindahl
Abdul Bin laden
Abdulla Al-Thani
Abdulmajeed Alshatti
The Academy Place Foundation
Adam Fila
The Adam J. Weissman Foundation
Adobe Matching Gifts Program
Ajay Goel
Akash Jain
Alan Dunn
Alan Gorenberg
Alan Weiner
Albert James Hudspeth
Albert Shahugian
Alex Blavatnik
Alex Hsu
Alex Poon
Alexander Polsky
Alexander Rousmaniere
Alfred Zimmermann
Alisa Oleary
Alistair Woodman
Allan Stephan
The Amont Foundation, Inc.
Andrew Hillstrom
Andrew Kraft
Angela K. Hodge
Anna Scott
Anna Wodynski
Anup Mantri
Arthur Hunter
Aspera, Inc.
Ayco Charitable Foundation
B. S. Ramamurtie
Beauchamp Place Communications Inc.
The Behemoth
The Bell Family Foundation
The Belmonte Foundation
The Ben Williams Fund
Bernard Halim
Bernhard Friess
Betty Gerlack
BiblioLabs, LLC
Bill McCune
Boris Kontsevoi
Brad Wilson
Bradford Sherburne
Brandon Kopetzky
Brian Burnim
Brian McInnis
Brian Potter
Brian White
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Matching Gifts Program
The Brooks Family Foundation
Burada Iulian
Burt Cutler
The Caithness Foundation
Carla Flournoy
Caroline Hu
Catherine L. Leung
Cedar Street Advisors
Charles Gibbs
Charles Smith-Dewey
The Chevron Humankind Matching Gifts Program
Christine A. Molinaro
Christine Herget
Christopher Jannuzzi
Christopher J. Lingle
Christopher Turner
Chuck Silvers
Claude Blackburn
The Coleman Foundation
The CYLA Charitable Fund
Cynthia Boyd
Dalibor Antonic
Dave McComb
David Agraz
David Brauer
David Bunton
David Bydeley
David Cline
David Dacus
David Fischer
David Harris
David Hitz
David Humm
David K. Donald
The David L. and Marilyn S. Wenner Fund
David Peltz
David S. Starr
Derrick Strickland
The Dillon Fund
Dimitrios Staikos
Dirk Pranke
Djordje Jankovic
Dmitry Sagalovskiy
Domas Mituzas
Don Garrett
Don Husby
Don Melton
Donald Jaycox
Doron Daveed Ben-Avi
Doug Jaffe
The Douglas B. Marshall, Jr. Family Foundation
Douglas Durst
Douglas Ferguson
Drew Perkins
The Drexler Estate Fund
Dustin Frazier
Dylan Parker
Earl Hemphill
Eben Moglen
Edna Sugihara
The Elbrun and Peter Kimmelman Family Foundation, Inc.
Elecia White
Elisabeth Bylund
Greg and Liz Lutz
Emil Biendara
Emmanuel Balseca
Eric Lee
Eric Stokes
Eric Yao
Erich Hoop
Ethel W. Moore
Florin Miron
Francisco Sampaio
Francois Delori
Frank Brunckhorst
Frank Rothacker
Franz Heinsen
Franziska Bodmer Mancia
Fred Hipp
Frost Bank
Gabe Newell
Gavin Moodie
The Geisel Family Foundation
George T. Anagnost
Gerald Jay Sussman
Graeme Birchall
The Graham Weston Gift Fund
The Grainger Matching Gifts Program
Graphics Press, LLC
Green Bicycle Fund
Greg Grass
Greg Hendershott
Gregory Richards
H.M. Koo
Heather Bendler
The Highland Vineyard Foundation
Hiromasa Nagase
Holger Madsen
The Houser Foundation
Howard Ahmanson
The HP Company Foundation Matching Gifts Program
The Huber Gift Fund
Hugh Glenister
Iain McClatchie
Iqbal Shamsul
Irene and Richard Van Slyke
J. Michael Miller
Jacob Albrecht
Jacqueline Shelburne
James Cogbill, Jr.
James Mason
James McClave
James O'Shaughnessy
James Ward
Janet DeNicola
Jaroslav Verchkovski
Jawaad Mahmood
Jay Flatland
The Jeff and Linda Hendricks Family Foundation
Jeffrey Feddersen
Jeffrey Krug
Jeffrey Lamkin
Jelly Vision Inc.
Jennifer King
Jennifer Lazuka
Jesse Ausubel
The Jewish Community Endowment Fund
Don and Jill Knuth
Jim Hobart
Jimmy Janacek
Joan Sherman
Jochen Titus
John Dove
John E. Peters
John Eckstein
John Hughes
John McKnight
John Nelson
John O'Connor
John Powell
John Rowley
John Stanford, Jr.
Jonathan Tobert
Jordan Hare
Jose Trejo
Josef Frick
Joseph Brandt
Joseph Sokal
Joshua Eckhardt
Joshua Guberman
Jude Montassir
Juergen Wagentrotz
Jules Bernstein and Linda Lipsett
Julie Johnson
Julien Basch
Kanghao Lu
Karen Lawrence
Karine Joly
Katharine Brigham
Katherine Erickson
Keah Yong Heng
Keith Tyson
Kenneth Eddings
Kevin Arpe
Kevin C. Hammond
Kevin Cheng
Ki Yan Karen Lo
Kim Henry
Kim Spitznagel
Kim Stowers
Kimberley Harding
Kimberly Mayfield
The Koppelman Family Foundation
Kristine M. Lung
Kuang-Hsiang Lin
Kurt Ackermann
L. David Mirkin, M.D.
Lars Markhus
Lars Petter Mathiassen
Las Vegas Hotels
Laurel Touby
Laurence Boyd
Laurie Pitman
Lawrence D. Cavanagh, Jr.
Lee Elder
Lee Hong Gerald Yu
Lenore C. Cooney
Leonard Ferrera
Linda L. Slakey
Linda Lee
Linda Weitz
Lisa Tung
Lone Pine Capital, LLC
Lowell Wood
The Louie-Marsh Family Fund
Luís Norberto Pascoal
Luke A. Knowles
M. Hepel
Maho Kokuryo
Manisha her
Marc Forand
Marc Heinz
Marc Labelle
Marcello Cattaneo Adorno
Margaret Raymond
Marilyn Lucht
Marilyn Simons
Marius Bakken
Mark Feldberg
Mark Heising and Elizabeth Simons
Mark Leonard
Mark Melton
Mark Waber
Masazumi Miyagawa
Mathew Donovan
Matthias Dietrich
Mehmet Betil
Melissa A. Chilton
Michael and Debbie Koss
Michael Hodnett
Michael J. Fine
Michael Marcus
Michael Matera
Michael Pryor
Michael Swart
Michael Terry
Michael Totten
Mikhail Degtiarev
Mikhail Seregine
The Million Children Foundation
Minjen Mao
Mohammed Al Nahyan
Mohan Pandit
The Moorhead Family Fund
Murtada Elkhalifa
Nadir Godrej
Nancy Cornelius
National Philanthropic Trust
The Neal and Elizabeth Weber Fund
Nicholas Fink
Nicholas Riesland
Nicole Ingeborg Lieger
Nora Klein
The Nord Family Foundation
Oisin Crawley
Oliver Wright
Omer Ayfer
The Oracle Corporation Matching Gifts Program
Patrick Condon
Paul Haahr
Paul Harvey
Paul von Kuster
Paul Wilmes
Pavel Kostenko
Pawel Ciszewski
Peter A. Wiringa
Peter Francati
Peter J. Enyeart
Peter Swiecicki
Peter Ungar
Petr Jirous
The Philip and Julia Meshberg Family Foundation
Philip Mateescu
Philip Perlman
The PMJJ Harmon Foundation
The Pond Family Foundation Trust
Pooja P. Rutberg
Pradeep Sindhu
R. G. Geisler
Raghavan Srinivasan
Rahul Bhadani
Ramamoorthi Bhaskar
Rasheed Aleid
Rau Abari
Ravi Kalidindi
The Raymond Family Foundation
Rebecca Reynolds
Reuben E. Last
Richard Kandarian
Richard Saada
Richard Yonash
Rob Napier
Robert Ashcroft
Robert Capps
Robert Kaplan
Robert M. Chin
Robert Prestezog
Robert Ruderman
Robert Thomas
Robert W. Roper
Rohan Murty
Rory O'Connor
Rosanne Cerello
Roy H. Jablonka
The Royce Family Foundation
Rutherford Gong
Ryusuke Koyama
Sadao Milberg
Samuel Klein, Jr.
The San Diego Foundation
Sara Smollett
Sarah Alfadl
Sathien Tejapaibul
The Sawa Family Charitable Fund
Scott Coulter
Scott Jensen
Scott Johns
Scott Johnston
Scott R. Knight
Seattle Foundation
Shamsa N.
Shon Harris
Sid Harth
Sienna Deano
The Skinner Fund
The Snyder White Oaks Foundation of Delaware
Sohei Machida
Spencer V. Pricenash
Stefan Edlis
Stefan Schwab
Stefan Winkler
Stephen C. Hecht
Stephen Gray
Steve Kass
Steven B. Schlossstein
Steven VanRoekel
Stuart Cheshire
Sudhir Sadalge
Susan Borden
Susan Woodward
Swiftrank Pte Ltd
Tahir Gozel
Takashi Kousaka
Takeshi Mano
Talal AlFaisal
Taner Halicioglu
Tetsuya Isozaki
Thai Tan Nguyen
Thomas Salander
Tilman Reinhardt
Timothy Mott
Timothy Robinson
Tomaso Renoldi Bracco
Torunn Birkeland
Tradebot Ventures, Inc.
Tuula Simell
The Vadasz Family Fund
Vadim Asadov
Victoria Walsh
Vijay Santhanam
Villazzo, LLC
Vinay Jain
Vincent Paquet
Warren Snaider
Whitney Robinson
The Wikimedia Foundation Staff
WIG Company
Wilford Reynolds
William B. Edwards
William Foster
William K. Rohwedder
William Lynch
William Wenheim
The Windmill Foundation
Xie Wu
The Yahoo! Matching Gifts Program
Yaso ITO
Yasuhiro Murakami
Yu-Chen Chen
Yudson Gondobintoro
Zoline Foundation
瑞霙 洪
Anonymous (5)

Gifts in-kind[edit]

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Exbrook Design
Kennisnet Amsterdam
No Starch Press
Perkins Coie
TeliaSonera International Carrier
Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, & Rosati

Wikimedia chapters[edit]

Wikimedia Australia
Wikimedia Austria
Wikimedia Deutschland
Wikimedia France
Wikimedia Hungary
Wikimedia Netherlands
Wikimedia Sweden
Wikimedia Switzerland
Wikimedia United Kingdom


The Wikimedia Foundation operates 11 free knowledge projects managed and built by a community of over 100,000 active volunteers.

Wikipedia® Free encyclopedia

The free encyclopedia containing more than 20.6 million articles in more than 280 languages. The most comprehensive and widely used reference work humans have ever compiled. 100,000 active volunteers contribute new content every month.

Wikimedia Commons Shared media repository

A repository of almost 13 million freely usable images, sound and video files, serving both Wikimedia’s projects and countless other educational and informational needs.

MediaWiki® Open-source wiki software

The leading open-source wiki software on the Internet which acts as the backbone for all of the Wikimedia Foundation’s wikis and thousands of other wiki communities.

Wikispecies Dictionary of species

Wikibooks Free textbooks and manuals

Wikinews® Free content news source

Wikiquote Collection of free quotations

Wiktionary® Dictionary and thesaurus

Meta-wiki Project coordination

Wikiversity Free learning tools

Wikisource® Free source documents



Figures as of October 2011 unless otherwise stated

  • Unique visitors to Wikimedia Foundation sites, September 2011: 454 million
  • Language editions of Wikipedia: 282
  • Average number of new articles created daily, July 2010 through June 2011: 8,371
  • Number of articles across all Wikipedia language editions: 20.6 million
  • Number of edits to Wikipedia, July 2010 through June 2011: 139.3 million
  • Average monthly page views, July 2010 through June 2011: 13.6 billion


All images from the Wikimedia Commons are under a CC BY SA or public domain license unless otherwise stated. The content contained within the annual report is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v.3.0 ( or any later version. The trademarks and logos of the Wikimedia Foundation and any other organization are not included under the terms of this Creative Commons license. Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimania, Wikipedia, Commons, MediaWiki, Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikiversity, Wikispecies, and Meta-wiki are pending trademark registration or are registered trademarks of Wikimedia Foundation.

For more information, please see our Trademark Policy page, For other questions about our licensing terms or trademark policy, please email legal(_AT_)

WMF QR code to WMF annual report page.png

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for a summary report of the 2010-11 Annual Report in French, Japanese, Spanish, German, Arabic, and Portugese.

Strategic Priorities[edit]

Stabilize infrastructure
Increase participation
Improve quality
Increase reach
Encourage innovation

Wikimedia Foundation targets for 2015[edit]

  • Increase the total number of people served to 1 billion
  • Increase the number of Wikipedia articles we offer to 50 million
  • Ensure information is high quality by increasing the percentage of material reviewed to be of high or very high quality by 25 percent
  • Encourage readers to become contributors by increasing the number of total editors per month who made >5 edits to 200,000
  • Support healthy diversity in the editing community by doubling the percentage of female editors to 25 percent and increase the percentage of Global South editors to 37 percent

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