Wikimedia Foundation/Annual Report/2013-2014
Knowledge is a foundation
We believe that knowledge is a foundation. It is a foundation for human potential, a foundation for freedom, a foundation for opportunity.
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.
Knowledge is powerful. A country or community that has better access to knowledge is more likely to be healthy, more likely to be free, more likely to be happy. Unfortunately, access to knowledge is not equal. In some places, people cannot afford to access it, in others, it is censored or constrained.
"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." —Kofi Annan
The students of Sinenjongo High School
The students of Sinenjongo High School know how powerful a foundation of knowledge is for their future.
Sinenjongo High School is located in Joe Slovo Park, a small township on the fringes of Cape Town, South Africa. The high school does not have a library, so students must find other ways to access knowledge in order to complete their assignments and study for university entrance exams.
In 2013, Sinenjongo’s Grade 12 students wrote an open letter to South Africa’s mobile providers, asking for free access to Wikipedia on their mobile phones. They wanted to remove all barriers to their education. They wanted to hold the world in their hands.
A few months later mobile network operator MTN South Africa announced they would make Wikipedia available for free for their 20 million users in partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation.
We believe everyone should have access to all knowledge — for free, without restriction, without limitation. It is a foundation for a brighter future.
Wikipedia is a foundation of knowledge
Go on — explore the outer limits of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is always expanding and never finished. If you don’t discover what you’re looking for, you can start creating it yourself.
Wikipedia is the largest source of shared knowledge in human history. It is a living record of discovery, history, and innovation. It is a knowledge engine for the planet, sharing freely licensed content around the world.
Nearly half a billion people turn to Wikipedia every month for everything from preserving cultural heritage, to improving cancer detection, to researching homework. They come to learn. They stay and discover.
"64% of British people trust Wikipedia entries more than they trust BBC News."
- Wikipedia has more than 33 million articles in 288 languages
Editors and readers — ordinary people — do incredible things with this knowledge. In the United States, a teenager named Jack Andraka invented a test that might be used to detect certain cancers using information he found on Wikipedia.
When Jack was 13, a close family friend passed away from pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease that progresses quickly and quietly.
“I discovered through Wikipedia articles that 85 percent of all pancreatic cancers are diagnosed late, when someone has less than a 2 percent chance of survival, and the current test is this 60-year-old technique that is incredibly outdated, but also incredibly expensive ($800 per test), missing 30 percent of all cancers. I knew I had to do something.”
With knowledge from Wikipedia, Open Access articles, and articles from repositories like PubMed Central, Jack developed a prototype for a potential breakthrough method of cancer screening before his 17th birthday.
People are the foundation of Wikipedia
Wikipedia is written by all of us. The articles, words, pictures, and data are created by a diverse community of people who volunteer to share knowledge with the world.
Wikipedians are students, librarians, musicians, lawyers, scientists, scholars, photographers, mathematicians, engineers, retirees, parents, children, advocates, artists, and explorers — among many other things.
We write articles, take photographs, answer questions, and teach new people how to contribute.
- 75,000 writers and editors wrote more than 4.5 million new articles this year — and improved countless more
In January of 2014, more than 6,000 new articles were created each day on Wikipedia's 288 different language versions. 84,750 people made more than five edits to Wikipedia in that same time — and many more have stopped by to fix a typo or update a statistic. Each gave their time and their passion to share what they know.
Everyone is a potential Wikipedian. All it requires is a belief in our shared vision — a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
Meet some members of our community:
Dr. Netha Hussain
Dr. Netha Hussain is a surgical resident in Kerala, India. There are few encyclopedias in Malayalam, her native language. She found Wikipedia, including Malayalam Wikipedia, powerful and inspiring. She began returning from lectures and and checking her notes against articles — improving quality and depth on subjects such as microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and forensic medicine. She considers contributing to Wikipedia a part of her mission as a medical professional — helping empower people with knowledge.
Jacek Halicki first discovered the Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest through a banner located on top of the main page of the Polish Wikipedia. It was the first time he ever realized he could actually edit Wikipedia, and it quickly became a passion. As a former photojournalist, amateur radio operator, jazz lover, and pensioner with severe mobility impairment, Wikipedia was a way for Jacek to explore the world, contribute his photographic talents, and overcome the barriers in his life.
"It is a great use of my free time to the benefit of others and also a way to prove to myself and others that illness does not mean idleness, apathy and depression… I’m glad I’ll leave something good behind when I’m gone from this world. I’m glad that my pictures will live on and perhaps, will be useful to people." —Jacek Halicki
Dumisani Ndubane comes from a family of modest means. When he was accepted to study electrical engineering at a university in Johannesburg, he found his educational grant did not cover food or housing, and was ultimately compelled to suspend his education. He discovered the free curriculum on Wikiversity and continued his studies as a companion to pursuing online accreditation at the University of South Africa. He received his degree and joined a firm, where he now mentors young engineers and contributes learning modules of his own to teach others.
Dr. Adrianne Wadewitz
Dr. Adrianne Wadewitz was an early and prolific contributor to Wikipedia, but it took a while before she felt she could admit that to fellow scholars. Eventually, Dr. Wadewitz, a scholar of 18th century English literature, went public with her passion, becoming one of Wikipedia’s first Campus Ambassadors. She consulted with professors, taught students to contribute, and advocated for better representation of women among editors and article subjects. She passed away in a rock climbing accident but her work lives on, helping university professors throughout the world use Wikipedia as a teaching tool.
Ihor Kostenko was an active contributor to the Ukrainian Wikipedia, writing under the username Ig2000. Ihor registered an account on July 23, 2011, and began writing his first articles right away. In just two and a half years, he wrote more 280 articles and made more than 1,600 edits, becoming a passionate advocate for increasing contributors to Ukrainian Wikipedia. In February 20, 2014, during the protests in Kyiv, Ihor — an active Wikipedia contributor, journalist, and geography student — died tragically after being shot on the Euromaidan.
Dorothy Howard is a Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Metropolitan New York Library Council, where she works to build relationships with galleries, archives, libraries, and museums around New York City. She is also one of the originators of Art+Feminism, a global editing project to improve coverage of women, feminism, and the arts on Wikipedia. For their efforts, Dorothy and her fellow collaborators were recognized as among Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers for 2014. The Wikimedia Foundation is funding Art+Feminism with a grant to expand and grow their networks.
Ram Prasad Joshi
Ram Prasad Joshi doesn’t have a computer and his village has no electricity. It’s a three-hour walk to the nearest road. Despite this, Ram Prasad has made more than 6,000 edits to the Nepali Wikipedia using nothing more than a simple phone, which he carries with him always. He also has made contributions to the Fijian, Sanskrit, Hindi, Bhojpuri and Gujarati Wikipedias. Thanks to Ram Prasad, Wikipedia now features an image of the first known writing of the Nepali language.
Jake Orlowitz makes it easier for people to access sources of information. He started with a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation to develop The Wikipedia Library, an online resource that provides free accounts to paywalled publications, databases, universities, and libraries. This year, 1,940 people improved their contributions to Wikipedia using 2,924 of such donated accounts, worth over a million USD in total. Now, Jake and his team of volunteer community organizers are working to build The Wikipedia Library into a global reference hub.
- We were deeply saddened this year by the passing of members of the Wikimedia communities. We are honored to have shared a passion for free knowledge with Ntsika, Adrianne, Ihor, Jim, and others. Their bravery, generosity, and enthusiasm continue to inspire us.
We are the Wikimedia Foundation
The job of the Wikimedia Foundation is to be just that: a foundation. We support the Wikimedia communities. We keep Wikipedia online. We build for the future.
We believe in a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
The Wikimedia Foundation was established in 2003 as a non-profit to support Wikipedia and its sister projects, and the Wikimedia vision.
We keep the websites fast, secure, and available. We make free knowledge accessible wherever you are — on your phone or laptop, on a boat in the South Pacific or in the western hills of Nepal. We bring new knowledge online, lower barriers to access, and make it easier for everyone to share what they know.
We believe everyone has the right to knowledge. We defend our communities when they are threatened, legally or otherwise. We stand against censorship, and support open licenses, open access, and open source. We engineer privacy for readers and contributors.
We support our contributors, users, and developers. Last year we gave more than 5.7 million USD to projects that increase the quantity, quality, diversity, and reach of knowledge around the world. We offer resources to people and organizations that believe in the Wikimedia vision.
We will only achieve our vision when we share it. By supporting communities, building technology, and funding great ideas, the Wikimedia Foundation is a foundation for people everywhere to change their world.
"I know from personal experience that the only real way to improve the conditions of civilizations is to provide open access to information for education and culture. Knowledge is more powerful than any one of us — it belongs to all of us.
"I was born in Moscow, in what was then the Soviet Union. Unbiased information was scarce, powerful, and precious.
"As a teenager, I moved to the United States alone. I enrolled in high school and learned English. I became captivated by computer science: it combined my passions for the arts and mathematics. It offered the promise of creating a more open future.
"This year, I became the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. I joined a community of thousands of passionate creators around the globe, and a staff of 200 people who support the world’s largest free knowledge resource. It was the easiest decision I ever made.
"At the Wikimedia Foundation, we help support the Wikimedia vision: the sum of human knowledge, shared by all. This vision has never been more important.
"The world is changing. Reliable, neutral, and trusted information is as powerful as it has ever been. Every day, we ask ourselves how we can increase our impact, and ensure Wikipedia and the sister projects are even more relevant, trusted, and accessible tomorrow than they are today."
- Lila Tretikov
- Executive Director
- Wikimedia Foundation
The whole world needs knowledge: more people than before, in different ways than before. Our mission is to ensure that everyone, now and in the future, can access all information. In the hands of everyone, it can cure disease, settle disputes, lift oppression, and inspire creativity.
Join our mission. Share your knowledge. Work with us. Contribute.
Your contributions are the foundation of free knowledge
Every year, fewer than .5% of Wikipedia users make a gift to keep knowledge online and independent. They are an exceptional group.
Last year, 2.5 million people from all over the world gave an average of 15 USD. Their gifts ranged from 1 to 1 million USD.
Every gift is meaningful, every gift has impact. We are honored to have the support of these generous readers from every corner of the globe.
This spring we had the honor of getting to know Jim Pacha, an engineer from Colorado.
“Educating the world and getting everybody on the same playing field — I think it’s great. And the fact that it’s done with no advertising is a big thing, because I really don’t like what’s happening in the world today, with corporate involvement in everything. And I like the fact that Wikipedia is on the World Wide Web, so basically the whole world can access it.”
An illness prompted Jim to consider the legacy he wanted to leave behind. He decided to donate much of his estate to the Wikimedia Foundation in support of the Wikimedia vision and mission.
Jim passed away on May 7th, 2014. His gift to the Wikimedia Foundation is the largest legacy gift in our history. We are extremely grateful for his generous donation and ongoing gift. Thank you, Jim.
- From the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation
Wikipedia is a unique human project, a radical idea of creating a world where everyone can freely share the sum of all human knowledge. A warm and heartfelt THANK YOU for supporting our mission and making Wikipedia possible!
- Jessica Robell
It's a humbling thing to work for a place that exists because of human generosity and altruism (and because I know some of you got to win some bets!), and I'm very grateful. Thank you. This helps keep me going.
- Gayle Karen Young
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank YOU, for making this miracle of humanity that is Wikipedia possible.
- Moiz Syed
This is the hardest, most fulfilling work of my life. Thank you for making Wikipedia possible!
- Monte Hurd
Thanks to the world for supporting Wikipedia and playing a most important role in continuing the never-ending mission to share all of the world's knowledge with every person on the planet. With your generosity, Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects will be here for all well into the future!
- Emily Blanchard
You are the silent supporters of the largest open knowledge project on the planet. Big and small, your donations help make this happen - year after year. Thank you for your support, thank you for your trust, and thank you for your commitment to free knowledge.
- Sylvia Ventura
Gratias vobis agimus, propter magnificentiam vestram, qua colimus vici. Speramus nos permanere dignos.
- Asaf Bartov
We are grateful to be supported by people around the world. We want to give special thanks to those who gave over 1,000 USD this year:
- 1 million USD +
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Brin Wojcicki Foundation
- 100,000 - 999,999 USD
Google Matching Gifts
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Microsoft Matching Gifts Program
Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing
- 25,000 to 99,999 USD
Apple Matching Gifts Program
Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation
Charina Endowment Fund
Craigslist Charitable Fund
Dalio Foundation, Inc.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Two Sigma Investments, LLC
- 5,000 - 24,999 USD
John E. Abele
Anurag Acharya and Madhuri Chattopadhyay Anurag
The Blackburn Family Fund
Boeing Co. Matching Gifts
The Brightwater Fund -- Gloria Jarecki, President
Caulkins Family Foundation
Carl de Marcken
In Memory of David Garbers
GE Foundation Matching Gifts
Goldman Sachs & Co. Matching Gifts Program
Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of the Tides Foundation
Graphics Press, LLC
Michael and Andrea Hale
David Marin and Amanda Halpin
Mark Heising and Liz Simons
JP Morgan Chase Foundation
The Lehoczky Escobar Family
Bill and Marilyn McCune
Joseph K. McLaughlin
Metz Family Foundation
Miller-Wehrle Family Foundation
The Montgomery Family Foundation
omm Matching Gifts Program
Tom and Xiaoling Rawson
Rick & Susan Goings Foundation
Shaked Family, Tel Aviv
Peter Wheeler and Elizabeth Munro
David and Monica Zwirner
- 1,000 - 4,999 USD
AIG Matching Grants Program
Airbus Group, Inc.
David P. Albrecht
J. Alex Graeffe
In Memory of Tim Allen
American Express Company Employee Giving Program
Seonhee An & Vincent Leung
The Anderson Family
R & A Bandela
Bank of America Matching Gifts Program
In Honor of Kathy Bates
Jayashree and K.S. Bhaskar
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Matching Gifts Program
BlackRock Matching Gifts Program
BMT Micro, Inc.
David Bohnett Foundation
Beverly & George Bond
Ernest L. Bruns Jr. and Sue Ann Kendall
CA Technologies Matching Gift Program
In Honor of Donald Thomas Campbell
Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation
In Memory of Andrea F. Carret
Crystal Chen, MD
Chevron Humankind Matching Gifts Program
James Cho and Sophia Kim
Michael Choy and Shannon Moffett
Fred Dart, FTDI
Ad Davidse & Cathie Schrier
Dell Employees Giving Program
Stephen & Elizabeth Detwiler
DirecTV Matching Gift Center
Michael and Denise Doyen
DreamHost and its Customers
Mark Duttweiler and Christine Pajak
Davide G. Erro
Extra Space Storage
Carla & Charlie Flournoy
Janet and Lloyd Frink
Genentech Employee Giving Program
General Mills Foundation Gift Matching Program
May-Ling Gonzales and Leith Abdulla
Rakesh and Kirti Gupta
The Hamilton Foundation
Josh Bernoff and Kimberley Harding
In Honor of Tom and Shoshana Harper
The Harrity Family
Charles F. Hebert and Marie Alida Desselle Hebert
Hewlett Packard Company Foundation
Lisha and Andy Hu
IBM Employee Donations
Insiders Finland Oy Ab
John P. McCaskey Foundation
Joy is one's fuel
In Memory of our smart, loving Grandma Judy
Lucian Kafka and aura.travel
In Honor of Harold King
The Kipping Family
In Honor of SJ Klein, Jr. and Jimmy Wales
The KlickEx Group
In Memory of George Steven Knowles
Little Johnny Koerber
Mr. & Mrs. Steve Kropla
En souvenir de Réal Labelle
Pete Large & Mandy Loomis
Lawrence Livermore Labs
In Memory of Mary Lew
Leong & Richards
Gregg and Libby Lindahl
Christopher J. Lingle
John Longres & Jeff Graham
Greg and Liz Lutz
In Memory of Shaynon MaGee Jordan
In Memory of Nadia L. Mead, Mandarin, Florida
Helen and Stephen Mildenhall
Kelly T. Miller
Dr. L. David Mirkin
Ty Mulroy and Ellen Ray
In Memory of Robert Neale
Netmail & Messaging Architects Employee-Owners
Donors of Network For Good
In Memory of Marjorie Yospin Newman
Héléne Nivoix, Besançon, France
North American Herb and Spice
Nvidia Employee Giving Program
On Behalf of the Scientists of Huntsville, Alabama
Oracle Corporation Matching Gifts Program
John and Rita Ousterhout
In Memory of my beloved mother, Pravina Patel
Terrence D. Paul
PCH Integrated Regulatory Services, Inc.
In Honor of Nick Peter
Bryce and Shonni Peterson
Pfizer Foundation Matching Gifts Program
In Memory of Donald R. Pieper
Prakhar Prerak Akta Pravin
Robert and Anna Prestezog
Quality Logo Products
B S Ramamurtie
Rear Admiral Gametools
Richard and Lisa Reichman
Paul Resnick and Caroline Richardson
Sean Rhea and Lucy Almers
Deborah and Peter Rieman
Gaspar Cabrera Roca
Arnold G. Rogers
Rohini and Prasana Family Trust
Alexander and Jeannine Rubenstein
Runtime Design Automation
Salesforce.com Foundation Matching Gifts
Dorothea and Hartmut Samtleben
SAP Matching Gift Program
John and Susan Savva
Roy Schneiderman (Bard Consulting)
Josh Schripsema and Kresta Austin
Shell Matching Gifts Program
Dick Smith, Sydney, Australia
Space Exploration Technologies Corp
H. Scott Stillings
G. & M. Swaminathan
Bronwyn Miriam Syed
In Memory of Andrea Tallant
Luigi Tempini and Family
Thomson Reuters My Community Program
Viajes Tierra Sinai
Tikvah Philanthropic Fund
TisBest Charity Gift Cards
David L. Van Brunt
Visa Matching Gifts Program
Chad and Kim Wagner
In Memory of Jack Wahl
Jim and Judy Warner
Web Hosting Coupon Codes
Dr. Jack Widrich Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation Staff
The Walt Disney Company Foundation
The Wolff Family
Yahoo Employee Funds Matching Gifts
Brian Ho Tze Yew
Zephyr Charitable Foundation
Financial performance and positions
The Wikimedia Foundation is proud to be one of the most transparent non-profit organizations in the world. We consider all of our expenditures against a framework of our strategy, values, and mission. We carry financial reserves in accordance with non-profit best practices to ensure the future and health of the Wikimedia projects.
This year we highlight our efforts in three main areas: how donor contributions support Wikimedia project websites, our communities, and free knowledge overall. The following designations are as reported by the Wikimedia Foundation’s departments themselves.
- As of June 30, 2014
- In thousands, in US dollars
|Cash and cash equivalents||27,880|
|Current portion of contributions receivable||1,800|
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||1,600|
|Total current assets||54,541|
|Property, plant, and equipment, net||4,053|
|Noncurrent portion of contributions receivable||1,967|
- Liabilities and Net Assets
|Total current liabilities||7,086|
|Total net assets||53,475|
|Total liabilities and net assets||60,561|
Statement of activities
- For the period from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014
- In thousands, in US dollars
- Unrestricted net assets
Support and revenue:
|Donations and contributions||49,612|
|In-kind service revenue||370|
|Other income, net||989|
|Investment income, net||244|
|Release of restrictions on temporarily restricted net assets||1,589|
|Total support and revenue||52,804|
|Salaries and wages||19,980|
|Awards and grants||5,705|
|In-kind service expenses||371|
|Other operation expenses||12,485|
|Travel and conferences||1,966|
|Special even expense, net||143|
|Increase in unrestricted net assets||6,904|
Temporarily restricted net assets:
|Release of restrictions on temporarily restricted net assets||(1,589)|
|Increase in temporarily restricted net assets||1,382|
|Increase in net assets||8,286|
|Net assets at beginning of year||45,189|
|Net assets at end of year||53,475|
Departmental allocation of expenses
- For the period from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014
- In thousands, in US dollars
|Product and Engineering||19,813|
|Grantmaking and Programs||4,779|
|Management and Governance||1,175|
|General and Administrative||10,410|
- Lyon Declaration
- World Happiness report
- MTN South Africa responds to Sinenjongo High School open letter and launches Wikipedia Zero
- British people trust Wikipedia more than the news. YouGov.co.uk
- Hans Oleander: Using offline Wikipedia to guide tours at the bottom of the Earth
- How high school student Jack Andraka used Wikipedia to research a new test for cancer
- Wiki Loves Monuments
- There are no barriers to free knowledge
- The Impact of Wikipedia: Dumisani Ndubane
- Remembering Adrianne Wadewitz
- The Lives They Lived Remembering some of those we lost this year.
- Wikipedian Ihor Kostenko dies on the Maidan
- On Consortium-Based Wikipedian in Residence Positions
- 100 Leading Global Thinkers
- Ram Prasad Joshi: Writing Wikipedia from the western hills of Nepal
- The Wikipedia Library Strives for Open Access
- Announcing our new Executive Director: Lila Tretikov
- Donating His Estate to the Wikimedia Foundation: The Story of Jim Pacha