Wikimedia Foundation

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Type: Non-Profit
Industry: Internet
Founded: 2001
Founder(s): Jimmy Wales & Larry Sanger
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Country: USA
Key People
Ting Chen, Chairman
Jan-Bart de Vreede, Vice-Chair

The Wikimedia Foundation is non-profit organization established by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia. Based on the Bylaws of the foundation, its main objective is to collect, develop and disseminate educational content worldwide under a free license.[1] The organization's headquarter is located in San Francisco, California.

Based on its 2010 Annual Report, the Wikimedia Foundation is serving more than 400 million users every month, with 100,000 volunteer writers and editors who had made 177 million edits, and with $9 million dollars received in donations.[2]


On June 20, 2003, Jimmy Wales announced the estblishment of the Wikimedia Foundation as a non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida. All assets of Nupedia and Wikipedia, including copyrights of software and articles under Bomis, Inc, were transferred to the foundation.[3] According to Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation has only two employees, and the rest are volunteers. Its revenue comes from donation and grants provided by companies like Yahoo!.[4] The term Wikimedia was suggested in 2003 by Sheldon Rampton, an American author.[5]


Under the bylaws of the Wikimedia Foundation, its primary goal is 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. The foundation aims to achieve its mission by providing important infrastructure and organizational framework to a network of volunteers working in the development of free and multilingual projects worldwide.[6]


The Wikimedia Foundation maintains different projects including:[7]

  • Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia developed by volunteer writers worldwide. It is available in 273 different languages, and at present, Wikipedia has a collection of more than 10 million articles. This project started on January 2001.
  • Wikibooks, which contains a collection of e-books of textboks, manuals, annotated public domain books, and many more. Available in 100 languages, this project was launched on October 2010.
  • Wikiversity, which provides resource materials for all levels. Available in 12 languages and currently it has 30,000 learning materials. It was created on August 15, 2006.
  • Wiktionary, which contains definition of words available in 150 languages. This project started on December 2002.
  • Wikiquote, initiated on July 2003. This project is a collection of quotes by famous individuals or taken from books, films and other relevant materials.
  • Wikispecies, which provides a database of Taxonomy. It was started in 2010.
  • Wikinews, implemented in 2004. This project is dedicated in providing news stories in different areas.
  • Wikisource, a multilingual collection of more than 880,000 hypertext sources. Started in 2003.
  • Wikimedia Commons, launched in 2004. It contains a collection of more than five million free multimedia files from photographs, diagrams, maps, videos etc.
  • MediaWiki, a software used by Wikimedia projects and other websites. It was released under a General Public License (GPL).

Board of Trustees

Under Article 1V Section 1 of the Wikimedia Foundation, the Board of Trustees of the foundation is composed of ten trustees. Its current members include:

  • Jimmy Wales, Founder
  • Ting Chen, Chair
  • Jan-Bart de Vreede, Vice Chair
  • Phoebe Ayers, Executive Secretary
  • Stu West, Treasurer
  • Bishakha Datta
  • Matt Halprin
  • Samuel Klein
  • Arne Klempert
  • Kat Walsh[8]


As of March 2011, Wikimedia Foundation Local Chapters include:

  • Wikimedia Argentina
  • Wikimedia Österreich (Austria)
  • Wikimedia Australia
  • Wikimedia CH (Switzerland)
  • Wikimedia Česká Republika (Czech Republic)
  • Wikimedia Deutschland (Germany)
  • Wikimedia Danmark (Denmark)
  • Wikimedia Eesti (Estonia)
  • Wikimedia España (Spain)
  • Wikimedia Suomi (Wikimedia Finland)
  • Wikimédia France
  • Wikimedia United Kingdom
  • Wikimedia Hong Kong
  • Wikimédia Magyarország (Wikimedia Hungary)
  • Wikimedia Indonesia
  • Wikimedia Israel
  • Wikimedia India
  • Wikimedia Italia (Italy)
  • Викимедија Македонија (Macedonia)
  • Wikimedia Nederland (Netherlands)
  • Wikimedia Norge (Norway)
  • Wikimedia Philippines
  • Wikimedia Polska (Poland)
  • Wikimedia Portugal
  • Викимедиа РУ (Wikimedia Russia)
  • Wikimedia Србије (Serbia)
  • Wikimedia Sverige (Sweden)
  • Wikimedia Taiwan
  • Вікімедіа Україна (Wikimedia Ukraine)
  • Wikimedia New York City[9]