Educational Institutions

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Washington, DC

Mission

Through Wikipedia and our sister projects, the Wikimedia Foundation is empowering people around the world to collect and develop knowledge under a free license, and to disseminate that knowledge effectively and globally. In collaboration with a network of Wikimedia affiliates the Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of projects and initiatives that serve this mission.

Ruling Year

2005

Executive Director

Ms. Katherine Maher

Main Address

PO BOX 98204

Washington, DC 20090 USA

Keywords

Wikimedia, Wikipedia, free culture, encyclopedia, Open Source, online, educational content

EIN

20-0049703

 Number

5970148174

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Access to knowledge is a fundamental right – a human and civil right that changes and improves the lives of individuals and entire communities. The Wikimedia Foundation has created the largest source of shared knowledge in human history: 45 million Wikipedia articles in almost 300 languages. Every month, volunteer editors expand Wikipedia by more than 200,000 new articles. Every month, people on our sites read more than 15 billion pages. Because we're a nonprofit that operates our projects in the public interest, every article and every pageview is free. Anyone with an Internet connection – no matter where they are – can utilize Wikipedia and get the information they want. Giving people unfettered access to the world's available knowledge is critical to having an informed, well-functioning society. Large segments of the world rely on Wikipedia's depth of knowledge. But we can do better. We can reach more people. We can impact more lives. That's the need we're continuing to address.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of online pages our users view

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Context notes

The Wikimedia Foundation's projects collectively generate more than 15 billion pageviews a month. See https://analytics.wikimedia.org/dashboards/reportcard/#pageviews-july-2015

Number of unique devices engaged with our sites

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Context notes

We created this metric in 2016; #s here are monthly. See http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/03/30/unique-devices-dataset/ and https://analytics.wikimedia.org/dashboards/reportcard/#daily-unique-devices

Number of new Wikimedia edits

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Context notes

This metric tells us how many edits our contributors make to Wikipedia and our other sites every month. See https://stats.wikimedia.org/v2/#/all-projects/contributing/edits

Number of active Wikipedia editors

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Context notes

This metric tells us how many editors are “active” -- meaning they contribute 5 or more edits a month. See https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediansEditsGt5.htm

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

"Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge." This was the statement that guided Wikipedia in its 2001 founding. Seventeen years later, this original vision continues to inspire the people who work at the Wikimedia Foundation. The Foundation was established in 2003, and Wikipedia has since grown from 200,000 articles in a handful of languages to more than 40 million articles across nearly 300 languages. Every month, people around the world view Wikipedia more than 15 billion times.

Even with this success, there is much, much more to accomplish. Every year, the Wikimedia Foundation sets clearly defined project goals in our annual plan and evaluates our work over the year in an annual report. Our latest annual report can be found at https://annual.wikimedia.org/2017/. As of this writing, our current annual plan is mapped out at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Annual_Plan/2017-2018/Final

A few key areas of focus for our 2017-2018 annual plan are:

Reach: Everyone should be able to freely share in the free knowledge on our projects. We are making it a priority to reach new readers and contributors around the world and improve the experience for all, including those on mobile devices. To do this, we will better understand and respond to the needs of our global readers and contributors through research, new technologies, effective programs, strategic partnerships, and more.

Communities: Volunteers and open collaboration are the pillars of the Wikimedia movement. It is the efforts of the global community of volunteers that have made Wikimedia possible, and the community's health and sustainability are essential to our future. We will increase volunteer retention and engagement through improved programs, experiences, and resources for community members. We will invest in capacity and leadership building to support the continued growth and health of Wikimedia communities.

Knowledge: Sharing in the sum of all knowledge is the vision that inspires Wikimedians around the world. 15 years of volunteer work created the world's largest and most beloved shared knowledge resource. We will increase and diversify knowledge by developing high-priority curation and creation tools and services for user needs. We will support programs and partnerships that increase the quality, breadth, and diversity of free knowledge in our projects.

Beyond our immediate goals is an overriding long-term one: Ensuring our projects have the resources to provide a knowledge base for decades to come. The Wikimedia Endowment, which we began in January 2016, is a permanent safekeeping fund to ensure a base level of support for Wikimedia projects in perpetuity. Our goal is to raise $100 million over the next 10 years.

The Wikimedia Foundation is firmly committed to expanding our reach and impact -- making sure that Wikipedia remains at the forefront of the Internet's knowledge ecosystem.

The Wikimedia Foundation is guided by detailed strategies that we've formulated with each of our departments and with our volunteer communities -- the thousands of writers, editors, photographers, and other contributors around the world who comprise such a major part of our sites' success. This strategic collaboration helps ensure that we're following the most practical course in achieving our goals for the 2017-18 fiscal year and beyond. As derived from our strategic plan, our programs for the fiscal year are syncing their work through three main goals: 1: Understand our users to better serve their needs (“Reach"); 2: Increase volunteer retention and engagement (“Community"); and 3: Increase and diversify contribution of knowledge (“Knowledge").

We're investing in areas that we believe the Foundation is uniquely positioned to address, including readership and reach, volunteer retention and engagement, and support for knowledge creation. We will deepen and expand work in our newly clarified strategic directions, while strengthening the core work that supports our communities and projects. For more details, please see our 2017 - 2018 annual plan at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Annual_Plan/2017-2018/Final, and our Strategic Plan and discussion that is taking our projects through the year 2030, at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017.

We've worked with the Wikimedia community to shape our new Movement Strategy, which we are implementing

As a nonprofit that has existed for 15 years, the Wikimedia Foundation has a strong track record of accomplishment, of steady growth, of being efficient at using financial support, and of having a measurable impact on the way people access and use knowledge. We are the largest nonprofit website in the world, and the world's greatest collaborative information source. We are led by an experienced staff and board of trustees who are among the most accomplished in their field, with decades of experience in engineering and product development, community development, media and editorial leadership, law, advocacy, and nonprofit administration.

From the Wikimedia Foundation's beginnings in 2003, we have continued to innovate, resulting in a wide range of initiatives that have benefited millions of readers around the world. In our second year, for example, we created Wikimedia Commons, which is the Wikimedia Foundation's online repository of media files -- photographs, video, and audio -- that are free to use, remix, and share just like Wikipedia's articles. Wikimedia Commons now has more than 35 million media files, and. each year, people upload tens of thousands of photos to Commons through the Wiki Loves Monuments contest, which set a record as the world's largest photo competition in 2011.

We also create new tools for editors as a way to make it easier and more efficient to contribute to Wikipedia. In January 2015, we introduced a Content Translation Tool that aids editors in translating existing Wikipedia articles into other languages.The tool has led to more than 300,000 new articles in more than 200 languages. We're regularly introducing new features and improvements to the Content Translation Tool, such as the new feature that lists suggested articles for users to translate, and the planned feature that offers personalized suggestions of topics. Most of the world's web content is in English, but many of the millions of people coming online speak a language other than English.

The Wikimedia Foundation prides itself on being one of the world's most transparent nonprofits, and our commitment to transparency is embedded in everything we do, including the way we monitor our progress.

Every year, we issue an Annual Report that summarizes the year, and an Annual Plan that meticulously reviews our goals from the previous year, details what worked (or didn't), why, and how we can achieve our new goals in the year ahead. We also have interactive metrics tables -- online at http://reportcard.wmflabs.org/# -- that detail our number of pageviews, mobile pageviews, new monthly editors, active monthly editors (five or more edits), overall articles, new articles created per day, and monthly edits, and many other categories. In January 2016, we introduced a new metric, “unique devices," that more accurately represents mobile readership while prioritizing user privacy and security. The majority of our work is conducted or documented on public web pages. Our monthly metrics meetings -- where the staff covers Wikimedia developments in engineering, fundraising, grantmaking, programs, legal, community advocacy, communications, and other areas -- are streamed live and published online for public viewing.. On the Foundation's home page, we link to our audited and unaudited financial statements, the Form 990 that we file annually with the IRS, the minutes of all Board meetings, as well as many other materials. Many are translated into multiple languages, and often they are accompanied by detailed FAQs.

In the past decade, the Wikimedia Foundation has accomplished an extraordinary feat: We've worked with volunteer contributors around the world to make Wikipedia the most extensive free knowledge resource in the world. In 2003, when the Wikimedia Foundation first began operations, Wikipedia had fewer than 200,000 articles, including 115,000 in English. Today, Wikipedia has 39 million articles across nearly 300 languages. Wikipedia also has 11 sister sites, including Wikimedia Commons, which has 35 million media files. Today, our websites are among the most visited in the world, read by people on every continent. The world comes to the Wikimedia sites to gain knowledge and to share knowledge, but there is still so much more knowledge to share on Wikipedia, and so many more people to reach around the world.
Billions of people are coming online in the next 10-20 years, and we need to make Wikipedia available in their language, on their device, across all regions of the world. This holds great promise - and huge implications - for how humans create and share knowledge, and the Wikimedia Foundation is focused on how to anticipate and adapt to these changes.

Every day, new knowledge is added to Wikipedia, and we must continue to support the community of contributors around the world that make Wikipedia and the Wikimedia sites possible. As our community has grown, the Foundation has also created new ways to support them. We introduced a grantmaking capacity, so that community members and organizations can apply for funding and resources to help support outreach in their local countries and languages. We've introduced programs that help community members integrate their efforts with local cultural and education institutions, such as museums, libraries, and universities. We also have programs to grow and diversify the languages, communities, and cultures represented on Wikipedia: we know that we this will make us an even better resource for all people, in all parts of the world. We're looking to continue and expand the support of this community as we look to the future.

These are just a handful of areas where we're looking to improve and expand our work in the coming years. We look forward to addressing these challenges and more side by side with our community.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes