Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Washington, DC   |  www.wikimediafoundation.org

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 info

2005

Chief Financial Officer

Jaime Villagomez

Main address

PO BOX 98204

Washington, DC 20090 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-0049703

NTEE code info

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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: 54 million Wikipedia articles in 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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

The Wikimedia Foundation operates eleven free educational websites that together bring free knowledge to millions of people every month. Our supported sites include Wikimedia Commons (the free multimedia repository), Wikibooks (a free collection of books), and Wikisource (a free collection of primary source materials), along with Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, and several more. These sites are edited by tens of thousands of people and collectively generate billions of pageviews each month.

The Wikimedia Foundation provides critical support for the Wikimedia sites and the communities of people who read and contribute to the sites. In addition to running the servers, we make constant, often invisible improvements to the way Wikipedia and its sister sites work. This means making Wikipedia available wherever you are, on desktop and mobile, with load times faster than ever. We improve the security of the sites, so we can protect the privacy and safety of our readers and editors as they explore Wikipedia’s vast knowledge. We build new tools for the community of editors and support the community, including through grantmaking programs that enable volunteers and enrich the information on the sites. We also support programs and partnership initiatives with mobile operators, universities, and museums and libraries, in order to make Wikipedia freely available to more people in more parts of the world.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Economist Innovation Awards 2008

The Economist, Business Process category

Quadriga 2008

Quadriga, a German award handed out every year to recognize four people or organizations that “try to create a better world through courage, dedication, and responsible action.”

Web of the year 2007

Yahoo! Japan Web of the Year 2007, in the "Web of the Year" and "Information Resource on the Web" categories

Public Choice in the Category Knowlege, News & Information 2009

OnlineStar

Erasmus Prize 2015

Praemium Erasmianum Foundation

Princess of Asturias Award 2015

Princess of Asturias Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of online pages our users view

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Wikimedia Foundation's projects collectively generate more than 20 billion pageviews a month, as of November 2020. See https://stats.wikimedia.org.

Number of unique devices engaged with our sites

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

#s here are monthly. See http://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/03/30/unique-devices-dataset/ and https://stats.wikimedia.org/#/all-wikipedia-projects/reading/unique-devices/normal|line|2-year|~total|monthly

Number of new Wikimedia edits

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric tells is how many edits our contributors make to Wikipedia and our other sites monthly. See https://stats.wikimedia.org/#/all-projects/contributing/edits/normal|bar|2-year|~total|monthly

Number of Wikipedia editors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Support and operate free knowledge websites, including Wikipedia

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Editors who make at least one edit a month. This is a baseline number since the number is higher than 250,000. See https://stats.wikimedia.org/#/all-projects and search for "editors" and "Wikipedia."

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

"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. Nineteen 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 50 million articles across 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://wikimediafoundation.org/about/annualreport/2019-annual-report.

Two key focus areas of our 2019-2020 annual plan (see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Medium-term_plan_2019) are:

1. Grow participation globally, focusing on emerging markets. We will expand the use of Wikimedia sites, projects, and products, across the globe, with a focus on increasing readership, participation, and partnerships in low-awareness or low-use geographies and languages, in order to bring the number and diversity of our users in line with rates of overall internet usage in those communities.

2. Modernize our product experience. We will make contributor and reader experiences useful and joyful; moving from viewing Wikipedia as solely a website, to developing, supporting, and maintaining the Wikimedia ecosystem as a collection of knowledge, information, and insights with infinite possible product experiences and applications.

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 by 2026.

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 2019-2020 fiscal year and beyond. As derived from our strategic plan, our programs for the fiscal year are syncing their work through three main strategies:

1. Make incremental but meaningful changes to our core products. For the first 12–18 months the priority will lay down the basics. It will work with the brand program to make significant design changes that will signal to the world that Wikipedia is a modern, mobile, delightful, useful trusted source of knowledge. It will require the Foundation to continue to improve our data capabilities, making strides in understanding consumption patterns, both on the projects and where our content is re-used as well as our efforts to drive awareness and traffic to our sites. We will continue our experiments to design new formats and build content for emerging communities and invest in those that are effective with our new readers.

2. Substantially extend our core product experiences. This priority will focus on deeper evolutions to the core product – integrating content from Commons, Wikidata, Wikisource and other projects into Wikipedia. This will be accompanied by powerful authoring tools and content creation mechanisms for editors that build upon new capabilities in AI-based content generation, structured data, and rich media to augment the article format with new, dynamic knowledge experiences. New content formats will come to life here as the outcomes of earlier experimentation. We will showcase these developments in a launch for Wikipedia’s 20th birthday in 2021.

3. Change the paradigm of free knowledge. Wikipedia will always be the engine of our mission and movement. We will build on its strength as a platform that disseminates knowledge for anyone to use, anywhere on the internet, in a clear, easy, identifiable manner. We will further develop the interfaces for our technical ecosystem, in order to enable people, institutions, sites, and machines to create, share, and access the sum of all knowledge, on and off the Wikimedia sites, in order to truly become the “essential infrastructure of free knowledge."

For more, see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Medium-term_plan_2019/Worldwide_readership.

As a nonprofit that has existed for more than 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 65 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 (see https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation). The tool has led to more than 750,000 new articles in more than 200 languages (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ContentTranslationStats). 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.

Another example of our innovative ways: In July 2020, we announced Abstract Wikipedia, a project that gives us a new way to generate baseline encyclopedic content in a multilingual fashion. The project will allow more contributors and more readers to share more knowledge in more languages -- leading to millions and millions of new articles across Wikipedia. (For more, see https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Abstract_Wikipedia/July_2020_announcement and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Abstract_Wikipedia.)

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 54 million articles across nearly 300 languages. Wikipedia also has 11 sister sites, including Wikimedia Commons, which has 65 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 grant-making 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.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The feedback that we get for the Wikimedia projects is from both readers and volunteer contributors. Both groups are crucial to the success and continued growth of Wikipedia and our other projects. Contributors add content to Wikipedia and our other projects, and each year, the Wikimedia Foundation does a "community wishlist survey" that asks contributors what new technical work we can do to improve their contributions (and, by extension, improve the Wikimedia projects). After each year, we publish the results of the top projects that our technology team works on. Our latest "results" overview of the survey is here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2020/Results Our latest survey is here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Wishlist_Survey_2021.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 6/30/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Nataliia Tymkiv

No Affiliation

Term: 2016 - 2022

Jimmy Wales

No Affiliation

Nataliia Tymkiv

No Affiliation

Dariusz Jemielniak

No Affiliation

María Sefidari

No Affiliation

Esra'a Al Shafei

No Affiliation

Raju Narisetti

No Affiliation

James Heilman

No Affiliation

Shani Sigalov

No Affiliation

Lisa Lewin

Tanya Capuano

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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 and 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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/15/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/25/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.