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December 03, 2015

As Cash Reserve Grows, Wikipedia Rolls Out Yearly Fund Drive

As the Wikimedia Foundation launches its December fundraising campaign with large banners at the top of Wikipedia pages, The Washington Post looks at questions within the nonprofit encyclopedia's volunteer-driven community about the tenor and size of the annual drive.

The foundation is seeking to raise $25 million in small donations. It reported net assets of more than $77 million as of June 30, about one-and-a-half times Wikipedia's annual operating costs. Members of the site's vocal community of unpaid contributors have protested the tone of past campaigns — which warned of dire consequences for Wikipedia if donors don't step up — and the professionalization of the foundation's fundraising. This year's pitch takes a lower-key approach, stating that users' gifts will keep the site "online and growing."

Read Chronicle of Philanthropy articles about Wikipedia's global fundraising and donor research.

Correction: A previous version of this article said the Wikimedia Foundation’s assets were three times the size of Wikipedia's annual operating costs. It should have said one-and-half times.