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Funding is a very important aspect of the survival and growth of the Wikimedia infrastructure and mission.

In the early days of Wikipedia (the first project that would later come under the auspices of the Wikimedia Foundation) after it was created in January 2001 by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales, Wales was Wikipedia's sole benefactor. He paid for Wikipedia's bandwidth and for its domain names (which were relatively inexpensive, considering the small size of the early project), and as processing needs increased, he bought a new $3,000 server solely dedicated to Wikipedia and its related projects, rather than co-sharing space on a Bomis, Inc. rack.

Around early 2003, however, plans emerged to form a non-profit organization to manage Wikipedia's and Wiktionary's finances. Such an organization would be able to accept donations legally. And it could also recruit employees. Thus, on July 19, 2003, the domain was created.

History of yearly fundraisingEdit

Since then, every year the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) has successfully increased its previous year's fundraising goals. First, budgets were in the few hundreds of thousands of dollars, then a million, then a few million, and most recently (2009-2010) the Foundation raised well over $10,000,000. A significant portion of every year's budget is set aside in a savings account for longer-term planning.

Business sponsorsEdit

Past and continuing corporate sponsors of the Wikimedia Foundation include:

See alsoEdit