Fundraising 2007/Why Give blog/Wikimedia: The Future

"The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the 10 most visited websites in the world."
The Home page of the Official Wikimedia Foundation website

Inspiring as this statement is, it still falls short of fully encapsulating the worth and greatness of the goals of the Foundation, and its many flourishing, multilingual wiki projects. Through these collaborative, volunteer-based projects – from Wikipedia, the free enecyclopedia, to Wikisource, Wikimedia's online library of free content publications, to Wiktionary, Wikimedia's open-content dictionary – Wikimedia has left a lasting mark on the world.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that these projects have grown as exponentially as they have. For instance, Wikipedia, formed in 2001, consists of over 7 million articles in over 200 languages. In just six years – less, in fact – Wikipedia has become easily the largest encyclopedia ever compiled. Another example of staggering expansion can be seen in Wikimedia Commons, a free multimedia repository. Launched in 2004, Commons already contains over five million media files.

These projects have already changed the world, in so many ways: by providing free knowledge and education, by acting as a resource for media and books, and as a catalogue and general reference on almost every subject imaginable.

However, the projects only remain functional because of donations from people just like you. Without funding, all of this is at risk of being lost.

As is plainly stated on a page on the English Wikipedia, "We're in it for the long haul [...] We want Wikipedia to be around at least a hundred years from now, if it does not turn into something even more significant." This is true for all of the projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation – we really are in it for the long haul. We are serious about the permanence of these projects. This future can only be ensured by the continued donations of the public.

Think of how far we have come in only a few years, of the growth of the projects in such a short time. Given a source of funding and monetary support, imagine where these projects could be in, say, 50 years' time. Imagine the impact we could have on the world. Imagine the light of knowledge free to everyone, everywhere.

The cause and vision of the Foundation is a good one. It's precious. Its influence has touched every corner of the globe, and, with your help, it will continue to for many years to come. The donations are the fuel that will ensure the future: the future that is Wikimedia.

If you appreciate the work the Foundation does and the value of the projects, please donate today.

About the author: User:Anonymous Dissident is a Wikimedian who found the English Wikipedia in January 2007, and has progressed from there to various other projects, such as [[: |Meta-Wiki]] and Wikimedia Commons. He has donated to the Foundation and invites you to do the same.