Wikipedia doesn’t run on love and good vibes. It takes money to keep the Encyclopedia Brittanica of the millenium running. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation–which also gives out a lot of money to filmmakers–just donated another $3 mil to Wikimedia Foundation, the group that supports Wikipedia. Here’s the press release:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – July 11, 2011 – The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic grantmaking institution that supports science, technology and economic institutions, announced today that it will award a grant of $3 million (USD) to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia. This is the second grant of this amount awarded to the Wikimedia Foundation from the Sloan Foundation’s Universal Access to Knowledge component of its Digital Information Technology program. The Wikimedia Foundation is delighted to have received this vote of continued confidence in its work.
The Sloan Foundation’s first grant of $3 million, awarded from 2008 through 2010, is the largest single grant ever received by the Wikimedia Foundation. These funds bootstrapped the organization so that it could grow its core operations to support and sustain Wikipedia as a high-quality free knowledge resource. The new funds will support Wikimedia’s strategic plan that focuses on increasing Wikipedia’s quality, increasing the number and demographic diversity of its editors, and reaching more readers, particularly in the global south.
“Three years ago, at a time when cultural elites were ambivalent about Wikipedia, the Sloan Foundation took a risk by supporting us. I will always be grateful to Sloan for its courage in doing that,” said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Today the academic community in particular has begun to appreciate Wikipedia, and is starting to work closely with us to make it even better. I’m grateful to Sloan for sending an important signal that helped make that happen, and I’m thrilled at this renewed expression of confidence in our work.”
“We are delighted to support Wikimedia in developing and sustaining its educational mission while continuously improving quality, diversity and access to knowledge for people everywhere,” said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Wikipedia embodies the ideal values of the world wide web and we are proud to be part of this bold endeavor to use the wisdom and the altruism of the crowd to create the biggest, most up-to-date and most open global encyclopedia in human history.”