Wikimedia Foundation

American charitable organization

The Wikimedia Foundation is an American non-profit foundation. Their main headquarters is in San Francisco in the United States. The Wikimedia Foundation runs many projects using the wiki idea and the MediaWiki software. These projects include Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, and Meta-Wiki.[7]

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
FoundedJune 20, 2003; 21 years ago (2003-06-20)
St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
FounderJimmy Wales
Type501(c)(3), charitable organization
FocusFree, open-content, wiki-based Internet projects
Area served
ProductsWikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wikivoyage, MediaWiki
Key people
María Sefidari (Chair of the board)[3]
Katherine Maher (Executive director)
  • Increase US$81.4 million (2018)
  • 69.1 million (2017)[4]
Endowment (2019)US $35 million[5]
~301 staff/contractors (as of August 8, 2018)[6]
Wikimedia community

There are many other wikis related to the foundation, but these are mostly smaller projects. They include the Wikimedia Foundation wiki, the MediaWiki wiki, the Test Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Incubator, Bugzilla, and the Wikimania wiki.

The foundation's creation was officially announced by Wikipedia co-founder[8][9] Jimmy Wales, who was running Wikipedia within his company Bomis, on June 20, 2003.

The foundation gets most of its funds from donations, as it is a nonprofit. It also looks for grants. Some companies have helped Wikimedia by giving free computer hardware, and by hosting servers. Since people can write the wikis, Wikimedia projects are free to use. Funds are used to run computer servers and to pay staff. The Foundation had 700 employees in 2023.

In 2013, Sue Gardner was the executive director.[10]

In 2015, Patricio Lorente was the Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.[11]

In 2016, Katherine Maher became the executive director.

In 2018, María Sefidari is chair of the board.[3]

In 2022 Maryana Iskander became Chief Executive Officer, replacing Katherine Maher.



Content projects


As of 2021, Wikimedia has many content projects. These include:

Infrastructure projects


There are other projects that help the Wikimedia movement's infrastructure and interface. They do this by making them work smoothly. These include:

The different boards


Board of Trustees

Board members at Wikimania 2009 in Buenos Aires

The Board of Trustees in charge of all the affairs of the Foundation has ten members:

  • four who are appointed by the Board itself;
  • three who are selected by the community of all the different Wikimedia projects;
  • two who are selected by the local chapters and thematic organizations;
  • and one emeritus for the foundation's founder, Jimmy Wales.

The Signpost reported that two new trustees were elected in 2019:

  • Nataliia Tymkiv, user:antanana (English or Ukrainian)
  • Shani Evenstein, user:Esh77 i(English or Hebrew)[16]

Advisory Board


The Foundation also has an Advisory Board, an international network of experts who have agreed to give the foundation meaningful help on a regular basis in many different areas, including law, organizational development, technology, policy, and outreach.[17]


  1. "2014 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (form 990)" (PDF). WMF (Public Inspection Copy). 11 May 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 14, 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  2. "Contact us - Wikimedia Foundation". Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on June 25, 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wikimedia Foundation (20 July 2018). "Wikimedia Foundation announces Tanya Capuano as new Trustee, alongside leadership appointments at 14th annual Wikimania". Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, Financial Statements, June 30, 2018 and 2017" (PDF). Wikimedia Foundation. September 26, 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 9, 2021. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  5. Brent, Marc (24 April 2019). "Peter Baldwin, Lisbet Rausing give an additional $3.5 million to the Wikimedia Endowment". Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2019. With their gifts, the Endowment has now increased to more than $35 million and have moved us that much closer to our goal of $100 million.
  6. "Staff and contractors page (Wikimedia Foundation website)". Wikimedia Foundation. September 21, 2017. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  7. "List of Wikimedia wikis on Meta". Archived from the original on 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  8. Meyers, Peter (2001-09-20). "Fact-Driven? Collegial? This Site Wants You". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-05-27. Retrieved 2007-07-31. It's kind of surprising that you could just open up a site and let people work," said Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's co-founder and the chief executive of Bomis, a San Diego search engine company that donates the computer resources for the project.
  9. Bergstein, Brian (2007-03-25). "Sanger says he co-started Wikipedia". ABC News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2007-07-31. The nascent Web encyclopedia Citizendium springs from Larry Sanger, a philosophy Ph.D. who counts himself as a co-founder of Wikipedia, the site he now hopes to usurp. The claim doesn't seem particularly controversial — Sanger has long been cited as a co-founder. Yet the other founder, Jimmy Wales, isn't happy about it.
  10. Chozick, Amy (27 June 2013). "Jimmy Wales is Not an Internet Billionaire". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  11. Cbrown1023. "Board of Trustees". Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. "Wikipedia". Britannica. Retrieved 2023-06-09.
  13. Reed, Betsy. "Welcome to Wikidata! Now what?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2023-06-09.
  14. Sutherland, Joe. Emmanuel Engelhart, Inventor of Kiwix: the Offline Wikipedia Browser. In: Wikimedia Blog. 12 September 2014. Accessed on 26 November 2014.
  15. Barrett, Daniel J. (October 2008). MediaWiki. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-0-596-51979-7. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  16. "Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-06-30/Op-Ed". Archived from the original on 2019-06-30. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  17. "Advisory Board". Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2009-10-07.

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