Google Inc., arguably one of the most profitable company on the internet, has given a massive $2 million to the Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation behind the comprehensive user-generated online encyclopedia, which carries more than 14 million articles contributed by over 100,000 volunteers.
This largess from Google parallels the donation to the Wikimedia Foundation, from Pierre Omidyar, founder of the online auctioning giant eBay, who incidentally made a grant of $2million to Wikimedia around six months back via one of his investment divisions.
Google and Wikimedia officially announced the donation on Wednesday, claiming the funds will help in upgrading technical infrastructure to pave the way for soaring traffic, and thereby make Wikipedia “easier to use and more accessible”.
Sergey Brin, Google’s iconic co-founder, said in a statement, “Wikipedia is one of the greatest triumphs of the Internet. This vast repository of community-generated content is an invaluable resource to anyone who is online”.
Wikipedia largely depends upon grants and donations from its users and in its funds-raising drive for the fiscal year 2009-10, the Wikimedia Foundation has raised more $8 million so far from 240,000 contributors across the world.
These donations have helped the website to expand while keeping itself commercially free and easily accessible for the users throughout the globe.
The Foundation is planning to spend $3 million in paying salaries and other benefits to its 30-member workforce, while the second-largest expenditure is for running the website at roughly $1.1 million. In 2008-2009, the foundation's spending was dramatically reduced in response to the global economic downturn.
(The Wall Street Journal)