Wikimedia Foundation


May 23, 2022

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization (501(c)(3) foundation) governed by the laws of the State of Florida in the United States responsible for centralizing certain administrative aspects of the Wikimedia movement as a whole. Its official existence was announced on June 20, 2003, by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is the organization that hosts the free encyclopedia Wikipedia, but also projects Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wikivoyage and Wikidata, all using the platform software MediaWiki collaborative web.


The purpose of the Wikimedia Foundation is to promote the growth and development of projects containing free knowledge based on the principle of the wiki, and to distribute the content publicly and free of charge. The non-profit association owns all the servers on which the Wikimedia projects are hosted, installed in the United States, the Netherlands and Singapore. The Wikimedia Foundation owns many domain names, rights to logos and some brand names[insufficient source]. Users and participants in Wikimedia projects can meet at the annual international conference Wikimania [ref. desired].

Board of Directors

In January 2004, Jimmy Wales named Tim Shell and Michael Davis members of the board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation. In June 2004, an election was held within the communities of the various projects to elect two additional members. After a month of campaigning, then an election held online for two weeks, Angela Beesley and Florence Devouard were elected to the board, as representatives of all participants in the various Wikimedia projects. Both were re-elected in June 2005. On October 28, 2006, Florence Devouard was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. She was replaced on July 17, 2008 by Michael Snow, a German lawyer. In 2009, Matt Halprin was appointed as the ninth member of the Board after a donation of two million dollars from Omidyar Network. Its mandate is extended for one year by the board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Chronology of CEOs and Presidents


The name "Wikimedia" was proposed in March 2003 by Sheldon Rampton. The announcement of the creation of the Wikimedia Foundation was made by Jimmy Wales in June 2003 in these terms: “I am pleased to announce the formation of the Wikimedia Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit organization governed by the laws of Florida, USA. I am transferring to this new organization the following assets: All domain names All domain names All copyrights for software or articles that were previously owned by Bomis, Inc. and are already under a "copyleft" license (This includes work done under contract by Jason, Tim, Larry, Toan, Liz, and me themselves, as well as other Bomis employees who may have worked on these projects while on the job, but does not include those done outside of their work hours or when they were not Bomis employees.) (All of this was already licensed under the GNU GPL or GNU FDL, so it's just a formality. But even then, we want to give a good example.) Furthermore, I donate all the result of my personal copyrighted work already licensed under the GNU GPL or GNU FDL, for Wikipedia and Nupedia to the Wikimedia Foundation. »

Budgets and resources

The Wikimedia Foundation works mainly through donations, which in 2017 represented a collection of 91 million dollars (78 million euros). Since 2007, a cash surplus corresponding to almost a third of