The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. (WMF) is an American not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to support and encourage people worldwide to collect and develop educational content under a free license or for the public domain and to distribute it effectively and worldwide. to spread. The organization has become known worldwide for using wiki collaboration software for an online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Since then, several projects have been set up according to the same concept, most of them also based on wiki software.
The Wikimedia Foundation makes technical and organizational infrastructure available to contributors worldwide. The servers on which the Wikimedia Foundation's projects run are located in the United States (Virginia, Texas, California), Singapore and the Netherlands.
The Wikimedia Foundation owns the hardware, software and rights holder of the following projects (interactive websites):
Wiktionary: dictionary of meanings, translations, etymology and pronunciation
Wikiquote: collection of quotes and proverbs
Wikibooks: manuals and free books
Wikisource: source texts
Wikimedia Commons: central repository for project media files
Wikimedia Incubator: starting up new wikis within Wikimedia
Wikinews: news source
Wikispecies: catalog of all types of living things
Wikivoyage: global travel guide
Wikiversity (Wikiversity): collection of free education projects
Meta-Wiki: international collaboration website for Wikimedia's projects
Wikimania: An Annual International Conference
The company was founded on June 20, 2003 in Florida by Jimmy Wales, president of Bomis Inc., then owner and operator of hardware and software and rights holder of Wikipedia and predecessor Nupedia. According to the articles of incorporation, the new organization is exempt from tax payment. The name "Wikipedia" was coined by Larry Sanger, the name "Wikimedia" was coined by Sheldon Rampton, both in a "WikiEN-l mailing list" message in January 2001 and March 2003, respectively.
Organization and financing
The Board of Trustees, the board of the Wikimedia Foundation, is the highest body of the organization and has the highest decision-making and acting powers. The board is mainly concerned with regulations within the organization, responsibility for general policy and that in the field of fundraising and the use of funds. The board consists of ten members and in 2019 is chaired by María Sefidari. The Wikimedia Foundation has agreements in several countries with local organizations called "chapters", who are committed by the agreements to the same mission as the WMF. In the Netherlands there has been the Wikimedia Netherlands Association since 2006: in Belgium Wikimedia Belgium has been in existence since 2014. The Foundation itself in turn makes grants available for chapters, user groups and projects that support the Wikimedia Foundation's mission.
In 2016, approximately 280 employees worked for the WMF. In principle, these employees do not write articles themselves, but are there for the organizational work and the technical structure. They are led by a director (Executive Director). From March 2016 to April 15, 2021 that was Katherine Maher, before that Lila Tretikov (from June 2014) and Sue Gardner (from December 2007). As of October 2, 2021, the foundation had more than 550 employees and contractors. Wikimedia is a non-profit Organization: Profits are used for educational purposes according to the statutes. The income consists almost exclusively of donations and subsidies, major sponsors in 2019 were Apple, Google, Microsoft, the King Baudouin Foundation and the Dutch internet billionaire Arnout Schuijff. Since Katherine Maher took office