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Sergey Brin opens his wallet for Wikipedia

19 Nov 2011
Wikipedia logo

Are you tired of seeing that big fundraising banner ad at the top of every Wikipedia page? Then you have some good news coming your way.

The Wikimedia Foundation is approaching their goal, and when the ads finally do stop running you will have Sergey Brin to thank for it. The Google co-founder and his wife Anne Wojiciki have pledged $500,000 to help keep Wikipedia alive.

The donation is being made by the Brin-Wojiciki Foundation, a charitable organisation the couple founded. The grant will go to fund Wikipedia as well as other WikiMedia sites, the organisation said in a statement.

"This grant is an important endorsement of the Wikimedia Foundation and its work, and I hope it will send a signal as we kick off our annual fundraising campaign this week," Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner said.

"This is how Wikipedia works: people use it, they like it, and so they help pay for it, to keep it freely available for themselves and for everyone around the world."

The donation could also help save Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales from incurring further embarassment. As web comic The Oatmeal points out, the foundation's banner ad uses the rather unfortunate placement of Wales' face directly above the page's subject line. Depending on the subject being viewed, this can be a bit bad for Jimmy.

Jokes aside, the money is going to a very worthy cause. Wikipedia has grown into an incredibly useful source for informal research, and as a non-profit project it relies entirely on donations from its user community. Sergey Brin might have gotten the fundraiser to its goal, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't donate a few pounds if you are able to.

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Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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