Wikipedia gets $2M from Omidyar Network

Philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network just announced that it’s making a $2 million grant to the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit group that runs online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The investment firm was started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, so the two groups seem like an obvious fit, with their shared do-gooder missions and tech roots. Wikipedia, of course, is extremely popular (the press release cites comScore numbers showing the site receives 300 million unique monthly visitors and is the fifth most-popular destination on the web), but it’s run on a not-for-profit basis and doesn’t include any advertising, which means it needs outside funding to keep it going. For example, the foundation raised $6.2 million from 125,000 donors in a fundraising drive at the end of last year.

This is Omidyar’s first grant to the Wikimedia Foundation. Matt Halprin, a partner at the investment firm, is also joining Wikimedia’s board of trustees. Halprin previously served as vice president of global trust and Safety at eBay.


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