The Wikimedia movement is the global community of contributors to Wikimedia projects. The movement was created around Wikipedia, and has since expanded to many other projects, including the Wikipedia community with around 70,000 volunteers for other Wikimedia projects such as Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons, and volunteer software developers contributing to MediaWiki. These volunteers are supported by numerous organizations around the world, including the Wikimedia Foundation, related chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups.
Wikimedia projects include:
The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is an American non-profit and charitable organization headquartered in San Francisco, California. It owns the domain names and operates most of the movement's websites, like Wikipedia, the Internet encyclopedia, as well as Wikimedia Commons.
The WMF was founded in 2003 by Jimmy Wales as a way to fund Wikipedia and its sister projects through non-profit means. Its purpose is "... to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."
According to the WMF's 2015 financial statements, in 2015 the WMF had a budget of $72 million USD, spending $52 million USD on its operation, and increasing its reserves to $82 million USD.
Chapters are organizations that support Wikimedia projects in specified geographical regions, mostly countries. There are 41 chapters.
Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) is the largest chapter, with a total budget of EUR20 million. WMDE allocates approximately EUR1 million to support the corporation responsible for distributing donations, and EUR4 million for transfer to the WMF.
To have the same procedure, every chapter follows the same process and requests its yearly budget at the funds dissemination committee. The foundation as internet domain owner of the project pages requests a share of the donations via the website in a country (e.g., for Germany, Switzerland), or pays a chapter the agreed amount (other chapters). A total of under 4 Mio USD is distributed via this way to chapters and thematic organizations. The legal base is a "Chapters Agreement" with the foundation.
User groups have less formal requirements than chapters and thematic organizations. They support and promote the Wikimedia projects locally or on a specific theme, topic, subject, or issue. At the beginning of 2016, there were 55 user groups. Once they are recognized by the Affiliations Committee, they enter into a "User Groups Agreement and Code of Conduct" with the foundation. They have a program to encourage female editors.
The encyclopedia's huge fan base became such a drain on Bomis's resources that Mr. Wales, and co-founder Larry Sanger, thought of a radical new funding model - charity.
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