November 19, 2011
Google Co-Founder Donates $500K To Wikipedia
A charitable foundation established by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife, Anne Wojcicki, has given a $500,000 grant towards Wikipedia's $28.3 million annual budget, various media outlets have reported.
The half-million dollar grant was given by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, a philanthropic organization established by Brin and his wife, the co-founder of personal genomics website 23andMe. It was officially announced by the Wikimedia Foundation on Friday, Rik Myslewski of The Register said.
"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 in a statement, according to Myslewski.
The donation comes in the midst of Wikipedia's annual fund-raising drive.
"When I founded Wikipedia," founder Jimmy Wales said in a message posted on the website, according to the Register. "I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different. We´ve worked hard over the years to keep it lean and tight. We fulfill our mission, and leave waste to others."
"Google might have close to a million servers. Yahoo has something like 13,000 staff. We have 679 servers and 95 staff. Wikipedia is the #5 site on the web and serves 450 million different people every month -- with billions of page views," ," he added, according to Jon Brodkin of Ars Technica. "Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn't belong here. Not in Wikipedia."
While the donation is significant, it is neither the largest one given by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation nor the largest one received by the Wikimedia Foundation. According to Brodkin, the Stanton Foundation recently gave $3.5 million to help support the online, user-edited encyclopedia.
Meanwhile, Myslewski notes that Brin's group had awarded a $50 million challenge grant to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF), which could push their giving to that organization to $130 million since 2004.
According to the Register, Brin "carries the LRRK2 G2019S genetic mutation that has been linked to a significant increase in risk for Parkinson's disease, and his mother was diagnosed with the disease in 1999."
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