Wikipedia just turned 15 years old, but you wouldn't know it from the nigh-on inescapable donation drives -- the crowdsourced encyclopedia often seems as if it's months away from extinction. The Wikimedia Foundation (its parent organization) may have a way to keep the site around for the long haul, however. It's launching the Wikimedia Endowment, a "perpetual" support fund for Wikipedia and other Foundation efforts. The goal is to raise $100 million over the next 10 years, or enough to both improve its independence and give it room to grow.
The Endowment may well be necessary. Wikipedia revolves around its free, no-ads approach to information, and there's no guarantee that it'll find enough people to chip in. This prevents it from having to turn to ads and otherwise compromise its relatively impartial stance. Moreover, the team is eager to add more videos and continue adapting to the mobile world -- those expansions will cost money. The organization still has to be frugal (it's not about to beat YouTube), but it shouldn't be at risk of falling behind.
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