August 25, 2009, SAN FRANCISCO and REDWOOD CITY Calif. — Omidyar Network today announced a grant of up to $2 million over two years to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, one of the world’s top 5 most visited websites. The Wikimedia Foundation has also appointed Matt Halprin, a partner at Omidyar Network, to its Board of Trustees.
The grant will support Wikimedia’s key goals: to bring free educational content to every person on the planet, to engage and empower more people to author that content and to continually increase the quality and breadth of the information provided through Wikimedia’s projects.
“We are very grateful for Omidyar Network’s support. I am also delighted to have Matt joining us,” said Michael Snow, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board. “His extensive experience with online communities, trust, and reputation, will make him an excellent addition to our Board. Matt also has a background in strategy development, which will be particularly useful for us as we embark on the collaborative strategy development project, Wikimedia’s top priority for the coming year.”
“The Wikimedia Foundation is a critical player in the growing social movement toward greater transparency and openness. I am honored to be serving on the Foundation’s board,” said Matt Halprin, Partner, Omidyar Network. “Wikipedia reaches and engages millions of people every day, enabling information sharing in a collaborative, online platform. Omidyar Network sees great potential in Wikipedia as it continues to expand in emerging geographies, where this social impact will be magnified even further.”
Before joining Omidyar Network, Halprin was most recently Vice President of Global Trust and Safety at eBay. Prior to eBay, Halprin served as a Partner and Vice President at the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked with technology clients on strategy issues.
In addition to direct financial support, Omidyar Network will dedicate internal resources and engage its network to support Wikimedia’s strategic planning process, communications work, and recruiting.
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization which operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 300 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property world-wide (June, 2009). Available in more than 265 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 12 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic, social, and political change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $290 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, property rights, government transparency, and social media. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.