The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization which operates Wikipedia, announced a $3 million donation from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation today. The donation will be paid ratably over three years.
Last year the foundation had total income of $2.7 million and expenses of about $2.1 million (see financials here). This year revenue should be significantly higher. In addition to this donation, Wikipedia has engaged in significant fundraising efforts over the last year. The foundation has 15 employees and hopes to grow to 25 by 2010.
The foundation has also been under close scrutiny lately around potential conflicts with large donors. at some point, it seems, they should seriously consider proposals to become financially independent via advertising on the site. Even very minor advertising would provide a huge windfall. Nearly a quarter of a billion people visit Wikipedia every month (fifth largest on the Internet), generating nearly 4 billion page views (Comscore worldwide, February 2008).