Omidyar Network, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's philanthropic and investment organization, announced today that it will give the Wikimedia Foundation, parent organization of Wikipedia, a $2 million grant over the next two years.The
At current spending levels, Omidyar will be contributing just over 10% of WIkipedia's full expenses. The Foundation has been concerned about the global economic climate's impact on donations and is about to enter into a major new period of its history in which the free-form editing of Wikipedia will be slowed by a new approval process that has long been expected.
Former eBay exec turned Omidyar partner Matt Halprin will become the ninth member of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees. Halprin doesn't have a Wikipedia entry, and the Omidyar Networks' entry "may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards."
Wikimedia said in its annual report that it plans to spend a total of $9.4 million over the 2009-2010 year. Just three years ago, in '06-'07, the organization spent only $3 million. Back in the old days of '04-'05, it cost just $100,000 to run everything.