LinuxFund donation

New source of funding added

Wikipedia will be the beneficiary of a new revenue stream in the near future, as it was included among the recipients of donations announced last week by the open source nonprofit group LinuxFund.

As reported on Friday, LinuxFund will be supporting Wikipedia with a donation of $6,000 over the next year. The announcement marks a renewal of activity by the fund, which had trouble staying on track after the departure of its executive director, but was still bringing in revenue. New Executive Director David Mandel indicated that he was working to catch up on paperwork, and that the group planned to support additional projects in the future.

LinuxFund runs a program to market a Linux credit card and receives a percentage of purchases made by cardholders. The credit card is provided in conjunction with MBNA, a financial services company, in what is known as an "affinity card" program. The money received by LinuxFund is supposed to be redistributed to open source projects.

Wikimedia Foundation Press Officer Elisabeth Bauer told NewsForge, "Like most donations, the money will therefore be used to cover hardware and bandwidth costs, and possibly software development work necessary to provide Wikimedia's free services to the public."

The other projects for which LinuxFund announced donations are the Debian Project and the freenode IRC network. Freenode, which hosts a number of IRC channels related to Wikipedia, had recently been running its own fundraising drive. Some people, however, objected to the fact that a portion of those funds would go toward the salary of its director, Rob Levin.

The potential for this donation to be a part of the Wikimedia Foundation's regular funding will help with planning for the project, according to Bauer. The contributions will be paid out over a one-year time period, and Mandel indicated that the projects will be reviewed annually.

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