WEEK 32: WIKIPEDIA'S OFFICIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM (WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION)

The "second Wikipedia" is the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), which exists to support the "first Wikipedia"—the global volunteer community—and its many related projects.

In the beginning, Wikipedia was owned by Jimmy Wales. But as it grew, a non-profit charity made more sense, and in 2003 the WMF was established. Today, it owns the trademarks and the servers, develops partnerships and new software, supports local chapters, and runs Wikipedia's annual conference.

When you donate to Wikipedia, WMF is where the money goes. In the last annual report it had about $60 million in assets, almost $30 million in cash, and a staff of about 200.

In most cases, the Wikimedia Foundation steers clear of getting involved community governance and site content. Its job is simply to help Wikipedia's volunteers do what they do best.