On November 15, 2010, Wikipedia announced a fundraising goal of $16 million to help fund its operating budget of $20 million a year. For weeks, banner ads on the site asked users to donate and on January 1, 2011, the foundation announced the goal had been reached.

In just 50 days, Wikipedia managed to pull off its shortest and most successful fundraising drive ever. 500,000 users from 140 countries made an average contribution of $22. 2009's fundraiser, by contrast, raised only $8 million from 240,000 individual contributors.

"We want to thank every one of our donors for making this year a success, and on behalf of the fundraising team, I personally wish to thank the one-thousand community members who helped us create and test messages, who wrote appeals, and translated banners and letters into over 80 languages," Philippe Beaudette, Wikipedia's Head of Reader Relations, said in a statement.

"With the close of our annual fundraiser, we are transitioning into the contribution phase of the campaign. We will be running banners for the next few days to thank everyone who came together in the spirit of creating and 'effectively disseminating the sum of human knowledge available for all.'"