Wikimedia, the non-profit organization behind, received its largest donation ever of $3 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation yesterday, March 25, 2008.   According to the announcement, the donation “will suppo

rt Wikimedia's organizational development and help to increase the quality of its content and the reach of its services.”   One program funded by the donation, called Flagged Revisions, will enable editors to publicly grade articles on Wikipedia. It will also fund the Wikipedia Academy, an outreach service aimed at teaching academics, older people, and other groups how to contribute to the website, further improving the content.   The Wikimedia Foundation also plans to produce DVDs and books in order to reach those who are not connected to the internet. is the 7th most popular website in the U.S. according to comScore. Consequently, most of the Wikimedia Foundation’s $4.6 million budget covers the servers and Internet bandwidth to handle such traffic.   Even with so many viewers, the Wikimedia Foundation does not fund Wikipedia and its other projects through advertising, relying instead on donations.   The Sloan Foundation’s contribution is a big leap in the increase of donations to the Wikimedia Foundation over the years. Last year, the sum contributions reached $2.2 million, an increase from $1.3 million in 2006.   Jimmy Wales, a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation and a leader of the Wikipedia project, hopes the newest donation “will pave the way towards more donations as it is a signal that a major foundation sees good in what we are doing."   The group has been looking for more stable means of support in order to ensure its long-term survival. Hopefully the newest contribution will help keep alive the world’s largest and most popular encyclopedia.   By Danny Scuderi   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at