Wikipedia Scores $3 Million Donation From Sloan Foundation

"We are extremely grateful for this support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation," Sue Gardner Wikimedia's executive director, said in a prepared statement. "This institutional support from Sloan will enable us to make progress on some key goals: increasing quality, broadening participation, and distributing free knowledge to people without Internet connectivity."

A Wikimedia release said the money would be distributed at the rate of a million a year over three years. Doron Weber, Sloan program director for Universal Access to Recorded Knowledge, said Wikipedia represents "a quantum leap" in the collection of knowledge from around the world.

"We are delighted to support the Wikimedia Foundation and to help develop its organizational capacity and improve the quality of its flagship, Wikipedia," Weber said in the statement.

Part of the money will go to supporting "Flagged Revisions" which function as a kind of bellwether for the quality of content found on Wikipedia. This software feature allows experienced editors to publicly and visibly grade the quality status of articles.

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The statement said Wikimedia also plans to use some funds to expand Wikipedia Academy, which is designed to strengthen Wikipedia's quality by teaching groups how to contribute, and to support efforts to disseminate collected knowledge through traditional media like DVDs and books.