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The Wikimedia Foundation is the parent organization of Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Nupedia. It is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of Florida, USA. Its existence was officially announced by Bomis CEO Jimbo Wales on June 20, 2003. The name "Wikimedia" was coined by Sheldon Rampton in a WikiEN-l mailing list post and the domain name http://wikimedia.org was secured for the then future Foundation by fellow Wikipedia contributor Daniel Mayer.

The goals of the foundation are to encourage the growth and development of open content, WikiWiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge and without advertising. In addition to managing the already developed multilingual general encyclopedia and almanac named Wikipedia, there is a multi-language dictionary and thesaurus named Wiktionary and plans to start a project to write open-content textbooks. The Foundation will also manage the operations of the largely dormant Nupedia project (which is not a wiki but is open content).

With the Foundation's announcement, Wales also transferred ownership of all Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Nupedia domain names to Wikimedia along with the copyrights for all materials related to these projects that were created by Bomis employees or Wales himself. The computer equipment used to run all the Wikimedia projects is still the property of Bomis but Wales mentioned the possibility of transferring these assets to the Foundation in the near future.

Wales previously mentioned on several occasions that bandwidth and power will continue to be provided by Bomis free of charge for these projects. It is hoped that the existence of the non-profit foundation will make it possible to generate enough revenue through donations and grants to ensure the continued growth of each of the Wikimedia projects.

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