fundraising campaign

Final campaign total: $533,898.68!

Melissa Reeder, January 6th, 2010

THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our annual fundraising campaign, who bought swag from our online store, and who helped spread the word to friends and colleagues asking for their support of CC over the past three months. Thanks to you, we were able to meet and exceed our goal, raising a total of $533,898.68 from individuals, family foundations, and companies around the world. We are honored to have so much support, despite a grim economic climate and amidst calls of support from so many worthy causes.

In the spirit of transparency, here’s a more precise breakdown of the funds we raised during this campaign. We had a greater number of donations from individual supporters – users, advocates, and friends of Creative Commons just like you – than in any previous year; 1,296 individuals from countries around the world contributed whatever amount they were able in support of the commons, giving a total of $234,798.68. While this number is larger than it ever has been before, it is still relatively tiny compared to the scope and breadth of Creative Commons and the number of users and CC licenses (over a quarter of a billion) that currently exist in the world. We’re hoping to see this gap narrow as Creative Commons becomes more self-sustaining, with our users and supporters giving enough back to the organization to support our core operations.

This year’s corporate support came from the following companies and totaled $237,500:
Consumer Electronics Association
Current Media
Digital Garage
Microsoft Corporation

We also extend a heartfelt thanks to the following family foundations for their contributions totaling $61,600:
Doug and Betsey Schwab Family Foundation
Elbaz Family Foundation
Harnisch Foundation
Vadasz Family Foundation
Markle Foundation
Lewis Foundation
Tom and Susan Rabon Charitable Foundation

We asked our supporters to fill out a questionnaire and tell us why they chose to support CC this year. Here is what a few of you had to say:

“I strongly believe in new ways of licensing creativity.”
“I believe the commons is important for culture and society.”
“CC is needed to change the creative world from being self protective to being open and sharing.”
“Because I fervently believe in personal freedom and CC is about Freedom.”

If you donated this year, but missed the questionnaire, I encourage you to fill it out so that we can continue to improve our fundraising and awareness efforts.

We always welcome your support. We expect 2010 to be a year of many exciting projects and milestones – you can help ensure that by donating, buying swag, licensing your creative works and using CC-licensed material.

1 Comment »

Thank You to Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales

Mike Linksvayer, January 5th, 2010

Wikipedia also wrapped up a wildly successful fundraiser at the end of the year. See below for Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ thank you letter to the community, reproduced in full under CC BY-SA, the license Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites migrated to last June. Note “support our friends” at the end — it is a great honor for CC to be in such esteemed company!

Wow. What can I say? Thank you.

We’ve just ended the most successful fundraiser in our history, $7.5 million USD raised in less than 8 weeks.

Incredible. But I’m not surprised.

In 2001, I took a bet on people, and you’ve never let me down.

You have created the largest collection of human knowledge ever assembled: 14 million encyclopedia articles in 270 languages, still growing and getting better every day. You have supported, funded and protected it.

Advertising doesn’t pay for Wikipedia. You do. Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website on earth – 340 million people last month – and we run our servers and pay our lean staff entirely with donations.

Your donations keep Wikipedia free to use and free of ads. Your donations keep spreading free access to knowledge all across the earth.

Thank you for everything you give to make Wikipedia a reality. I’ve been inspired by your comments, and feel privileged to witness your passion for Wikipedia.

  • “When I’m at a loss for answers in life, you are always here to rescue me!” – Lauren Sierra
  • “To my 6-year-old son, Wikipedia is a wonderful window into the world’s knowledge.” – Pilgrim Beart

  • “Wikipedia é muito importante para todos. É uma conquista da humanidade.” – Fernando Borba
  • “Wikipedia is all about fulfilling one simple need: immediate access to high quality information on any topic you can think of. That is why I’m glad to support it.” – Joao Nunes

It’s an amazing story. There’s nothing else like it.

And if you haven’t yet made a contribution to support Wikipedia, it’s not too late. You can still make a gift to support the free and open sharing of knowledge. Just click here.

I also encourage you to support our friends:

Thank you again.

Wikipedia forever,

Jimmy Wales

Founder, Wikipedia

Comments Off on Thank You to Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales

$500,000 raised for CC by YOU and thank YOU!

Mike Linksvayer, December 31st, 2009

cc-shepard-fairey-logo-mediumWe launched our fifth year-end campaign on October 5 in a very difficult economic environment. Today, the final day of the year, the decade, and last scheduled day of the campaign, we surpassed our goal of raising $500,000.

Three major contributions in the last 24 hours carried us over the top from our board member Eric Saltzman, entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, and the Lewis Charitable Foundation.

Just as exciting, we’ve received support from more individual donors than in any previous year.


If you’re a new supporter, you’re joining many individuals, corporations, and foundations that have supported our work to build the commons for years. Congratulations!

One new supporter needs to be called out here — Lulu — for making a very significant multi-year commitment to Creative Commons. Details in a dedicated post soon. Many thanks to Lulu founder Bob Young, one of our original funders.

2009 was a groundbreaking year for Creative Commons. Thanks to you, 2010 should be even better. With your support, we will be working to make the 2010s a decade in which the voluntary commons contributes mightily to realizing the potential of digital networks for the arts, media, education, science, the public sector, and collaboration and innovation across fields.

If you haven’t given yet, there’s still time to support the commons in 2009! Any amount will help. As a reminder, a donation of $75 or more gets you a CC t-shirt designed by artist Shepherd Fairey (image above). For as little as $3.50 you can get swag from our store.

Thanks again. Watch for an analysis of the campaign and lots of exciting initiatives in 2010 — we’ll be asking for your input. Spread the word!

1 Comment »

One Last Commoner Letter – from Lawrence Lessig, CC’s Founder

Allison Domicone, December 28th, 2009

Though our 2009 Commoner Letter series has officially come to an end, we are pleased to announce one final letter, this time from our Founder and Board Member Lawrence Lessig. Professor Lessig needs little introduction, so I’ll leave it to him tell you in his own words why supporting the mission of Creative Commons is vital for anyone who cares about building a culture of free and legal online sharing. If you, like Professor Lessig and hundreds of thousands of creators and consumers around the world, care about sustaining CC in the long term, then I encourage you to give back to CC and invest in the work we do. As an added incentive to answer Professor Lessig’s call for support, Attributor and wikiHow are currently matching gifts made to CC – so donate today and make your year-end gift really count!


It is the end of another year, and I find myself frantically reaching out through as many channels as I can to get friends of the commons to support Creative Commons. I’ve been writing emails — yes, actual hand-made emails — to everyone who’s given significant contributions to us before but not this year. I’ve been writing to others who should be giving but haven’t so far. And I’ve been writing more machine made emails (like, for example this) to everyone else. 

My freneticism about this is in part personal, part not. The part that’s not is the stuff that you’ve been reading about — about Creative Commons — in all these letters. You’ve helped us build something important and valuable, that is supporting a much bigger and much more valuable ecology of creativity that everyone should be celebrating. If I had thought at the start to predict when I knew we had marked our space, it would have been when the White House, Al Jazeera, and Wikipedia all adopted CC licenses. That happened this year. And now that it has happened, we all have an even stronger obligation to make sure this thing that thousands helped build over the past 7 years continues to grow and succeed and inspire. 

But the part of the frenetic that’s personal is that I worry that I myself am not doing enough for this amazing organization that I helped found. That I’m an absent father — or worse. That because I felt I had to devote the majority of my energy to a new, and truly impossible project — fighting “institutional corruption,” especially as it debilitates our government — I was leaving this child on its own a bit too early. 

I can’t hide that I fear exactly this. This year in particular, despite our receiving more contributions than ever in our history, we are struggling to meet our goal. The desert that is corporate contributions has hit us hard, and that forces all of us (and especially, absent fathers) to work harder. 

That is why I asked the team at Creative Commons to let me write this last Commoner letter for the year. Tough times force us to shake out the old, and focus on the future. Creative Commons will be an even bigger part of a much saner future. A world is beginning to recognize the place for reasonableness and balance. They are beginning to practice that using our tools. 

But you need to help us to continue building that future. One click will get that started. Please, as you complete the list of great orgs to support this year, be certain you have reserved a space for us. This year more than any other before, we need that support. Donate today.

Thank you. 



Just Announced! Attributor and wikiHow Will Match $5500 in Donations!

Allison Domicone, December 28th, 2009

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that our longtime friends Attributor and wikiHow have come together in the final days of our annual campaign to generously match the next $5,500 in donations! wikiHow has committed to giving $3000 and Attributor $2500, so please join them and show you care about the future of Creative Commons and building a culture of sharing. Even if you’ve already donated, please consider giving whatever you can today – it will automatically be doubled!

We’re proud to have the continued support of both wikiHow and Attributor, who, since each company’s founding, have been dedicated advocates of the commons and have demonstrated how we can use the Internet as a powerful digital tool to promote collaboration, innovation, and the sharing of information.

wikiHow is “a collaboration to build and share the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual.” Every month, millions of people turn to the multilingual site to learn how to do something new, and it relies on the knowledge, creativity, and contributions of people around the globe to make it a unique and useful tool. wikiHow supports Creative Commons because, in the words of its founder, Jack Herrick, “I’d like to live in a world where knowledge can grow and be built upon by many. Creative Commons creates the infrastructure to make this information sharing possible.” Check out wikiHow’s redesigned Web site.

Attributor provides the free service FairShare, first previewed at the CC tech summit in 2008. FairShare lets you assign a CC license to your work and receive information on how and where it is shared with others. Results come back as an RSS feed and include information about the percentage of your work re-used, whether you’ve received attribution and if ads are present. According to Attributor VP, Rich Pearson, “We’re a proud supporter of Creative Commons and do everything we can to spread their vision of saving the world from failed sharing.”

Please join Rich, Jack, and the rest of the folks at Attributor and wikiHow in investing in Creative Commons and a bright future for the world of online sharing. Your support helps, and every contribution counts, so please give what you can and donate today!

1 Comment »

Commoner Letter #6: Stephen Friend of Sage Bionetworks

Allison Domicone, December 21st, 2009

Stephen Friend is the President, CEO, and co-founder of Sage Bionetworks. He was previously a Senior Vice President at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led Merck’s Basic Cancer Research efforts. Stephen is a committed advocate of Science Commons, the wing of Creative Commons dedicated to making the Web work for science. Stephen’s innovative work with Sage creating an open access bionetwork is inspiring and commendable, and we’re honored to have him write the sixth letter in the Commoner Letter series of this year’s fundraising campaign. We hope you will be inspired by his story of scientists coming together to grow a commons that will help speed medical innovation and discovery and will join him in supporting Creative Commons today.

Stephen Friend

Dear Creative Commoner,

I’m writing today as the President and co-founder of Sage Bionetworks, a new non-profit medical research organization. At Sage, we’re working to build a pre-competitive space for scientists, research foundations, and research institutions to collaboratively discover the way diseases really work in the human body.

I started my career as a doctor, treating kids with cancer. My experience there led me into a deep study of genetics, and into the use of software and computation to investigate diseases by filtering genome data. For a long time, the field has been dominated by a reductionist approach to disease, and by the idea that success would come to individual groups who gathered and mined their own self generated enclosed data and content.

With my scientific partner Eric Schadt, we built software and databases at Merck that assemble “globally coherent” data (like clinical outcomes, genetic variation, intermediate traits, drug reactions) into unified predictive models. We have proven that it works.

But after spending seven years building massive models of human disease it becomes clear to me that no single company, not even one as big as Merck, could possibly gather and integrate enough information to make the decisions we need to make about when and how to treat something as complicated as cancer or Alzheimer’s, or for that matter, cardiovascular disease.

It was going to take a collaborative effort. I saw inspiration in Wikipedia, in GNU/Linux, in systems that were capable of scaling far beyond the capacity of a single institution.

So I decided to leave Merck, and build the seed of an open, pre-competitive space in biology using what we’d done inside the company. Merck gave us more than $150,000,000 worth of work, software and data and supercomputers, and we launched this fall with funding from disease foundations and other donors.

Our goal is ambitious. We want to take biology from a place where enclosure and privacy are the norm, where biologists see themselves as lone hunter-gatherers working to get papers written, to one where the knowledge is created specifically to fit into an open model where it can be openly queried and transformed. To learn more, please look at our website at We feel very fortunate to be working with the Science Commons project at Creative Commons on the construction of a scalable, open commons for biological research.

What Creative Commons is doing to build scalable communities who share – whether it’s creative works like photographs, stem cells, patents, or massive biological data like we’re doing at Sage – is essential infrastructure for the Web. Our goals at Sage won’t be realized if we can’t build a commons for us, for our users, for our patients.

I strongly urge you to join the fall campaign to support Creative Commons with a donation, and I also urge you to get out there and start licensing!

Stephen H. Friend
President, CEO and a Co-Founder, Sage Bionetworks

1 Comment »

We Met Twitter’s $3k Matching Challenge! Happy Birthday CC!

Allison Domicone, December 17th, 2009


Thanks to everyone who donated to help us meet Twitter’s $3,000 matching giving challenge in record time! This is particularly great news, since today marks CC’s 7th birthday, so thanks to Twitter and thanks to everyone who donated – we’ve now raised a total of $6,000 toward our annual fundraising campaign!

We’re honored to have Twitter’s support, since the social networking site has played a huge role for CC over the past year. We use Twitter to engage directly and efficiently with people worldwide who care about participatory culture and the innovation and social good that come from it, and as a nonprofit we’re grateful for this valuable medium for giving and getting feedback, promoting projects, and announcing milestones. If you’re not one of the more than 240,000 people already following us on Twitter, visit our page and become one! It’s a simple way to stay up to date with all things CC.

Help ensure that Creative Commons is around for another seven years! We need everyone’s contribution in this final push for our 2009 annual campaign, so please donate today!

CC 7 years

Comments Off on We Met Twitter’s $3k Matching Challenge! Happy Birthday CC!

Twitter Wants to Double Your Donation to our Annual Campaign!

Allison Domicone, December 15th, 2009


This week marks Creative Commons’ 7th birthday, and Twitter is helping us celebrate by generously matching all donations made to our annual fundraising campaign for the next week, up to $3,000. Even if you’ve already contributed, give whatever you can today – Twitter will match your donation so that it goes twice as far towards supporting CC.

Creative Commons uses Twitter to engage directly and efficiently with people worldwide who care about participatory culture and the innovation and social good that come from it. Twitter provides a valuable way for nonprofits like us to give and get feedback, promote projects, and announce milestones. If you’re not one of the more than 240,000 people already following us on Twitter, visit our page and become one! It’s a simple way to stay up to date with all things CC.

Here’s another way to support Creative Commons during its birthday week: When you tweet this week, include the hashtag #cc and link to our support page, to let your community know that you value the work Creative Commons does:

Click here to tweet Twitter is matching donations to @creativecommons! Show your support #cc.

We need everyone’s contribution in this final push for our 2009 annual campaign, so please donate today!

Comments Off on Twitter Wants to Double Your Donation to our Annual Campaign!

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, supports CC with a $10,000 gift!

Allison Domicone, December 14th, 2009

Photo of Elon Musk by jdlasica / CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo of Tesla car by jurvetson / CC BY 2.0

We are delighted to announce the generous support of Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and CEO/CTO of SpaceX, who has given $10,000 to this year’s annual fundraising campaign. We are honored to receive this gift, which will have a great impact in helping us reach our $500,000 goal this year. We rely very much on the generosity of innovators and leaders who recognize the importance of participatory culture and CC’s work promoting openness and collaboration, and we’re thrilled to have Elon’s support this year.

His gift, and the gifts of so many others who have given whatever they can in support of Creative Commons during this campaign, will go far in sustaining CC as an organization, keeping our tools free for everyone to use, and allowing us to continue our work facilitating a global participatory culture.

Many thanks again to Elon for his generosity. If you see the value and importance in CC’s work, I hope you will consider joining Elon by giving back to CC in whatever capacity you are able and donate today!

Comments Off on Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, supports CC with a $10,000 gift!

Thank you to Tucows for their continued support!

Allison Domicone, December 11th, 2009

Tucows, the Toronto-based internet services company, has decided to generously continue their support of Creative Commons this year. Tucows has been a strong advocate and a good friend of CC for several years, and first contributed to CC’s annual campaign in 2006.

Tucows seeks to provide simple, useful services that help people unlock the power of the Internet. Their mission is to provide a web address and email address for every person and business. To that end, the company provides domain names, email and other services through their extensive reseller network and directly to consumers and small businesses through their retail and content groups.

Tucows understands the importance of developing powerful and effective digital tools to better link individuals, communities, and businesses worldwide, and CC is honored to have them supporting our work. We rely heavily on the expertise and financial support of forward-thinking companies to enable us to carry out our mission of facilitating participatory culture, and we deeply appreciate Tucows’ ongoing support, especially during strained economic times.

Thank you to Tucows and to all of the other individuals and companies who have supported our campaign thus far. I encourage you to join them in investing in the future of creativity and knowledge and donate today.

Comments Off on Thank you to Tucows for their continued support!

previous pagenext page