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5 Reasons to Donate to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation

The annual Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser brings in critical revenue so that Wikipedia and its sister projects can remain freely available to people around the world. Funds raised in this campaign by Wikimedia and its regional chapters will be used to maintain Wikimedia’s server infrastructure and improve software, expand global reach, and provide direct support to a global volunteer community. The Foundation’s total 2011-12 planned spending is $28.3 million USD.

Let’s be clear about what Wikipedia is in relation to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF).  The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and several free knowledge projects: Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wikimedia Commons, and MediaWiki. There are many other wiki projects, but WMF operates those 10 and that’s it.  So, when you donate to Wikipedia you are actually donating to the Wikimedia Foundation or its international partner organizations, the Wikimedia chapters.  Wikipedia is by far Wikimedia’s largest project, but the other projects have the same mission: give free knowledge to the world through a global collaborate effort.
So why should you donate?  Here are a few reasons:

  1. Two words:  Free knowledge.  Three more words:  For the world.  Francis Bacon first coined the phrase, “Knowledge is power.”  If everyone in the world no matter who or where they are has access to knowledge, imagine the great things that can happen to humanity on a global scale.   WMF is working towards bringing knowledge to every corner of the earth. There are more and more Wikipedia articles popping up on Wikipedia pages around the world in over 250 languages.  Did you know that in many different countries there are Wikimedia chapters supporting volunteers who work on Wikipedia in their language?  Wikipedia is also working on a mobile project that is making Wikipedia easier to view on portable devices, sometimes without paying for bandwidth.
  2. Wikipedia is ad free. The Wikimedia Foundation does not accept government grants. Wikipedia does not contain an ad on any page of the entire website.  What does that mean?  Wikipedia can be neutral and has no obligation to be biased towards an advertiser or government.  Just like you would not like to be inundated with advertising in a library or classroom, Wikipedia remains ad-free to keep its pages a sacred ground for learning and sharing.
  3. You use Wikipedia.  Wikipedia did not get to be the 5th largest website in the world by not having visitors to the site. People are using Wikipedia. You are using Wikipedia.  Why not donate to something you use? The Wikimedia Foundation understands not everyone has money to donate, but if you can afford to donate, your money goes to help keep Wikipedia growing into an increasingly vast source of information accessible to an increasingly larger number of people.
  4. Wikipedia is bringing up-to-the-minute knowledge to us in a way that we have never seen before.  Before the internet as we know it, it was not possible to get up to the minute information about most things, especially in an encyclopedia.  For example, when it was released that Pluto is actually a dwarf planet, Wikipedia was updated with the new information immediately and that information was available to anyone with access to a computer, for free.  With Wikipedia, there is now a collaboration of people working together to create content that is updated with up-to-the-minute current information so you can get new information instantly.
  5. Wikipedia is a global collaboration.  Wikipedia does not employ people to add or edit articles, the articles are created entirely by volunteers around the world.  When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that people from all over the world can work together to share knowledge.  It is one of the easiest ways to volunteer for a huge global project, and anyone who has access to a computer can do it from the comfort of their own home.

Are you curious about exactly where your donation money is going?  You can see the public record of Wikimedia’s budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  Remember:  free knowledge for the world.  Donate today.

Stacey Merrick
Social Media Coordinator

14 Responses to “5 Reasons to Donate to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation”

  1. Wikipedia.
    Palabra
    en sí misma
    poesía.
    Cultura que me regalan.
    Recuerdo
    siendo pequeño
    la enciclopedia,
    estantería de libros
    muy grandes,
    caros e importantes.
    Si la tenías
    era compra de una vida.
    Igual que la casa.
    Hoy la enciclopedia
    es aún más grande
    en palabras y en importancia,
    todos la tienen a su alcance.
    Cuando pienso
    que no haciéndola gratis
    alguien
    pudo ser
    de mucho dinero dueño,
    del poder
    abusón y señor,
    y prefirió ser mejor;
    una lágrima me empapa el cielo.

    La Wikipedia
    llena de cultura el planeta
    tan solo compartiendo.

  2. Jessie Morgan says:

    No book could contain the information available here for free. I use it more now than my stacks of reference books collected over decades, many of which are outdated. If highly credentialed contributors such as Cinnamon Colbert’s legitimate concerns (comment 2) could be addressed, Wikipedia would move closer to perfection. Not perfect, but I use it, so I support it.

  3. Sub says:

    @Dr.Hu Manly: 1. That’s not the reason (maybe for you) and 2. people DO donate.

    A small summary of each article is the very first chapter above the TOC.
    Do you know http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Nutshell ?

    Do you know the Simple English WP? http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

  4. Satyajit Deb says:

    I am just a student right now who is in no position to donate anything. And Since I don’t have credit/debit card of my own and not even a paypal account, I can’t donate now. But once I start doing Job, I promise to be with you whenever you need and however possible it is for me. You are, a kind of, Religion for me. God Bless You Wikipedia and wiki group…

  5. Dr.Hu Manly says:

    If you want to be of sarvice you need to write simple,
    helpful explanations,and then provide a link,for those,
    who want more erudite knowledge for the professional.
    Most of the world is simple paople,with a limited,
    number of words.Maria Montessori only used 5000 words,
    to teach chlldren all there is to know.
    The reason no one wants to donate is because,
    you are trying to be much too highly technical.
    Perhaps if you had Hu Manly,Avi Eban or Tanya Rose
    on your Board the world would support you more.

  6. Prathamesh Das says:

    YOU need to show no reason to donate.You deserve it.

  7. Prathamesh Das says:

    Wikipedia is my favourite site for knowledge…..i Really LOVE it a lot..right now i am a student of engineering..Mr.Wales i read your humble appeal.i really have a heart full of wish to donate but i cannot as i am astudent.but will publish about this so that people donate.take that as my donation.but in a year i will donate u every month.dont stop this site coz its better than any other search engine for perfect knowlegde with no blind false hacker links.Mr Wales i really salute you for this humble job of yours for knowledge,

  8. Narayan Bhandari says:

    I cannot live without Wikipedia. It’s been such a good website for everything. It’s like plan A for me if I have to make any internet search. But, we are very sad to know that it’s in need of financial support.
    I think it’s a problem that Wikipedia has to solve intelligibly.Advertisements don’t always spoil things or make it biased.For example, Google and Facebook put banners but but we don’t see any biasness.
    It cannot always depend upon donation. I think its time Wikipedia starts accepting government funds and puts commercial banners on the Wikipedia website to raise money. It doesn’t mean wiki has to work for profit. It can donate the additional fund for charity or it can establish its own charity foundation.
    So, why to ask for donation when Wikipedia can in fact be sustainable and raise tons of additional money for welfare.And as far as I am concerned, advertisements don’t spoil hunger for knowledge.
    Even Football Club Barcelona changed its ideology to pay the debt it by signing jersey sponsors for the first time in the history of the club.
    Maybe, the ball is in Wikipedia’s court.It depends upon how it plays it.

  9. Cinnamon Colbert says:

    I have a PhD in molecular biology, and work for a company in the field of DNA sequencing.
    I have contributed to many bioscience and chemistry articles, adding my highly specialized technical knowledge, eg, I made major improvements to the DNA sequencing article (and some disprovements)
    I no longer contribute to wikipedia for two reasons, one big and one small
    the big one: under the copyright, it is possible for *for profit* publishers to resell my work.
    I don’t mind that much that non profits do it (although non attribution is sleazy) but I can’t understand why my hard work should enrich, in money, someone else: I personally won’t do it.
    The little reason is that the open structure may be good, but I grow tired of having to correct and recorrect and re re re correct errors

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