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Wikipedia – keeping it free.
Just pay us our salaries.

By Andreas Kolbe

The other day, I was fortunate enough to be treated to a fundraising banner on Wikipedia:

DEAR WIKIPEDIA READERS: To protect our independence, we’ll never run ads. We survive on donations averaging about £10. Now is the time we ask. If everyone reading this right now gave the price of buying a programmer a coffee, our fundraiser would be over within an hour. We’re a small non-profit with costs of a top 5 website: servers, staff and programs. Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. A temple for the mind where we can all go to think and learn. If Wikipedia is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online and ad-free another year. Thank you.

UK fundraising bannerI don’t seem to have been the only one being shown the banner, judging by a rash of breathless posts on Twitter where people are proudly announcing:

I have just donated to #Wikipedia. Help keep it free! #keepitfree

Donations link added, of course.

There’s just one problem here: the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) – the non-profit that runs Wikipedia and other crowdsourced projects such as Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary – is wealthy enough today to keep Wikipedia “online and ad-free” for about a decade.

So why does it want even more of your money?

1,000% growth in revenue

Under Sue Gardner’s leadership (2007–2014), the Wikimedia Foundation’s revenue skyrocketed, based on fundraising banners designed to solicit small donations from a very large number of Wikipedia readers.

Wikimedia_Foundation_financial_development_2003-2013

The Wikimedia Foundation does extensive

…continue reading Wikipedia – keeping it free.
Just pay us our salaries.