A Wikipedia editor said it best back in 2006: “Wikipedia only works in practice. In theory, it's a total disaster.”
A crazy idea like Wikipedia – counting on people all around the globe to volunteer their time to create a free online encyclopedia for millions of people to use – breaks all the rules. It shouldn’t work.
Lots of Internet organizations work by getting people to fall in love with a great tool, and then charging them to use it. But Wikipedia is and always will be absolutely free.
Other companies build a huge online audience and then put up ads. But, the 400 million people who use Wikipedia every month are never exposed to a single ad.
Others collect all kinds of information about their users and then sell it. But, not only does Wikipedia refuse to sell your personal information, we never retain it in the first place.
We are the 5th most popular website in the world. But, Wikipedia is nothing like a commercial website. It is a community creation.
From the casual user who every so often relies on Wikipedia to settle an argument, to the devoted editor who spends hours every day writing and improving articles, we are all part of the Wikimedia community. And we all have a responsibility to protect and sustain that community.
Each year at this time, we ask community members like you to step forward and help with a generous contribution of $20 or more. By the end of this year, we must raise $14 million from over half a million people. So far, 285,000 people have donated and we’ve raised over $8 million. That means we’re more than half way to our 2010 goal. I’m hoping you’ll help reach our goal: 500,000 donors by December 31st.
Through a decade of enormous growth, Wikipedia has stayed true to its original vision and to the original promise of the Internet.
Wikipedia has always been – and always will be – a community of people freely sharing knowledge with one another. No ads. No agenda. No strings attached.
The funds you donate go to support the technology for Wikipedia and its sister sites and to pay the salaries of a hardworking staff of about fifty who provide technical, legal and administrative support for the Wikimedia Foundation around the world. Compared to other organizations with similar reach and web traffic, our overhead is extraordinarily low.
I hope you’ll choose right now as the time to send a modest donation of $20, $35, $50 or whatever you can to keep Wikipedia strong.
Wikipedia is enormous, but it has always grown one word at a time. Our fundraising campaign goal is ambitious, but we can reach it – one donation at a time.
Thanks so much,