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Wikipedia's Banners Raise $20 Million

For months, visitors to Wikipedia were also shown banners appealing for money for the site. This is because the site itself is ad-free and supported by donations. These donation appeals ranged from pictures of founder Jimmy Wales to photographs of regular Wikipedia contributors. However, the banners have now disappeared, because the Wikimedia Foundation has reached its target for donations for 2011.

Speaking via blog post yesterday, Jay Walsh, said that the Foundation had received donations from nearly every country in the world and that the 2011 campaign carried on the trend of donations increasing every year since 2003. 

"It is our most successful campaign ever, continuing an unbroken streak in which donations have risen every year since the campaigns began in 2003," he said, adding that Wikimedia had received $20 million in donations from readers. This is up from $4.5 million in 2008, and the number of donors is said to have increased ten-fold since that same year.

"Your support is how we pay our bills. People like you, giving five dollars, twenty dollars, a hundred dollars. Thank you for helping us," said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation. "We're the #5 most-popular site in the world --- we operate on a tiny fraction of the resources of any other top site. We will use your money carefully and well, I promise you."

Funds raised during the campaign will be used to buy and install servers and other hardware, develop new site functionality, expand mobile services, provide legal defense for the projects, and support the large global community of Wikimedia volunteers. Walsh says that the Wikimedia Foundation’s total 2011-12 planned spending is $28.3 million. The majority of this was raised during the fundraising, and the remainder will come from grants and other donations throughout the year. 

  • anonymous32111
    "we operate on a tiny fraction of the resources of any other top site."

    Pardon me, but wouldn't that mean they need even less money? The way i see it you have costs for servers and bandwidth and the R&D of programming the site.. but after that, users basically fill in all the content for you.

    Even having the 5th most popular website ever, with loads and loads of traffic, I don't see how hosting can cost more than.. say.. 500,000 a year.

    Don't get me wrong I love Wikipedia, great idea, but I still think they ask way too much when they keep the plea-banners going until 20 million (for 2011 only? really?) 20 mill should keep you good for the next 10 years (i hope). I will be disappointed if i see the same banners this year, or next year.
    Reply
  • rawful
    Glad to see donations going towards a worthwhile cause. Much
    Reply
  • festerovic
    Sad that I can believe this guy when he says he will be responsible with the donated money, yet I can't say the same for my government.
    Reply
  • TheCapulet
    anonymous32111"we operate on a tiny fraction of the resources of any other top site."Pardon me, but wouldn't that mean they need even less money? The way i see it you have costs for servers and bandwidth and the R&D of programming the site.. but after that, users basically fill in all the content for you.Even having the 5th most popular website ever, with loads and loads of traffic, I don't see how hosting can cost more than.. say.. 500,000 a year. Don't get me wrong I love Wikipedia, great idea, but I still think they ask way too much when they keep the plea-banners going until 20 million (for 2011 only? really?) 20 mill should keep you good for the next 10 years (i hope). I will be disappointed if i see the same banners this year, or next year.They provide their budget information freely. Go look at it.
    Reply
  • billybobser
    20m is a small price to pay. speaking for the UK only, 30p per person for a year's worth knowledge

    Taking account of the world, everyone throwing in 1cent/pence would keep this place running for a long time.
    Reply
  • 11796pcs
    Could you imagine a world without Wikipedia? I couldn't. If in an alternative reality Wikipedia cost $50 a year, I would still use it. Thankfully it's free, and I know I'm supporting a cause that is passively making the world a better place simply through access to information. In fact, Wikipedia is probably one of the most successful investments in the world the world has ever created. It probably surpasses the Marshall Plan in making the world a better place (for alot less money). We support you Wikipedia and hope you continue in your endeavors.
    Reply
  • matt_b
    I appreciate that Wikipedia has been there for me as many times as I have needed it (which has been a lot). I use it heavily even to this day. I understand the legitimacy of concerns over users being able to alter articles - but I have seen many occasions where if an article is with question, it does become flagged in a short time-frame. What I appreciate the most about the donations though is that it keeps advertisers at bay. The last thing I want to do is read about a company who's product is advertised on the main page, the article gleams with how great it is, and really it's a complete failure. Keeping ad money out of an information-sharing site helps to maintain neutrality and keep bias out of it. Thanks guys!
    Reply
  • bdizzle11
    This was the first time I had ever seen the banner to donate and I decided to put in a couple bucks. Glad I did, its nice to support something ad free and basically the best tool on the internet.
    Reply
  • scythe944
    Guess the banners for 2012 will start up pretty soon!
    Reply
  • keyanf
    If you have a target and only stop once you reach the target is it really that notable your donation total keeps increasing?

    I'm not saying they are wrong to do such, it's just the way it's written would get slapped with a {{peerreview}} if it was a Wikipedia article (and not directly quoted from a source).
    Reply