Internet encyclopedia giant Wikipedia has been used by people for several years. It has become the one-stop destination for every question related to any field.
The multilingual online encyclopedia has hit the headlines for asking its users to donate funds so that it can continue its operations and pay its staff.
“It might be awkward, but please don’t scroll past this. This Thursday, for the first time recently, we humbly ask you to defend Wikipedia’s independence…If you donate just ₹150, Wikipedia could keep thriving for years…If Wikipedia has given you ₹150 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable neutral information that their work matters,” Wikipedia says in one of its posts for its Indian users.
“We don’t have salespeople. We depend on donations from exceptional people, but fewer than 2% give. If you donate just ₹150 or whatever you can this Thursday, Wikipedia could keep thriving,” reads another post when you visit the site again.
How Wikipedia funds itself?
Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, and is funded primarily by reader donations. As the non-profit that supports Wikipedia, its sister projects, and a community of volunteer contributors, the Wikimedia Foundation uses reader contributions to cover the costs of operating Wikipedia, including servers, and staff.
During the 2014–2015 fiscal year, more than 4 million donors gave USD 75 million to support Wikipedia through the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia relies mostly on public donations, made at wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/fundraising.
Wikimedia has also received a small number of grants and corporate sponsorships, but has no advertising on Wikipedia itself. Most of the donations come during set fundraising periods, which happen three or four times a year.
The Wikipedia Foundation does have one other source of revenue beyond donations: goods sold on the Wikipedia store. Some of the items for sale include t-shirts for $21, notebooks for $8, pencils for $10, and pins for $3.
However, this is not a significant source of revenue, as the Wikipedia store was less than 1% of the total revenue for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
How can you donate to Wikipedia?
Donations for Wikipedia involves a simple process. Those willing to donate can visit the official website of the Wikimedia Foundation, which is the non-profit and hosts Wikipedia and other projects. The official website is donate.wikimedia.org.
The landing page lets you donate with credit/debit card, PayPal, or Amazon Payments, other ways of donating are listed at Ways to Give, which include checks, stock donations, bank transfers, Bitcoin, Square Cash, and more.
This is not the first time that Wikipedia has sought support from its readers. In fact, not just in India, it is a common practice for the WMF to announce fundraisers for the smooth running of Wikipedia, the world’s seventh-largest site with the respectable aim to provide free knowledge to anyone and everyone.