As a student, it nearly broke me, but I was convinced I had the most complete compendium of human knowledge in existence. (BTW, I still have them, but I’m a packrat, and that’s another story).
Encyclopedia Britannica is hurting these days.
Wikipedia has all but put them out of business.
What used to be a thriving money-making business is now replaced by a non-profit organization that depends on a skeleton staff, tons of volunteers, and the hive-mind of humanity to set a new standard for the most complete compendium of human knowledge.
You probably don’t even realize how often you use Wikipedia. It’s not perfect, but darn near. No hoaxes or misinformation stays with the site for very long…they’ve very attentive to mistakes, and GETTING IT RIGHT.
What you ALSO probably don’t realize either is that they ARE non-profit. Like PBS. They survive on grants, and donations, and people like you and me making contributions.
I gave them $20 the other day…I’ve given other modest gifts before, and I always get an email back like the one below. (BTW, tax deductible)
It explains better than I could their need and the service they provide.
Read it quickly, and then see if you don’t believe they’re worth every penny you can muster in donation. At the bottom of the email is a link to donate.
P.S. Type in search for “voiceover” in Wikipedia…you’ll be surprised how thorough the article is!
Thank you for donating to the Wikimedia Foundation. You are wonderful!
It’s easy to ignore our fundraising banners, and I’m really glad you didn’t. This is how Wikipedia pays its bills — people like you giving us money, so we can keep the site freely available for everyone around the world.
People tell me they donate to Wikipedia because they find it useful, and they trust it because even though it’s not perfect, they know it’s written for them. Wikipedia isn’t meant to advance somebody’s PR agenda or push a particular ideology, or to persuade you to believe something that’s not true. We aim to tell the truth, and we can do that because of you. The fact that you fund the site keeps us independent and able to deliver what you need and want from Wikipedia. Exactly as it should be.
You should know: your donation isn’t just covering your own costs. The average donor is paying for his or her own use of Wikipedia, plus the costs of hundreds of other people. Your donation keeps Wikipedia available for an ambitious kid in Bangalore who’s teaching herself computer programming. A middle-aged homemaker in Vienna who’s just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A novelist researching 1850s Britain. A 10-year-old in San Salvador who’s just discovered Carl Sagan.
On behalf of those people, and the half-billion other readers of Wikipedia and its sister sites and projects, I thank you for joining us in our effort to make the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Your donation makes the world a better place. Thank you.
Most people don’t know Wikipedia’s run by a non-profit. Please consider sharing this e-mail with a few of your friends to encourage them to donate too. And if you’re interested, you should try adding some new information to Wikipedia. If you see a typo or other small mistake, please fix it, and if you find something missing, please add it. There are resources that can help you get started. Don’t worry about making a mistake: that’s normal when people first start editing and if it happens, other Wikipedians will be happy to fix it for you.
I appreciate your trust in us, and I promise you we’ll use your money well.