General Question

HudsonHero's avatar

Should I donate money to Wikipedia?

Asked by HudsonHero (245points) November 18th, 2011

Until today I never thought about how Wikipedia gets its income. Then I saw the donation request letter today and wondered if I should donate too? Wikipedia is a resource I sometimes read. They don’t do any advertising or selling on the site. I have no idea how much money is donated every year or if they spend it wisely. How do I find out?

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29 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

Here is their 2011–2012 financial plan (opens pdf) and an FAQ.

“The 2010–11 plan called for us to increase revenue 28% from 2009-
10, to $20.4 million, and to increase spending 124% from 2009–10, to
$20.4 million. The reserve was planned to stay flat at $13 million.
In fact, we significantly over-achieved from a revenue perspective,
and we also underspent, resulting in a larger reserve than planned.
We’re projecting today that 2010–11 revenue will have increased 49%
from 2009–10 actuals, to $23.8 million. Spending is projected to have
increased 103% from 2009–10 actuals, to $18.5 million. This means
we added $5.3 million to the reserve, for a projected end-of-year total
of $19.5 million which represents 8.3 months of reserves at the 2011-
12 spending level.”

zenvelo's avatar

If you feel they provide a service you find valuable, and you want to make sure it continues, go ahead and send them some money.

jrpowell's avatar

Google co-founder Sergey Brin gives $500,000 to help Wikipedia

If I had spare cash I would be tossing at a battered woman’s shelter or to buy winter coats for kids. Wikipedia will survive without your money.

anartist's avatar

I do, not much, but a little once in a while. This is MASSIVE shareware.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I love Wikipedia. I would not send them money, though. They are a mulit-million dollar company, and I am paying a third of my income to taxes.

anartist's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt how did they become a multi-million dollar company?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@anartist Because people send them money? Because they sell ads on their site? I am the worst person in the world to ask – I don’t understand how these on-line companies make money. Where does Yahoo get their millions of dollars?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yes you should. I do.

ETpro's avatar

I have done so when I can afford to. I use ot a great deal, and find it a valuable resource. I don’t want to see it go away. Nor do I want to see it go the advertising way; because like Google, as soon as it does, then what it serves up fiorst will be determined by who pays them the most to say this or that.

Hacksawhawk's avatar

Why not donate to charity if you’re going to donate? I think that little kid in Ethiopia needs it a lot more than sleek Jimmy Wales.

XOIIO's avatar

They did this last year too, just ignore it.

ETpro's avatar

@Hacksawhawk I hate to pick on a fellow jellie, but I have no patience for those who try to stop other people form giving to worthy causes by telling them they have the wrong cause; there are better ones out there. Each of us should feel free to give what and where we feel we should.

@XOIIO So did every other orgainization and activity funded by donations. Since charities and non-profits do this every year, should we ignore them all and see them all ceasse to exist?

silentwanderer's avatar

Yes it is revolutionary! It is a great thing.

XOIIO's avatar

@ETpro No, just wikipedia. Each time the get thousands and thousands of dollars worth of donatons from corporate sources and investors, they really don’t need to put ads up.

ETpro's avatar

@XOIIO Do you have any source for the corporate influence you claim? Everything I have seen indicates that their public donations drives are their sole source of funding.

XOIIO's avatar

@ETpro It’s been mentioned above that people/companies (or people representing them slightly at least) make huge donations, and I’ve seen a couple snippets online in the past.

ETpro's avatar

@XOIIO That’s a mighty weak reference to “prove” that Wikipedia is sold out to corporate interests. Corporations whose employees rely heavily on the reference material (Universities, media, etc.) amy well donate. So what?

XOIIO's avatar

I never said they were sold out, I just said they already get loads in donations from people who want their name known.

ETpro's avatar

@XOIIO Yes they do. They raised $1.1 million in their last donation drive. But it’s not the least unusual for a major IPO to raise hundreds of millions or even billions. Wikipedia is the 6th most visited destination on the Internet according to The cloud server farm and staff required to meet that sort of bandwidth load are incredibly costly.

XOIIO's avatar

Why not make a robotic satellite system to watch over it, and tall, beefy andriods to guard the servers?

Paradox25's avatar

It is a worthwhile cause to donate to. It is a source of an unbiased wealth of information in a pinch. Wiki depend upon public funding, period.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 Right… Well, you could always donate to Fox News and enrich poor Rupert Murdoch. His sycophants seem to be the crew most commonly trashing WIkipedia as a worthless source, even though it provides ample footnotes and Fox gives none but right-wing think tanks.

Paradox25's avatar

@ETpro Are you sure you responded to the correct person? Nobody has trashed more right-wing propaganda than I have, and I stuck up for Wiki. I frequently use links to Wiki in my posts.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 Written late at night. I am sorry if it sounded like I was calling you a right wing nut job. What I was trying to get at is that Wikipedia must have a fair amount of value as a source, because the far right demonizes it. They don’t mount their hate-mongering campaigns on things that give them no grief. The accuracy of facts in Wikipedia often undermine their bogus arguments, and so they hate and denigrate it.

Paradox25's avatar

@ETpro I hold Wiki definitions for terms in much higher regard than some person with an agenda twisting actual meanings of definitions to suit themselves.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 Complete agreement on that point.

Helpr's avatar

I think that doing good will trigger getting good in life, regardless of details – meaning if some of it gets misused. It is still right thing to do.
In my life, that law is well proved.

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