Every year some version of the Wikipedia fundraising banner appears across the top of the page when you go to get your dollop of information. I automatically send them money – because, without Wikipedia, a writer can’t function. And my husband, the teacher, uses Wikipedia all the time for useful information of all kinds for his chemistry and physics students.
They don’t ask much:
“DEAR WIKIPEDIA READERS: We are the small non-profit that runs the #5 website in the world. We have only 175 staff but serve 500 million users, and have costs like any other top site: servers, power, programs, and staff. To protect our independence, we’ll never run ads. We take no government funds. We survive on donations averaging about $15. Now is the time we ask. If everyone reading this gave $3, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind, a place we can all go to think and learn. If Wikipedia is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online and ad-free another year. Please help us forget fundraising and get back to Wikipedia. Thank you.”
If I paid them a quarter every time I used them, I would be spending lots of dollars for us – so I consider our contribution a very small charge that saves us an enormous amount of time and makes it easy to get the basics – and sometimes far more than the basics – on an unimaginable number of topics.
While I’m at this, I’d also like to thank the innumerable volunteers who write the information, edit it, update it, footnote it, and check each other for accuracy, all for nothing but being of service – to me.
Wikipedia is the go-to place for information. I’d hate to imagine a world in which we lost it and had to go back – to what?
Send them a few bucks – feel happy for the rest of the year every time you need them (their fundraising banner is only up for a while every year, and is so unobtrusive many people who go to the site don’t even notice it). Do your part – reap the rewards.