I use Wikipedia a lot here so I've been thinking I should make a contribution. How often do you use Wikipedia? Do you think it might average, over a year, once a day? Twice a day? Three times?
Think about it. OK, some days you don't look at it at all, but other days you might look something up on Wikipedia five or six times. Or you might read something here or on another blog that comes from Wikipedia, in which case you are a second hand Wikipedia user.
Let's take twice a day. That would be 730 visits per year. At a penny a visit (it's worth that much isn't it?) that would be $7.30. And they are saying that if everyone sends them just $5, they're ok.
There are three days left until the end of the year and their current fund raising campaign.
It takes less than a minute (if you don't put the wrong credit card expiration date in as I did) to fill out their form on their website.
If you don't like to pay online, you can send a check:
- Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
- P.O. Box 98204
- Washington, DC 20090-8204
OK Steve, so what's the budget already? That's what the title said I'd get.
Here's from their FAQ page:
How much money are you hoping to raise?The 2011-12 plan posits revenue of $29.5 million, a 24% increase over projected revenue of $23.8 million for 2010-11.
Why Should You Contribute?
Contributing your fair share or not is the difference between someone who believes in making the world a better place by giving back at least as much as he's given, or what economists call free riders. People who sponge of the work of others.
Wikipedia isn't asking us to pay back the real value of Wikipedia. They have lots of volunteers who give their labor free. (Their annual report says hundreds of thousands.) They're just asking for us to help out with things they actually have to pay for. Imagine if you had to buy all the information you get from Wikipedia. Hire someone at $25- $100 per hour to look it up.
Does Wikipedia Spend It's Money Well?
OK, I've wandered way off from, "is it worth 1¢ per visit?" to writing how I imagine Wikipedia works. I don't know how efficient they are or whether anyone gets a $100,000 salary or not. And if they do, whether it's money well-spent. But . . .
. . . whenever I ask questions like those I have to go look, so here's from the overview financial page from their annual report (pdf):
I just realized that was this year's annual plan. Here's a link to the Wikimedia 2011-2012 Plan.
Where the money goes
The Wikimedia Foundation continues to enjoy a stable base of revenue, stemming largely from its annual community giving campaign. In 2010–11, we doubled the number of small donors to over 500,000 individuals from all over the world.
Now in the second year of our five-year strategic plan, we are hiring new staff members, increasing the capacity of our server network to deliver Wikipedia and our other projects to the world, and intensifying our efforts to expand the reach of our projects in the Global South through on-the-ground initiatives.
44% Maintaining our site and improving our software Operations and engineering, purchasing servers, maintaining and improving our data center, internet hosting, and software development and product engineering. $8,869,675
12% Expanding our global reach
Improving access to Wikipedia on mobile devices in the Global South, public and education outreach, support and grants for our global chapters. $2,388,698
9% Direct support to our volunteer community Researching community activity trends, increasing editor retention and recruitment, improving new technologies to help project editors. $1,889,084
Planning and development of our annual giving campaign, global payment collection fees (including Paypal and other fees). $2,142,217
6% Board of Trustees administration and special projects Travel and professional development for our governing Board, as well as special research projects and initiatives to support the Wikimedia community. $1,172,654
Benefits and related administration costs for Foundation staff, capital expenses, leases, training, travel, and other costs. $3,636,236
Total cash expenditures, including all capital purchases. $20,098,564
Charity Navigator gives them 65.49 points (out of a possible 70 points) and four big stars overall. Here's what they say that means:
|Exceptional||Exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its Cause.|
So here's the donate page link again.