The Gift of Knowledge
At this holiday time when we focus on our desire for more peace and joy in the world, it seems fitting to tell you about a techie tool that is changing the world for the better — Wikipedia
I love Wikipedia! I use it all the time to find answers to questions and the meaning of new terms. When I think about how this extensive body of knowledge is available to everyone in the world at no cost, my heart just leaps with joy. What an amazing resource! This is modern technology at its best. If you have never used it, please take a look here . You will love it!!!
This time of year, Wikipdia.org puts up a banner asking for donations so that it will not have to resort to posting ads. Since we all complain about ads on websites, it would serve us to make a donation now. The good news is that if everyone who uses it paid only $3.00 the fundraising goal would be met!
Features and Benefits
Here are the reasons that Wikipedia, one of the world’s five most popular web properties, asks for financial support from its users and why you might want to participate. (Adapted from an appeal letter by Founder, Jimmy Wales.)
- Has a small number of paid staff, just twenty-three.
- Wikipedia content is free to use by anyone for any purpose.
- Annual expenses are less than six million dollars.
- Wikipedia is run by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, founded in 2003.
- At its core, Wikipedia is driven by a global community of more than 150,000 volunteers – all dedicated to sharing knowledge freely.
- These volunteers have contributed more than 11 million articles in 265 languages.
- More than 275 million people come to the website every month to access information, free of charge and free of advertising.
- Wikipedia.org is committed to a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.
- Your donation helps cover the increasing cost of managing global traffic to one of the most popular websites on the Internet.
- Funds also help improve the software that runs Wikipedia — making it easier to search, easier to read, and easier to write for.
- Wikipedia.org is committed to growing the free knowledge movement world-wide, by recruiting new volunteers, and building strategic partnerships with institutions of culture and learning.
- Wikipedia.org is the largest encyclopedia in history, written by volunteers.
- Your donation will help keep Wikipedia free for the whole world.
Below is the thank you email I received after making my donation. It will show you the scope of their amazing work in the world. I hope it will inspire you to use the service, if you haven’t already, and motivate you to donate.
Thank you for your invaluable gift of bringing knowledge to every human around the world. My name is Lila Tretikov, and I’m the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Over the past year, gifts like yours powered our efforts to expand the encyclopedia in 287 languages and to make it more accessible all over the world. We strive most to impact those who would not have access to education otherwise. We bring knowledge to people like Akshaya Iyengar from Solapur, India. Growing up in this small textile manufacturing town, she used Wikipedia as her primary learning source. For students in these areas, where books are scarce but mobile Internet access exists, Wikipedia is instrumental. Akshaya went on to graduate from college in India and now works as a software engineer in the United States. She credits Wikipedia with powering half of her knowledge.
This story is not unique. Our mission is lofty and presents great challenges.Most people who use Wikipedia are surprised to hear it is run by a non-profit organization and funded by your donations. Each year, just enough people donate to keep the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Thank you for making this mission possible.
On behalf of nearly half a billion people who read Wikipedia, thousands of volunteer editors, and staff at the Foundation, I thank you for keeping Wikipedia online and ad-free this year.