Aug 132015
 
graphic courtesy of theatlantic.com

graphic courtesy of theatlantic.com

Yesterday I donated a small amount to Wikipedia. Like millions of others I use the site frequently as my online encyclopedia and research tool.

Periodically I’d be served messages about how Wikipedia depends on donations to remain  subscription fee and advertising free. Until yesterday I ignored the requests. I didn’t donate that much, less than my county is charging me for an updated driver’s license.

I received the well written thank you email pasted below. Wikipedia was one of the earliest manifestations of the power and potential of the Internet. If you’re a regular user, maybe you could consider kicking in.

Dear Chris,

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.

Her 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.

Thank you,
Lila

Lila Tretikov
Executive Director,
Wikimedia Foundation
donate.wikimedia.org


 

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