Fundraising 2010/Email 1

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Subject: Something New

Dear Megan,

As someone who’s given to the Wikimedia Foundation in the past, you know that our incredible community is funded by individual donations from people across the globe. We'll never run ads, collect profits, or compromise our independence.

We’re counting on you to keep it that way. You make it possible for Wikipedia and its sister sites to stay free of charge and free to be improved by anyone, anywhere.

For our past annual fundraisers, we've relied entirely on website banners, but we're trying something new this year. We’re turning to those who have donated in the past and asking you to lead the way in 2010.

For the first time ever, I’m writing to ask if you can help get our efforts off to a strong start.

Can you make a donation of $50 or more to fund the work of the Wikimedia Foundation?

If you've already given this year, thank you very much for your support and please share your feedback on our campaign.

Below is an updated version of our annual fundraising message that went up this week. We’re going to be tweaking and improving this as we go along, but I want to know what you think.

In keeping with the open spirit of our community, we’re tracking all of our fundraising efforts online. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the message below and any other ways you think we can reach our goal to keep Wikipedia and its sister sites strong and independent.


Jimmy Wales


Here’s what our website fundraising banners say:

Please read: A personal appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

And here’s our new fundraising message:

I got a lot of funny looks ten years ago when I started talking to people about Wikipedia.

Let’s just say some people were skeptical of the notion that volunteers from all across the world could come together to create a remarkable pool of human knowledge – all for the simple purpose of sharing.

No ads. No agenda. No strings attached.

A decade after its founding, nearly 400 million people use Wikipedia and its sister sites every month - almost a third of the Internet-connected world.

It is the 5th most popular website in the world - but Wikipedia isn’t anything like a commercial website. It is a community creation, written by volunteers making one entry at a time. You are part of our community. And I’m writing today to ask you to protect and sustain Wikipedia.

Together, we can keep it free of charge and free of advertising. We can keep it open – you can use the information in Wikipedia any way you want. We can keep it growing – spreading knowledge everywhere, and inviting participation from everyone.

Each year at this time, we reach out to ask you and others all across the Wikimedia community to help sustain our joint enterprise with a modest donation of $20, $35, $50 or more.

If you value Wikipedia as a source of information – and a source of inspiration – I hope you’ll choose to act right now.

All the best,

Jimmy Wales

Founder, Wikipedia

P.S. -- Wikipedia is about the power of people like us to do extraordinary things. People like us write Wikipedia, one word at a time. People like us fund it, one donation at a time. It's proof of our collective potential to change the world.


If you have any thoughts on the letter, please send me an email.

Make a donation to give our 2010 fundraising campaign a strong start.


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