I got a lot of funny looks ten years ago when I started talking to people about Wikipedia.
Let’s just say some of the business types 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 profits. No agenda.
A decade after its founding, more than 380 million people use Wikipedia every month – almost a third of the Internet-connected world.
It is the 5th most popular website in the world. The other four have been built and maintained with billions of dollars in investment, huge corporate staffs and relentless marketing.
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 Wikipedia 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,
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.