Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Wikipedia Campaign


So many times when I go to look for information (much of which I share with you on this blog) the first and most comprehensive place to pop up with the information I need is Wikipedia. Today, when I was gathering information on school shootings, I saw, for the second time (the first time was a couple years ago) a banner asking me to donate to keep Wikipedia going.

I did. And I hope you will, too, if you use Wikipedia.

If you donate, you will get one of the nicest thank-you letters you will ever receive. I used to write these letters. I know how hard it is to strike just the right tone. I applaud the people at Wikipedia who wrote this one. (What is the goal of a fund-raiser’s thank you? To be sure you donate again the next time 🙂 )

Dear Donor,

Thank you for donating to the Wikimedia Foundation. You are wonderful!

It’s easy to ignore our fundraising banners, and I’m really glad you didn’t. This is how Wikipedia pays its bills — people like you giving us money, so we can keep the site freely available for everyone around the world.

People tell me they donate to Wikipedia because they find it useful, and they trust it because even though it’s not perfect, they know it’s written for them. Wikipedia isn’t meant to advance somebody’s PR agenda or push a particular ideology, or to persuade you to believe something that’s not true. We aim to tell the truth, and we can do that because of you. The fact that you fund the site keeps us independent and able to deliver what you need and want from Wikipedia. Exactly as it should be.

You should know: your donation isn’t just covering your own costs. The average donor is paying for his or her own use of Wikipedia, plus the costs of hundreds of other people. Your donation keeps Wikipedia available for an ambitious kid in Bangalore who’s teaching herself computer programming. A middle-aged homemaker in Vienna who’s just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A novelist researching 1850s Britain. A 10-year-old in San Salvador who’s just discovered Carl Sagan.

On behalf of those people, and the half-billion other readers of Wikipedia and its sister sites and projects, I thank you for joining us in our effort to make the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Your donation makes the world a better place. Thank you.

Most people don’t know Wikipedia’s run by a non-profit. Please consider sharing this e-mail with a few of your friends to encourage them to donate too. And if you’re interested, you should try adding some new information to Wikipedia. If you see a typo or other small mistake, please fix it, and if you find something missing, please add it. There are resources that can help you get started. Don’t worry about making a mistake: that’s normal when people first start editing and if it happens, other Wikipedians will be happy to fix it for you.

I appreciate your trust in us, and I promise you we’ll use your money well.


December 15, 2012 - Posted by | Charity, Communication, Community, Cultural, Education, Technical Issue, Tools, Values, Work Related Issues


  1. Yay wikipedia. I’ll help you. I even took the survey afterward. 🙂

    Comment by sacredstruggler | December 15, 2012 | Reply

  2. YAYYYYYY, SacredStruggler! Good on ya! Thank you, thank you!

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 16, 2012 | Reply

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