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Fundraising 2011/GW Letter

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I'm a university student. Textbooks for one semester cost me $500. On Wikipedia, I get thousands of books' worth of information for free.

That’s why I don’t just read Wikipedia, I help create it. It’s really important to me to keep this resource available to everyone, free of charge. With 470 million readers per month, Wikipedia is important to many people all over the world.

Wikipedia should have fallen to pieces long ago. It is consensus-driven, unlike just about any other community. There’s no real overarching administration, no board of executives determining every edit and every policy. Instead, a great community of volunteers work together to create this source of knowledge, free to use and free of ads.

Working that way, our community of millions of editors works together to create encyclopedias in 283 languages, containing a combined total of over 20 million articles.

We do this on a tiny budget compared to other top websites. For us to do our work, we need a stable infrastructure: servers, bandwidth, programmers, and even lawyers to protect our independence. It’s all funded by donations from Wikipedia readers. You might think a few dollars is just a drop in the bucket, but it’s actually what makes this whole operation possible.

Thanks so much.