Q: Hosting a web site costs next to nothing, why do you need all that money?
A: Hosting a personal web site, today, costs next to nothing, because such sites get very little traffic and need very little room on the provider's computers. However, Wikipedia is among the biggest sites in the world in terms of frequentation. It spent about 430000 US$ on computer hardware and 200000 US$ on Internet hosing during the 2005-06 fiscal year.
Q: Isn't Wikipedia supported by a billionaire, who founded it ?
A: Wikipedia was co-founded by Jimmy Wales, an Internet entrepreneur. Mr Wales was able to support Wikipedia when it was a small site, had no employees, and had minor hosting requirements, but this is no longer the case. Today, Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, which gets money mostly through donations by individual Internet users.
Q: I'm told that Wikipedia is supported by Yahoo! or some other company. Why don't you solicit them?
A: Yahoo! provides the Wikimedia Foundation with a secondary computer center located in Korea. It does not "bankroll" the Foundation; in particular, the Foundation pays for all costs at its primary computing center, in Florida.
Q: I have this terrific idea: you should simply put up advertisements.
A: This suggestion has been made many times and debated over and over. While technically not excluded (in case other means of funding are insufficient), it is extremely controversial. In particular, it is believed that having advertisements would jeopardize Wikipedia's neutrality.
Q: You should be getting money from the government.
Perhaps, but we do not get any.