Wikipedia Needs $16 Million to Remain Ad Free

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Not many of us click on the plea from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales that always sits on the top of each page, but it seems this time the need for money is serious. The Wikimedia Foundation told Techland that they need $16 million to remain ad free.

Last years wikipediathon raised $8 million, mostly from user donations and some larger gifts from corporations including Google, of their operating budget $10 million, according to Wikimedia. This year, they are saying they need $20.4 million to stay ad free due to increased costs and are hoping to raise $16 million, so the effort to ask for contributions has been doubled. The “Personal Appeal” banner that we see was the collective effort of the Wikipedia community. The creators of the site reached out and asked users to help create an ad that would actually get people to donate. Wales sad, Don Draper-esque expression was the most effective at getting people to give up a couple bucks.

The Wikipedia ad reads:

“Over the past 10 years, Wikipedia has become a vital public resource for hundreds of millions of people. We’ve come to depend on it being there for us — free to use, without any bias or interference, and without advertising. If you can afford to make even a small donation, that’s important. You’re helping to keep Wikipedia available not just for yourself, but for others–kids, people in poor countries–who themselves can’t afford to donate.”

Don’t forget those college students who are cramming to write 20 page papers during finals week. What has Wikipedia done for you lately?

Editor’s Note: This article was amended to clarify an earlier version that stated that Wikimedia’s budget was $20 million each year. This year’s budget is $20 million due to increased operating costs; last year’s was only $10 million.

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