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From Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales
Google might have close to a million servers. Yahoo has something like 13,000 staff. We have 679 servers and 95 staff.
Wikipedia and its sister sites are the #5 web property and serve 470 million different people every month – with billions of page views.
Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn't belong here. Not in Wikimedia.
Wikimedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others.
When I founded the Wikimedia Foundation, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different. We’ve worked hard over the years to keep it lean and tight. We fulfill our mission, and leave waste to others.
If everyone reading this donated $3, we would only have to fundraise for one day a year. But not everyone can or will donate. And that's fine. Each year just enough people decide to give.
This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to protect and sustain the Wikimedia projects.
By donating, you agree to share your personal information with the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that hosts Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, and its service providers pursuant to our donor policy. Wikimedia Foundation and its service providers are located in the United States and in other countries whose privacy laws may not be equivalent to your own. We do not sell or trade your information to anyone. For more information please read our donor policy.
For recurring donors, fixed monthly payments will be debited by the Wikimedia Foundation on the monthly anniversary of the first donation, until such time as you notify us to discontinue them. Donations initiated on the 29, 30, or 31 of the month will recur on the last day of the month for shorter months, as close to the original date as possible. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.