As if there weren’t already enough reasons to love Wikipedia, I think their fundraising email sent out in the run up to Christmas is brilliant.
Clear, simple, informal, and not afraid to say bluntly what Wikipedia is and isn’t. “Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here.” “We don’t think having your email address is a license to spam.”
If only more organisations could communicate this well. Here’s the text in full:
At Wikipedia we only ask for donations during our year-end fundraiser. That’s our tradition. We don’t think having your email address is a license to spam. We send two reminders per year. This is your first. Donate today, and we won’t send you the second. 😉
If everyone visiting Wikipedia right now gave the price of a cup of coffee, our fundraiser would be over. Please help us forget about fundraising and get back to improving Wikipedia.
Did you forget why you supported Wikipedia last year? Here’s a reminder:
Wikipedia is the #5 site on the web and serves 450 million different people every month. We’re non-profit, but we still have costs like any top site: servers, power, rent, programs, staff and legal help.
Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here. Not in Wikipedia.
Wikipedia 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 Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different.
This year, please consider making a donation of £20, £30, £50 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia.