How Does Wikipedia Make Money?

The short answer to the question “how does Wikipedia make money?” is “It doesn’t.”  Nobody who uses Wikipedia or creates an account on it is required to pay any money to do so.  Wikipedia is a not-for-profit project run by a not-for-profit organization called the Wikimedia Foundation.

With that said, it does cost money for the Wikimedia Foundation to pay for the services that keep Wikipedia up and running (electricity, Internet connection, website hosting, staff, and so on).  Therefore, it relies on monetary grants and donations from governments, corporations, organizations, and users like you.

Should I donate to Wikipedia?

The answer to that question depends a lot on your personal tastes and feelings.  If you like Wikipedia a lot and feel that it’s an inexpensive and reliable way to get the information you need, when you need it, then feel free to donate.

Likewise, if you strongly believe in Wikipedia’s mission to make information freely available to everyone, everywhere, all the time, devoid of any other political or economic agenda, then by all means send some cash their way.

If you don’t find Wikipedia useful, or don’t agree with their principles, then don’t give them any money.

How to donate to Wikipedia

If you decide that you want to give Wikipedia some monetary support, then here’s how to do it.

  1. Go to www.wikipedia.org in your web browser and select your language version.  (We’ll assume you want English, but if it’s not your native tongue, then click the language that is.)
  2. In the left-hand menu, click Donate to Wikipedia.
  3. You’ll set your donation up in the window on the right-hand side here. Click the buttons below “Donation Amount” to select if your donation will be one-time or recurring monthly, your donation amount, and whether you will be paying for your donation through a debit/credit card or the online money management service PayPal.
  4. Next, you’ll have to input your billing information. Assuming that you want to pay with a credit or debit card, click the boxes under “Billing Information” and type in or select your first name, last name, street address, city, territory, mailing code, and email address.

    After that, click the button beside the type of card you want to use. Then, click in the boxes below your choice and type in or select your card number, the month and year that it expires, and its security code (click What Is A Security Code? if you need help finding it). When you’re done, click Continue.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail when you’re finished.  Congratulations on making a contribution to Wikipedia and its mission!