Wikipedia Rocks!

I made a gift to Wikipedia this morning. Why? Because they asked, and because I use Wikipedia a lot for my memoir writing. I often search for historical info about Nigeria and the Biafran War. Sometimes I look for references to Ibo writers or customs. Sometimes I do other searches.

Last week I looked up the town of Danforth, Illinois, to find its population is 587!  I visited the town last Saturday. I am hoping to have a Danforth family reunion next summer of people related though grandfather H.W. Danforth, grandson of the town’s founder. I took a picture of the house we visited. My brother suggested we have the reunion in Danforth. But there’s no hotel, just a Community Hall. Maybe Kankakee, or even Chicago?

Wikipedia posts a banner periodically to ask for gifts. It is straightforward. It doesn’t grab my heartstrings or excite my feelings of social justice. But it does say clearly why my gift matters.

And they sent an immediate lovely thank you, which I’ll share with you. Maybe you’ll be inspired to make a gift as well!

Wikipedia’s thank you:

Dear Catherine,

Thank you for donating to the Wikimedia Foundation. You are wonderful!

It’s easy to ignore our fundraising banners, and I’m really glad you didn’t. This is how Wikipedia pays its bills — people like you giving us money, so we can keep the site freely available for everyone around the world.

People tell me they donate to Wikipedia because they find it useful, and they trust it because even though it’s not perfect, they know it’s written for them. Wikipedia isn’t meant to advance somebody’s PR agenda or push a particular ideology, or to persuade you to believe something that’s not true. We aim to tell the truth, and we can do that because of you. The fact that you fund the site keeps us independent and able to deliver what you need and want from Wikipedia. Exactly as it should be.

You should know: your donation isn’t just covering your own costs. The average donor is paying for his or her own use of Wikipedia, plus the costs of hundreds of other people. Your donation keeps Wikipedia available for an ambitious kid in Bangalore who’s teaching herself computer programming. A middle-aged homemaker in Vienna who’s just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A novelist researching 1850s Britain. A 10-year-old in San Salvador who’s just discovered Carl Sagan.

On behalf of those people, and the half-billion other readers of Wikipedia and its sister sites and projects, I thank you for joining us in our effort to make the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Your donation makes the world a better place. Thank you.

Most people don’t know Wikipedia’s run by a non-profit. Please consider sharing this e-mail with a few of your friends to encourage them to donate too. And if you’re interested, you should try adding some new information to Wikipedia. If you see a typo or other small mistake, please fix it, and if you find something missing, please add it. There are resources here that can help you get started. Don’t worry about making a mistake: that’s normal when people first start editing and if it happens, other Wikipedians will be happy to fix it for you.

I appreciate your trust in us, and I promise you we’ll use your money well.

Thanks,
Sue

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About catherineonyemelukwe.com

Author of memoir Nigeria Revisited My Life and Loves Abroad, blogger, board member U.S.National Committee for UN Women, former Peace Corps volunteer, Unitarian Universalist, expert in nonprofit management and fundraising, certified fundraising executive (CFRE), racial justice advocate..

Posted on November 27, 2012, in Family, Giving, Make a Difference!, Social Media, websites and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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