We've all seen it: the appeal for donations from Jimmy Wales at the top of a Wikipedia page. So just who exactly contributes to the online editable encyclopedia?
Wikipedia, supported by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation -- which is dependent on donations -- recently conducted a study with its readers regarding the who and why behind its contributions. The site's annual fundraising campaign earned $20 million, according to the Associated Press.
The study emphasized it didn't use actual donor information:
"While we don’t directly collect demographic or other information from our donors, we used our readers survey as a means of understanding who our donors are, and what motivates them to donate to Wikipedia. Please note that these results are from a sample of our reader population, not drawn from actual donor data."
The survey of 250 participants each in 16 countries revealed that about one-fourth of the 4,000 people surveyed would be willing to give to Wikipedia. India proved to have the most charitable readers, with 42 percent of people saying they'd donate.
In the U.S., 33 percent of people surveyed said they would consider donating.
Respondents from France were the least willing, with just 11 percent stating they would donated.
The survey also stated that on average, 47 percent of Wikipedia readers did not know the site was supported by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which is dedicated to providing free content to the world.
As Wikipedia becomes more pervasive, Wikimedia's management has worried about whether the online encyclopedia will be able keep up with the technology necessary to remain relevant, according to the Associated Press.
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