Wikipedia fundraiser ends with a sigh

January 5, 2007

If you’d been watching the progress of the Wikimedia Foundation’s fundraising drive — for which there is a live list of donations — you’d have seen it slowly peter out over the last few days. After an initial avalanche, which raised US$341,000 in a little over a week, the rate of contributions is finally falling again. The fundraiser, which has by now raised US$877,000 and become by far the most successful to date, appears to be putt-putt-putting to a halt.

When this whole shindig started, I was lucky enough to be in the first few people to donate to the drive, but my two cents (ho, ho, ho) were soon caught up by the thousands of people flocking to donate. My own donation came at 10pm on the 15th of December; in the 24-hour period before then, less than fifty other people had donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

How many people donated in the 24-hour period after mine? Over seven hundred and fifty, or one every two minutes. Amazing, no?

The fundraiser’s success comes for a number of reasons: firstly, because it was the first to feature donation-matching, which effectively doubled the revenue raised on certain days of the drive. Secondly, the number of people that use Wikipedia since late 2005 has increased dramatically, catapulting it past eBay, Amazon and the BBC in that time.

However, all good things come to an end. The last 24 hours have seen “just” 300 donations to the Foundation, compared with those 750 on the first day and 900+ during its height. Its clear that the impetus behind it has been lost, just in time for its official ending date on Saturday.

It all leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling, doesn’t it?

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2 Responses to “Wikipedia fundraiser ends with a sigh”

  1. Angela Says:

    The fundraising drive isn’t due to end until January 15th (“Wikipedia Day”).

  2. daveydweeb Says:

    Quite right, and my mistake. I originally arrived at that date from the Signpost of 2006-12-18, which refers to the “three-week fundraiser” (here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2006-12-18/Fundraiser_opens ), and of 2007-01-02, which states that it “will close on Saturday” (here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2007-01-02/News_and_notes ).

    I should have updated my information. :)


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