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To reward people for their donations, Wikipedia could allow individuals to "sponsor" a page about a subject that they're interested in. This "sponsorship" would show up as a small, non-obtrusive watermark on the bottom of the page. Most importantly, users could share on Facebook which Wikipedia pages they are helping stay online thanks to their donations.

Just like the Lance Armstrong Foundation created the LIVESTRONG bracelets, this is about rewarding donors that help the Wikipedia cause with something they can use as a social currency.




Initially a once in a year event, the Wikipedia donation campaign is now an appeal drive that runs many times a year. Each subsequent campaign seems to last longer than the one before it. The problem that this causes is each campaign feeling like it blends into the next.

As the world's #5 website database grows larger, so does its costs with servers, bandwidth, maintenance, etc. Users are now being asked to contribute on monthly basis to keep the site going. How can we make Wikipedia's cause stand out, appealing to a charity-fatigued audience, and prevent it from becoming a paid for website?


Just like museums have galleries and expositions, which are supported by companies and family trusts (eg. the 19th century sculpture gallery sponsored by the Smith Family), we could create a similar system for individuals on the Wikipedia pages.

By quantifying the donation the user makes to Wikipedia, it will show donators where their money is actually making a difference.

How it works:

Sponsor a page:

Donors could choose to sponsor a random page, which could have its own quirky results ("Adam Hunt is sponsoring the Bikini Waxing page on Wikipedia").

Or choose a page about they care deeply about ("Karla Barlow is sponsoring the Gold: Greatest Hits (ABBA Album) page on Wikipedia").

The donor then would choose to either:

- Remain anonymous


- Display a small watermark at the bottom of the Wikipedia page that would identify them: "This page is kept online thanks to the donation of Rufus Barnes".

This watermark would last for the length of the campaign drive and for one month after the target had been reached.

It is important to emphasize that this would not be a permanent fixture on Wikipedia pages but instead be a small unobtrusive watermark that would be found down the bottom for a limited time period.

Facebook Sponsorship Sharing

When the individuals donate they can also add a Wikipedia Facebook Application which would post on the Donor's wall a link to the Wikipedia page that they are sponsoring, therefore sharing the Donor's interests with friends.

Showing to their online facebook community a wiki page they support would create other interested users to comment and also sponsor their page and thus donate.

Other points on the page sponsorship:

-People could give each other sponsorships as gifts.

-Pages, which have not been sponsored, could carry an "available to sponsorship" message.

- Sensitive subjects (nazism, pedophilia, torture, etc.) would be blocked from sponsorship.

-Article contributors would be invited to collaborate financially with the article they have helped develop as well.

-Depending on the amount /frequency of donations users could sponsor more than one page.

-Celebrities could ask to contribute on their own pages to raise the campaign's profile.


Key Questions

Potential Costs


Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:WikiDonors.

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