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How Does Wikipedia Make Money?

A lot of people are familiar with the website; Wikipedia but do not have an idea of what it is all about.  Wikipedia is an online comprehensive reference work with several articles which is being maintained by anonymous volunteers. It was founded in 2001 by a team of developers led by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, it is now headquartered in San Francisco and has grown to be one of the most frequently used websites with over 56 million articles in its archives. In January 2001, the Wikipedia site has recorded over 600 articles. You can have access to Wikipedia by mobile application which is available on both android and IOS devices. Here 3 ways on How Does Wikipedia Make Money.

Five core pillars guide Wikipedia, they are;

  • Articles on Wikipedia are written from a neural viewpoint which is verifiable.
  • Articles written on Wikipedia can be accessed, used, edited, and shared by anyone.
  • Wikipedia is an online comprehensive reference work and not a platform for advertisement.
  • Wikipedia is not operated on laws but guidelines that change over time.
  • Wikipedia editors must not engage in personal controversy but treat each other with respect.

How Wikipedia makes money

Articles posted on Wikipedia are free, at the same time, there are no advertisements of any kind posted on Wikipedia. It might seem Wikipedia is a Non-Governmental Organization to you, even though they partly function like one. You might be wondering how Wikipedia makes its money even though been one of the most frequently used websites in the world. There are a couple of methods that Wikipedia uses to generate income and obtain revenues for the company. I’m here to enlighten you on how Wikipedia makes money;

1. Donation

One of the most profitable revenue income generations for Wikipedia is via donation. This is how it works; the donation may come from an individual contributor, corporation, or most times; an organization. About 45 percent of Wikipedia users or visitors have donated to the brand because they felt like a small donation would be welcome. These donations could either be in the currency of the donor’s choice or in-kind services. What we refer to as in-kind services are goods and services or transactions that do not involve money. There are so many ways in which users donate, some of these ways include using payment channels like; Amex, Mastercard, PayPal, Visa Cards, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay.

You can also use Cryptocurrency as a part of their donation method but because of its environmental impact and price volatility, it was excluded as a means of donation in May 2022.

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2. Investment

Investment has generated a lot of income for Wikipedia. I am pretty sure that you will be thinking about how Wikipedia makes money through investment. Additionally, all the investments listed below are distributed equally between each of those levels. The investment portfolio in Wikipedia is classified into three categories, which are;

  • Level 1: Investment in marketable securities like stocks and mutual funds.
  • Level 2: Investments into corporate bonds like U.S. treasury securities and so on.
  • Level 3: This is an unobservable inputs level

3. API

The Wikimedia Foundation launched the Wikipedia API in March 2021. The API contains a database of Wikipedia content made available for other firms and brands. A considerable number of big tech firms have purchased API packages from Wikipedia in a readily consumable format that is used for their services and products. These big tech firms will pay Wikimedia continuously for them to get access to this raw and up-to-date data. The file size determines the payment which is been imported by the given company.

The first big tech company to obtain a license for Information API data is Google in June 2022. Google pays Wikipedia for content that shows in Google’s “Knowledge Panel” and search results. Who would have thought that Google will pay Wikipedia for an API package?


Readers donations hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation primarily funded Wikipedia. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, Wikipedia made up to USD 75 million to support the brand through the Wikimedia Foundation. People from all over and around the world make an average of 15 Dollars contribution or donation to Wikipedia. Wikipedia has roughly 75,000 active editors every month who writes, edit, and review to make sure Wikipedia is a reliable and accurate resource and information center for the world.


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