Business Standard

Wikipedia's business model: Why the website often appeals for funds

Much of the funding comes in dribs and drabs from small donations made by millions of users


Wikipedia was launched in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger who set up a US non-profit called the Wikimedia Foundation.

Devangshu Datta New Delhi
For weeks, surfers landing on Wikipedia encountered an appeal from “the free encyclopedia” requesting them to donate Rs 25 or any other sum they chose. This was not the first time “Wiki” – a widely used, free resource – was appealing for funds. In the past, Google had given money to Wikipedia through donations and grants.

But why does the “Wiki” continually appeal for funding? The answer lies in its business model, which is not really a business model.

Wikipedia is one of the most frequently used web resources. Vast sums are needed to maintain a huge repository of continuously growing

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Jun 26 2022 | 8:17 PM IST

Explore News

To read the full story, subscribe to BS Premium now, at just Rs 249/ month.

Key stories on are available only to BS Premium subscribers.

Register to