Wikipedia’s tin-cup approach wears thin

The nonprofit website needs to raise funds, but it resists selling ads.The new headquarters of one of the world’s most popular websites is 3,000 square feet of rented space furnished with desks and chairs bought on the cheap from EBay and Craigslist.A sheet of printer paper taped to the door says the office belongs to the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that runs Wikipedia, the online almanac of anything and everything that users want to chronicle, from Thomas Aquinas to Zorba the Greek.With about 300 million page views a day, the site by some estimates could be worth many hundreds of millions of dollars if it sold advertising space. It doesn’t. Wikipedia’s business plan is, basically, to hold out a tin cup whenever it runs low on funds, which is very often.When it comes to money, “we are about as unsophisticated as we could possibly be,” Executive Director Sue Gardner said as she swept up Styrofoam packing nuts in the office, the foundation’s home since it relocated in January from St. Petersburg, Fla. “It’s time for us to grow up a little bit.”
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-wikipedia10mar10,0,7404443.story

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