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This page is a list of typical complaints and responses about the Wikimedia Foundation's annual fundraising campaign. Its purpose is to save the rest of the editors the time and trouble required to respond individually to complaints.

Wikipedia is advertising-free, so why is there an ad for donating to Wikipedia?
Wikipedia does not accept advertisements from outside businesses, but it has never promised not to advertise itself.
How long will this last?
As of 2013, the annual campaign now runs only during December. Be grateful: from 2004 to 2012, it ran twice as long.
How can I make the banner ads go away?
Click the little box in the corner, if you want it to go away for one week—on that project, from that computer. This only works if you store web cookies.
Logged-in users may dismiss it for the rest of the year by going to Special:Preferences, clicking on the "Gadgets" tab, and ticking the box next to the statement "Suppress display of the fundraiser banner." If you have accounts at other projects—like one on Commons and one on Wiktionary—then you need to do this once per account.
You mean they're going to make me click that box four separate times, at a cost of, like, four seconds out of my entire year?
But I personally hate, hate, HATE those banner ads!!!
Seriously: Who cares? The Foundation is choosing ads according to which ones bring in the most money, not which ones make us feel happy.
Although it varies by product, in general, annoying advertisements are more effective than beautiful ones. That's why you see ugly used car salesmen yelling in television advertisements, irritating jingles in radio spots, and display ads using less-than-legible typefaces. The ultimate goal is to extract the most money from people's pockets, not to enhance the aesthetics of the website. The more you complain about it, the more proof we have that the ad is effectively getting people's attention.
Can't you just make this go away?
Sure: If you send $25 million dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation with a note requesting that the campaign end early, I'm sure they'd be happy to accommodate your request. The length of a fundraising campaign like this one is determined by the length of time they believe will be necessary to get the money out of our pockets and into theirs. If you speed things up, they'll shorten the campaign. They're not doing this because they think it's so much fun, after all.
Isn't this just self-aggrandizement by Jimmy Wales?
No, he's doing it because he was asked to. The reason that you see more of him than other options is that the banners with his picture are more effective than the others.
The truth is, Jimmy was fairly uncomfortable with this campaign. The WMF presented him with reams of evidence demonstrating that nothing else was as effective, and he went along with it. However, we've run a variety of personal appeals this year, including several from editors, and one from the Wikimedia Foundation's executive director, Sue Gardner. Also, many of our chapters are running specialized appeals. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 10:56, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Where's the most effective place to waste my time, and ideally other people's, by whingeing about the fact that this fundraising campaign exists?
Any old bit bucket or null device should do. May we suggest creating a word processing document on your own computer, and then deleting it after you've gotten it off your chest?
Really: The choice is between having an effective fundraising campaign and keeping Wikipedia functioning for another year, or not having a fundraiser and not having Wikipedia. No amount of complaining is going to shorten the campaign by even a single hour.
If you have constructive suggestions or want to help design future ads, please go to m:Fundraising 2011 or join the conversation on the irc:Wikimedia-fundraising IRC channel. If you prefer to send your opinions directly to the fundraising team, you can send e-mail to or leave a note for the manager of the 2011 fundraiser, Wikimedia Community Officer Megan Hernandez (User:Meganhernandez on the English Wikipedia).
What's with all these complainers, anyway?
There aren't that many of them; it just seems like a lot because several people try to reason with them, so the conversations take up an unreasonable proportion of the community's attention.
There's a social theory that people who have a lot of their limited self-concept invested in a project are the ones who fuss the most about any change. Surprises—say, like the appearance of a fundraising banner—remind these users that no matter how powerful they are, the person who controls the server is even more powerful, and that if they get obnoxious enough, their "virtual life" could be taken away. They find these reminders of the basic facts of life, like "you don't own Wikipedia", emotionally painful and disempowering, so they whinge to whoever will listen. Listening respectfully and sympathetically to their complaints soothes their ruffled feathers and reminds them that they have the power to be disruptive.
So you're not doing that, are you?
Nope. Those feathers can stay ruffled, as far as I'm concerned.
What does the Wikimedia Foundation need money for, anyway?
Servers, electricity and a couple of very big pipes to the Internet, for starters. Staff members to keep the computers running, a lawyer to keep governments and businesses off our backs, and people to coordinate events like Wikimania, too. Otherwise, you can look forward to a lot more of that blue error message about the servers being overloaded.
I clicked the button to get rid of the ad, but now I'm ready to donate, and I can't get it back.
You can go directly to foundation:Fundraising, which is where the banner would take you.
Okay, where's the real FAQ?
See wmf:FAQ/en. Note that it was written by a team of responsible, level-headed, mature adults.

See also[edit]