How does Wikipedia make money? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you might be surprised to learn how Wikipedia makes its millions in advertising revenue every year. Here’s How Does Wikipedia Make Money?

Wikipedia Mission

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Our mission is to bring knowledge to everyone, everywhere. We believe that every person on earth should have access to our shared knowledge for free. As of December 2016, we have 18 billion page views per month and over 500 million unique visitors per month. We are now the 5th most popular website in the United States. In addition to English, we offer content in more than 290 languages.

How to Create a Wikipedia Page About Yourself

Number of Users Worldwide

There are currently more than 500 million monthly active users on Wikipedia, with over 80,000 active editors working on articles in 287 languages. That’s a lot of people using the site! But how does Wikipedia make money to keep the lights on and pay its employees?

Operating Income (2017)

According to their 2017 financial report, 87% of Wikipedia’s funding comes from donations from individuals and businesses. The other 13% come from grants and contracts. In 2017, their operating income was $150.8 million.

Revenue (2017)

In 2017, Wikipedia’s revenue totaled $79.3 million. The majority of this revenue came from donations, which made up $56.7 million, or 71% of the total. The second largest source of revenue was grants, which brought in $16.8 million (21%). Advertising brought in $5.8 million (7%), while other sources, such as merchandise sales and book royalties, generated $0.9 million (1%).

Expenses (2017)

According to their financial report, in 2017, Wikipedia’s expenses were $78.9 million. The three largest expenses were: $23.5 million for technology, $21.8 million for editorial and community, and $17.1 million for general and administrative expenses. Income (2017) (five sentences): In 2017, Wikipedia’s income was $101.7 million.

Wikimedia Foundation Net Assets (2018)

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia. They are funded primarily by donations from individuals and companies. In 2018, their net assets were $93.6 million USD. The majority of their expenses go towards keeping the website running and paying their staff. They also use some of their funds to support other projects related to their mission, like Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Earth.