If you visited Wikipedia lately, and chances are you did, you probably came across a big banner asking for your help to keep Wikipedia alive in its current (ad-free) form.
For the past couple of years, the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia, has staged a big fundraising campaign toward the end of the year in order to cover the costs associated with maintaining a website of Wikipedia's scale. And to some success. Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, Wikipedia received $52.5 million in donations and contributions, up from just $15 million in 2010.
So what does Wikipedia need all that money for, some might ask. After all, the site's content is generated by thousands of volunteer contributors who don't get paid for their work. What people forget is the fact that running a website of Wikipedia's size costs a lot of money. In October 2014, 460 million people visited at least one of Wikimedia's websites and that isn't even counting mobile visitors. The infrastructure and staff needed to smoothly deliver content to half a billion people shouldn't be underestimated. The fact that Wikipedia is still funded almost exclusively by donations is pretty remarkable and speaks volumes of the appreciation people have for the world's largest free encyclopedia.
This chart shows how much money the Wikimedia Foundation received in the form donations and contributions since 2004.
You will find more statistics at Statista