[Foundation-l] Advertisement

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Thu Dec 28 19:35:52 UTC 2006

On 12/28/06, GerardM <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> If the Gates Foundation is willing to provide the Wikimedia Foundation with
> a substantial amount of money to help us achieve our aims, the only reason
> why we should not accept this is when there are conditions attached that are
> contrary to our principles.

In IRC last night, Jeroenvrp asserted rather loudly that even if we
were offered a trillion dollars we should not accept a *single*
advertisement on our website.

This was after I'd made an example involving freeing every book ever
published. A trillion dollars  would probably be enough to do it, and
probably with enough left over to translate them all and distribute
access to them to most of the world.

So, tell me... Should I feel guilty for judging anyone who makes a
claim like his to be selfish, short-sighted,  irrational, and
generally unworthy of our serious consideration?

Of course we're not talking about getting a 'trillion' dollars from
everyone, but we're not talking about an advertisement in the normal
sense.  Our action here is to be liberal with our gratitude in our
thanks, not only because doing so is nice.. but because by doing so we
hope to demonstrate to large and wealthy donors that we are a worthy
recipient of substantial donations from large and wealthy donors.. and
through that establish a long term pattern of substantial matching
support from the groups in the world most able to provide it.

Often the media can't even figure out that Wikipedia is a charity and
we've had instance of meetings with seriously important people who
think that Wikipedia is just another Web 2.0 hopeful that plans to
make a fortune without a business plan...  Our fundraiser will remind
the world that we are a charity, and being loud and clear about the
support we are getting from groups like Virgin Unite tells all of the
large companies and foundations that is proper and, hopefully someday,
expected for them to donate to us.

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