Every year I donate money to the Wikimedia foundation. If the organisation sounds familiar but you are not sure why it's because you most likely use one of their biggest contributions to the world - Wikipedia.
Every week, some weeks multiple times, I reference and learn from the wealth of information that can be found within Wikipedia. This information is of course contributed by volunteers (essentially) who don't receive payment for their writings and then potentially re-edited by others who have a differing view, opinion or understanding of the topic. It's the openly editeditable nature that leads some to mark Wikipedia as an unreliable source of information. That's fine, I use it all the time and learn a heck of a lot. One website will never be my only source of learning so I build my own resilience to misinformation - at least as good as the common man - and thus I personally vouch for the overall richness of Wikipedia, at least for the topics that interest me.
I give $10. I feel a small amount of good through making a donation to a non-profit organisation that directly benefits me. Critically important to assisting the good feeling is making the process to give simple, hoopless and fast. The Wikiemedia Foundation has not gone the path of many charities where they require direct debit capability and an ongoing commitment with monthly "subscription" style payments (a practice of which I can appreciate the benefits - but frankly it turns me off).
With a simple website I am able to select a $10 donation amount. Other options are available, including a subscription, and it is possible to manually enter an amount also. The modes of payment are simply PayPal or Credit Card/Debit or BPay and the transaction is no fuss and requires as few clicks as are necessary. They have done it right.
I do get very polite emails once an a while from Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia Founder, asking simply for another donation. He keeps it short and to the point and is clearly grateful. I find the entire thing admirable... maybe it helps that I am a beneficiary in that I can use the site... I won't self-analyse too deeply.
So, the donation goes towards (as copied from the payment site):
Technology: Servers, bandwidth, maintenance, development. Wikipedia is one of the top 10 websites in the world, and it runs on a fraction of what other top websites spend.
People and Projects: The other top websites have thousands of employees. We have about 300 staff to support a wide variety of projects, making your donation a great investment in a highly-efficient not-for-profit organization.
Cool! So I know how much I'm paying... I know who I'm paying and most importantly I know what they use the money for.
I use Wikipedia a lot. Sometimes I find myself surprised that I'm reading a Wikipedia page. It's because there is a distinct lack of adverts and bulky noise that make up the rest of the Internet. There is little to take your attention away from the stuff that matters. You might find this too. I suspect if you're in a technical field and you look to the Internet for quick info you'll find Wikipedia is a common source for you as well. Maybe it's time to help them out? Just a little bit...
Thanks Wikimedia Foundation, Thanks Jimmy and thanks to all the Wikipedia contributors.
We build and optimise networks. Continuous learning is our secret to being good. Along the learning journey we will share things here...