I love Wikipedia. I refer to it regularly and link to it frequently. It has made learning easy and brought vast knowledge into homes across the globe.
As you've likely heard, Wikipedia is facing some significant financial problems. The founder, Jimmy Wales, has even put a plea up on every page of the site asking for donations (as of 12/31/09 he has raised more than 2/3 of his fundraising goal for 2010). But, here's what I don't get (and if you're a small business owner or techie, please help me understand this): why does it take $10 million dollars a year to run Wikipedia? I don't have an MBA, but that seems like too much to me.
Lots of news sites are toying with the idea of instituting pay walls, and perhaps this might be in Wikipedia's future, as well. And, heck, if I frequent a site regularly, I might consider paying for the privilege. But, as a "donor" (it's the nonprofit arm of Wikipedia that is soliciting the funds) I'd like to feel confident that my donation is being spent wisely.
Do you run your own small business (Wikipedia has fewer than 35 employees)? Do you understand all the technical requirements and costs associated with a robust site like Wikipedia? If so, I'd really like your opinion. Is $10 million reasonable to operate Wikipedia for just one year?