Reciprocity and Donation: Research Showcase Presentation

Donation-based support for open, peer production projects such as Wikipedia is an important mechanism for preserving their integrity and independence. For this reason understanding donation behavior and incentives is crucial in this context. In this work, using a dataset of aggregated donation information from Wikimedia’s 2015 fund-raising campaign, representing nearly 1 million pages from English and French language versions of Wikipedia, we explore the relationship between the properties of contents of a page and the number of donations on this page. Our results suggest the existence of a reciprocity mechanism, meaning that articles that provide more utility value attract a higher rate of donation. We discuss these and other findings focusing on the impact they may have on the design of banner-based fundraising campaigns. Our findings shed more light on the mechanisms that lead people to donate to Wikipedia and the relation between properties of contents and donations.