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Turning Your Existing Services Into New Business Opportunities

Uncover hidden revenue streams

Finding new opportunities for nondues revenue can be as straightforward as finding a way to cover some of your biggest sunk costs.

That's what happened with the Wikimedia Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates one of the most popular sites on the internet, Wikipedia. It found itself in a position to develop a commercial product with assurance of its success, in part because of the popularity of its existing data.

Large tech businesses like Google, and even other nonprofits, such as the Internet Archive, are heavy consumers of the information that gets published on Wikipedia. (Google, famously, uses Wikipedia data in its “knowledge panels.”) Supporting these use cases required the foundation to leverage its existing resources. Lane Becker, senior director of earned revenue at the Wikimedia Foundation, noted that this tended to divert financial resources from other parts of the organization.

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