What is Wikipop?

WikiPop is a population database and crowdfunding platform aimed at preventing extinction in the wild and preserving the diversity of life on Earth.  Powered entirely by volunteers, WikiPop enables anyone to donate as little as $5 to directly fund species-saving conservation projects around your world.  100% of your donation funds conservation projects directly.  We are a 501(c)(3) charity committed to full transparency. 

Why Population Tracking and Species Conservation?

We believe in the power of the human mind to solve all sorts of problems in time - hunger, disease, poverty, racism, energy and water shortages, you name it, eventually we are going to solve and resolve these issues.  And yet as the human population surges on planet Earth we are sending many incredible species into extinction in the wild.  Extinction is, as they say, 'forever'.  How sad will it be if generations from now we have resolved so many of the problems that plague us today and yet people are left living in an empty world?  We can live in balance with other species if we try.

What does WikiPop mean?

WikiPop is a combination of the words 'wiki' and 'population'.  Population tracking and conservation fundraising are massive undertakings, feasible only through the participation of the collective.  Thus WikiPop sprouted from the idea of a wiki that anyone could edit and provide data to.  For now, we are collecting species data from our trusted conservation partners, but in time species tracking efforts may allow for more open participation.

Aren't big organizations already solving these problems? Why is WikiPop different?

WikiPop was originally conceived to be a 'Kiva for Animals', but we couldn't figure out how the animals would pay the people back.  :)  As the crowdfunding model has matured, organizations like Kickstarter and Watsi provide a better model for WikiPop's goals.  What's great about these organizations is the direct connection they provide between your donation and its destination.  Many large organizations are doing great work in the conservation field, but can seem like black boxes to small individual donors.  With WikiPop you'll feel good knowing exactly where your donation is going and you can track your impact over time.  Last but not least, as our name would suggest we are focused on species populations - including that of humans.  While this is arguably the most important topic for any environmental organization, most are reluctant to address it for a variety of reasons.  At WikiPop we will be tackling the issue head-on.

How does WikiPop fund its day to day operations?

WikiPop has zero paid employees; we are entirely volunteer run (join us!), but we still have costs that range from web-hosting and development to legal and financial processing fees.  For example, in order to legally fundraise online as we are it is necessary to register in each of 39 of the 50 United States, as well as nationally - each state has their own forms and fees and this compliance adds up @_@.  In order to ensure that 100% of your donation goes to species conservation, we rely on optional 'tips' to cover these fees and are also grateful for in-kind donations. 

Can you successfully run an organization entirely by volunteers?

WikiPop is an experiment in more ways than one, but we believe that there is a huge amount of untapped 'passion power' in today's workforce.  By 'passion power' we mean people who are incredibly good at what they do for a living - perhaps coding, grant-writing, language translation, email-marketing, research or tax preparation - and they would love to lend their expertise to help protect the diversity of life on Earth if efficiently given the chance.  Indeed, the problems we are tackling are so mammoth, we believe a large volunteer effort enabled via technology is the only way we stand a chance at succeeding.  If you're interested in joining our team, see where we need help.  And thanks!

Can I see your financials?

Definitely!  We are 100% transparent.  All relevant documents will be made public on our WikiPop Transparency Document as they become available.  If you have any questions, please email and we'll get back to you as soon as we're able.


Who is eligible for WikiPop funding?

In order to be eligible for WikiPop funding, a species must be threatened, endangered or critically endangered according to the Species Red List.  Projects eligible for WikiPop funding cost less than $1500 USD, have a measurable outcome and are administered by a certified non-profit in direct contact with the endangered animal.  In short, WikiPop treatments are low-cost with tangible results.

Who decides which projects receive WikiPop funding?

When Field Partners send us proposed projects, we confirm that they meet our criteria.  We cannot always see and evaluate the animal projects in person, so we trust that our Field Partners are choosing the best possible projects for species protection.  Then, we post the profiles as we are able.  In the beginning only a few projects will be posted on the site at one time, however as we grow each species page will have projects specific only to that species.

What if a project isn't funded?

Projects are posted to WikiPop until they are fully funded.  We coordinate with our Field Partners to determine how many projects we are able to fund based on current donor demand.  If donor demand increases, we increase the number of profiles our partners can submit for funding, and vice-versa.  We also keep an emergency reserve in our operations account equal to the total number of unfunded projects we've accepted to ensure we never promise conservation support to a project that we can't fund.

How do I know the project will be a success?

WikiPop cannot guarantee that every project will be a success.  Nothing in life is guaranteed, but we pick our Field Partners with care; they are the best people working to protect species around our planet and they need our support. 

What is a Field Partner?

Field Partners are on-the-ground organizations that are waging the war against species extinction and threats such as habitat loss, poaching and other human-animal conflicts.  In order for WikiPop to form a relationship with a Field Partner, they must maintain the highest of ethical standards and fit the following criteria:


1.  Must be a registered legal and licensed entity in its country of operation.

2.  Must have a history (at least 3 years) of implementing successful conservation projects.

3.  Must have a strong positive reputation within the local and national conservation community.

4.  Must agree to allow WikiPop to perform due diligence, initial and on-going, to ensure compliance with specified financial, legal and ethical regulations.

5.  Must be willing and able to designate a staff member to upload project profiles and provide updates to donors.

6.  Must have a successful working relationship with at least one US-based 501(C)(3) non-profit organization.

How does an organization become a Field Partner?

If you know of an organization that is interested in partnering with WikiPop, please feel free to email us at  We are always looking for quality Field Partners that align with our values.


Really? 100% of my donation goes to the chosen project?

Yes.  100% of your donation covers the cost of a conservation-related project of your choice.  Your donation is not pooled into a general programming fund, your donation does not go to help run WikiPop's operations, and your donation does not go to marketing or fundraising activities.  WikiPop even covers the credit card processing fees (2.4% + $0.30 per transaction) so that every cent of your donation directly funds conservation work.

How do I know my money will go to the project I choose?

Being completely transparent about where your donation goes is one of the ways WikiPop stands apart from other conservation organizations.  We ensure 100% transparency in a number of different ways:

1.  Publication of all financial transactions:  We post all of our financials on our WikiPop Transparency Document, including screenshots of fund transfers for every project.

2.  Real updates: You will receive an update with a post-project photo and information about the outcome of the project you funded.

3.  Partnering with the best: We work with some of the most well-respected conservation organizations in the world.  You can learn more about each of our Field Partners on our WikiPop Transparency Document.

4.  Double Due Diligence: While we are quite familiar with our Field Partners and the work that they do, we always perform initial and on-going due diligence to ensure they meet our Partner Organization criteria.  Because all of our Field Partners are affiliated with a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the US, they are also subject to the tax-exempt rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service and are required to release all of their financial information for inspection on an annual basis.

5.  Direct transfers: WikiPop funds are transferred directly to our Field Partner for the purpose of covering the cost of the conservation project.  They are never handled by a third party or released to anyone for discretionary spending.

6.  Random audits:  WikiPop conducts random audits with all of our Field Partners to ensure the information provided in each conservation project profile is true and accurate.

How do the donation logistics work?

The Field Partner identifies a conservation-related project that is low-cost and high impact for a particular threatened species that they serve and submits a corresponding project profile to WikiPop.  Provided that the project meets our criteria, we accept it and guarantee the Field Partner that we will cover the cost of the project's implementation.  WikiPop posts the project profile online, WikiPop donors fund it, and the Field Partner completes the project.  After the project is completed, the Field Partner sends WikiPop an update about the projects completion.  Once WikiPop receives the update, we send it to the donors who supported that project and transfer the funds to the Field Partner's PayPal account to cover the cost of the project.  

Am I really funding this specific conservation project for this specific animal?

Yes.  Your donation directly covers the cost of the conservation project that you choose.  Field Partners complete the projects accepted by WikiPop operating under the guarantee that the cost will be paid for by donors.  WikiPop does not accept a project unless we are able to cover its cost via our Emergency Project Fund, so that even if all donor donations stopped, we would still be able to fund the project's completion.

Would these projects still be completed even if they weren't funded on WikiPop?

In some cases, yes.  In some cases, no.  By shining a light on the individuals on the ground working to stave off species extinction in the wild and channeling funding to them, WikiPop is increasing their capacity to fulfill their missions.  Would they still be doing the work they are doing without us?  Sure.  Are they able to do more with us on their side?  Definitely.

Why was my credit card declined?

Credit card companies and banks decline cards for many reasons.  To ensure your financial information remains secure, WikiPop does not receive details about why your card was declined.  Unfortunately, this means we can't resolve the problem for you.  If your card is declined, please contact your credit card company or bank for help completing your donation.

What security measures do you take to protect my financial information?

We take your security seriously, and we go above and beyond to ensure that your financial information is safe on WikiPop.  We start by serving our website over HTTPS, so that your browser only communicates with our server over a secure channel.  We back that up by validating your credit card's CVC number to complete a donation, and by only storing the last four digits of your credit card number and the expiration date in our system.  The rest of your credit card information is managed securely on our behalf by Stripe, a globally trusted payments company that has been certified a PCI Service Provider Level 1 by Visa.  We also provide PayPal as a payment option.  PayPal is an internationally trusted financial services company.  Read more about PayPal's privacy policies here.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes.  WikiPop is a U.S. 501(c)(3) charity incorporated in the state of Delaware.  EIN: 47-1204309.  After making a donation on WikiPop, you will receive a receipt confirming that your donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Do you have a question that wasn't answered here?

If you have a question that wasn't answered here, please email your question to and we will respond to you as soon as we are able.  If we receive multiple questions about a similar topic, we will add that topic to this FAQ so that it is easily accessed by other people.