The Dreaded Wikipedia Page and What You Can Do About It:How to tackle the task of creating a Wikipedia page for a nonprofit organization
Working with a nonprofit organization can be a rewarding experience. However, with more and more organizations moving their operations (donations, campaigns, etc.) to the World Wide Web, more volunteer work is shifting to the virtual world. Once task that is likely to come up during your work is the creation of a Wikipedia page for your organization.
Having a Wikipedia page is a great idea for any nonprofit. As Wikipedia shows up on page one of Google for more than 95 percent of searches, having a Wikipedia page is imperative to getting your organizations name out there. Sounds like a simple task, but before you go diving into the world of Wikipedia, you need to understand the road that you will travel.
Is the organization notable for Wikipedia?
Just because your organization wants a Wikipedia page does not mean that it can be done. In order to create a Wikipedia page, the nonprofit must be notable according to Wikipedia standards. A nonprofit must meet the same guidelines as a for-profit company which means it must receive significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the topic.
Basically, there must be news articles written about the organization and its work. These articles must be independent of the topic (you cannot use press releases or anything that is self-published) and talk about the organization in depth (there must be featured content, not just passing mentions).
Notability is the biggest hurdle to creating a Wikipedia article. In fact, if an organization is not notable, its article is likely to get deleted immediately after being posted. Wikipedia has developed pages and pages of guidelines that govern the creation of Wikipedia articles. If you want a breakdown of these guidelines, you can also download the guide to Wikipedia notability.
So you figured out the organization qualifies:
Now that you have determined the organization qualifies, what is your next step? First, you need to familiarize yourself with Wikipedia mark-up. It is a basic system of coding that is used to tell the site what you want displayed. Similar to HTML, you should not be scared of the word “code” as it is easy to understand. In fact, Wikipedia offers a tutorial on Wikipedia mark-up that can be found at this link. Finally, if you don’t want to learn Wikipedia mark-up, the site has what is known as a “visual editor” that allows you to make edits without learning code.
Once you familiarize yourself with how to code Wikipedia, make sure to test your newfound skills in your sandbox. Your sandbox is a location in your own userspace where you can write and save work without disrupting the rest of Wikipedia. You can find the tab to your sandbox on the top of website once you are logged in.
Crafting the page:
When writing the text of the Wikipedia page, it is important that you follow the formats set forth by Wikipedia. Familiarize yourself with other nonprofit articles. You can check the category page for nonprofits on Wikipedia to see a list of articles to model yours after. Make sure that you use the proper references to support the content you write.
If you still need help with creating the page, you can visit the New Contributors’ Help Page where you can ask questions of experienced volunteers. Simply click on the topic and post the questions you want, sit back and wait for the answer.
When it comes to the task of creating a Wikipedia article, it doesn’t have to be an agonizing chore. Make sure the organization qualifies and follow the rules put forth by Wikipedia. Make sure to use the resources available and keep in mind that you are doing a valuable service for your organization.
Michael Wood is an online marketing expert and owner of Legalmorning.com. He specializes in reputation and brand management, article writing, and professional Wikipedia editing. He is an expert Wikipedia editor and has helped hundreds of businesses and people post their articles to the site where they have otherwise failed. He is a regular contributor to many online publications that have included AllBusiness Experts, Business Insider, Business2Community, and Social Media Today.