This page is an essay on notability.
|This page in a nutshell: It is secondary coverage in reliable sources which determines if a topic should be covered by Wikipedia, not how well-intentioned it is.|
Wikipedia attracts many people who want to advertise companies or individuals, with a view to increasing their customer base and hence their profits. It also attracts people wishing to promote their political causes. Inappropriate articles that are blatant advertising are eligible for speedy deletion on that basis; inappropriate external links should be removed, since Wikipedia isn't to be used for spam.
However, inappropriate promotion need not be about profit. It may take the form of promoting a charitable, non-profit, or quasi-charitable organisation, such as a community group or legislation. Even when the cause that the group advocates is noble, the usual Wikipedia principles about the acceptability of an article apply. The group must be "notable", with reliable and independent secondary sources to show it. As User:Blanchardb once said,
... nobility is not the same as notability, and [...] non-profit organisations are subjected to our spam and notability guidelines just the same as for-profit companies, no matter how noble their goals are.
A caution for Wikipedia editors not involved with the cause
Experienced editors not involved with the cause in question may suspect the new user of having a close connection with it. Such editors should respond carefully, to ensure that by alleging or deciding that the group is not "notable" by Wikipedia's standards, they do not suggest to the new user that the cause for which the group works is unimportant.
Writing about a non-profit organization
Before starting an article on a non-profit organization, please keep in mind the following:
- An article about a non-profit organization should be about the organization itself, not about the cause it supports. See coatrack articles. The details of the cause should be covered in the cause's article.
- It is not enough that the cause be notable: the organization itself must meet our notability guidelines. The greenhouse effect is notable, but this does not mean Wikipedia should have articles about each local chapter of the Sierra Club, or about other organizations competing with it for attention.
- Organizations that have a limited scope and work towards a specific local cause (such as the preservation of a local street park) usually fail Wikipedia's notability guidelines if the cause they advocate is not notable in its own right.
- If an organization exists solely to support a cause for which there is no article in Wikipedia, it is usually better to start an article on the cause than on the organization.
- Contact information and other information on how to donate time, money, etc., to a non-profit organization is better left on the organization's website, not in its Wikipedia article (if any). There are scores of free webspace providers out there; Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, not one of them. However, if the company has its own web site, a single link to the main page of this web site is appropriate.
- Raw mission statements are often regarded as inherently promotional. In most cases, it is better to state them not in terms of intent, but rather in terms of past achievements, and do so in down-to-earth language that helps the reader understand the organization.
- We do not exist to promote your "brand", and will not tolerate efforts to abuse this project with that goal in mind
- Wikipedia:Alternative outlets – places to (possibly) tell the world about your noble cause
- Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions#It contains valuable information
- Wikipedia:Existence ≠ Notability
- Righting Great Wrongs essay