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Wikipedia seeks to raise $7.5M in 'Wikipedia Forever' campaign

The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that manages Wikipedia, is passing the hat around in its annual fundraising campaign. The foundation blasted through its $6 million goal last year (and eventually raised $6.9 million), so it’s settings its sights higher this time, with a target of $7.5 million.

Wikimedia’s head of communications Jay Walsh said the campaign has a different emphasis this year, too — it’s not just about paying the site’s operating costs for another year, but also figuring out ways to turn Wikipedia into something that will (yes, it sounds a little cheesy) stand the test of time. Hence the “Wikipedia Forever” fundraising theme. Specifically, Walsh said Wikimedia plans to spend more of the money on long-term investments, such as staff that can reach out to new communities of contributors and research into making the site easier to edit.

More generally, Walsh said, “This time of year, rather than just hoping to pay our bills, we want readers to think about what it means that all that information came from people who gave their time and energy.”

As far as getting attention for its fundraising efforts, Wikimedia will do more to outreach this year on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, Walsh said, and people can also make donations via text message on their mobile phone. Still, the key promotion will be the same as last year — a banner ad at the top of Wikipedia asking users to give.

Those ads should be going up any second now. In the meantime, you can visit this web page to donate.