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Wikipedia exceeds $6m donation goal

Wales' personal begging earns last $2m

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A personal plea for cash by Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, has melted enough hearts to keep the ubiquitous online encyclopedia running for another fiscal year – and then some.

The Wikimedia Foundation announced today that it's raised more than $6.2m since launching a fund-raising campaign in early November. The website exceeded its goal of approximately $6m to fund operations through June 30, 2009, with more than 125,000 donors contributing worldwide.

In late December, the non-profit org appeared to be falling short of its financial target until Wales posted a personal appeal for donations in place of Wikipedia's standard fund-raising banner. In the remaining eight days of the month, Wikimedia pulled in more than 50,000 contributions totaling $2m, the foundation said.

"You have proven that Wikipedia matters to you, and that you support our mission: to bring free knowledge to the planet, free of charge and free of advertising," Wales wrote in a thank-you message.

Surplus revenue will be placed into a reserve fund for offsetting operating costs beyond the fiscal year, Wales said. The foundation also provides a breakdown of Wikipedia's 2008/2009 budget, which totals $5,974,000.

The site, which employs only 23 workers, bills itself as the fourth most visited site on the internet according to numbers by comScore. Of course, Wikipedia's donation box is still open – so there's still plenty of opportunities to raise more cash.

In the spirit of Wikipedia, however, the best way to raise more revenue is simply for someone to edit the entry to indicate the foundation has raised – oh, say $600 zillion. Instant money, although there may be [citation needed]. ®

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