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“Wikipedia Donation Banner Captions” refer to screenshot images based on Wikipedia’s 2011 end-of-year fundraising campaign, featuring various combinations of banner ad images and Wikipedia article titles for comedic effect. The screenshots typically juxtapose pictures of Wikipedia staff members or supporters with oddly fitting article titles that bring sexual or inappropriate implications to the reader’s mind.
Wikipedia’s “personal plea” banner ads were first introduced in November 2010 to promote its annual fundraising campaign, featuring a variety of founder Jimmy Wales’ portrait images along with his personal appeal for donations. Due to its omnipresent display across the site on every article page, Wikipedia visitors began poking fun at the campaign by taking screenshots of awkward image-word associations. In addition, the slogan “Please Read: A Personal Appeal from Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales” was also turned into a phrasal template.
When the ad campaign returned in November 2011, this time featuring portraits of other Wikipedia staff members and supporters, the awkward screenshot fad also resurged and gave way to a slew of humorous and often suggestive captioned images.
In October 2011, images of Wikipedia banner captions appeared as reaction images to various 4chan threads. Soon after, threads appeared on /b/ (random) board asking for users’ best Wikipedia banner captions. From there, the meme spread across other 4chan boards and other image-posting websites, as well as The Oatmeal.
Another derivation stems from Jimmy Wales himself pleading for money, often with a “puppy dog” face or a Scumbag Steve-type attitude.
2011 Fundraiser Turnout
On January 2nd, 2012, Wikimedia Foundation released an official statement regarding the success of 2011 end-of-year fundraiser campaign. According to the blog post, Wikipedia reached a record-breaking turnout of $20 million from more than one million donors:
Our annual fundraising campaign reached a successful conclusion today having raised a record-breaking USD 20 million from more than one million donors in nearly every country in the world. It is our most successful campaign ever, continuing an unbroken streak in which donations have risen every year since the campaigns began in 2003.
Wikimedia Blog – Wikimedia Fundraiser Concludes with Record Breaking Donations
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