January 15, 2019
The fundraising team was busy in December! Most of our time was taken up with the year-end fundraising campaign. We coordinated and wrote blog posts, sent emails, helped with social media challenges, sent a postal letter to 160 individuals who have given in the past, and contacted high net-worth individuals who have never given to Tor.
We are working out final income totals for 2018, but we do know that we raised more from individuals than ever before. We received 100 new monthly donors during the campaign and 2,029 donors gave their first gift to Tor. We will work to steward these donors so that they continue to give to Tor. In addition, we’ll be receiving the Mozilla match and a $20,000 match from a donor in the coming weeks.
Here are some comparisons of income by source that you might find interesting. The biggest changes from 2017 to 2018 is that we received far fewer bitcoin donations (most likely because the value has decreased) and more donations through the mail. (Pleases note that these figures are not final, as we still have some reconciliation to do.)
Bitpay 2018: $4,310 Bitpay 2017: $50,124
Mail 2018: $58,837 Mail 2017: $32,307
Donate page 2018: $153,720 Donate page 2017: $154,310
One of the exciting results of the campaign is that we saw a dramatic rise in engagement. We now have 16,573 subscribers to the email list when we had 6,905 at the beginning of 2018. We had more than 100,000 more hits to the donate page in 2018 and those originating from the Tor Browser banner was 73,047 in 2017 and 175,984 in 2018. Steph has done an amazing job building up the Twitter audience and we saw the hits to the donate page originating from Twitter increase from 26,220 in 2017 to 42,609 in 2018. We also saw a great increase from our followers on Mastodon.
We saw fewer donors choose to receive the campaign t-shirt this year (11.2% in 2018 and 21.5% in 2017). This could be due, in part, to making the opt-out more clear on the donation page.
We are working on a Wiki that will outline all of the efforts for the past several years and provide timelines.
We are also beginning to plot out the 2019 campaign and plan some adjustments that include: choosing a theme and possible logo designs in May, conducting a survey of t-shirt designs in the fall to get early engagement from followers, optimizing the donation page (especially on mobile) to increase conversions, better coordinating external validators to promote the campaign, and increasing the number of social media challenges.
In addition to the campaign, Al submitted OTF Core Infrastructure proposal for UX work and we were notified that we were granted funds from MOSS to do phase 1 of core Tor modularization. This is in addition to researching and coordinating the grant strategy for 2019.
Sarah also attended the Berkeley Group presentation on branding in California and sat on a panel for a grad school class on fundraising at Georgetown University.
Please let me know if you have any questions!