May 16, 2019
Hello - below is the Fundraising team’s April update. Let us know if you have any questions!
The biggest news in the world of grants is that our proposal to DRL for anti-censorship work was approved. Al also submitted a proposal to CS Fund/Warsh Mott Legacy, Rights, and Governance that was declined and a proposal to Wallace Global on which we are still awaiting a response. We are also waiting to hear a response back from the DIAL Open Source Center about funding for the ESR migration.
In these monthly updates we will begin informing you about proposals we intend to submit in the next month in case anyone might have comments or concerns about the funders, or connections that might help our chances. As a reminder, our grant work flow can be found on the Fundraising Team Wiki. We plan to submit proposals to Media Democracy Fund, who have been funding us for several years now, the Reva and David Logan Foundation, NLnet, and The Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind. We welcome any and all feedback sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been working to better communicate with our grant program officers and, to that end, we sent our first Sponsors Newsletter. The intent is to demonstrate the full impact of our work to funders who may only be familiar with specific projects. We plan to send the next newsletter after the meeting in Stockholm. Additionally, Isa and Sarah met with Michael Brennan from the Ford Foundation and are planning a follow-up meeting in June with others from Ford.
Small Foundations / Major Donors
In an effort to get lapsed major donors and small foundations to donate again, we sent a solicitation letter via postal mail. We included a nice insert, created by Steph, featuring Tor stories that we plan to use for acknowledgements that need to be sent in the mail. We’ve seen a small response.
We sent a version of the Sponsors Newsletter to current major donors to let them know how impactful their giving has been.
Monthly Giving / Defenders of Privacy
We launched a donation page dedicated to monthly giving. This will allow us to promote the Defenders of Privacy program and try to convert one-time givers into monthly givers. We currently have 334 people in the group who generated $3,438 in income in April. We will send a three-part series of emails to one-time givers beginning in May and will offer a new sticker or patch (yet to be determined) in the second invite. I will keep you updated on the growth of this program.
Since the new website was launched at the end of March, we have been tracking the number of unsolicited donations from the website. That number decreased about 30% with the new site design. Our theory was that the Donate button was less noticeable, so at the end of April, Antonela changed the design and added a yellow Donate button in the header and footer. Since that change was made, donations are now almost double what they were per day before the website redesign.
We have been working with a company called Labyrinth on making sure we are registered to fundraise in each of the 50 US states. This is a requirement that can result in fines if you are not properly registered. The process is a bit arduous since each of the states has different requirements. Thankfully, the process is almost complete for this year.
~ Fundraising Team