Hello from the Fundraising Team! Here is what we were up to in September.
We wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some ongoing efforts to solicit and retain individual donors. Over the past year we have honed our strategy to move contacts up the so-called engagement ladder. We are promoting our newsletter on the about:tor page and now have 13 times the number of subscriptions we had at this time last year (over 130k subscriptions). We are sending each of these subscribers a welcome email within a few days of joining and then offer them a discounted sticker pack about a month later. This strategy has successfully converted over 1,300 people from subscriber to donor.
About three months after someone makes their initial donation, they are asked to become a monthly donor or a Defender of Privacy, the name we gave to our monthly donors program. Since we started to roll out our monthly donors strategy we have seen a 90% increase in monthly income from this group as compared to this time last year.
In September Keybase airdropped the first installment of Stellar Lumen coins on their users. Their plan is to give away 2 billion Lumen over the next 20 months. Many bitcoin enthusiasts want to see altcoins removed from the market and have encouraged others to donate their Lumen to nonprofits like Tor. So far we have received $1,500 worth of coins. There are very few nonprofits that currently accept Stellar Lumen, so we should continue to see donations as the airdrops continue. You can sign up to be a Keybase user and receive and donate the approximately $20 each month to Tor yourself!
We also launched a BTCPayServer widget on our cryptocurrency page. This is something our donors have been asking us to do for years because it is open-source, private and censorship resistant. BTCPayServer made it easy for us by hosting our server and assisting with the set up. This is in addition to the campaign they ran for us over the summer.
Tor is now signed up as a recipient of Brave Rewards. This is a system where Brave users can ‘tip’ a token to websites, twitter accounts, or youtube accounts. The tokens can be converted to USD and so far we have earned a bit over $300. If you want to contribute, you can use Brave, join Brave Rewards, and tip Tor on a monthly or one-time basis.
We launched our major donor page  and began inviting past donors to become Champions of Privacy. This is a group of donors who give $1,000 or more per year and who receive special recognition and perks for their generosity.
Isa met with two current major donors to thank them for their support and begin to build a closer relationship with them. Our goal is to have her build these types of visits into all of her travel.
Herb Block Foundation: We submitted an LOI to the Herb Block Foundation under their Defending Basic Freedoms category for general operating funds in the amount of $15,000. We will hear more about their decision--and whether or not we will be invited for a full proposal--in early November.
DRL: We submitted two SOIs to DRL under their open call. One project to improve network scalability and one user feedback collection project (similar to our work w/ Sponsor 9) with Tails & Guardian Project as subgrantees. We will likely hear about DRL’s decisions by the end of the year.
MOSS: We developed & wrote a request to MOSS for a Metrics project that will help set us up for network scalability experimentation & development. It is not yet submitted but will be soon.
NLnet: We submitted a request for NLnet to help support the MOSS scalability project.
OTF Tor Browser full proposal, due 10/15 NSF Dark Decoys project, due ?? (rolling)