Below you will find the Fundraising Team's February report. Please let us know if you have any questions!
DRL: We have been working on submitting two full proposals to DRL, one for usability (joint project with Tails & Guardian Project) and another for scalability. We will submit these at the beginning of March.
Zcash Foundation: Zcash Foundation granted us $50,000 to work on the Specification phase of the Walking Onions proposal. Thank you Chelsea for making this connection, and to Nick for helping to write the proposal and advocate for the work. We still need funding for the proof-of-concept and implementation phases of Walking Onions. If you know someone, or some entity, that might be interested in supporting this work, please let us know!
Nathan Cummings Foundation: A joint proposal with FPF we submitted was declined.
DIAL Open Source Center: We submitted a small proposal to DIAL to help support the Walking Onions work.
OTF: We are working on a third round of OTF revisions on the Tor Browser proposal. We submitted a Learning Lab application to help publicize the onion services work in Sponsor 30. OTF also agreed to fund an in-person meeting to do some work on DDoS protections as it pertains to high profile onion services.
We submitted some informal requests to the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism & Ideas and the Omidyar Foundation. We also met with the Internet Society Foundation.
## Donate Buttons on Website
We closely monitor organic donations made via donate.torproject.org. By ‘organic’ we mean non-monthly donations generated primarily via donate links throughout our webpages. It is important to track this income because it accounted for $231,472 in FY18, $239,479 in FY19, and $334,418 so far in FY20. Small changes to our web pages can affect this income. This graph shows average daily online income per month. This clearly illustrates the importance of our EOY campaign and the call to action on about:tor.
There are a few other events to note in the past year. The new website launched in March 2019. The first iteration did not include a prominent donate button and the average daily income decreased until we made the donate button yellow April 26th. Then average daily income increased modestly, and increased significantly after May 26th when we added the donate link to about:tor. Since that addition, we have been averaging $600 per day in organic donations (except during the campaign when the average was significantly more.)
At the end of February 2020, we saw a sharp decline in these organic donations. We suspected the redesign of /download was partially responsible. Antonela quickly added the yellow donate button back to that page and we saw donations go back up to about where they were in early February. This prompted us to take a look at other modifications and we decided to highlight the donate language on /thank-you and the donate language on about:tor will be updated upon the next release. We are also beginning plans to update donate.torproject.org and are working with Giant Rabbit to be able to make those changes ourselves.
We are still planning for the major donor event in San Francisco March 26th and foundation lunch in New York April 13th. Hopefully covid-19 will not alter those plans.
## Newsletter/Email list
We are still seeing around 10,000 people join our email list each month and now have over 179,000 subscribers. Since the list was so large, it was taking around 24 hours to send an email message to the whole group. Giant Rabbit made some changes to our system and now a bulk email is delivered in around 3 hours. Each new subscriber gets a welcome email a day or two after they join the list and then are offered a sticker pack for a $17 donation a few weeks after that.