July 12, 2019
I’ll start out with some good news! In the first 11 days of this month, we have already surpassed the total income raised from individuals in all of July 2018.
There are many ongoing efforts that are contributing to these increases in income:
First is monthly giving - we now have 400 current monthly donors bringing in around $4,500 per month. To compare, we had 222 monthly donors in July 2018. Even if we see no more growth in this fiscal year, we are on track to raise an additional $10,000 from this group in FY19. Given the growth in just this month, we should far surpass that projection.
On the 9th, we launched a banner on Tor Browser promoting monthly giving and we’ve already had 15 people become new monthly donors for a total monthly income increase of $155. We have also been sending rolling email invitations to one-time donors inviting them to become monthly donors and we will promote monthly giving at this summer’s conferences.
Second, we have been taking more opportunities to invite users and followers to donate throughout the year. In September we added a subscribe link on Tor Browser homepage (the one people see when they launch Tor Browser), and since then, subscriptions have gone up from 5k to over 94k. This year the list has been growing consistently by 10,000 names per month. By the launch of our year-end campaign in October, we should have over 120,000 email addresses when in 2018 we only had 15,500 to solicit. We send a welcome email to all new subscribers and then, about a month later, email them a special offer to get the sticker pack for $17. This is converting many more email subscribers into financial contributors.
Third, we’ve seen a nice boost in income from donors giving cryptocurrency. Since launching the new page in march, we’ve raised over $100,000 as compared to $5,000 raised in the first 8 months of the fiscal year.
I want to say a bit about grants. We have an amazing money machine that meets weekly and coordinates writing and reporting for all grants and tracks all fundraising efforts. Al, our amazing grant writer, has churned out 16 proposals since the beginning of the year in addition to helping write reports, letters to small foundations, and blog posts. Two highlights to mention one that OTF, who has funded us for several years now, decided to fund onion services work and we secured a grant from a new funder Dial Open Source Center for ESR migration.
What can you do to help?
Help us source new funders - either foundations or major donors. Help us identify people who can help us build relationships with new funders. We’ll soon send around some wishlists and are hoping that you can help us identify people who love tor and who may know and be willing to reach out to people on the list on our behalf.
We have also started a brainstorm that we will use in our grants roadmapping session on the last day of this meeting. We have listed areas of work for foundation funders and we would like to add actual work that you are all planning under each of the buckets. We will then take that work and build cohesive projects to propose.
Help amplify our campaigns. In August we will launch a bug smash campaign and we would love each of you to share the messages with your networks. We are asking several social media influencers to do the same. We would also love your help with our year-end campaign, which brings in the bulk of income from individuals and will start at the end of October. Come to our planning session tomorrow, or share your ideas on our session wiki, or reach out to Al or me with your thoughts.
Our doors are always open. Please reach out with any and all ideas. And thank you all for doing amazing work that we are proud to talk about in our fundraising efforts.