When we launched this first crowdfunding campaign, we weren’t sure what would happen. We knew we wanted to diversify our funding sources; crowdfunding gives us the flexibility to do what we think is most important when we want to do it. It allows us to fund the development of powerful new privacy tools. Or make the ones we have stronger and more resilient. Or pay for things we need like a funded help desk or an Arabic version of our website.
But we didn’t know if people who like Tor would invest in our independence.
Now we do.
Together, our community has contributed $205,874 from 5,265 people to support Tor in this first crowdfunding campaign. We are so excited.
What we’ve seen, we think, is our community in action—our whole community finding ways to support us—by making a donation, or by sending us a bug bounty as GitHub hackers did. By making a matching donation, or just pinging their friends to help out.
Following our theme “This Is What a Tor Supporter Looks Like,” you sent in photos of yourselves in Tor t-shirts doing back bends or teaching your daughters how to use Tor browser, or covering your face to preserve your anonymity but trumpet your support for Tor.
You sent fundraising notes to giant email lists. You tweeted screenshots of your donations. You bragged about your Tor relays (thank you) to inspire others. Some of you pointed out that Tor has saved your life.
The international Tor community rose up to support Tor’s independence in every way it could think of. And independence is power. Power to defend the rights of human rights activists. Power to defend the privacy of all of us.
Even though we’re a privacy organization, we found out what a Tor supporter looks like. It’s someone who takes action to support their right to privacy.
Our deepest thanks to Tor’s wonderful champions, who put on the T-shirt first and took the plunge to support Tor in our first-ever campaign:
Amanda Palmer and baby Anthony
Rabbi Rob and Lauren Thomas
Daniel Ellsberg and Patricia Marx Ellsberg
By Kate Krauss, for Tor’s fundraising team:
Isabela Bagueros, Juris Vetra, Leiah Jansen, Mike Perry, Shari Steele, Sue Gardner, Katherine Bergeron, Nima Fatemi, Sebastian Hahn, Roger Dingledine, Nick Mathewson, Ben Moskowitz, Jacob Appelbaum, Katina Bishop, Colin Childs, and Kate Krauss.