Summit Part 2: Funding

Benjamin Kerensa bkerensa at
Thu Oct 23 04:42:31 UTC 2014

I would have to say $500k seems quite ambitious. Mozilla has only raised
$800k last year in donations and $400k in 2011.

Mozilla also spends a lot of money (hundreds of thousands) to promote its
donate campaigns.

If that funding were raised what would it pay for?

On Oct 22, 2014 9:26 PM, "Kent James" <kent at> wrote:
> At the Thunderbird 2014 Toronto Summit, we discussed both our need for
funding, as well as methods to achieve it.
> TL;DR: "Do we try to raise income of hopefully $500,000/year by going
directly to our users?" decision: UNANIMOUS
> This has already been discussed here for at least 2 years, so there was
little new that could be said. Of course the devil is in the details.
> The problem is clear. As someone said, "We are on a treadmill that is
slowly pushing us backwards, and we are getting closer and closer to
falling off the end". Thunderbird is mission-critical software to millions
of users. There are reasonable minimum expectations from those users, of
reliability and performance, that we believe can only be met with a few
staff to keep things running smoothly.
> There are other possible avenues to fund Thunderbird that were discussed,
including organizations sponsoring staff and funding from Mozilla, that are
ongoing and should be continued and encouraged. Yet nobody had reasonable
expectations that those avenues could be expanded in the near future to
meet our minimum needs.
> The method we are considering involves using the Thunderbird start page
for a limited period of time in a visible outreach to users asking for
contributions. That outreach would include no disruptive or distracting
user interface elements, and there would be a way for organizations to opt
out through a preference. The closest well-known model for this is the
annual Wikipedia campaign, which is their primary source of funding.
> :rkent
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