Donations to Thunderbird

Philipp Kewisch kewisch at
Wed Mar 14 19:51:20 UTC 2018

Moin Harry,

thank you for the elaborate response and suggestions! We totally agree that it should be possible to donate via SEPA without extra charges. The fees likely incur for the wire transfer to the US, which happens in the background.

We’re working with the Mozilla Foundation to make all of what you said possible, and hope to provide you (all) with an update about that soon! We will likely not need to spin off our own foundation, but we are investigating our options as well.

Once we have a way to collect donations without extra charges in Germany, it will work just the same way in France and the rest of the European payment region.


> On 14. Mar 2018, at 8:10 PM, harry <harry_cube at> wrote:
> ... I did it again (donation to TB)   :-)
> I do have remarks concerning the donation process, though. 
> In the first place, I speak here for the situation for donors to TB in Germany - and I have some proposals as to
> - encouraging donations
> - make sure that the bank fees for the donations are very low 
> Problems:
> - donations to TB are not tax-deductible (as of now, it seems that TB is tax-deductible in US, but e.g. not in Germany)
> - concerning the payment options:   as of now, there is "credit card" and "paypal";  
>   also, there is "Überweisungen" (bank wire transfer), and donors are notified that for each "Überweisung" (wire transfer), TB (or here: Mozilla) is charged bank fees of 5 US Dolllars; TB (or rather "SVB-Mozilla Foundation") does have a German bank account with the "Standard Chartered Bank" in Frankfurt/Germany, though, so   I don't quite understand the high fees for "Überweisungen"
> Proposals:
> - make donations to TB tax-deductible (I don't now what is needed for TB to be tax-deductible in Germany, to cite the situation for LibreOffice:  donations to LibreOffice are tax-deductible in Germany *and* the US); 
>    possibly, there is an easy way for TB to reach a labelling as "gemeinnützig", which is what is needed to be tax-deductible in Germany 
> - in Germany the payment option "SEPA-Lastschrift" is well known an well established   ("Direct debit")  
>       this payment option is extensively used by many organizations in Germany that collect donations;  main reason:  the bank fees per transfer are as low as 10 Eurocent (less than 13 Cent US);  
>          (I don't know about the situation e.g. in France;  probably  "SEPA- direct debit" can be used there under the same conditions)
> - also, in case TB hires devs from Germany, there would be no need to transfer the money to the U.S. and back;
> Conclusion:
> If the "usage by country"-chart for TB that was posted here tells the truth, then the single largest userbase of TB is Germany - so it might well be worth an effort to encourage donations in Germany. 
> So:  Get the labelling as "gemeinnützig" for TB to be tax-deductible in Germany, and get a regular bank account for TB in Germany.... and set up a "SEPA-Lastschriftverfahren" on the TB website.
> Harry
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