In a bid to cut down on funding channelized by the Government, Tor launched its first crowdfunding campaign in November, 2015. Close to two months after the campaign started, Tor has revealed that it received a sum of $205,874 in donations. About 5,265 individuals from across the globe donated into Tor in two months.
Though Tor mainly runs on donations and receives fundings throughout the year, this campaign was a first for the service as it sent out an open invitation to the public seeking donations. Tor has risen to prominence in the domain of internet, ever since the Edward Snowden NSA leaks, and has provided a secure connection to users around the world.
Tor’s fiscal revenue for the year 2014 was about $2.5 million, 75 percent of which came as funding from the government. This is a marked difference compared to the year 2013, when government grants made up 90 percent of its revenue.
Through this crowdfunding campaign, Tor made it clear that it plans to decrease its dependence on the government for capital.
The campaign even received support from Laura Poitras, who made the documentary on the infamous NSA leaks.
Through the service users can keep their identity anonymous and secure. Tor states that from the contribution of the public, the service can develop and improve on its privacy tools. Tor is even planning to launch an Arabic version of its website with the help of the funds generated.
Even though crowdfunding is a logical and noteworthy step in Tor’s trajectory, it will not, however, turn to crowdfunding as its only revenue source for the time being. Tor still has to rely on government grants in order to sustain its operations.
It is a fact that Tor was developed by the U.S. Navy and revived funding from DARPA initially. The service revealed last year that it is looking at crowdfunding as a possible source of revenue.
We knew we wanted to diversify our funding sources; crowd funding gives us 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 web site,
stated Tor in a blog post.
Tor has even received good response from Facebook, which allowed its users to access Facebook through Tor on their Android smartphones.