EOY Fundraising Preview: Getting Ready

“We’ve always felt people should be in control of their online lives, not kept in the dark. We want the tools we build — like Firefox — to respect people, to care about their security and to protect their privacy. That’s why I chose to make Mozilla a non-profit. An open, accessible Web matters more than maximizing shareholder value.” — Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla

As a non-profit, the Mozilla Foundation relies on the generosity of individuals who donate, along with major grant partners, to fund the majority of its global initiatives. Over the past three years we’ve made online fundraising a priority — and in response nearly 400,000 individuals from 170+ countries have donated to Mozilla, each person giving on average $9 US.

Enthusiasm for Mozilla’s fundraising campaigns has also followed a similar up-and-to-the-right growth trajectory. There’s more interest and curiosity  and less trepidation about asking the public to support our work  than when our first fundraising campaign launched over three years ago. More Mozillians know that our non-profit nature is the foundation of our global good work, mission, and Manifesto — our “Mozilla story”. Firefox users and others who donate are committing an act of love for our products as well as our mission.

Last year was our most successful year for online giving. Mozilla raised $3.6 million, attributed mostly to agile testing and donation flow optimization during the end-of-year (EOY) campaign. The fundraising team improved donation conversion from 5.5% in 2013 to 25% in 2014. (These are exceptional results in the online fundraising world. Many non-profits are happy with 10% conversion on a donation form.)

What we have learned informs our planning for 2015. Testing and optimization are helping us to navigate our biggest opportunities:

  • Building stronger relationships with more donors in more places:
    • More localization and donor communications outside English locales;
    • Tell donors how their gift has real impact (hopefully in surprising and delightful ways).
  • Making the transaction easier and more personalized:
    • Present monthly giving as a more prominent option (test!);
    • Automate localization based on user settings where possible;
    • Offer more available currencies.

For months, Mozilla developers have been working on rebuilding and retooling our online fundraising back-end technology that will enable a much smoother and more personalized experience for donors. (Check out Ali Al Dallal’s post on how we’re using ReactJS for our forms.)

On October 5th, we launched fundraising on the snippet for German Firefox users and we are using this early campaign to test some new technology and changes to our donation flow. We’ll roll out the broader campaign in more locales in November.

The team will be posting more on how the campaign is going, test results, and other innovations as we go — stay tuned.