Funding session during strategic planning plenary

Participants: Brad, Erin, Juris, Moritz, Pepijn, Linus

Intros: Brad: CFO since November, works out of the Seattle office Erin: HR, works out of the Seattle office Juris: Moritz:, Renewable Freedom Foundation Pepijn: lawyer, volunteer, Dutch torservers org Linus: sysadmin, software developer in Sweden; involved in some European Commission projects


more relevant now with Trump/changes at State Dept question of who is responsible within Tor to bring in funding, and how

Brad: current funding

  • direct grants, eg DRL, ended in Nov, new one is coming along
  • milestone grants "fee for service"
  • cost reimbursement grants eg NRL (currently 5 collaborations within

university projects)

  • improve private foundations relationships, are minor
  • SIDA large proposal stability: two large proposals, hope is at least one goes through and

then the next year is safe; no immediate need to worry Linus: model Amnesty, that take no gov funding at all

-> 5yr plan how to diversify funding

Brad: also, this reduces administrative burden since gov grants are not easy to manage

  • look at "customers"; as example, WashingtonPost (via SecureDrop),

rich guy behind the newspaper maybe interested?

Erin: diversity across users; individuals/endusers via donations

  • with all the downsides, maybe state money provides also protection

Pepijn: the world sees Tor as a US(gov) project; very bad for reputation

-> it's about user trust

Juris: the incentive to support a US(gov) funded entity as an individual is low (counter-example ACLU)

Brad: idea of endowment(s) built with a specific goal and filled by private foundations and other donors

Tor For Profit Activities:

  • we had this conversation multiple times but not really any progress
  • basically the viable option is to "give your brand" to other activities

Erin: example Amazon might want to use Tor -> Problem of SLA, could Tor guarantee anything based on a volunteer network? How does this influence the motivation of our relay operators?

"European Tor":

  • several conversations mixed into one: A European Tor entity vs.

partnerships with other organizations as "pass-through" to Tor people

  • participation in EC-funded projects

We run out of time, so some steps forward?

  • Mapping of all potential and existing funding sources
    • rank them by amount of energy put into that channel, and how much

energy would need to be invested with what likely outcome

  • define a goal where we want to be. example: "we aim that any one

source of funding is only be 25% of the total budget" (does this also apply to grassroots?)

Linus: we should look at all continents, and build more relationships Brad: "Girls scout example", more franchising and backend services for independent groups

  • make sure Tor developers get funding, which not necessarily has to go

through TorProject Inc; example of EC-grant, would Tor write the proposal and have CompanyX execute it by employing Tor people?

  • separate legal entities that are limited by trademark/license

agreement; which criteria? Will TPI help those organizations with their grantwriting, roadmapping etc?

Last modified 10 months ago Last modified on Mar 27, 2017, 11:42:59 AM