Thank you! Our 2023 year-end fundraising results 🎉

by alsmith | February 14, 2024

Good news, Tor community!

Today I am happy to share the results of the Tor Project’s 2023 year-end fundraising campaign.

From October through December 2023, you answered the call for support by contributing $427,558 to power the Tor network, Tor Browser, onion services, Snowflake, and the ecosystem of tools and services built and maintained by the Tor Project.

Everyone in our community deserves a big THANK YOU for supporting the Tor Project during the campaign. Whether you made a donation, shared the campaign on social media, or spread the world about the importance of using Tor, you have made our success this year possible. Your impact was then amplified by the Friends of Tor who provided the generous match during the campaign.

How will the Tor Project spend the money raised?

  • Defending access to information during the Year of Democracy. In 2024, more people are living in a place with a national election than ever before. Over the last decade, we've seen that election events bring spikes in internet censorship -- and we're expecting that these tactics of suppressing speech will be used widely this year. We’ve already begun to use funds raised to prepare. We're monitoring elections as they take place and watching for events of censorship. We're holding trainings on how to use Tor to bypass censorship to relevant communities. Not all of this work is funded by grants, and our community team relies on your contributions to make this work possible and reach more at-risk users.
  • Increasing our capacity to achieve our mission. As the Tor Project has matured into a human-rights focused organization, we have grown to meet the challenges of an increasingly restrictive internet landscape. We share the ambitious vision of a world where everyone is able to exercise their right to privacy and access information freely. To achieve this vision, we need to have the proper infrastructure, staff support, and tools to be effective. That includes things like hiring an additional project manager, improving our donation infrastructure, and investing in tools that will help our team focus on reaching more users in real-time, support our community in moments of crises, and increase adoption of Tor technology globally. Your donation keeps the Tor Project a strong organization that can continue to build vital privacy and anti-censorship tools.
  • Expanding global access to Tor. Every initiative to help more people use Tor is powered in part by individual donations. Your contributions will go towards expanding our live user support channels, localization, training with community partners, and tracking the development of internet freedom around the world. You’ll also be supporting onion service adoption by continuing our development of administration tools for onion service operators and support of organizations that want to release onion sites; strengthening the Tor network against attacks in our multi-year focus on reducing malicious relay activity on the network; and re-writing Tor in Rust, a safer, more modern language that makes Tor easier to integrate in a variety of applications and services.

You can trust that your donations are hard at work – and not just because we say so. The Tor Project is a Charity Navigator Four-Star Charity, and we’ve earned Candid’s Platinum Seal of Transparency. Plus, you can read in detail about all of our revenue and expenses in our annual fiscal year transparency reports.

We look forward to our continued collaboration with you, our community, to stand up for the human right to privacy, freedom of expression, and access to information. Keep up with progress and get the latest Tor news by subscribing to our newsletter.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Hi, I would like to ask how come 2021 was such a good year for Tor donations?
Don’t get me wrong, $427,558 is still a huge amount donated but 2021 saw nearly 1 million USD in total? Thanks!

1 Like

I’m just-another-member of this community & would never have the audacity to speak on behalf of the core Tor team or it’s broader constituents but, at a glance, I would posit this is an issue of economics rather than anything relating either directly or indirectly to the Tor project.

With this in mind, you’re most likely to find your answer by analyzing the reasons for why people across the globe might have less dispensable income in more recent times. It could also be worth considering other factors like the cost of living, versus income & many other reasons.

Also in addition to the myriad financial challenges many are facing are the operational costs shouldered by Tor relay operators. My monthly Tor relay costs currently equate to $190, primarily because I choose untypical server locations to assist with the objective of achieving Tor network diversity. An alternative option could be for a group of 4-5 friends to share the cost of funding a server for a year, a Tor relay in a rarer geographical location as such servers often carry a heavier price tag. The same funding model could also work if 4-5 donations were received by random folk on the premise that the funds would cover the cost of a more geographically diverse Tor relay for 1 year. Then we just need an org with the appropriate technical credentials to assume the responsibility of server administration. This might be a slightly over-simplified example but it gets one thinking about the possibilities hopefully leading to further discussion on how these ideas can happen for-real.

I think one potential spark of positivity from this conversation could be to consider methods of fund raising that appeal to people when they can see & feel the benefit of making a financial donation to Tor. For example, the discrimination currently facing Russia’s LGBTQIA+ & the LGBTQIA+ in many other countries has a very strong & powerful potential to encourage regular micro payments of $1 a month. I believe many would be prepared to make this kind of donation by simply explaining the mechanics of Tor & how it can help the repressed LGBTQIA+ communities & many other repressed societies across the globe.

Suddenly we have $1 million in donations every month. To achieve such lofty ambitions requires nothing more than a suitably motivated state of mind, to encourage others to see how Tor can bring love, freedom, hope & safety to those in desperate need of strong online protection from their adversaries.

My goal this year is to continue to reach out to the LGBTQIA+ in the UK, including in the Brighton & Hove (East Sussex) broadly considered to be the gay capital of Britain. In addition to fund raising I hope to also elevate the profile of the Tor Snowflake browser add-on as an addition to any micro donation, along with encouraging folk to host a Tor relay.

So, perhaps the real question isn’t: why are there less donations, but rather: how can we build on the incredible achievement of the 2023 fundraising to go even further in 2024?!

Le verre est à moitié plein (the glass is half-full) :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi @FreeFall, thanks for the question. 2021 was definitely an anomaly. Of that $940K, about $548K of it was in cryptocurrency. That was a year of massive cryptocurrency gains for many people, which resulted in a lot of donations. That year we raised about $390K in USD. If you take cryptocurrency out of the equation, we’re doing well by steadily increasing the amount of USD raised year over year. The cryptocurrency market is unpredictable and always changing. We’re very glad for the support in 2021, but don’t expect it to happen again any time soon. :slight_smile: