The Tor Project Membership Program
August 31, 2020
Today we are officially launching the Tor Project Membership Program, a new way for nonprofit and private sector organizations to financially support our work.
For a while, we have been thinking about how to continue to increase the diversity of funds in the Tor Project’s budget, and more importantly, how to increase unrestricted funds. The latest is a type of funding that allows us to be more agile with software development of tor and other tools.
We decided to create a program inspired by what Tor is based on, community. Our goal is to build a supportive relationship between our nonprofit and private sector organizations that use our technology or want to support our mission.
We are happy to make this announcement with five founding members:
- Mullvad VPN
- Team Cymru
Why the membership program is important for the Tor Project:
The traditional grants that nonprofits normally depend on, be that from governments or private foundations, have a long turn-around period (six to twelve months from submission of a proposal to the receipt of a contract and start of work). That means when a proposal is accepted and a grant contract is signed, we begin work on the project that we outlined sometimes more than a year prior.
Because we are a software development organization, relying only on grant funding, forces us into a development model that is slow and archaic. We can never execute solutions immediately in an agile way or experiment quickly with possible paths. We want to change that so we can respond to issues and start projects faster. And we can do that by increasing the number and amount of unrestricted contributions to the Tor Project.
More details on the Membership Program and how to get involved:
For-profit and nonprofit organizations have supported Tor in the past. For example, DuckDuckGo and Mozilla have been long-time supporters. But there was something missing from these relationships. Everything else at Tor is based on community and relationship, so we decided to build a program that could bring some of that community support to our relationships with other organizations.
We know that many companies and organizations would appreciate direct contact with our team for support or consultation on privacy and security. The organizations that become members of our program will have access to our Onion Advisors group to help integrate Tor into their product or answer technical questions about privacy, censorship circumvention, and other areas of our expertise.
Members will also be invited to webinars and exclusive meetings with the Tor Project team to learn about what we are cooking at Tor.
We created three tiers of Membership:
Any membership level contribution means that your organization will have access to Onion Advisors and our special webinars. The only thing that differentiates the tiers is the public promotion of your membership. Each tier will come with varying opportunities to share your organization’s commitment to online privacy with our hundreds of thousands of followers and dedicated community.
If you are interested in becoming a member, please reach out to us at email@example.com.