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Stephen Oliver edited this page Aug 13, 2016 · 2 revisions

2015 Campaign

Financial needs / Etiquette of contacting potential donors

The beginning of your mail which explains what Freenet is should likely link our Wikipedia page, not only our website: Wikipedia has grown into something which people use to acquire information every day. Thus, if something has a large Wikipedia page - which we do! - it feels legit / credible / important to the reader.

IRC discussions suggested that $25000 for paying only 1 developer 1 year would be a good estimate.

When contacting potential donors, please tell them:

  • That providing at least 1 whole year of funding for each developer is a good idea

  • That we could use more than 1 developer. 2 would be a good start, and we might be able to easily scale up to 5 probably.

  • That lesser donations are nevertheless always appreciated no matter how small they are.

If you get a "no" when having asked for funds, please always ask for ideas who else you could ask for donations. Also, please do not ask for further ideas in the initial mail, but rather in a secondary one after you got a "no": Immediately giving an alternate option to donating likely increases the probability of a "no".

Ideas for who to ask for donations

The list is loosely sorted descending by importance.

A very popular German Internet politics blog. They're pro-freedom, and thus probably pro-Freenet. Received a large amount of donations recently for legal defense due to the government suing them. The legal case was closed, and thus they might likely not need the funds anymore :) If they say no to a donation request, please then reply with asking them to publish a news article about Freenet needing donations - that would be on-topic on their site for sure.

Heise online

A very popular German IT news site. They're pro-freedom, and thus probably pro-Freenet. Proceed similarly as stated above for First ask for donations, then for news article.

Internet Archive

This page says: "Early this year, the Internet Archive put out a call for a distributed web."

We are the distributed web, so we should ask them for whether they want to support us.

Previous donors as listed on

Electronic Frontier Foundation

EU parliament

Freenet has been invited to a conference there on 2015-12-08 to -09! This is likely after we've run out of funds though :| ArneBab/nextgens will probably attend.


They recently gave an award to us which was coupled with 2500 EUR. Thus, we shouldn't ask them for donations. But we could ask them for ideas about who we could ask for donations. ArneBab has the contact info. I'd also suggest asking ArneBab whether he wants to ask them: He met those folks in person already, so it's more convenient for them to talk someone they know.


We share the common goal of providing anonymous Internet access. But Tor cannot easily provide censorship resistance since it is not a storage network - so Freenet sort of is complementary to Tor. Thus they might be interested in funding us to ensure that they can contribute to not only providing anonymity but also to giving people censorship resistance. This might become even more relevant if we decide to go for bundling Tor and Freenet. Further, their goals are similar enough to ours that the people who funded them are also likely to give to donations to us. So they'd be a good candidate to ask for ideas who we could ask for funding.

Previous donors of Tor

This includes huge entities such as the US Navy ("Naval Research Laboratory").

Mozilla Foundation

According to Wikipedia they have a revenue of $ 311 million! If they're not interested in donating, please do ask them about ideas who we could ask: Their revenue shows they for sure know how to acquire funds. operhiem1 knows someone who works there.

Berkman Center for Internet and Society - Harvard University

And their Global Voices project

MIT Media Lab:

"The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) was one of the notable research efforts which grew out of the Media Lab." OLPC, being a project which aims to provide computer access to people which have none yet, is something with a similar spirit to Freenet. So they might be interested in Freenet as well.


The self-proclaimed "largest global fundraising site") / Kickstarter

A long time ago we discussed Kickstarter, and IIRC toad had concerns whether we're eligible there. Also IIRC, when this was discussed, Indiegogo was suggested as an alternative where we would be eligible. There might be further such sites, please add them if you know any.

Ease donation to encryption tools helping journalism. We can use what ArneBab wrote about it on his website.

NLnet Foundation

'The mission of the foundation "Stichting NLnet" is supporting network research and development in the domain of Internet technology based on open standards and the Open Source philosophy. One of the ways to accomplish this mission, is to financially support selected projects which potentially have positive impact on the wider dissemination and use of non-proprietary network and information exchange technologies. '. ArneBab says they could provide up to 30 000 EUR of funding.

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)

Already asked, no reply yet!

Built on top of Freenet, and thus should be interested in a healthy Freenet. One of their developers, "Prometheas", is in our IRC channel and I've already told him that we will need funding soon. I'm not sure whether he did give a real reply yet.


They did already donate in the past, so they might once more. xor has contacted them on 2016-02-05.

Free Software Foundation

Contacted user "jgay" on IRC by xor-freenet on 2016-02-17.

Already asked, said yes


They have an annual $ 125 000 funding program for open source projects. IRC user "_80082" did nominate us for the 2016 program, and DuckDuckGo provided $25,000.

Already asked, said no

Open Technology Fund

ArneBab asked them, they said no

Mozilla Open Source Support event

They want to give $1 million to open source projects.

Deadline = Mid of December.

Notice: They want projects to be endorsed by someone who works at Mozilla. operhiem1 knows someone there, maybe he can ask him? (update: operhiem1 has asked them, they said no)


US Department of State - Internet Freedom Annual Program

Government program to fund "project concepts and capacity to manage projects that support Internet freedom." They have a minimum funding amount of $500,000 and a maximum of $2,500,000.

Deadline: February 1, 2016.

Notice: Writing an application which fulfills the requirements could be weeks of work.

Update: This looked like too much work for our volunteer's time constraints and thus wasn't completed :( If they re-open the program, notice: Someone from CENO said that it would actually only require a 3 page application, which is manageable.

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