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Mozilla: We're not asking for donations because we're poor

Gregg Keizer | Jan. 2, 2015
Denies link between Firefox fundraiser and flat search revenue in 2013.

Contributions, meanwhile, amounted to $2.3 million last year, and when grants were included, $6.9 million. The former was just seven-tenths of 1 percent of all revenue, while the latter accounted for 2% of the total.

Surman's and Dixon-Thayer's contention that there was no link at Mozilla between search revenue and contributions seemed to be backed up by the Mozilla Foundation's 2013 tax return (download PDF). The organization spent $11.3 million to support its educational work, volunteer outreach, fellowships and research last year. Its revenue was slightly more than that: Approximately $13 million from a combination of donations ($6.9 million) and payments made by Mozilla Corp. to license trademarks, notably that for Firefox ($6.1 million).

But while Surman and Dixon-Thayer maintained that Mozilla's finances were healthy, others might disagree, especially if 2013's higher rate of spending continued. Overall, expenses increased 42% year-over-year, with software development -- Mozilla's largest expense -- jumping 38% and marketing climbing by 60%.

Along with flat revenue, that dropped Mozilla's profit -- its disclosed revenue minus expenses -- from $102 million in 2012 to just $19 million in 2013.

Firefox users who want to donate to the Mozilla Foundation -- and who do not see the plea in their browser -- can do so from this website.


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