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Donate mozilla (donate.mozilla.org)
161 points by swcoders on Nov 30, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 75 comments

Their FAQ (https://wiki.mozilla.org/Donate#Don.27t_Mozilla_products.2C_...) contains pretty important information.

In particular, it answers why one should donate when Mozilla Corp makes money through corporate deals (e.g. Google and Yahoo search commissions). The answer is that all the money Mozilla Corp makes is reinvested back into Mozilla Corp (salaries etc). The Mozilla Foundation -- a non-profit which wholly owns Mozilla Corp -- is not funded by Mozilla Corp, but relies entirely on donations. Mozilla Foundations is responsible for philantropic education and awareness campaigns.

So this link is not about donating to Mozilla Corp, where the bulk of Firefox development happens. It's about donating to Mozilla Foundation.

This is exactly right. I'm an engineer at the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, and these donations keep us working towards our mission (found at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/manifesto/details/).

Now if only it all wasn't spent on the current massive expansion of the Marketing team and their new executive's salaries. The new CMO has a very checkered history with questionable results. Very much the nepotist who manages to pack his team with former colleagues.

Its a big and divisive internal issue right now. :(

At Mozilla Foundation? Got any links to discussions?

The latest IRS Form 990 for the Mozilla Foundation I can find is here:


It's two years old, but if you go through it you'll see some very large numbers in the officer compensation lines, but it's mostly from "related organizations" and not the foundation itself. I'm not really sure how to parse it, and it may have changed in the last 2 years.

Admittedly, its all off record hearsay as it's not to smart to talk badly about your C-levels in public discussion. Though I must say, as a user its hard to sincerely distinguish the business motives of Firefox from other parts of the org. Especially in the recent push of the browser.

> not to smart to talk badly about your C-levels in public discussion

For certain things. But for badthink, seek and destroy.

Out of curiosity, is the MDN a Corp or a Foundation thing? I couldn't tell from the homepage, and I'm always stunned at how good a resource that is.

MDN is powered by Corp staff but also a large # of awesome volunteer contributors.

Hi amooiman, I love Mozilla. I've been following it since pretty much the beginning, and I think it's not getting the recognition it deserves. For example, if you read HN or Slashdot, it's always filled about negative reactions about Mozilla. Some of them have a point, but a lot of them are based on old misconceptions or wrong information. How do you feel about this and what do you think can be done about this? I feel that Mozilla needs to focus on improving its image for a while.

I only started working here a few months ago so I'm still forming my thoughts, but I definitely agree with the general notion that there needs to be some better external visibility/clarity of what we're doing. I can tell you the people here are the most passionate I've met about what they're doing and the organization's mission as a whole, which excites me to log on for work every day in a way that other jobs haven't. As for negative reactions online, well, it's the internet and that's bound to happen. It's only reasonable to expend a certain amount of energy correcting people vs focusing on the work that matters.

It's true that the Internet in general attracts negative reactions. But Mozilla is based on the Internet, so don't you think that these reactions are representative of the true demographic and that they should be given more weight?

Would that be your mission to copy Chrome as much as possible?

> The answer is that all the money Mozilla Corp makes is reinvested back into Mozilla Corp (salaries etc). The Mozilla Foundation -- a non-profit which wholly owns Mozilla Corp -- is not funded by Mozilla Corp, but relies entirely on donations. Mozilla Foundations is responsible for philantropic education and awareness campaigns.

Like...what? This answer and the one below from the Foundation employee don't actually give any specifics. That's actually slightly alarming, as it's a guarantee that donations won't be directly supporting the browser (or Rust, or...) but will instead be going to some vaguely described campaigns.

I'm all for marketing Firefox and defeating the TPP, but let's confirm that's exactly what we're talking about here (and get some examples of recent work). Mozilla in the name isn't enough when the only Mozilla I know is what this money isn't going to.

Donations to the Mozilla Foundation support work in the realms of education and advocacy. More specifically, this means gifts support the free, open source tools and curriculum at teach.mozilla.org, which teach skills like privacy, security, HTML, CSS and more. These activities and products are used in classrooms around the world.

A couple more examples: Thimble, our educational code editor (mzl.la/thimble), and Webmaker, our Android app for mobile-first Web users (mzl.la/webmaker).

Donor support also helps Mozilla fight for pressing issues like net neutrality and mass surveillance reform. Mozilla's community of donors provided the resources we needed to support a successful campaign for net neutrality in the U.S. this year, plus supported other advocacy campaigns internationally.

-Kevin (from the Mozilla Foundation)

You could just go to their website (www.mozilla.org) and find out.

There really isn't much information there (or at least I can't find it). I'm not attacking here, just giving my impression as a potential donor, albeit with some skepticism.

I was able to find information on the Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows program[1] and a list of events[2]. Funding for the first is obvious, for the second it seems like many of the events either aren't run by Mozilla, just recognized by them, or the funding isn't directly called out.

It would be great to see broken down what funding actually goes to. mozilla.org, as I said, seems to just be banking mostly on the Mozilla name (the phrase "Donate to Mozilla, the non-profit behind Firefox" doesn't exactly keep things clear). The donate page has no information on the subject, the Donate FAQ is a wiki page with no information on the subject.

As an example, the EFF has a great "Our Work" page[3], with a nice overview of a bunch of projects and big icons leading to really in-depth coverage of their work in each of six areas. The page also doubles as a nice portal into the subjects of interest themselves, if you want to know more.

[1] https://advocacy.mozilla.org/open-web-fellows/

[2] https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/contribute/events/

[3] https://www.eff.org/issues

Please don't donate to the Mozilla Foundation or any other software foundation for that matter. Most of the time they are over politicized and the money is used to pay the salaries of open source politicians or to fund campaigns that they will put in their resume so that they can get a big execs job once they get tired of their open source stepping stone.

It is not about technology, as they say, it about "people". What you might not know is that the people they are mainly concerned about is themselves. It is very hard to corrupt, defraud, steal and cheat on a project that is just about technology. So they have to make it about something else, something that transcends technology so that they don't have to accountable by any metric.

All of this, am sure, may sound a bit harsh for people who are unaware of the inner workings of foundations behind their political, marketing façade. However, it should come to no surprise to anyone who has had any experience with the government in the real world. We would like to think that open source is above all of that corruption and in some ways it is, but I have to repeat my previous point that Foundations aren't about OS, they are about "people".

The corruption within Foundations is subtle, but it is present and I would like to argue that it is unavoidable. The reason being is that if tomorrow I get the job of chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, I will do my best to use the funds to promote campaigns that will look good on my resume to that I can use it as leverage when I apply for a big execs job at Intel. I wouldn't give less of a shit, if those campaigns are ineffectual, wasteful or over politicized.

It would be very naive to assume that this kind of things, that happens in all the human endeavours, don't happen in organizations that have "foundation" in the name.

That doesn't mean that this can't be controlled (to some point) or that the foundation doesn't make any real good.

Is it your experience directly about the Mozilla Foundation?

> Mozilla Corp makes money through corporate deals

>The Mozilla Foundation -- a non-profit which wholly owns Mozilla Corp -- is not funded by Mozilla Corp

Why not ?

The Mozilla Foundation _is_ funded by Mozilla Corp to some extent.

As I understand it, the amount to which it can be thus funded, while retaining its nonprofit status, depends on the amount of other donations that it gets. Nonprofits who get too much of their funding from a single source apparently lose their status.

Because Mozilla Foundation, which is the sole owner of Mozilla Corp, has decided not to extract money from Mozilla Corp.

I used to donate five dollar per month for different free and open source software or foundations, I've given numerous such five dollars to Mozilla. However, Mozilla project is dead to me now. Firefox is getting objectively worse (XUL removal, Pocket etc.) and the Mozilla project lost when they carve into the bullies when the CEO was forced to resign for some random donations. I don't if you donate to Hitler, it's his personal money, what do you care. Mozilla cannot champion the open web. The open web is dead.

Instead donate to OpenBSD or FSF.

I was thinking the same, but tried not to post it earlier. Mozilla as a complete entity is too politically progressive for my tastes. It used to be something I looked up to because the technology was portable, configurable and just worked. I am not saying their competitors are any better (as I don't know).

Agree 100%. The whole Brendan Eich debacle ended my relationship with Mozilla, not because it was a "bump in the road" but because it was a manifestation of the insidious mob mentality that took over most of Mozilla.

A significant proportion of "Mozillians" are either mercenaries trying to advance their career or SJW collecting the paycheck and using Mozilla as a platform for their own agendas, they couldn't care less about the Web and in the last 2/3 years the product shows it.

Less than a week ago Mozilla said they don't need the millions from Google.


As @FooBarWidget says, this is about donating to the Mozilla Foundation, not the Corporation (which builds Firefox products). I'm an employee at the Foundation, and these donations help us keep running and working towards our mission, backed by these principles: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/manifesto/

All sounds warm and fuzzy to me. The Foundation should try to be more concrete in explaining what they do, and are currently accomplishing. Maybe this is already explained somewhere but I have no idea, and I'm a regular reader of HN, for example. Most people will spend even less time looking into it. The Mozilla Foundation/Corporation thing will only confuse people. Anyway, I'm donating kharma by explaining all of this. I'm done for now.

So what you're saying is that you have a negative/cynic view about Mozilla Corp/Foundation, but couldn't be bothered to read the rest of their website to find out whether your view is correct, and won't change your viewpoint until someone makes it easy for you?

I think they're saying it's not the best way to go about asking someone for a gift of money. It's not all that cynical to be skeptical of vaguely defined goals.

You just beat me to this :)

There's a lot of stuff that Mozilla does, but I wish there were a way to donate and say "try your best to allocate my money for project X" within Mozilla (Corporation, which I now understand is not the one supported by donations). While Mozilla Corporation seems to primarily focus on Firefox and Firefox OS, I would like to see more attention and effort devoted on the following:

1. Mozilla Thunderbird to get a lot more attention and a strong roadmap (something like the now defunct Mozilla Messaging initiative).

2. A good high end Firefox OS phone that is widely available and gives a good enough competition to Android and iOS, even though it's quite late and it may not have an apps collection like the other platforms do.

3. Reviving Persona/BrowserID, which many people here and elsewhere have asked for. From recent discussions I do understand this is not easy to do, but we need someone knowledgeable and available to take the lead and have Mozilla's brand pushing this for a wider reach.

You know what I bet'd really pique their interest around reviving Persona? Not a donation, but start talking about it and evangelizing it, and get together with other interested devs to get them to do the same.

Mozilla's going to respond a lot better to widespread public developer interest than to a $100 donation.

Two donations made.

First, the money ($10).

Then, the post (http://theunshut.com/2015/11/30/saving-mozilla/).

We'd be in a much different world today if Mozilla never existed. If any contributor/employee at Mozilla here reads this, THANKS.

contributor/employee at Mozilla here. Thank _you_.


I think Mozilla is one of great organization and community. I love them as open source community. They are very polite and always helps and welcome to new bies. I really like the attitude of all the Mozillian. I think Open source world needed more polite and helpful people like Mozillians.

While i do think mozilla is great, firefox is my main browser and i am following the servo project.

Just recently we had this article: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10630996

edit: @FooBarWidget had a good answer

Sorry, mistakenly downvoted :|

OK you beat both melling and myself by an hour....

After reading the FAQ entry under "How will my donation be used", I have no idea what a donation would be used for. "In general, resources are dedicated to promoting openness, innovation and opportunity on the Internet in ways that will benefit everyone." Extremely vague.

I wish more people considered donating to Mozilla, Wikipedia, and other similar movements. I feel like many non-technical oriented people don't really understand that the software and websites they use are often times built completely with donated money, and cannot survive without it.

Wikipedia is big, stable, midly incremental and dominant[0]. Does it need more money that its current baseload income?

If we applied the same traits to the browser market we'd be crying-out for an alternative.

I don't know what that alternative is, so it's difficult to donate towards it. But I don't believe that encouraging more donations to Wikipedia is going to move collective human knowledge forward.

In contrast, Mozilla is constantly having to chase new technological targets and compete against well-funded corporate alternatives. I can understand why they need to keep expanding their income.

[0] deliberately setting-aside all the other subjective complaints about its internal processes.

Alternative would be encyclopedia Britannica. There every article is mostly behind paywall.

Wikipedia is dominant because it's better. They need money to keep servers running. If they don't get funding, they will simply die. There is no guarantee that similar project would ever fly again.

This ship sailed when they purged Eich.

Wow, purged is right.

I don't generally follow tech. politics but reading about this episode is horrendous.

Funding perpetually offended folks seems to have less utility than say dumping to eff

Have they thought about coordinating with Amazon to make Mozilla a SMILE partner? I usually donate through them to the EFF, but it would be cool to throw some of it Mozilla's way.

Mozilla does have an Amazon Smile account. I believe you start at smile.amazon.com and search for Mozilla.

Oh, sweet! I guess I'll have to alternate between Mozilla and EFF now. Thanks!

Wikipedia and Mozilla are great products so I donate once a year for both projects.

OT but what are they using to accept donations? I'm about to set up a donation page on a project I'm running and been looking for solutions. What do people recommend?

> OT but what are they using to accept donations? I'm about to set up a donation page on a project I'm running and been looking for solutions. What do people recommend?

Previously I worked at two different non-profits which needed to answer this same question. Both times, we chose Stripe, because it ended up being the best combination of simple for us to set up and fast for donators to use[0].

(Disclaimer: I now work at Stripe, but I'm answering your question based on my previous experiences as a Stripe customer, not in any official capacity).

[0] https://stripe.com/checkout

Check out the code here: https://github.com/mozilla/donate.mozilla.org

TLDR: stripe for donations, custom software for the forms.

They are dead to me since they tried to kill WebSQL/WebDB. Mozilla has become to the web what Stallman has become for emacs.

just wanted to add that maybe allowing to donate without javascript enabled could make easier for people to donate?

Mozilla has become too politicized for me. When the board intervenes to fire the CEO for basic civic engagement which we should generally encourage in citizens, then they don't need my money any more.

I don't keep up too much, so what basic civic engagement issues have they acted on since the one highly publicized incident? A browser like Mozilla, and its place in the market, is overtly political in itself. It always has been; open source is politics. Heck, dozens of major OSS projects have the "don't donate to us, donate to our sponsored charity" thing going on. Those projects focus on very liberal, social justice issues too though with a more global focus.

But, what's happened since the one incident?

While many open source projects tend to get political, open source is not about politics any more than regular proprietary products are.

Politics is a part of human behavior. Software decisions are also political. For example, the new Firefox privacy mode 2.0 which besides not saving any information also prevents sites from tracking you by blocking tracking pixels and other similar stuff. This may sound just technical but it is also political, its about maintaining the right to privacy online which is more important than people realize.

When the Mozilla Foundation launched the Mozilla Clubs program to help people teach and learn about digital skills and webmaking this is also a political tool. The Mozilla Clubs program spreads digital skills which can then be used to do civic engagement both online and offline. Here in Rio de Janeiro, we're running these program in poor neighborhoods with teenagers. We're trying to change the internet user profile from a consumer of media to a producer of content. This has political implications as people start to realize that they can and should put their voices, opinions, demands and dreams online.

Mozilla is the single browser vendor today that is not a for-profit company. Mozilla Foundation, Mozilla Coorporation and Mozilla Community are together the only open group that is at the same time working on advocacy, web technologies, language design, operating systems, web literacy, net neutrality, human rights on the internet, and web standards. There is no other group trying to do this much for the online world and we all know how the online world affects the offline world.

Yes, mistakes are made. We're all humans but that doesn't mean that we don't learn, that we don't change. Mozilla has a unique perspective in many things and a power that can be put to very good use. If you like a Web made by people and for people, then, you should care about not only the tech but the politics involved because when bad people can't stop others with tech, they stop others with laws... and sometimes these laws are against you.

If you want, check out the Mozilla Foundation advocacy work and web literacy programs. Mozilla goes beyond being browser vendor.

>open source is not about politics

This is a quite naive point of view that even very smart people hold. Open source software makes and breaks whole industries in software, of course it's political.

You don't think it's a bit silly to say that building a product or tool is the same thing as engaging in government?

Ah, but politics isn't limited to governmental affairs, it is everywhere: communities, technical committees and standard groups. Also some projects contribute more change to the structure of the society than most governments. I would say that linux and *bsds had a much more pronounced impact on global affairs than most countries governments.

Ah, but now you've made the term "politics" meaningless, as what I had for breakfast falls under your new definition that encompasses everything.

How is your breakfast meaningless? Did it contain meat, or genetically modified organisms? Was it grown with water in a drought-stricken area, or from a subsidized or non-unionized farm? Have you considered its carbon footprint?

Someone, somewhere, has opinions on that breakfast of yours...and some of those folks have the power to enact those opinions. If it somehow involves policy, power and status - no matter how petty - there are politics attached. See in particular definitions 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5: https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_en...

If members of your breakfast group have various preferences and you are negotiating contents, place and price of breakfast then yes, sure it's politics :)

I stopped donating as well, and I used their contact link in the donation page to explain my reasons: I disagreed with hounding Eich out of his job, and if they want any more donations from me, they first must hire him back.

Most Mozilla employees vocally supported him, and he wasn't fired (he left on his own). He now has his own startup.

>>You demanded I be "completely removed from any day to day activities at Mozilla" & got your wish. I'm still unemployed. How're you?


This is the reason i stopped donating to them.

well, donating to mozilla and not openSSL, freeBSD does not make a better internet.

Nowadays we have strictly NO LTS free/open source portable build chain of decent quality (compiler, linkers). (maybe also because of the norms)

When I say LTS compiler, I mean a compiler that can portably and reproducibly build code in C without flags on the CLI to the same exec and without developers having to archive their compiler every time compile to be sure to be able to build it once again with the same results.

You think this situation is not yet existing?

Hu hu hu hu hu ...

Houston, you have a problem.

Even though I appreciate LLVM/GCC, LLVM/GCC new major release may imply to patch specifically the C code for the $CC release.

And Ox flags may give weird unexpected results per compiler. And you may nowadays need GCC for some platform with specific code, and LLVM for others.

So how do we handle this complexity? The C code is less and less idempotent in time and architecture and performance...

How do we fully support long time support for reproducible multi platform build ?

LTS makes sense for an operating system. LTS doesn't make sense for utility. Actually, there is an LTS version of Firefox known as ESR [1]. You typically see this on university computers or some corporate machines. Personally, I don't see the value of ESR, because internal applications should be constantly improving, more and more machines are equipped with Chrome which AFAIK doesn't have ESR, and more and more corporate are giving out machines or allowing workers to tunnel in with VPN from personal workstation, the argument to actually continue to use ESR is diminishing IMO.

Anyway, I think you can create a thread to ask people to donate to other causes. That's fine.

[1]: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/faq/

If C compilers are such a problem then developers should move to better languages. It's not the 70s anymore.

No language other than C and FORTRAN have correct numerical libraries with a decent amount of speed.

Would you like the next plane that will make you travel to have the math done in javascript?

Would you like your pacemaker to fry 17W/h for a V8 engine and do you need mozilla embedded in it ?

Would you feel safe with nuclear plants control on the cloud?

Does a space probe rather needs support for an oauth2.0 or correct numerical analysis?

Don't you care that banking systems are correctly translating numerical amounts?

I mean computer are used for critical purpose too.

EDIT PS: numpy in python is binding on fortran libraries to do the job.

The idea of those things being built in a language without memory and good type safety (no ability to cast everything to void*) should terrify you.

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