Mozilla bets on fundraising to diversify Google revenue

Mozilla bets on fundraising to diversify Google revenue

Summary: Mozilla faces numerous challenges---develop faster, mobile tools and revenue diversification---but the most notable point may be how the organization is stepping up its fundraising game.

SHARE:

Mozilla's 2010 financial statements reveal an organization still too dependent on Google search revenue, but one that is investing heavily to increase its online fundraising efforts. Mozilla still expects to get most of its revenue from search deals, but fundraising is a down payment on diversification.

The non-profit organization generated $21.7 million in 2010, down from $26.5 million in 2009. Total revenue and support for 2010 was $123.2 million, up from $104.3 million, according to its annual report.

As CNET News' Stephen Shankland noted, Mozilla's results aren't so shabby. However, Mozilla's search deal with Google is up for renewal in November. Google's Chrome browser is gaining market share, but the state of Firefox likely points to a renewal. The Firefox search box has generated anywhere from 85 percent to 90 percent of Mozilla revenue in recent years.

In an FAQ, Mozilla noted that "we have every confidence that search partnerships will remain a solid generator of revenue for Mozilla for the foreseeable future." Mozilla also touted search deals with Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Amazon, Ebay and others, but the reality is most users go with Google.

Mozilla faces numerous challenges---develop faster, mobile tools and revenue diversification---but the most notable point may be how the organization is stepping up its fundraising game. Mozilla has hired experts who know how to raise money online. These hires, along with the infrastructure that goes with them, could allow Mozilla to diversify its revenue base.

For now, public support is roughly 14 percent of Mozilla's revenue, but it could move the needle with better fundraising. Here's the notable snippet from Mozilla's tax filing:

The other notable item is the pay packages that Mozilla execs get. Those packages aren't too shabby for a non-profit either.

Related: Mozilla posts 2009 revenue surge: Google diversification issue remains

Topics: Google, Banking, Browser, Enterprise Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Everyone should use FireFox

    Not just because it is the best -- by many measures it is and by many measures it isn't -- but because it is fantastic software released by a not-for-profit organization who's reason for being is to improve the Internet for all.

    And let us make no mistake, they have been staggeringly successful. Using Mozilla's products will continue this legacy.

    That is <em>worth</em> supporting.
    x I'm tc
    • Everyone should use what they want

      @jdakula

      The problem with everyone using only one browser is that the programmers become complacent and it stagnates. The reason why Firefox even rose to prominence is because IE was stagnating and Firefox was young and fresh and willing to give users what they wanted. You want choices so that if one product goes down a path a certain segment of users do not like (like say an insane release schedule that affects the stability of web based business solutions) there are other choices that can be made. And when one product loses enough market share, it either wises up and corrects the problem or it dies and another comes along to take its place.

      Now I do use Firefox and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future, but I will not try to convince anyone that just because this solution works best for me that it will work best for them. It may, but if not I would not shy away from recommending another solution if it became apparent that Firefox does not work for them.
      Michael Kelly
      • RE: Mozilla bets on fundraising to diversify Google revenue

        @Michael Kelly

        True in the corporate space, not so sure it works for FOSS. When the lines get blurred, as by for-profit-backed OSS projects, it is really hard to figure out.

        For instance, this whole "insane release schedule that affects the stability of web based business solutions" is a product of the other big open-source browser doing just that and Mozilla following suit. That is *not* an example of competition working.

        Furthermore, Firefox was most innovative when there was *no* competition. When IE stagnated, the energy of all Web browser developers was behind Mozilla. Firefox itself is a fork ("Phoenix") from the original Mozilla browser project which continues under the name SeaMonkey. This demonstrates how, if a critical mass of user-programmers become dissatisfied with the direction of Firefox, they can fork it again and, if their vision proves the right one, the Mozilla foundation will follow.

        If there is some legitimate reason to use another browser (like, "I'm at work and they make me use IE") well then of course that's fine. But all things being equal -- scratch that, all things being close <em>enough</em> to equal -- it is better to use the product with a positive mission than the one without. Note that this is nothing to do with FOSS, honestly...I'd use Firefox if it were closed source over, say Chrome, because I <em>agree</em> with Mozilla's idea of an open, standards-based Internet for all vs. Google's idea of the browser as a platform of serving up proprietary services.

        Look at Weave Sync, for example. I have a password associated with it that prevents <em>even the folks at Mozilla</em> from seeing what I'm sinking. Google, on the other hand, mines that information to use "against" me. That represents a profound and important distinction in what these two companies want from their users.
        x I'm tc
  • RE: Mozilla bets on fundraising to diversify Google revenue

    Maybe they should try soliciting some of their enterprise users for donations? Oh wait they don't matter according to Mozilla
    the.nameless.drifter
    • RE: Mozilla bets on fundraising to diversify Google revenue

      @the.nameless.drifter

      If they didn't matter, they wouldn't be making the ESR. If they didn't matter, they wouldn't have put together that nice enterprise study.

      Stop being proud of your ignorance.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Mozilla bets on fundraising to diversify Google revenue

        @Michael Alan Goff

        They were forced into that after the wave of bad publicity due to the arrogance of Asa

        Its nice that there is now a proposal but Mozilla still have a ways to go to fix a fractured relationship.
        the.nameless.drifter