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Mozilla bets on fundraising to diversify Google revenue

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.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

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

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