Calendar until the campaign:

  • Week 35, Aug 24: draft illustrations and text
  • Week 36, Aug 31: usability testing
  • Week 37, Sep 7: final illustrations and text
  • Week 38, Sep 14: sajolida unavailable
  • Week 39, Sep 21: sajolida unavailable
  • Week 40, Sep 28: sajolida unavailable
  • Week 41, Oct 5: sajolida unavailable
  • Week 42, Oct 12: launch the campaign

Survey lapsed donors


  • Learn about motivation to better frame our message
  • Identify low hanging fruits in how we could steward them better


Subject: Tell us how you feel about your donation to Tails


Thank you so much for donating to Tails in the past!

Donations from individuals like you are our most precious source of
income as they guarantee our independence.

Today, we want to ask you a few questions about how satisfied you are
with your donation and Tails in general.

We will use your feedback to improve our relationship with donors like
you and encourage more people to donate to Tails. This will help us
continue building the world's most popular secure operating system.

To help us, please answer this survey of 7 simple questions before
Thursday, August 20:


Your opinion matters to us!

Our achievements in 2020 so far

* In 2020, Tails was started 30 000 times every day on average, 18% more
  than in 2019.

* We completely redesigned our Home and About pages, making it more
  engaging and easier to understand what Tails is and why people should
  use it:

* We added support to Secure Boot, now required by most modern laptops.

* We improved automatic upgrades to remove the need for most manual
  upgrades, which was one of the major pain points for users.

* We simplified the instructions on how to start Tails, which was
  another major pain point for users.

* We created and printed outreach material in 5 languages to tell
  the world about Tails:

* We migrated our issue tracker to GitLab to make it easier to
  contribute to Tails and speed up our work.

In solidarity,


To stop receiving emails from us, click the following link:


./scripts/donors-report -c ' ' \
  -p data/PayPal_RiseupLabs_2019-01-01_to_2019-12-31.csv \
  -p data/PayPal_RiseupLabs_2020-01-01_to_2020_02_03.csv | sed 's/^ : //' > /tmp/2019

echo "firstname,lastname,email" > ~/Tor\ Browser/lapsed.csv

./scripts/donors-report -c ' ' -x exclude.dat -x /tmp/2019 \
   -p data/PayPal_RiseupLabs_2016-10-01_to_2016-12-31.csv \
   -p data/PayPal_RiseupLabs_2017-01-01_to_2017-12-31.csv \
   -p data/PayPal_RiseupLabs_2018-01-01_to_2018-12-31.csv \
   -p data/PayPal_RiseupLabs_2019-01-01_to_2019-12-31.csv | sed 's/^ : /,,/' >> ~/Tor\ Browser/lapsed.csv


  1. Why did you donate to Tails? (Short free text)

    Privacy 24
    Protection 18
    Freedom 16
    Surveillance 6
    Security 5
    Censorship 2
  2. Which part of our mission appeals to you most? (Single choice)

    Protecting against surveillance 53%
    Protecting against censorship 18%
    Building a secure operating system 29%
  3. Did you donate to Tails because you use it yourself or because you want other people to be able to use it? (5-point Likert scale)

    • I use Tails myself
    • I want other people to be able to use Tails
    Myself 22%
    Others 25%

    Average: 3.1

  4. How much of an impact do you feel your donation had? (5-point Likert scale)

    1 36%
    2 21%
    3 29%
    4 7%
    5 7%

    Average: 2.3

    2 people commented on the ambiguity of the scale, whether 1 was good or bad. I would take these results with a pinch of salt.

  5. Do you feel like you received too much or not enough communication from us? (Multiple choice)

    Not enough 13%
    The right amount 81%
    Too much 2%

    If "Not enough":

    1. How many times a year would you like to receive information from us? (5-point Likert scale)
    1 0%
    2 0%
    3 31%
    4 25%
    5 44%

    Average: 4.1

    1. What would like us to communicate more about? (Short text)

      • Features and improvements (9)
      • Educational content: how to use Tails and other resources (4)
      • Technical work and life of the project (3)
      • What donations are used for (2)
      • Global impact: use cases and number of users (2)
      • Security vulnerabilities (2)
  6. If you didn't renew your donation last year, would you mind telling us why? (Multiple choice)

    I was not aware 29%
    I did renew my donation 21%
    I couldn't afford it 20%
    I donated to a different project instead 6%
    I got irritated with too much communication 2%
    I lost interest in Tails 2%
    I had a problem while donating 0%
    I felt pressurized to donate 0%
    I was not sure how my money was used 0%
    1. What problem did you have while donating? (Short text)
  7. Do you have any questions, concerns, or possible improvements for us to take into account? (Open ended)

    • How we calculate the number of users (1)
    • Rude answer from Help Desk (1)
    • T-shirts (1)
    • A few technical suggestions
    • Lots of love!


  • We're doing good! Negative comments were few exceptions in a mass of love: the work that we do is very important and we do it well.

  • We should communicate a bit more and better with past donors:

    • The main reason for lapsed donors not to renew their donation is lack of awareness.

    • We should write a newsletter to donors half-way through the year or when we have major improvements. (#fundraising#17703)

    • Adding an opt-in mechanism for our newsletter would allow us to be less shy to write them. (#fundraising#17702)

    • LimeSurvey is more convenient to send mass emails to donors. (#fundraising#17704)

    • We should communicate more about the impact of donations and how we spend the money.

  • About our donors and their interests:

    • Donors are mostly users (74%) but they also want to help others (70%).

    • Donors mostly talk about:

      • Privacy (24)
      • Protection from oppressive governments and persecution (18)
      • Liberty and freedom of speech (16)

Improve /donate (#17697)

Since we won't do usability tests and to avoid a situation à la #16830, we will limit our changes to:

  • Things we agree on easily
  • Research-based recommendations from experts
  • Things we can A/B test during the campaign


  • Add an image.
  • Improve "How we spend our money" to tell more about the impact.
  • Improve the headline.

Rewrite /donate/thanks and /donate/canceled (#17701)

These pages look crap and we don't spend time on them because we don't see them ourselves. But I think that they are critical and low-hanging fruits. Some psychological foundations for that.

Add to each of them:

  • A feedback mechanism, especially on /donate/canceled!
  • An image
  • Better text

These are things that are better studied in usability tests but they are so bad right now that it should be easy to agree on possible improvements while keeping them cheap.

A/B testing during the campaign (if needed)

Like I did for #16830, we could do more such things during the campaign. For example, we could test different images, text, or controversial changes.

Analyze the results of the A/B testing on frequency buttons (#16830)

Compare the conversion rates between Tor Browser, Tails, and mobile. I'll be analyzing logs when looking at the results of the A/B testing on the monthly buttons anyway.

Anything else worth analyzing in the logs?