Thunderbird’s donation-drive revenue rose 21% in 2021

The Thunderbird team published the financial report of 2021 for the Thunderbird project last month. Revenue rose by 21% in 2021 to $2.796 million when compared to the $2.3 million the project earned in 2020.

thunderbird financials 2021
source: Thunderbird

Thunderbird is part of MZLA Technologies Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mozilla Foundation. The entire project receives its funding almost entirely from donations.

Donations rose from $700K in 2017 to now $2.7 million in 2021. In 2021 alone, donations rose by around $500k to the new all time high.

Improved engagement with donors and an updated What’s New page with “an improved donation appeal” were the primary drivers for the increased donations in the year. The team plans to increase the engagement with the entire community in the future. Increased activity on social media sites such as Twitter is already noticeable.

Non-donation income makes up less than one percent of the overall revenue. Thunderbird receives payments when users sign up for the email provides Gandi and Mailfence. New revenue opportunities are explored, provided that they align with the mission and values according to the revenue presentation.

As far as spending is concerned, the bulk is spend as payment for employees. A total of 78.1% is spend on personnel. Professional services, including HR, tax services, and “agreements with other Mozilla entities, make up 10.5% of the spending. 5.5% are spend on general & administrative services, and 4.7% on donation transaction fees.

The Thunderbird project spend a total of $1,984 million in 2021, increasing money in the bank to $3.616 million.

The Thunderbird project has a total of 18 employees. The team wants to hire several engineers without spending more money than what is coming in.

The Thunderbird team has big plans for 2022 and beyond. The next major release is Thunderbird 102, which includes major feature improvements and new features, such as an improved import module, new address book, support for Matrix, and more.

The developers are working on the first mobile app for the open source email client next to that. Plans are underway to release Thunderbird mobile for Android. No release date for the first preview version has been mentioned, but many expect it to be released later in 2022.

Closing Words

The financial outlook is good for the entire project. Donation revenue increased in 2021 by 21% over 2020. Almost $800k were added to the project’s account as a consequence. The year 2022 is an important one for the project. The next major release is just months away, and the planned Android release will address the limitation to running Thunderbird on desktop systems. A version for iOS is also planned.

Thunderbird users who want to donate to the project can do so here.

Now You: do you use Thunderbird? Are you looking forward to the release of version 102 and the first Android version? (via Sören Hentzschel)

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