I can't agree to tootje. I was with GIFT this era and i didn't donate.
I saw a great team. Their activity and Kanes way to lead was impressing.
Before that, i won m4 as leader without donating ( only a few tokens for buying energy).
Its not "the donating alliance will win" - not in the long run. Sure, it is a high advantage for the first 500 ticks, but then ?
With a good team, you can win on every server without donating. If your team is bad - you can buy 5k tokens and will still fail.
The relic system is a problem. Its easy to capture a relic also as non-donating alliance. Some squads each member and a nuke is also possible without tokens.
Mass-donators do have a advantage late-game.
If somebody wanted, they could buy their way to the top.