GitHub Sponsors - Money For Open Source
Written by Sue Gee   
Thursday, 23 May 2019

GitHub has announced a new way to financially support open source developers. To jump start this scheme, GitHub is going to match all contributions up to $5,000 during a developer’s first year in GitHub Sponsors.

Also for the first year of the GitHub Sponsors  GitHub will not charge any fees, so 100% of sponsorships will go to the sponsored developer. It does, however, add the caveat:

In the future, we may charge a nominal processing fee.


Explaining the rationale for this new program, which is currently in beta, Devon Zuegel writes:

The world runs on open source. None of it would be possible without the global team of maintainers, designers, programmers, researchers, teachers, writers, leaders—and more—who devote themselves to pushing technology forward. These extraordinary developers can now receive funding from the community that depends on their work, seamlessly through their GitHub profiles.

Her blog post is titled Announcing GitHub Sponsors: a new way to contribute to open source and states:

GitHub Sponsors is one more way to contribute to open source: financially supporting the people who build and maintain it. Funding individuals helps them keep doing important work, expands opportunities to participate, and gives developers the recognition they deserve. Starting today, any GitHub user can sponsor an open source developer in the program.

Unlike the BackYourStack initiative from OpenCollections which we reported on last year as a way for open source communities get paid for the work they do and become financially sustainable, GitHub Sponsors supports individuals rather than projects. Developers will be able to put a “Sponsor me” button on their GitHub repositories. According to GitHub:

You can become a sponsored developer by joining GitHub Sponsors, completing your sponsored developer profile, creating sponsorship tiers, submitting your bank and tax information, and enabling two-factor authentication on your GitHub account.

You will also be able to view who sponsors you, their sponsorship tier, and how long they've sponsored you and be able to send an email to all your sponsors who have opted in to receive updates about your work.

A small number of sponsored developers are currently participating in the limited beta. In the future anyone who contributes to an open source project - through bug reports, issue triage, code, documentation, leadership, business development, project management, mentorship, and design and more  - will be eligible to become a sponsored developer. There is a Waitlist to request access to the next beta phase..



More Information

Announcing GitHub Sponsors: a new way to contribute to open source

GitHub Sponsors

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