- GitHub Sponsors lets stakeholders give money to developers of open source projects they depend on.
- Hundreds of devs use it to make a full-time living and some even pull in six figure salaries.
- A GitHub product exec told Insider the firm is planning a global expansion and testing new models.
Although open source software powers some of the world’s most well-known technologies, even the most popular projects are often maintained by developers who volunteer their time and effort. Microsoft-owned GitHub is trying to change that through a program that helps those open source developers get paid for their work.
GitHub Sponsors has two main benefits: It gives stakeholders a way to contribute financially to improve the performance and reliability of the projects they depend on it lowers the barriers of entry to open source for developers by paying them, which GitHub hopes will help diversify the open source community.
When GitHub initially launched the program in May 2019, it allowed developers to offer different tiers of payment, so that supporters could pay them, for example, $5 a month, several hundred dollars, or more. Then, to incentivize companies versus individuals to pay the developers building the open source technologies that benefit them, GitHub then launched a corporate program in December 2020 that lets enterprises pay people through their existing billing arrangements. GitHub said this project has significantly increased the amount of funding through the program and that it has already dispersed millions of dollars from firms like American Express, AWS, Stripe, Indeed, Microsoft, Substack, and Notion directly into developers’ pockets.
Word abonnee van Business Insider