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23. May 2019


Today GitHub just announced GitHub Sponsors, a new funding model that just may change the way a lot of open source projects get funded.  Instead of relying on third party services such as Patreon to fund open source development projects, GitHub sponsors will enable users to financially support their favourite open source projects directly on GitHub.

Details from the GitHub blog:

Zero fees

Open source is the heart of GitHub. The developers who build our shared digital infrastructure are what make this community so strong. As a thank you for these valuable contributions, GitHub Sponsors charges zero platform fees when you support the work of other developers. We’ll also cover payment processing fees for the first 12 months of the program to celebrate the launch. 100% percent of your sponsorship goes to the developer.

A global team

GitHub Sponsors supports payouts all around the world, in every country where GitHub does business. We are all part of a global software team. Expanding opportunities to participate on that team is at the core of our mission, so we’re proud to make this new tool available to developers worldwide.

All contributors welcome

Many contributions that are crucial to a well-functioning project are not visible in code review. GitHub Sponsors is built for funding all types of work that advance open source software. Anyone who contributes to open source—whether through code, documentation, leadership, mentorship, design, and beyond—is eligible for sponsorship.

One more way to contribute

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.

Native to your GitHub workflow

You can now sponsor developers as a seamless part of your familiar workflow. When a contributor answers your question, triages your issue, or merges your code, you can head to their profile—or simply hover over their username—to sponsor their work.

Currently the system is launching on a waiting list system, you can join the wait list here (GitHub login required).

In addition to launching GitHub Sponsors, they have also launched the GitHub Sponsors matching fund:

To supercharge community funding, GitHub created the GitHub Sponsors Matching Fund, which matches up to $5000 per sponsored developer in their first year of sponsorship. In the first year, GitHub will not charge any fees, so 100% of sponsorships will go to the sponsored developer. In the future, we may charge a nominal processing fee.

With direct GitHub integration, global support and zero fees (at least for the first year), I imagine quite a few projects will transition over from a Patreon funding model.

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