GitHub Launches New 'Sponsors' Tool To Help Support Open Source Developers
Photo Credit: Signage is displayed at the entrance to the Github Inc. offices in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 4, 2018. Microsoft Corp. is buying GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock, bringing in house a community of 28 million programmers who publish code openly and extending a shift away from a strategy of shrouding its software in secrecy. Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images

GitHub Launches New 'Sponsors' Tool To Help Support Open Source Developers

Vanessa Taylor

Vanessa Taylor. May 23, 2019.

For creators online, it can be difficult to sustain themselves while still putting out good work. Now, some sites are making it easier to help out.

Today, Github launched a new tool called Sponsors that will allow you to support open source developers through monthly recurring payments.

“Funding developers through GitHub Sponsors is one more way to contribute to open source projects you appreciate,” GitHub wrote on its site. “Help developers get the resources they need, and recognize contributors working behind the scenes to make open source better for everyone.”

Developers can opt to have a “Sponsor me” button on their Github repositories. In addition, open source projects can highlight their own funding models, whether that’s individual contributions or using other platforms.

What is most unique about Github’s tool is that all the money will go directly to the developers.

“GitHub will not charge fees for GitHub Sponsors. And to celebrate the launch, we’ll cover payment processing costs for the first year, too!” the company wrote. “One-hundred percent of your sponsorship goes to the developer.”

It’s important to note that the Sponsor tool isn’t limited to people who code. As long as someone is an open source contributor with a GitHub profile, they’re eligible to take part in the new program.

One big obstacle when trying to fund projects is that people want creative control. Sometimes, funding options can limit the projects that people pursue.

GitHub’s program has the potential to lift up work that wouldn’t otherwise receive funding. But, it could also create a sort of echo chamber where the same type of projects are getting support.

As the tool continues to roll out, it’ll be interesting to see what people’s responses to it are.