GitHub add the option for developers to accept recurring monthly payments from supporters who can fund their work on open-source software. The function called GitHub sponsors, works exactly like Patreon. Developers can offer different cash flows with different benefits, and they will receive recurring payments from supporters who want access and encourage their work.
Bringing this model to GitHub could be a huge addition for developers of open-source software. By its nature, the development of open-source software – which anyone can use freely – is not profitable, but open-source software is crucial to much of the technology we use every day, from the core of Android to small tools embedded in larger programs & # 39; s. . Developers can already go to Patreon or other financing platforms to raise money, but building this tool directly in GitHub, the leading repository for open-source software, could make it even easier for them.
The sponsoring function is not available to everyone at the launch. But GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft, wants the program to make a splash: it is promising and no costs to use the program, it covers the costs for processing payments for the first year and it corresponds to sponsor payments up to $ 5,000 per developer during their first year using the feature.
Individual projects can also use Sponsors to raise money. The manager of a project can link to profiles of project leaders who accept sponsorship and GitHub will even link a project to funding pages on other websites, such as Patreon and Open Collective.
Patreon has proven to be a workable business model for small artists, developers and development collectives. It can be a challenge to extend this directly to GitHub, where developers' contributions may be less clear to people who don't know anything about code. But it is a big and meaningful attempt anyway, and it could lead to a much richer open source world if it succeeds.