Overview of FOSS/Open Source Sustainability and Pay The Maintainers movements.
Open source is built by individuals from around the world - may of whom are not paid a wage (or anything!) for their work. “Open Source Sustainability” is a movement to change the software ecosystem - contributors and users alike - to ensure better financial sustainability for the people who build the most important FOSS projects we all rely on.
Some critical open source projects used across the web are maintained by small teams of unpaid individuals. The maintainers are the ones in charge of a project’s repository and making new releases - either to fix bugs, or address security issues. “Paying the maintainers” means finding ways to compensate maintainers for this often unpaid labor.
Start by reading the guide Getting Paid for Open Source Work for a holistic overview of how to think about approaching fundraising or donations for your FOSS work, and tips for maintainers too.
Sustain OSS is a group of experienced FOSS volunteers from many projects running events, and writing guides for everything about making open source sustainable - not just financially. Read their 2021 report on the state of FOSS sustainability.
Not sure what all these terms mean? Try TL;DR FOSS or FOSS Funding for more topics on funding.
Is your project looking to improve your governance? Read about FOSS Governance and then choose the right foundation for your community!
Nadia Eghbal’s lemonade-stand list of funding resources for how smaller FOSS groups can find funding.
Need more help? Contact Shane @ Punderthings℠ Consulting for expert advice on all things open source - trademarks/branding and community building are our specialty!