I'm going to go ahead and introduce myself pretty briefly and then let the rest of the panelists introduce themselves. I'll keep mine short, since it's not about me, but my name is Roselle. I'm a junior developer advocate, GitHub um, and I'm also a super huge advocate of open source, and I'm Super excited to hear what everyone has to say about, um, getting your project, um, sponsored or sponsoring other projects because it's actually an um, area that I don't have a lot of knowledge in. Um, I'll go ahead and let the panelists introduce themselves. Feel free to choose the order you want to go in once.
Hey, I'm Becca. I'll jump in here. I am a, uh, technical community builder at Deepgram. I've been there since about January, but I am also the creator and one of the maintainers of Virtual Coffee. It's a developer community that we consider an open source developer community, and we've got a lot of open source initiatives over there, so that's me.
All right. Hey, everyone. I'm Josh Goldberg. I'm an open source maintainer in New York. Um, I do open source and other education and consulting work full time. Most of my efforts these days are on, uh, TypeScript Eslins, which is a static analysis library for TypeScript that lets you work with Eslin.
Yeah. Thank you, Josh. From my, uh, side, I'm currently working as a developer advocate at Super Tokens, and I had around 13 years of experience and love to build things in, react and love to help people, uh, with my mentorship skills. Thank you.
How's it going, everyone? My name is Logan Kilpatrick. Hopefully you can hear me. Okay. They're doing law and work, uh, right outside my window, so I had to relocate at my house right in time for this space. But, um, I'm a developer community advocate for the Julia programming language.
Which is an, uh, open source project.
Awesome. And we can hear you just fine, actually, I guess Santosh is the last one.
Hey, everyone. Uh, Rizzle, thanks a lot for the invitation to join this panel. I'm huge fan of Josh, Logan and Angor and Beckha, of course, and, uh, it's honored to be here. And, uh, about me. My name is Anthos Shadows, and I started working as a front end developer this year, but I used to do consulting before that, and, uh, I'm a big open source nerd, so I keep contributing to the open source projects, which I had stopped for some time. Now I started again with some projects which we will, of course, talk about. And I love open source, so I try to support it in the way possible. Apart from that, I'm recognized as a Google developer expert for Angular. I'm a, uh, GitHub star, and I'm also an audio ambassador and Super Token ambassador. Yeah, that's it about me.
Awesome. Thank you so much. And I just invited Denise to speak. Let, uh, me know if you can see that invitation. Denise is, I believe, just got a call, so I don't know if I cut out, um, but Denise is a senior software engineer working on the sponsors team and I wanted her to jump in and be able to actually, she's a senior manager. Sorry, but I wanted her to jump in and talk a little bit about or ask questions about sponsorships and figure out how we can make the experience better for everyone as well. Um, I know you guys just introduced yourself and some people mentioned the projects that they're, um, involved in and maintain. But do you all mind repeating the projects and talking a little bit about what the, um, purpose of those projects are?
I can get us started. So with Virtual Coffee, we're mostly focused on the community aspect of things. And so we run, uh, weekly events, two to three for, um, our community, plus smaller group events. And so it's a lot of supporting developers at all stages of the journey. But our site is also open source. We do a big October Fest initiative where we try and come up with an issue that supports, uh, developers at whatever stage they're at to be able to participate in Hacktoberfest and to provide mentorship for that. And so for us, it's finding things that we can do together to help support everybody where they're at in growing as developers.
Love it. Would it help if I have an order of who should speak next? I just don't want to make you guys have to speak at a certain time.
There's always that fear of cutting other people off, which is why I think everyone stays quiet and wait for somebody to just jump into the silence. I'm happy to dive in, actually, I do think the order is actually really helpful, just, um, so that we don't all end up talking over each other. But yeah. Um, so as I said before, I'm the developer community advocate for the Julia programming language. Julia is an, uh, open source project. It's a, uh, programming language designed to sort of fill the gap of folks who want something that is as, uh, fast in a lot of cases as C or C, but it's also as easy to use as a programming language like Python. So, um, spend a lot of time helping out with that project, which is an open source project. And then I also help out at.
Um, the NumFOCUS Organization.
Which is a, uh.
Sort of supporting organization that supports open source projects.
And we do a bunch of work to.
Uh, help enable open source projects.
And we also have a sponsors profile for that organization as well.
Nice. Thank you. I'll try to say who should go next, I guess. Um, Josh, do you want to go next?
Yeah, I think that's the original order.
That's so exciting. Congrats on you writing a book and then also quitting your job to do open source full time.
Thanks. It's fun.
Yeah. Um, uh.
Uh, so I think Super Token is something we are building an open source authentication and we are like you can say alternative to leading players like Osborne Firebase and AWS Covenant. So our aim is something like we want to enable startups to launch quicker so that they can focus on their core product offering and why we are very easy to implement as we take modular approach. If you don't want to pick any features you can customize based on your use uh case because developers can own and manage uh their own data. And we have a generous hosted tier as well. And Super Tokens can be done on your own premises for free. And there is a generous hosted tier as well if you don't want to manage it by themselves. And Super Token like our medium term goal, uh is to build an open core authentication solution that is secure, flexible and most importantly simple uh to use. And at this moment we think we uh are solving a big pain point as authentication space itself is very huge and still need more better um solutions in uh near future as well. Yeah, that's it.
Awesome. Talk to us about your uh projects that you're involved in.
Yes, sure. So you will find me contributing to multiple projects on Angular. So it's like whatever um project I generally use at my work, I try to contribute back by adding some feature or in case they have existing issues which can be resolved. That's my way to pay uh back to the projects for doing the open source. Apart from that, I have few projects of my own which I maintain. They are into maintenance phase, so not much features there, but we also have something called this is Learning, and we've had a few projects in this is Learning as well, which is open source, and we are also publishing some courses. So we have course around Ngrx and RHS to help the developers learn the concepts. And apart from that, I'm trying to go back and actually, uh, contribute to NGX again, which I used to do regularly. And my plan is now, uh, to actually start contributing to Angular as well, because I was not getting that enough, uh, time moving to another country and then settling down. So that's it. Apart from, uh, that I still have my sponsor profile as well live. And thanks to some developers already contributing or helping me to actually, uh, support by GitHub sponsors, so I'm able to give my time to the community as well.
Awesome. Thank you so much. Thanks for giving us a brief on all of your projects. I'll try to in between people talking pin like, um, links to your projects to the Twitter space. I know, um, I've been doing a lot of introductions, but I do want to get let Denise be able to introduce herself, um, so that she'll also feel comfortable asking questions because I want her to be able to ask questions and interact with everyone.
Thanks, uh, for having me. Can, uh, you hear me okay?
Yes, I can.
Okay, perfect. My AirPods, uh, sometimes fail me, so. Hi, everyone. Um, this is actually my first Twitter space and results. Like, you have to join for mobile.
I was like, what?
I don't know how this works. I'm, um, actually the engineering manager on GitHub sponsors. I've been with GitHub for almost two years. I did join as a senior engineer, so I think my job title is out of date in some places. Catherine is also on this call. Catherine is one of our engineers. She's actually the lead engineer on the project. So, um, if there's any technical things you want to know about the sponsors program, Catherine actually might be in a better position to talk about that, but I'm definitely happy to help, uh, provide any, um, insight, any perspectives on how we sort of see open source, uh, funding from, um, GitHub's perspective. So I'm very excited to be here, and it's nice to meet you all.
Thank you so much. And, yeah, sorry about getting your title wrong.
That's totally fine.
Okay, cool. Thank you so much. The first question I'm going to ask you all, I'll move into the sponsorships. Probably the audience is like, okay, we get it. You guys are doing open source. But what about sponsorships? I want to hear from you all.
What, um, sponsorship has enabled for you, and why is it important in, um, the open source space, in your opinion, or from your perspective? And we can start with Becca again.
So, um, just a little bit, I guess, of background of virtual copy. We've got a community of around 500 members. But when it was accidentally started, it wasn't something that was a planned community. And so for a lot of the initiatives and the things that we were doing, we're paying out, uh, of our own pocket for whether it's Zoom or Air Table or Zapier or podcasting things. Um, nothing too expensive. But when you've got all of these little things, they start adding up. So for us, our sponsorships come primarily from our members, and we have lots of members that are giving up their time, um, members that are donating through sponsorships as well. And that helps us to cover our monthly costs, to keep up with the community and to make sure that we're supporting them and supporting all of the growth that we have been seeing through virtual coffee. So right now we are covering expenses with our sponsorships, and it's just taking pressure off of anybody who was covering costs before.
Love that. I just love to hear about the different issues that are in open source and how other things like sponsorships have helped to resolve it. What, um, about you, Logan?
Yeah, this is such an interesting question. I think there's so many pieces of this truthfully for the Julia project. We sort of had the infrastructure, uh, in place already to accept donations to the project before we started using GitHub Sponsors, so that sort of fundamentally didn't change for us. But I think the biggest thing that GitHub, um, sponsors has enabled for us is the ability to actually sort of forecast out into the future what some of our donation, uh, revenue is going to look like so that we can make investments now and feel comfortable knowing that, hey, we have X number of sponsors, um, who are contributing monthly. And given that they all don't stop contributing at the same time, we can feel confident about making this $5,000 investment in paying for development of X, Y or Z resource. And I think that's been really the big important piece. And a lot of the other donation and sponsorship stuff that we've done in the past was a lot of one off stuff. So, again, we had the money in our account, but it wasn't clear when new money would come in. I think the, um, sort of monthly donations as part of Get Up Sponsors really helps. This helps, uh, from a project perspective a ton.
Nice. And I love to hear that you already had it in place. And I do want to clarify, it doesn't have to be like we're talking specifically about GitHub Sponsors, just so you all know. Um, Josh, you're next.
That's a great segue, because types could be a slant take sponsorships mostly in through Open Collective, but I take Sponsors on Get Up Sponsors, which is an awesome program. And thank you, the two of you on this call, I think, for setting, uh, that up and helping them run. But since folks have already talked about how it's enabled project features. I'll take a little bit of a different angle. That for me it's been mostly a symbolic donation.
Uh, that people give.
I did, um, just start and I get a little less than $200 a month, which is about half of my hourly consulting rate. So it's really more of an encouragement thing. It's a way for me to network and for people to show their support, which it sounds like. I'm just kind of putting it down, but it really means a lot and it helps motivate me to get things done. So I'm hoping to use it as a primary revenue stream once I've built up more of a community. But for now it's really more of like a seed round.
If that makes sense.
Yeah, it does make sense. And I hope, uh, Catherine doesn't mind me, um, just putting her out there. I just saw her message me that actually Open Collective can be a fiscal host for GitHub sponsors or through GitHub sponsors, hopefully. Um, I'm saying that correctly, but I just wanted to put that out there too. And I like the idea of what you said about it just being about encouragement as well. Uh, um, next people I think is anchor and Cinco, is that right?
Yeah. So in my opinion, I think sponsorship is really, uh, important for both from company standpoint or from an individual as a community, to be honest, uh, because it broaden your perspective and give you competitive edge by improving, uh, your personal image, company image prestige. And it gives you some kind of credibility by supporting, um, individuals who are doing some excellent work in open source and they feel more motivated to do some uh, innovative work for future, uh, prospectives. And I think every team should have include sponsorship in their plans somewhere down the line. And in my opinion, there are few benefits which gives, uh, you advantage. That shapes your customer attitude, basically, and it builds awareness about your brand and uh, how you think about the community and what kind of a, um, level of thinking you have within your team. And it increases your reach. And in some prospectives it generates some media exposure as well and give you some new kind of leads. And when you're sponsoring people's, individual people, so you, uh, never know they will come to you and you will work with them very closely and they can join you as a full, uh, time employee in near future. So it's kind, uh, of like a win win situation for everyone in my opinion. As recently, we, uh, sponsored many people in terms of super token. And as Risen you mentioned, it's not always about GitHub sponsorship, so there are multiple ways to sponsor people's work. It's not always, uh, a couple of people I know they are not much active on GitHub, but they are doing some different activities. Like if someone is writing some good technical blog posts. So we should encourage them to do it more. So this way I will come later, like how many people we did and how we find those people in the community. This is what my take at this moment.
Yeah, go ahead. I love that take. Just cause, uh, I agree with you on it. I feel like I respect the organizations, uh, that decide to sponsor, sponsor, um, maintainers like stripe. Um, I know they sponsor Nick de Jesus. Um, and I've always thought that was awesome because they're benefiting from it. So. Yeah. Santos, you're next.
Yeah, actually, I think the sponsorship has enabled me in multiple ways, I would say. I mean, in 2019, I used to do a lot of open source, but I was not aware of any of this program. And in India, it actually came very late, uh, last year, um, after it was launched in many countries. So I've been at both sides who has been doing open source, and for a year and a half I was doing consulting. So I was a consumer more than actually someone who is contributing, uh, a lot to open source. So what I did is once I started consulting, I started supporting more developers. So I will talk about it later on how many developers support and how I started supporting them. But, yeah, so that was the phase where I started supporting more developers because I was of course getting the money out of all those open source projects by consulting. And now I'm back to a regular job. So I started promoting my responses program so I can contribute again more and, um, supporting my own projects and contributing to other projects as well. As it takes time, uh, to talk about those projects as well, like talking at conferences, meetups. You need some time. And of course you need some kind of motivation, I would say, as Josh already mentioned, about the motivation part. So that's my journey so far.
Awesome. Um, I don't know if Denise has any questions or anything or thoughts or anything she wants to jump in with, but at any time you have a thought and you just want, uh, to bring it up, feel free to raise your hand. Now, um, I want to ask, like, the most. Well, I feel like this is the most important question because this, um, Twitter space is titled how to get sponsored. So my question is, how do people get sponsored? Like, how are you able to make that happen? Are you marketing? Are you advertising? Like, hey, we need sponsorships, are you networking with people? Are you signing up through Open collective? What does that process look like for an individual to get their project open source? And we could still, if you guys want to go in the same order with Becca or if anybody, uh, just wants to jump in, feel free to raise your hand and start speaking.
For us. The only way that we accept our, um, looking for my speech little bluish purple thing, and it was not showing up anyway.
Um, no worries.
So, um, we collect through GitHub sponsorships. It's the only way that we currently collect things now. And so we signed up just a handful of months ago. So for us, it's, uh, simple to maintain. Uh. Um, well, I should. I'm like, how do we have this connected? But, uh, we have it advertised on our website and I think on our podcast page and maybe in the newsletter. I'm not sure, but, um, we wanted to keep it kind of low key and simple because there's a lot of moving parts in Virtual Coffee and we wanted to make sure that it was easy for us to access and figure out and also for anybody who wants to donate. So actually, everybody who donates to Virtual Copy through the sponsorships, uh, has their picture on our members page, which is nice, um, because you can kind of see, um, who is contributing to Virtual Copy, and also it's part of our gratitude. So I'm not sure if that answers your question, but there it is.
Yeah. No, I think that answers my question. Thank you. I just wanted to hear from other people. How are they making this happen? And it sounds like you have the integration and you're also showing off who did sponsor you. And I feel like that helps, maybe other people to feel encouraged to sponsor your project, um, as well. What about Logan or anybody?
Yeah, this is such an interesting question. I think, actually one of the initial hurdle, I think, for folks is getting those first few initial sponsors. But I actually think that the biggest value add that GitHub sponsors provides is all the network effects, like the fact that in the case of the Julia project, there's 130 people who shows up on their GitHub profile that they're sponsoring the project. And I think that sort of organic distribution really helps sort of get the, uh, word out that people are sponsoring this project and that it's something that, hey, if you're using the project, it's something that maybe you should do as well. And also the value of GitHub discussions and issues and things like that, it shows up that you're a sponsor of the project. So all of those things, I think, really sort of can be a super impactful part of driving the sponsorships. Um, for us at the Julia Project, we usually put out like one to two tweets, a quarter or something like that, just like doing a general call for sponsors. And I think, um, in general, the more that you can make the value of whatever project is that you're a part of clear, um, to people who follow you and who are in your network, I think that the more likely somebody is to actually make that donation. So I think I would hammer home. I've seen a lot of people's GitHub, uh, sponsored pages where it's not really clear. Like, if I give you this money and I sponsor you, like, what is the work that you're actually going to be doing? And I think on your sponsors profile page, making it really clear how the funds are supporting you and, um, what you're actually using that time and that money for.
I like that because people want to know where their money is going. Exactly. Okay. I love that. Like, just being a little bit more specific and being like, this is going to help us get this done or love that. Uh, thank you, Josh. Uh, what about you?
I've been meaning to set up more specific things and sort of a reminder. Yeah, on, um, my personal sponsors, I mostly do it by advertising myself. Shamelessly on Twitter, I write blog posts and have a link in all my social media profiles. Eventually, um, kind of similar to how a lot of startups will write a whole bunch of blog posts that spam their space for SEO. And I kind of am doing the same for tech to be a slim. We have a bot that goes on all of our pro request saying it's a completely volunteer run project. Please donate to help us do more work. I think in general, Texasland is a good example of a project that is very critical and important for the community. Although the community would be fine without it for many projects. So trying to get our face out there in front of as many people who use us as possible in the context of sponsorships is very important.
Yeah, I really like that too. On, um, doing blog post and also just getting your name out there, I do see someone raising their hand. Um, do you have a new question or is this related?
Yeah, Hi. My name, um, is Miguel, and I want to speak about how I've been able to get about 35, uh, monthly sponsors in, like, a month.
Yeah, jump in.
Yeah. First, um, of all, shout out to Logan and the rest of the Julia community, because he's one of my monthly sponsors and he's been doing it for, like, over a year. And one of my goals this year was to be able to pay the rent. And I can probably say that my GitHub sponsors cannot help me pay the rent. I mean, it really helps that I live in Mexico, so foreign exchange rate is a whole different game. Uh, changer. So when you're giving to people in third world or developing countries, the bang for your buck is amazing. So, um, as to getting sponsors specifically, I will Echo what Josh said about Shameless, um, advertising, you have to get really comfortable with just being very forward with people about like, hey, I'm doing this cool thing. I'd like you say you like this cool thing. If you like to keep me help build, uh, this cool thing or more cool things like that. Here's my GitHub sponsors page. And obviously, if you have a blog links that people can read up on proper profile set up. I mean, I'm obviously going to go and review that now that Logan said it. But I also started very much like, spearfishing people for donations in the sense of, like, I start working on small coding projects and when they got attention from people that I felt goodwill with through my networks, then I would specifically send them like, a personal, tailored DM or something. And I'd be like, hey, you like this code if you think that this is useful. I put out like this Julia repo, and it does like, some things that people find useful. And I added some memes, obviously, for virality. And so when people would interact with that post and I had them as mutual or follow back then, that's when I would, like, proceed to the ask. So, um, part of the strategy also banks on the fact that I have the work and goodwill to back up those sorts of relationships. I kind of, like, decided in January 2021 that I didn't really know what was going to happen to the world and that networking would be useful. And that's what I sort of, like, geared my Twitter, um, profile towards. So, yeah, that's sort of been my experience. Awesome. I think Denise is next.
Yeah, Denise is raising her hand. I just wanted to say, first of all, good job at getting, like, 35 sponsors and shout out to local.
Hey, we got to make it to 50. So if you want to.
That's the other thing.
You got to get people on the carrot, right? Yeah, help me get to 50 people. It's the next big round number. Come on, let's make it happen.
Let me pin your project to this Twitter. People want to check it out.
I just put out a tweet that you can pin. No, thank you for hosting this. And if you want to reach out and have more questions, feel free to DM.
Yeah, please get in touch with me.
Maybe you can set up a sponsor park where you can consult for other people and advise them on how to meet their sponsorship goals.
That's a new tier.
Exactly. A premium tier. I wanted, um, to just jump in and kind of talk about ways because I heard a bunch of also thank, um, you everyone, for sharing your perspective. Uh, so far, this is so interesting for me and, um, I don't want to speak for Catherine, but imagine it's also interesting for her.
We always love getting out into the wild and listening to how people are using our product. I, um, heard a couple of different things, and I thought maybe it might be useful if I jumped in here and talked about a couple of ways that if you're already, uh, on sponsors, you could leverage GitHub Sponsors even further. And I'm, um, happy to talk about some, uh, new features that are coming up in case that would shape your decision making over the next couple of weeks or months. But the first thing I heard, um, from Becca, which I thought was really interesting, it sounds like you're funneling a lot of people from different places onto GitHub Sponsors. We were kind of, um, like low key about this, but it actually is possible to track incoming campaigns now by adding, um, a pending metadata to your GitHub Sponsors landing page. And what that does, um, as a maintainer, is if you send someone over to your Sponsors page from Twitter, for example, you can say like, metadata campaign equals Twitter on your maintainer um, profile. You can actually see how, uh, much conversion you, um, essentially got from that. So I'm happy, um, to link out the docs about this a little bit later, but I just wanted to call that out if you are interested in doing more analytics on where your money is coming from, how people are discovering your GitHub Sponsors page, and what conversion kind of looks like right now from different funnels. Interesting, um, thing from Miguel. So you kind of talked a little bit about goals. Actually, using um, the Goals feature on GitHub Sponsors is really powerful. There's psychology, um, behind. Like if you see that somebody is like 90% of the way to their goal and they just need one more funder, that's really powerful. We've kind of made a, um, big bet on the product side is that people want to be the final person that pushes somebody over the finish line to their goal. So we've done. I don't know if you all have seen the new GitHub feed yet, but when you go to the home page, you might have to opt into the beta or something. But Sponsors, um, people being very close to their Sponsors goal are now turning up as news items, uh, in that feed. And that is, um, a bet that we're making product wise, but we're hoping that that will help drive adoption. But in order to benefit from that, you need to actually have the Goals feature set up in Sponsors. So you can write goals like, I want to have 50 sponsors, or I want to reach like $1,000 in monthly recurring revenue or something like that. So that's something I would definitely encourage you to do if you're on GitHub Sponsors. Another um, thing is I don't know if everyone, um, knows about the different funding types that we have, uh, now. So over the last couple of months we've shipped support for one time payments and also custom amount payments. These are both still opt um in. So if you have a Sponsored profile today, I would recommend going into your dashboard and enabling both of these because I think, um, well designed tiers are very powerful. But sometimes people just want to drop in and buy you a coffee. So for people who have tears set up at the $50, $100 monthly recurring level, I think that's amazing. Um, but why, uh, lose out on the traffic, like organic, but traffic give people a way to, um, contribute that, uh, maybe you, uh, could get an extra one time payment, or people want to, um, be a recurring supporter at in between your defined tiers um, and the final thing I want, uh, to mention is we launched um. So for folks who are kind of wondering about, like, people who fund, um, me want to see proof of work. They want to see what I'm up to. They want to see more from me. Maybe they want to see exclusive content from me. Recently, we did ship, uh, a feature called Sponsors Only Repositories. The take up has, um, been so far pretty low, uh, which is actually talking about this and letting more people know about it. But the idea is that if you have, let's say, um, you have, like, a trusted group of sponsors and you want their early feedback on Alpha features that you're working on, or just, like, ideas that you want early, early, uh, feedback on. So now we have the ability for you to connect up access to repository with one of your tier rewards. For example, if Miguel has a $150 per month recurring tier, and if I join that, then I get access to a secret repo. Once I'm in, then I can interact with Miguel in issues, discussions, pull requests, whatever it is that he decides, whatever he decides to use that repo for. So we think that that might be a pretty powerful way for maintainers um to connect with their funders. So if you haven't checked um it out already, I definitely recommend, I encourage you to go take a look at it, and please do give us feedback. Uh, we're constantly looking for user feedback. We're hungry for feedback. We just haven't seen a lot of people using this feature yet, so we don't know how useful it actually is.
Denise, I have a question about that.
So can the um maintainers uh, or the owner of that repository manually add people to it?
You can do that in addition.
Okay, great. Thanks.
Yeah, for sure.
Yeah. Thank you. Denise, I'm so glad I brought you on, because obviously you all could tell I never used sponsors or don't really have a need to because I'm not maintaining a project. So I was just going to listen in, but I really do love the points, um, that you brought up. I do want to hear from Central and Anchor about, like, how they've gotten sponsorships in the past, and then I will open the floor to more questions from the audience.
Yeah, sure. Uh, from my side. I personally never get any sponsorship because I never tried to be honest. I was not that much involved uh, I think from past ten years, but I think in my opinion, open source is something I started from last two years since this pandemic, uh, came up. But on the table of other side, I, uh, help to manage people to get sponsorship. Since the, uh, day, I try to help people, be it like a mentorship or be it the day since I joined Super Tokens, the developer advocate. So how I find people is like I encourage people to share, uh, their work and I generally look for the feedback. For example, if I like some individual he is doing or she is doing some excellent, uh, work or the kind of impact, uh, he is doing in the community. So I try to make a contact with that individual, uh, and then seek some feedback around that, like if someone else has done some work, uh, with that individual in the past or what other people are thinking, it's a generous, anonymous feedback. And then I pitch this to my team and then we discuss around what kind of things he or she can do or maybe just and we did sponsorship. Not always just a person will do some work, uh, for us. We just do it for the sake of community and if they feel in return, yes, they should, uh, help us back. So we are open to get in that dialogues and discussions. So this is what I am currently standing. I'm open to people who, uh, are listening in this space and thank you very much for being here. If you think you have done a good job and, uh, you are trying to make an impact and you need some sponsorship, I'm happy to have a chat with you.
That's such a nice offer of you and it's so nice that you help people to get sponsored. I guess then, um, if I ask this question or this question that I just ask and you don't actually get sponsored, but you are someone who sponsors people. Let me know on what things, um, you look for to help you decide that, yes, this would be a project that I want to sponsor.
Yeah. Actually I enabled my own sponsorship last year, but I was really scared to always promote it. Of course, many of the open source developers are because once you take money, I think there is also a responsibility which you think, okay, now you have to do something. So I was scared, of course, for many months, but I'm not sure why, but I started promoting in March and I already have three sponsors for $25 each and they are month on month. So I'm already getting like 75, uh, dollars per month of sponsorship. And if I count one time sponsorship, I already crossed $100 in March. And I think it is motivating, uh, me. Now that okay. Now I am doing something and people do recognize that. Okay, I'm doing and I think I'll continue doing what I love to do, contribute more to open source and support other developers as well.
Hey, yeah, that's awesome. Congrats to getting sponsored. And actually just made me, um, remember that I do want to ask a question about what struggles do you all face on getting, like, by getting sponsored. I know you just brought up, like, now there's that added pressure because someone is paying you to continue keeping up. So I want to hear from folks, too, about what does that pressure look? Um, like, are there any other concerns that happen? Are there any other challenges that happen once you start getting sponsored? How does that, um, change the landscape? Uh, for you? And I also want to and yeah, Miguel can speak to I'm totally down with you, like, kind of being part of this panel, and I see your hands it's raised. So go right ahead.
All right. So, um, first of all, I think I didn't expect the amount of support I'd be getting. So I was definitely on the I don't know how I'm going to pay rent from one month to the other. And then it was like, oh, my God, I have to answer to all the people who are helping me out. So what I've been doing is that, um, I do find it gives me a bit of an energy boost. And then also like, Holy crap, there's all these people that I can't disappoint. And what I found useful is that I'm doing a, um, monthly newsletter. In fact, I'm going to send the one out for March, maybe later on today, where everything that I've done for community building, that's like going out on podcasts or, like, going, um, to meet ups and recording it and putting it online or doing research or writing code or putting out blogs, I write it all down in a newsletter. And then there's a feature I'm promoting, GitHub. You all should put me on a platinum deal or something. Double do that matching. Uh, so, um, I'm going to put out a monthly newsletter. I'm like, hey, this is what all your money helped me do this month. And so what I find really cool is that I get to go back and be like, oh, right. I actually did do a bunch of stuff. I did interact with a lot of people. I did try to build a better open source community with all the funds that people are helping me out with. And it was stuff that I would already do for free. And now people are letting me do it and get paid for it. So I try to have an open in work blog post where I just write everything down that I've done over the month, and that tends to add up.
I love that. So you're, like, keeping them updated and all that? And like, okay, GitHub should sponsor you or something. I mean, sign up and be a GitHub star. I don't know.
Actually, I'm going to take this opportunity to maybe suggest a few changes to the monthly newsletter, because he only get a single click before the email gets instant sent out to everybody. And maybe there could be a bit more of, like, a draft interface or like a preview, because I realized there was a typo, obviously, right after I've sent it. So there could be a bit more. What do you call, um, it like those bump Railways so that you don't fall off.
Yeah, I love that feedback. That's really good. And I relate with you because on a newsletter I wrote, well, it had nothing to do with getting sponsors, but a newsletter. I wrote, I realized there was a typo, and I was like, oh, it's too late. So totally get that. Anybody, um, else want to talk about any challenges or struggles or added pressures that have come with now being sponsored that people may not think about? Mhm.
I've been ruminating on something in this space. I love getting paid, and I think people should get paid for the work they do. And I think it's important to infuse money into a space that needs more motivation for people to work financially. But I'm worried that it's going to end up being that folks who have money, the big players like Facebook and Google and such, pay so much that they can kind of control where a lot of open source goes. And I know that that's not happening now for many projects, and a lot of folks are making sure it doesn't. But it's been on the back of my mind that I want to make sure that I'm not being biased by who sponsors me in what I work on, that I'm still doing things that are broadly applicable, not just for those folks. I don't know. Something I'm thinking about. Don't have any answers yet.
Yeah, that's a fair worry. I could do that. Maybe it kind of reminds me of, like, how everyone's getting into Web Three, and then we also see, like, Google getting into Web Three and stuff like that. I'm like, okay, how are they going to influence or change the, uh, autonomy that people have? Um, here. Cool. Um, I, um, also want to just remind the audience, feel free to request to speak, ask questions. If you have any questions about sponsoring people or getting sponsored, I would love to hear from you, because these are just questions from my perspective, as someone who has never had to get sponsored, uh, or had to sponsor people one day. I will, though.
Rachel, so I want to add something to the question you asked about the fear of. Right. So, actually, the biggest fear I have is, like, in last two years, I have had multiple burnout. Like, after contributing a lot, putting lot of efforts, putting a lot of contents. Of course, at some point you get burned out and the fear I have is like, what? In case I again get burnout? It takes a lot of time, believe me. Last burnout I had, I couldn't do anything for three months. So how should I communicate to my gift of sponsors that, okay, look, now I have burnout. I cannot do something for three months. And what in case, probably they will drop, right? They will not support my work because I've been doing something for three months or four months, which is really common, I would say someone who contributes, uh, a lot in open source. So that's the biggest fear I have. What, in case it happens again?
Yeah, I feel that. And Bernoull is no joke.
I have a perspective, uh, here. I think this is a very common issue with the people who is working open source. And what I found is if you be open for the dialogue, the person, um, who is sponsoring you or the company who is sponsoring you. So you should initiate the dialogue and take a rest in between, I think. And this is what I did recently was for one of the big persons who is very young talent from India, and he was getting a lot of sponsorship and a lot of work. And by the time he's having one full time job as well. So he just approached me and said, hey, I need, uh, some time off and are you still open for this dialogue? So then I think we discussed and come to come to the conclusion, like, yeah, definitely. It's not always sponsoring you, and you are not obligated to do the work, uh, which we expect, but I think it's to be open minded, always. Open source is all about community and all about people.
Yeah, I love that advice. I really do, because I feel like that could apply to anything, too. Like, just having open communication can help to reduce burnout. If you're like, hey, everyone, I'm feeling overwhelmed, but I guess a lot of times, um, we're too embarrassed to do that because we're like, no, we should be able to get that done. But that's a good reminder to tell people like, hey, this is as much as I can get done. And after that, I do need to take a break. Cool. Um, my next question to you all is, I know that sometimes, um, individuals can't afford to sponsor projects, but I know that businesses and corporations can. They have tons of money. What are ways that do you all have any advice on how people can convince their companies to sponsor projects? And it can be in any order. I'm assuming not everyone, um, may have an opinion on this, and I know it's a harder question. Yeah, go ahead, Santosh.
Yeah. So I think this is something which, uh, is something which we have to teach, uh, our organizations, because most of the organization never got, um, involved in this.
I mean, there are multiple companies who are making billions, um, millions, but they never care about this. So I think it is a responsibility of you as a developer that you should reach out and tell them what are the advantages they bring. Right. So if I'm using some open source projects, like who is fully funded by the community.
It's not backed by any big organization. So I think if you are using Vojs in your company, I think you should go ahead and talk to your manager. Look, this is the project which we have been using, but it is not funded by any big organization. So I think we should play our part and we should support these projects. I mean, I'm a big fan of community, uh, basically because they have been doing a lot of innovations, white and many things they are doing, which is amazing for front end community and, uh, it should be supported. Right. Uh, I mean, at the end, the developers are the ones who are getting advantages because they don't have to build things. And companies who is like major consumers. Right. They don't have to invest, uh, like years building a platform and then start building something on top of it. They're giving everything for free. So once the developer starts talking about it, I think it will make impact. You cannot just reach out to organization and say, okay, we need sponsorship. I think, uh, it has to come internally from within the organization, from the developers who are using those.
Yeah, I think that's a good thought too. I love that. I see Logan's hand is raised and in Josh's.
Yes, Santosh, I agree with what you said so much. The real challenge, I think, for organizations is you have to be able to make the case that this is something that's important for us to do. Beyond it just being the right thing. I think companies aren't necessarily always motivated by, yes, we're using this. We should give back. I think obviously that's not the case because so many companies don't give back despite the fact that they're using those tools, whether it's via contributions or direct cash payments. So again, when I think about this from a company perspective, always trying to frame it through the lens of us giving this money to an open source project is a way for us to actually reduce the chance that something goes wrong with this dependency that's really important to our project. So through that lens, I think companies see and hear about risk and they want to reduce that risk so that nothing bad happens. And that can sometimes help justify. But I would say in general, again, a lot of companies just aren't willing to make the open source contributions despite it being the right thing to do.
Yeah. Claps from anchor. Okay, Josh now has a question.
You took the words right out of my mouth. Companies aren't generally going to do something unless they're motivated to do it. Uh, it is good and it is important for us to show and say why it's important to sponsor open source. But I found when we started the Open Source fund at Codecademy, it wasn't the goodness of them that convinced management to give us thousands of dollars. It was when we were able to show hard results. Things like, uh, developers knowing our names because we sponsored project. So if there's someone out there who's trying to convince their manager or financial Department or whom so ever to find things, I'd say figure out how you can show that it's good for you. The most impactful thing uh, that we were able to show is that if we could find uh, projects within our price range that weren't so bloated by other sponsors that us getting our name on their website or read me stood out and made people think more highly of us. That was a very good thing for recruiting. I do wish we, um, lived in a world where it was kind of societily expected for every company to sign up for something like a timelift subscription or have their own open source sponsorships. And I think that it is a very nice thing for developers to push their teams to do that and even ask for that when, uh, applying to places. But until we get there, whatever, uh, you can do in the meantime is good.
Yeah. Thanks for the realistic responses. I know that it is idealistic that corporate sponsors would be more involved. I just wish they would just because they're the ones with the money and they're the ones getting the benefit from the product. But those are really great points on, um, like you kind of have to show how it would positively impact the business to do that. And then I know that Miguel, you tweeted me on one thing that you brought up and feel free to say this on the mic, but you tweeted me saying that like, um, when the Ukraine war broke out, sponsorship, um, got paused for you would love to hear more about that.
So, um, there were just a lot of people with way more drastic and emergency needs than supporting open source and there were a bunch of GoFundMes and collectathons. So, um, you can't really argue, right? It's like, oh, you're helping human refugees and not like open source development. Like that takes priority. I feel more comfortable now, but there was a time where the timeline on Twitter was like nonstop war news and how people could help out the war effort, or rather the refugee efforts. I try not to. Not to get confused about how I have way more in common with guitar buskers on the street, like asking for donations than I do with high paid end software devs, at least from a labor perspective. So I've had, um, to rethink a few things about the climate of my labor activities and how I relate to those.
Yeah, really good points there. I see where you're coming from because that broke out. Other people didn't prioritize, um, paying you as an open source maintainer, uh, as much. And I wish there was a more consistent way for open source maintainers to be guaranteed. Like, yeah, I am getting this money and I will be able to still have a livable wage. So thank you for bringing that up. I know we're like near the last, um, five minutes. If anyone wants to hop in and ask a question, feel free. But my last question to you all, how do you hope to see sponsorships evolve over time? Mhm and Logan Rate is raising sand in anchor.
Yeah, I would say if I could just reinforce one point, it would be 100% double down on all the things that GitHub is already doing, uh, to sort of increase the network effects of sponsors. I think that's the biggest way to show get the idea in front of as many people as possible that you should be participating in sponsoring these organizations, uh, both individuals and actual projects. And I think the things that GitHub has done so far to make that clear and evident are awesome. Uh, and I think there's a whole bunch of other things that can hopefully, um, happen. I'm sure, Denise, you have a smart team. So hopefully things continue to improve, uh, and get better. And I'm Super excited about the future and of more and more people making those sponsorships.
Uh, yeah. Thank you. Thanks, Denise and Catherine, for all that you are doing to help with GitHub sponsors. Um, I don't remember who had I think, um, it was anchored in CentOS, right.
Yeah. So I think Logan mentioned a very good point. Like future is bright and if you really know, uh, the game which you are playing, uh, I would encourage, uh, people don't think too much in the start and look, uh, for the sponsorship and be open about the work which you are doing for the community. And there are people who are ready to help you and there are companies who are really interested to know about what you are building and why you are building. So sometimes we just overthink and, uh, feel like, should I ask this or should I not? So I think it's better to ask always, uh, and seek, uh, your feedback from the people, at least in your network, and build a more network around, um, yourself. Put your work, uh, in the public and you will definitely get good sponsors. Always, uh, on the cards.
Yes. Put yourself out there. It's scary, but it's going to definitely be beneficial and people want to see you with and yes.
And one more point. I think I would like to reiterate. It's never just your personal responsibility. Uh, is again a win win situation for everyone. You are not only responsible, the person who is sponsoring you or the company sponsoring you is equally responsible to understand your situation where you are. Because around the 365 days, we are not the same person. We have families, we have other. Lots of things to do. So sometimes it's not easy to work. Sometimes you need some time off. And so it's like, similarly like nine to, um, five when you work for a company. Open Source is all about community and all about people. So company needs to understand. And if you are a bridge between the, uh, people and the company, so it's your responsibility more to make the people, both parties understand that, yes, this person is really important for community and for us as well. So we should understand and we should respect his opinion at this moment.
Yeah. So, first of all, I mean, thanks for this gate sponsorship program. Uh, I think it has enabled me a lot, especially, uh, sponsoring the developers, uh, because I have been sponsoring more than 22 developers from last one year. And of course, they are getting good support. And I think 23rd is going to be Josh. I've already committed to him a few months back that I'll be sponsoring him. I'm just like getting settled now. So as soon as I do that, Josh will be my next sponsor. And I think the new thing which happened was like repository for the sponsors. That's a good thing, which happened. But I think there is one thing which I've seen community asking a lot about GitHub issues, like for sponsorship. So let's say if I have some issue which is high priority, and I think it's high priority and needed to be addressed nowadays, uh, people just raise an issue, right? Rather than if I say, let's say if it's my organization and it's like, high priority for my organization, uh, I can say, okay, I'll give you $100. Just go ahead and resolve this. It will be beneficial for both Open source developers, uh, as well as the companies as well. That's the only thing I think right now I can see as repair.
I think that was really good feedback. We're reached 100, and I don't want to keep people any longer. Denise, if you have any last, uh, things that you want to say, feel free. But if not, I will wrap um it up.
You have a good. I just want to say thank you for having me. And it was really cool for me to hear from so many different people. I'm really stoked that sponsors, um, are useful for everyone. And if anyone ever has any product feedback, I don't want to turn this into you product feedback gathering session. But please do. Me and Katherine are both on Twitter. Um, we are both very on Twitter, so please do talk to us and tell us how we can make the product better for you.
Awesome. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining. Thanks to Denise Santos, Josh anchor thanks Miguel for hopping in um and saying your thoughts. I know uh, Logan had to leave but thanks to him and thanks for everyone for listening in. I appreciate your support and I hope that it helped you to learn a little bit more um about sponsors. It helps me to learn about how sponsorships work in open source as well. So appreciate that. And I'm going to end the space now.
SPEAKER B introduces themselves and says they’re a junior developer advocate and advocate of open source. SPEAKER A notes that they’re a technical community builder at deepgram. SPEAKER D says they’re a developer advocate at super tokens. SPEAKER F notes that they’re a front end developer and an open source nerd. SPEAKER A says they’re a token ambassador. SPEAKER B notes that they’re focused on the community aspect.
SPEAKER B and SPEAKER A talk about the sponsors program. SPEAKER B and SPEAKER A discuss the community, and SPEAKER A says they’ve got 500 members. SPEAKER B and SPEAKER A talk about the sponsorship program.
SPEAKER C mentions getting sponsors on get up sponsors. SPEAKER B says every team should have sponsorship in their plans. SPEAKER D talks about how sponsorship is important for both from a company standpoint and for broadening a community’s perspective.
SPEAKER B and SPEAKER A note how they collect sponsorship money. SPEAKER B and SPEAKER F talk about getting the first few initial sponsors.
SPEAKER C says they write blog posts and have a link in all their social media profiles. SPEAKER B notes how they’ve been able to get about 35 monthly sponsors. SPEAKER B says to shout out to logan and the rest of the julia community. SPEAKER B notes that they decided in january 2021 that they didn’t know what was going to happen.
SPEAKER A mentions that if you’re already on sponsors, you could leverage them further. SPEAKER A discusses new features coming up. SPEAKER A notes that it’s possible to track incoming campaigns by adding metadata to your sponsors landing page. SPEAKER A mentions that using the goals feature on sponsors is really powerful. SPEAKER A talks about the custom funding tiers they’ve launched.
SPEAKER D mentions managing people to get sponsorship. SPEAKER B notes that they enabled their own sponsorship last year, and they’re getting 75 dollars per month.
SPEAKER B talks about doing a monthly newsletter, writing everything down, and getting feedback. SPEAKER B notes that it’s important to infuse money into a space that needs motivation for people to work financially.
SPEAKER G mentions that the biggest fear is that sponsors will not support their work because they’ve been doing it for three months or four months. SPEAKER D notes that you should initiate the dialogue and take a break. The Speakers discuss how people can convince their companies to sponsor projects.
SPEAKER B and SPEAKER C overview companies that don’t give back. SPEAKER C mentions that it’s good for them to show why it’s important to sponsor open source. SPEAKER B says corporate sponsors should be more involved.
SPEAKER B mentions how they hope to see sponsorships evolve over time. SPEAKER F notes that it would be 100% double down to increase the network effects of sponsors. SPEAKER B and SPEAKER D overview the gate sponsorship program.
SPEAKER B notes that they reached 100 and they don’t want to keep people any longer. SPEAKER E says thank you for having them and says they’re stoked that sponsors are useful.