Leveraging Github Sponsors for Eclipse Foundation Working Groups

Monday, September 19, 2022 - 08:17 by Paul Buck

Github Sponsors is a program provided by Github to allow anyone or any company to sponsor a Github project or organization. They have an enrolment process to enable it for projects and organizations including where the collected funds are to be delivered. You can read more about the Github sponsors program here.

Earlier this year the Eclipse Foundation Board approved a Github Sponsors pilot for the Adoptium working group where Github Sponsors was enabled for the Adoptium Github organization. All funds collected go to the Eclipse Foundation and are then directed to the working group’s budget. Adoptium is the home of the very popular Eclipse Temurin Java runtime.

The usage of the funds contributed is solely at the discretion of the Adoptium working group’s steering committee. This fits nicely with the working group governance model at the Eclipse Foundation and we think has the potential to provide benefit to the projects associated with a working group.

We are in discussion with another working group about enabling Github sponsors patterned after the Adoptium pilot. Assuming these are successful, at the request of other working groups we will look to roll out this program for them too. At this time there are no plans to enable Github sponsors for organizations and projects where funds collected are directed to individual contributors.   

For our communities, the working group approach works since they are established with the explicit goal of providing support to projects, and have steering committees that can make decisions and be accountable for how the funds are spent. We recognize that not all projects fall under a working group, but many do and assuming this pilot is successful, we hope to further expand the support for Github sponsors.