GitHub today launched Sponsors, a new tool that lets you give financial support to open-source developers through recurring monthly payments. Developers will be able to opt into having a "Sponsor me" button on their GitHub repositories and open-source projects will also be able to highlight their funding models, no matter whether that's individual contributions to developers or using Patreon, Tidelift, Ko-fi or Open Collective. TechCrunch reports: The mission here, GitHub says, is to "expand the opportunities to participate in and build on open source." That's likely to be a bit controversial among some open-source developers who don't want financial interests to influence what people will work on. And there may be some truth to that as this may drive open-source developers to focus on projects that are more likely to attract financial contributions over more esoteric projects that are interesting and challenging but aren't likely to find financial backers on GitHub.
The program is only open to open-source developers. During the first year of a developer's participation, GitHub (and by extension, its corporate overlords at Microsoft) will also match up to $5,000 in contributions. For the next 12 months, GitHub won't charge any payment processing fees either (though it will do so after this time is over). GitHub tells me that developers will be able to set up multiple sponsorship tiers with benefits that can be set by the developer, too. In many ways, then, this isn't all that different from sponsoring a Twitch streamer, for example, with monthly payments and special benefits depending on how much you pay.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.