Github Sponsors

We are now live for GH sponsors !

This is a way for people to make (monthly) contributions to us that will get routed through github to NumFOCUS and be deposited in an account that is restricted to our use. I did the initial configuration based on the suggestions from NF. We are left with several decisions to I think need to be re-addressed.

While I am obviously starting this conversation in a very public way, I think we should refrain from a robust PR campagin about this until we sort out these question.

Information on the sponsorship page

Highlighted repositories

We can put up to 6 repositories on the sponsorship page. So far I only put matplotlib/matplotlib because that felt safe. Do we want to promote any others?

Highlighted people

Like repositories we can highlight 6 people. I don’t think we should put no one (because we are not a faceless corporation!), but I also did not want to put anyone there without their permission so it currently ~only lists me~ lists no one [edit]


We can have up to 10 tiers of sponsorship. I started with the levels and (mostly) the wording that NF suggested. @jklymak and @story645 have already pointed out that we should add tiers at 1, 2 and 5 $/mo which seems reasonable to me

short / long descriptions

I used the templates suggested by NF and the blurb we have in our README. This could be tuned to be better at “please fund us” rather than “please use us”

the goal

You can set exactly 1 sponsorship goal. I went with matching our sponsor number to our contributor numbers because I like symmetry of matching 1:1 . I really have no sense of what our expectation for this should be (the “donate” button on the website yields order a few hundred $ per year. So maybe we should expect that or maybe we think the improved pipeline and GH’s PR push for sponsorship in general will push the numbers way up.

What to do with the money?

This will obviously depend on how much we raise.

1k$/month or less

I think at this range we should use the funds to cover our modest hosting costs (this site is our main non-directly-funded costs at bit over $10/mo). We should also consider any additional services that would be of use (hootsuite, mailmerge tools, paying for CI, covering mac stadium when that funding runs out in 3yrs).

Additionally at this level we should organize an in-person sprint (being optimistic that we will ever be able to travel inter-state or inter-nationally again) for 3-5 working days.

order 5k$/mo

At this level I think we should start to use some of the supported time we already have to (me @quantum.analyst and @story645) to write up work that needs to be done and hire contractors.

The scope of this would be everything from straight dev work, to documentation work, to developing tutorials.

order 10k$/mo

At this level I think we should hire another full time person (a community manager, RSE, or a hybrid).

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If we can raise like 5-6k, I’d love to have either an outreachy or in house community management/developer advocacy intern. Community manager/RSE hybrid worries me cause honestly I have yet to see that work in a way that doesn’t end up a 90/10 split one way or another.

Small tiers are great because I think we have better potential for lots of small contributions than large ones. Whether you want to badge $1/mo or not is a different issue.

I think being explicit about what we ideally need would be helpful. Not sure you need to completely break it down for the sponsor page, though I largely agree w/ your breakdown above. Maybe “Robust support will allow us to hire more full-time devs to help move Matplotlib forward, sponsor more internships, pay our hosting costs, and for Matplotlib members to represent the project at conferences.”

I don’t think we get any control over the badge or not, it is baked into the GH system.

At this point, the text on the tiers is flavor text (all the money goes to the Matplotlib account, it is not internally ear-marked). I think we will get to know who is at what tier so we could offer recognition on the website at a given tier or above?

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