Open Collective
Open Collective

Funding at Scale


OSC would like to better understand the mechanics involved in funding open source at scale.


Transparent and open finances.

-€4,080.00 EUR
~ $4,344.77 USD
Invoice #161703
-€5,440.00 EUR
$5,890.95 USD
Invoice #156281
Contribution #681612
Today’s balance

$6,082.21 USD

Total raised

$15,000.00 USD

Total disbursed

$8,917.79 USD

Estimated annual budget

$15,000.00 USD


We note that while many sustainability initiatives exist for open source and open source maintainers, their scale usually results in a competitive marketplace in which the larger, more gregarious projects absorb 80% of the funding while the projects at the core receive little, despite the larger projects themselves depending upon them. 

The incentives at play here are obvious and understandable. No one shifts the needle on a project with a $2/month donation, nor do companies get the benefits that they would like to receive (prestige, developer eyeballs, developer retention and improved hiring success rates) from such small, diffuse gifts. 

Neither do we see anyone committing significant funds into researching funding open source at scale. We see research like this as a necessary precursor to organisations like the Sovereign Tech Fund and CISA recommending that governments invest not millions but billions into the support of open source and open source maintainers. 

OSC is willing to fund exploratory work that will 
  • Develop a costed proposal for funding opportunities like the Digital Infrastructure Fund
  • Develop and document a set of considerations when selecting projects to support and financial goals for those projects i.e. ‘full time employment for a FTE maintainer’ over ‘core operational costs and infrastructure support’
  • Develop and test, at scale a set of algorithms and approaches to distribute significant funds across a networked graph of open source software and their interdependent projects, to achieve these goals

OSC is willing to provide access and support to data from to facilitate this work. 

We would like to receive a proposal, with a plan to deliver a proposal, with some interim results by mid-August 2023. 

Our team

Justin Dorfman

Core Contributor

Benjamin Nick...

Executive Director

Alanna Irving

Core Contributor

Henry Zhu

Core Contributor

Samson Goddy

Core Contributor

Sourav Das

Core Team @ OSC


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$15,000 USD