Open-Source Contributors Worth Sponsoring

Open-source creators are underpaid. Their passion for OOS makes businesses rich. This isn't an equal distribution.

GitHub Sponsors made it easier to monetize your open-source work. Being willing to give your money to support an open-source creator is rare — let's not make it harder. This is why I decided to create this list.

  • Titus — @wooorm
    • 19 sponsors.
    • Titus has created an entire ecosystem of libraries around text processing. I have used many of his repos. Markdown, MDX, NLP, HTML, language section.
    • I feel like he doesn't promote himself enough.
  • Kyle Simpson — @getify
    • 3 sponsors.
    • The hugely popular book You Don't Know JS with 140k stars (the 7th most starred repo on GitHub).
    • Personally, I am astonished how Kyle Simpson may have only 3 sponsors. It feels like he has done so much for the community to get better at JavaScript.
    • Note that it is unknown how much he makes by selling his books. It is possible he successfully monetizes his content.
  • Feross Aboukhadijeh — @feross
    • 33 sponsors.
    • He also searches for ways for open-source creators to monetize their work so they are more motivated. He created thanks and funding.
    • He makes amazing stuff. I have tried Standard, used WebTorrent Desktop. He also recently launched Wormhole - Simple, private file sharing.
  • Fabio Spampinato — @fabiospampinato
    • 30 sponsors.
    • If you are a VSCode user, you definitely should consider him. He made more than 30+ VSCode extensions. When I was using VSCode, I have unnoticeable been using his extensions.
    • In the sponsor page he writes "This would allow me to pay rent each month without eating up my savings, and lower the stress level considerably.". These are the people who need help the most.
  • Sarah Drasner — @sdras
    • 66 sponsors.
    • Awesome creator with multiple popular repositories that create a lot of value.
    • If you use Vue — she is a maintainer of their documentation.
  • TJ Holowaychuk — @tj
    • 47 sponsors.
    • The creator of Express.js, Koa, Mocha, Commander, Apex, Up, ReworkCSS, PostCSS. I feel like he has created so much value for the community.
    • He has 47 sponsors but with only one tire of $400 per month. He may had smaller tiers in the past. However, if he has 47 sponsors paying $400 per month this means he makes a lot.
  • Nicholas C. Zakas — @nzakas
    • 111 sponsors.
    • The creator of ESLint. The writer of Understanding ECMAScript 6. The cool Computer Science in JavaScript and many more. Note that ESLint is sponsored separately — https://github.com/sponsors/eslint.
    • In 2016, I had to give up all full-time and part-time work as I became very ill with Lyme disease. I've been working my way back to health ever since and truly hope I'll be back to full strength sometime during 2020. In the meantime, I contribute to various projects as my health allows, so it's not uncommon to see bursts of activity followed by time where I'm not active.

  • Sindre Sorhus — @sindresorhus
    • 260 sponsors.
    • Probably the most popular open-source creator with 1100+ npm packages.
    • If you are writing JavaScript, you probably depend on many of his packages.
    • He is sponsoring other open-source creators. This is extremely generous. This is great because he knows the community and can more easily know who deserves to be sponsored.

If you want to sponsor the people you depend on, you can:

  • Go to https://github.com/sponsors/community and see all repos you depend on that also have a sponsor option.
  • Run npx thanks in the root of your repository and see who to sponsor based on your repo and not your entire user or organization — thanks.

This article was last updated on 5 May 2021.

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