The FOSS Contributor Fund: Forming a Community of Adopters

In January 2019, Indeed launched a new program that democratizes the way we provide financial support to open source projects that we use. We call it The FOSS Contributor Fund. The fund enables Indeed employees who make open source contributions to nominate and vote for projects. Each month, the winning project receives funding. This program encourages support of projects we use and more engagement with the open source community.

foss contributor fund logo

Join our community of FOSS Fund Adopters

Now, we want to help other companies start similar funds. Our goal is to collaborate for the benefit of the open source community. Regardless of a company’s size or resources, we want to discover what we can accomplish when we work together. Indeed is forming a community of FOSS Fund Adopters—companies that will run their own FOSS Contributor Fund initiatives in 2020. We invite you to join us and other FOSS Funders in sharing knowledge and experiences. We’re looking for adopters who are willing to run the same experiment we ran, or something similar. We will work with the community of Funders to set up regular events, exploring different models of open source support and funding. 

We’ve seen great results

In our blog post at the six month mark, we described how the program helped encourage Indeed employees to make open source contributions. Since program launch, we’ve seen thousands of such contributions. Indeedians have reported and fixed bugs. They’ve reviewed pull requests and developed features. They’ve improved documentation and designs. 

Even better, Indeed developers now have an avenue to advocate for projects in need of our support. And the program has inspired some employees to make their first open source contributions.

The FOSS Contributor Fund is one of the ways Indeed’s Open Source Program Office honors our commitment to helping sustain the projects we depend on. We gave our open source contributors a voice in the process, and we’ve seen some great benefits from doing so: increased contribution activity, better visibility into our dependencies, and a short list of projects where we can send new contributors. 

Watching the program evolve and grow is exciting. We’ve learned a lot this year and look forward to more growth in 2020. Now, we’d like you to join us. 

Use Indeed’s blueprint to start your FOSS Fund

To find out how we administer the FOSS Fund at Indeed, read our blueprint (released under a Creative Commons license). We’ve also released an open source tool called Starfish that we use to determine voter eligibility. In the coming months, FOSS Funders will publish additional documentation and tools to support these programs. We want to make it easy for anyone to run their own FOSS Fund.

If you are interested in joining the community of FOSS Fund Adopters, want more information, or would like to join a Q&A session, please email us at opensource@indeed.com

Learn more about Indeed’s open source program.


Cross-posted on Medium.

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