GitHub, owned by Microsoft, is one of the most popular software repositories in existence, supporting countless software projects and hosting critical infrastructure for many products. GitHub is gradually encouraging people to donate to their favorite projects, and the company is rolling out another feature for developers hoping to increase donations to projects.
GitHub already allows people to add donation links to their projects, and in addition, developers can become “Sponsors” – project authors can set funding goals (as in, for example, on Patreon or other similar platforms), and participants are given a special badge.
GitHub now allows developers and sponsored organizations to attach a private repository to each of their sponsorship levels. This will give the respective sponsors access to the private repositories. These invites are automatically managed by GitHub, so once the levels are set up, authors don’t have to do anything else, says AppTractor.
Restricting access to certain content to paid subscribers has been one of the main benefits of services like Patreon for years, and now GitHub offers similar functionality – just for software development. NIXSolutions reports that sponsor-only repositories can be used for early access, beta testing, or just centralized communication with sponsors (GitHub also has a forum-like discussions feature).
It’s often difficult for open source software projects to get enough funding, so it’s good to see GitHub encouraging more people to support their favorite projects. Software developers/repository owners can also just keep their links to Patreon, PayPal, or any other payment provider if they don’t want to use the GitHub platform.