Developers on GitHub can now monetize their projects through a new feature on the Microsoft-owned platform. GitHub Sponsors is a new program that allows users to provide financial backing to open-source developers.

Under the program, users will not be paying for services, but rather backing the projects and developers they want to support. It is a similar idea to Patreon, which allows people to back content creators.

GitHub has also announced a GitHub Sponsors Matching Fund, an accompanying program. Under this program, the company says it will match all user sponsor contributions up to a value of $5,000 during the first year of the Sponsors initiative.

“Open source developers build tools for the rest of us. GitHub Sponsors is a new tool to help them succeed, too,” GitHub’s Devon Zuegel explains.

GitHub Sponsor contributions will not come with any fees during the first year of the program. GitHub will cover all processing fees during this 12-month period. In other words, the developer will receive 100 percent of the donated funds.

Beta

It is worth pointing out that the programs are only in beta at the moment. They are available in regions where GitHub is open. Making a contribution is as easy as floating over a developer username and choosing the sponsor option.

“Any GitHub user can sponsor an open source developer in the program,” Zuegel continues.

“GitHub Sponsors is built for funding all types of work that advance open source software. Anyone who contributes to open source—whether through code, documentation, leadership, mentorship, design, and beyond—is eligible for sponsorship.”

“Currently, only individual users can sponsor developers. If your organization is interested in sponsoring developers, please let us know by emailing [email protected],” GitHub continues.

Only select users can access the beta at the moment, but you can be placed on a waitlist here.