Microsoft GitHub launches "Sponsors" feature allowing users to Pay Open Source Developers

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Microsoft has added a "Sponsors" function to GitHub which will make it possible to fund free software developers either once or monthly the same way services like Patreon work online Entertainers.

"GitHub Sponsors" launched as a "Beta" with a "waiting list" for developers and other contributors looking for sponsorship. Anyone with a github account can apply for sponsorship and "contributions" qualifying include "bug reports, issue triage, code, documentation, leadership, business development, project management, mentorship, and design".

GitHub will match up to $5000 per sponsored developer the first year and not charge fees. There will be fees, amounts and percentages unknown, the following years[1]

This carrot announcement comes as more and more free software projects move away from GitHub either voluntarily or because GitHub decided to ban them with no warning or explanation. Certain types of chat-bots[2] specially prone to random bans.

Those who moved on because they were banned are obviously not welcome back so Microsoft GitHub is either trying to keep existing not-yet banned developers from moving on or trying to lure back free software projects using either self-hosted git instances or competitors like GitLab.