GitHub announced their Sponsors program to enable GitHub users to support open-source maintainers and contributors. According to GitHub’s announcement, the program is a new way to show support for open-source developers:
The world runs on open source. None of it would be possible without the global team of maintainers, designers, programmers, researchers, teachers, writers, leaders—and more—who devote themselves to pushing technology forward. These extraordinary developers can now receive funding from the community that depends on their work, seamlessly through their GitHub profiles.
Becoming a sponsored developer is limited right now while the program is in beta. In the future, anyone who contributes to an open-source project is eligible to become a sponsored developer in the future. You can join the program waiting list on the official GitHub Sponsors page.
The sponsorship program is embedded into the GitHub workflow and you can see a “Sponsor” button on GitHub user page when a developer is in the Sponsor program. Here’s an example of a developer sponsor page of Babel maintainer Henry Zhu (zoo):
GitHub sponsor doesn’t charge platform fees during the first year when you support other developers. At the time of writing GitHub has a Sponsors Matching Fund which matches up to $5,000 per sponsored developer in the first year of their sponsorship. The FAQ does mention that in the future, GitHub “may charge a nominal processing fee.”
If you want to learn more about the GitHub sponsor program, check out the GitHub Sponsors FAQ. The official announcement post Announcing GitHub Sponsors: a new way to contribute to open source is another excellent resource.