You’ve created an open source Windows program and uploaded it to GitHub. But did you think you were making money with what you created? Some suggest publishing your Windows app to a storefront like the Microsoft Store or Epic in order to monetize it. However, there is a new way to monetize your open source creations and it’s called GitHub Sponsors.
GitHub sponsors allow independent open source creators to get paid for what they do. This article is about getting started with the GitHub Sponsorship Program.
Create a GitHub sponsor profile
Log into your GitHub account using your GitHub account from your personal or your organization’s inbox. Once logged in, go to the top right corner of the page, click on your profile picture, then click GitHub Sponsors.
When your sponsored and eligible accounts are displayed, to the right of the account you want to manage, click Dashboard.
In the left sidebar, click on Profile Details and complete the Short Biography, Introduction, and Featured Work sections:
You should have your GitHub repositories listed on the GitHub platform. Optionally, you can choose the repositories that are featured on your GitHub sponsor profile. On the right side of “Featured Work”, click the Edit button.
You can select up to a maximum of 6 repositories, once you have selected your repositories that you want to present to your sponsors, then click on the Save button.
Optionally, you can select the Opt-in potentially featured on github.com/sponsors. This would provide another way for potential sponsors to find your GitHub sponsors page. GitHub will show them your avatar and short bio on the sponsors page.
Once you are done adding details to your GitHub sponsors page, you can click Update Profile.
Manage your referral goal
To manage your referral goal. In the left sidebar, click Your Goals. To the right of your goal, click Edit profile.
Under “What is your goal based on ?, select Number of sponsors Where Referrals per month.
Type in the number of sponsors you would like to have, or the monthly amount you are aiming for. Under “Describe your goal”, enter a description of your goal. Then, under “Describe your goal”, enter a description of your goal.
If you have chosen a goal based on monthly referrals, select “I understand this will publicly display the amount of referral funds I receive each month.”
Once you are done managing your referral goal. You can now click on Publish.
Manage your sponsorship levels
In the left sidebar, click Referral Levels.
Click Add Monthly Level on the right side of the page. Alternatively, to create a level for one-off payments, you can click on One-off levels and then click on Add one-off level.
Enter a price per month and a description for the level. Then click Save the draft once you’ve written your level description.
Read your level again, then click on Publish your monthly type level.
Return to the Sponsor Levels section. Click to the right of the level you want to modify, then click Modify.
You can enter a price per month and a description for the level. Once you have entered your price per month and the description of the level you created and re-read your level, click on Update. If you want to remove the level, click it and then click OK.
When you have at least one level, you will see an option to enable custom amounts above monthly and one-off levels. If you want to allow sponsors to set their payment amount, select Enable custom amounts.
Optionally, you can enable custom amounts that you can set to display for custom levels by specifying a default amount, or you can turn off levels with custom amounts.
Display of your sponsors and sponsorships
To view and export detailed information and analysis about your sponsors and the sponsors of your GitHub software project. You can filter your sponsors by level, using the filter drop-down menu, clicking Active Levels or Removed Levels, and select a level. To do this, go to Activity.
To export your sponsorship data, go to Activity and click Export. Then choose a time, image and format for the data to export and Start export.
Management of sponsor payments
You can view information about past and future payments in GitHub Sponsors. You can also edit and update your banking information. To do this, go to Payments on the left sidebar.
You can update your banking information under “Payment Information” by clicking on Modify your banking information.
Contact the sponsors
Click Updates in the left sidebar. Then, to the right of “Send updates to your sponsors”, you can click on Disorganized a new update for your sponsors.
You have the option to email sponsors on specific levels, using the drop-down menu with “All Sponsors” and select one or more levels.
Type in a subject and send your update to the sponsors. Then click Publish.
Tax information for GitHub sponsors
If you manage sponsored money, as a sponsored developer or in an organization, you must submit tax information to GitHub and are responsible for assessing and paying your taxes by submitting digital form W-9.
Using GitHub Sponsors as an open source contributor on GitHub allows you to access financial support from the people and organizations of your sponsors who build, design and maintain open source projects on GitHub. I would love to know how GitHub sponsors have financially benefited your open source software development projects. If you’re new to GitHub in general, check out our previous articles in our series – Getting Started with GitHub – Hello World, Getting Started with GitHub – Source Control Basics, Getting Started with GitHub – Free vs. Paid Accounts and Getting Started with GitHub – Tips and tricks. Learn more about GitHub sponsors here.