Hi all! This category will be our designated mode of async communication during the inception of what I’ve tentatively dubbed “The Funding Index” (I find myself renaming it far too often so add that to the list of things we’ll need to figure out further down the road).
To start things off I’ve cobbled together a prototype using Airtable and GitHub Pages:
Don’t pay any attention to styling. I chose the design merely because it was conveniently wide for my embeds and everything is crammed into one page because I don’t want to mess around with GitHub Pages more than I have to. The same data could be neatly presented on a plain HTML site or a lightweight SPA like Gatsby.
The important bits are:
- Companies are divided into groupings called “tiers” to avoid granular ranking whilst maintaining a leaderboard effect for peer pressure.
- We also present company size (est.), grant size and data source(s).
With 10+ real entries and a nicer presentation I believe we’d be all set for a v1.0.
- Most $$$ data for 2017 is already accurate thanks to data from Pia @ OpenCollective, many thanks
I’ve pasted in the full “info” section on the demo site. Please ask me anything you’d like about the details I’ve put forth so far.
What is this?
This is an open index of corporations and their respective grants to open source projects. Our thinking is that open source contributors should know which companies are making a no-strings-attached monetary commitment to the open source ecosystem, in particular the open source infrastructure that needs help the most.
We do not take into account grants in the form of donated developer time, bug bounties, conference sponsorships or similar*. These are all great practices which we encourage companies to continue, but an unconditional transfer of money affords a project a certain kind of independence that’s hard to attain any other way.
- This criteria will be more lax for 2017/2018 to get the list populated with noteworthy frontrunners.
Who are we?
Right now are just a small handful of people:…
In the future we aspire to make the editing process of this document far more democratised.
- Company: A list of any company that has contributed some amount to open source that year.
- Company size: Estimated number of employees in company (Cross-sourced from:…)
- Grant: The amount of money granted to open source that year.
- Source: Source for the grant data.
- Tier: Grant divided by # of employees, abstracted to a tier designation. Further reading below.
More about tiers
Tiers are ranked high to low, higher being better. Each tier denotes an actual number produced by dviding a company’s grant by its employee count. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start!
- Tier 0 = $250-$499
- Tier 1 = $500-$999
- Tier 2 = $1000-$1499
- Tier 3 = $1500-$1999
- Tier 4 = $2000-$2499
- Tier 5 = $2500-$2999
- Tier 6 = $3000-$3499
You can also think of these tiers in terms of a percentage of salary expenses. If a company is paying its employees an average of $50’000-$60’000 per year (below Silicon Valley averages but a more than comfortable living wage for almost any place in the world), $2500-$2999 per employee would constitute about 5% of a company’s total salary expenses.
What if a company falsely reports a grant?
Since we require grants to be publicly announced it becomes very easy to fact-check these claims. Any supposed grant recipient can report back to us if a grant claim has seemingly not been honored.
What should companies be paying?
That’s what we’re trying to figure out! The minimum amount required to get listed is $250 per employee, e.g. about 0.5% of a company’s salary expenses. We are hoping to set the bar a little higher than that but as of now there is no recommended tier that companies should be shooting for. Just try to do right by the open source projects that enabled you to prosper.
A survey by DigitalOcean found that 75% of respondents think that their organizations donate less than $1K to open source projects, and 9% donate more than $10K. Donation levels seem small considering that 42% of respondents work at companies larger than 100 employees. Overall, 50% of respondents believe that large tech companies contribute less to open source communities than they gain from them.
The AirTable form (this link gives Creator privileges)
My thinking for the initial collaboration model is that it’ll be an exclusive, small group of people (welcome! ) doing all of the editing. For starters SustainOSS admins can dictate who should have edit access. We’ll aim to democratise the process at a later stage.
My current TODO list looks as follows:
- Incorporate data from OpenCollective
- Add Good Enough Employee # estimates based on a couple different sources
- Compare prototype with SustainOSS meeting notes
- Solicit more grant entries
- Fully spec out the MVP for a website launch of the Funding Index.
I’ll come back shortly with more clear directives for the road ahead, but I welcome any kind of comments or questions in the meantime.