I am Jaskirat Singh, an open source research strategist and tech diversity specialist, developing new, and improving existing, computer-based technologies, systems, and solutions in advanced open source ecosystems. I have been working quite a while with various communities in the open-source, helping them maintain good relationships with external communities and projects, organizing meetups and events generating FOSS ecosystem, supporting the community in the outreach, creation of tools and process with good relationships.
I have been already following up with Sustain OS.
This is the major problem I could see communities have been suffering to help their contributors sustain with the community.
My experience denotes that most of the contributors ( be it the designer, developer, Tester, etc ) are either college students or young contributors. So their main motive remains to learn, work and grow.
So some recognition given to them is the great key to help them sustain with the community. Recognition can be like building some “program” with combining some of the recognized organizations/communities who are working great in the field of open source like, Google, Microsoft, GitHub,etc and helping contributors give appreciation/LOR letters which can be used by them to be motivated and grow more.
Other factor can be funding support. Some bounty programs can also help them be encouraged and self motivated to sustain with the community.
Here is the example; Google Open Source Peer Bonus Program can be a great inspiration for this program.
So the program I initiated above can be divided into various parts like:
Stage 1: Giving contributors LOR/appreciation letters
Stage 2: Supporting them with bounty programs
Stage 3: inviting/Giving away scholarships to them to speak at conferences,events and meetups to speak about their projects or contributions
Stage 4: Asking them to lead projects
So these are the ways we can go ahead and I am sure can help contributors sustain with community.