OpenCollective to help sustain the project and community


Circling back to another previous discussion about using OpenCollective to help sustain the project and community.

As OpenCollective also provides options for moving funds between other projects/collectives, partners such as hosting companies or projects incorporating LibreTime could help sustain the OSS project and/or specific features and functionality.

With over 100 stars (that was quick!), you’d be able to create the collective very easily and it would be hosted alongside other Open Source Collectives

Basically would open up a lot of additional possibilities for sustaining the project and community.

I’d be happy to help answer questions or connect you with the folks at OpenCollective.

Sites using LibreTime
LibreTime Development Priorities
Modifying libretime "Radio Page"

This is certainly something that I might be interested in. I’m not sure how the other contributors feel about it and how funds would/could be distributed fairly. I like how this project is completely community ran. I know that some of my contributions to LibreTime have been subsidized through a work-trade agreement with my dad. But I’m not sure how we would handle the distribution of funds and whether it would make sense at this point without specific funders in mind. My only guess is that we might be able to get some kind of regular donations from users and people who found the software helpful and want to support the project, but this in and of itself is unlikely to provide a means of financial support.

I know going forward in my personal life I would be interested in having my livelihood and source of funds connected to a free software project vs. getting a full-time job and spending my free time on this or something else as a side project. At the same time my primary job at this moment is taking care of my daughter while my wife finishes her astrophysics degree and I’m trying to divide my limited free time between LibreTime and helping volunteer run WCRS-LP.

Thanks for showing up again Gus. I’d definitely welcome feedback from any other members of the LibreTime community.

LibreTime on AWS

Thanks Robb!

Out of all the great points and background you just provided, I’d say this would be a primary reason to set up a collective. Making a living contributing to a community run open source project that you care about…especially one that can empower communities, musicians, and creative artists… that’s been my ultimate goal over the past 10 years. Probably many others in this community that would love to do the same.

Conversely I haven’t seen many examples of an all-volunteer open source project of this or any size last very long. Even projects with maintainer time sponsored by their employer or company responsible for the project may be neglected if priorities change (like Sourcefabric / Airtime).

The cool thing about OpenCollective is

The platform and community is still relatively new, but those are just some of the reasons I think people like ourselves (and others reading this) may actually be able to make a good living contributing to and helping sustain a project like LibreTime.

Rather than rambling any further, I’ll just reference this post that probably addresses other concerns about bringing funding into an OSS project -

Definitely would be good to get input from other project leads and contributors.


With Drupal officially incorporating OpenCollective as a tool to help sustain projects and community…that should provide some validity…also should create additional opportunities to partner with Drupal projects and collectives.


I think OpenCollective is definitely valid. I’d just like to see some interest from other LT developers so that it isn’t something that I’m primarily pursuing to retrieve funding for myself.


I’d suggest we try to get input from contributors (maintainers, project leads) who have spent a significant time on the project. Would the option of funding allow you to spend more time on priority issues (bugfixes, testing, docs, new features, etc). Could the option of funds be a way to provide incentives to contributors beyond that?

Who should we be asking for input (aside from anyone who is reading this!).


I don’t know that many contributors are limited at this point by a lack of funding. I doubt that we will be able to gather enough funding to create a stand-alone company capable of providing full-time employment. I know other responsibilities in my life are the biggest obstacles to my dedicating more time.


Think the ideal is to provide the best possible options for those wanting to spend more time on the project if they could.

I’d circle back up to your ideal and ask if anyone else has a similar interest.


I ‘think’ this is recent addition, but it looks like Open Collective also hosts Cooperatives

So a LibreTime coop might be another way to help sustain the project further down the line.

Would be great if y’all would set up the project to make it easier to sustain and also collaborate with other projects, communities, and contributors already there.


In addition to more OSS projects coming onboard, Open Collective is beginning to provide more and more support for meetups and chapters. For the latter, they are actually providing a financial incentive for those interested in setting up an Open Collective Chapter in their region.

How could LibreTime benefit? One way, assuming you create a collective for the project, is there could be hackathons in a given region where OSS tools could be built for community media orgs. This could happen at an Open Collective hackathon and also other projects/communities such as Drupal and WordPress that have similar events.


To follow up on related discussion about LibreTime Development Priorities, the next steps to creating a collective would be -

  1. Apply as an Open Source Project -
  2. Add maintainers (who would like to be added)
  3. Add some detail about the project and ideally some info on goals and milestones
  4. Discuss sponsor levels and best practices with other project maintainers in the Open Collective community.

I’d be happy to be added to the collective and help with outreach, marketing, and fundraising.

The other stuff I’m mentioning in the previous comment could overlap with your station and 501c3, but for the project itself, it would be hosted by the nonprofit Open Collective set up for OSS projects

Think we’re ready to test the waters?


Ok, well looking into this I think I need to grant OpenCollective access to the LibreTime organization to apply. We do have 147 stars so we are over the 100 star threshold.

I don’t really feel comfortable making this decision without feedback and participation from other people who would like to be maintainers, at this point @hairmare is the only other maintainer via github and he has been busy with his paid job.

Since you are more familiar with how open-source projects use opencollective how is the distribution of funds typically handled. I just have no idea what the workflow in general is. I see that in general 13% would be taken by OpenCollective and in return we get a transparent page to pass the money onto the developers.

Since at this point most of the developers are casually contributing PRs and there isn’t a cohesive group of developers that have decided to make decisions and collaborate on the project on a regular basis. I’ll e-mail @hairmare and see what his thoughts are on the whole thing because I’d like to see things move forward. I have in the past and could continue to receive informal funding for my development work outside of the projects organizational framework and that seems to make more sense unless we have a few other developers who want to put more time into the organizational aspects of the project.


I’d definitely reach out to maintainers and active contributors. Thing to keep in mind is you’re mainly providing an opportunity for sponsored development, but in the early stages of the project (and OSS funding in general) nobody is going to have added expectations or obligations unless there are funds in the collective to distribute. IF/when you get to that point, that’s a very good problem 'cuz it means the project has stakeholder value. I don’t think anyone who values the project is going to object to enabling ongoing development, maintenance, docs, and community… in fact, if you glance through this recent survey, people/orgs who care about a project will be happy to support it!

This should provide a pretty good overview of the transparent process for collecting/distributing funds -

As mentioned previously, I’d mainly provide an overview of the project and couple goals tied to milestones and needs. For instance, many projects set a funding goal to cover the cost of a certain amount of contributor time. Again, the transparency allows the freedom of trying things out in the open.

I’ll be happy to be one of the core contributors and take on the non-developer, community stuff. Just getting the project set up will be a big step. Let me know if I can help w/ anything!


See also:

Bounty Source