You can learn about the Sponsors API and see public sponsor-related schema info by going to developer.github.com/v4/explorer and searching "sponsor" in the search bar to the right, halfway down the page:
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Good news: GitHub Sponsors is now out of beta to developers with bank accounts in 30 countries and growing! You can learn more in the announcement blog post.
If you don’t have a bank account in one of the 30 countries where GitHub Sponsors is generally available, you can still sign up on the waitlist to join the beta in your country. In the coming months, we’ll continue to roll out general availability to countries where GitHub does business, incorporate feedback, and improve the tools you need to connect with the community you depend on and collaborate with.
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FAQs about the GitHub Sponsors Matching Fund
Q: How does the 1 year limit on the match work? When does it start?
The match applies for the first 12 months a developer is in the program, based on the day that the date their sponsorship listing was approved.
So if Alice became a sponsored developer in August 2019, then all sponsorship payments to her up to $5k total are matched through August 2020. And if Bob became a sponsored developer in January 2020, all his sponsorships up to $5k total are matched through January 2021. This is independent of the start date of GitHub Sponsors itself.
I know this is a bit confusing, but we did it this way so it would be fair to folks who joined GitHub Sponsors later. Otherwise, some folks who created the sponsorships in June 2019 (shortly after the initial launch) would get 12 months whereas folks creating it in December 2019 would only get 6 months.
For more information, please review our help article about the GitHub Sponsors Matching Fund.
Q: One of my sponsors received a banner saying "Your GitHub Sponsors contribution will not be matched at this time". Why?
There are a number of reasons why an account may not be eligible for matching funds at a given moment. For privacy reasons, we only discuss that with the user in question. For reference, here's an example of how that banner can look:
FAQs for sponsors
Q: If a sponsor fails to pay because their card was denied, are they still a sponsor?
The charge needs to be declined three times before they get "kicked off" as a recognized sponsor. It will be two weeks of showing the badge after first declined until we cancel the subscription.
Q: On what cadence will sponsors be charged?
It depends on their billing cycle! Most sponsors are on monthly billing, but some folks opt for annual billing. If I'm on your $5 tier on monthly billing, then I'm charged $5/month. If I'm on annual billing, then I'm charged $5/month * 12 months = $60/year.
In both monthly and annual billing, the first payment is prorated if they already have a live billing cycle (i.e. existing sponsorships, a Pro membership, a Marketplace subscription). For example, imagine I already sponsor several people, and my monthly billing date is the 15th of each month. If I sponsor you on June 30 on your $10 tier, then I'll immediately get charged $5, then on July 15th and the 15th of each consecutive month I'll get charged the full $10.
Our billing system currently only supports a single billing cycle per account. If you pay for GitHub or a marketplace listing on a yearly basis, then everything must be done according to that billing cycle.
Your sponsors each have a different billing date, depending on when they first started sponsoring you or, in the cases where they had an existing Pro membership or Marketplace subscription, when they originally made their first payment to GitHub.
Q: Will corporate sponsors receive an invoice?
All sponsors receive the following documentation:
an email that looks like this:
a receipt email:
and that receipt email will have a PDF receipt:
We're eager to make it easier for companies to support developers, so if that's not sufficient, let us know and we'd love to hear what is most useful to add! Please reach out to email@example.com with any specific suggestions.
FAQs about payouts
Learn more about payouts for GitHub Sponsors.
Q: My payout amount seems different than what I expected. Why?
Here are a few common reasons:
If you are in Stripe Connect, payouts for a given month go out the 22nd of the following month. For example, the Sept 1-30, 2019 payments went out on Oct 22, 2019.
If you're in the manual payout system (i.e. not in Stripe Connect), payouts go out the third Thursday of the following month rather than the 22nd of the month. For example, the September 1-30th, 2019 payouts went out on October 17th, 2019. Please note that we are migrating folks over to the new and improved payout system, so this third Thursday cadence is already phased out for most sponsored developers.
In both monthly and annual billing, the first payment is prorated if your sponsor already has a live billing cycle (i.e. existing sponsorships, a Pro membership, a Marketplace subscription). For example, imagine I already sponsor several people, and my monthly billing date is the 15th of each month. If I sponsor you on June 30 on your $10 tier, then I'll immediately get charged $5, then on July 15th and the 15th of each consecutive month I'll get charged the full $10.
Our billing system currently only supports a single billing cycle per account. If you pay for GitHub or a marketplace listing on a yearly basis then everything must be done according to that billing cycle. We recognize this is not ideal! It's in our backlog.
Q: Does Stripe charge foreign exchange fees when paying out in a currency different from dollars?
Stripe pays out in the local currency of your bank account, and GitHub is covering all Stripe fees, including those for foreign exchange (FX).
So for example if you have a $10 tier which one sponsor is on, each month you'll see $10 worth of money in your Stripe Connect account in the equivalent amount in your local currency. When you're paid out, Stripe automatically converts it into whatever currency is accepted by your bank, and you won't be charged the FX fees.
Please note that bank fees, which are independent of Stripe, may still apply and depends on the Connect account's relationship with their bank.
Q: Will I receive a notification or payout summary in my dashboard for use with my accounts and for my tax return?
For folks in the manual payout system: For anyone who hasn't passed the $100 payout threshold (pre-match) on the payout date, we'll send out periodic updates on your balance.
For folks in the Stripe Connect payout system: We've integrated Stripe Connect to surface more information on your sponsorship dashboard. It supports an ever-growing list of 30 countries.
Q: If someone pays upfront for 12 months, does that mean I'll get that entire sum in one transaction, the first month after they've started sponsoring?
Yep, you get the entire sum in one transaction at the beginning. They can't cancel their sponsorship in the middle of a billing cycle (whether it's monthly or yearly), they can only cancel for the following billing cycle.
For example: If I'm on monthly billing charged the 20th of each month and I cancel today, next month I won't get charged but I'll continue being your sponsor until my current billing month ends on July 20th.
Another example: If I'm on yearly billing charged on May 25th each year and I cancel today, next year I won't get charged but I'll continue being your sponsor until my current billing year ends on May 25th.
FAQs for setting up your tiers
Q: Is it acceptable on GitHub Sponsors to have a tier that doesn't give anything?
If you're using Stripe Connect, then yes it's fine to have tiers that are pure donations.
If you're on the manual payout system (i.e. you onboarded with the Gappify form sent via email + you don't see a Stripe Connect link on your Sponsors dashboard), then you do need to have some sort of unique, concrete benefit associated with each tier. Since sponsors do get a badge on any tier they sponsor you, it's fine for your lowest tier to just have the benefit of that badge and nothing else, but the other tiers do need something more.
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