Today GitHub launched Sponsors, joining OpenCollective and Patreon as platforms that open source developers use to accept donations. Though sending and receiving donations feels good, charity is fundamentally an ineffective way to fund open source.
Most donations to open source always have come from those who care about the community and understand the lack of funding, mostly other open source developers. The businesses who reap most of the benefits of open source will never donate substantial amounts just to reward the creators, they need to get something in return.
The most valuable thing open source projects have to offer is hyper-specialized expertise. Technical support from open source teams can save businesses valuable engineering-hours and make purchasing expensive support plans a practical business decision.
Because manually keeping track of support tickets, subscriptions, and support teams is a hassle, I started Otechie to make it easy for open source projects to sell and manage technical support plans. So far, we have been beta testing with the Nuxt.js core team https://otechie.com/nuxt and they have already made thousands selling technical support. Otechie hopes to raise the bar from making open source simply sustainable to making open source a viable career.
As software gets more and more integrated into our lives, the industrialization of its crafting process becomes inevitable. But the over-generalization of software engineering can be crushing the creative side of programming.