Every three months, Clojurists Together takes applications from open source developers for funding to work on open source projects. The Clojurists Together committee then evaluates the proposals, makes their selection, and then funds projects with a fellowship. The fellowship can be taken over one to twelve months. You can apply at any time for the next funding cycle, and you can make multiple applications for different projects.
Once selected for a fellowship, you have two months to start it.
Apply for funding
We currently have three levels of fellowships:
- $1k/$2k fellowships for smaller/more experimental projects. These can last up to three months.
- $9k fellowships for larger projects. The work for these fellowships can be done over 1-12 months, rather than needing to do them in a fixed 3-month period.
- $1.5k/month for 12 months. Recipients of these long-term fellowships don’t need to submit a proposal, we just fund them to continue the great work they’re already doing. Clojurists Together members will vote on which developers receive these fellowships.
The number of projects funded in each cycle and the amount paid for each fellowship may vary depending on member support, and project requirements. Successful projects will know in advance of starting how much they will be paid.
- You are a maintainer of the project, i.e. you have commit access to the project, or the others that work on the project recognise you as a maintainer.
- Project is open source, with a recognised open source license
- Project benefits the Clojure/ClojureScript community
These questions are to get an understanding of your project and plans for the funding. We would expect most applications would be filled out in five minutes or less. We don’t want you spending hours crafting the perfect application; you have enough work to do already.
- What project are you applying for?
- Who is applying? How are you related to the project?
- What are you wanting to achieve with the funding?
- Why is this project important to the Clojure community?
- Do you receive any other funding to work on this project? Funding sources might be:
- Explicit funding through things like Patreon or Gratipay
- Implicit funding by an employer allowing or requesting for you to work on this open source project
- A commercial business model alongside the open source project.
N.B. Receiving other funding does not disqualify you from receiving Clojurists Together funding. However you cannot accept multiple streams of money for the same commits, i.e. you cannot double bill the work you do in your day job on your OSS project as also going towards the work that you do in your Clojurists Together funding.
What project are you applying for?
REPLicator - github.com/roy-batty/replicator
Who is applying? How are you related to the project?
Roy Batty, project creator
What are you wanting to achieve with this funding?
REPLicator can currently share REPLs between different terminals on a single computer. I would like to extend REPLicator to allow people to share REPLs across the internet with other developers. This is a common feature request from users.
Why is this project important to the Clojure community?
REPLicator has been around for several years and is used by many developers. The most recent release has had 5,000 downloads on Clojars in the last six months.
Do you receive any other funding to work on this project?
Clojurists Together Work Expectations
A common question we get from people looking to apply is “How many hours do you expect me to work, and how much output do you expect?”. Our answer is:
We don’t have a set number of hours required to put into the project. Based on current sponsorship rates of USD 3,000/mo, something like 15 hours/month would be a bit light, but we also don’t expect you to do 80 hours/month either, so somewhere in between.
However the raw number of hours is not so important as the results that you’re able to achieve in them. The most important thing to keep in mind is whether you think that in the time that you would be able to work on the project, you can achieve meaningful results.
One of the things Clojurists Together was designed to support is the work that isn’t fun to do. These are things like tracking down hard to reproduce bugs, maintenance to follow upstream dependencies, reviewing large pull-requests, thinking about/tackling large thorny problems, and the other slog work which is important but not fun. If you’ve got a project with work like that that you’ve been putting off, we want to fund you to work on it. Of course we also want to fund projects to implement new features, but please don’t think that just because your work isn’t exciting that you shouldn’t apply.
The Clojurists Together committee evaluates projects based on the following criteria:
- Project needs - What is the project wanting to do with the money? A clear plan for the money’s usage is more compelling than ‘Bugfixes and improvements’.
- Community usage - An open source project that has 10,000 users is more likely to be funded than one with 10.
- Current funding - Clojurists Together wants to fund open source projects that are important to the ecosystem, and may be underfunded. If you’re making seven figures/year from your project then it may not make the cut.
- Previous funding - If Clojurists Together has recently funded your project then it may be weighted slightly lower than it would have otherwise, so that we fund a variety of projects. Please don’t let this discourage you from applying though, we don’t disallow projects from being funded again.
- Member comments - Each funding cycle, we solicit comments and preferences from members on what they see as priorities. Comments from higher tier members get more weight.
- Track record of the person applying - Are they established in the community, have they got a history of contributing to the community? This doesn’t mean you need five years of contributions before you’re considered, but if you have one week of history then it may weigh against you. If you have a track record of harassment and negative interactions within the Clojure community then we may decline to consider your application.
- In every funding cycle, we look at the funds that we have available, and decide how many projects we will be able to fund for that cycle.
- Each committee member reviews the projects and weighs them against the criteria above.
- Each committee member ranks the projects in order of preference
- The winning projects are selected by Multi-Winner Ranked Choice Voting
We will then publish a list of all the projects that applied, along with the voting results. The voting results redact all but the top 5 projects.
Successful projects receiving $9k are required to submit six project reports during their fellowship. Experimental projects receiving $1k/$2k are required to submit three project reports. This is used to show backers the impact that their money is having. These don’t need to be long or detailed (although writing additional blog posts about your work is encouraged), for example, a list of GitHub issues and a brief comment for each would be sufficient.
If your project is selected, we will create a contract based on your proposal This contract will include the amount to be paid, and the work intended to be done. We can fund maintainers anywhere in the world, barring exceptional circumstances like US sanctions. You will need to check with your accountant, but this contract is probably going to be similar to a freelancing contract, i.e. you will need to pay taxes on it.
We pay out $9k fellowships in three installments, 1/3 on signature, 1/3 at the midway of the project, and 1/3 on completion of the project. Smaller fellowships may be paid over one or two instalments depending on the project.
Clojurists Together operates on a three month funding cycle, with four cycles per year. Feb-Apr, May-Jul, Aug-Oct, Nov-Jan. Project applications for the next funding cycle close one month before the cycle starts.
Project applications may be submitted at any time. They are evaluated quarterly.
An example timeline for the February-April funding cycle:
- Anytime: submit an application
- Mid January: Applications for February-April funding cycle close
- Mid January: Funding decisions are returned
- February 1: February-April funding cycle begins
- February 15: Projects submit first project report
- February 30: Payment for first month of work is made to projects. Projects submit second project report
- March 15: Projects submit third project report
- March 30: Payment for second month of work is made to projects. Projects submit fourth project report
- April 15: Projects submit forth project report
- April 30: Final payment for third month of work is made to projects. Projects submit final project report