Establishing an incentivised partners programme in an open source project

A presentation at FOSDEM 2022 by Ruth Cheesley

While money is helpful in open source projects, hands-on contributions are probably more valuable to the long term health and sustainability of the project.

In the Mautic project, we wanted to establish a partners programme which would allow us to highlight to our community the organisations who were both financially supporting the project as a sponsor, and were actively contributing to the project.

In this session I’ll outline how we came up with a way to make the financial element equitable for partners around the world, and the steps we took toward ensuring that organisations couldn’t just buy their way to partner status.

We’ll dig into thorny topics like determining what we mean by contributions, how we recognise non-code contributions alongside code contributions, and the tooling that underpins it all.

I’ll also explain how we’ve built our partners portal to incentivise active contributions from the organisations, and some of the improvements that we’re thinking of making in the future.



The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.

  • Mautic

    Mautic is an open source marketing automation platform which is disrupting the marketing automation industry. It’s free to download and use, with a growing ecosystem of SaaS providers including Acquia, the primary sponsor of the open source project.

    It’s built by a worldwide community of marketers and developers, united by our belief in empowering organizations with the tools they need to deliver world-class automation and personalized experiences to their customers.

  • Mautic on GitHub

    Mautic’s codebase on GitHub

  • Savannah CRM

    Savannah is an Open Source Community Relationship Manager (CoRM), which is like a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) but with a focus on community building rather than sales.

  • Mautic’s 90 Day Savannah Report

    Our publicly shared report detailing activity in the Mautic Community over the past 90 days.

  • Big Mac Index

    The Big Mac Index is a price index published by The Economist as an informal way of measuring the purchasing power parity between two currencies, and provides a test of the extent to which market exchange rates result in goods costing the same in different countries. We use this in Mautic to determine the minimum monthly contribution to become a partner.

  • Mautic Partners Program

    The Mautic Community Partners Portal

  • Policy for becoming a Community Partner

    Our formal policy which outlines how you can become a Mautic Community Partner.

  • Policy for promoting contributors, sponsors and partners

    Our formal policy which outlines how we promote contributors, sponsors and partners.