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Fund all your open source dependencies

StackAid is a simple way to donate to all the open source software projects you depend on. By subscribing to StackAid, we'll distribute your subscription fee among your projects' direct and indirect dependencies based on your project configuration (eg: package.json).

StackAid is now in beta. Read the announcement.


How does StackAid work for my project?

See for yourself. Copy and paste your package.json or edit the one below to get a breakdown of how your dependencies would be funded.

Copy and paste your package.json above

A team of each contributing /mo
directly funds 33 projects and indirectly funds 399 projects

Start funding your dependencies.
Claim open source projects.
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How does StackAid allocate funds?

You choose the total amount you want to donate each month among all your dependencies. The subscription amount you choose is divided evenly across all your direct dependencies, but it's also shared with your indirect dependencies. That is, each of your direct dependencies automatically shares up to 5% with each of its dependencies, but they never share more than half of their original allocation.

Let's use a simple example:

With a StackAid subscription of $20/month, bootstrap and sass are both allocated $10/month because they split the amount. But then they share that with their dependencies.

Because sass has 3 dependencies, each of those get 5% of the amount given to sass. So each sass dependency gets $0.50/mo ($6/yr) and sass is left with $8.50/mo ($102/yr).

Because bootstrap has over 20 dependencies, giving them each 5% wouldn't be fair to bootstrap, so just 50% of the bootstrap allocation is divided equally among its dependencies and bootstrap keeps $5/mo ($60/yr).

Here's the allocation breakdown for this example:

You'll notice above that sass earns $1/yr more than expected. This is because bootstrap also depends on sass so it receives an indirect dependency allocation from bootstrap.


Why do we need StackAid?

The problem with open source funding today isn't a lack of means or desire to support projects. The problem is decision paralysis, figuring out how much to fund each project and the mechanics of paying each one.

For example, even if you have a small project, it could have a dozen dependencies and many more indirect dependencies. So if you decide to fund your direct dependencies, here are the questions you then have to answer:

  • How much should I give to each project?
  • How do I go about funding each project?
Assuming you've figured out those questions, you might still be wondering if this is workable. Will everyone else, especially the dependencies you fund, go to this effort to fund their dependencies? Probably not.


How much does it cost?

Subscriptions start at $15/month.


How do you make money?

When you add your project dependencies, StackAid is treated as an implicit direct dependency. StackAid is on equal footing, but unlike those dependencies, StackAid's allocation is capped at 7.5%. In the example above, StackAid would receive $1.50/mo.


How does StackAid figure out my dependencies?

StackAid's GitHub app searches your repositories for package dependency files. For example, for JavaScript projects we look for package.json files.


Is StackAid only for Node.js/npm based projects?

No, you can use our GitHub action to automatically generate and publish a stackaid.json file which lists your dependencies.

You can of course manually curate the list of projects you want to fund. For example, if you wanted to allocate money to the Linux kernel and Node.js, then you would add these two repositories to your stackaid.json file:

We are working on bringing the same level of automated discovery and integration for Node.js projects to other ecosystems.


Can I use StackAid without giving read access to my source?

Yes, we recommend setting up a new repository that's just meant to be shared with StackAid and then use our GitHub action to automatically publish your dependencies there for discovery.


How does my open source project get paid by StackAid?

Owners of open source projects can claim their repositories by installing the StackAid GitHub app. As part of the claiming process, owners can associate one or more Stripe accounts with each repository they own to receive payments.

Once a month the money allocated for each repository is split evenly among the associated Stripe accounts.

Stripe accounts can belong to a single person or an organization that has its own rules for how the money will be put to use.


What happens when an open source project hasn't claimed their allocation?

A project's allocations accumulate for 2 months. If the project is not claimed by then, an automatic reallocation happens and the amount is redistributed to the other dependencies that are claimed. Reallocation occurs on a per subscription basis.


How do you know this model works?

While it’s easy to understand how a single subscription is distributed, it’s hard to tell if this is fair and meaningful. We had the same question, so we built a simulation of 5,000 subscribers for a year.

The bottom line is that the long tail is pretty fat. Popular projects do well, but StackAid funds many more projects that would otherwise get overlooked.

Start funding your dependencies.
Claim open source projects.
Get Started