Exploiting private repositories becomes easier on GitHub Sponsors. What other levers does this possibility add to?
A new type of reward has arrived on GitHub Sponsors: private repositories. Developers and organizations that have enabled the program can attach them to their various sponsorship levels.
In practice, the mechanism is not new. But GitHub automates it. Both to send invitations to new sponsors and to remove their access when they cancel their financial contribution.
There are a few requirements. In particular, private repositories must be owned by an organization and you must be able to access them as an admin. Moreover, for the moment only personal accounts can be invited, not organization accounts. Problems may also arise if a repository is transferred after it has been added to a sponsorship level:
- Transfer to a personal account: all sponsors are deleted and automatic addition of new ones is no longer possible
- On an organization type profile, transfer to another organization: no more automatic addition of new sponsors
GitHub Sponsors since 2019: from webhooks to tracking
Private repositories are the last “big” new feature on GitHub Sponsors. Previously, there had been, in particular:
- Tracking sponsors by inserting metadata into profile and transaction page URLs (November 2021)
- Displaying the geographic location of sponsors on VAT postings (October 2021)
- Support for custom contribution amounts, with sponsors integrated into the nearest lower sponsorship level (July 2021)
- Opening to organizations with personal bank accounts (July 2021)
- Ability to add a welcome message (June 2021)
- Suggested rewards when setting up profile (May 2021)
- One-time payment option in addition to monthly payment (April 2021)
- Ability to select public repositories to showcase on profile (May 2020)
- Export transaction list to CSV or JSON (April 2020)
- Activity feed (January 2020)
- Webhooks to send events in POST (January 2020)
GitHub Sponsors launched in beta back in May 2019. Six months later, it went into general availability for personal accounts, in about 30 countries including France. Six more months and it opened to organizations.