In late 2022, Tidelift fielded its second survey of open source maintainers. Hundreds of maintainers responded with thoughts about getting paid for their work, the security and maintenance practices they have in place for their projects, and where they need help most, along with a host of other interesting insights.
The community around an open source project serves to not only provide feedback and additional contributors to maintain the health of the project, but to support maintainers in keeping their projects secure, well maintained, and viable well into the future. Faced with increasing demands from users, maintainers are finding new ways to strengthen the communities around their project in ways that support long-term project health.
Far and away the most popular response, with 67% of maintainers reporting, was creating a welcoming atmosphere for all identities around their project. Meanwhile, 37% prioritize efforts to improve the inclusivity of information and communication, including providing clear documentation with inclusive language, while 35% of respondents prioritize community onboarding and outreach. Having a set of onboarding and support documentation without knowledge bias has proven an effective method to gaining contributors who feel confident to participate in maintaining a project.