Episode 68

Introducing FundOSS.org: A new way of funding open source, by Gitcoin x Sustain


February 19th, 2021

32 mins 38 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Pia Mancini | Alyssa Wright | Richard Littauer


Kevin Owocki

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! This is a special edition episode we are doing today. We have the most enthusiastic guest and returning champion Kevin Owocki with us to talk about quadratic/democratic funding, which is a completely new concept, and how we're using it in FundOSS. What is FundOSS? Well, we have a really exciting announcement to make today, so be sure to listen. We are discussing what the fund is and how it works. Also, we will talk about funding open source maintainers and doing it a new way with more money, some of which is coming out of Sustain. Download this episode now to find out what this excitement is all about!

[00:01:25] Kevin starts off by explaining the project they are working on called FundOSS.org. We also learn how this is different from traditional matching that happens.

[00:06:10] Pia tells us why they are doing this and the main benefits, and Kevin tells us about the crowdfunding campaign and how much money they raised over a two week period.

[00:08:47] Kevin explains quadratic funding, a pilot they did, and Bitcoin grants.

[00:10:47] Pia asks Kevin to talk a little bit about the funding of the commons and the radical markets framework to it. He mentions a paper written about quadratic funding.

[00:14:38] Alyssa asks Kevin to talk about how collectives that are participating can make this a successful campaign for themselves and their budgeting, and the projects that may not be as visible what they can do.

[00:16:20] Pia tells us about how Sustain put money towards this fund, how they got to that decision, and what enabled them to do this.

[00:17:58] Kevin tells us all the other large sponsors of the work.

[00:20:06] Richard wonders who is funding this since they are all here, and if there is an amount of that matching fund that goes towards the owners. Alyssa tells us this is a joint venture with Gitcoin integrating with open source collective.

[00:23:00] Richard wonders if any of the money goes towards dependencies or is it only towards really cool project TM, and Alyssa explains.

[0025:32] Kevin addresses Richard’s point about only the popular projects getting funded and that being a problem.

[00:26:34] Richard tells us everywhere you can follow Kevin on the internet and Alyssa shares one final point about call to actions.


  • [00:28:57] Pia’s spotlight is Zanga.tech.
  • [00:29:41] Kevin’s spotlight is Ethereum.
  • [00:30:43] Alyssa’s spotlight is thanking a few people from FundOSS, Zach Herring, Sanchay Mittal, and Octavian Todirut.
  • [00:31:24] Richard’s spotlight is the Low Resource Languages GitHub repo's links.


[00:10:37] “So we’re really trying to adjust the behaviors in the ecosystem to move more towards working on the digital infrastructure that people care about as opposed to projects with private gain associated with them.”

[00:11:11] “From what I understand is that public goods, which are goods that are non-excludable in non-rival risks. So, things like clean air, clean water, privacy, open source software is a public good, suffer from something called a free rider problem, which is basically like well this good is non-excludable and non-rivalrous, why should I support it, why should I give it my all? There’s no paywall for open source software.”

[00:13:37] “I think it’s just as important that we have a broad sense of distribution of those projects that people don’t know about.”

[00:22:51] “Trust the open street maps person to know all about geographies.”



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