The mission of NumFOCUS is to support and promote open source scientific software. We work hard to achieve this goal, but one of the challenges most projects face is sustainability. Our projects have great value; they’re being used on a daily basis by millions of people, yet it’s not clear how to determine or find the necessary resources to support and sustain open source projects. Most project leads are developers with deep technical knowledge, but little training or experience in the business administration required to sustain their project. As a result, many foundational infrastructure projects languish as they are overburdened without proper support.

On this matter, we are excited to announce that NumFOCUS has received a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. With these resources we will build a groundbreaking program to sustain NumFOCUS Open Source Projects, with training to develop business and financial plans, improve communication to the public, and foster industry relationships. Unlike most programs which focus on sustainability within academic environments, this innovative program will focus on identifying mechanisms that align with industry practices.

The program aims to bring NumFOCUS Projects together to jointly develop and share information on sustainability strategies, while connecting project leads with people with relevant expertise and networks. The grant will also fund the hiring of a Projects Director who will work with a newly formed Advisory Board to provide training on business and financial planning, marketing strategies and effective communication. Additional  goals will be to develop and disseminate an Open Source Projects Guide to fundraising and project management, and to support infrastructure that would help projects to more effectively manage finances and business relationships.

The opportunity to build such a program serves as a milestone, not only for NumFOCUS projects but for the entire open source community. This is a very exciting time for NumFOCUS and we would like to thank those involved.

To view the grant proposal, click here

Posted by Savannah Mercado.