Sentry, in an attempt to raise the bar for how companies interact financially with the open source community, is launching FOSS Fund 155 and donating $154,999.89 to 108 individuals. 

The inspiration comes from other open source funds that came before it, including FOSS Fund Adopters, launched by Indeed, which resulted in a $10,000 to Sentry itself, which is an open source company. When Sentry received the investment, it committed to increasing its own financial giving to the open source community.

According to the company, the specific donation amount was carefully calculated. Tech companies receive an average of $2,000 of value per staff engineer from volunteer labor from the open source community. Since Sentry employs 75 engineers, it multiplied 75 by $2,000 to come up with $150,000 as a target budget. The excess is money to meet membership fee thresholds and currency conversions. 

“All tech companies stand on the shoulders of community-supported open source giants, and Sentry is no exception. With this fund we prioritized support for our dependencies in order to strengthen our supply chain. But, more than that—Sentry itself was a volunteer-run project for many years. Yes, we took a commercial route, but we respect the many projects that have chosen a different path. Maintainers should be able to determine their own future, and financially supporting our community-managed dependencies makes that a bit more feasible for them,” Chad Whitacre, senior software engineer at Sentry, wrote in a blog post.  

The funds from FOSS Fund 155 are grouped into three categories: foundation memberships (52% of money), long-tail projects through GitHub Sponsors and Open Collective (36%), and internships for new contributors through Outreachery (13%).  

To determine who to give money to, it audited its product architecture and determined that the seven major open source projects that it is dependent on are Python, Django, Rust, JavaScript, PostgreSQL, Apache, and Linux. It gave 52% of funds to the foundations for each project, in addition to the Open Source Initiative in order to represent the community overall.