Millions of individual and thousands of organizations are part of the Eclipse community as users, contributors, committers, adopters, researchers, students, etc, etc. Unfortunately, the majority of the Eclipse community is passive. One thing we are trying to do is make it easier for more people and companies to actively participate in the community. For instance, we recently introduced a ‘contribute page‘ to make it easier for individuals to understand how they can get involved.
For companies, the bulk of the contributions come from technology companies: ISV, hardware vendors, consulting companies, etc. The challenge is how do you make it appealing for more companies, especially large IT organizations that make extensive use of Eclipse but have no obvious way to participate in the community. At a marco-level there are two ways companies can actively participate: 1) fund committers to work on Eclipse projects, or 2) contribute money to fund the services of the Eclipse Foundation. Both are important but today we announced the Corporate Sponsor Program to making it easier for companies to donate money to the Eclipse Foundation.
The Eclipse Corporate Sponsor Program recognize companies that donate money or services to help fund the Eclipse Foundation. Not every company has the ability to fund committers or even become a member of the Foundation. However, this new program allo companies to contribute back to the Eclipse community and thus actively participate in the ongoing success. If you work for a company or know of a company that might be interested in joining the Corporate Sponsor Program, details are available here.
In addition to big companies, we are also trying to make it easier for small technology companies to become members of the Foundation. In the past, the minimum membership fee was $5000. This is a significant commitment if you are just starting out or a 1-3 person shop. As Donald previously announced, the Board has approved a membership tier for companies with less than 10 people and $1 million revenue to become members for a $1500 membership fee. Companies like ModularMind and ANCiT Consulting who have recently joined the Foundation.
We still need to do more to expand community participation. There are lots of other things that we will continue to implement to make it easier. For now, if you know any companies, large and small, that would like to grow their participation please send them our way. If you have any ideas on how to make it easier to participate at Eclipse, for companies or individuals, please let us know.