Thank You For 2019

A Message From Our Co-Founder

This was emailed to our advertisers & publishers on Dec 20th, 2019

It’s coming to the end of another year. This month, CodeFund is 2 ½ years old! It’s incredible how time has flown. This week I have done a lot of reflection on our accomplishments in 2019. One of the greatest accomplishments is that we were able to pay out over $307,000 to open source maintainers, bloggers and builders all over the world. To put that into perspective, we paid out a little over $70K in 2018.

I’ve never considered myself someone who loves ads or even advertising. I have come to truly love the power of ethical advertising and the way it provides passive, recurring revenue to maintainers without requiring them to go raise funds themselves. I’m so grateful for Eric Holscher and David Fischer from ReadTheDocs for being such amazing mentors and leaders in this space.

Big accomplishments of 2019:

  • Paid out over $307K to 131 publishers
  • Launched CodeFund v2.0 (rewrite) in January (code)
  • Introduced Global Pricing (link)
  • Soft launched the CodeFund Podcast Network (link)
  • Added 3 new ad templates (link)
  • New UI/UX in December
  • Teams support
  • Launched 2 month experiment with paid sponsorships on GitHub
  • Hired 3 incredible people:
    • Joseph Chen handles the finances and operations
    • Andrew Mason is an incredible software dev
    • Justin Dorfman is our new head of open source sustainability and works with publishers, as well as launching the podcast network

 2019 had its challenges as well. This is all part of growing up as a company. When I think of the stage of our company, I imagine we are at the tail end of entrepreneur-puberty about to blossom into an amazing well oiled open source funding machine. Many of the decisions we made up to this point have painted us into a corner with some of our advertisers, and have disappointed some of our publishers. We have also been the target of massive poaching from our competitors.

At the end of the day though, I know that we will survive any struggles that come our way. We provide privacy-focused ethical advertising without any tracking in order to fund the open source ecosystem. We can’t fail.

In 2020, we are making some pretty big changes. I spent most of this week sharing these changes with a handful of our advertisers. I’d like to share some of our big initiatives with you and let you share in the excitement!

To start, our goal for 2020 is to generate over $700K in total distributions to open source maintainers, bloggers and builders. This is more than double what we did this year. We have laid out the map to get there as a team and have already started down the path.


What to expect in Q1 2020

  • We will be hiring a salesperson in January to help bring in new advertisers (let me know if you are interested).
  • We will be launching “Audiences”, which categorizes all of our publisher network into one of eight categories.
  • We will simplify our geo-targeting options to four primary regions.
  • We will be able to track actual impression inventory in order to make sure we sell as much as we can and not dilute sold inventory as new advertisers come on.
  • We will greatly simplify our pricing structure by scoping prices to the Audience/Region combination.
  • Nate has been working hard on building a new Traffic Estimation Tool that will allow advertisers to “guesstimate” what any campaign results might be based on different configurations.
  • We will enable the ability for advertisers to add funds to their account directly within the app.
  • We will remove the “excluded properties” feature. This is critical for us to ensure that all of the publishers we bring on can rely on consistent, recurring revenue with us.
  • By the end of March, advertisers should be able to fully manage their own campaigns without having to go through us!

My job as the lead of CodeFund is to provide the path and vision in order to accomplish our mission: Grow and Sustain Open Source. Our team shares this vision. We all are involved in the open source community outside of CodeFund and all share the same passion.

I want to thank all the open source maintainers for their hard work. It has allowed us to make this dream a reality. I want to thank all of our advertisers who have been willing to dedicate a portion of their marketing budgets to funding open source. I want to especially thank my incredible team and leadership with CodeFund/Gitcoin. I have worked in an environment where everyone shares the same vision, passion and drive.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Your friend,




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