Trust runs deep.
Trust is the basis for collaboration within FOSS infrastructure projects. Contributors and funders alike have to invest time and effort to earn it. Many of our recommendations for funders contain an element of “figuring things out together,” which makes establishing a trust-based relationship absolutely key.
- Trust is built between individuals. It is not easily transferred to the organizations or communities they represent. This is true for funders, but also for people who professionally support FOSS infrastructure projects. Our interviewees overwhelmingly referred to specific individuals they would like to work with (e.g. as contractors facilitating an event or managing donations) rather than particular organizations or companies.
- Though FOSS communities might lack structure and clear roles, they value these in other organizations.
“Trust is created through cooperation.”
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By designating a specific contact person, funders can build stable relationships with their grantees.
If grantees do not make use of external offers of support, one reason might be the absence of a trusting relationship. Personal introductions and recommendations can help build this.
Be aware that in some contexts, projects may not credit you because of the political implications of your funding. Trust them to make this choice in your and their best interest.