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Skilling, Equity & Community


Our goal is to mobilize and empower the 100 million+ developers on GitHub to tackle the most pressing social and community challenges—whether that’s by connecting them to nonprofit organizations or creating tools and platforms that allow them to make a positive impact using their own skills.

GitHub also supports Open Source Program Offices in the United Nations system, further championing groundbreaking research on data and open source software, and galvanizing developers in these critical efforts through community collaboration.

Mobilizing developers and leveraging technology for good

Our hope is that by incorporating social good into tech practices, we can attract like-minded individuals and foster a community dedicated to creating positive change. By using their expertise to create solutions for pressing social issues and nonprofit organizations in need, developers can make the world a better place for all.

Engaging organizations in open source culture

We know that open source software can be valuable for nonprofits because it’s often free, customizable, and transparently developed. These benefits allow nonprofits to save money, tailor software to their unique needs, ensure security and ethical standards, and receive support from a community of developers who want to do good. Through thought leadership, programming, and calling on GitHub’s 100 million+ developers, our goal is to activate developers in the open source community to help make positive change.

two guys working

Introduction to Open Source for the Social Sector

This guide is intended to help social sector organizations begin exploring how to implement, use and contribute to open source within their organization. We define the social sector as any organization that works towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Social sector comprises of non-governmental organizations that have a primary purpose to actively advance or positively contribute to any pressing societal issue or challenge. International (global) development, disaster risk management and humanitarian response, public health, and human rights are major industries that comprise the social sector.

Learn more
For Good First Issue

For Good First Issue

Lend your skills to an open source project focused on the Digital Public Goods (DPGs) or organizations that are open sourced mission-driven to work towards achieving a Sustainable Development Goal. From fighting climate change to solving world hunger, your efforts will contribute to creating a better future for everyone. Together, we can drive positive and lasting contributions to the world, one commit at a time.

Contribute to a social good project
Copilot for Impact

Technology for Impact

Technology for Impact supports nonprofit organizations in their quest to leverage tech for good through grantmaking and technical assistance. This program showcases the potential technology has to make a positive impact, and promotes current and future developers who are already leveraging their skills for social good.

Copilot for Impact

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs recognize that poverty reduction must be accompanied by improvements in health, education, economic growth, and environmental sustainability across the world. From supporting the World Health Organization in their COVID-19 work, to helping launch the first Open Source Programme Office in the UN, and strengthening digital public goods, we work with more than ten specialized agencies, funds, and programs of the UN to tackle these efforts.

Learn more about our UN engagements

Researching open source in the nonprofit sector

We have published two research reports on open source software (OSS), discovering how open source technology is used, leveraged, and discussed in communities in the nonprofit sector. In these reports, we also answer key questions to help nonprofit organizations build better technology solutions and collaborative cultures.

report on open source in the social sector

Report on standardized GitHub metrics for international development, public policy, and economics

There is increasing demand for data that contextualizes the impact of software collaborations across geographies. GitHub is the largest global platform for code collaboration, and thus data aggregated over its public activity is uniquely insightful for researchers and practitioners working in related fields, such as international development, public policy, and economics. This report maps the data needs of researchers and practitioners in these fields to the data sharing possibilities at GitHub.

Download the report
report on open source in the social sector

Open source software in India, Kenya, Egypt, and Mexico

Building upon the first report that focused on high-income countries, we turned a focus to low-and-middle-income countries including India, Kenya, Egypt, and Mexico to understand the similarities and differences of how open source technology is used, cultivated, and discussed. In each country, we explored how open source is used and produced across the private, government, public, and social sectors.

Download the report
report on open source in the social sector

Open source software in the social sector

In 2020, we published our report on open source software in the social sector, which covered tools that were conceived or driven in high-income countries. This report uncovered the mutual benefits, barriers, and opportunities of collaboration between the greater social sector and open source. As nonprofits and organizations alike invest in digital technology to advance their missions, it’s critical to consider open source as a tool to further support their work effectively.

Download the report

Global tech for social good communities

Investing in developer communities is crucial to advance knowledge sharing, collaboration, and learning. By engaging in tech for social good communities, developers can contribute to open-source projects, share expertise, and address social issues collectively, leading to positive societal impact and technology advancement for all.

report on open source in the social sector

MERL Center

The Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Center is an open source community founded by GitHub Social Impact and in partnership with MERL Tech. Members of the MERL Center collaborate to create guides, case studies, and other resources on if, how, and when to use open source for MERL solutions. Currently, the MERL Center is run by Civic Tech Structure.

Visit the MERL center website

Fighting for developers

As the home for all developers, GitHub is committed to shaping policies that promote their interests and the future of software. We work on policy in its many forms—laws, regulations, norms, and standard practices—to fight for developers when it matters most. No matter who they are or where they are, we believe developers should be able to work on the projects they care about. This means advocating for policies that promote their most basic rights: The rights to innovation, collaboration, and equal opportunity.

Read more about developer policy

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about our programming, partner with us, or get in touch, contact our team today.

Email GitHub Social Impact