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Why sponsor us

Material for MkDocs is an Open Source project that is developed and maintained by a small team of individuals who want to devote as much time as possible to make it better every day. We need to rely on the financial support of our awesome sponsors, who buy us the time to work on it.

Who we are

While the project was started by @squidfunk as a personal side project, the Sponsorware model that the project adopted in 2020 allowed him to build a small team of amazing individuals around him, who are now helping him to maintain the project, as well as the growing list of sponsors.

How it started

In 2015, albeit 10 years in the industry, @squidfunk was still quite new to Open Source. Having just finished his latest Open Source project, he realized that the project was too complex to be explained in a plain README on GitHub. He needed a good documentation tool for this project.

After evaluating static site generators in general and Hugo, Sphinx and MkDocs in particular, he quickly decided that MkDocs seemed a good choice, as it was specifically aimed at technical project documentation and easy to use. Unfortunately, all of the available themes looked dated, and since @squidfunk is a very visual person, he just couldn't convince himself to call it a day.

He needed to build a theme.

Months later, in February 2016, the first version of Material for MkDocs was released. Over the next years, @squidfunk being the sole maintainer, countless feature requests were implemented and bugs were fixed, allowing the project to gain popularity and reach almost 3,000 stars on GitHub by the end of 2019. It is still his most popular project to date.

As the project grew, @squidfunk started to implement feature requests that made sense from a general perspective, but not for his personal use. This was the point where the project started to shift from a personal project to a community-driven one, and began to feel like a secondary job. Having a primary job, many maintainers burn out when their side projects become successful, which is why @squidfunk decided to give the Sponsorware model a try and make Material for MkDocs his primary job. This turned out to be an incredible success.


The Sponsorware model is simple – as a sponsor, you get early access to the latest and greatest features of Material for MkDocs as part of Insiders before everyone else gets to enjoy them, as you are the one making them possible with your financial contributions.

Every new feature that lands in Insiders is linked to a funding goal with a specific amount. Once this amount is reached, all of the features that are part of this funding goal are merged into the community edition, making them available to everyone. It is that simple.

This brand-new and still experimental approach not only helps keep the project vibrant and cutting-edge but also ensures it can continue to meet and exceed your expectations.

Where we are today

Fast forward to today, Material for MkDocs is a thriving community-supported and well-funded project, with over 500 sponsors and a small but growing team, used by international companies and organizations. The project has outgrown its original purpose by far, as it has become so much more than just a theme – a powerful documentation framework built on top of MkDocs.

Starting in 2020 with the advent of the Sponsorware model, the frequency of releases has more than doubled, with a new release seeing the light of day on average every 1-2 weeks. Moreover, our team responds to issues as fast as possible, keeping the number of open issues low.

Our pledge

We're working hard to make Material for MkDocs one of the best documentation tools out there, ridiculously powerful, a pleasure to use and most importantly – free and Open Source. It is the financial contributions of our awesome sponsors, that allow us to do our best work.

It's a simple equation: as long as this project is funded, we can continue to improve it, fix bugs, and add new features. We will continue to provide the best possible support to our users and make sure that Material for MkDocs remains a tool that you love to use.

If you sponsor us, your contribution helps us to pay for:

  1. Taxes: Since we provide a service to our sponsors, we're of course legally obligated and happy to pay sales tax. This requirement applies to all sponsorship contributions, aligning us with standard business practices, as for the rest of the world.

  2. Sponsorships: A significant portion of our funding is redirected to upstream projects. This cultivates collaboration and supports the broader Open Source ecosystem. We regard those projects and their maintainers as essential for the persistence of Material for MkDocs.

  3. Team: Our team is growing! With more funds available, we can pay more individuals to help us make Material for MkDocs even better. Note that this covers various aspects of the project, like the creation of new features, bug resolution, support, and sponsor relations.

We are bootstrapped – no investors to please! If you decide to support us, you help us stay independent and free from outside influence. This means we can focus on building a solution that you love to use and keep ownership of your documentation project without vendor lock-in.

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