Requirements for new Outreachy orgs

  • Funding to sponsor at least one intern ($6,500)

  • Your open source project needs to meet our organization requirements.

  • One organization coordinator. This person to act as the key contact between the Outreachy PLC and the open source project.

  • 1-2 mentors who are committed to mentoring remote interns for at least 5 hours a week during the three month internship and have read our information for mentors. For smaller organizations, the coordinator is often also a mentor.

It's also good to notify your open source community that newcomers for Outreachy might be participating. You may want to notify your community's project leadership committee of your plans to participate. No formal agreement is required between the community and Outreachy, but it is good to have your community be aware they should be patient and welcoming to Outreachy applicants.

If your organization is participating in the Outreachy May to August round, and your organization is also participating in Google Summer of Code, your Outreachy organization coordinator should join the GSoC administrators team. Then they can coordinate which program will accept the strongest applicants who applied for both programs.


There are two Outreachy rounds (May to August, and December to March). The timeline for mentoring orgs looks like:

Pre-application period (late Jan/early Feb, or late August/early September): Outreachy coordinators reach out to open source projects to see if they want to participate in the next round. Mentoring orgs find funding and prepare their landing pages. Some organizations may be added during the application period, but we like to ensure that new organizations have at least 2-3 weeks of the application period to evaluate potential interns.

Application period (mid-Feb to end of March, or early September to mid-October): Outreachy applicants select projects they're interested in, and make small contributions to those projects. We find that the strongest applicants make multiple small contributions consistently throughout the application process. Having a list of starter tasks is essential to finding the right candidates. We will also have a Twitter chat on #OutreachyChat to introduce mentors.

Intern selection (April or October): Organizations go through the applications in the Outreachy application system, and select the applicants they want to accept as interns. If they have strong applicants that they don't have funding to select, they can ask the Outreachy PLC to provide additional internship funding from the Outreachy general fund. Outreachy coordinators will also work with existing sponsors to try to find additional funds. If this is the May to August round, Outreachy will collaborate with any projects who are participating in Google Summer of Code to coordinate intern selection. Once all interns are selected for all projects and funding sources are confirmed, the Outreachy PLC will announce the selected interns. Applicants will confirm via email they want to participate in the internship.

Internships (May to August, or December to March): Mentors begin collaborating with their interns. There will be a mid-internship review to confirm interns should be paid the mid-term payment, and then a final internship review at the end of the internship period.

How to apply to be an Outreachy mentoring org

Send the following information to the Outreachy PLC (outreachy-admins at gnome dot org).

Required information:

Name of project

Name of coordinator

Contact information for funding source (Name, email, company name)

How many interns will you be funding?

Project home page URL

What open source license is the project under? If contributing requires a CLA, please add a link to that.

The following information is optional to include in your initial email, but providing it will help the Outreachy PLC evaluate your community's fit for Outreachy more quickly.

Documentation URL for how new developers get started

Bug tracker URL (optionally, including the URL to "easy" or "newcomer friendly" bugs/features)

How big is your community?

What different companies are involved in the development of your open source project?

Do you rely or build upon proprietary software? Please elaborate.

Does your community have a Code of Conduct?

While you are waiting for acceptance from the Outreachy PLC to participate, please work on your open source organization's Outreachy landing page.

Landing Page Requirements

You can see prior landing pages by following the organization landing page links on the Round 14 page. The Fedora landing page is a particularly good example.

Your landing page should include:

  • A description of your open source community. Assume your audience has a few years experience as a programmer, but has never heard of your project before. Why is it interesting to you?

  • Documentation for newcomers to your community:
    • What are your communication channels? If your project uses IRC, please list the full server URL and link to the Outreachy instructions for IRC ( Many applicants will be unfamiliar with IRC, and need advice on finding an IRC client and tips on IRC etiquette.

    • How can applicants communicate with multiple mentors? Is there a newcomer-friendly mailing list or chat/forum channel?

    • What are the next steps for an applicant to get involved with your community? See the Fedora Outreachy page as a good example of concrete steps to get involved:

    • How can people make their first contributions? Applicants will need to make multiple contributions to your project during the application period. Do you have newcomer-friendly bugs or feature requests in your bug tracking system? Or does each project have a separate set of first tasks that applicants need to complete? If you don't define tasks, you'll be less likely to have applicants participate.

    • Code of Conduct Please link to the Code of Conduct that governs your community's spaces, if you have one.

  • A list of projects. For each project:

    • A 1-2 paragraph description, again gearing your audience towards novice to intermediate programmers who have never heard of your project before.

    • Required skills. What skills are absolutely required for the project and what skills are good to have or optional?

    • Newcomer documentation. Where can they find project documentation? Where is the documentation for new contributors to set up their project environment? What tools will they need? What parts of the code will they need to build? Is there a test suite they need to run? Coding style? (If these are common to all projects, you can describe them once.)

    • Who is mentoring? Include their contact information, including email, IRC/Jabber/Discourse nick, github username, etc. Please do include private contact information. Many applicants feel scared or concerned about participating, and may not feel comfortable asking questions on a public mailing list at first. Including email addresses means they'll contact you (rather than moving onto a more friendly looking project) and you can reassure them and redirect them to ask questions on the public project channels.

    • First tasks. What specific first tasks should someone do to see whether they'll like working on this project for their internship?

  • Additional questions you need applicants to answer on their application. All Outreachy applicants will fill out the application questions ( If you have additional questions you need them to answer, put those on your landing page.

Language tips for your landing page

"Outreachy" and "Round 14" or "May 2017" can be a part of the page URL. If your organization is participating in Google Summer of Code, you can just link to your Google Summer of Code ideas page for all the coding project ideas.

Please avoid duplicating information that can be found on the main program page. In particular, don't duplicate the application form. If you have any questions applicants need to answer in addition to the standard ones, only list those questions.

Don't use the term "student" for Outreachy participants. Outreachy is open to anyone over 18 who meets our eligibility requirements, and while we often get students participating, we also get people who are in the middle of switching careers. Use "newcomer", "person/people", "applicant", "participant", or "intern" instead.

Please avoid using gender-specific language in your page. Outreachy is open internationally to cis and trans women, but it is also open to trans men, gender queer folks (who often have varied pronouns), and men of color in the United States. We try to make our language as inclusive as possible to avoid erasing anyone's contribution to the program. If you want to talk about how you want to increase diversity in your community, a good description is "people traditionally underrepresented in tech" with a link to our eligibility requirements. Please use "they/them" pronouns where ever possible (and yes, they can be both singular and plural).

Don't use "Summer" and "Winter" to designate the rounds. Since Outreachy is open internationally, "summer" and "winter" are different times of the year in different hemispheres. Use "May" and "December".

Next steps for coordinators

Make sure to spread the word about your participation in the program in your organization's communication channels, such as mailing lists, blogs, and social network accounts.

Once you're approved for participating in Outreachy internships, the Outreachy PLC will work with you to make sure your coordinators and mentors receive Outreachy coordination announcements and can answer questions from applicants.

When a new mentor and project is added, coordinators should send the Outreachy PLC the following information:

Mentor name and email, plus Twitter handle if they have one

Short (1 sentence) description of the new project

Required and optional skills that applicants should have. Please keep this list short, because people who are traditionally underrepresented in tech often don't apply unless they meet all of the requirements.

The Outreachy coordinators will:

  • Add the mentor to the outreachy-list and outreachy-announcement-list. outreachy-list is a private list for organizations' coordinators and mentors where prospective applicants can send their inquiries and applications. outreachy-announcement-list, is a low traffic list with important coordination e-mails. While the main list can get busy at times and you are only asked to follow up on e-mails reflecting interest in your organization in the subject, we ask you to keep a close eye on the e-mails sent to the announce list.
  • Add the project description to this round's page, so that applicants can quickly find projects that fit their skillsets.

If coordinators fail to notify Outreachy coordinators of new projects and mentors, once a week during the application period, Outreachy coordinators will go through your landing pages and manually collect this information to the best of their abilities. Failing to provide this information may mean applicants don't find the project.

Next steps for mentors

Add yourself as a mentor and ideas you are willing to mentor on your organization's landing page. Make sure the page lists your full name, email address, and IRC/chat/forum nickname. While we want to encourage participants to use public channels to ask questions, many are shy and prefer to make first contact through private email or direct message. You can encourage them to ask questions publicly once you've connected to them privately and reassured them.

Start hanging out in #outreachy and #outreachy-admin on GIMPNet ( You are welcome to pitch in answering any questions from prospective applicants on the mailing list and the IRC channel.

Be very available on your project's IRC/chat/forum and email during the application period to answer applicant questions. If possible, coordinate with other mentors or community members to take shifts watching your project communication channels. Applicants often lose hope if their questions aren't answered within four hours, and many applicants are in different timezones. If their questions aren't answered within a day or two, applicants will often feel discouraged and move onto a different project. Work to help applicants complete their first tasks with your organization and point them to additional harder tasks once they've worked out the basics.

After the Outreachy application period opens, sign up as a mentor in the online application system by following the guide for it. If your organization is participating in Google Summer of Code, ask applicants who are students applying to work on coding tasks to consider applying for both programs. However, please note that for the May 2017 round, in many cases, there is a difference between how much the programs pay. We are making applicants aware of that in our documentation.

Need help? Have questions?

Please send us any feedback about the program, any questions or concerns.

Outreachy/Admin/GettingStarted (last edited 2017-02-28 20:06:10 by SarahSharp)