The Greater Good Affirmation

for the greater good

About FAQ Participate

If you want to learn more about the initiative, see the about page This page will answer frequently asked questions to help you determine if taking the pledge is appropriate for your project or organization.


Are there any direct benefits to me?

Taking the affirmation and adding the Greater Good badge to your repository is a signal that your project exists for the greater good. For interested contributors, this is a positive thing. In addition to this positive signal, the Good Labs has plans to help projects and communities with Good Labs “goodies,” which can include anything from articles and posts to share the project, podcasts, written or spoken interviews, and other fun community interactions.

Who should take the affirmation?

Since taking the affirmation comes down to adding a badge to your repository, it’s appropriate that a representative of a project or community can open a pull request to add the badge, and discuss with the larger community or project maintainers.

What about my other projects?

You can choose to participate on the level that is most appropriate. For example, if your entire community is for the greater good, the community could participate, and the badge could be included on an organization site. If only a subset of projects are for the greater good, the badge can be added on those separate repositories.

Does taking the affirmation mean that my project cannot have financial support?

Some open source projects can survive without it, but for many, funding is essential to keep the community up and running. The Greater Good Affirmation does not prohibit receiving financial support given that the funding goes directly toward maintenance of the project or community, and the project still exists for the greater good. For example, a scientific library might receive funding to allow contributors to travel to give talks or training events. The important point is that the project might exist to support scientific computing, and doesn’t exist to sell a product around it. If you ask yourself “Does my community exist for the greater good?” and it’s easy to say yes, then you are good.

What if my project uses other projects that possibly couldn’t participate?

There is nothing in the criteria that has comment about using other projects. The main points are about the underlying incentives that drove you to create your project or community. The affirmation doesn’t say that there aren’t costs involved, or even that there aren’t funds that can help support the project. It’s more about intention, incentives, and whether you have created and work for the greater good.

What if I change my mind?

If you take the affirmation and change your mind, this is okay! You can simply remove the badge from your repository, and there is no harm done.

Why an affirmation?

Taking an affirmation means a best effort. It’s taken on good faith. It by no means is an enforced contract, or some kind of promise. You are free to change your mind, and we expect you to be imperfect. Humans are imperfect, and we do our best.

Is the affirmation enforced?

When a community or project participates, it’s recommended to add the badge via a pull request and have discussion with your community. If you have any questions, please post an issue on the Good Labs board for discussion. Conversation with your community should be about the project or community in context of the affirmation. After this discussion, the affirmation badge is added in good faith.

What if the affirmation changes?

When you take the affirmation, it will be associated with a particular release of the file in the GitHub repository. While we don’t expect to see significant changes in the affirmation over time, it’s important to make a direct connection between the version of the file that was signed and the signee.


The Greater Good Affirmation is about the spirit of your project being for the greater good. It is taken in good faith. There is no binding to change your mind. As a positive signal of having open source transparency and incentives, and support and goodies from the community here, it primarily offers to help your project or community.

Read the Affirmation