NixOS Foundation Financial Summary : A Transparent Look into 2023

NixOS Foundation Financial Summary 2023

Last year, we started the recurring effort of making all financials around the NixOS Foundation as transparent as possible. Building on that commitment, we are now sharing the financials for 2023. This report extends beyond a simple breakdown of our income and expenses; it represents a more structured approach to enhancing both effectiveness and transparency in our financial management.

TL;DR - Financials are steadily improving, with no immediate short-term risks. There are numerous plans and substantial room for the long-term sustainability of Nix. The net balance increased from €112,785 at the end of 2022 to €239,805 at the end of 2023. A significant increase in donations, facilitated through various channels including additional fundraising efforts such as the documentation and S3 projects, resulted in a total of €138,274 compared to €88,620 in 2022—a 56% increase year-over-year. There was also a rise in successful grants, such as from the Sovereign Tech Fund, and a sponsorship of approximately $100,000 per year from the AWS Open Source team for Nix S3. Increased expenses were incurred from initiating funding for community projects (e.g., S3 long-term, documentation, various sprints), supporting community gatherings, hiring part-time administrative support, and transitioning S3 sponsorship.

Key Goals & Priorities

  • Provide insights into our financial journey/status
  • Highlight opportunities for future growth and improvement
  • Encourage community involvement in the financial aspects
  • Help us understand our finances so that we can more confidently use them for what they are here for, the community.
  • Make progress on community effort to establish fundraising/sponsorship guidelines and policies
  • Make progress on cost reductions, alternative options, backup plans/redundancies and general scalability
  • Make progress on “Sustainable Nix” macro effort

If you are interested to partake in any of the above, please reach out or follow on discourse/matrix channels.

NixOS Foundation’s 2023 Financial Overview

  • Foundation total expenses/liabilities: € 47,403.73
  • Foundation net profit: € 77,980.30

Assets on 2023-12-31:

  • Bunq balance: € 369,257.30 Gross (Part of funds earmarked for certain projects) €161.824,90 Net

Liabilities on 2023-12-31:

  • STF funds left (to be imbursed to the participants): € 183,316.01
  • Documentation project funds remaining: € 10,070.94

Sources of Incoming Funds

During the year, the NixOS Foundation received funding from various sources, including:

Open Collective

  • Side note, most of the S3 Cache Long Term donations came in during January 2024 and aren’t shown here. The current donations through open collective for that specific project stands at €10,406.47.
  • NixCon net profit: € 18,604.13
Company Direct Donations € 22,124.00
Donations via Paypal (excluding platform transaction fees) € 940.36
Personal Donations € 45,708.29
NixCon sponsorship total € 28,239.67
NixCon ticket sales € 17,300.00
Sovereign Tech Fund € 226,000.00

Significant Expenses

Summer of Nix 2023 costs include participants invoices billed for their work. It is planned to be reimbursed by NGI with a 25% overhead/profit.

There are substantial “potential” expenses that are currently sponsored by external companies and therefore some are not represented in the NixOS accounting platform e-Boekhouden. As these are critical, we do want to keep them in mind as we calculate our financial projections and into our estimate of the buffer we want to keep in case of emergencies. These items include:

  1. Fastly currently sponsors Nix usage on the platform. A rough baseline estimation would assume 1500 TB traffic/month and $0.08/GB = $125,000/month
  2. AWS Open Source is sponsoring $9,000/month of our S3 costs out of ~$14,500. Leaving an additional $5500/month paid out from the foundation.
  3. Equinix metal: $40,000-$55,000 / month.
  4. Flying Circus: €1.958,94 / month for premium Discourse hosting.
  5. Hetzner: ~€150 / month for an aarch64 machine

Miscellaneous and Minor Expenses

In addition to the major sources of income and expenses, the NixOS Foundation also experienced several minor expenses and miscellaneous transactions:

Bunq bank fees € 318.88
PayPal bank fees € 74.76
Stripe fees € 2,474.59
Administrative Assistant € 1,081.15
Notion Labs subscription € 420.27
SkillSource B.V. (eboekhouden-accounting software) € 138.00
AT&C tax belastingdienst advisory € 1,587.50
Open Collective platform tips € 2,281.85

Forecasting 2024 and Planning for 2025

I’ve shared a high level summary of our approach around the financial side in the recent NixCon State of the Union ( Slides - NixConContent/NixCon NA 2024 - California/Day 2 - Keynotes/Nix, State of the Union - 2024 (LA).pdf at main · nixcon/NixConContent (

The main goal is to continue on a trajectory to ensure Nix Sustainability with long term high confidence in financials and support. This includes the goal of achieving a minimum of 12 months of runway for the project to endure any key risk or fall of income, with the ideal goal of achieving 24 months of runway with 0 reliance on external entities in the calculation. This would allow us to ensure we as a community have more than enough time to resolve any potential issue. The effort to ensure a “Sustainable Nix” isn’t one constrained only to direct funding, it can and should stretch further beyond that and include areas such as alternative solutions, fall back plans, proactive mitigation, investment into more scalable technical resolutions as examples.

The primary objective for 2024 is to continue on a path that ensures long-term sustainability for Nix with robust financial support and confidence. We aim to maintain a minimum of 12 months of financial runway to safeguard against any significant risks or revenue shortfalls, ideally extending this to 24 months to achieve a level of independence from external funding sources. This cushion will enable our community to effectively address any challenges that may arise without worrying about financials. Our commitment to a “Sustainable Nix” extends beyond funding; it encompasses a broader scope that includes exploring alternative solutions, establishing fallback plans, proactively mitigating risks, and investing in scalable technical solutions. (Please ping if you’re interested to take part here as well!)

Potential Financial Risk Areas

As part of the financial planning, we want to make sure to be as exhaustive as possible in listing/acknowledging potential risk areas. If you are aware of any other risks, please add them or let us know!

  • S3 Cost Inflation: Monitor and address the rising costs associated with S3 storage to prevent budget overruns.
  • Sponsorship Volatility: Prepare for potential fluctuations in key sponsorships, particularly for S3 and Fastly services, to ensure continuous support.
  • Infrastructure Scaling: Proactively develop a scalable backup plan for our infrastructure.
  • Demand Surge: Strategize for unexpected growth spikes to maintain service quality and financial balance.

Incoming Funds

Diverse Revenue Streams: We will continue to issue invoices for specific initiatives like the Summer of Nix and actively seek out varied funding sources to enhance our financial robustness.

Engaging with Donors/Sponsors: Ongoing efforts will be made to foster relationships with current and potential donors to ensure a steady flow of support. This includes an effort around formalizing a Nix yearly fundraising. If you are interested to partake in planning for it please reach out.


Hosting costs are a significant portion of total expenses each year and can be impacted by the change of sponsorships. Sharing a few of the expected recurring costs in 2024 below:

  • AWS: €5500-€8500 per month
  • Hetzner: €650 per month
  • Netlify: €25 per month
  • Administrative assistant: €750 per month

As always, feedback, thoughts, additional points are super welcome (here, github, on Matrix, email, whatever is best!) This is only the 2nd year we put an explicit effort to make the financials transparent thereforeI’m sure there is a lot to learn and improve. <3

I also plan to kick off a general community effort around formal and yearly Nix fundraising. This topic will most likely touch a lot of areas on how to go about it in the best way possible while putting all the needs of the community and project first. If you are interested please let me know.

Reference to community budget discussion: Community teams budget


Just to add some context there, because it can seem like a giant amount of money: EQM pricing is very high compared to other bare-metal hosts, and the NixOS infra is using that hardware very inefficiently. In terms of actual risks, if the sponsorship dropped, we could likely replicate what we get from EQM with 5-10% of the costs.


Thanks for adding context!!

1 Like

Firstly, thank you for this. It inspires a lot of confidence in the NixOS foundation.

Secondly, I assume a big goal of transparent financials is to avoid even the appearance of any wrong-doing.

So in the interest of visualizing how beholden to our reliant upon certain sponsors the foundation is, I’d consider including a pie chart of sponsors very valuable using the financial contributor data from open collective perhaps.

Glancing at open collective I see:


Anduril Indus… €5,850 EUR

Platonic.Systems €4,950 EUR

Intrinsic €3,150 EUR

Assuming the $67k total and that the above matches the same time scale that would mean:


Anduril Indus… 8.7%

Platonic.Systems 7.3%

Intrinsic 4.7%

So for me, the action from that data would be to see decisions made that the top sponsors didn’t play too large of a role in decision-making which I trust is true, but must verify.

1 Like

I can quite confidently state that we are not currently relying on any single major cash donor (direct cash contributions). However, this is a subject we should consider as part of our long-term sustainable funding strategy. We need to gauge our community’s comfort level with potential dependencies, if any. Personally, I believe in minimizing such reliance, but I also recognize scenarios where limited dependence might be acceptable for a specific duration.

Currently, most of our reliance is in the form of in-kind contributions, with companies donating services such as S3 and Fastly to the project.

Side note - I’ve been pro-actively investigating strategies to balance significant donations from single entities while preserving our independence. Getting great insights from discussions with peers in other open-source communities, who have faced similar challenges as well.

Also great idea to add the pie chart as that visualization can definitely help!


For a complete picture you should also take into account in-kind contributions. Antithesis has funded a large chunk of @infinisil’s and my time via Tweag in the past 18 months. It amounts to quite a bit more than what’s happening on Open Collective. We‘re trying to label sponsored work where possible (I sometimes forget it though). In my case, it’s all of my effort in the documentation team and Nix maintainer team.

Before anyone gets scared: while we’re inspired and guided by Antithesis’ technical needs and interests (which I think are perfectly aligned with what any individual or commercial user, including myself, may want) what I write and do is my own and I feel accountable for that. I’m not being told what to do, but negotiate what may be worth spending time on.

Other contributors and companies likely do something similar, and it would be nice to get those numbers, at least roughly.