What kind of rewards do you provide in your communities?

Hey, Everyone,

We have a whole bunch of people here that participate actively in different communities, and I would love to get a sense of what kinds of rewards you provide to your communities, and for what kind of activities?


I tend to break this into two different types of rewards, intrinsic (recognition and validation) and extrinsic (physical items and swag.)

Here are some examples that I like, but I would love to hear yours:

Intrinsic Rewards

  • Recognition (publicly recognize someone in a forum, social media, or blog post.)
  • Social media “Spotlight” (a special branded social media post where you highlight the broader set of contributions made by an individual.)
  • Personal thank-you email (a simple person email thanking them for their great work.)
  • Endorsement (offer to write an endorsement/testimonial for them on LinkedIn or elsewhere.)
  • Digital product (provide a free digital asset such as an e-book, training course etc.)
  • Mentoring (provide free 1-on-1 mentoring, even if just a 30min call once a month where you can help them achieve their goals.)

Extrinsic Rewards

  • Challenge Coins (cheap to produce, easy to ship in an envelope.)
  • Stickers (cheap to produce, but ensure they are vinyl, easy to ship in an envelope.)
  • Print On Demand T-Shirts (don’t buy t-shirt stock, use services like Printful to print on demand.
  • Awards (trophies and plaques are often cheap to produce, useful for significant contributions.)

What are you using as rewards in your communities?

cc/ @John_Mertic @Tammie_Williams @Brian_Warner @Nadia_Shomali @Neal_Caidin @mattdm @Kenny_Paul @James_McLeod


In LFN we are rolling out a series of community recognition and award badges via Credly. Not a particularly original idea, but you have to start somewhere and up till now we had nuttin’ :slight_smile:


Oh nice. Can you share a little more about this here @Kenny_Paul, and how it works?

Would love to learn more!

@jonobacon Not to take the easy way out and point to another site, but I’m going to take the easy way out and point to another site. :wink:
In this case that site is an LFN wiki page and I’m doing that since it provides a good rundown of the criteria at both at the LFN and the member Project levels. Also it is important to note that I did none of the heavy lifting here at all. For us that was all the work of @Brandon_Wick and Casey Cain.

The mechanism is basically the same as the one the LF uses for issuing training certificates- an email goes out from The Linux Foundation via Credly which has instructions on how to accept, download and share the badge on social media. A separate email is sent out by us (first time only) that alerts folks to watch for the Credly email and asks folks to link the badge in their LFX Individual Dashboard, along with a nudge to cross link their LFN profile to other external sources.

In the case of ONAP (Project level) beside the awards ones listed on the wiki page above, we’ve always had a series of community awards over the arc of our releases. In the beginning gift cards were issued, but that practice ended by release 2 when it became clear that trying to do so with a truly global community was just unachievable. Since then the ONAP Community Awards have been little more than getting your name posted on a wiki page. Now we will be issuing badges for those as well. These include Top Achievement, Citizenship, Best Demo, Test & Automation Achievement which are nominated by the community and voted upon by the TSC. We also have a code contribution award that is purely based upon stats from LFX Insights for merged commits.

A bit of a rambling answer, but there ya go. :slight_smile:

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Those are some great ideas @Kenny_Paul, and @jonobacon thanks for kicking off this topic.

Using credly badges to recognize committers or other key community members ( provided there is a clear and transparent way to select badge earners ) is something I’ve been doing in communities for quite some time and goes over really well. I’ve also done this for our mentorship program, with special badges for mentees and mentors.

At least for Open Mainframe, we’ve tried to do annual gifts for GB and TAC members, along with hosted project leads. This does have a cost to it, but with a nice gift ( we last did custom printed YETI Tumblers ) it really shows appreciation to these community leads.

With our annual event going back in person, I’ve thought about doing a community awards. What is everyone’s experience there?

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Thanks for that @Kenny_Paul. Brandon Wick also shared that with me earlier in the week. It’s on my to do list and Credly seems straight forward.


Wow, this is great. Great work on this!

Have you considered challenge coins for this, @Kenny_Paul. They look like this:

While they hail from the military, there are many vendors who can produce these kinds of branded coins cheaply. I wonder if we had some LF branded coins that we ship out - they are cheap to ship as you can put them in an envelope. Just an idea.

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