An open community

Several of our sites were originally started by volunteers. Over time, they have become core mySociety projects that are, for the most part, maintained and administered by paid staff. We still value contributions from others, in the form of refinements and patches to our open source code.

mySociety is, among other things, a community which comprises both paid and volunteer staff. That community exists online, and in the real world too – we are always glad to welcome you to our pub nights, and longstanding volunteers often play a part in our debates and plans for the future.

Coders: we welcome your contributions

Almost all of mySociety’s sites are open source, meaning that anyone can help out if they know how to code.

Contributions can be made to any of our projects, but these are the ones we think you’ll find easiest and most welcoming. We’ve put effort into making them simpler to get to grips with, and our own developers are actively working on them and will be able to help you out.

Current priorities

FixMyStreet (GitHub / project website) – Perl, Catalyst

Alaveteli (GitHub / project website) – Ruby, Rails

Poplus Components (project website) – contribute your own Component, or help with:

How to get started

Each of the projects above has an active mailing list, and a community of coders who have experience with the codebase. See the project websites for details.

  • Join the mailing list and introduce yourself.
  • If there’s a particular issue you’d like to work on, let us know.
  • It’s good to start by picking an easy bug or feature request from the GitHub issue tracker.
  • (But please do let us know you’d like to tackle it, so that we don’t duplicate your efforts ourselves.)

Can’t code? You can still help

There are plenty of other ways to contribute. Small acts can make a big difference.

Small ways to help mySociety

1. Tell the world about our work

Spread the word – tell people about our sites, put up posters, tweet and retweet, or contact your local press when you see potential stories on one of our sites.

2. Raise a little money

Like all charities, we’re always in need of funds. Money from cake stalls, head-shaving, parachute jumps, whatever – we’ll take it, and we’ll give you a big fat thank you as well. Donations can be made here, or for sponsored events you might like to use our MyDonate page.

3. Tell us what we’re doing wrong

If you’ve found something broken on one of our sites, let us know – our users often spot bugs before we do! Just send us an email.

4. Share your ideas

Most of our sites are still in active development, and we take suggestions from our users very seriously. Drop us a line and we’ll put your ideas on our list for discussion.