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If you would like to help with Thunderbird, visit Thunderbird:Home#Contributing.

To make a financial contribution to Thunderbird, please visit Donate to Thunderbird.

This rest of this page's content is from the now defunct Mozilla staff team working on Thunderbird, yet seems to rate high in web searches looking for ways to contribute to Thunderbird.


Ludovic Hirlimann, Roland Tanglao and Jennifer Zickerman

Identify Community

Q: Can you identify all of the contributors on your team (both paid-staff and volunteer-staff)?


Suggestion: Use the contributor directory to help. Communicate through your team's channels and encourage people to sign up and group themselves with a common team tag. If you assign a group tag to all contributors on your project, the Mozillians dashboard will track the size of that group and will also allow you to easily export the contact information for group members. You can export these contacts to ensure all your contributors are signed up.

Define Contribution Opportunities

Q: Can you point someone interested in contributing to your project to a list of available contribution opportunities?


Suggestion: Look at what your team's needs are and what gaps you have in staffing to come up with a list of contribution opportunities. Capture those on a wiki page, in bugs, as role descriptions in Jobvite or whatever makes sense for your community.

Map Contribution Paths

Q: Are there clearly understood steps someone can follow to go from knowing nothing about your project to successfully contributing?


  • For contribution inquiries: Variable. There is a clear contribution path for docs and support (and I think QA - LUDO?). The contribution path for development is not as clear; we have some information on getting into add-on development, but it's almost hopeless for a new contributor to get involved in TB core development. (jenzed TODO: revisit developer contribution path).
  • For support, in Q1 I am going to ping people on Get Satisfaction who have had a good support experience with a list of five to thirty minute tasks to see if they would like to help others as they have been helped. - ROLAND

Suggestion: In addition to just documenting these steps, look for a simple 5-minute task that someone can take to get started (for example, signing up for Bugzilla if they are interested in coding) and also figure out where in the process you can add a mentor to help people.

Establish Goals and Metrics

Q: Can you measure participation or contributors today? If so, what metrics can you track? What goal or metric would you like to achieve for Q1? Alternatively, what metrics would you like to get in place for Q1?


  • QA - keep the same numbers of active contributors.
  • Knowledge Base: I (jenzed) track significant contributions.
  • Developer docs: I (jenzed) try to track contributions on MDN but as I said above there are software limitations that make it hard to track Thunderbird activity.
  • Inquiries: I (jenzed) track the number of responses to inquiries I make. I don't think this is a valuable metric, though, as there is no way to tell how many people go on to become contributors.
  • Support on GS - For Q12012, I am going to see if we can increase the number of GS contributors (where contributor means a person who has helped solve 1 support topic) by one person per month. - ROLAND

Suggestion: Write down what you think would be helpful to track even if it isn't possible to get that data today. We'll work on implementing dashboards when we know what data we want.