There's an interesting study out on issues of FOSS projects around sustainability, especially due to skill gaps. It was sponsored by the Ford Foundation, who also sponsored "Roads & Bridges".
The PDF version is fast to read, takes you about an hour. I can highly recommend it, it gives a lot of food for thought.
(Note: it's an interview study, not a quantitative study)
For trust and privacy reasons, we limited our set of demographic questions to a minimum. Nevertheless, most opted out of stating even basic information like gender ... since pull requests by observably female profiles are more often rejected 
Longevity: Collectives are persistent, even though contributor numbers fluctuate and the original founders may no longer be involved.
Funding: Little to no first-hand experience, often with a critical attitude towards funding.
Resources: The project has no funds; if it does, distributing them is seen as a challenge.
well this certainly sounds familiar :sweat_smile:
this bit is repeated like 5 times:
Reach out to people who dropped out of a project in order to learn what factors contributed to them leaving.
... has anyone done that for former members of the rust community?
it probably doesn't make sense for Graydon Hoare or other early founders, but I think reaching out to @centril, ecstatic-morse, maybe others would help us know why people are leaving
I think it's interesting (and maybe not a coincidence?) that most of the authors are women
@Florian Gilcher thanks for the link :) it was definitely on point
https://rust-lang.zulipchat.com/#narrow/stream/213817-t-lang/topic/must_bind is a good example of this actually - the PR was closed with 'go through the project group process', but without actually saying what the process was
What an interesting read, thanks!
Individuals often spend more than a year passively reading mailing lists and trying to make sense of the code on their own before actively taking part in discussions and committing to code.
This was true for me as well, although it was only a few months back in 2017.
Clear onboarding mechanisms are the exception, not the rule.
I do think the rustc-dev-guide is close to exceptionally good, but I wonder if it would make sense to have more specific on-boarding paths for different areas of the organization (rustc, tools and all the other teams)?