MAINTAINERS are those who are responsible for the future of a project’s repository (or repositories), whose decisions affect the project laterally. Maintainers can be thought of as “trustees” or stewards of the code. CONTRIBUTORS are those who make contributions to a project’s repository, ranging from casual to significant, but who aren’t responsible for its overall success.

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software
from Nadia Eghbal 📕