Our Mission and Values
”Fiscal Sponsorship made easy.”

Our Mission

The Open Collective Foundation’s mission is to provide a simple, open, lightweight path for initiatives and communities to operate through a 501(c)(3) entity.
We provide Fiscal Sponsorship as a service, with a tech-enabled, open finances infrastructure for ideas and communities to come to life. Our focus is on nonprofit initiatives that increase access to educational resources and training with an emphasis on open source technology; create a positive social impact; and develop tools to improve civic participation.
For the latest on our approach to fiscal sponsorship and the solidarity economy, check out Solidarity as our Guiding Principle.

Our Vision

Open Collective Foundation leads and enables change by providing communities with the tools for sustainability they need to be financially independent and thrive. By unblocking funding, we unblock their ideas and catalyse their impact.
Initiatives who are trying to do good in their community are forced to jump through many bureaucratic hoops, using up their precious time and energy: setting up a legal entity, paying lawyers and accountants, getting a bank account and creating a budget tracking and expense approval system, deciding which individuals will take responsibility in the name of the community, and going through the onerous process of establishing a 501(c)(3). The weight of all this means that many social impact initiatives are stifled before they can start.
Initiatives need a flexible, lightweight, instant organizational structure in order to thrive. It’s our mission to provide that.
We seek to tackle inequality by removing the friction and barriers that initiatives face in order to receive and manage funding. By bridging the gap between donors and social impact initiatives, we unlock their potential, enable them to focus on their missions, and thus accelerate their impact.

Our Goals

The goal is to assist positive impact initiatives by giving them access to the financial and legal structures, knowledge, tools, and resources they need.
    Initiatives gain:
      Tax-deductible donation status with the IRS
      Access to get money in and out faster than traditional fiscal sponsors
      A legal entity that can act and enter contracts on their behalf
      Transparent and public money management, powered by a tech platform that naturally and automatically leads to following best practice
      Open-source crowdfunding, expense management, grant applications
      Expert support for applying for and distributing grants
      Automated real-time quantitative reporting, and powerful, low-overhead tools for qualitative reporting
OCF is an umbrella fiscal sponsor organization that supports its initiatives using established community guidelines, and a powerful tech-enabled system that ensures compliance and proper documentation and use of funds. We oversee and manage all aspects of governance and execution in collaboration with the initiatives under our umbrella.

Our Values

Trust & Transparency

    Funders, partners, and initiatives feel safe giving us money to manage.
    We protect our reputation as a shared resource relied on by all our stakeholders.
    Our operational processes and execution reliably live up to expectations.
    We meet needs around liability, risk, professional advice, and compliance.
    We leverage our structures, brand, and track record to unlock funding opportunities.
    While we’re open to experimentation, we remain stable in a changing world.
    Transparency is a big way we build trust, including transparency of our initiatives and of our own operations and governance.
    We trust initiative leaders and give them as much autonomy as possible over their budgets, while ensuring they follow best practice and regulations.
    We act as a bridge between the tech and nonprofit worlds, bringing together grassroots organizers and institutional funders.
    Our platform delivers transparency automatically, in order to drastically increase the real transparency of initiatives and funding.
    We provide engagement and reporting tools that help initiatives build trust with their funders, community, and stakeholders.
    We trust initiatives to autonomously make their own decisions about their money (while ensuring activities meet compliance regulations and maintain trust with their supporters).
    We trust funders to give directly to the initiatives they want to support.

Collectivism

    We believe in creating positive impact through creating commons and partnerships.
    Our voice represents all the initiatives under our umbrella, and we use it wisely.
    We support practices and tools that help our initiatives work effectively as collectives (not bottlenecking on a single individual).
    We serve our initiatives both as discrete projects and as a community.
    We choose cooperation above competition, and collaboration above individualism.
    Our structure, legal status, and brand are common resources that we lend to initiatives wherever possible to increase their impact and open doors.
    We believe society at large should also be an equitable collective, and we work to close its many gaps and inequalities.
    For society to function as a collective, we must be dedicated to removing barriers to civic and economic participation, and we see our mission of positive impact through the lense of systemic equity and social justice.

Service

    We are here to serve the nonprofit missions of our initiatives and funders; our mission is to amplify their missions.
    We are operationally efficient and our processes enable progress, not slow it down.
    We use technology to empower initiatives, strive to continually improve it, deeply understand it: tech-driven positive impact requires tech-driven fiscal sponsorship.
    We provide comprehensive financial management all on one platform, enabling efficient service.
    We focus on human connection; our business is numbers but people are not just numbers to us.
    We show and admit our own humanity, including imperfections, to authentically serve our mission.
    We put as much power and autonomy as possible in the hands of initiatives, funders, and their communities, to enable them to serve themselves using our tools, while ensuring best practice.
    We are responsive, enabling collective action to emergent crises in a fast moving world.

Our Mission's Impact Areas

    1.
    Increase access to educational resources and training
    2.
    Create a positive social impact and combat community deterioration by supporting/promoting mutual aid efforts
    3.
    Develop tools to build a sustainable future through climate justice, internet freedom efforts, initiatives that strengthen democracy

Impact Areas Expanded

1 - Increasing access to educational resources and training

People and social movements are using technology to work together in order to build a better future, including an increasing number coming together to accelerate learning and education about technology. The Open Collective Foundation supports this educational mission.
We support initiatives that build tools and community for women and traditionally marginalized groups, in order to 1) enhance their technology facility, 2) accelerate their learning and access to STEM pathways, and 3) build their ideas. The Open Collective Foundation helps initiatives get funding to deliver programs in their communities (such as workshops, hack nights, educational meetups, pair programming sessions, and free online tutorials).

2 - Creating a positive social impact

With change comes ample opportunity to create a positive impact on society. We catalyze global social change through exploration of how society can use technology and money to increase the quality of human life, in a manner considered charitable under Section 501(c)(3).
We evaluate social impact through an equality lens. Change happens when we remove barriers for groups to access opportunities and share in public goods and when we make space for a sustainable commons. We support projects ranging from initiatives eliminating prejudice and discrimination and providing immediate relief to access to education and the arts.
We place a special emphasis on community building and diversity, shared knowledge and access to the basic building blocks a community needs to thrive and build resiliency; from public digital infrastructure and internet freedom to consciousness and mindfulness initiatives.
Finally, we are mindful that as stewards of this planet and our democracy, we need to support projects that have positive social impact for today as well as for future generations through supporting climate justice and open democracy initiatives.

3 - Fostering civic participation within cities and communities.

Open Collective Foundation fosters civic participation, looking to reduce neighborhood tensions, prejudice and discrimination, and community deterioration. We tackle inequality by hosting groups who aim to further educational access and distribution of resources to underprivileged individuals. We strive to remove barriers to civic participation, to allow everyone to access the social and policy dialogue of their communities.
We strengthen democracy by: 1) supporting technology with democratic positive impact purposes. 2) giving a platform to groups that may lack resources or financial know-how, 3) providing tools for civil engagement and discourse, 4) hosting advocacy groups that bring people together to work for their community.
Fundamentally, the Foundation aims at supporting projects in the above categories that have a positive impact in the world. We strive to close the multiple gaps and inequalities that our society continuously produces.
Last modified 2mo ago