Fiscal Hosting FAQs

FAQ

What is a Fiscal Host?

Fiscal hosting enables Collectives to transact financially without needing to legally incorporate. In other contexts, this is sometimes called fiscal sponsorship.

A fiscal host is a legal company or individual who holds a Collective’s funds in their bank account, and can generate invoices and receipts for backers and sponsors. You can think of a fiscal host as an umbrella organization for the Collectives in it.

The fiscal host is responsible for taxes, accounting, compliance, financial admin, and paying expenses approved by the Collective’s core contributors (admins).

The Open Collective platform makes the job of fiscal hosts a lot easier by providing our software platform for tracking budgets and expenses, generating reports, and automating bookkeeping. Fiscal hosts have a dashboard where they can see their Collectives and perform common actions.

By sharing a host, Collectives are effectively mutualizing the cost and overhead of having a legal entity.

What are some examples of Fiscal Hosts?

Fiscal Hosts can be in any location and take any form of legal entity (as long as they have a bank account, PayPal account, and Stripe account). Each one determines its own policies for which Collectives it will host and what fees it will charge.

Below are the hosts that Open Collective manages, plus some more examples.

Fiscal Host

Hosted Collectives

Fee

Open Source Collective

Open source projects

5%

Open Collective Foundation

US-based charity projects

5%-8%

Open Collective Inc

Our own transparent budget

0%

Open Collective Europe ASBL

EU-based Collectives

5%

Open Collective Paris

Paris-based collectives

0%

Brussels Together

Brussels citizen initiatives

€10/mo

Women Who Code

Local chapters

0%

Operation Code

Local chapters

30%

Who are hosts?

  • HQ/umbrella organizations with Collectives for each of their chapters (e.g. Women Who Code)

  • Organizations that support an ecosystem by hosting Collectives in a specific area/vertical/topic (e.g. Open Source Collective)

  • Charitable organizations who host Collectives that align with their mission (e.g. Open Collective Foundation)

  • Organizations that host different Collectives in a certain city or country (e.g. BrusselsTogether)

How can I change my fiscal host?

If your initiative is already hosted on the OSC platform, you will need to 'Zero Out' your balance prior to making the switch. The steps for this process can be found here.

If your initiative is not already on our platform, you will still need to completely close out your agreement with and remove all of your funds from your previous fiscal host (since hosted initiatives cannot hold their budgets in two separate places).

Please be sure to communicate directly with both fiscal hosts about your plans to ensure that it is as smooth a process as possible.

What is a DAF?

  • From DAFDirect.org:

    • A DAF is a Donor-Advised Fund

      • A DAF is a centralized charitable account

      • It allows charitably inclined individuals, families, and businesses to make tax-deductible charitable donations of cash, publicly-traded stock, and, in some cases, certain illiquid assets, to a public charity that sponsors a DAF program..

  • Basically, you give your money to a DAF, and they invest it for you by donating to different charities. Once you give them your money, you don’t control it anymore, but you can still advise them to direct the money into specific funds.

    • The more DAFs you receive money from, the more credibility your fund will gain

    • DAFs are required to donate exclusively to 501(c)(3)s but are not required to meet annual distribution requirements

    • DAFs allow donors to donate non-cash assets, such as shares, in a private company or real estate

    • DAFs typically charge fees

Additional DAF References:

What's the Deal with DAFS?: A User-Friendly Guide to Donor-Advised Funds

National Philanthropic Trust DAF FAQ

5 questions to ask when choosing a donor-advised fund sponsor