Basics

Once you apply to join Open Collective Foundation and receive an approval email from us, you can immediately get started with managing your initiative on Open Collective. 🎉 Welcome!

Open Collective Docs

For an overview of using the platform, check out the Open Collective documentation. It has a ton of great information about features like the transparent budget, initiative profile, tiers, goals, and other tools now at your disposal.

💡 Their Quick Start Guide is another great place to start.

Receiving Funds

Our documentation includes information for how people can contribute to your initiative. Feel free to share this Financial Contributions overview with your contributors!

Submitting Expenses

Using funds from your initiative’s budget is simple:

  1. Someone submits an expense.

  2. An initiative admin (someone on your team) approves it.

  3. OCF's team reviews it (confirms that the expense meets requirements e.g. having a valid receipt).

  4. They get paid.

Initiative admins can set an expense policy to give guidance to expense submitters.

Expense payments may relate to: an invoice for work completed for the initiative or reimbursement for purchases made on behalf of the initiative.

OCF uses a double-approval process to pay out expenses:

  1. Once submitted, expenses need to first be approved by initiative admins and then,

  2. Expenses are processed and paid out by Open Collective Foundation 2x/week (on Mondays and Thursdays).

OCF can pay out funds via PayPal and electronic bank transfer via Transferwise.

Make sure to review the Expenses and Getting Paid section of Open Collective’s documentation for a full overview of the process.

Venmo and Cash App

Unfortunately, Venmo, Cash App, and other similar services we are aware of do not currently allow nonprofit accounts. Therefore, your initiative cannot send (or receive) funds from these sources directly through Open Collective.

In the situation where bank transfer and PayPal are not viable transfer methods, an individual on your team can send funds to the intended recipient via one of these services and then submit for reimbursement.

In the Reimbursement, make sure to include:

  • the name of the indirect recipient of the funds and

  • what they are using those funds for,

  • if available, the receipt(s) for their activities,

  • as well as the receipt from the service you used to transfer them the funds.

All funds for your initiative must be held in your budget with Open Collective Foundation. Read about the limitations of our fiscal hosting service.