Open Collective Foundation
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Fiscal Hosting with OCF
OCF is not accepting new applications to our fiscal sponsorship program at this time. For more information, read our Update.
Once you apply to join Open Collective Foundation and receive an approval email from us, you can immediately get started with managing your Collective on Open Collective.

Top things to remember

  1. 1.
    Contact us if you need to sign any contracts or agreements, or have any questions about services or policies.
  2. 2.
    Check Official Info and Docs for all of the necessary paperwork that comes up in grant applications.
  3. 3.
    Use the Updates feature to post general, mid-year, and annual updates or action alerts to your donor community. We require at least one update per year.
  4. 4.
    FAQs about how to submit expenses (i.e. get paid or spend money) are here.

Open Collective

  • Open Collective Inc. (aka OCI or OC) is the platform that OCF operates on.
  • Open Collective Foundation (aka OCF) is a charitable US-based fiscal host who uses the Open Collective platform to manage finances transparently.
For an overview of using the Open Collective platform, check out their documentation.
It has a ton of great information about Features like:
Their Quick Start Guide is another great place to start.
Explainer Video: What is Open Collective

Receiving Funds

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

Submitting Expenses

Using funds from your Collective’s budget is simple:
  1. 1.
    Someone submits an expense.
  2. 2.
    A Collective Admin (someone on your team) approves it.
  3. 3.
    OCF's team reviews it (confirms that the expense meets requirements e.g. having a valid receipt, amounts match).
  4. 4.
    They get paid.
OCF's expense policy is viewable on the right side of the page when you click Submit Expense from
Collective Admins can also set their own expense policy to give guidance to expense submitters. - In fact, we recommend it!

How submitting & paying out expenses works:

Expense payments may relate to either:

  1. 1.
    an Invoice for work completed for the Collective;
    • Invoices are used to pay people for work completed or their goods/services.
    • Within the invoice option, you can either upload your own invoice, or you can create one directly on the platform. You will be able to detail what the services/goods are, and can include multiple items
    • When someone uses invoices, they are treated as an independent contractor. If earnings exceed $600 in a year, they will be automatically issued a 1099 tax form to fill out per IRS regulations. (Reimbursements do not trigger the 1099 form). More info about taxes here.
  2. 2.
    or a Reimbursement for purchases made on behalf of the Collective.
    • Reimbursements are used to pay people (often volunteers) back when they have made purchases for the group - in these cases, receipts are required so that we can ensure the requested amount matches the purchased amount in order to approve the reimbursement.
  • Individuals and organizations can request payment from a Collective by submitting an expense.
  • Collective admins also have the option of drafting an expense and then sending an invitation to someone else to complete and submit it.
    • This is a great option for those admins who know already know exactly how much they want to pay/reimburse someone, and just want to invite them to the platform.
  • Sometimes a third type of expense, "Request a Grant" will appear on an Collective's page. This is because that Collective has submitted a grant proposal in order to be able to offer grants. More info here.

OCF uses a Double-Approval Process to pay out expenses:

  1. 1.
    Once submitted, expenses need to first be approved by Collective admins and then,
  2. 2.
    Expenses are processed and paid out by Open Collective Foundation biweekly on Mondays and Thursdays.
    Our finance team works across multiple time zones, which may mean transaction payments do not process until later in the day.
OCF can pay out funds via electronic bank transfer via Transferwise. View all Payout Options.
Make sure to review the Expenses and Getting Paid section of Open Collective’s documentation for a full overview of the process.
If your Collective would like to pay out funds to individuals who do not have bank account access, please review our Cash Assistance Policy.
Also check our Third-Party Fundraising Tools and our Outside Accounts Policy pages for info about how OCF works with other giving platforms (e.g. Venmo, CashApp, GoFundMe)

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