Email us at [email protected]. We will respond as soon as we can!
You can also join our Slack to get in touch with the entire Open Collective community. Check in at the #ocf channel.
Open Collective is the software platform, which is made by a company called Open Collective Inc. Open Collective Foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) entity that uses the platform to provide fiscal hosting services. The two entities are legally completely separate, but share some of the same staff members and community guidelines.
These two terms mean the same thing. See our Fiscal Hosting page for a detailed description.
See our Fees page!
Payees should submit an expense in order to receive payment from a hosted initiative.
Expenses are paid twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.
Individuals and organizations can contribute to your initiative in a variety of ways, including by credit card, bank transfer, and in-kind donations. See Financial Contributions for more information.
As long as your group is legitimate, meets all of the eligibility requirements, is aligned with one of our impact areas, and has no conflict with the Terms or limitations of our program, you can expect to be approved. We will follow up with you via email if we have any questions or concerns about your application.
Reach out to us - we are happy to procure an invoice of this kind when requested. Please provide: Donor name, Email, Initiative Name, & Donation amount (+ screenshots/links) for context.
In most cases, yes! As long as the funds are transferred into your Open Collective account in a timely manner (30 days). Please note, that most of the time, donations not made on the Open Collective platform will not receive the tax- deduction. For more details, please review our Outside Accounts Policy.
Also, check out our Third-Party Fundraising Tools page for more options and details about GoFundMe.
OCF’s ability to support sales of goods and services as a means of fundraising is limited, but we will consider requests on a case-by-case basis.
From our Outside Entities Policy:
Initiatives may sell products or services through a distinct and separate outside entity where the proceeds are then donated to an Initiative under OCF (as long as buyers are made aware that their purchase is not a direct donation and isn’t tax deductible, and that the Initiative and the outside entity are separate and distinct).
Due to state-by-state regulations and significant reporting requirements, OCF's initiatives cannot run raffles.
As laid out in our Terms (Exhibit A, no. 6), when you receive funds outside of the platform, you must immediately transfer them to your account with Open Collective Foundation. Please let us know when you do so, and we will then manually add the funds to your budget. You cannot hold funds outside of your budget at any time.
If you are using a third-party fundraising platform, please see the Third-Party Tools and Benefits page for information on specific platforms.
The platform has a 'Tier' type for membership fees. If all output/impact from an initiative is for 'members only', then it wouldn’t be for public benefit and therefore would not be eligible for fiscal hosting under OCF.
How do I cancel recurring donations/subscriptions/payments?
See our instructions on how to cancel recurring or ongoing donations, subscriptions, payments, etc., here.
Please see Submitting Expenses for more information on the approval process.
Unfortunately, these services do not currently allow nonprofit accounts. See this discussion for more details and instructions for how to proceed when sending funds through one of these services is the only available option.
Open Collective Foundation does not offer payroll services at this time. If your initiative has staff, they must engage as independent contractors.
Payroll and employment services are something that we are currently exploring and hope to offer soon. If you are interested in these sorts of services, please let us know.
Can I be incognito/not display my name?
We now have the option to differentiate between your public display name, and your private legal name.
We do need your real name as your legal name, because we are bound by IRS regulations and need to be able to ensure funds are being used appropriately. This private legal name will only be visible to admins.
Details such as attachments, comments, the private note section, and the payout method information are only visible to the submitter of the request, the collective admin, and the fiscal host admin who processes the actual payment. Confidential details can also be included in those areas to ensure privacy.
Initiatives do not have a separate legal existence from Open Collective Foundation and thus should not submit tax forms to the IRS. Your financial activities are included within our annual filings.
Individuals who receive income from Open Collective Foundation (or one of its hosted initiatives) may be asked to submit a W9 and will be issued a 1099. If this applies to you, you will automatically be sent a notification.
If you have questions about your own personal tax situation, we recommend reaching out to a tax professional.
Sales taxes are administered on the state and local level, but we're happy to apply or complete a certificate for your state or area, provided that we are eligible. Reach out to us and we'll look into it!
Only direct purchases, such as those via the platform or via Virtual Card, are eligible for sales tax exemption. Purchases that would be reimbursed are not eligible.
Yes! More info here.
Yes. But be aware that all of OCF’s transactions are denominated in USD and will then be exchanged into other currencies as part of the transaction.
Although Open Collective Foundation’s hosted initiatives can do work outside of the US, their operations must currently be based in the US. There are a number of other hosts using the Open Collective platform, based all over the world.
No. Hosted initiatives can only be hosted by OCF for the duration of their time with us.
While you entered into an agreement with us when you joined OCF, there is no contractual obligation to stay with us, or with any particular fiscal host on the Open Collective platform.
If you decide to transition to another fiscal host that uses the Open Collective platform, the process is relatively simple. If you “zero out” the funds in your account and decide to close it, you can also archive/delete your initiative if you are ending your initiative.
If you decide to transfer your funds to a fiscal host not on the Open Collective platform or to a new 501(c)(3) entity (one that you have set up or another fiscal host/sponsor), please reach out to us.
Please be sure to have any correspondance sent to [email protected] and be sure to include the name of the initiative.
For details about employee gift-matching programs, check here.
You can send our Terms of Fiscal Sponsorship document over when someone requests a fiscal sponsorship agreement (you agree to this when you tick the box when you sign up with us.)
If they require a signed document, please request one via email [email protected] (be sure to include the name of your initiative, and the name/details of the requester).
If you have a specific document that needs to be signed, please send it over to us so we can review it.
Sometimes! If all that's needed is proof of 501(c)(3) status, then yes. If special audits and more specific support is necessary, then unfortunately, no. We may be able to make exceptions, but it would be case-by-case. You can always reach out to check.
Ping us! We often receive money into our bank account without any indication of where it should go. (This is why it's so important to include the name of the initiative on any correpondances/checks/transfer that gets sent to OCF). We don't use/disperse that money anywhere, it just sits in our account until someone claims it, so just send us a message (in slack or email) with screenshots/receipts that include the dollar amount & the initiative name, so that we may get your funds to you.