Helpful guides for Donors and Financial Contributors
This page of documentation is written for financial contributors. If you are an initiative hosted by Open Collective Foundation, feel free to share this page with your donors. If they have questions that you cannot answer, send them our way!
Open Collective Foundation allows donors to support amazing initiatives without them having to go through the laborious process of setting up a legal entity and bank account.
While Open Collective Foundation provides plenty of benefits for our sponsored initiatives, there are also benefits for financial contributors. Since our hosted initiatives use the Open Collective platform, their finances are transparent, and you can feel confident that the funds will be put to good use.
Since we have 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, financial contributions are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. Once received we will issue a receipt that certifies that you have made this charitable contribution and you are not receiving any goods or services in return.
If you value what a project produces or stands for, support them to maintain and grow it! You can also be recognized by appearing on their page as a financial contributor.
Further instructions on how to support one of our hosted initiatives via the above methods are included below. See Official Information and Documents for our EIN, determination letter, and banking info.
No matter which method you choose, make sure to whenever possible, indicate the initiative that you would like to support. If your chosen contribution method does not provide you with any opportunity to do so (e.g., there is no memo line, accompanying letter, or online form) please reach out to us to let us know the details of the transaction so we know to expect it and properly credit it when the funds arrive.
Credit Card, PayPal, or Bank Transfer Contributions
To contribute to an initiative online on the Open Collective Platform via Credit Card, PayPal, or Bank Transfer (a.k.a. ACH or wire transfer), please see this overview of the process.
Once you choose to contribute from the initiative’s profile, our platform will guide you through the rest of the process, including choosing between credit card, PayPal, and electronic bank transfer (i.e., ACH or wire).
The fastest way to have access to funds is through Card/PayPal donations made directly on the Open Collective Platform.
Bank transfers (e.g. ACH, wire) are done manually - this means it takes the funds a couple of days to clear (due to bank processing times), and then the allocation of the funds requires additional actions from OCF. It is important to allow for a few days (minimum 3 business days) when awaiting donations made via bank transfer.
If you select to make a contribution via bank transfer, you will automatically be given bank transfer instructions, on screen and by email, along with a unique reference ID code.
You must include the unique ID code as a reference with your bank transfer, so we can match up the transaction.
Once the money has arrived, we will confirm, then the amount will be credited to the initiative’s balance and you will automatically receive a receipt.
When you arrange the transfer, if you have the option of sending an email notification for the transaction, please send it to [email protected].
If you would like your contribution to be partially or fully anonymous, see our documentation on incognito and guest contributions.
Open Collective Foundation doesn't store donor credit card numbers on our servers. Instead, we partner with Stripe, a secure solution that is widely adopted by the industry, to process one-time and recurring contributions.
To contribute to an initiative via check, please follow the following procedure:
Make the check out to Open Collective Foundation.
Put the name of the initiative you would like to support in the memo line.
Every donor advised fund (what’s that?) has a slightly different process!
If your fund can contribute via electronic bank transfer, please ask them to initiate a contribution via the initiative’s page. This is much faster than by check. Should you have the option of having them send an email notification for the transaction, please have it sent to [email protected].
If your fund needs to contribute via check, please feel free to provide them with our mailing address. The check should be made out to Open Collective Foundation - NOT the name of the initiative you intend to support.
No matter which method they use, when you initiate the contribution, please make sure to include the name of the initiative as the “designation” for this gift or include it in another available comments or notes field.
Most donor-advised funds are familiar with fiscal sponsorship, but if they have any questions, please feel free to direct them to us and we will be happy to fill them in.
Matching gifts vary widely in their processes, but we are happy to work with your employer or other corporate sponsors to facilitate match funding. Sometimes matching gifts are slow to arrive, depending on the matcher’s processes, and your budget will not be credited until the funds actually arrive. Please refer here for more about what info we require.
Sometimes OCF receives money without a description of which initiative to direct the funds to. It is important for donors to specify the name of the initiative in order to avoid delays. If you think your initiative has been sent funds, but that money has not been allocated to the budget, reach out to us to let us know (+provide screenshots/receipts).
Other Ways To Give
Interested in contributing non-monetary or in-kind items or property? See our guide.
To make a donation on behalf of a company or funder, or some other group, we recommend setting up an Organization profile on the Open Collective platform.