3rd-Party Fundraising Tools

More ways to raise funds
Although receiving funds through the Open Collective platform is the swiftest, most direct & efficient way to receive funds, OCF’s hosted Collectives can also use some external third-party tools to receive funds for their Collective.

💡 Most Important Things to Remember When Using a 3rd-Party Fundraising Tool:

This includes tools like Venmo, CashApp, Patreon, Bonfire, Shopify, GiveButter. See more about how OCF handles merchandise sales.
  • Funds collected through outside accounts are regularly transferred to OCF, not held in an outside account for more than 30 days.
  • Donors are made explicitly aware that paying via an outside account means that their donation will not be tax deductible for them.
  • You must reach out to us if you would like to use one of these third-party platforms. We may already have an account on the platform, in which case we will help you get things set up. It will also speed up the process of getting the funds into your budget.
  • Since you are part of Open Collective Foundation, funds will need to go directly to us, and then we’ll make sure they go into your Collective’s budget.
  • Since moving funds from these sites into your balance is a manual process, and due to external platforms’ own unique disbursement processes, the funds will not reach you as quickly as those raised through Open Collective platform. There will likely be delays.
  • OCF will charge our standard fee on funds raised on the external sites.
  • Unless otherwise specified, we will batch donations arriving from 3rd-party platforms and disburse to your Collective 1x/month.

Third-Party Tools

OCF offers limited support for integrating with 3rd party tools and apps.

Some of our available options:

The tools below have been used by Open Collective Foundation's Collectives in the past and are available for OCF's hosted groups.
Let us know if you would like to register with Benevity, and we will get your Collective signed up under our host's umbrella
Note: Benevity operates on a monthly disbursement model. All funds designated to your organization in a month are aggregated and issued in one payment at the end of the following month.
For example, all donations designated to your organization in November will be disbursed around the last week of December.
Also, the reporting tools from Benevity are fairly limited (cannot always view donor details/dates).
We will set up your Benevity profile using the information & logo you use on your OC page. If there is alternative/additional information you would like to present, please specify, and we will be sure to include it.
The following are not set up to work specifically with fiscally hosted projects and do not report where donated funds are meant to be allocated to. This means there will be delays in the funds arriving to your account, and you must inform us whenever these are used.
If you wish to have the raised funds from the below platforms allocated to your fund, you must inform us about the incoming funds (please include links + screenshots). Unclaimed funds will be directed to OCF's operating costs.
GitHub Sponsors
  1. 1.
    Use this link to setup a Facebook Fundraiser with Open Collective Foundation as the recipient
  2. 2.
    Contact us when you start a new fundraiser so that we can get the raised funds correctly allocated to your account
  3. 3.
    Due to Facebook's disbursement schedule, there could be a ~1 month delay in disbursement of raised funds to your Collective after the Facebook fundraiser has ended. Funds arrive from Facebook in batches, so it is unlikely OCF received your fundraising campaign's money all at once.
  • Select OpenCollective Foundation as the beneficiary in order for your donors to receive tax-deductible status [recommended],
  • or you collect them on your own behalf, and transfer them to your Collective as one lump sum. [it will not be tax-deductible for your donors. Refer to our Outside Accounts Policy for details.]
  • If prompted, please send invitations to accept funds to: [email protected]
  • FAQ
Please reach out directly to Github's support and their support staff can help assign OCF as your fiscal host.
Please email us if you are expecting a payment from the third party service so we can look out for it and credit your account in timely fashion.
If you use any of these tools, please email us.

External PayPal Accounts

Since Collectives can receive and spend funds via PayPal from within the Open Collective platform, you should not set up an external PayPal account for receiving or spending funds. Please review our Outside Accounts Policy for more details.

Amazon Smile

OCF cannot direct funds received from Amazon Smile to specific hosted Collectives. Collectives should not use Amazon Smile to raise money for their work.

Venmo and Cash App

Unfortunately, Venmo, Cash App, and other similar services do not currently allow nonprofit accounts. Therefore, your Collective cannot send (or receive) funds from these sources directly through Open Collective.
If you raise funds on your own using these methods, please be sure to follow the processes described in our Outside Accounts Policy (and inform donors that donations made through these channels will not be tax-deductible).
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 (e.g. Venmo) that you used to transfer them the funds.

Other 3rd Party Tools

Let us know if you are interested in a platform not listed above and we will see if we can make it work. If you are requesting an integration with a 3rd party tool, please consider the following:
  • Not all apps/tools are suitable for fiscal sponsorship arrangements (e.g. they don't allow multiple groups to use the same EIN, they have limited reporting tools that don't indicate to us where funds should be allocated)
  • The tool must have a good option for monitoring the contributions (e.g. a dashboard for OCF to review contributions; detailed monthly reports),
    • in some cases, the collective can forward the reports to OCF on a regular basis
  • The tool must batch raised funds and make transfers on a periodic basis (e.g. once a month); not with funds arriving 1-at-a-time
  • Payments must be sent as bank transfers only (and only as per the monthly contribution amount)
  • Re: donation-matching tools: mandatory fields where any 'donations matches' include the information about which Collective they support,
  • The Collective must understand that there will be delays in getting these funds into their Open Collective account due to the manual processing, etc.
All funds for your Collective must be held in your budget with Open Collective Foundation. Read about the limitations of our fiscal hosting service, as well as our Outside Accounts Policy. If you would like to make direct cash payments out to recipients, please review our Cash Assistance Policy.

Expecting a Donation Match?

More info here: Donation Matching