Grantee Guide

Information for individuals receiving funds via an OCF Grantmaking Program. Link to this page using this shortlink:

Firstly, congratulations! You have been selected to receive funds from a Collective that uses Open Collective Foundation as its "fiscal sponsor" (what's that?). Below are some tips for the rest of the grant process.

If you want to get into the weeds, you can also review the full Grantmaking Policy.

1. Grant Agreement

Once you are selected for a grant, a Collective Admin will submit your information and the grant information to the Open Collective Foundation (OCF) team.

We will then put together a grant agreement that will need to be signed by us, a Collective Admin, and by you.

The document may look very long and legalistic, but just to let you know, most of the pages are made up of OCF's standard Grantmaking Policy, the info submitted to propose the grant, and our standard grant Terms, which basically state you will follow the policy and that you confirm the information you've provided is accurate.

Please note, we do ask grantees to fill out a W9 form as part of this process, but this is only as a precaution for cases where someone misuses grant funds. We will not submit it to the IRS and the grant will not be reported as taxable income as long as the terms of the Policy are followed.

2. Grant Disbursement

Funds are paid out using the platform, a tool that helps grassroots groups manage money transparently and collaboratively.

Once the Grant Agreement has been signed, you will either receive an "expense invitation" from the Collective Admin (which is encouraged for people unfamiliar with the Open Collective platform) or will need to submit an Expense.

When you click on the link to in your email, you may be taken to the English version of the platform. To change the language to Spanish, scroll down to the bottom and use the drop-down menu at the very bottom of the page to change the language to Spanish.

The platform should guide you through the process of setting things up, but let us know if you have any trouble. The Collective and a member of the OCF team will review the Expense before paying funds out to you. Expenses can be paid out to you via bank transfer or PayPal.

Hardship Grant Documentation

We ask that you include in the expense whatever evidence is available about how you will use the funds, for example a download/scan/photo of an outstanding bill, paperwork showing your lease/rent amount, etc.

We understand people receiving Hardship grants already have a lot on their plate, so just submit what documentation you can now (this helps us deal with reporting to the IRS about grants) and then add any documentation you get later as a comment on the Expense. For example, in the case of rent relief, if you can get receipts or acknowledgement from the landlord after paying, that would also be helpful for us to have on file.

Privacy and Transparency

If you are new to Open Collective, please also be aware that you can set a "display name" that is different from your legal name. We default to transparency, but understand if your situation requires a different name be shown publicly. To add a legal name that is different from your display name, click on your avatar in the upper right and select "Settings," then add a legal name and change your display name as needed.

Please also note that all expense uploads and attachments are private and can only be seen by you and the admins.


Will this be taxable income?

We cannot give you tax advice, but we have scoped out this program under the presumption that it should not be taxable income for recipients. You will need to speak to a tax advisor to be sure.

I have other questions. Who can I contact?

If the Collective cannot answer your questions, please feel free to contact us.

If you have submitted an Expense, you can also leave a comment there and we will see it.

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