🛑Leaving OCF

Information for collectives about exiting OCF's fiscal sponsorship program during dissolution

Open Collective Foundation is closing down in 2024. This page reflects the process for spending out or transitioning out of OCF. Read more about our dissolution here.

During OCF's dissolution, the details in the 'termination' section of our terms still apply.

Collectives can either spend down and sunset, or transfer their funds to another 501(c)(3) organization (either another fiscal sponsor or a new 501(c)(3) legal entity). You can review your options in our Dissolution FAQ here.

This page gives additional detail on the steps you need to take.

➡️ Do this first

To complete offboarding from OCF, please complete the Exit & Unhosting Review Form to inform us of your plan.

If you are spending down and sunsetting your collective

If you want to shut your Collective down completely, you first need to zero the budget. You can do this by submitting expenses or transferring to another 501(c)(3). Once the balance is at zero, go to settings > advanced > archive.

Review the Exit Checklist to make sure all other services are shut down properly.

After you have zeroed out your balance, if you are no longer going to use the Open Collective platform, it is a best practice to "archive" your collective.

More about archiving/deleting Collectives.

If you are transitioning to another 501(c)(3) or fiscal sponsor

OCF is limited by the regulations regarding 501(c)(3) nonprofits. During our dissolution, we can only transfer money to another 501(c)(3). If you're moving to a different kind of entity, you'll need to spend down the funds OCF holds on Collective expenses before leaving.

Once we give a tax-deductible receipt for donated funds, we have to ensure they are only spent on allowed 501(c)(3) purposes. We can do that either by holding the funds for you as you spend them down, or by transferring them to another 501(c)(3) entity who is bound to follow the same rules.

Required documentation for sending funds to another 501(c)(3)

If you are moving from OCF to another 501(c)(3)—whether it's a new fiscal sponsor or your own new entity—submit an expense to move your balance over (or invite one if you don't run the other entity), and upload the determination letter as an attachment.

🔃 If transferring to another fiscal host/fiscal sponsor OR to a new 501(c)(3), please send us the following:

Questions to consider

If you are moving to a new fiscal sponsor:

  • Have you evaluated the services you currently use at OCF to ensure that they are offered by your new fiscal sponsor?

  • Have you obtained the following from your new sponsors:

If your collective is offboarding to a different fiscal sponsor, please ensure all future checks are addressed, mailed, and made out to your new fiscal sponsor.

If you are starting your own 501(c)(3):

  • Have you identified legal and accounting advisors for your org? Our minimum recommendation would be a CPA and attorney, but orgs with larger budgets might also require a CFO firm.

  • Have you considered a payroll provider to support with onboarding, payroll, and benefits?

  • Have you obtained an IRS determination letter and bank details to submit for final distribution?

Exit Checklist

Review this checklist before transitioning out of OCF.

  • Have any funders for actively reporting or multi-year grants been informed of your transition?

  • Are all associated expenses with your project submitted and approved?

    • If you have any outstanding contracts with unbilled amounts or non-transferable grants, OCF may need to hold back funds.

  • Have any nonprofit discounts in use been transitioned to your new entity?

  • Have all associated leases or contracts signed by OCF been transitioned to a new signatory?

  • Have any grantees served by an individual grantmaking program wound down?

If you have employees:

  • Have all employees had an end date set in Justworks and been informed of this transition?

    • Have external provisions been made for employee benefits transition?

  • If you have virtual cards, make sure to change your card information on any outside services that may have payment information saved. Virtual cards associated with your collective will be deactivated once you are unhosted.


Email us if you need help leaving OCF.

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