Open Collective?


Do we want to try using Open Collective for collecting and managing the GOAT budget?

It is a platform that allows you to add your organization, linked to a fiscal sponsor, collect donations (one-time and recurring), and submit/approve expenses - all publicly visible. It encourages radical transparency of finances for open source project, and open organizations like ours. It seems like a good fit.

We would need to identify a non-profit to act as our “host” (fiscal sponsor). They would actually receive the money, send invoices to contributors, and send payments to organization members.

Cost: Open Collective takes a 5% cut for using the platform, and the fiscal host will take a cut themselves as well. This is typical for organizations that process donations on behalf of other projects/organizations.

Notably, Open Collective also has their own fiscal host called “Open Source Collective” ( - they will offer to be your organization’s host if you have a GitHub repo with 100+ stars, and they take 5%. They are a 501c6 (not 501c3) so donations that go through them are not deductible as charitable donations.

The Bionutrient Food Association was the fiscal host of GOAT 2018 (outside of Open Collective). @dornawcox suggested that Farm Hack could also fill the role. Are there other ideas?

What do others think of this idea?


Said it before and saying it here again. I love this idea! It promotes transparency, accountability, and could be a simple mechanism for crowdfunding as well as for sponsors to contribute still :slight_smile:


I’m definitely a fan.

I know some folks expressed some uncertainty about just how it would work for an organization like ours, since we’re not specifically developing software like a lot of the groups on OC. Would it perhaps be worth reaching out to a similar organization that currently uses the platform (like, to ask them about their experience?


I’m a member of which is an unincorporated group which hosts a democratically managed Mastodon instance using Open Collectives to handle our funds. The use of OC has made financal operations very smooth/easy for us.

We are about to move to a new OC host (which I think will still happen on the main OC platform), which is a cooperative, which will significantly reduce transaction fees for us (we collect a few thousand $ a year in contributions)

Slightly concerned about future trajectory of the project as its heavily venture capital funded. But I guess if things end up moving in a terrible direction projects can move to another method of handling their finances.

Happy to answer any questions