Call for a 501c3 non-profit organization to serve as fiscal sponsor for GOAT 2024

We have 4 potential fiscal hosts that we are currently in communication with (I will share names with permission when possible). All four are mission and value-aligned hosts introduced to us by current members of GOAT. The introducers will also serves as the fiscal host liaison.

What do we need from a Fiscal Host?
This GOAT Fiscal Host Needs document overviews what we need from a fiscal host. It is the email that will be sent to all potential fiscal hosts that we are already in communication with. It also contains our host review criteria.

Who’s involved in this effort?
GOAT 2022-23 organizers: @jgaehring @julietnpn @gbathree @laurieWayne @sudokita

GOAT members who have introduced us to potential fiscal hosts:
Fiscal Host ORG 1: @gbathree
Fiscal Host ORG 2: @Chroma_Signet
Fiscal Host ORG 3: @paul121
Fiscal Host ORG 4: @laurieWayne

Process to identify a Fiscal Host
@sudokita drafted version 1 prior to Dec 1 meeting for discussion and review. This content may change post-discussion.

  1. Request for org recommendations: GOAT community call announcements for connections to hosts, followed by GOAT-member email introductions to potential fiscal hosts. Shortly followed by this thread.

    • @sudokita drafted a review table that compares information provided each of the hosts, to be filled out as we learn more from each host. Once we have permission from the fiscal host orgs, we may publicly post this document. All GOAT members can review by joining a GOAT community call.
  2. Supplementary GOAT-meetings: As mentioned in the community calls we set up two additional calls to discuss next steps:

    • Nov 22: Meeting with whoever was available to draft action plan and review criteria. This meeting was missing too many key people, so we scheduled another discussion after the American Thanksgiving break.
    • Dec 1: Meet with all fiscal host liaisons + organizers to discuss content of the needs document and setup 1-1 meetings with Fiscal hosts.
  3. 1-1 Meetings with Fiscal Hosts to discuss mutual capacity and needs

    • Dec 1: Fiscal Host ORG 4 set up by @laurieWayne
    • TBD meetings
  4. Fiscal Host 1-week review period

    • We aim to send all potential hosts the needs document on Dec 1, so they may assess whether or not they are able to serve as the GOAT fiscal host. We hope to have all meetings completed by Dec 8, if not earlier.
  5. GOAT Vote, TBD:

    • On Dec 8, @sudokita will summarize all knowledge and identify a time/space for an open community call for votes. TBD

Coming soon.

I don’t know if they work with Open Collective, but the Software Freedom Conservancy provides fiscal hosting as a significant part of their operation, and as a bonus they’re also geared specifically to free software:

And I thought this group did fiscal sponsorship too, but reading now I might be wrong. Posting here anyway in case I was right and could be useful:


@Chroma_Signet has put @sudokita @gbathree and I in contact with

i think i’m too late to the party, but if you haven’t committed I’m a big fan of Inquiring Systems. They have a regeneration focus & are sponsoring Global Regeneration CoLab & Regeneration Pollination. Great service & good mission. GRC uses Open Collective with them.

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The question came up today on how the costs breakdown if you use Open Collective but bring your own fiscal host. I assume this can only really be done if the host registers on OC as such, and in that case OC will take 15% of whatever percentage the host charges. As they state on the website:

$0 if you don’t charge Host Fees to your Collectives ¹

15% Platform Share of your Host Fee revenue ²

(1) Payment processor fees apply when using Stripe, PayPal, or Wise.

(2) If your Host Fee is 10% and your Collectives bring in $1,000, the Host gets $100 and $15 (15%) is the Platform Share.

The scenario we were discussing was a 5% host fee I think, so if someone donated $1000 to GOAT, the host would get $50, keep $42.50 to cover their admin costs, and pay OC $7.50 for their admin costs. There’s also a couple fun interactive graphs and videos you can play with if you wish.

The other big contributing factor can be payment processors. When a host sets up their OC acct, they connect it to their bank account and Stripe or PayPal accounts, so those fees will take place outside of OC, and if memory serves, tend to be somewhere in the 3-5% range for Stripe or PayPal, but have no idea if non-profits get any breaks from them. This is what the Open Collective Foundation charges, which is its own fiscal host on the Open Collective platform:

  • 5% fee on each incoming contribution made via credit card or another method through your page on Open Collective. These transactions are automated.

  • 8% via all other means (like non-platform bank transfers and checks). This reflects the manual processing we need to do for such transactions.

So again, a lot of that will be up to the host, what payment processor they choose, and how they pass that cost down to the collective. I guess this is where you get into the territory of sausage-making details that OC and fiscal sponsors tend to shield their clients from or at least alleviate the myriad of choices but bundling it up into a simple transaction fee based on a percentage of the donation.

The last thing to consider would be taxes, but I think that’s largely w/r/t taxes paid on individual payouts. Hopefully sales tax on most expenses will be exempt via the 501c3 status, but then you’re getting into nitty-gritty tax jurisdictions and I’m not going there.

More links to their docs that prove useful: