For a sustainable and healthy open source ecosystem.

Are you part of an open source project looking to raise funds transparently, with minimal hassle? Join us!

 
 
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We are a non-profit working for the common interests of those who create and use open source software.

Companies get huge value from open source. But up to now, it’s been hard to give back financially unless a project formed its own foundation. Now they don’t have to.

The Open Source Collective is a non-profit umbrella organisation providing financial and legal infrastructure for thousands of open source projects. It’s an API between the world of distributed collaboration and the world of accounting and invoices.

 
 
 
 
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For Maintainers

Stay focused on your project — let us take care of all the accounting, taxes, invoices, and admin. You decide where the money gets spent, then we make it happen. Plus, your budget will be fully transparent to your community.

 
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For Sponsors

Help the open source projects you rely on thrive. Get recognition with your logo on the project’s page. Along with providing invoices, we can meet your accounting and legal requirements and engage with your vendor systems.

 
 
 
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FAQ for maintainers

How it works

Services

We make it easy for you to receive and disburse money without having to worry about accounting, invoicing, or setting up a legal entity or bank account for your project. You and other contributors can easily get reimbursed for expenses or paid for your time by submitting an invoice through your Collective.

We coordinate with sponsor companies to comply with their purchase order process and invoicing requirements. We have relationships with many large sponsors of open source and work to connect projects with supporters. We also advocate for open source sustainability, through conferences like SustainOSS and tools like BackYourStack.

Fees

10% of incoming funds, plus payment processor fees. We use fees to cover our operating costs and for initiatives to support our Collectives and the open source ecosystem. We operate as an Open Collective ourselves—see our transparent budget here.

Are you a non-profit?

We are a registered 501(c)(6) non-profit in the United States, meaning our income is not used for private or shareholder benefit. Our resources, such as the fees we collect, are all invested back into our mission: to promote a sustainable and healthy open source ecosystem.

Donations to Collectives hosted by the Open Source Collective are not tax deductible. If you are a US-based project with an explicitly charitable mission, you may wish you apply to the Open Collective Foundation 501(c)(3) instead.

Payments

We accept credit cards, via Stripe, through the platform automatically. We also support wire transfers and Paypal for one-off large donations. We can also credit income to your Collective from outside sources like Eventbrite ticket sales or Threadless t-shirt sales. If you’d like to use an alternative income source, just let is know.

All Collectives in the Open Source Collective are denominated in US dollars. If you want your Collective to be in a different locality and currency, please check out Open Collective Europe, Open Collective UK, or other fiscal hosts.

We pay out expenses via Paypal. We can arrange for payment by ACH or Transferwise for special circumstances, such as countries that do not have Paypal, or large infrequent amounts.

Relationship with Open Collective

Open Collective makes the software platform we use to provide functionality like showing contributors, transparent budgets, crowdfunding, and submitting and approving expenses. Open Collective provides its software to many organizations like us, who each host their own communities of Collectives. Open Source Collective and Open Collective were founded by some of the same people, but they are seperate companies.

 
 
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Accepted projects

We can accept any open source project, in any language, anywhere in the world. We can also accept open source related meetup groups, conferences, and advocacy, research, and awareness initiatives.

If you are an open source project with at least 100 stars on GitHub and at least two contributors, you will likely be immediately approved.

If you don’t fit 100 GitHub stars requirement, we will consider your application on a case by case basis, considering the following criteria:

  • Projects who don’t have their code repo on GitHub should show equivalent traction to the 100 stars requirement, whether through GitLab stars, evidence that the project is a dependency of other open source projects, or similar social validation.

  • User groups and should have at least 50 members and be able to demonstrate a genuine history of community activity (forum, events, publications, etc).

  • Your project must be directly related to open source (in general, or a specific open source project or area), not proprietary technology or any other topics.

  • If there’s a codebase at the heart of your project, it should be under an open source license.

  • If you are producing non-code content as a main activity, it should be licensed under Creative Commons or other copyleft framework.

  • Meetups or small event groups should have organized at least 2 events previously. You should be able to show where your community coordinates online and a history of activity. As further evidence, you agree to send photo/video documentation of your first event since joining Open Source Collective after it happens.

  • Conferences and larger events will be assessed on a case by case basis and may require specific risk assessment by our board. No expenses will be paid in advance of those funds being in the Collective budget (e.g. paying a venue hire fee ahead of the ticket sales that are meant to pay for that).

  • You understand that all agreements between your Collective and third parties, such as venue hire, employment contracts, speaker fees, etc, require explicit written permission in advance, since as fiscal sponsor the agreement is legally between the third party and Open Source Collective.


 

The Fine Print

We try to make everything as transparent as possible! See our full terms for yourself.

 
 

Who We Are

 
 
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Alanna irving

OSC executive director. Open Collective team.

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Sean Larkin

Board member. Webpack core team.

 
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Pia Mancini

Board member. Co-founder of OSC and Open Collective.

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Ben Nickolls

Board member. Octobox co-founder.

 
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Henry Zhu

Board member. Babel core maintainer.

 
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