We have developed some terminology to describe interactions and roles on Open Collective.

Please use these terms when creating issues or support requests, instead of user —everyone is a user!


A Backer supports a Collective financially, with a repeating or one-off contribution.

They arrive at a Collective many ways:


A Sponsor is a company that supports a Collective financially, often at a higher tier.

Sponsors have more complex requirements because they are an Organization with accounting and reporting needs. They may want brand exposure, access to or goodwill from a community, tangible benefits like support, or help with recruiting efforts.

Core Contributor

Core Contributors are Collective admins, started the Collective or are heavily involved. They are often community organizers or maintainers of open source projects.

Core Contributors want to make their communities sustainable financially, so receiving funds from Backers and Sponsors is first on their priority list. They use tools like tiers, goals, and social media sharing. They are interested in managing and growing their communities by creating events and sending updates.

Fiscal Host Admin

Admins of Fiscal Hosts manage the entities that provide the bank account that makes accepting money possible. Host admins want tools and workflows to easily manage their tasks (paying expenses and approving new Collectives). They need to charge their fees and keep a useful accounting system. They are often the first point of contact for the Core Contributors of Collectives they host, and many are super-users.

Event Attendee

Attendees are users who register to a Collective's event. They often arrive through a direct link provided by the event organizers. They want a smooth, hassle-free experience, clear information about the event, and ideally a pathway to stay in touch or become Backers.

Open Collective Chapter

An Open Collective Chapter is a regional or topical version of Open Collective. For example, we have Open Collective Paris that is dedicated to foster an ecosystem of open collectives in Paris. We also have the Open Source Collective that enables open collectives for open source communities all around the world.