Funds make it easy to give money to projects you care about.

Funds are similar to an organization in that both will let you donate to a collective but funds are designed to hold and display a balance, show transaction history and distribute money through grants and expenses.

If you are more focused on disbursing funds than receiving them, a Fund may be a good fit for you.

Funds allow you to know how much money the Fund has, approve or invite grant requests, and easily request disbursements from your charitable Fund.

Funds provide:

  • Transparent financial management on the Open Collective platform

  • A streamlined, single-payer process for supporters

  • Support for communities operating on Open Collective or elsewhere

  • A lightweight 'Request a Grant' process for projects issue money to grant recipients

  • More flexibility with what you choose to publicly show (in terms of expense management)

    • Protect identities of those receiving grants

      • e.g. emergency relief aid may not want to be as public

        • Will still be reported and available to fiscal host

What is a Fund?

A Fund is a profile designed for one or a few large sponsor companies to move chunks of money under our umbrella and frictionlessly distribute it to as many collectives as they want. Some Funds are in the name of a particular company, while others are focused on a topic.

Why do we need Funds?

Big companies call the process of paying for stuff “procurement”. It’s often pretty involved, with contracts, invoices, purchasing order numbers, and bureaucracy—a painful thing to go through repeatedly for small amounts.

It is easier for corporations to make one large payment to one vendor. As an umbrella non-profit, we are set up for exactly this. Funds are a feature on the platform to make the experience even better, and more scalable.

Who can create a Fund?

Funds can be created by an organization.

Funds allow for more customization in the transparency of an initiative. This is a great way to issue grants to recipients of emergency aid, human rights activists, and censorship targets, for example, for whom more privacy is essential.

It's also perfect for initiatives that want it to be easier to distribute money outside of Open Source Collective. Funds are the best way to manage your FOSS support fund for projects in or out of your OSC fund since you'll only need to deal with one vendor (us!).

With Funds, we can now offer more flexibility for managing finances and expenses.

A Fund is likely less interested in the 'social' & crowdfunding aspects of fundraising. This type of account will have a more simplified version of our dashboard for those who don't want all the extra features that group-organizing benefits from.

Who can Funds pay?

Lots of projects sign up with us because they don’t have their own company or foundation to work through. But you don’t have to be on Open Collective. Any collective—whether they are part of a company, has its own foundation, works with another fiscal host, or is unincorporated—can get contributions from a Fund.

The Funds admins approve what money gets spent on, but when it comes to invoices, purchase orders, payment processing, tax forms, etc, they don't need to worry about it. We take care of all that and interface with the payees. This makes it a lot easier for both of them.

The key to creating scalable, resilient projects is to support the community as a whole in ways that serve the full range of projects and creators. Open Collective liberates corporate support, getting it directly to projects at scale, across languages and ecosystems.

How is funding decided?

It's up to the creators of the Fund what the process is. Open Collective has a 'request a grant' function that some use to receive proposals from projects. Others use their Fund to process payments for an external program with its own process. Others have an internal team who decides where the money goes and they don't take requests. We carry out their decisions about what the money is spent on and handle the logistics, but the Fund administrators are in the driver's seat.

How do you create a fund?

**Reach out to us for more information if you are wanting to set up a Fund with OC!

For more information about our mission regarding funding and the initial organizations that came on board, please read Pia's release blog.

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Ⓒ Open Collective 2024