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General FAQs

FAQ

What can I do with an Open Collective Europe account?

  • Collect financial contributions
  • Ask for subsidies or other grants
  • Pay bills and reimburse expenses
  • Provide automatic budget transparency
  • Transact without incorporating your own legal entity
  • Hire employees, Smart contractors, volunteers,...

What can't I do?

  • You may not use your initiative's funds to influence legislation or politics (lobbying), to support breaking the law, or for private profit.
  • You can’t hold funds for the project in another account, or simultaneously have another fiscal sponsor for this project while we are your fiscal host (for incorporated partnerships only).
  • You can’t use your initiative's funds for anything other than furthering your charitable purpose, and if you do you have to pay it back.

Why should I use Open Collective?

OC Europe uses the Open Collective platform to make it easy to be transparent about your finances. We help you collect recurring or one-off contributions from sponsors, backers, or members. Spending from your initiative is simple: the person to be paid submits a receipt or invoice, you approve it, and they get paid. We believe that financial transparency creates stronger collaboration, so everyone can see how money flows in and out of your Collective.

How is Open Collective Europe different?

Some things that make Open Collective special:
  • Built for ongoing collaborative communities, not one-off campaigns or individual creators.
  • Open source and designed for financial and technical transparency.
  • Offers fiscal sponsorship as a service, using Fiscal Hosts.

How much does it cost?

  • There is a 6% administration fee + credit card fees (1.4% + €0.25 for European cards and 2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards).
  • The fee is 8% if your collective:
    • Receives a grant or a sponsorship
    • Receives tax-deductible donations
    • Receives a public subsidy
    • Receives a manual bank transfer
We use Open Collective Platform to organize our Fiscal Hosting. Though most crowdfunding platforms charge a fee, the Open Collective platform charges the fiscal hosts. Thus, a percentage of each fee that is taken by Open Collective Europe goes to the Open Collective platform.

Can we have a discount?

Initiatives often ask us for discounts on fees. We wish we could say yes, because we are so inspired by the important work they do, and understand that every euro counts. People also ask for discounts on bringing in funds already raised before joining OC Europe. We understand that it can feel odd to pay fees on money you already have.
However, our standard fees are already as lean as we can make them given our very real costs. To provide our services and continue to improve them, we need to keep OC Europe healthy and vibrant for the good of all initiatives we serve. It's also important to remember that most of our costs, and much of the value we provide, are related to holding, managing, and paying out funds over time, not just about fundraising.
So, outside of specific campaigns (like the fee waiver we offered to COVID19 and Ukrainian response groups), we are not able to provide any discounts on fees.

Fee Comparison Chart:

Fiscal Host
Hosted Collectives
Fee
Open Collective Foundation
US-based charity projects
5% for credit card payments, progressive fee structure for manual payments (8% down to 4% for larger budgets)
Open Source Collective
Open source projects
5%
EU-based Collectives
6-8%
Paris-based collectives
0%
Local chapters
10%
Community Partners
US-based projects
9-12% + minimum balance/annual fee
Charitable Allies
1-25%
You're welcome to use us as a fiscal host for as long as you need and are eligible. You can cancel at any time. The Open Source Collective Platform offers great support and organization tools for fiscal hosts.

How long does it take to set up?

Applying takes only minutes. After that, we may have some additional clarifying questions for you, but once your application is accepted, you can begin accepting funds immediately. From applying to accepting donations, the whole process can take 30 minutes - 2 business days.

Is there a minimum required budget to be hosted?

Nope! Since the fees come out of the transactions/donations, there is no minimum required balance.