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Basics

Fiscal hosting with OC Europe
Once you apply to join Open Collective Europe and receive an approval email from us, you can immediately get started with managing your Collective on Open Collective.
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Welcome!

Top 5 things to remember

  1. 1.
    Contact us if you need to sign any contracts or agreements, or have any questions about services or policies.
  2. 2.
    Check Official Info and Docs for all of the necessary paperwork that comes up in grant applications.
  3. 3.
    Always upload receipts for your virtual card purchases within 30 days, or the card will be deactivated.
  4. 4.
    Use the Updates feature to post general, mid-year, and annual updates or action alerts to your donor community. We require at least one update per year.
  5. 5.
    FAQs about how to submit expenses (i.e. get paid or spend money) are here.

Open Collective

  • Open Collective Inc. is the platform that OC Europe operates on.
    • Open Collective has their own homepage, budget, and documentation. These docs you're currently reading are a pared down version to relay information that is specific to OCF.
  • OC Europe (Open Collective Europe) is a charitable fiscal host who uses the Open Collective platform
For an overview of using the Open Collective platform, check out their documentation. It has a ton of great information about features like the transparent budget, customizing an Collective profile, tiers, goals, and other tools now at your disposal.
Their Quick Start Guide is another great place to start.
Explainer Video: What is Open Collective

Receiving Funds

Our documentation includes information for how people can contribute to your Collective: Feel free to share this Financial Contributions overview with your contributors!

Submitting Expenses

Using funds from your Collective’s budget is simple:
  1. 1.
    Someone submits an expense.
    • There are 2 main types of Expenses: (For all payout options available, check our Payouts page.)
  2. 2.
    A Collective admin (someone on your team) approves it.
  3. 3.
    OC Europe's team reviews it (confirms that the expense meets requirements e.g. having a valid receipt, amounts match).
  4. 4.
    They get paid.
Collective admins can set an expense policy to give guidance to expense submitters.

How submitting & paying out expenses works:

Expense payments may relate to either:

  1. 1.
    an Invoice for work completed for the Collective;
    • Invoices are used to pay people for work completed or their goods/services.
    • Within the invoice option, you can either upload your own invoice, or you can create one directly on the platform. For the moment, OC Europe does not accept the invoices created directly on the platform. You must always upload your own invoice. You will be able to detail what the services/goods are, and can include multiple items
    • When someone uses invoices, they are treated as an independent contractor. Invoices from independent contractor must always include their identification, tax rate, and tax number.
  2. 2.
    or a Reimbursement for purchases made on behalf of the Collective.
    • Reimbursements are used to pay people (often volunteers) back when they have made purchases for the group - in these cases, receipts are required so that we can ensure the requested amount matches the purchased amount in order to approve the reimbursement.
  • Individuals and organizations can request payment from an Collective by submitting an expense.
  • Collective admins also have the option of drafting an expense and then sending an invitation to someone else to complete and submit it.
    • This is a great option for those admins who know already know exactly how much they want to pay/reimburse someone, and just want to invite them to the platform.
  • Sometimes a third type of expense, "Request a Grant" will appear on an Collective's page. This is because that Collective has submitted a grant proposal in order to be able to offer grants. More info here.

OC Europe uses a Double-Approval Process to pay out expenses:

  1. 1.
    Once submitted, expenses need to first be approved by Collective admins and then,
  2. 2.
    Expenses are processed and paid out by Open Collective Europe biweekly on Mondays and Thursdays.
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    Our finance team works across multiple time zones, which may mean transaction payments do not process until later in the day.
OC Europe can pay out funds via PayPal and electronic bank transfer via Wise.
Make sure to review the Expenses and Getting Paid section of Open Collective’s documentation for a full overview of the process.
Collective admins can set an expense policy to give guidance to expense submitters.