Funds for Open Source
An easier way for large companies to give to open source

What is a Fund?

A Fund is a profile under OSC designed for one or a few large sponsor companies to move chunks of money under our umbrella and then frictionlessly distribute it to as many open source projects 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 for 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 so much simpler and more practical to ask corporations to make one large payment, to one vendor. As an umbrella non-profit, we are set up for exactly this, and Funds are a feature on the platform to make the experience even better, and more scalable.
We help companies invest in open source projects because we want open source creators to have a good livelihood and work sustainably, which is critical to the health of the whole ecosystem. Think of Funds as an API for funders to give support to and build relationships with the maintainers of their dependencies.

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 or hosted by OSC. Any open source project—whether they are part of a company, have their own foundation, work with another fiscal host, or are 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.
The only real limitation is that all money flowing through OSC must be directed at supporting open source.

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.

Examples of Funds

How do I create a Fund?

If your company wants to set up a Fund, please get in touch. We offer a bespoke service for setting up new Funds.
Read the original blog post announcing Funds for Open Source.