Receiving and Spending Money

So you've been approved. What next?

Once you apply to join Open Source Collective and receive our approval email, you can immediately start managing your collective on Open Collective.

Open Collective (the platform)

Open Collective is the software platform Open Source Collective (OSC) uses with our hosted collectives to manage financial contributions and payments. Open Collective has a ton of features like transparent budgets, custom collective profiles, donation tiers, fundraising goals, and other tools now at your disposal.

Open Collective is also an open-source project that manages its own budget on the platform!

✅ For an overview of features and how to use the Open Collective platform, check out their documentation.

Receiving Funds

The Open Collective platform offers multiple ways for you to fund your project. Check out the Quick Start Guide, which offers a few great ways to get started.

Our documentation includes information on how people can contribute directly to your collective. Feel free to share this Financial Contributions overview with your contributors.

In addition to direct donations, some of our collectives developed innovative ways to fund their projects. Read more about different funding options here.

Receiving Crypto

Open Source Collective offers limited support for cryptocurrency donations. Due to the impracticalities of running a payments service at scale and fluctuations in various crypto markets, we do not hold crypto on behalf of our member projects. Instead, we will accept crypto, convert it to fiat (USD), and attribute the balance to member projects accordingly.

Projects wishing to accept crypto should email to receive a wallet address managed by Open Source Collective.

Open Source Collective does not have an 'outside money' policy. You are free to raise, manage, and spend crypto (and fiat contributions) separately from the money you raise, manage, and spend through Open Source Collective.

Managing Expenses

Our tax status and the terms of our fiscal sponsorship agreement state that funds can only be used to further the cause of the projects we accept.

We have a comprehensive policy on expenses that we will allow, but sometimes, we may need more information to understand how an expense meets our policy.

We may flag a collective for review, and if we find a history of abuse around our expense policy, we will freeze the collective.

Expenses are processed and paid out by Open Source Collective twice per week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays).

OSC can pay out funds via PayPal and electronic bank transfer via Wise (f.k.a. Transferwise). Make sure to review the Expenses and Getting Paid section of Open Collective’s documentation for a complete overview of the process.

If you have any issues with a specific expense, the best way to get an answer is to post a comment on that expense page.

Collective Admin Responsibilities Include:

Ensuring that expenses are unique. If a payee files multiple expenses for the same work, the admin must reject duplicate expenses so the host admin does not accidentally pay both.

Review the expenses to ensure they meet our guidelines and policy for payment.

Using different methods, you can use the funds from your collective’s budget to pay for expenses.

Virtual Cards

Open Source Collective provides virtual cards to Collectives on request. Virtual cards act like credit cards and allow you to pay for expenses online using your Collective's balance.

This is a great way to pay for recurring charges like domain hosting or any upcoming project expenses you don't want to cover with personal funds.

Click here for more information about virtual cards.


Invoices are used to pay individuals for work or services completed on behalf of the collective. Here's the documentation on how to create an Invoice on the platform, in summary:

  • Someone can submit an expense on your collective's page, OR collective admins can draft an expense and send an invitation to someone else to complete and submit it.

  • Once an expense is created, a collective admin (someone on your team) must review and approve it as an accurate and expected expense.

  • Next, a member of OSC's team reviews and approves the expense. This is done to ensure the expense meets requirements, e.g., having a valid receipt.

  • Once the expense is verified, the expense recipient gets paid.

You can upload your own invoice or create one directly on the platform within the invoice option. Here are examples of what we need to see in the invoice to approve it for payment.


Reimbursements are used to pay for purchases or subscriptions made on behalf of the collective.

  • Reimbursements can not be used to pay contributors for work or labor spent on the project.

  • Reimbursements are used to pay people (often volunteers) back when they have made purchases for the group.

  • Receipts are required so that we can ensure the requested amount matches the purchased amount in order to approve the reimbursement.

Please look at the examples of what information we need to see in the expenses in "Invoices and Reimbursement Examples"!

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