Invoice and Reimbursement Examples

When you should choose between the two different expense types.


Invoices should be used to pay individuals for work completed on behalf of the collective. Unlike reimbursements, a photo or a PDF of an invoice document is not required for invoices to be submitted on the Open Collective platform. However, there are some requirements for how an invoice is opened on the platform itself.

Invoices must meet the following criteria to be paid:

  • Must have a description of the work done, and the amount of time (normally in hours) spent on work or time covered (normally in months).
  • The payee must include their billing address.
  • The payee's name must match the billing contact.
  • For any invoice over $5000USD:
    • the payee can’t be the one who approved the expense (unless they are the sole admin) and;
    • the payee must be a verified user or provide a form of banking integration.
  • Attached pdf invoices that include an address must be made out to OSC like:
    Open Source Collective 440 N Barranca Ave #3717 Covina, CA 91723
Regarding descriptions: Invoices need a clear description of services rendered and provide sufficient detail to make it clear what the collective is paying for. This is because this description may be checked by our accountant for compliance. That means that someone with no knowledge of your project, and only a limited knowledge of open source, should be able to understand what was done from the description.
To make this easier, we suggest:
  • Using words like "maintenance" or "development", instead of more generic words like "payment" or "work".
  • Adding the link to the relevant GitHub issue or other public code tracker
  • Adding a link to any external documentation that may help make this clear, such as a blog post for awards, a changelog for development work, or similar.
We may mark an invoice incomplete and follow up on invoices which lack sufficient explanation of the work performed. This does not mean we are cancelling your payment, but that we need you to add more detail to the description.


You could include the detail of the work done in the description field of each line item.
Bug bounties can include a link to the fix
You could create one invoice for the total and attach your own invoice or time tracker to detail the work done. You do not need to attach your own invoice or time tracker, but it does make it easier for us.
Another thing you could do is note something like: "Maintenance on core for month of April, 2023." Here are examples of attachments:
If you use a time tracker report, please include your hourly rate in the invoice
Invoice Example

Grants, Awards or Donations

Grants, awards and donations should be used to reflect "gifts". Gifts can be given when there is no expectation of work to be performed on the project, however we do need an example of how this gift benefits the community. A URL of the award announcement or link to a discussion on your forums/discord is sufficient.
Example: 'Aosus writing contest' award announcement
  • If you are sending money to someone for contributions made to the project (code, documentation, design, community), please do not use these terms: Grant, Award, or Donation. You should instead use terms like 'work on', 'time spent on', or 'contributions to'.


Use reimbursements to pay for purchases, donations, or subscriptions made on behalf of the collective.
Receipts are required so that we can ensure the requested amount matches the purchased amount in order to approve the reimbursement.
A valid receipt contains:
  1. 1.
    Name of the vendor (person or company you paid)
  2. 2.
    Transaction date (when you paid)
  3. 3.
    A detailed description of goods or services purchased (what you bought)
  4. 4.
    Amount paid
  5. 5.
    The currency in question. This is normally clear from the address and the currency symbol.
  6. 6.
    Form of payment (cash, check, or last four digits of the credit card)
When uploading the receipt into Open Collective, the date, currency, and amount given must match the receipt exactly. The name of the vendor or detailed description should also be generally clear.