Open Source Collective collects a 10% fee on incoming funds. This is in addition to processor fees that are collected by payment providers.
To ensure that our services are sustainable and continuously improving, we charge a Host Fee on funds contributed to the initiatives we host. Charging fees like this is standard in the fiscal sponsorship world.
There are no setup fees, balance minimums, monthly or annual fees, or any other charges. Besides the Host Fee, the only other fees you'll see are payment processor fees charged by Stripe, PayPal, Wise, or other third-party services you may opt to pay through.
The standard fee for fiscal sponsorship is 5%-15%. Different fiscal sponsors offer different services so it can be hard to directly compare, but we think our rates are quite a good value for the service we offer.
Some people compare our fees with crowdfunding sites which tend to charge 0%-5%. These services do not provide fiscal hosting, support for ongoing & recurring donations, or budget transparency. Read more about what OCF offers as a fiscal host.
A lot of our work is behind the scenes, so to understand why we have to charge fees, it might be useful to know what we do:
Our small team reviews applications, reviews and pays expense requests, responds to your questions and feedback, handles partnerships with funders, manages corporate procurement processes, and signs contracts.
We work to support our community: writing the blog and newsletter, maintaining this documentation, hosting community events, running funding campaigns, and providing opportunities for projects to offer and engage the services of specialists. We’ve played a significant role in developing the broader community and tackling the shared challenge of sustaining open source software.
Finally, we are active contributors to the Open Collective platform continuously improving our features and services so that it can do even more for hosted projects!
Our staff are our primary cost, but we also use our revenue to pay for:
- OSC shares our revenue with Open Collective, which makes the software platform that enables everything we do. We have a close partnership so that the platform can continue to evolve.
- Professional services, such as lawyers, accountants, and developers. There are a lot of legal, financial, and technical tasks and responsibilities involved in running OSC.
- Compliance is an important part of being a fiscal sponsor. It's our job to ensure that all money is used legitimately to forward the goals of each Collective, and that our Collectives align with our mission. There are a lot of regulations and laws we have to follow. We have to file taxes with the IRS and respond to audits.
- There are also operational costs like software subscriptions, office expenses, maintaining our website, etc.
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide any discounts on fees. As you can see from the above, providing fiscal sponsorship services to thousands of open source projects is no small task, at every stage of the process. We are more than just a payment platform! Our standard fees are already as lean as we can make them given our very real costs. As we seek to build new tools and programs in support of the open source ecosystem’s long term sustainability, we need to keep OSC healthy and vibrant.