Moving from OCF or another 501c3

As per this announcement made on Feb 27th, 2024, Open Collective Foundation will dissolve its nonprofit entity effective December 31, 2024. If you are currently hosted by OCF and considering OSC as your new fiscal host, here are some things to consider before applying.

We are different business entities

  • Open Collective Foundation (OCF), a 501c3 nonprofit

  • Open Source Collective (OSC), a 501c6 nonprofit

  • Open Collective (OC Inc), a US-based LLC

OCF and OSC are different types of nonprofits

OCF is a 501(c)(3). A c3 nonprofit is for public benefit.

OSC is a 501(c)(6). A c6 nonprofit is for member benefit.

OSC's income is not used for private or shareholder benefit. Our resources, such as the fees we collect, are all invested back into our mission: to promote a sustainable and healthy open source ecosystem.

Here are examples of how we redistribute our profit:

  • Grants to our collectives for attending conferences (here)

  • Sponsorship of open source related conferences and gatherings

  • Sponsorship of research or development that benefits the open source community

  • Donations to other charitable organizations

But why is OSC a c6?

The governing body that classifies what projects are considered a public benefit does not generally consider open source projects a public benefit. Few exceptions are made for projects with an educational or scientific research focus.

Please refer to a lawyer for more information regarding your designation. Here are some articles written by nonprofit lawyers to help explain the decision by the IRS and examples of projects:

What does the difference between a c3 and a c6 mean to me and my project?

As a c6, OSC's mission is to promote a sustainable and healthy ecosystem to sustain open source technology for the future, from its maintainers to its funders. Because we are a member-benefit organization, our primary purpose is to support our members.

  • As a c6, we have a wider range for what type of open source projects we can accept than a c3 can. (please refer to our guidelines on what we need to accept a project)

  • We have straightforward requirements around the documentation needed to process expenses. Please see our guides on what we need to see in expenses here.

  • We are not restricted to a location. We can host open source projects around the globe and pay non-us-based maintainers.

That said, there are some things we won't be able to offer that c3's can, including

  • tax-deductible receipts to donors

  • fundraising support

Here is a handy chart written by Reshama Shaikh to help explain the difference between the entities. (originally posted here)

ItemOpen Collective FoundationOpen Source CollectiveOpen Collective





hosting platform


Tax ID

EIN 81-4004928

EIN 82-2037583

Tax Info

tax deductible

not tax deductible Donations to Collectives hosted by the Open Source Collective are not tax deductible.


United States only

Anywhere in the world We can accept any open source project, in any language, anywhere in the world.


We offer: nonprofit status + fundraising + accounting software to aligned groups.

open source projects, meetup groups, conferences, other initiative. We can also accept open source related meetup groups and conferences, as well as advocacy, research, and awareness initiatives.

OK, I want to join OSC

Great! To transfer your collective from OCF to OSC please do the following

  1. Spend down the balance in your OCF collective to $0. You can do this by paying out expenses or invoices or by donating your remaining balance to another c3 organization.

  2. Unhost your collective from OCF (steps outlined here).

  3. Submit an application to be hosted by OSC here.

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