In 2021, over 13,100 unique donors financially contributed to hundreds of initiatives hosted by OCF, from mutual aid to climate action to tech for good. We are very proud of the amazing things our community has accomplished! The real story is all of your stories.
OCF itself continues to grow at an incredible rate. After multiplying 16x in 2020 we get another 2.5x in 2021.
🏆 2021 Leaderboard
Top financial contributors
Top initiatives by number of contributors
- Minneapolis Northside Mutual Aid 1392
- Bushwick Ayuda Mutual 941
- NYU Graduate Workers MA 839
- Ward 2 Mutual Aid 549
- Club A Kitchen 525
Top initiatives by amount raised
- Digital Infrastructure $1,232,510
- The Week $1,228,855
- OpenMined $787,858
- Stop the Sweeps ATX $409,425
- Bushwick Ayuda Mutua $243,945
Most Expenses Paid
Largest Stock Donation
Largest Single Contribution
The rapid growth of 2020 left us little time to consider a long-term vision for Open Collective Foundation, as we scrambled to meet the needs of communities all over the US during the first year of the pandemic. In 2021, we were able to take time to think more deeply about where Open Collective Foundation fits within the Open Collective ecosystem and the wider world.
The beginning of the year saw our refreshed mission and values. Then we engaged in a strategy setting process resulting in our commitment to ”Solidarity as our Guiding Principle” and a strategic plan for how to do it.
We formed and deepened partnerships and collaborations with organizations in the sector, including the Sustainable Economies Law Center, SeedCommons, Ford Foundation, Luminate, and the New Economy Coalition.
Developing our team
During 2021, our team increased from five to ten employees (6 FTE), enabling not only better service to our initiatives but a whole host of new programs. We also engaged Lauren Ruffin, the former Co-CEO of large US fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas, in a consulting relationship.
OCF joined Social Impact Commons and the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors to further connect and educate our team. We are currently also participating in the Ford Foundation's BUILDing for Growth program for grantee organizations experiencing rapid scaling, and have received support from Luminate to resource coaching for our leadership team.
Services & programs
In response to our initiatives sharing with us what they want to do in their communities, we've developed policies and procedures to support that, including a grantmaking program, virtual debit cards, cash assistance, stock donations, liability insurance, and employment with benefits.
We focused improving the onboarding process, began hosting a growing monthly Community Forum, and completely revamped our documentation. We also went through an audit process for the first time, which led to improvements in our compliance systems.
Beginning in January 2021, Open Collective Foundation engaged with the Ford, Sloan, Open Society, Mozilla, and Omidyar foundations to distribute $1.2M toward digital infrastructure research. Later in the year, we hosted Study Into Action, which brought together major arts grantmakers to consider the future of arts philanthropy in the solidarity economy movement.
Telling (y)our story
The latter part of 2021 saw greater efforts on communications and storytelling, through the OC platform, social media, and traditional media. We were featured on PBS in December.
Recent hires have been a communications organizer Bobby Joe Smith III, and four Artist-Organizer Fellows: Niki Franco, Nia Hunter, Ebony Gustave, and Robin Bean Crane We are currently looking for a 5th Artist-Organizer Fellow who creates data visualizations (let is know if it might be you!).
We also produced an animated explainer video about OCF:
The coming year promises continued growth and enrichment of the OCF community, with exciting opportunities for real world impact and solidarity.
Some key questions now emerging are How Might We....
- Facilitate a multifaceted peer learning community, a solidarity school?
- Deepen relationships and communication to knit us together?
- Spread our story to reach and support many more aligned initiatives?
- Prioritize tech development to meet our community’s needs?
- More effectively support translations, inclusion, diversity and accessibility?
- Develop new services and programs to better serve our community?
- Secure more outside grants to help fund programming and improvements?
- Politically empower our initiatives within the bounds of a 501(c)(3)?
- Support meaningful collective governance of OCF itself as a commons?
- Fit into the international Open Collective network and its E2C plans?
- Collaborate more with the broader solidarity economy movement?
Whatever questions and answers may emerge, we will keep our focus on being of service to solidarity movements, and providing the best possible experience for initiatives.