Open Collective Official Statement - OCF Dissolution

Open Collective Official Statement - OCF Dissolution

Dear Open Collective Community,

It is with sad hearts that we have heard the news about Open Collective Foundation decision to dissolve, effective December 31. The full content of their announcement, which came as a surprise to us, can be found here, and they have also created an FAQ. We are still grappling with the realities of this decision, which has sent subsequent shock waves through the Open Collective ecosystem and community.

Clarification of entities

Open Collective. Inc (OC) is a for-profit entity. We are responsible for building the Open Collective Platform that many fiscal hosts use for their operations.

The founders of Open Collective also founded and supported the early development of several nonprofit organizations:

  • Open Collective Foundation (OCF) a US-based 501(c)(3) fiscal host that hosts charitable projects, and which has chosen to dissolve.
  • Open Source Collective (OSC) a US-based 501(c)(6) fiscal host that only hosts open source software-related projects and which continues to operate in good health.
  • Open Collective Europe (OCE) a European based organization with the ability to have 501(c)(3) equivalency in the US, hosting open source, solidarity, artistic, and cultural projects principally rooted in or connected to Europe and which continues to operate in good health.

These entities all have similar names and share similar origins, having been started by the founders of Open Collective and incubated in the Open Collective ecosystem, but are independent nonprofits with their own  budget, accounts, staff, board of directors, and mission. They each have a separate commercial relationship with Open Collective.

Over recent years the Open Collective ecosystem has experienced rapid growth. While the above four organizations have historically been close partners, as they have grown, they have also become more and more distinct from one another, and are completely separate in their functions, despite their similarities in name and branding. Thus, Open Collective Foundation has made this decision completely independently.

Open Collective’s understanding of the situation

Over the course of the last year, OCF made us aware of increased technological needs, to which we have been responding with new features and other forms of support. It appears that, despite our shared efforts, OCF has not found a viable and sustainable path forward. The exact specifics of OCF’s decision to dissolve are not known to us. We have to trust that OCF had a good reason to do this, but still, we cannot help but be deeply saddened that this has happened.

Open Collective Foundation is one of the largest nonprofits using the Open Collective Platform, and as an organization, Open Collective will need to evolve in response to these changes, but first, we will do whatever we can to rectify the situation, as quickly as possible, for all OCF collectives that are affected. What is most important to us is the fate of Open Collective Foundation’s collectives. We will do everything we can as a platform and as a company to support their transition to whatever is next.

Transitioning from OCF

Please make sure to communicate with OCF at every step of the process. See their documentation for details.

We are moving as quickly as we can to understand how we can support the many collectives that are hosted by OCF and the communities they serve. Per OCF’s announcement, all OCF collectives will need to either:

  • spend down and close out their collectives
  • spend down and transfer their collectives to another fiscal sponsor, or
  • transfer their collective and funds to another charitable organization.

To be clear, this only applies to collectives hosted by Open Collective Foundation. The majority of open source projects on the platform are hosted by a different organization, Open Source Collective, which is in good financial health.

If you are hosted by OCF, here are some dates to be aware of:

• Last day to accept funds/receive donations: March 15, 2024
• Last day collectives can have employees: June 30, 2024
• Last day to spend or transfer funds: September 30, 2024

While there is no 1:1 replacement for Open Collective Foundation on the Open Collective platform, the following could be potential paths forward for OCF collectives:

  • Open Collective Europe is a European charity serving as the equivalent of a 501(c)(3) in the US. They support open-source, solidarity, artistic, and cultural projects principally rooted in or connected to Europe. (Please refer to OCE’s statement here and read about their offering here)
  • Open Source Collective - If your collective works in the open source community, you may be eligible to be hosted by them. However, it is essential to be aware that as a 501(c)(6) organization, there may be restrictions on funding opportunities from specific donors who are limited to funding 501(c)(3) entities. Additionally, there may be constraints on transferring funds from a 501(c)(3) fiscal host to a 501(c)(6) fiscal host. (Please refer to OSC’s statement here and read about transitioning here).
  • Another fiscal host on the Open Collective platform. We are currently compiling a list of options for OCF collectives, which will be shared on this blog. This may allow you to retain your collective profile on Open Collective and more easily retain recurring contributions. (We are working on tools and features to help with the transition.)
  • This spreadsheet created by the New Economy Coalition contains a number of mission-aligned fiscal sponsors as well as resources about fiscal sponsorship.
  • The National Network of Fiscal Sponsors maintains a database of their members.
  • A directory of fiscal sponsors based in the US.
  • Open Collective Foundation has offered support - "Many fiscal sponsors have requirements that some collectives may not meet. If you are having trouble finding a new home for your work, you can reach out to us for support in thinking through options by emailing"
  • Become an independent collective - This requires you to obtain your own legal status and bank account and abide by accounting and legal obligations. It allows you to retain your collective profile on Open Collective and more easily retain recurring contributions. (We are working on tools and features to help with the transition.)

For any of these options, coordination with Open Collective Foundation will be required. We understand that this transition will not be simple or straightforward for any of OCF’s collectives, but if you are affected, we will do whatever we can.

Our support team is ready to support you as well as we can and to answer any questions -

We will keep adding to this announcement as we get more information and the situation unfolds.


The Team at Open Collective