Open Source Collective Update #8

Open Source Collective Update #8

From our January 2020 board meeting

The Open Source Collective is a non-profit organization serving as a fiscal sponsor to over 1,700 open source projects on Open Collective. We believe in transparency, so we’re publishing regular recaps of what happens in our board meetings.

2019 Financial Report



While 2020 expenses will likely increase with the growing roles of staff members Alyssa and Alina, we are still probably underspending our budget. All signs point to continued growth in the open source funding space. We have many initiatives underway that are designed to increase revenue and scale OSC up, so 2020's budget could be much higher than current trends indicate. It's time to think about doing more projects and initiatives to better achieve our mission for the open source ecosystem.

From OC Inc New Years update:

"The Open Source Community is still by far our largest community. From the ~$4M raised through Open Collective +$3.6M are for the open source space. We decided in the past not to make this our single focus for fear of being trapped in a local maximum. However, we continue to see growth in this space and we are continuing to focus our efforts on scaling it. As an example, Google went from donating $60k in 2018, to $160k in 2019 to $390k already procured for 2020. Corporate investment in open source is growing and it’s becoming the new normal. This trend will consolidate in 2020 and Open Collective is uniquely positioned to support this."

See our full transparent budget.

Operational Report

  • Many team and board members in Brussels this week for Sustain, FOSDEM, and the OC team retreat.
  • Alyssa has been executing on the partnerships strategy we agreed, including working on Sustain, FOSS Funds, and Back Your Stack.
  • Set up Open Source Speed Dating event in partnership with Mozilla, Indeed, Ford, and Simply Secure.
  • Confirmed grant for Sustain from Ford & Sloane Foundations to expand the movement beyond yearly summits. More details on that soon.
  • We did lots of prep for Sustain in the last couple months.
  • We're working on an in-depth blog post sharing the partnerships strategy.
  • Currently doing lots of end of the year accounting tasks.
  • Paypal SNAFUs - account got restricted and we're working to unlock it. We really dislike working with Paypal and we're researching other payment options with the Open Collective team.
  • Continuing to work with Github on Sponsors integration - pace set by Github and they have been working somewhat slowly.
  • New Open Collective pricing model will not affect OSC's Collectives.
  • Sent OSC news.
Open Source Collective News—Jan 2020
We’re in Brussels for Sustain & FOSDEM, win $10k for your project, acceptbitcoin + more newsJoin us in Brussels!We hope to see you at Sustain Summit [] and FOSDEM […


How can we use the opportunity of the Summit to help further our larger goals?

  • Take good notes! The report is super important. Support the note takers.
  • Talk to companies there about FOSS funds and BYS.
  • Get feedback about BYS - what would it take for people to adopt it?

Grant from Ford/Sloane:
Confirmed funding to help expand Sustain's activities beyond just the yearly summit, including supporting local meetup groups, Back Your Stack, FOSS funds, the podcast, and other related activities to grow open source sustainability.

We're working with them on the legals and details. Will be granted through Open Collective Foundation because they need to go through a 501(c)(3) organization, but will operate via the Sustain Collective under Open Source Collective through an agreement between the entities.

Action: Hold a workshop about the grant vision and develop a delivery plan.

Back Your Stack

OSI Joins as a BackYourStack Partner
The Open Source Initiative [] (OSI) joins Open SourceCollective [] (OSC), Open Collective[], and CodeFund […

OSI has joined the BackYourStack working group alongside CodeFund and OSC. They are very interested in it being not just a project of Open Collective but a truly shared initiative.

To that end, we've already moved BYS to its own Github organization and we'll be further developing pathways for money to flow that don't have to go through Open Source Collective, such as making it possible for other Fiscal Hosts to plug in, and expanding the "pledge" feature for groups not on Open Collective to let funders know how to get money to them.

We will be announcing the working group at FOSDEM and Sustain, and inviting more interested companies to join and steer governance of the project.

OSC has committed a $2,000 for design on the Back Your Stack website, to help communicate the larger vision and emphasize opportunities for involvement.

Alyssa continues to hold customer development conversation and is in the process of synthesizing feedback into a product roadmap.

Action: Alyssa to host regular meetings of the Back Your Stack working group.

Alyssa Contract Extension

Alyssa has been doing great work to grow OSC, and has brought a lot of motivation and energy. Her initial short term contract is ending. We've agreed to offer her a contract extension and a (modest, for now) pay rise. Pia will confirm details with her while they're both in Brussels.

Alyssa Wright joins Open Source Collective
Welcome to the team! Alyssa’s skills in business development, marketing,strategy, fundraising, and partnerships will help Collectives thrive and createa more sustainable open source ecosystem. We are thrilled to have her with us. Alyssa is an experienced leader of open source business and commun…

Clarification of Hosting Policy

When we get applications from Collectives that don't fit the most common profile, there's sometimes ambiguity about whether we can accept them. We have defined acceptance criteria but edge cases continue to arise.


  • Stashapp — Someone raised questions about us hosting a project related to pornography,  but we decided to accept them because they met our criteria as an open source project and don't involve porn directly but only as a meta-level tool. It's not our place to police what people build open source software for.
  • Cloudflare — They use their Collective to sponsor pizza at tech meetups. While not technically restricted to only open source groups, we decided that we can host them in OSC because their activities genuinely support the ecosystem.
  • — While Mastodon, which they are an instance of, is open source, and this groups shares many values with open source projects, they are not focused on open source in any way so we decided we are not able to host them in OSC.

Bitcoin Contributions

OSC has been accepted for an account with OpenNode and we want to begin experimenting with accepting Bitcoin contributions to Collectives. We have invited interested Collectives to sign up. Once we work out how we'll process the funds on our side, we can open it up more broadly.

Alanna Leave Plan

Executive Director Alanna is going on parental leave in mid-Feb for an undefined period of a few months. Pia will be taking on critical functions, with support from Alyssa and Alina who continue to expand their roles. However, capacity will still be reduced.

Actions: Alyssa to facilitate board meetings, board members to help keep projects going that they are involved in (ex. Justin and Sustain, Eric and Back Your Stack) so help ensure progress continues.

Previous Update

Open Source Collective Update #7
From our December 2019 board meetingThe Open Source Collective [] is a non-profitorganization serving as a fiscal sponsor to over 1,600 open source projects onOpen Collective. We believe in transparency, so we’re publishing regular recapsof what happens in our board meet…