Questions & Answers
Open and democratic associations are very good and important, but sometimes you want to do something with a small group without having to let new members in and vote on decisions. A non-profit association must be open and governed by some kind of majority decision. This means that the association must be open to new members who can vote on the activities and direction of the association at the annual meeting. We also know that there are many other ways of organizing than voting at a members' meeting - for example, through fluid democracy and consultative processes. You choose what kind of decision-making processes you want to use in your collaboration. We are organizational geeks ourselves and are happy to help you find ways to make decisions about your money and activities!
An association must have a list of members, a board of directors, statutes, annual meetings and minutes. To open a bank account for an association, you need to know how it works and then submit the minutes to the tax office to get an organisation number. Only then can you apply for a bank account, and the bank will examine your activities. Today it can take months to get everything in place. Getting started with OCE is very fast. Usually everything is ready in less than two weeks.
Groups around the world use the Open Collective platform to create and sustain projects around culture and the arts, civic initiatives, activism, local charity, open innovation, and social entrepreneurship. What they have in common is that they do things together, value transparency, and want to get started quickly without having to spend time on protocols, administration, and paperwork. In Europe, OCE can be an alternative to setting up a non-profit association and opening a bank account, which can take time and feel unnecessary before knowing how a new initiative will develop. You can always switch from OCE to your own non-profit later, and continue using the Open Collective platform with your own bank account.
This depends on whether the third party agrees to enter into a contract under the name of the cooperation as a Belgian "defacto association" without its own organisation number. However, most agreements require a registered legal entity. If you are running a project with great potential and proper funding, OCE can enter into an "incorporated partnership" agreement with you instead. You can then use OCE's organisation number for your partnership.
anyone can see where the money comes from and how it is used.
designed to suit groups doing something together, rather than individuals.
we hold the money and pay you when you make expenses or send invoices. You don't have to deal with tax, bookkeeping, accounting, association meetings, bank contacts and payments. If you receive support from foundations that require reporting, we can help you with that. We can also help you receive larger tax-deductible donations from foundations and individuals in Europe and the US.
OCE is a non-profit organisation. All revenues are invested in running and improving the Open Collective service and platform.
Collectives pay a percentage of the money they raise to cover OCE's administrative costs, staff and development of the Open Collective platform. If you raise money online on the platform, the fee is 6%. If we receive bank transfers for your collective or administer support, the fee is 8%. There is also a fee of 2.9% on card payments from the Stripe payment solution. If you receive grants, corporate donations, or tax-dedctible donations, the fee is 10%.
Open Collective Europe is a non-profit association registered in Belgium. According to Belgian law, Open Collective Europe may never pay out any profits. Open Collective Europe uses all its profits to run and improve its activities. Follow our budget in real time on Open Collective.
Most of the collectives are considered as unincorporated partnership. OCE manages the funds and takes responsibility for the proper accounting. The administrators of the collective are responsible to OCE for the collective. It is important to understand that OCE is an association and not a bank. Legally, all the money in the OCE bank account belongs to OCE and the management of the funds collected by the Collective is based on the decision of OCE to dedicate all the money in a special fund for the purposes of the Collective. Collectives at OCE may later choose to set up their own non-profit association and open their own bank account. OCE can then donate the collective's money to the newly established association.
Open Collective is the name of the platform used by OCE. Open Collective is open source and the code is available online. The platform is developed by Open Collective Inc, a company based in the US but with staff from all over the world. OCE is an independent association based in Belgium that has chosen to work closely with Open Collective Inc, sharing costs and staff. Exciting work is currently underway to transform Open Collective Inc into a community-owned company. We call it "Exit to Community".
As a rule, when invoicing the collective should use the name of the collective, not OCE. If you need an address, you can use any address where you can receive mail and indicate the name of the collaboration "c/o" the person or business written at the address. If your partnership is called "Friends of Luleälven" and you have agreed to use one of the administrators' addresses, you can write the invoice to: Friends of Luleälven, c/o Name Surname, Address. The exception is if you are in an incorporated partnership with OCE, in which case OCE's name and address will appear on the invoices.
Cobudget is a platform that helps partnerships decide how to allocate money. You could say that if Open Collective is the account, Cobudget is the budget. Like Open Collective, Cobudget is an open source platform, developed by the Swedish economic association Cobudget Sweden. OCE and Cobudget are working together to provide you with a complete solution for collecting, deciding and disbursing. In the coming years integrations between Open Collective and Cobudget will be built.