Open Collective

Open Collective #opencollective

What could you do if your group had their own bank account and way for members to contribute funds?

TechSoup is testing Open Collective as a software platform that will give each local group:

  1. Virtual bank account
  2. Expenses tracking and reimbursement to your members and co-organizers
  3. Fundraising pages
  4. Sponsorship management

Open Collective’s platform provides a transparent crowdfunding and expense tracking platform that enables local NetSquared chapters to manage their own finances. Using Open Collective you can collect money from your members and local sponsors and then use those funds to track and reimburse your group’s expenses.


TechSoup’s use of Open Collective for NetSquared meetups is currently in a pilot phase.

Criteria for Participation

  • Duration: June 1 2018 – December 31, 2018
  • Limited to six groups, to be approved by the NetSquared Community Manager
  • Paypal support in your country for the withdrawal of funds (check here) and an active Paypal account to a accept expense reimbursement
  • Sign the NetSquared Organizer Agreement and Release From Liability
  • Group has more than 200 members, has been active for more than 12 months
  • Commit to running a fundraising or sponsorship campaign and putting transactions through the platform
  • Able to join the NetSquared Community Manager for a 20 minute Zoom webinar walking you through the platform.

Interested in being part of the pilot? Talk to the NetSquared Community Manager or email questions to

At the end of the pilot NetSquared and TechSoup’s Finance Director will determine whether to continue use of Open Collective.

What Does the Open Collective Platform Look Like?

How to Create a Collective

Approved NetSquared groups can create their Collective page using this guide to creating a Collective.

Managing your Collective

Submitting Expenses

Details coming soon.

Fundraising + Sponsorships with Your Collective

Details coming soon.

Open Collective has partnered with sponsors who want to support tech meetups. See the latest offerings at


Q: What’s all this about “Collectives”? and “Organizations”
A: Open Collective (the platform) is made up of hosting “Organizations” (in this case TechSoup/Netsquared, the Parent) and groups called “Collectives” (in this case local NetSquared meetups, the Children).

Q: Can I create my own Collective page?
A: During the pilot (June – December 2018) the creation of Collectives is by invitation only. But once we launch NetSquared groups can apply to create their own Collective at

Q: Can my group participate in the Open Collective platform?
A: Once the pilot is complete I hope to open the platform to all established and active groups. However, the platform requires the ability to withdraw money from a Paypal account, which is currently limited to select countries. Check to see if your country is supported.

Q: How are expenses approved?
A: If your group account has enough funds uploaded expense receipts will be send to the NetSquared Community Manager for approval. Expenses must be directly related to group activities as outlined in the NetSquared Organizer Agreement and Release From Liability

Q: What currency is used by Open Collective?
A: Open Collective currently only supports US$. If uploading a receipt in another currency please convert it to the US$ value and note the exchange rate used on the receipt (if possible) and in the notes when uploading the expense.

Q: Are contributions through Open Collective eligible for tax receipts?
A: No. But with some exceptions…

Q: What if a sponsor wants a tax receipt for their contribution to my group?
A: Tax receipts are available, but must meet these criteria

  1. Donation must be pre-approved by the NetSquared Community Manager
  2. Amount must be a single lump sum of US $100 or more
  3. Tax receipts can only be issued to USA residents and will be issued by TechSoup USA

Q: What fees will Open Collective charge?
A: Open Collective, Stripe, and Paypal administer fees for use of their platforms. TechSoup does not take a cut.

  • Open Collective: 5% of incoming funds
  • Stripe: Standard fees for incoming funds
  • Paypal: Standard fees for outgoing funds

Fees are outlined on Open Collective’s Github.

Q: What are the tax implications of using Open Collective?
A: Funds that are reimbursed to you through your use of Open Collective may be considered personally taxable income by your government. But we’re talking really small amounts, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it [NOT A LEGAL OPINION OR RECOMMENDATION 🙂 ]