Open Collective
Open Collective
First Community Forum of the Year and Q&A about *NEW* Required Expense Categorization Tool
Published on January 4, 2024 by Sade Swift

🪩Happy New Year🪩

Join us this Friday for our first community forum of the year. Dennis from our finance team will answer any questions folks have about the new expense categorization tool and some upcoming things to expect for 2024.

🎟️RSVP here:


Posted on January 4, 2024

the only thing we'll need help with is understanding the definitions and or differences of each of the categorizing tool drop-down menu options. i think this feature is at least needed: when hovering over each one, a definition should pop up.

Cat Ramirez

Posted on January 4, 2024

Will this be recorded?  I'm unable to make it but run operations for my company (Obvious Agency) and would like to listen in!


Posted on January 4, 2024

+1 to recording request, as I’ll be on a plane but would love access to the info. Thanks!


Posted on February 15, 2024

 Hi all,
Thanks everyone for writing/attending! It was great to see you all.

Don’t worry if you missed the session, more video documentation (with shorter demo videos) of the categorization feature will be released later.

To recap:Some FAQ from the Forum:

Q: We purchase a lot of items and then deliver them to recipients (e.g. household items, diapers, menstrual supplies, etc.) Are those considered to be "program supplies" or “mutual aid?”

  • A: Please select “Program Supplies” for these types of expenses. “Mutual Aid” should only be selected when giving out money to recipients (e.g. inside an approved Cash Assistance program)

Q: What type of expense is an honorarium?

  • A: These should be submitted as “Invoices” on the platform. We understand that this may be new for a lot of groups. If you have questions about it, please reach out to [email protected] . The preference is whenever an individual is banked and has internet access, that they should submit an expense on the platform.

Q: We need to make some large payments upfront and our team cannot afford to pay first, and get reimbursed later.

  • A: Unfortunately, OCF (and fiscal sponsorship in general) is NOT a great fit for groups who need to make large purchases up-front. We cannot "front the money" to you due to all our IRS restrictions. To maintain our 501(c)(3) status, we need to be able to track all incoming/outgoing funds and valid receipts are vital to this compliance.
  • These are the ways to spend your Collective's money.

Q: What if the labor (for an invoice) does not fall under any of those specific breakout categories? e.g. Sometimes I do many different roles like admin, research, reporting, accounting etc.

  • A: You can select “General Consulting”, and then please submit as much detailed info inside the invoice as possible.

Q: I’m not sure which category to select.

  • A: Even if you're not sure which category is best, choose your best option. The OCF team is reviewing the submissions. The more info you provide us, the better we are able to assess the category. We will provide feedback to you if needed.

Q: Can I just select “Mutual Aid” for each expense since my Collective is a mutual aid group?

Q: A bank processing fee was taken out of the final amount that the funding recipient received. Our collective would like to absorb that fee on behalf of the recipient, is this possible?

  • A: Yes, please provide us with as much time as possible so our team can work on these calculations and get back to you.

Q: Some of our funding recipients are struggling to use the platform.

  • A: We are very sorry to hear this and understand your frustration. OCF’s team is working to provide clearer demo videos to use and share. Also, the web platform we use is constantly being worked on and improved and they will appreciate feedback you have to share:


 Below is an image with the Categories + Descriptions: