Open Collective
Open Collective
Development - Cycle One Reflection and Cycle Two Overview
Published on February 22, 2024 by Shannon Wray

In 2024, we wish to provide more insight into our product roadmap and subsequently the projects that are being worked on in our six week cycles.  

Lets kick 2024 off with a reflection of cycle one and an overview of the current; cycle two.  

Cycle One Reflection 

With the first cycle of 2024 having come to a close, here is a summary of the work that was implemented 

  1. Chart of Accounts - we extended the chart of accounts capability to also express contribution related accounting categories. Fiscal hosts can now setup these additional accounting categories and apply them to pending contributions and added funds.
  2. Ledger - we continued making improvements:
    1. Generating and exporting consistent payment processor information expressed in the export fields Payment Method Service and Payment Method Type. We have prioritized followup work to add this information to the dashboard→transactions tool.
    2. Introducing an Effective Date to the ledger. Fiscal host admins have been entering for some time effective dates for added funds. These reflect the real dates that transactions showed up in the host bank accounts. Now this information is also reflected in the ledger. This was an infrastructure project and we have prioritized followup work to add this to the exports and the dashboard→transactions tool.
  3. New Expense Submission Flow - we began work on the new expense submission flow. We created the UX and validation infrastructure needed for the step-by-step process and we built out 70% of the flow. We are going to followup with this work and are hoping to have a beta version by the end of the cycle 2.
  4. Collective Overview - we’ve built an initial version of a collective overview. 
  5. Hosted Collectives - we rebuilt the hosted collective tool to better integrated with the new dashboard experience and have introduced some improvements alongside it. This tool is poised to play a more central role in the fiscal host experience and we are already looking at making more changes and introducing more capabilities to this tool. 


  1. Accounting readiness - we performed a simulation of a fiscal host reconciliation process by cross referencing the platform transaction export together with transaction exports from payment processors. In the process we gained a better understanding of the information we can expect to get (and process) from payment processors. We also discovered some edge cases which led to ledger fixes. We were able to achieve a 99.2% rate of reconciliation. We are going to followup this research with documentation about our discoveries of the reconciliation process and with an attempt to inject this information into an accounting platform.
  2. Fiscal Host Transaction Statement - through a series of workshops we shaped a new fiscal host transaction statement to replace the existing host reports and intend to followup with implementation in a coming cycle. 
  3. Tax Forms - we conducted research into an alternative tax form solution. Our research led to the conclusion that are better off building this as a solution integrated into the platform. We have shaped a project and intend to followup with implementation in a coming cycle. 
  4. Crowdfunding Redesign - we went into the cycle intending to initiate a redesign of collective profile pages and contribution flow. During the cycle we redirected this effort into research into an overhaul of the our crowdfunding capabilities (which include collective profiles and the contribution flow). We intend to continue with more research work during cycle 2. This is, for now, an internal project. We look forward to sharing more about it over the coming months. 

Cycle Two Overview

Here are an overview of the work that we have prioritized for the next six weeks. 

Accounting Readiness

Our top priority continues to be accounting readiness:
  1. We are creating a “transaction statement” report that will provide fiscal hosts a ledger overview for a given period of time. This will assist fiscal hosts in both understanding what is happening in the ledger and verifying it by linking to the underlying transactions. 
  2. We are making some changes to the recently released Transactions tool to reflect changes we made during the previous cycle including showing effective dates and improved payment processor information.
  3. We are also going to improve the transactions CSV export tool to make it easier to select which fields will be exported, in what order and to save these selections as saved presets.
These three efforts together represent a “three-pronged” effort we’ve been engaging to make the ledger more accessible, legible, useful and trustworthy:
  1. UNDERSTAND: A ledger overview report to provide a better understanding of the inner workings of the ledger by summarizing data in it for a given period of time. Every item in the report will be linked to its underlying transactions.
  2. VALIDATE: The transactions tool enables inquiry into filtered sets of transactions (such as those that make up the overview report) and specific transaction details. 
  3. EXPORT: The export tool makes it easy to export sets of transactions to continue working with them for accounting purposes and other reporting needs.

We are also continuing our research effort to inject into an accounting software transactions from the platform that have been reconciled with transactions from payment processors (continuing the reconciling research we did during the first cycle of 2024). This research work will help us assess the effort it would require of us to build integrations between Open Collective and popular accounting solutions. 

Fiscal Host Efficiency

  1. We are enhancing vendors to make sure that receipts for contributions are generated and sent to vendor-contacts.
  2. In service of hosts that operate in the USA we are integrating tax-forms into the platform. We currently rely on an external provider which has a prohibitive pricing model and inhibits our ability to provide a complete and integrated solution.
  3. We are making a few slight improvements to the Hosted Collectives tool to show balances that reflect projects & events and better handle frozen collectives.


  1. We are continuing an internal research effort into improving the crowdfunding experience at Open Collective. It is an effort we feel is long overdue, however it is also complex and effects almost all the collectives that use the platform. We look forward to sharing more about this soon.
  2. Open Collective is in the process of enabling platform tips across the entire platform (for all fiscal hosts and all collectives). We have received some feedback from collectives that have asked to be able to opt-out of this. We will be addressing this request in the coming cycle.
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Kasimir Suter Winter

Posted on February 22, 2024

Hello, Shannon, what exciting news! And great to have a peak into the roadmap. The recent dashboard updates have been amazing. I’m also really looking forward to the crowdfunding updates. 

I’m setting up a fiscal host in Sweden, and helping some collectives to raise money through the platform. We have come across a few simple fixes which would help a lot. And have discussed a number of bigger changes that could be really helpful too! :) Feel free to reach out, I would be happy to share more feedback if there is interest. 


Ruth Cheesley

Posted on February 25, 2024

Great to see this transparency, awesome work folks!
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