Open Collective
Open Collective
What The End of the Open Collective Foundation Means for the WPCC
Published on March 18, 2024 by Sé Reed

Hi folks!

Remember how in our reflection we mentioned there was some news about the Open Collective Foundation, the 501(c)3 that serves as our fiscal host? Well, the news is that the Open Collective Foundation is dissolving.

The difference between the Open Collective Foundation--aka OCF, our current fiscal host--and Open Collective, Inc., the company that runs platform on which it runs, also called Open Collective, is endlessly confusing to folks. Much like WordPress, the shared name for different entities muddles the definitions of both.

So, to be clear: Open Collective, the platform, is NOT shutting down. So projects such as PHP Code Sniffer that are not under the umbrella of the OCF are not affected by this.

The key difference between the organizations being fiscally hosted by OCF and the organizations being hosted on the Open Collective platform is their non-profit status. Under the OCF, the WP Community Collective is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which allows donations to the WPCC to be tax deductible, and places various restrictions on how we are able to spend the funds.

What does this mean for the WPCC?

The OCF has shared the following:

1) As of March 15, 2024, we can no longer accept donations and recurring donations have been paused.

2) We must either spend down all of our raised funds by September 2024 _or_ find a new fiscal host for the WPCC to continue operations and transfer the funds there. (Because of our active sponsorship program, we cannot transfer our funds to another 501(c)3.)

3) As before, we cannot transfer the funds or make payments to organizations that have a different 501 non-profit designation.

Here's what we do know:

1) We will finish out the Accessibility Fellowship. All employment contracts payments will end in June, which is exactly when Alex Stine's term is scheduled to end. So yay, that one is easy. Phew.

2) We have an active sponsorship program with a corporate sponsor, intended to be a long-term partnership, and we have already received the sponsorship funds. We are working with them to make sure whatever course of action we take meets our obligations to them as a partner.

3) Folks have donated additional funds beyond those two programs. It is a huge priority for us to be conscientious stewards of those donations.

4) We will continue to be 100% transparent and open in all our financial operations (and all operations).

We need your input!
As we discussed in our previous update, one of our goals this year was to get our contributors involved on an organizational level. So, no time like the present!

We need to hear from you! What do you think we should do? In order to meet our obligations, it seems like we might need to find another fiscal host (on the Open Collective platform or elsewhere). But whatever we do, we don't want to make any decisions without the input of our contributors.

You can give us your feedback on our GitHub, in our very first Discussion ticket:

Again ... we really want and need your input. This organization is about supporting the WordPress community, and it only exists because of the contributors who believe in our mission. Please take some time to share your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and questions. We would greatly appreciate it, just like we greatly appreciate you!

Sé Reed and Courtney Robertson
The WPCC Founding Board