Spending money

How can use you the money of your collective?

Below you find the basic steps to spend money. Tracking and tracing expenses via opencollective makes it all very easy: everything is transparant, and the reports follow automatically.

Step 1: submit expenses

Any member of the collective that spent money, can submit an expense to the collective page: by uploading a receipt or an invoice

Receipts 🛒

Receipts are for things that you buy for the community and for which you need to be reimbursed. Think of groceries, printing flyers, paint for banners etc. Make sure that you keep the receipt (just take a picture of it) and submit it to your collective (click on "submit expense" on your collective page).

A valid expense must contain the name and address of the vendor, the amount, the date, and the description of the items purchased. More info here.

Tip: you can also submit a receipt that you haven't paid yet yourself. Simply put the bank account of the vendor in 'communications' and add a small explanation. The money will be transferred immediately to the vendor.

Invoices 📄

Invoices are for things that a vendor (a shop, a company, a freelancer) directly charges the collective for. They need to be addressed to the collective and use the address of any of its members (usually the person in the collective that has the relationship with the vendor).

Ask the vendor to submit the invoice on your collective page (click on "Submit Expense"). If needed, here is a useful template to create a proper invoice.

Payout methods

We can pay back expenses or pay invoices via bank transfer, PayPal and TransferWise for international payments.

Step 2

Approval process

When a member of the collective submitted an expense (receipt or invoice), its status is PENDING. An email is automatically sent to all the administrators (core contributors) of your collective to invite them to approve it (or comment on it).

Payout process

Once approved and if there is enough balance to cover for it in your collective, your expense will show up in the list of expenses that READY TO PAY . One of the administrators of the fiscal host (https://opencollective.com/allforclimate) goes through this list every week reimburses the approved expenses (or pays directly the vendor if that is what the communication asks us to do). The fiscal host has no decision making power. As long as the receipt/invoice is legal and approved by one of the admins of your group, it will be paid.

Once the payment is done, the status of the expense will go to PAID and the balance of your collective will be automatically updated.

Note: whenever you edit your expense, its status will go back to PENDING so that the admins can review it again. Once paid, an expense can only be edited by the administrators.

Once your collective grows, we recommend you to define your own expense policy so that everyone in your community knows what can be expensed, up to what amount and who gets to approve expenses. You can also create sub collectives for different working groups and each can have their own administrators to approve their expenses.

See for example the expense policy of XR-Belgium.

FAQ

To whom should we address invoices?

They need to be addressed to the collective and use the address of any of its members (usually the person in the collective that has the relationship with the vendor).

Can we hire people?

Only as contractors (freelancers). They basically need to be able to submit an invoice.

Can we make spend the money outside of Europe?

No. We can only send money in the eurozone. If you need to buy a product from elsewhere (e.g. an online subscription), one of you will have to pay for it and then expense it to your collective. In all cases, we highly recommend to spend the money of your collective in the local and sustainable economy.

Can I ask to be reimbursed for less than the amount of the expense?

Yes. When you file the expense, you can enter any amount lower or equal to the amount visible on the actual receipt. This is useful when you go grocery shopping and you end up with a total bill with things for your collective and things for you.

What about VAT?

To keep the administrative overhead to a minimum, your collective can only receive donations (on which there is no VAT), and you cannot get the VAT back from the purchases that you are making. Whenever a vendor needs to issue an invoice to your collective they need to add the VAT as if they would invoice you as an individual.

What payment methods do you support?

The fastest and most versatile one is PayPal as it allows us to click on button and the payment is made. If PayPal fees apply, they are paid by the collective (see PayPal fees).

Otherwise, the second best option is doing a simple European SEPA wire transfer using your IBAN number.

For international payments, we have a Transferwise account. Note that organisations are not allowed to send money to individuals in China.

We don't support crypto currencies at the moment. If you need to pay someone with crypto or any other payment method (e.g. Western Union or other), we recommend you to make those payments directly as an individual and then ask for reimbursement from your collective.