When collectives or movements start organising, need money, receive money or have expenses, they feel like creating a bank account. But in who's name is this bank account going to be? Who will have access? Who will keep track of the expenses and donation in the google spreadsheet, that everybody has access to and is a chaos in no time? And who feels like doing the tax reporting, pay outs etc? This is exactly what fiscal hosts help collectives with.
A fiscal host serves as an 'administrative home' for collectives. Fiscal hosts, like AllForClimate, are legal entities that can provide financial management, budget keeping and legal oversight to all charitable collectives that don't feel like starting their own legal entity. Nevertheless, all collectives keep their autonomy. We call this 'unincorporated partnership'.
To avoid the pain of creating your own legal entity and go through the admin like reporting about taxes, accounting, general financial adminstration, paying expenses, follow up payments, etc. you can apply to be hosted by a fiscal host. And while the fiscal host is taking care of the admin, collectives can focus on executing their ideas and actions.
In short: a fiscal host provides a bank account and a legal entity for all collectives they are hosting, like a big umbrella organisation.
Read more on fiscal hosting right here.
OpenCollective offers us a great platform to manage the job of a fiscal host. It provides all the software to track budgets and expenses, to generate monthly and yearly reports and fully automate the bookkeeping. Via the dashboard fiscal hosts get an overview of all transactions, and check especially these transactions that need attentioin (e.g. paying back an expense).
For collectives, the platform provides an opportunity to create their own page and working space. All activities of a specific collective are collected on this page: donations, expenses, the budget, newsletters, etc. Every collective has at least two administrators (gender balanced) to manage that space. Their main job is to approve the expenses that members of the collective upload themselves. (see also spending money) These admins get a report of all transactions, every month, automatically in their mailbox :-)
The platform enables collectives to keep their full autonomy and self regulation, but still use the services of the fiscal host. Every collective has their own finance policy. The fiscal host merely serves as an administrative help.