Opencollective & Tidelift



I was wondering what do you think about Opencollective & Tidelift being used together? It ocurred to me that it could make sense to not only benefit from Tidelift’s subscription model, but also create an opencollective to have a transparent way to share incomes (like Tidelift subscription’s revenue) & expenses (like domain names).

Do you think this could work? Do you encourage using both together?

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Excellent question! Many of the packages lifted through Tidelift are also using Open Collective to collect donations and show how the funds are being allocated (which is awesome), but I’m unclear on how Open Collective works with reporting income earned outside the platform. From what I understand, only the income earned through Open Collective donations is available for distribution and tracking through the platform, but I could be wrong on that point.

Is anyone using Open Collective to report and track revenue earned from other sources?


From what I understand, only the income earned through Open Collective donations is available for distribution and tracking through the platform, but I could be wrong on that point.

Well, that’s an excellent point. I’m not sure about it, but I think you are right.

The way I would like it to work is that I would be able to be transparent about activeadmin as a project getting a recurrent amount of money from Tidelift subscriptions, and about me as a person receiving that money, while also benefit from the rest of the opencollective features (like expense tracking).


We’re using Open Collective to track and report on income and dispersements from advertising ( and affiliate revenue, in addition to donations through OC,

The only income sources outside of OC are Patreon (direct to the recipient) and TideLift.

They do take a rather excessive 10% though.


Thanks @mbrookes! That’s interesting, so it sounds like the way to do what I’d like would be that Tidelift as a collective was a backer at OC, just like CodeFund is doing?

CodeFund is very interesting too, by the way! :+1:


@deivid-rodriguez We asked Tidelift about that, but they can only pay out directly to an individual (or individuals) at the moment.


So as I see it, there’s two ways (not mutually exclusive) for these services to integrate together:

  • That Tidelift allowed paying out to an open collective.
  • That OpenCollective allowed tracking income generated outside their platform.

The latter is something that could be proposed to the OpenCollective people, but for the former, what would be needed to support it? Tidelift would need to make recurrent donations of a variable amount of money (depending of what comes out of Tidelift’s algorithm to the proper collective). From a quick look at the OpenCollective FAQ for backers, it sounds like there’s not currently an API for this. If there was, that could be the way to go, maybe?


We’ve actually discussed a fair amount about if and how we could integrate with Open Collective, and ultimately we need to do more research on our legal and accounting sides before we’d be able to support it. Those have been the largest blockers to date. I hope that helps :sweat_smile:

On a different note, I’ve also heard from a number of maintainers that they actually don’t like the forced transparency of Open Collective because they’ve felt guilty or even been shamed for taking funds directly for development work, causing their Open Collective funding to largely sit unused. Because of that, they liked the idea of Tidelift’s funding going directly into their bank accounts. Do you have any thoughts on this?


Yeah, I can see how the legal side can be challenging to address, hopefully it gets sorted out in the future, thanks for that info! :+1:

That makes sense. I like being able to be transparent about expenses and income, but I can see how some people may not like it, and that shouldn’t be an issue preventing them from getting their work paid. I think the most options available to fit the different sensibilities of maintainers, the better :slight_smile:.


FWIW, I would prefer that these different funding sources remain separate. I think it would create confusion, since the business models do not cleanly align. Tidelift gives maintainers a way of getting compensated in exchange for doing what they already do (or would, should, or want to do, given the resources), and the companies that pay Tidelift are getting longer-term assurances on various aspects of a project are addressed piecemeal by other platforms and one-off approaches. This doesn’t match up with bounties, for example. Tidelift’s model is really direct, and it’s clear how economic value is created for all parties, and it’s also clear how Lifters can scale out while only minimally increasing in maintenance burden.

IMHO, other platforms would get more benefit from Tidelift than Tidelift would get in return.

This is just my 2c