Playbook: Launching an Open Source Project on Open Collective with Fission [DRAFT]

This is a WIP outline. with the vision for it to become a full-fledged document to help maintainers get their projects funded and growing


  • Fission mission statement
  • “without having to build a business”
  • end goal: scale up to something that can be admitted into OpenSource Collective or something similar


  • “apply” to Fission to be the Fiscal host (via chatting through Discord or Talk)
  • create a profile on Open Collective
  • set up the collective (or project?) ==or do WE do this for you?==
  • what you need for your OC profile page:
    • mission statement (one-liner)
    • A one-paragraph explanation that explains what your project does
    • connect all your team members
    • links to a roadmap, and goals that need sponsorship.
      • Goals could be set up as individual Projects for which you can collect funds specifically if you like
    • Project Logo
    • custom profile colour
    • contribution levels (what do we recommend here? 2, 5, 10? Starting backer tiers for OpenCollective)
    • other ways to partipate (other than monetary), eg
      • Reporting bugs
      • Testing
      • Contributing
      • Follow and Like and Share on social media
      • Answering questions
      • Documentation and tutorials
      • etc
  • connect your collective to your GitHub Organization to benefit from GitHub Sponsors
    • ==needs Fission’s bank and tax info?==


  • where is your community? How do you reach them? Blog, Forum, Slack, Discord, Newsletter, etc. You will want to set up multiple channels and automation to get your message out
  • before setting up your collective, line up funders before you launch so you don’t have 0 in the collective. You don’t get funding just by asking for it… you have to show funding to get funding.
  • project launch blog post
  • connect Twitter to thank donors automatically
  • add periodic (eg weekly or monthly) Updates to your OpenCollective page. These could be links to content elsewhere, such as blogs, video updates, or even certain git commits. It is important to surface the activity, and be consistent.
    • IDEA: user stories. Interview a donor about how your project helps them. Feature your communities voices in your content strategy
  • consider Working in Public

Listen to this clip of @steveruizok talk about his low-overhead technique for engagement from Metamuse Podcast ep 59:

  • consider having regular Developer Calls that you can post on the Events section of your profile. This could be Monthly or Quarterly. This can engage your audience between meetup or conference events, and helps to build your evidence of community activity (see below).
  • cross post everything across all your channels
  • tag Fission, so that we can lend our voice to your cause and spread it further


  • swag: have swag to give out online or conferences, or build a shop with threadless, bonfire, teezily or cotton bureau that integrates into OpenCollective
  • stickers

What’s next

  • Small donors are great, but now you should start reaching out to sponsors

    • including businesses that rely on your project
    • you can add their logo to your page
  • build your project up to get into OS Collective

  • OS Collective criteria:

    • have an acceptable license
    • have at least 100 stars on GitHub and at least two contributors or equivalent
    • have at least 50 members in your community
    • demonstrate community activity, with at least 2 meetups


Straightforward list of potential monetization options, and their pros and cons