Grants for organizations

Current phase:
The 2021 Season of Docs program finished on December 14, 2021. See timeline.

Google uses Open Collective to pay the open source organizations taking part in Season of Docs.

Follow the instructions below to create an Open Collective account and manage your payments.

What's included in the payment to your organization

  • Each project will receive $5,000 - $15,000 USD. The amount your organization receives will be based on the needs of your documentation project. You will be notified of the amount your project will receive upon acceptance into Season of Docs.
  • Organizations will receive 40% of the grant after hiring a technical writer. Organizations will receive invitations to submit their first expense starting June 10, 2021.
  • Organizations will receive the remaining 60% of the grant after successful completion of the Season of Docs program. Organizations will receive invitations to submit their final expense starting December 14, 2021.

How to create an Open Collective account

You may sign up for an Open Collective account with different profile types depending on how you wish to use the platform. Please read below for additional information on the profile types:

  • Individual: If the payment will be to you personally and you intend to withdraw your grant amount and not use Open Collective to manage and spend the funds.
  • Organization: If the payment will be to an organization you represent, such as a company, and you intend to withdraw your grant amount and not use Open Collective to manage and spend the funds.
  • Collective: Open Collective can be used to manage the grant and process expense requests from tech writers, automating payouts and invoicing. You can set up a collective and have your grant amount paid into its budget.
    • If you have a bank account (personal or company) to hold the grant funds, you can connect it to your collective, and the grant funds will be paid to that bank account and you can pay out expenses from it.
    • If you don’t have a bank account for your project, you can sign up with Open Source Collective to be your fiscal host, which means they will hold the funds on your behalf as you pay them out. No fees from Open Source Collective will apply to your grant payment.
    • If you are an organization with multiple Season of Docs projects under your umbrella, you can create a Fiscal Host with multiple collectives to track multiple grant budgets.

You must register for an Open Collective account by May 12, 2021 at 18:00 UTC. Please read below for instructions on how to create your Open Collective account:

  • If you are already an Open Collective user and would like to use your existing profile (individual, organization, or collective) to receive payment, please move on to the how to claim your payment section, in order to complete the organization payment information form.
  • If you are not yet registered:
    • Individual: create your profile here.
    • Organization: go here and select CREATE ORGANIZATION PROFILE.
    • If you already have a personal Open Collective profile, but you need to create a new Organization account to receive this payment, go to your user menu in the top right corner and click the ‘+’ next to My Organizations to create a new Organization profile. You should now see your new Organization in the payee dropdown.
    • Collective: create a new Collective here. If you will hold funds for the Collective in your own bank account, select FOR ANY COMMUNITY. If you’d like to join Open Source Collective as your Fiscal Host to hold the funds for your project, select OPEN SOURCE.

How to claim your payment

  1. Once you've created your Open Collective profile, you must submit the Organization Payment Information Form linked below by May 12, 2021 at 18:00 UTC. The form will ask that you enter your exact username from your Open Collective profile. We will transfer funds to that profile, so please double-check that you have the correct username! Leaving off any part of the username will result in the payment not being issued to your org.

    Whether your profile is an individual, organization, or collective, its username is the string of text found after in the URL. For example, the Season of Docs profile URL is so its username is season-of-docs-2021.

    Organization payment information phase complete. If you need to make changes to your organization's payment information, please contact the Season of Docs administrators.

  2. Hire a technical writer and complete the Proof of Technical Writer Hiring Form linked below by May 17, 2021 at 18:00 UTC.

    Technical writer hiring phase complete.

    Note: Organizations that have not hired a tech writer and submitted the Proof of Technical Writer Hiring Form by May 17, 2021 at 18:00 UTC will not receive funds on the first disbursement date.

  3. After you've completed steps 1 and 2 above, the email address linked to your Open Collective profile will receive two emails/notifications from Open Collective:

    • The first email will be sent once a technical writer has been hired, starting on June 10, 2021. You must submit your expense for this email by June 24, 2021.
    • The second email will be sent once the program has been successfully completed, starting on December 14, 2021. You must submit your expense for this email by December 21, 2021.
    • The emails from Open Collective will state the following: “Season of Docs wants you to submit an expense”. Click the button on the email, fill out your information, and submit the expense. See below for step by step guidance.
  4. Once you receive the email inviting you to submit your expense - click the big blue button that reads "OK, let's go!" and select INVOICE.

  5. Next you must enter your payee information. Sign in and select your existing profile.

    Note: Your organization should already have an Open Collective profile. If you do not have a profile yet, please create one by following the instructions above and contact us at once your profile has been created to let us know.

  6. Select your payout method, either PAYPAL or BANK TRANSFER. If you are an existing Open Collective user with a payout method saved, you can select it here. If not, click NEW BANK ACCOUNT or NEW PAYPAL ACCOUNT and fill out the details.

    Note: If you are using Global Payoneer, generate US bank transfer details from Payoneer, and use those details to create a BANK TRANSFER payout method.

  7. Click NEXT and ensure that all of your details are correct, then click SUBMIT.

  8. Season of Docs admins will review your expense and may request more information or require changes. Once the expense is approved by Season of Docs admins, Open Source Collective will proceed with the payment.

How to pay technical writers and volunteers

We strongly encourage organizations to pay technical writers and volunteers via Open Collective. Though, if you would prefer to pay technical writers through another platform/method, this is also acceptable.

If you have set up a collective and your grant has been paid into it (see “How to Create an Open Collective Account” above), technical writers can submit a payment request by going to your collective page and clicking SUBMIT EXPENSE.


How can I contact the Open Collective support desk?

If you have questions about your expense, post a comment on your expense. Open Collective support will get back to you by commenting in reply.

If your problem is preventing you from commenting on your expense or you have a question about setting up your account, you can reach out to Be sure to include the link to your expense, if applicable, and mention Season of Docs in your inquiry, along with as much detail as possible about the problem you're experiencing.

If you need help setting up your own collective or fiscal host to receive and manage your grant, Open Collective support is happy to help. You may also wish to view the Open Collective documentation for general information about how the platform works.

How do I get paid?

You will receive an email from Open Collective saying “Season of Docs wants you to submit an expense”. Click the button on the email, fill out your information, and submit the expense. See above for step by step guidance.

When will I get paid?

Once approved by the Season of Docs admins, expenses are processed twice a week, so usually within a few days. You will get a notification from Open Collective when your expense is approved and another when it has been paid. If there are any issues preventing payment, Open Collective will make a comment on your expense, which also triggers an email notification to you.

By what method can I get paid?

Open Collective can process outgoing payments to PayPal addresses, and to bank accounts in countries served by Transferwise.

If you are not able to use PayPal or bank account payments through Transferwise, contact Open Collective, by emailing them at, to let them know and they will see what other options might be available, but we can’t make any guarantees.

Will my information be private?

The expense amount, title, and your profile name will be listed on the Season of Docs public page, but attached files, payment details, your email address, and other private details are only visible to admins.

How do I change or update my payout details?

You set your payout details, such as your bank account or PayPal address, when you submit your expense; see step 6 above. If you need to change these details or add a different payout method, you can edit your expense and click ‘new bank account’ or ‘new PayPal account’ at this point in the process. To delete a previously added payout method, click the red X next to it here.

Can I update my expense after submitting it?

Yes. If you need to change something, click the edit icon, make your changes, and then save can re-submit your expense. It will need to be approved again by the Season of Docs admins before payment.

Will I need to fill out a tax form?

If your expense is over $600, you will need to fill out a tax form. Open Collective has an automated system for this. If you need to submit a form, you will see a notification when you submit your expense, and then you’ll receive an email through HelloWorks asking you to complete a tax form. Click through and follow the instructions.

We cannot provide any tax advice. If you’re not sure of the answers to any of the tax form questions, please consult a local accountant in your country.

I'm an individual claiming money on my organization's behalf. Can I still be paid by Open Collective?

Yes, you can be paid through Open Collective. Follow the instructions in the “How to Create an Open Collective Account” section above, to create an organization or collective profile.

What if I don’t have a bank account for my project?

If your project doesn’t have an entity or bank account set up for receiving and disbursing funding, like the Season of Docs grant, you may want to consider signing up with a fiscal sponsor that can hold and manage funds for you. Options include Software Freedom Conservancy, Open Source Collective, or a similar organization that can provide infrastructure for FLOSS projects and help you manage the payment process.