[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you’re on Cliqist then you likely are in love with (or obsessed?) with crowdfunding campaigns. From Kickstarter to Indiegogo you can’t help drool over all the incredible projects. But did you know there’s even more crowdfunding endeavours out there? Case in point, there’s a site called Patreon which allows people to support the creators they love. It sounds a bit like Kickstarter, but in fact there’s some big differences between the sites. Read on if you’d like to hear more about this Patreon thing and why it’s worth looking into.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he best term to describe Patreon is “support.” By finding a campaign and pledging to it on Patreon you are not simply pre-ordering a product. Instead, you are 100% helping that individual, or group of people, do what they love. Whether they are a musical artist, streamer, game designer, or anything else they’re hoping to make a sustainable living off their craft. By funding anyone on Patreon you are helping this become a reality for someone else.
So, yes, this means you might not ever get some specific, fancy dancy product like on Kickstarter. But don’t let that make you think you donate and are left empty handed! A big reason people fund others here is because they are fans of people’s work. Do you adore a certain comic artist? Pledge to them and they’ll be able to continue putting out new chapters without necessarily having to work full time, or at two jobs, etc. Even in this day and age, the whole “starving artist” moniker still applies to many creative types out there, unfortunately.
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ow that you’ve got a feel for what Patreon is about we can get into the nitty gritty aspect of how funding actually works here. It’s a bit different than what you might be accustomed to from other crowdfunding sites. As you’re not paying for a specific item in particular, funding tends to split into one of two possibilities. You can either pay a specified amount a month (sort of like a subscription fee) or pay a price you set per project completed. As per convention, you can choose a price tier and reap whatever benefits it specifies, or choose your own amount. Funders can also choose to stop funding projects at any time.
Funding per project is likely the most unusual aspect of Patreon for new users. Many campaigns do not use this method of funding, but those that do tend to specify a cap on creations per a selected timeframe. This helps to assure prospective funders that they won’t be sapped of all their cash because a creator suddenly produced a ton of content. It’s also worth noting that, depending on the artist, sometimes funding does reap exclusive benefits. Some artists will share everything they create freely regardless, but others have generated special goodies to say thanks to those that support them. Again, all of this is generally defined on a creator’s home page so you know what you’re in for.
Hopefully this has been a helpful first step toward learning about Patreon and possibly considering it when looking for amazing people and projects to fund. The site is downright massive, and bursting with many more creations every day! If you’d like to get a curated taste of what the site has to offer, keep an eye on Cliqist as I’ll be showcasing some of my favorites in the future!