Raising Money With Patreon For Your User Group by Rex Covington
A little over a two years ago Board member and blogger Rex Covington started on a journey that matters, riding across the US to raise diabetes awareness and raise funds to support research toward a cure. His blog, voted one of the top 100 motorcycle blogs, offers a glimpse into his travels. Rex uses Patreon, and wrote this article for groups who might want to consider fundraising with Patreon.
Patreon Is a subscription-based crowd funding platform that helps creators collect financial support from their fans. You can use Patreon to fund your projects, Special Interest Group (SIG), or just to support your User Group by uploading YouTube videos. https://www.patreon.com
How Patreon works
Think of Patreon as a tip jar that people pledge to pay monthly. When you create your account, you can add rewards with many levels and milestones.
Patrons pledge certain amount each month, week, or per episode (Meeting or SIG) and will be charged once a month. Note that Patreon takes a 5% commission on all pledges. Wikipedia states that for participating artists, “As of February 2014, almost half of the artists produce YouTube videos, while the rest are writers, draw webcomics or make podcasts.”
There are some YouTube creators and podcasters that charge on a per-episode basis. If you have one episode for the month and a patron has pledged $5.00, the patron would be charged $5.00 for that month. If you had 4 episodes for that month, the patron would be charged $20.00 for that month. With your User Group, if you uploaded two video SIG meetings, your group would have earned $10.00 from that one Patron.
My thoughts on this for User Groups would be to do a monthly pledge. Say that you had 50 Patrons that were pledging a dollar per month, that would be $50.00 earned per month or $600.00 per year for the user group. You could even have a $5.00 per month level that would reward the Patrons with a new T-shirt every 12 months from the user group. With the 50 Patrons example, that would be $250.00 per month or $3,000.00 per year. That would be $60.00 from each Patron minus the cost of the T-shirt and the Patreon 5% commission. Use your imagination for different rewards at different levels.
If you decide to start a Patreon site, take your time to create a great profile and think of the best way to market your User Group and your videos on YouTube. Scan the other Patreon sites to see how they are charging their supporters. Once you start your Patreon site, promote, promote, and promote: you may even get some supporters who are not members of your user group.
I started a Patreon site for my YouTube channel and work on doing the monthly pledges with many rewards levels. Stay tuned on http://www.lonestarrider.tv to see how well it works and maybe get ideas for your Patreon account too.
If you have any questions you can reach me at rexjc at mac.com