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What is Patreon and How Does it Work?

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What is Patreon and How Does it Work?

If you are an artist or creative of any kind then you’ve probably heard about Patreon. While the pronunciation of the name is under much debate in much of the world, the platform exists to help fund artists and art, by allowing fans to become patrons. This entails a monthly ‘pledge’ where patrons fund monthly payments to pay for studios, equipment, or even rent and food for artists so that those artists can keep doing what they love. Like with any crowdfunding website, there are a few catches, but the following should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

How Does It Work

When a ‘patron’ pledges to an artist or creator, they agree to send money once a month to the artist. The artist sets pledge goals, with explanations about what they want to do with the money, and what they will create when they reach that monthly goal. So, for example, if an artist wants to afford new supplies, they set a goal for that and when it is reached and they get money at the end of the month, they spend it on those items. Artists can set as many goals as they want, usually in increments of $1,000 and up.

Is It Safe

Patreon does not offer any real protection to prevent you from being scammed, namely because most of us don’t go around supporting artists we don’t already know about. Essentially, if you’re not a fan of the artists other work, then you probably don’t want to support them. For this reason, you can protect yourself from scams by supporting artists whom you are familiar with, potentially know in person, or that you’ve been following for some time.

How Much is a Pledge?

The best thing about Patreon is that it allows you to pledge money for as much as you want. Donation amounts range from $1 a month ($12 a year) to $100 a month ($1,200 a year), allowing you to choose almost anything you want. Some of the basic math for the normal pledge rates include:

  • $1 per Month or $12 per Year
  • $5 per Month or $60 per year
  • $10 per Month or $120 per year
  • $25 per Month or $300 per year
  • $50 per Month or $600 per year
  • $100 per Month or $1,200 per year
  • $250 per Month or $3,000 per year
  • $500 per Month or $6,000 per year

Importantly, you can customize the pledge amounts, which means that some artists will only offer larger donation amounts and some only offer smaller donation amounts. Depending on the artist, you can get vastly varying pledge options.

What Do You Get for a Pledge?

This is where Patreon can get difficult to follow. Each artist chooses what they offer for the pledge and they are not required to offer anything. So you could be simply donating money. Many offer perks like one on one time, early access to prints or photos, and even free stuff or access to a raffle. The important thing is that if you expect something in return for your pledge, you make sure that the artist has clearly listed it on the Patreon page. Importantly, sometimes, the money is not raised for creating art, but rather for paying living expenses and buying supplies, which allows the artist to actually work.

Why Pledge?

Whether you like an artist, want to support art, or want something from the artist, you have a reason to pledge. Art is a huge part of culture, and by supporting it, you ensure that artists continue to create it. While not everyone wants to or can afford to give money for a cause like art, if you can afford it, there’s no real reason not to. At the least, you’re helping to fund a part of our culture.

Patreon is a rapidly growing crowdfunding site that uses a unique, monthly payment basis to allow you to support artists and art, ranging from dance and yoga to manga and cartooning. With the wide variety of artists on the platform, you can help to support anyone you want.