Using Patreon - yes or no?

The IGDORE Global Board is looking into different ways to accept donations. Patreon has come up as a potential alternative, used by e.g. PSA. However, there has been some criticism against Patreon, most importantly (according to me at least), they have been criticised for banning people who have - outside of the platform - expressed controversial opinions (on gender and race, I think). Serious professionals like Dr. Sam Harris left Patreon in December 2018 due to those bans. I couldn’t find a better overview of the issues raised than this one.

What do you think about Patreon? And do you have any thoughts on whether IGDORE should use the platform or not? Thoughts on alternative platforms are also very welcome!

I seems to me that many interesting projects are funded thorugh Patreon, including some related to Openess and Privacy. The platform is rather mainstream though, and as such it hosts “content creators” who might be controversial just for the sake of publicity. I personally would ban many youtubers even from Youtube itself, especially those doing entertainment out of complex and serious topics, no matter their political views.

My point here is that I do not mind where Patreon positions itself in the political comedy. If it is a useful platform, than I am in favoure of using it.

However, there are other issues that I am concerned about, and that would lead me to look for an alternative:

  1. 10% fees (or more?) on donations. I am a bit fed up of web-hosting services and marketplaces charging huge fees for automatized services.

  2. Opennes (of the platform) and Privacy (of donators)

I would look for alternatives and keep Patreon as a last resource. In any way, I do not think that IGDORE would especially benefit from Patreon’s fame and public coverage (i.e. I don’t see random people financing a project like IGDORE, especially because it does not provide any “content” in return)

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I think Enrico has got a point. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with other platforms but I will do some research.

By the way, It would be great to make a donate button on the IGDORE site active.

I just saw its possible to set up recurring/one-off donation options with PayPal when donating on another site. I think there are various ways to do this, but one option is this Wordpress plug-in:

Agreed with @Enrico.Fucci in that IGDOREs use for donations isn’t to fund regular content creation, so it doesn’t really fit in with the usual Patreon usage model. Paypal’s fee will be lower (~3%) and probably facilitates better (between donor) privacy.

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Does IGDORE have a Paypal account?

No

I’m just thinking of launching the donation section of the site. How about to start with this? But I think we desperately need a Paypal account.

This is on @dbernt’s todo list. He plans to not use PayPal, I believe, but Stripe. He’s also working on the creation of some sort of support membership.

That’s awesome then :slightly_smiling_face:

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I saw that AfricArXriv has started using Open Collective to cover their pre-print costs

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It looks like something IGDORE can benefit from (one time donations, monthly donations, support memberships). I am somehow annoyed by the fact that these services get fees out of your donations and still wonder if there is the possibility to create such a service internally, but I guess it requires some coding skills etc.

Should we contact Joanna to ask for pricing in detail?

Yeah, 5% seems to be the standard base fee (on top of transaction costs) for these services, although Open Collective seems to be a bit better value in that it gives nearly full services for this (and doesn’t charge this for bank transactions), whereas Patreon requires 8% to allow membership tiers.

Librepay is another alternative we’ve mentioned, and interestingly, it is run as a non-profit and doesn’t seem to charge fees above its transaction costs. Although I haven’t compared the services it provides to the others, so it may be different in some other ways (one is that it should only be used for donations, which still suits us).

https://en.liberapay.com/about/faq#fees

My understanding is that we will discuss funding for IGDORE in relation to our institutional values and identify further during the board meeting, so perhaps we could aim to decide upon and implement a donations platform after that (early April).

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I recently added donation buttons to the donate page of the website (yay, finally!):

I’ve tried making two test €1 donations and it seems to work, would somebody else also be able to send a €1 donation (using the ‘Other’ button) to test it out? Please post here if you do and I’ll confirm everything worked from the payment processing side.

The only issue I’ve found is that some hyperlinks I added to the acknowledgement email don’t format properly when I open the email in Gmail (see the screenshot below):

Do these appear correctly for anybody else?

I think I’ll announce the donation buttons in the next issue of the newsletter, and then try to add a small donation button to future issues.

Some points to improve would be:

  • Add some more interesting text on the post-donation and acknowledgement emails (the latter has some links currently)
  • Add an option for a recurring donation (I think this requires buying an upgrade to the Wordpress plugin for Stripe Payments)

@Enrico.Fucci - I originally set this to send donation notifications to info@igdore, but I’ve now changed this to go to stripe@igdore. The info@igdore account will still get warnings about errors.

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I tried it, looks good! Links were formatted correctly (gmail).

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Thanks @grant! It came through, and I’m glad to hear that it looked good on your side as well :slight_smile:

@Gavin thank you very much for setting this up!

I wanted to try a 1€ donation but the minimum is set to 5 euros. Is it just for me? (not that I am not willing to donate 5 :wink: )

I agree that we should work on the donation page a bit more and still discuss on possibilities for continuous donation (similar to Patreon). But it is great that we have this running!

Thanks @Enrico.Fucci

When I click on the ‘other’ button it gives me the following pop-up where I can enter 1 euro:

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 11.53.37 am

Does it not look like this for you?

had to give it a try. So I received this message:

image

Is it the way it should be?

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Looks good, thanks!