As far as platforms go, Ko-Fi and Patreon have similar goals: make it easy for fans to support creatives. I get the impression that some folks use one but not the other. I DARE to use both. So how do I do it?
Well, let’s cover the similarities and differences first:
Ko-Fi (I think it’s pronounced ‘coffee,’ and you’ll see why) is a platform that lets you donate the price equivalent of a cup of coffee (get it?) to your favorite creative person. By giving, you support the creative, AND you get access to some supporter-exclusive posts.
Patreon lets fans subscribe to their favorite creatives by pledging a specific amount of money, to give either each month, or for each project. You get rewards in exchange for how much you give. The more you give, the more rewards you get.
Ko-Fi also has an option to let folks subscribe to their favorite creatives with a monthly donation, but this option is only available if the creative pays for a Ko-Fi Gold plan. Otherwise, it’s just one-time donations.
Patreon grandfathered me into a particular package deal, because I had been on the platform for so long.
As of this writing, Patreon has 3 plans, depending on how big your team is. If it’s just you, you get a simple button and you don’t break down your rewards like tiers (like KickStarter does). If you’re a handful of people, but not a huge team, you can get on the Founder Level, which is what I have. This allows patrons to select their level of patronage from the options you provide just like you would with KickStarter. Patreon also has a level above Founder, but that’s intended for creative teams that are 10+ people, or folks who run a business with subscription boxes that ship.
In the indie comics verse, I’ve seen some folks use one platform, but not the other. More often, I see both. I decided to be kooky and use both platforms, as well.
So how am I using them?
Admittedly, I sought out using Ko-Fi to fund a side project. Then the side-project fell through. So then I thought, “Maybe I’ll offer this as an alternative to Patreon! I’ve seen some people’s eyes roll at the mention of Patreon. Maybe they just need an option that’s different.”
But after having received a few donations through Ko-Fi, and after having been on Patreon for many years, I’ve discovered this in my experience:
The support I get from Patreon is for my art. The gifts I’ve received from Ko-Fi come with notes thanking me for my blog.
So – I’ve decided that Patreon will fund my art…and Ko-Fi will fund my writing.
Yes, I DO write. I’ve done the National Novel Writing Month Challenge two years in a row, and I’m hoping that this year will be my third.
And obviously I write blog posts. And, curiously, I’ve had patrons on Patreon ask me to make poetry for them.
So that’s the plan moving forward!
If you would like to support the art-side, check out Patreon. Heads up – I will be revamping the reward tiers and promotional art soon.
If you would like to support the blog, check out the Ko-Fi. I have new rewards available that are writing-specific. You can give once OR give monthly (I opted for the Ko-Fi Gold).