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GoFundMe vs Patreon

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These days, hundreds of crowdfunding platforms out there help people raise money for anything from charity to art to real estate. Part of the trick is knowing what platform is the best option for your specific situation, so that you can successfully raise money online!

GoFundMe and Patreon are two great crowdfunding platforms that let you raise money online, but they both serve different purposes and cater to different crowds.

Both platforms allow creators to offer rewards in exchange for support. However, donations to GoFundMe are one-time (unless the person decides to donate more than once) and rewards are not usually expected.

In comparison, creators of campaigns on Patreon are looking for subscribers. These subscribers show their support by giving a fixed monthly amount, that can be changed at any time, in exchange for rewards and perks.

Generally, GoFundMe is used to raise money for emergencies, charity, personal, and cause-oriented fundraising campaigns. Patreon, on the other hand, an artistic and content-based platform whose purpose is to help creators earn a sustainable income for their work. Neither of these platforms is suitable for equity or real estate crowdfunding campaigns.

Read on to learn more about the differences between GoFundMe and Patreon, the pros and cons, and more details about how both platforms work:

GoFundMe

GoFundMe is a well-known donation-based crowdfunding platform that launched in 2010. In the last seven years, GoFundMe has helped creators on their platform raise over $3 billion dollars.

This crowdfunding platform is used most often for emergencies, but people can raise money for just about anything. They are the largest social fundraising platform in the world with a network of more than 25 million donors.

For people who are thinking about launching a campaign on GoFundMe, the setup process is very simple, and fast. Plus, you can easily edit the details of your page once it has been launched.

Compared to other donation-based crowdfunding platforms, you have the option to add rewards on GoFundMe. You can also add offline donations to your online donation total.

In this way, GoFundMe lets users flexibly raise funds and they get to keep all the money they raise. Even if they don’t reach their goal.

There are no hard deadlines to reach either. Campaigns can go on indefinitely if there is a need, like campaigns for ongoing medical expenses, for example.

Categories: medical, volunteer, emergency, education, memorial, sports, animals, wishes, competitions other, newlyweds, charity, faith, travel, creative, community, events, business, family

Can Launch From: USA, UK, Canada, and some EU countries that use the Euro as their official currency

Can Donate From: Anywhere

Fees:

  • WePay: 2.9% + 0.30
  • GoFundMe: 5%

Pros:

  • 5-minute email support
  • Mobile friendly
  • Creating a campaign takes minutes
  • Easy social sharing
  • Can accept online and offline donations
  • Easily make changes and post updates
  • Can keep tabs on your campaign with their mobile app

Cons:

  • Problems logging on to their mobile app
  • Occasional issues with payment processing
  • Risk of falling for a scam or people feeling uneasy about donating because of stories about GoFundMe scams in the media

Most Successful Campaigns

1. Support Victims of Pulse Shooting

This campaign was launched to support the families of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida and working to stop acts of LGTBQ hatred. The project raised over $7.8 million from 119,497 in ten months.

2. Jo Cox’s Fund

Jo Cox was a British Parliament member who was murdered in 2016. Her husband started this campaign to preserve her memory. The funds were donated to three charities: The Royal Voluntary ServiceHope Not Hate, and The White Helmets. The campaign raised £1.9 million ($2.3 million USD) from 45,893 supporters in ten months.

3. Saving Eliza

Eliza’s parents launched this GoFundMe campaign when their daughter was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome, sometimes referred to as ‘Childhood Alzheimer’s’. She is the first child in the world to get a new type of treatment and the family wants to help others in their situation. They have raised over $2 million from 37,114 people in 43 months and the campaign is still active.                 

More Resources on GoFundMe

  1. Fundraising Plan (waitlist) 
  2. Crowdfunding Personal Expenses

Patreon

Patreon is a San Francisco-based crowdfunding platform that was launched in 2013. Since they launched, the platform has helped creators raise over $100 million from 52,639 creators. A total of 867,473 patrons support campaigns on the platform.

Artists and creators use Patreon to give fans a way to support their work on a monthly or per-project basis. In exchange for monthly donations, patrons get access to rewards like subscriptions to content, access to special perks, live streams, and more.

Creators on this platform can set different funding milestones they want to reach and explain to their backers what reaching each of these milestones will allow them to do.

One of the great things about Patreon is that the platform helps artists and creators raise money without having to give up any of the rights to their content; they retain 100% ownership of everything that they produce and share with their fans.

Categories: video and film, music, writing, comics, drawing and painting, animation podcasts, games, photography, comedy, science, education, crafts and DIY, dance and theater

Fees:

  • Patreon: 5%
  • PayPal: $0.05 + 5%
  • Stripe: $0.3 + 2.1%

Pros:

  • Patreon offers great customer support
  • Perfect for dedicated niche creators with passionate fans
  • No deadlines
  • Flexible funding goals
  • Long-term funding
  • Can use their interface to manage, track, and communicate with consumers
  • Possible to take one-time donations

Cons:

  • Low discoverability of projects on the platform, but they are working on this
  • Must explain to fans what Patreon is and how it works
  • New patrons sometimes don’t receive perks until the next month

Top Patreon Creators

1. Chapo Trap House

Chapo Trap House is the team behind the Chapo Trap House Podcast, a podcast that promotes their own unique male lifestyle brand. The team has approximately 12,707 patrons and earns $56,622 per month to produce this podcast. Patrons get access to all their content for a monthly donation of $5 or more.

2. Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer is an artist and musician who is no stranger to crowdfunding. She currently has 9,340 patrons supporting her. She earns $36,528 per thing that she creates. Patrons can get access to the posts on her feed for $1 with other cool rewards like random surprises or guest list at shows for people who pledge more.

3. Team Cemu

Team Cemu is a group of programmers who create emulation software. Their current project, Cemu, emulates Wii U applications for PC. They currently have over 9,382 patrons and are earning upwards of $40,175 per month.

More Resources on Patreon

Conclusion

There are a few similarities between GoFundMe and Patreon. They are both essentially crowdfunding platforms that allow people to raise money for a variety of causes.

Which one you choose depends on your purpose. If you are looking to raise money for a short-term goal or donations for a cause or charity you would likely go with GoFundMe. If you are an artist or creator with a long-term project that can use sustainable funding from a group of supporters or fans, Patreon is the way to go.

Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!

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Krystine Therriault

Journalist & Blogger at CrowdCrux
Krystine Therriault is a journalist, blogger, and the community manager for CrowdCrux. She loves learning about new trending projects and dissecting them to bring new tips and information to creators.
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