Fundraising with Patreon
How to set up a Patreon page for your collective that works with Open Collective
Do you love the magic of fiscal hosting that Open Collective provides for your creative/activist initiative to manage your finances with ease and transparency, but feel like you’re missing out on the massive outreach and integrations with other tools (like discord) that Patreon offers? Well, you can combine the two and get the best of both worlds! Here’s an 8-step guide on how to set-up a new Patreon page for your collective from Future Diaries:
- 1.Sign-up and set up your page on patreon.com. The basics are pretty much self-explanatory, especially if you already have your branding in place.
- 2.Add your tiers. The guidelines, examples and templates from Patreon according to the type of initiative you have can help a lot to come up with perks for your patrons - the main way to get and keep recurring donations on Patreon, which is the whole point. At Future Diaries we offer early access to our episodes, bonus episodes and exclusive privileges on our new discord server.
- 3.Merch - one of the coolest things Patreon offers now. It costs a bit extra but the additional perks you can offer to your patrons without having to worry about production and shipping may motivate some patrons to maintain a recurring membership. If you’re just starting out you may want to leave this for later though.
- 4.Getting paid - this is the trickiest part for combining Patreon with Open Collective. Close communication with your fiscal host is key here! After selecting your payment schedule and currency, editing your payout settings is where you want to pay attention.
- You need to select “corporation” (not individual) in the how you are set up section, as the legal entity behind your collective in the face of law is your fiscal host. You also need to select whether you are a US citizen or resident or not.
- Payout method - here’s another tricky one. Patreon can use two payment gateways for the payouts: PayPal or Payoneer. The latter is slightly cheaper and can get the money straight into a bank account, but unfortunately requires the bank account to be on the same name as the registered user and doesn’t allow multiple users so we can forget about it. At the time this is written, PayPal is our only option. Coordinate with your fiscal host to ensure they have (or are willing to open) a PayPal Business account and use their PayPal email address for the payout. Do not use your personal PayPal account for the payout if you intend to get the funds from Patreon managed through Open Collective for your initiative, which I assume is the reason you’re reading this. And, by Loki, do not even consider getting the payout to your own PayPal account, then depositing the funds to your Open Collective in order to… get payouts from Open Collective for your expenses back to your PayPal account or something, as this can easily be misunderstood as money laundering by your tax office!
- Speaking of taxes. My, oh my, will the red tape ever end? At Future Diaries we feel lucky that our fiscal host is All for Climate, as communication with our host is a breeze. As mentioned before, you will need to keep closely in touch with your fiscal host about this, as you will need their legal data to fill in a W-8BEN-E form from within your Patreon settings. This is required before getting any payouts processed and you also have to wait a week after signing this form (still within Patreon) before issuing any payout. But why hurry?
- 5.Page settings. Yey, we’re done with the red tape! Kinda… Here you need to specify the creator, which is the individual who will be managing the Patreon page. I guess this is you reading this, so… Hi! Make sure to type your name exactly as it appears on your passport and select the correct country of residence (where you pay taxes as an individual). You may want to also add the legal address of your fiscal host at the “Local business” field, but that’s up to you. The rest of the settings here is branding, so you got this.
- 6.There is also an Advanced tab where you can customise your welcome notes per tier, add a description for the financial goals of your initiative and create special offers. But essentially you are now done setting up your Patreon page and can hit that burning “Launch” button! Just don’t be surprised if you don’t see your page launched immediately, as it needs to be checked by Patreon first, to ensure all the legal data you provided in the previous steps with your favourite beverage in hand is sound. They’re quite fast though; it usually takes just a day.
- 7.So how do I get paid? Hold your horses… You might wanna spend some time promoting your new page around first. Trust me, this may take quite some time. But, hey, once you have some cash on your Patreon page, eager to be set free, login to your account and go to Income -> Payouts. There is a withdraw button right there, next to your current balance. Clicking on it will issue the payout straight into your fiscal host’s PayPal account. The payout usually takes no more than a day, but you need to be in close touch with your fiscal host! Let them know you’ve issued a payout from Patreon and specify the exact amount (keep in mind the Patreon fees as well as the 1€ cost of the payout), as Patreon doesn’t indicate anything on the transfer to help your fiscal host figure out it’s for your collective. Then your fiscal host will follow your usual procedure for depositing the funds to your Open Collective account and the rest is history.
This short guide comes from Antonis, an… Intertemporal Glider from Future Diaries!