Should we Patreon?

For those frequenting this blog, you can read about Peace Science’s funding here.

Spoiler alert. We are not funded. Costs are low now, at about $300 - $500 per year, but I expect that to rise to $1000 as growth bumps us into the next subscription tier for discourse. Down the line, we might want to do more expensive things too, like advertise more intently on facebook and google, which could easily be $2000 per year, or even more. When we kick advertising into high gear, it will likely cause a burst of growth.

With that in mind, should we start a Patreon fund to enable voluntary subscriptions to support our community? I’m not asking for commitments or money now. I do, however, want to know what you think about this. The forum would remain open to all, but there would be a way for those who support our values to help us continue forward.

Does anyone object? Does anyone agree? Does anyone have advice?

For now, Paypal would probably be sufficient. And last I checked, Paypal was far cheaper than Patreon. I think Patreon costs about 5%.

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Patreon would give better member tracking and services.

What do you think is a better model?

  1. 100 people giving $5 a month?
  2. 10 people giving $50 a month?

By the way, if we do this, there will be a non-profit formed too, so none of this is going to my personal bank account.

I like the idea of diversity in funding sources, and staying so lean that we don’t need much. So Patreon, selling ads, selling indulgences, awarding titles of nobility, basically everything but selling subscriber info I am OK with. Maybe not coffee mugs with my face on them, but T-shirts with “Peaceful Science” would be good. Hopefully there is a way to give people who pay dues a nice little icon by their icon, similar to a moderators shield.


That is what Patreon can do. It integrates with Discourse. I think the simple set up makes it work for the short term. In the longterm, however, we may move to something else.

Right now we have about 500 unique visitors each week, and about 25 each day. I’d suggest the regulars care about our success just think about $50 / month. That is what I will do once it is set up. Of course, nothing is going to happen till we pull trigger on a non-profit. I’m not sure yet if when and how.

Wooah. Pretty pricey boss. Not everyone makes a quarter mill a year. Five or ten a month is more like where most of America is. We will see I guess.

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How about these tiers?

  1. $5 per month.
  2. $25 per month (get the badge)
  3. $50 per month (patron)

Remember, this is 100% voluntary. Most people will be 100% welcome as freeloaders :smile:.

To be honest, I’m with Mark here. I believe strongly in this effort, but I would have to think long and hard about committing more than $10 per month.

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Okay, what about the first proposal, or these teirs?

$5 per month.
$10 per month (get the badge)
$25 per month (patron)

I have little experience in this regard, but it sounds like a good idea to me.

Alright, so I have it up. You can see it here. DO NOT USE IT YET. We haven’t formed a non-profit yet. Any comments welcome.

Looks like it integrates well with discourse. Any suggestions for tiers and rewards welcome. Perhaps we have a “Patron” lounge. What do you think?

@keiths thanks for calling Greg out on his nonesense as SZ. Note:

  1. We have not asked for money, nor ever have we done so.
  2. We had not even considered it till after he wrote his post, and after I made my comment stating #1.
  3. We are still not asking for money, just considering it.

Don’t make it sound too much like “Dinner with Richard Dawkins for only $1000” will you? I’ve already got two Essex Chronicle “Community Medical Awards” that I never even wear - and they were free.


Is this still on? I see we haven’t had any patrons yet.

Never launched it. It was just an idea. Down the line we still might do so. Not ready yet though.

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I think it’s a good idea, but I would suggest giving a wider “price range” of tiers. I know most of the patrons of this forum will be people with good jobs and a fair amount of disposable income, but for those who don’t, even $1 a month would be a nice way for them to make a contribution.
Having tiers like $1, $5, $10, $25, $50 per month gives people a lot of options.

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We have come a long way since we first started. Honestly, we could use the some seed funds to get off the ground before the next grant. We could also use independent funds to keep us from being to dependent on a single source.

If, for example, all the regulars on the forum chipped in 10 bucks on average, we would hit our current goal. This is not, to be clear, an insistence that everyone chip in that much. Let’s see if any one else comments. If there seems to be some agreement on this, maybe we will fire it up.

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