Smaller content creators on Youtube get discouraged all the time. The Ad-Sense revenue isn’t that much and requires they have at least 70 euros (100 dollars) in earnings to get a payout. For smaller channels this can take years. There is the option of joining an MCN but more about that will come in another article. There are ways outside of Youtube to receive donations from your viewers. This is especially useful if the Fan Funding system isn’t available in your country. You could simply link to your Paypal for donations. But I don’t use their system so you’re on your own. Instead we’ll go over methods I’ve tried.
Donation websites like Patreon and Gamewisp are good options for accepting contributions from fans. I personally prefer Patreon as Gamewisp does take a bigger cut from your proceeds and has a much higher threshold before you can actually get a payout. Patreon’s cut isn’t so big and actually pays out as long as there are available funds. Even just a dollar!
When I was first approached by someone offering a donation I didn’t have any way to accept it. He suggested that I make a Patreon account and I did. I set up my Patreon page and everyone was happy once again. This guy could finally donate to my effort and I got donations. I decided to put the money to work by buying better recording gear, investing in quality software and buying games for review.
Once a month my donor payed Patreon his pledge and about four days later I got a deposit through Paypal. This was even possible with donations of just 5 dollars. Patreon takes a little cut and offers lower rates when using a Paypal account. After fees on a 5 dollar donation there is about 3.50 dollars left. Awesome, that’s enough to buy an indie game on sale.
On Gamewisp my experience was less positive. My donor and I actually tried Gamewisp first. After four donations of 10 dollars I still wasn’t able to get a pay out. The cut Gamewisp took was big. So big that I couldn’t hit the minimum payout amount of 25 dollars. Even after four donations of 10 dollars! ..Yeah.
We went for a full refund, and moved to Patreon.
To Gamewisp’s credit they do provide assistance to their creators. They do this by helping them become better at what they do. Gamewisp offers outreach and promotional tools for streamers along with articles and support. That’s probably why the cut for Gamewisp is so big. They need to get payed for their work helping these content creators.
On both Patreon and Gamewisp it is possible to give your paying subscribers something extra. Extras might include exclusive videos, private play sessions, access to chat with you for input and feedback… these rewards can be anything. I chose to not give my subscribers extras for donating to me. Donating has to be a choice the subscriber makes for themselves. Many decide to become donors without seeking a reward or bonus. I’m of the opinion that if a viewer decides to become a patron it is because they enjoy you and your content. Not because they are bribed with extras.