Last month, I wasted 2 or more days investigating patronage.
But, was it really wasted time?
The idea of patronage is good. Especially in my business model. I provide good quality help and advice. My reward for that comes from advertising and commissions. So, patronage can either add or replace revenue streams. That’s especially good for creatives who need equipment or other resources. It’s also good for people who want to avoid advertising and commissions.
My first issue with Patreon was the size of their draw. Significant service fees for donor and donee. I understand they have costs. But, at their percentages, I think Patreon customer service levels should be higher. My idea was to use some of the techniques I learned from Patreon. But, fund it using PayPal and other subscription payment services.
My second issue with Patreon was the rewards scheme. Now, this is not really an issue with Patreon, per se. I think their rewards system is brilliant. But, I also want to reward people who give their time. So, I plan to use myCred ranks as a way to implement rewards. Then, it rewards time. And, if people want to contribute cash, they can simply buy points. There is the danger that buying points becomes a way of buying rewards. The secret to stopping that is to ensure that rewards have no monetary value. Consequently, rewards are time-based. Generally, that means getting content earlier. It could also be in time-saving ways to read content. Ultimately, I added a top reward of my time, as a private consultant.
Yesterday, I thought of another way to evolve patronage to the next level.
Introduce rewards for the needy!
Until I plan the detail, I’m uncertain if this is an extension to patronage. Or, something different. The patronage part comes from an idea:
Instead of donating money to me, patrons could donate money to buy resources for the needy, in my name. This stems from a cry for help in the forum. I started to think of a sponsorship (for want of a better word) scheme. Roughly, the scheme is:
- Needy ask for resources, saying why they need them.
- Fund supplies weekly/monthly resources.
- Needy bid on resources, with bids voted by members.
- Initially, I thought fund could be from suppliers.
- When members commit to purchase of resources, vendor gives a percentage to the fund. E.g. for every five purchases, one is given for free.
Combining the two ideas, patrons could fund purchases, in addition to vendor supplied resources.
How will patronage evolve?
With myCred ranks, I put some solid detail into the idea of time/money integrated patronage. Consequently, I need to plan similar detail for resources. Then, I can see if the two will link. Therefore, I should do my next blog on evolving needy fulfilment systems. Then see if the two will combine.
I just need to think of a snappier name. Oh yes, it’s charity.