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Best Patreon Alternatives: Find The Right Subscription Crowdfunding Solution For Your Business

If Patreon is no longer working for you, these crowdfunding solutions offer similar products to help you manage donations and keep your fan base motivated and engaged.

    Erica Seppala
  • UPDATED

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

For a wide array of podcasters, YouTubers, writers, journalists, artists, comedians, and other creatives, Patreon has provided a convenient means of monetizing output that was previously unavailable. Patreon’s conception of crowdfunding, based as it is on ongoing donations from patrons in exchange for exclusive content, is well-suited to those who produce work that people enjoy but who previously had no means by which to get compensated for their toil.

However, demand is rising for alternatives to Patreon, as the platform has alienated everyone from adult content creators to far-right political figures over the past several years. Though to be fair, some content restrictions owe more to the changing policies of payment processors and new laws such as FOSTA-SESTA than to crowdfunding platforms themselves.

There are several other good options for raising money from the public to support what you do. Keep reading to learn about some of them.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Podia

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Best for selling subscriptions Patreon-style or selling online courses and digital downloads.
Best for selling subscriptions Patreon-style or selling online courses and digital downloads.

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Buy Me A Coffee

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Best for creators that need a simple platform with no supporter sign-up required.
Best for creators that need a simple platform with no supporter sign-up required.

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Kickstarter

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Best for one-time projects.
Best for one-time projects.

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Indiegogo

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Best for a Patreon-style ongoing campaign option.
Best for a Patreon-style ongoing campaign option.

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Memberful

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Best for selling subscriptions through your website.
Best for selling subscriptions through your website.

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Liberapay

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Best for an open-source donations platform.
Best for an open-source donations platform.

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Ko-fi

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Best all-in-one platform for donations, subscriptions, and product sales.
Best all-in-one platform for donations, subscriptions, and product sales.

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Gumroad

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Best for flexible fundraising with lower fees as you grow.
Best for flexible fundraising with lower fees as you grow.

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

8 Best Patreon Alternatives

When comparing alternatives to Patreon (such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo), you’ll need to decide what factors are most important. Is it the option to continuously accept donations and raise funds? Or would you prefer low platform fees? Each of these Patreon alternatives offers something a bit different.

1. Podia

Podia



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Best for selling subscriptions Patreon-style or selling online courses and digital downloads.

  • Through Podia you can sell access to your work on an ongoing basis like Patreon
  • No fees are taken from what you earn beyond payment processing fees
  • Using Podia to sell paid memberships costs the campaigner $79/month
  • Using Podia to sell online courses and digital downloads cost the campaigner $39/month

Podia — formerly known as Coach — has long offered the ability to sell online courses and digital downloads as standalone purchases. As of late 2017, the company began offering a Patreon-like membership service to those seeking to offer paid memberships, which provide continuous access to the creator’s content.

Podia is keen to invite comparisons between itself and Patreon. In fact, the company put up a page on its site devoted to showcasing itself as a superior Patreon alternative. The main selling point is this: Podia charges no fees on the donations your contributors make. Instead, you pay a flat monthly fee to use the service. You’ll have to pay $79 per month for the membership package and $39/month if you just want to sell online courses/digital downloads and use Podia’s email marketing services.

If you can draw a significant monthly income from selling access to your work, you’ll be paying less in fees with Podia than with Patreon. However, if you pull in just a few hundred bucks a month or less, Podia is not a more cost-effective crowdfunding service than Patreon. It all depends on the level of support you get from your followers.

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2. Buy Me A Coffee

Buy Me A Coffee



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Best for creators that need a simple platform with no supporter sign-up required.

  • Can be used for donations, monthly or yearly memberships, and physical and digital product sales
  • Get paid instantly via PayPal, Stripe, or bank account
  • Competitive 5% platform fee

Buy Me A Coffee provides creators with a simple platform for connecting with their supporters. Through your Buy Me A Coffee page, you can accept donations or sell monthly or yearly memberships. With Extras, you can also sell physical or digital products like eBooks, art commissions, or one-on-one phone calls.

Supporters have multiple ways to pay, including credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. Buy Me A Coffee is an official partner of PayPal and Stripe, and you can cash out instantly without 30-day delays. You can also get paid directly through your bank account. Buy Me A Coffee makes it easy for your supporters to pay with just a few clicks, with no signups required.

There are no monthly fees to use Buy Me A Coffee, and you are only charged a fee for making sales. Buy Me A Coffee has a 5% transaction fee, which is comparable to similar platforms.

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3. Kickstarter

Kickstarter



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Best for one-time projects.

  • Crowdfunding for one-time creative endeavors, not continuous funding
  • All-or-nothing funding (if your campaign doesn’t hit its fundraising target, you get nothing)
  • Kickstarter’s platform fee is 5%
  • Kickstarter prescreens campaigns before approving them
  • A Kickstarter campaign must offer physical rewards to backers

You probably already know that Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns do not operate on Patreon’s recurring subscription-like model. However, if you’re a creator whose focus is on putting out, say, a few major works per year — as opposed to a continuous stream of content — Kickstarter may work for you. You can always launch a new Kickstarter campaign after your old one runs its course.

Kickstarter vets crowdfunders fairly strenuously, so not everyone gets in. It’s a more exclusive platform than most of its rewards crowdfunding peers, which is a factor to consider if you’re a small-time creator. But with over $6 billion pledged to Kickstarter campaigns — and over 209K successfully-funded projects — Kickstarter’s track record is nothing to sneeze at.

One thing to keep in mind about Kickstarter campaigns is that the funding is all-or-nothing. If you don’t raise your goal amount within the time frame you specify (anywhere from one to 60 days), you get nothing. Launching a Kickstarter campaign requires a certain degree of confidence in your ultimate success.

At 5%, Kickstarter’s platform fees are equal to those of Patreon’s lowest-tier subscription level. Payment processing fees are similar between the two platforms as well.

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4. Indiegogo

Indiegogo



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Best for a Patreon-style ongoing campaign option.

  • Crowdfunding for one-time endeavors
  • Funding is all-or-nothing or keep-what-you-raise (your choice)
  • Indiegogo’s platform fee is 5%
  • Indiegogo does not prescreen campaigns

Indiegogo is another crowdfunding alternative to consider, and while it has a lot in common with Kickstarter, there are some key differences.

Like Kickstarter, Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns are not continuous and have concrete start dates and end dates. Unlike Kickstarter, however, Indiegogo gives you the option of launching a Patreon-like continuous crowdfunding campaign after succeeding with your initial campaign. This service is called Indiegogo InDemand, and you can use it if you’ve already run a successful crowdfunding campaign with any platform — not just Indiegogo.

Indiegogo doesn’t prescreen the campaigners who sign up to crowdfund, making it a less exclusive platform for creatives. Indiegogo also gives you the choice of whether you want your campaign to be all-or-nothing or keep-whatever-you-raise in its structure. With the latter, you won’t be left empty-handed if your campaign fails to reach its funding goal.

The maximum campaign length with Indiegogo is 60 days. Indiegogo’s fee structure is nearly identical to that of Kickstarter and Patreon Lite — 5% to the platform, ~3% to the payment processor.

Think of Indiegogo as a slightly more relaxed Kickstarter.

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5. Memberful

Memberful



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Best for selling subscriptions through your website.

  • Sell memberships to those who enjoy your work à la Patreon
  • Platform fees and monthly charges are dependent on which subscription package you purchase

Memberful is a decidedly different way to make money from your work. It’s not a crowdfunding platform, but rather a plugin you install on your website through which people sign up for subscriptions to receive exclusive content. You can set up the application to accept subscriptions for different lengths of time (monthly, yearly, etc.) and for different subscription plans that give access to varying levels of content.

As it turns out, Patreon recognized the similarities between what it and Memberful have to offer. In 2018, Patreon acquired Memberful, though it still operates as a separate, standalone service.

If you sign up for Memberful’s Starter plan, you won’t pay a monthly fee, but Memberful will take a whopping 10% of what you earn — and that’s before you get to the payment processing fees. Memberful’s Pro plan costs $25 per month and cuts the platform fee down to 4.9%. The Premium plan, at $100/month, eliminates all Memberful branding, but it still retains the 4.9% platform fee. Both the Pro plan and the Premium plan give access to features such as coupon codes and newsletter integrations.

Memberful isn’t a funding solution for everybody, but for the right sort of creator, it’s worth checking out.

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6. Liberapay

Liberapay



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Best for an open-source donations platform.

  • Recurring donations platform
  • No platform fees or monthly fees — only payment processing fees are taken out of what you earn
  • Liberapay is for donations, not payments, in return for products or services

Founded in France in 2015, Liberapay describes itself as a recurrent donations platform, which naturally invites comparisons with Patreon. Unlike Patreon, however, Liberapay is open-source and collects no platform fees from what you raise. Only payment processing fees will be taken out of what you earn. Stripe and PayPal are your payment processing options.

Liberapay is strictly for donations. Therefore, transactions cannot be linked to rewards or product offers. As such, more commercially-oriented campaigns may struggle to gain traction with Liberapay. However, if you want to collect recurring donations on an open-source platform free of many of Patreon’s content restrictions, Liberapay is definitely worth a look.

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7. Ko-fi

Ko-fi



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Best all-in-one platform for donations, subscriptions, and product sales.

  • All-in-one platform for managing crowdfunding campaigns, selling memberships or products, and receiving donations
  • No platform fees on donations
  • Premium features like memberships and commissions are available for a 5% platform fee or just $6/month with Ko-fi Gold

Ko-fi is unique in that it offers an all-in-one platform for launching a crowdfunding campaign, receiving donations, offering memberships, selling physical and digital products, or providing commissions and personalized services.

This free platform has a load of features that help you connect with fans and followers, including membership tiers, audio and video clips to share your creative journey, rewards, messaging, and an online shop for selling your digital and physical content and products.

Ko-fi doesn’t take platform fees for any donation you receive, and you can get paid directly through your Stripe or PayPal account. A 5% transaction fee applies to any commission, membership, or shop sale, or you can subscribe to Ko-fi Gold for $6/month. In addition to no platform fees, Ko-fi Gold provides other premium features like analytics, no ads, and first access to new features.

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8. Gumroad

Gumroad



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Best for flexible fundraising with lower fees as you grow.

  • Allows you to sell memberships, digital content, physical products, podcasts, and online courses
  • No monthly fees and free to get started
  • Sell through your Gumroad profile or directly from your website
  • Fees start at 9% + $0.30 per transaction but get lower as you earn more sales

Whether you’re selling memberships, online courses, or physical products, Gumroad offers a flexible way to connect with your fanbase, make sales, and grow your presence.

Through this platform, you can sell nearly anything with few restrictions. You can earn money through your free Gumroad profile or right through your own website. Additionally, you can choose between one-time, recurring, and fixed-length payments, or customers can opt to pay whatever they want.

Gumroad also offers a number of tools to help improve your odds for successful fundraising while allowing you to connect with fans and customers. A Zapier integration lets you connect with thousands of business apps and software, while you can also create posts, email broadcasts, and automated workflows.

There is no monthly fee to use Gumroad, and you are only charged when you make a sale. Fees start at 9% plus $0.30 per transaction, but as your sales grow, your fees will be reduced, with the lowest fees set at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

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Bonus Option: Add A Donation Button To Your Website

Here’s a crowdfunding solution that ensures you won’t have to pay a platform fee to anybody: You can just directly solicit donations from those who enjoy your work.

  • No 5% platform fee, just payment processing fees
  • A simple way to solicit funds from those who enjoy your work

Adding a donation button to your website is an easy, hassle-free way to raise funds. If you opt to go this route, there are a number of options available, including:

These payment providers allow people to make recurring payments, so your fans can sign up to support you on a continuing basis (just as with Patreon). You won’t be getting any of the extra crowdfunding services you’d get with Patreon (reward distribution, patron management, analytics, etc.), so this funding solution will require more of your time and energy than Patreon does. Then again, you’ll get more of every pledge made to you. If you have an existing fanbase motivated to pay up for your content and the ability to manage everything manually, this may be a crowdfunding route worth exploring.

Patreon Alternatives FAQs

Is Ko-fi better than Patreon?

For some creators, Ko-fi is a better choice than Patreon. Ko-fi provides more than just memberships; it allows creators to make sales, receive commissions, or get no-fee donations from fans and supporters.

Why do I need a Patreon alternative?

While Patreon is one of the more popular crowdfunding platforms, it isn’t built for every creator. If you want lower fees, more funding options, faster funding, or better customer service, you may wish to look for an alternative.

Is Memberful better than Liberapay?

Memberful is a better option for selling memberships to followers, while Liberapay is a platform designed for accepting donations. Whether one is better than the other is a matter of personal preference and how you plan to share your content.

Final Thoughts

Monetizing your work online has long been challenging. Thankfully, platforms such as Patreon and its various competitors have arisen to plug this market gap and help creators make money from the very people who consume and enjoy their content. No Patreon alternative is right for everybody, so check out these platforms (heck, check out other ones too if you want!) to determine which funding model makes sense for your particular needs.

Now go forth, create, and get paid!

In Summary: 8 Best Patreon Alternatives

  1. Podia: Best for selling subscriptions Patreon-style or selling online courses and digital downloads.
  2. Buy Me A Coffee: Best for creators that need a simple platform with no supporter sign-up required.
  3. Kickstarter: Best for one-time projects.
  4. Indiegogo: Best for a Patreon-style ongoing campaign option.
  5. Memberful: Best for selling subscriptions through your website.
  6. Liberapay: Best for an open-source donations platform.
  7. Ko-fi: Best all-in-one platform for donations, subscriptions, and product sales.
  8. Gumroad: Best for flexible fundraising with lower fees as you grow.
Erica Seppala

Erica Seppala

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in accounting, finance, and point of sale, Erica has been researching and writing about all things small-business since 2018. Erica's insights into personal and business finance have been cited in numerous publications, including MSN, Real Simple, and Reader's Digest. She is a graduate of Limestone College.
Erica Seppala
View Erica Seppala's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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