How do I explain why patreon over a cash handout?

A cousin of mine said “can I just give you some cash next time I see you instead?” She didn’t want to give away PII and suspected that a company would take a cut. I’ve encountered two other people who’s also been like that.

I personally like the idea of my money being sort of tallied up somewhere and centered into this place even if some corporate entity is taking a cut. It also just feels a little cheap taking cash from my cousin.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense though. If anyone explains this to me, I hope I can also trust you to keep your financial interest in check (i.e. if you’re a staff member for patreon and will get more money if we fundraise more through patreon)

In effect, we’re paying for two things - the website and associated features, and financial transaction processing.

Setting up payment processing, and managing it, can be a difficult task, if you can even get a payment processor to give you a personal account,. That alone is worth the fees, at least for me. And remember, part of the fees Patreon charges are to cover the fees that the banks, credit card companies, and other payment processors charge. You can’t escape those unless you deal only in cash.

As for the site, while I’m a critic of Patreon at times, I know that running a site like this takes a lot of work and requires significant resources. I could, in theory, run my own site, and manage all the software, and so on, but that would cost me far more than the fees Patreon charges (and most people aren’t PHP/web coders who are also Unix system engineers, which I happen to be).

That said, I see no reason why I wouldn’t take payment for my work in other forms and in other places. I sell my writing through a virtual bookstore in addition to the occasional ‘private sale’ that doesn’t use either of them. I’ve never been paid in cash, but I’d accept it if it were the only way someone could/would support me.

As for the safety and security of your payment (and other) information, there are serious rules and regulations imposed by the payment processors. See: . I’ve implemented those during my IT career and they are very thorough. Any site that consistently violated those would lose their ability to take payments.

So, bottom line - take payments however you want, but explain to your friend that the site and services cost money to provide, and that it’s not at all likely you could do it yourself, and if you happen to be someone who can, it’ll cost far more than Pateon charges.


Hey @Orrin_Konheim, we have some really handy blog posts to help creators talk about their Patreon pages. Check them out here:

I hope these help!


There’s the social proof element. If people see you have patrons—other people paying for your content—then they assume you’re providing something valuable. FOMO kicks in a bit. So by going through Patreon, yes, your cousin would ultimately be giving you a little less money since Patreon takes a cut. But her support through the platform would (in theory) help you get more patrons in the long run. Plus, she would get access to that patron-only content, which currently you can’t offer to someone unless they do pay you through the platform. (You could email it to her separately, I guess, but that’s more work for you and a little ridiculous.)

However, if the only way she feels comfortable supporting you is directly through cash, and you have some kind of content you provide aside from Patreon (books, art commissions, etc.), it’s not sketchy for her to purchase that directly from you. It’s arguably not sketchy for her to contribute to supporting you even without some concrete good in return, but I can empathize with that feeling uncomfortable for you.