How do I reach more "altruistic" patrons?


I joined this community yesterday and I’ve been truly impressed to see so many of your varied successes with this platform. My journey on patreon has been maybe a slightly unique one: I’ve run an artistic community through patreon, discord, and youtube for the last year, and the makeup of my supporters there is split between fully-supportive, caring, attentive, altruistic patrons (in the truest sense of the word) and community members who want to access my community’s free content for free (all fine and well).

Now, with the release of a new album, I have created a second patreon, one that is to support my own creating (it’s now or never, leaning fully into paying bills and finding support as a creator - I lost all other work due to covid), and I’m really intrigued by how many of you talk about your supporters as just being there to support, no incentive needed. How do you appeal to that crowd? Is there a secret?

All I’ve ever wanted, and I’m sure so many of you can relate to this, is security and compassion through alleviating financial burden. I make, I live and breathe, because I feel I owe it to the world, and to find altruistic supporters is an incomparable validation of purpose.

So, I wonder: how do I do it?


I’m afraid I can’t give you much of any advice on that as I’m in a similar position, but I did want to wish you all the best! The only way I know, is to just continue to grow your off-Patreon following as that increases your chances. Beyond that, I’m clueless and rather curious myself. Good luck!

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I’ve found for me that those supporters are few and far between. But I have found quite a lot who enjoy feeling like they are a part of my journey or at least getting to see that journey unfold. So yes, they want to see “content”, but they’re not there for super specific things.

I’m a lingerie model so I’m different, but I think you might still be able to get what I mean. I have fans who love seeing my new lingerie and enjoy hearing me talk about the fit & features and why I chose the set. They enjoy when I try out lighting experiments or maybe a new camera angle. And even beyond the expected content, they like hearing recipes I try, my cats, what I’m reading & watching, etc. I just share about me, because that’s what they’re there to support. And yeah, I do get a few who sign up and leave because it’s not what they expected, but it’s a very low number.

I think the best way to attract those altruistic supporters you’ve mentioned is to put yourself out there! Be active in conversations on whatever platforms work for you. That means getting to know other creators and joining in their discussions too. Ask you fans questions, talk to them about other things to find out what you have in common.

Again, using myself as an example: I posted on Twitter the other day about tea. My followers are still commenting on that tweet. I regularly poll them about things related to what I do (examples: what kind of hosiery do they like, what color lingerie, do they prefer vintage style or more modern). People love to answer questions and polls are a way for them answer without putting themselves out there too much, but you’ll find some love to elaborate too. Let them get to know you without too much pressure to pledge and I think you’ll find the support starts to come in. :slightly_smiling_face:


I find I do a lot of educating in this realm. I blog about it. I talk about it. I advocate for supporting the arts. I think that leads to more people understanding the value of supporting people making art. Does that lead to people becoming my patrons? I don’t know. Some, I’d guess. But I definitely don’t have a patron who isn’t interested in being of service to me being in service.
Exhibit A: My blog on Art as Service
I’m sure I’ve written a lot more about this over the years. Maybe in my first introduction of Patreon? But the idea does not come naturally to a lot of people and I think the more you start talking about advocacy of the arts in general and support in general, the sooner people will put together that they can support YOU. If you’re not writing about it yourself, you can, for sure, share the pieces that speak to this issue and it will help support your case.


I am an artist who has a comic on Webtoon called: “I Hate U, I Love U”. The comic started just 2 months ago, but 10 people have already decided to support me with $74 total (what I’m very thankful)
I think this was very influenced by a chapter I made in my comic where I ask for support. You can check the chapter for reference here:

There I show what I offer on Patreon with a touch of humor. I think it is a good way to go~ … or so do I believe kkkkk

This was patreon’s original business model, and I believe it is the only one which makes sense for the vast majority of creators. A subscription model only makes business sense when the creator already has a critical mass of subscribers, and to get those subscribers you need work which is available for free or purchasable as a one-time thing.

Look into medium-sized webcomics like The Whiteboard and podcasts and bloggers like Siderea. They often have a goal like “publish two episodes a month” or “pay my colourist better” or “add transcripts / show notes” or “pay for my cat’s food.” And keep putting your work in front of audiences, remind them that you accept donations and that donations will let you keep doing what you do or do more of it, and keep reminding them that donations are not a transaction, they are a donation that lets you keep creating or create better. The more you treat it like a transaction, the more people will be tempted to cheat, and the more complications like sales taxes / VAT you will have to deal with.

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