Let's talk about goals!

As we begin to take a deeper dive into some of the tools currently on Patreon, I’d love to better understand your relationship with goals. Would love to hear your thoughts on the any/all of the following:

  • Do you currently have goals? What motivated you to create them?

  • How hard was it to set up goals when you started your page? Was there anything that confused you or you wished was different?

  • How do you currently use goals? Do you involve your patrons into the process at all?

  • How would you feel if goals was no longer a feature on Patreon? What, if anything, would you do differently?

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  • I created goals because it was an integral part of creating my profile (like the video, there was a suggestion that while not compulsory they were indispensable), and also because it made sense to have them.
  • I don’t remember if there was anything in the interface that made it hard, just deciding on them really.
  • Goals are how I show patrons (and prospective patrons) what their contribution is doing for me. They are very simple and down-to-earth: this amount is paying for these bills, that amount would pay for my studio rent, etc. This is the kind of info (“how will you use the money”) that is required when applying for a grant and that shows you’re a serious, grounded artist with a plan and financial common sense. It inspires trust. I couldn’t get a grant without this kind of transparency and I wouldn’t expect anyone to support me financially without having access to this info.
  • I would really question what Patreon is doing if goals, which are about a really basic and critical piece of info, were done away with. It’s one detail among a number of things that make me increasingly feel there is an ongoing failure to see things from the point of view of patrons. Particularly, an audience that has supporting power but that doesn’t buy into complicated hip online stuff. People who just want to know what you need funds for and how to get them to you, but cannot, simply CANNOT deal with endless hoo-ha, notifications, jumping through hoops to donate, and so on. I’ve had people take a look at patreon and instead set up a monthly standing order to donate to me directly, without having to deal with it all. And that was a while back; by now I don’t even try to suggest Patreon to such people. There is no chance of getting them on board, and yet hardly any chance of gaining patrons from within the site. So where does that leave us?


do I have goals? Yes. I set up goals almost every day and make sure that I can actually reach them, because nothing frustrates me more than having goals hanging around from yesterday, unreached.

Oh, you mean Patreon goals?

I would love to see it the same way - but setting up an arbitrary “goal” without knowing what that is for, if I can reach it or what happens once I do, I just did what I saw other people on patreon do: Write something completely meaningless like “reaching 100 Dollar a month I can do more of the stuff that I claim to be doing here”. This is meaningless, because the goal of 100 Dollar changes nothing at all with respect to having more TIME, but setting a goal that WOULD make a difference would mean never being able to reach it anyway.
To me, the way “goals” are mandatory (or seemed to be) to be set up is contraproductive, because it puts me under pressure to figure something out that I can actually achieve, without having any influence on doing so at all.

Yet, I do agree on joumana’s perspective: Goals can be used to break down the use of any donated / pledged money into a simple single thing. In theory. For me, that doesn’t work, but if for example an artist wants to buy a specific expensive tool, such a set goal can be helpful for both him/her AND donators/patrons.

Setting up a goal was easy enough, but irritating (see above) for its inner logic (for my case). I completely ignore goals on patreon-pages now anyway, because I mainly see this platform as a way to support the respective human being and want him/her to be free to use the money pledged for whatever they deem meaningful at the time they spend it. Period.
I would not feel different about Patreon if goals were no longer part of the must-have-process (but I would feel irritated if the function disappeared all together, since it must have been there for a reason and I would question if Patreon knows what they are doing if they kept experimenting on us, making the use of the platform unnecessarily difficult).

Same here. It’s actually frustrating to get feedback from (considerably intelligent) people that “no, thanks, Patreon looks confusing and I don’t feel like setting up some kind of uncontrollable donation system just to support you” is a more probable response than “he, cool, that looks easy enough to use!”.
Example: I just got a donation through Paypal with an email telling me that “why should I split this amount up into several months because I keep forgetting to turn it off if I can just send it directly to you?”.

Suggestion: Extend the “goal” function to allow supporters to donate to that specific goal. Make a simple button that says “help me reach this goal by donating … insert amount … now - no subscription, no data collecting, just HELP ME NOW”.



Yes, I saw them as a motivating factor for both myself and patrons.

I had no trouble with setting up the goals. I looked around to see how other users were implementing that feature and made choices based on what would be best for me.

My initial goals were money based, but once the community based goals became available I started using that instead as I wanted it to be more about patrons than the amount I was making. It is still somewhat money based as I know the average amount patrons pledge and so I calculated how many patrons I would need to get the amount required. I use goals to fund my art, support other artists, and reward my patrons. Patrons are involved in the process in some goals, deciding which artwork or item they’d want for a reward or helping me choose which other artists to support.

Please tell me Patreon isn’t considering removing the goals. When I had monetary goals I had several patrons determine how much to pledge by how near I was to my next goal. A good friend pledged $25 right away because that was my first goal amount. Another patron pledged $8 because that was how far it was to my next goal. My patrons seem to get as excited as I do when we’re nearing/achieve a goal. It’s a really good motivator. They can see how their money is making a difference. I’ve had good luck using it as a marketing tool to get new patrons when I am near a goal as well. I honestly do not know what I would do if goals were gone. I would probably list them in the intro and keep implementing them. I hope they aren’t going anywhere though.


We need to receive email alerts for when we reach goals. It’s easy to forget some golas that we set up and as a result forget something we may have promised to do in the process.

Please don’t remove goals, they are really nice and a great method for attracting new patrons when they see they can help you to achieve a goal.

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It would be nice if our patrons received an email like this too: “the person you’re supporting has reached a goal!” I think this would be very motivating and help the patrons feel involved in the process.

They do. I’ve gotten an email from Patreon when my creators reach their goals. It’s always exciting to see and I usually go right away to see which goal it was and what their next goal is. :slight_smile:

So the goals are going for real? My secondary Patreon’s goals are all gone now. Now I’m gonna have to put that stuff in my intro which doesn’t need to be any longer. I do not like these being removed at all.

EDIT: I just went to all of my friends’ patreons and all of their goals are gone. Apparently only the creator can see their own goals. They do not exist to anyone else.

I see that goals have disappeared for some patreon campaigns I look at that other people have. Why were they removed?

I seriously hope they’ll come back.

I can still see the goals on my patreon campaign. It is incredibly important that they remain.

As for me I rely heavily on the goals both in my marketing of my Patreon campaign and also with my backers so that they can help form what goals I set.

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Check and see if you can still see yours if you log out. I could see mine until I logged onto another account. I think only the creator can see their own goals.

That’s just stupid. Backers and potential backers need to see that information too.


Thank you for all the great feedback, all!

Just wanted to be clear: we have not removed goals. We have received some reports of goals not showing up for creators, which our support team is currently investigating.

In the meantime, please feel free to continue to use this thread to share your feedback on how you use/don’t use goals and shoot a note to our support team if you think you may be experiencing a bug.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Thanks for the update, Ellie. That was such a bizarre coincidence that the goals poofed when they did. I am a big fan of that particular feature and would be sad to see it go.

I’ve been experiencing a lot of little buggy occurrences, so I’ll be sure to contact support. I thought that particular thing was too much a coincidence to think it might be a bug.

Do you currently have goals? What motivated you to create them?

Yes, however I’ve achieved all the current goals for my campaign (this happened around the time I hit $3k per month in revenue, a number I never imagined when I started with Patreon in 2013). I created them because I’ve worked with a lot of kickstarters and other campaigns over the years and I know that having realistic and achievable targets REALLY helps motivate both the creator AND supporters.

I’m a per-creation campaign (as that was the only option back when I started) and produce an average of nine creations per month. My goals started very personal -

  • $30 - Buy better art supplies to make better art.
  • $60 - Purchase inebriants to… encourage my creativity.
  • $120 - Pay my rent
  • $300 - Release some of my work under a commercial use license
  • $400 - Re-release pieces from the back catalog under the commercial license
  • $500 - More commercial releases!

How hard was it to set up goals when you started your page? Was there anything that confused you or you wished was different?

The hardest part of setting goals is making sure that they don’t increase the amount of work I have to do. My goal is to keep creating without turning Patreon fulfillment into a major part of my work cycle. Finding the right mix of personal (inward-facing) goals and public (outward-facing) goals was a challenge, but having the personal goals in the mix was a huge boost in the end and keeps the campaign feeling personal.

I promoted my goals heavily - as milestones when we hit them, but also to aim people at the milestones as we moved forward. Achievable, relatable, realistic goals helped make the campaign work. It’s like running a live stream - if you include an actual (achievable) target number of donations or likes during a stream, you generally bring in more of what you are asking for than if you don’t.

How do you currently use goals? Do you involve your patrons into the process at all?

I don’t actually have any goals left right now. This is a problem because promoting those goals REALLY helped boost my campaign and was a primary driver to get me where I am now. But creating new goals that won’t also increase my work load is HARD.

My existing goal levels however include me contacting all my patrons every month and polling them for what back-catalog releases will be re-released. So they are actively involved in the campaign every month because of the goals we’ve already reached together.

How would you feel if goals was no longer a feature on Patreon? What, if anything, would you do differently?

I would be disappointed. I achieved what I have ($3k per month in revenue) with a lot of work, and goals were one of the tools I leveraged heavily. There are several occasions where fans of mine went out into several social media environments to drum up new supporters because we were getting close to a new goal level - and these produced noticeable spikes in my patronage. In fact, if I were launching a new campaign now I would recreate the goals anyways in the main campaign description (the way stretch goals are often handled within Kickstarter campaigns).

I’m in the process of helping my girlfriend set up her campaign, and a major part of the setup is determining goals with the target of keeping them attainable in order to be able to use them as a tool to improve the traction of her campaign as it progresses.


It doesn’t do this anymore? I’m sure we used to get exactly these kinds of notices in the past. I know I used to get congratulations posts on my wall from patrons as soon as we broke through a goal line.

So sorry for the scare, @Lochy, and thanks for always being so great at sharing your feedback/concerns with the community! You are such a wonderful advocate for creators on Patreon.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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I guess they still do (scroll up, Lochy said they do anyway) but I’ve never gotten one and my Patrons haven’t said boo about them when I hit them. Maybe they’re not very engaged? I only have 7 so far so it’s hard to say. :slight_smile:

it would be very nice to be able to have a couple goals veiwable at once!, I’d like my patreon to have both monetary and community based at goals at the same time. check out my tmporary work around. :smiley:

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  • I use goals as markers of when certain levels of expenses are taken care of. E.g., when rent is paid, etc. I do have a few arbitrary ones for higher end where I don’t know what to do for them yet. Usually when I reach a goal, I offer something new for patrons.

  • One useful low-end goal I’ve found is just like between $50-$200 and it’s just expressed as a sign that the page has successfully gotten started. You objectively can’t do a lot with just that amount per month, maybe buy a few small supplies, but I feel like patrons take it as a statement that you personally feel more confident in your page and can commit to it. My personal goals are more in the mid-tier, between $500 to $1500, and then above that they’re a bit more vague or a bit wider in focus.
    Having run 2 pages, my goals usually go in a progression of

  1. page has launched
  2. acquiring new tools
  3. rent is covered / can get by with just a part time job
  4. can do creative work full time
  5. can bring in more people for collaborations
  • My milestones are major thresholds, e.g. when rent is covered, when I can move to more advanced software, when I can start outsourcing some work to help things get made via collaborations, etc. There’s usually a list of things I plan to do, and then I poll my patrons for what items on those lists I should prioritize.

  • I think that goals are useful, though I do like the term ‘milestone’ better, so they’d be missed if removed, or I would just include them in my page description.
    I also feel like a way for patrons to see personal milestones also is good–I personally reward anyone who reaches $100 total in pledges with an art commission.
    One issue with goals at the moment is when people pledge, it shows progress to the goal, which can kinda skew their perception of how it works, thinking that once you meet the current goal that you don’t need any more pledges or something.
    Patron count goals, rather than monetary ones, are also insanely useful for certain pages where they have things like request streams and the like, as those are a PAIN to do if you don’t have a big enough audience. It’s much easier to stream when you have 100 people following you instead of 20, and maybe only 25% of people can come.
    One other option might be for automated announcements upon reaching a goal, previously set by the patreon page. This would synergize well if goals also had an option to be hidden (not that hidden goals would be a default.)

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Goals are important to me. My Patreon is to fund software development, with the ultimate “goal” of making the app free. My incremental goals are to release content and features to the free tier of the app, leaving the remainder (the “locked” features if you will) for patrons only. I use the reward levels to control how many locked features each patron gets.

If Patreon didn’t have goals I would have to maintain them myself anyway, which would be OK, except they would be harder to highlight on the Patreon campaign – whereas right now they’re always pretty visible. I like that.

My “wish” is to assign goals for every $1000 of cumulative Patreon income – which would more directly correspond to funding development of features and content for the app. But, that’s not an option at present. Plus, it would not have been very motivating for early patrons. At such a time as I’m up to $1000/month, it would work great.

Anyway, what I’m doing for now is assigning goals for every $100 of monthly Patreon income. It’s tricky because it roughly corresponds to the same totals if patrons stick it out for a year – but if they all sign up now and then sit tight for a year, technically I’m obligated to release all the features to the free tier right away. Which doesn’t work well because it still takes time to build these things, and also because if I release too much to the free tier too soon, then there’s not much motivation for patrons to sign up and/or to stick with me.

All that said, it seems to be working OK for now. I keep finding more stuff to add to the list, and the patrons seem happy with the progress that’s being made.

Final Request: please sort goals in ascending order when I first go into the editor and switch to the Goals area. It’s OK if they get mixed up if I edit totals or add new goals, but then if I leave the editor and return I would like them to be sorted again.