Raffle Replacement

So, we can’t do raffles on Patreon. What types of strategies are you using to handle giving out a limited number of rewards to a lot of Patreons? For example, I’d love to do a t-shirt giveaway – but I can’t give a free t-shirt to all 76 of our Patreons.

Randomly selecting on sounds like a raffle.

I’ve been wondering if putting all of the Patreons in an ordered list by sign-up date, and then every time you do a limited reward, you just work your way down the list. Sounds kind of boring, but it is a way to hand them out still. You’d know “you’re up soon!” for whatever limited reward comes next.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Great ideas!?


Like this, maybe:

You will be on my monthly list for random mailings. As I have t-shirts, stickers, and prints come available, I’ll post to your pledge level that they’re up for grabs. Leave a comment on that post, and I’ll work my way through until the items are gone.

I do this with postcard mailings. I have a pledge level that tells people they’ll be on the list for random postcard mailings. A couple of times I year, I have extras from whatever project I’m doing printed, and mail them out to everyone at that pledge level and up.


Thanks for the suggestion!

I like the idea of avoiding “first come first to get reward” races to comment on the page. Some Patreons are going to win every time, and some are going to feel like they never get rewards. But it does get the job done :smiley:

I do this sometimes with little pieces of artwork on cardboard, that I use to try new techniques. Rather than let them pile up, I do a “raise your hand, and let me know if you want one”, and then I just work my way through that list, until everyone has received something. Sometimes, it takes a few months, but everyone who expresses interest eventually gets something.

This is also a good way to keep from sending stuff to patrons who aren’t really interested in it. Some of my tribe really couldn’t care less about getting things from me, and I always try to give them the option to be left alone.


I love the idea of putting everyone in order.

Otherwise, I feel like giving out spontaneous gifts should be okay (right)? For example, sometimes I feel like sending a postcard to everyone who showed up to Patreon movie night.

Related: If going down a list and doing everyone at some point, how do you handle when you get to patrons that you’re trying to avoid? I have a patron or two that I tread lightly with (for emotional self-protection) and would rather not send extra stuff. Just skip?

I think if you’re taking their money, you should treat them as you would any other patrons. Send them the same swag.


If I had a patron that I would feel unsafe doing business with, then I wouldn’t do business with them.

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I have a limited reward on my site; at the $100 level, I write and record a custom story for the patron. If I ever get so many patrons at this level that I can’t keep up, I’ll raise the price.

Thanks for all the posts. Specifically, the question is about situations in which you can’t possibly provide a special reward to every patron at the level. The story deal seems awesome for $100, but I’m looking for strategies to be able to reward all my patrons over time with occasional gifts in batches that are too small to give to everyone.

Honestly, one of the biggest reasons we do this is that it often drives a wave of new patron sign ups. It is something out of the ordinary, above and beyond the usual pledges, and if done well with some good sharing, we can get a few new patrons out of it – it just helps bring attention to the offering.

Some people do request streams where patrons of certain tiers and above can request something to be drawn during a live stream or in comments on a post. For me, I use my patrons’ characters for warmups, doodles and as guinea pigs for new items when i need a character to draw. I even take suggestions on species/environment/expression/etc from them for people who may not have a character (or I’ll ask them for their fave species and create something for them. A few times this has happened and that drawing has become their character.)

Basically, i use just have my patreon set as getting “first dibs” on pretty much everything i do, whether it be gifts and doodles or first for commission slots, etc. I find this is an adequate way to give back and it also helps me as well when i need a subject to draw or need a relaxed doodle time.

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I can see the logic in that. My original concern is that “first dibs” rules would mean that only certain Patreon (who are online a lot) would get the rewards. But, if you did it consistently, then Patreons who care would follow closer and get themselves in on the rewards. Those who aren’t interested would not.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback! Great discussion all around.

Yeah, I say first dibs as in, they get opportunities before the public. They usually get anywhere from 2-5 days before the public to get in on the offer and my doodle posts are usually for the whole month so people slowly filter in with their character references for me to use as time goes on and i do my best to make something for everyone OR make sure that those who haven’t gotten something at all or in a while, will get something before a frequent gift getter.

While sometimes the first people to respond may get a thing, i usually don’t state there’s a limit so that people who come in later on can still request something. The only exception to this is I may open up limited commission slots, which are like normal slots (a cost outside of patreon pledges, but they usually get a discount.) Those are usually larger projects so i have to limit them, but they still get that 2-5 days to get it before the public can get slots and often times if there are many requests for a slot by the time the offer closes to patrons, I’ll try to pick those who haven’t gotten a commission from me in a while. Often times my patrons take those slots before they even get to the public anyways.

I’m really glad you brought this up as I was trying to figure out how to have a giveaway for my Patreon anniversary without it ending up being that every $1 patron gets a free drawing (I just don’t draw that fast!) and as it is my 3rd anniversary I wanted to give away 3 original artworks and everyone else will get a postcard.

Y’all are definitely right. There are some people who just don’t care about the rewards and probably won’t be interested in even having a “chance” to get something, but it might make those who want to get an artwork more likely to start being more active in communicating. It might be a good way to get people on Discord if I tell them patrons there will be getting a head’s up before I make a first dibs post.

Would it still be a raffle if I included followers in a giveaway?

@Lochy my understanding is that it does violate the ToS if you do a raffle to your Patreons on your Discord.

Out of curiosity, why are raffles not allowed? Are they considered a form of gambling?

As far as my understanding, yes. Exactly this.

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I asked customer service about this many many years ago
"I just saw your rule that states that you are not allowed to have raffle tickets/chances to win something included in your reward tiers. I am curious if it is just simply “Any chance” is out of the rules or if its reward tier specific? "

and was told "Thanks so much for writing in. Yes, this raffle rule applies to all reward tiers. And in general, its best for rewards to be set up for distribution on a monthly basis, as opposed to give-aways that occur every so often. "

So to me, this tells me that you cannot have it as a reward/goal or part of the base integral part of your projects. But extra’s given out that aren’t part of the base tiers (what they are paying for) is okay(?)

So hosting hangouts/gathering with your patrons and giving away stuff that is extra (not what they actually -specifically- paid for in their tier descriptions) is more or less okay because they didn’t pay for it/aren’t gambling, it’s just something nice you are doing for your supporters. (I guess the argument could be made that they are paying for the “privilege” but i honestly don’t know.)

Maybe i am entirely wrong or maybe the response is outdated. It was 2015 when i asked it after all. Perhaps a staff member could clarify though i don’t suspect they will. I’d imagine it’s a grey area where clarifying a yes/no specifically on things may not play well with the ambiguity of this particular law (last i read up on it anyways. It tries to be specific but it’s still pretty vague.) It would be nice for clarity though. I don’t want to stop giving them offers of gifts and fun things outside of their tiers. I like giving back to the community that houses and feeds me XD

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I didn’t mean having it on Discord, what I meant was doing the firsts dibs post on Patreon as you all stated above and giving Patrons (and active followers) a head start by mentioning it on Discord.

The last question was separate from my previous two paragraphs. I probably should have written it first. I was curious if I included followers in a giveaway, would it still be considered gambling since they aren’t paying?

Some really interesting questions have come up on here. Especially – “if I am just giving away extras instead of what they pledged to get, does that violate ToS?”

I will contact the support team about this question.

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I got the official “No” on the question about giving away extras to your Patreons. Reason being, they are pledging to be your Patreons and you are raffling rewards only to your Patreons. Therefore, you’re raffling things as a reward. I get it. The suggestion is to raffle things away to your entire community, but obviously that defeats the point of what we are all trying to accomplish.

I am going to try to “reward list by sign-up date” and just give away extras based on that list and see how it goes. If people don’t want the extra, they can pass and it will go to someone else.

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