Results & Takeaways from our Community & Education Survey

Hi all!

We recently surveyed Patreon creators about our Community & Education offerings. Now, it’s time for us to share what we learned!

A bit of background

The Community & Education team (:wave:) connects Patreon creators to each other for support and collaboration, and we offer resources that help creators build and grow their membership businesses and creative careers. We manage Patreon’s official community forum and Discord server, and we host programs like A. Club (a peer accountability program for creators), workshops (like the Summer of Social Media series currently running), and Q&As with the Patreon team.

We needed your feedback to help us evolve and improve our Discord server, forum, and the content and events we design to help creators grow. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your input via our survey - we’re grateful for you! If you didn’t get a chance to share your thoughts about Patreon’s community and education initiatives this time, we would love to hear from you in a future survey (we send them after all community events and programs) and/or right here.

Who responded to the survey?

We wanted to hear from a wide variety of Patreon creators — from all over the world, at different stages of their professional journeys, with varying degrees of participation in our Community & Education offerings. We worked with Patreon’s research team to make sure this survey was sent to a representative sample of Patreon creators.

Creators who responded to the survey spanned 59 countries, had pledges from $1 to more than $40K per month, represented various mediums (including video, visuals arts, writing, podcasts, music, and more), and included 18+ and all ages creators.

What we learned: Community

Creators are most interested in coming to our community spaces to learn from, collaborate with, and support each other. That said, many creators currently come to our community spaces to connect with the Patreon team about specific questions or problems, to stay up to date on company and product updates, and to provide feedback.

On a related note, creators requested more clarity on what Patreon’s community spaces should be used for (especially for newcomers), decluttering channels, and increasing engagement in niche online community spaces (e.g., medium-specific channels on Discord) where conversations could go deeper. For instance:

  • “Provide a separate platform for bug and feature requests and provide really clear information on where to take those items, so the server can stay focused on creative/creator chat!”

  • “The individual content channels are fairly dead. A few stay activish, but others are empty. I think conversations need to be instigated more, to jumpstart the communities.

There were mixed responses to the question of how much creators liked the Patreon Discord and forum as channels. This really came down to personal preferences for the type of communication creators wanted from peers and the Patreon team.

We need to make our community spaces more organized and purposeful to increase creator-to-creator connection and learning, and we need dedicated, accessible, active channels for Patreon news, support, and feedback. Good news :grinning: In just a couple of weeks, we have a brand new Head of Online Community joining Patreon! They’ll focus on long-term strategy and organization, and we’ll make some small fixes in the meantime (scroll down to the last section of this post to learn more!).

What we learned: Education

This quote pretty much sums up what we learned from creators who had participated in our Education offerings (e.g., workshops, Patreon U blog):

  • “I’ve been loving all the educational live events - I attend them all, no matter what topic or speaker. It’s always a dose of inspiration and makes me feel like I’m part of a community of creators.”

We confirmed that creators are confident in their ability to create (no surprise!). But where y’all wanted help was with the business-oriented elements of being a creator, especially with (non-spammy) marketing, managing Patreon memberships, and finances (incl. taxes, budgeting).

When asked what they would find valuable as an offering from Patreon in the future, the most popular answer was workshops from other creators.

Half of the survey respondents had never heard of our educational resources - that’s a clear opportunity for us to make our educational content and events easier to find and participate in.

Check out the #workshops-and-lives channel in Discord, the monthly Community & Education newsletter that comes straight to your inboxes, and/or head straight to Patreon U and our events hub for updates on Patreon’s educational events and resources. Right now, our series of social media workshops is in full swing!

Bonus Lesson

Many creators who responded to this survey shared a desire for more transparency and better communication from Patreon about product decisions; creators want to be heard and to see evidence that their opinions and experiences matter.

The Community & Education team will continue to support company-wide efforts to share updates, gather feedback, and find more ways for Patreon leadership to respond to your ideas and concerns on a regular basis.

In case you missed it, check out our new-ish Creator Policy Engagement Program as one example of how Patreon is committing to more regular, open, and collaborative communication with creators.

What now?

Now, the Community & Education team at Patreon will get to work on achieving the outcomes we’ve heard creators want (aka all of the above!).

For starters, I’ll be hosting a Q&A about this survey and the insights we gathered from it on Wed. 6/9 from 10am - 5pm PT right here in this thread. I hope you’ll join me if you have questions or want to dig deeper!

In the next few weeks, in response to creators’ feedback, we’ll also make some small tweaks to the organization of our Discord server and tidy up the forum a bit (e.g., archiving out of date, inactive threads). Keep an eye on the #patreon-announcements channel in Discord and the Updates category on the forum for specifics. When our new Head of Online Community joins in a couple of weeks and has a chance to settle in, they’ll consider additional creator-informed updates.


Hi there! Today from 9am-5pm PT I’ll be available to answer any questions you’ve got about the Community & Education team survey results.

I’d also love your proposals for how we might deliver on the creator needs and desires uncovered in the survey. See you soon :slight_smile:

UPDATE: I’ll leave this thread open until the end of the week (12pm PT Friday 6/11) per @Temrin 's feedback below!

Without more notice on these sorts of things, it’s sorta hard to participate. Need more time to go over things, sit with thoughts, and actually have time to write them down and have enough notice to put time aside to do it between work already scheduled for the day. :confused: Patreon is supposed to be a place helping to support creatives get paid for their work and all tht. Many of us do have work/life planned and scheduled and can’t just drop in for something serious like this the day of without destroying our plans.

(I do see you posted it in the initial post, 2 days ago, that you’d be doing this, but it’s already a long post that personally, I hadn’t been able to go through the entirety of when it was posted. X’D 2 days isn’t all that long.)

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I appreciate the feedback about timing - that makes total sense. I’ll leave this thread open until the end of the week!

I guess everyone understands it perfectly. :wink:

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Thanks for that, I had other obligations and haven’t had time to poke through this.

I don’t use the Discord anymore, but as for the forum, I think a marketing push can make this place more active. When a creator starts a Patreon page, make them get a clear invite to this place. (Not just tiny text in a large long email.) Remind creators on social media platforms that this place exists. Then actually get the staff to participate here too so creators can see this place is also responded to, thus worth their time.

Yes, we have been begging for this for years. I hope this includes updates on the forum, as this is mainly where I get my Patreon news. (Apart from other creators telling me, or when Patreon trends on Twitter.)

I hope this doesn’t include bug report threads. There are a few on here that have either not been addressed or updated as far as fixes go, but are otherwise still an issue, and I don’t think those should be closed.

Just my thoughts at a glance. Hard to have much more to add since I feel like a broken record at this point.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts & suggestions @sambeawesome !

The survey insights made it really clear that more creators would be participating in and benefiting from our community & education initiatives if they only knew about them! One thing we’re doing now is working with our colleagues to identify opportunities to infuse our community & education offerings (e.g., this space) more into the messages we send creators, specifically during their onboarding experience.

Very soon (like, in the next few weeks), you should be seeing a meaningful uptick in participation from Patreon staff here. Not only is our new Head of Online Community starting next week (yay!), but we’re also planning to do a bit of “Spring Cleaning,” including archiving the inactive threads I mentioned (I’ll keep your point about bugs in mind - even if we close old threads here, those reports should still be reflected in our internal dashboards if they’re still issues), as well as doing a sweep of product feedback/request threads that need love (e.g., responding with updates and answers when we can AND acknowledging threads that we don’t have answers for yet but are keeping an eye on).

Thank you again for taking the time to read through my meaty initial post (I know it was dense!) and for sharing your own takeaways and questions.

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Thanks to those who shared their thoughts on the results of the recent Community & Education team survey of Patreon creators! I’m closing this thread and will post separately with future updates on the Community & Education team’s efforts to evolve and improve our offerings. Looking forward to more conversation with y’all then and there!