Looking for Advice on Receiving Donations

Looking for Advice on Receiving Donations

AntumDeluge's picture

(I hope this is a proper forum to post this question)

I am very reluctant to ask others for donations. I have a hard enough time receiving payment when it is expected for jobs that I do. But, life as it is, isn't easy. And I've decided that I need to find ways to support myself & my family.

I see that many artists use programs such as Flattr, Patreon, & Bitcoin to request donations & support their work. I have also glanced at Liberapay. Thinking about signing up on a program like one of these & asking for money makes me somewhat nervous & uneasy. But I want to ask for any advice, encouragement, or information on how any of these programs work & perhaps how to go about it. The only major online currency platform that I have used is PayPal.

I haven't looked in depth into any of these programs. And I am honestly a bit ignorant/naive when it comes to currency & business. And that is only part of the reason I am hesitant to sign up for anything like this.

Here are some questions/concerns that I have (but don't limit your answers/advice to just these):

  • Do these programs integrate with PayPal or any kind of direct deposit to a regular bank account? (*shutter* event saying "bank account" on a site like OGA makes me feel greedy)
  • Does my location affect how any of these programs apply to me? (I am in the U.S.)
  • The term "tax" is obscure, complicated, & confusing to me. Will I need to deal with paying government taxes for receiving donations via these programs? (perhaps OGA is not the best place to ask this question)
  • I understand that Patreon is designed for patrons to receive some kind of recompense for their donations. I want to try & avoid an obligation like this (jeez that sounds selfish) because I can't afford the anxiety of owing anything more to others at this time (this might actually be one of the main reasons that I do not like asking for money/donations). Perhaps in the future I will feel more enabled to do so.
  • I understand that Patreon is a business & makes its way by billing a portion of donations received. Do the other programs work similarly, or will I have to worry about other types of fees?
  • What else might be required of me by signing up for any of these programs.
  • What opinions does anyone have about the benefits of one/some of these programs over the others? Do you recommend one over another?
  • What experiences do you have with any or all of these?
  • Are there any other recommended programs/sites?
  • I have also heard the terms crowd funding & crowd sourcing, & have seen sites such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, & Indiegogo. This also sounds interesting to me as I have often considered creating a project but don't feel I have the resources to do so. Are these programs essentially the same as those I mentioned previously?

I love contributing to the free & open source community, & of course I will continue to do so whether or not I receive money. But I know that it could help me out quite a bit.

Edit: Correction: "...it could POTENTIALLY help me out..."