5 Best & Free Patreon alternatives with 0% fees for 2020

November 4, 2020
Vector monetize banner with people making money, dollars

Recently there are tons of Patreon alternatives on the internet. Some of them are worth it, and some of them are just copies. However, which one gives the best conditions and 0% transaction fees to its customers? Let us find out:

Ko-fi

Ko-fi main page

The first on our list is one of the most famous Patreon alternatives. Ko-fi is in many ways, similar to Patreon. Customers have their homepage, where they can share everything from videos to downloadable presets. Content can be under a paywall and shown only after payment. Nonetheless, Ko-fi additionally provides a market place with customers’ products and is more welcoming to beginning creators: No fees on donations and tons of free features. 


Ko-fi is offering a premium version titled Ko-fi Gold that makes available a lot of features. For example, Gold’s customers can change the donation price, create supporters only posts, and adjust the page to their image.

Pros

  • No donation fees
  • Clean and understandable user interface
  • Easy payments
  • Cheap premium
  • Market place

Cons

  • Unchangeable price in freemium
  • No supporters only posts in free version
  • Only 1 GB of space in Ko-fi Shop
  • Only one-time payments in freemium

Liberapay

Liberapay main page

Next on our list is a nonprofit crowdfunding platform based on Python. Liberapay is transparent and provides its users an utterly fee-free space to subsidize their work by their supporters. Also, there is no premium, so Liberapay can be supported only directly by donations. The platform is fully translated into 12 languages, more than half is translated into 11 languages, and supports more than 30 currencies. Liberapay code is available on GitHub. 

Nowadays, Liberapay works more as a founding platform for nonprofit organizations like Wikipedia or FreeCad than as a platform for influencers and artists. Maybe it’s also because Liberapay is very different from Patreon.

Pros

  • No Fees
  • A minimum donation of 1cent/week
  • Supports more than 30 languages and currencies
  • Open-source 
  • Can be connected with Github, Twitter, Mastodon, and nine other platforms

Cons

  • Small and unknown
  • Less clear user interface

Flattr

Flattr main page

The platform is working primarily on microdonations and saved WikiLeaks in 2010. The talk is, of course, about Flattr, the platform created by ThePirateBay founders. Flattr provides easy registration, site customization, and founding to all creators and companies. However, the site is specialized truly on founding, and there is no sharing premium posts and content options. 


So, as Liberapay, it fits more to notable non-profit projects and companies like Wikipedia or Gimp. Flattr is completely fee-free, without a premium option, and they are charging only 9% for payment processing and 7,5% for using the Flattr infrastructure. 

Pros

  • Fee-free
  • Simple design
  • No premium, all features are free
  • Can be used on websites via a metatag
  • Founding for important non-profit projects

Cons

  • No option for posting premium content or reward donators
  • Fewer payment options
  • Flattr need more users to work properly

Tribe

Tribe main page

Fourth on today’s list is the cloud-based community platform. Tribe is primarily about community building, so most features are related to posting, communication with the audience, quizzes, information about projects, etc. Still, Tribe provides audience monetization with a 0% fee.


The platform is mainly focused on companies and marketers. Tribe offers three premium options with advanced features. Nonetheless, the classic user can work well with the freemium version.

Pros

  • No Fees
  • Advanced analytics and simplified Google Analytics
  • Cloud-based
  • Fully customizable
  • Community-building features

Cons

  • Expensive premium
  • No mobile app
  • Support mainly for premium users

GitHub Sponsors

Github sponsors main page

If you know something about GitHub, you know that GitHub is indeed a customer-based platform. Nowadays, this platform offers free web hosting for open source projects and a free depository for everyone. These two features were complemented by GitHub Sponsors, the crowdfunding platform completely without any fees. GitHub even pays for you the payment processing fees.  


At this moment, GitHub Sponsors is still in beta testing, and you have to be approved to use it. The platform can also be hard to use for casual users because it is a program-based platform.

Pros

  • Fee-free + GitHub even covers the payment processing fees
  • Customizable UI
  • Clean user interface
  • Best crowdfunding for software engineers and programmers
  • Customizable Prices

Cons

  • More program based
  • In the Beta phase (currently available in 32 regions)
  • Waitlist (you need to be approved) 

Bonus:

Cent

Cent main page

The last is our wild card. Cent is a small crowdfunding platform deeply in the beta phase. However, it brings an interesting function to the game. Cent allowing donors to earn from donors who support their creators after them. The first donors earn chips of the transactions that were realized after them. This function works only with Ethereum at this time and is not fully functioning because the platform is not very busy.


However, no doubt, it is a remarkable and advanced concept. Besides that, Cent is without any fees and offers everything for free. At this moment, the platform provides just a few sections, a simple login, and a simple UI.

Pros

  • No Fees
  • The exciting and original technology
  • Easy handling
  • All features are free

Cons

  • In the Beta testing
  • Without users

Vector graphic of a man choosing his path

What you should choose?

This article shows you that Patreon is, in many cases, unnecessary. It will not help you build the audience or bring you unique features you can not reach anywhere else. If you step back and take a closer look at crowdfunding variations, you could choose a platform that really fits your needs and does not charge too much for its services.