Being an artist, freelancer or an independent creator gives you plenty of creative and artistic freedom, but what about getting paid? Nothing about being an independent creative is easy, although it’s rewarding and interesting, but it is possible to fund your work yourself.
Supporting yourself is possible without a wealthy patron thanks to funding platforms that allow independents to connect with sponsors or subscribers directly. The Broad has compiled a brief round-up of some of the funding options if you’re going it alone. Do have a look at the costs and fees and funding options across the different platforms as they vary and you want to pick one that suits your goals.
A Note on Funding Platforms
Kickstarter has been around for a while now and is a crowdfunding site that lets people pledge funds towards one-off projects, rather than ongoing subscriptions. You must offer physical products for backers and it is an all-or-nothing model that requires a project to be fully funded to go ahead and they take a cut of all funds raised.
Indiegogo is another crowdfunding platform for short-run fundraising campaigns and, unlike Kickstarter, allows project owners to keep the funds raises and can be used for ideas, charities, startups or other one-off projects.
Patreon, like the name suggests, allows individuals, from freelance investigative journalists to artists, to attract patrons to their cause. It’s well established and lets supporters pay a regular subscription or for each post, and it takes a cut of the funds.
Memberful is a platform for independents to sell memberships and connects to a website, allowing paying subscribers to access exclusive content. It belongs to Patreon and offers a free basic plan and paid plans, and takes a cut of all payments.
Substack is a platform for monetising an email newsletter with subscriptions. There’s the option to have a free basic newsletter and paid complete newsletter and is a good option for writers, freelance entrepreneurs and those with a solo business that includes writing a lot of content.
Podia is a platform for selling online courses, all sorts of downloads, memberships and other digital products.
BuyMeACoffee is a donation plugin for websites that allows funds to give back to a creater, blogger or artists with one-off payments from small to large amounts and it takes a processing fee.
Ko-Fi is like BuyMeACoffee in that it’s a website add-on for donations and subscriptions, although they need to be made on the Ko-Fi website. It has a free basic plan and doesn’t take a cut. The Broad is on Ko-Fi to help fund this blog and the hosting, tech and other costs.
Tipeee, likeKo-Fi, is an option if you create any type of regular content, like articles, videos, blog posts and so on, and you want to have some financial support for your work.
GoFundMe is a fundraising platform for individuals, groups or whole organisations for people to make donations towards all types of causes, and it takes a percentage cut of donations.
Causes is another platform like GoFundMe for campaigns and fundraisers. Although it’s less about funding individuals and more about issues and causes, it could be an option, depending on the project you have in mind.
Chuffed is another similar platform for funding social enterprises, social causes and other campaigns. If you’re working on a not-for-profit initiative, then Chuffed might be a suitable platform to raise funds.
A Note on my Fundraising Project
I will be running a half-marathon (21km) over NAIDOC Week, 5 to 12 July 2020, to fundraise for Rob de Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Fundraising Project, which uses running to provide life-changing pathways and opportunities for Indigenous Australians and create inspirational Indigenous role models. Please support me, and by doing so support this great cause.
A Note on Nick Cave
The dark prince of music, Nick Cave has gathered fans of all ages from across the globe with his brooding music and lyrical storytelling. In his Red Right Hand Files newsletter he answers reader questions on life through email. Grief, beauty, ageing, music and identity are just some of the subjects he muses on in response to a reader’s question. In this particular one, a reader asked Cave if he would compile his list of 40 books he loves.
A Note on Helen Garner
It’s 200 years since Pride and Prejudice was first published and Australian author Helen Garner has finally got around to reviewing the novel. In her essay, taken from her award-winning book Everywhere I Look, Garner re-reads the renowned text and delights in Austen’s wit and word mastery and gives us her feedback on the cast of characters and their lot.
A Note on Stolen History
The Black Lives Matter protests and the removal and defacing of statues shows us the ongoing impact of racism and colonisation today and the struggle to taken account of more complex, honest historical narratives. For instance, there have been arguments about the ownership of many treasures in the British Museum, with possession contested by countries like Greece and the Elgin Marbles.
Alice Procter is a historian and anthropologist who’s been conducting viewings by the name of Uncomfortable Art Tours in British museums and galleries in which she attempts to explain the colonialism, racism and imperialism in the narratives around objects and artworks in these collections. How were they obtained, under what circumstances and is their ownership contested? Uncomfortable but important questions to ask about history and an acknowledgment that re-appraisal is overdue, as the protests of the last few weeks remind us once again. The Exhibitionist is Proctor’s podcast where she discusses art and some of these issues with artists and other guests.