114 votes

I've been accepted into GitHub Sponsors - if you have a Patreon pledge or other recurring donation to Tildes, I'd really appreciate it if you could move it over

Tags: donations

When GitHub Sponsors was announced back in May, I applied immediately, and have just recently been accepted.

This is now, by far, the best way available to make a recurring donation to Tildes:

  • They aren't currently charging any fees, even for payment processing.
  • They're matching up to $5000 in contributions for the first year.

On Patreon, about 10% of every donation is taken between processing fees, Patreon's own fees, and PayPal (for transferring the money out to the bank). Even without the matching, donating through GitHub instead means that 10% more of your money (all of what you're donating) will come to Tildes, and until we exhaust the matching it's more like 2.2x. For example, a $5/month donation on Patreon results in Tildes receiving about $4.50, but through GitHub it will be $10.

So if you have an existing recurring donation (or would like to start donating), I'd really appreciate if you could do it through GitHub Sponsors. Tildes is a non-profit, and its only source of income is user donations—there's no advertising, no investors, and I'm not selling your data or anything else (and none of those will ever change). Donations are what makes it possible for me to keep working on the site. For some more info, please see the Donate page on the Docs site (which I'll update soon with info about GitHub Sponsors).

The page is here: https://github.com/sponsors/Deimos

A few quick notes:

  • I believe you'll need a GitHub account to sponsor through here, but it's quick to create one.
  • You have the choice of making your sponsorship private or public.
  • You have to choose one of the pre-defined "tiers", but I tried to create ones that match the most common donations. If you need a different amount that isn't available, let me know and I can probably add it. I still have a couple of slots left for more tiers.
  • If you're currently donating through Patreon, please remember to cancel your pledge through there if you move it over to GitHub. The next Patreon payment will happen on November 1.

I'm also working on a couple things to make the amount that's currently being donated to Tildes public, and I hope to have that available later this week (and hopefully with a much higher number because of the GitHub matching!).

Thanks very much, and if there's anything confusing about the process or if you have any questions, please let me know.

38 comments

  1. [3]
    moocow1452
    Link
    Deimos, you may want to put out a blast on the Patreon blog as well, since this is news that would be of particular interest to Patrons.

    Deimos, you may want to put out a blast on the Patreon blog as well, since this is news that would be of particular interest to Patrons.

    27 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      Oh that's a good suggestion, thanks. I hadn't even thought of doing that (though it does feel a bit weird to use Patreon to ask people to stop using Patreon).

      Oh that's a good suggestion, thanks. I hadn't even thought of doing that (though it does feel a bit weird to use Patreon to ask people to stop using Patreon).

      17 votes
      1. moocow1452
        Link Parent
        If you're just leaving money on the table by going through Patreon, might as well put it out on the blog, the Patreon, pretty much anywhere you got a megaphone beyond the regular traffic of the...

        You use the Patreon to destroy the Patreon.
        If you're just leaving money on the table by going through Patreon, might as well put it out on the blog, the Patreon, pretty much anywhere you got a megaphone beyond the regular traffic of the front page.

        9 votes
  2. Bauke
    Link
    Hell yeeaa! Ever since GitHub Sponsors first got announced I was hoping this would happen! :D

    Hell yeeaa! Ever since GitHub Sponsors first got announced I was hoping this would happen! :D

    17 votes
  3. [6]
    Menio_Mercina
    Link
    Anyone know why it comes up with: Do you have to select something to not miss out on the sponsorship matching?

    Anyone know why it comes up with:

    "Selected tier: $10 a month.
    Your sponsorship will not be matched at this time."

    Do you have to select something to not miss out on the sponsorship matching?

    13 votes
    1. [5]
      Deimos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Hmm, that's strange. It may have been an automatic lock due to so many people suddenly starting to sponsor today. Looking around inside the private repo they have set up to discuss with people in...

      Hmm, that's strange. It may have been an automatic lock due to so many people suddenly starting to sponsor today. Looking around inside the private repo they have set up to discuss with people in the sponsorship program, I see a note about that message that says to contact them privately to discuss it. So I'll send an email to them and check on it, thanks for letting me know.

      11 votes
      1. [4]
        Menio_Mercina
        Link Parent
        Okay that does sound quite probable. Either that or your marketing has really kicked up a storm and you've already met the 5k all in one day! Jokes aside, in any case post an update once you find...

        Okay that does sound quite probable. Either that or your marketing has really kicked up a storm and you've already met the 5k all in one day! Jokes aside, in any case post an update once you find out what's going on and I for one will hold off donating until it's confirmed that it'll be matched because doubling sounds like a big difference.

        9 votes
        1. [3]
          Deimos
          Link Parent
          I got a response back from GitHub, and it sounds like they're excluding some sponsors (the people sending the money, not the recipients) from having their contributions matched due to some...

          I got a response back from GitHub, and it sounds like they're excluding some sponsors (the people sending the money, not the recipients) from having their contributions matched due to some conditions, such as the sponsor having a brand new GitHub account. So for some reason (they weren't specific), they've decided that your sponsorship wouldn't currently be eligible for matching.

          I disagree that this is necessary and think it doesn't make sense for them to do, but I doubt I'm going to convince them to change it anytime soon. I did confirm with them that even if someone's initial payment isn't matched, they may become eligible for matching in the future, so it's possible that if you sponsor for several months, later ones may start being matched.

          I'm disappointed about this (and hopefully it doesn't impact many people), but even without the matching, donating to Tildes through GitHub will still be the best method currently available since they're not charging any fees. So if you'd still like to donate, I'd definitely appreciate it whether it gets matched or not. And if you feel strongly about it, you could try emailing sponsors@github.com and ask if they can tell you why you're being excluded or whitelist you.

          I'm going to continue talking to them about this, and will probably make a post about it in the private discussion area for people in the Sponsors program.

          12 votes
          1. Wes
            Link Parent
            I imagine that new accounts are excluded to ensure that sponsored accounts aren't secretly donating to themselves to accrue the matching bonus. Maybe necessary, maybe overcautious. It's hard to...

            I imagine that new accounts are excluded to ensure that sponsored accounts aren't secretly donating to themselves to accrue the matching bonus. Maybe necessary, maybe overcautious. It's hard to say without seeing the numbers.

            Either way it's unfortunate that legitimate participants such as yourself are negatively affected.

            7 votes
          2. Menio_Mercina
            Link Parent
            Thanks for the update. That’s a shame. I would think that it would impact a lot of one-off non-recurring donations since these would likely be from new accounts although I suppose, at the very...

            Thanks for the update. That’s a shame. I would think that it would impact a lot of one-off non-recurring donations since these would likely be from new accounts although I suppose, at the very least, these would probably less significant monetarily than the recurring donations.
            In my case, I just created a GitHub account for the sole purpose of making a single donation which is likely why I was flagged. As you said though, no fees is still a massive boon compared to the competing avenues of support so I’ll donate there anyway and hopefully later on if I make another donation my account will no longer raise any flags.

            4 votes
  4. [11]
    dubteedub
    Link
    So it would be preferred if we cancelled the Patreon and do GitHub instead?

    So it would be preferred if we cancelled the Patreon and do GitHub instead?

    11 votes
    1. [9]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      I just cancelled my Patreon and swapped to Github, as effectively doubling my donation is a pretty irresistible benefit, IMO. Patreon also worries me, since they are still deep in the VC hole and...

      I just cancelled my Patreon and swapped to Github, as effectively doubling my donation is a pretty irresistible benefit, IMO. Patreon also worries me, since they are still deep in the VC hole and are somehow still not profitable despite being essentially just a community platform and middle-man that is taking a pretty decent cut from tens of millions of transactions per month. That and MS is somehow looking more and more like one of the good guys these days... what a topsy turvy world we live in! :P

      25 votes
      1. [8]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        Sounds good. I just swapped over my contribution as well. Thanks for helping explain a bit more.

        Sounds good. I just swapped over my contribution as well. Thanks for helping explain a bit more.

        6 votes
        1. [7]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Cool, I'm sure Deimos will appreciate it... and no prob. p.s. Incidentally, I find it incredibly disconcerting that cancelling my recurring Patreon donation to Tildes immediately cancelled my...

          Cool, I'm sure Deimos will appreciate it... and no prob.

          p.s. Incidentally, I find it incredibly disconcerting that cancelling my recurring Patreon donation to Tildes immediately cancelled my membership to Tildes Patreon, despite the fact I still have several days remaining before the next payment is due. That seems somewhat unethical to me. Adobe did the same shit when I cancelled my CC subscription too. I hate when companies do that crap since they're clearly trying to use it as a deterrent to people cancelling before the next due date in the hopes that they forget to cancel before then and can hook you for another month... but I honestly don't quite understand how it's even legal to do that.

          9 votes
          1. [6]
            Bauke
            Link Parent
            I believe that's something that you can choose as a Patreon (-er? Patreon creator? idk what their demonym is), I've had memberships before where I cancelled it the same day (to do a 1 time...

            I believe that's something that you can choose as a Patreon (-er? Patreon creator? idk what their demonym is), I've had memberships before where I cancelled it the same day (to do a 1 time donation) but still kept the membership for the rest of the month.

            4 votes
            1. [5]
              cfabbro
              Link Parent
              Ah, if that is the case, perhaps that's something you should look into changing in your Patreon settings @Deimos?

              Ah, if that is the case, perhaps that's something you should look into changing in your Patreon settings @Deimos?

              2 votes
              1. [4]
                Deimos
                Link Parent
                I can look. It really doesn't matter though, since being a patron doesn't give you access to anything, so there's no difference between keeping your membership to the end of a cycle or having it...

                I can look. It really doesn't matter though, since being a patron doesn't give you access to anything, so there's no difference between keeping your membership to the end of a cycle or having it end immediately.

                8 votes
                1. [3]
                  cfabbro
                  Link Parent
                  True, but even so it just feels a bit wrong somehow, is all.

                  True, but even so it just feels a bit wrong somehow, is all.

                  2 votes
                  1. [2]
                    Deimos
                    Link Parent
                    It looks like it's related to how the creator charges: https://support.patreon.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004094606-Why-did-I-lose-access-to-my-creator-after-I-canceled-my-membership- Tildes is set...

                    It looks like it's related to how the creator charges: https://support.patreon.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004094606-Why-did-I-lose-access-to-my-creator-after-I-canceled-my-membership-

                    Tildes is set up as a "monthly charging creator (not charge up front)", which means people that cancel have their membership end immediately. I did that so that people are always only donating once a month. Otherwise, if someone was to sign up as a $5/month patron today, they'd be charged $5 immediately, then charged $5 again in three days on November 1. I don't think that's how most people expect it to work when they sign up for a monthly donation, so I thought this setup was probably better (where there's no immediate charge and the Nov 1 one would be the first).

                    8 votes
                    1. cfabbro
                      Link Parent
                      Huh, weird... but I guess that makes sense so that people don't have donations trickling in at weird times throughout the month (and so Patreon doesn't have to track when everyone's monthly...

                      Huh, weird... but I guess that makes sense so that people don't have donations trickling in at weird times throughout the month (and so Patreon doesn't have to track when everyone's monthly donations start/end for every single person they have donations set up to). And I definitely think the way you did it makes the most sense, since being double charged is way worse than losing a few days of membership when cancelling. Ah well, I can't have my cake and eat it too, it appears. Thanks for checking!

                      6 votes
    2. Deimos
      Link Parent
      Yes, it's absolutely better overall in terms of effectiveness to use GitHub Sponsors, since it eliminates 3 middlemen taking a cut from the Patreon pledges. If you manage multiple pledges through...

      Yes, it's absolutely better overall in terms of effectiveness to use GitHub Sponsors, since it eliminates 3 middlemen taking a cut from the Patreon pledges.

      If you manage multiple pledges through Patreon and would rather keep everything on there, that's totally fine—it's still just as good of a way to donate as it always has been. But GitHub Sponsors is far better overall for anyone that's neutral about which donation method they're using.

      10 votes
  5. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    That's great! Just wondering, does Github have any option for one-time donations? (I'm not that into subscriptions.)

    That's great! Just wondering, does Github have any option for one-time donations? (I'm not that into subscriptions.)

    8 votes
    1. Bauke
      Link Parent
      You can subscribe and then cancel it shortly after and you'll have donated one time! I tested this myself and it works.

      You can subscribe and then cancel it shortly after and you'll have donated one time! I tested this myself and it works.

      8 votes
  6. Death
    Link
    Unfortunately I'm currently unable to keep donating due to credit card issues. Will pledge on Github as soon as I get it sorted out though.

    Unfortunately I'm currently unable to keep donating due to credit card issues. Will pledge on Github as soon as I get it sorted out though.

    8 votes
  7. thundergolfer
    Link
    Switched over 🙂 Thanks for your work so far!

    Switched over 🙂

    Thanks for your work so far!

    7 votes
  8. [4]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I wasn't on the Patreon, so this was a good reminder to start donating! I don't believe anyone should get special privileges, but are there any plans to ever have some kind of mark on a Tildes...

    I wasn't on the Patreon, so this was a good reminder to start donating!

    I don't believe anyone should get special privileges, but are there any plans to ever have some kind of mark on a Tildes user's profile that they're a donor?

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      I'm not necessarily opposed to it, but it also wouldn't be simple to set up since there's no connection between the donator and their Tildes account. I'd probably need to manually verify and grant...

      I'm not necessarily opposed to it, but it also wouldn't be simple to set up since there's no connection between the donator and their Tildes account. I'd probably need to manually verify and grant all of them somehow, and it would introduce some privacy implications since I'd be tying people to their email addresses or GitHub/Patreon/etc. accounts.

      16 votes
      1. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        An optional GitHub OAuth connection seems reasonable to me. The privacy-conscious can ignore it. Many people likely have the same name here as on GitHub, so they don't have much to lose. But I can...

        An optional GitHub OAuth connection seems reasonable to me. The privacy-conscious can ignore it. Many people likely have the same name here as on GitHub, so they don't have much to lose.

        But I can understand wanting to keep the number of API integrations to a minimum.

        6 votes
    2. elcuello
      Link Parent
      I don't see any benefits to this so I really hope not.

      I don't believe anyone should get special privileges, but are there any plans to ever have some kind of mark on a Tildes user's profile that they're a donor?

      I don't see any benefits to this so I really hope not.

      4 votes
  9. [2]
    heady
    Link
    Some open source projects use Open Collective to maintain transparent finances.

    I'm also working on a couple things to make the amount that's currently being donated to Tildes public

    Some open source projects use Open Collective to maintain transparent finances.

    6 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I actually mentioned Open Collective in my "Investigate other recurring payment / membership crowdfunding platforms" issue on Gitlab from a while ago, and definitely second the recommendation to...

      I actually mentioned Open Collective in my "Investigate other recurring payment / membership crowdfunding platforms" issue on Gitlab from a while ago, and definitely second the recommendation to at least look into them as an option. It seems like a really interesting platform, a lot of their core values seem to align with Tildes', and they are opensource too, which is nice.

      3 votes
  10. [2]
    Grzmot
    Link
    Is there a financial status of Tildes available somehwere? Like server costs and how much is currently covered by donations, etc.

    Is there a financial status of Tildes available somehwere? Like server costs and how much is currently covered by donations, etc.

    5 votes
    1. Deimos
      Link Parent
      Not currently, that's part of what I mentioned that I'm working on that I want to have up later this week. Overall, the costs solely to keep Tildes running (servers, domain names, DNS, etc.) are...

      Not currently, that's part of what I mentioned that I'm working on that I want to have up later this week. Overall, the costs solely to keep Tildes running (servers, domain names, DNS, etc.) are quite low, probably about $120 USD/month total. We're far beyond that for donations and always have been, so that's really not an issue at all.

      The next big milestone now is for me to be able to pay myself enough that I can keep working on Tildes full-time and consider it a "real job".

      10 votes
  11. SUD0
    Link
    Congrats!

    Congrats!

    4 votes
  12. [4]
    macadoum
    Link
    I can donate, but for things I find useful, like TANSLATING the UI of Tildes.

    I can donate, but for things I find useful, like TANSLATING the UI of Tildes.

    1. [3]
      Bauke
      Link Parent
      Given that Tildes is still primarily an English-speaking site, and that will most likely be the case for a while. Implementing internationalization at the moment is not a priority. Let alone that...

      Given that Tildes is still primarily an English-speaking site, and that will most likely be the case for a while. Implementing internationalization at the moment is not a priority. Let alone that a lot more infrastructure needs to be implemented like the trust system before even allowing non-English languages, since Deimos only knows so many languages and he can't oversee everything if it's happening in languages he doesn't understand.

      Internationalization is useful and a boon to getting a wider variety of people on the site once there is use for it, but in the current place it's at, it would take up a considerable amount of development time and not be particularly useful.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        macadoum
        Link Parent
        I understand that creating other languages communities is not useful actually. But what about just translating the user interface, controls, buttons, etc into other languages ? It's more...

        I understand that creating other languages communities is not useful actually. But what about just translating the user interface, controls, buttons, etc into other languages ?
        It's more convenient for me to access the site in my own language even if discussions are english-only. It's maybe the same for some other people ?

        1 vote
        1. Bauke
          Link Parent
          I think if the UI was offered in multiple languages that people would automatically assume they can participate in multiple languages. I feel the site should reflect its current state through its...

          I think if the UI was offered in multiple languages that people would automatically assume they can participate in multiple languages. I feel the site should reflect its current state through its design and features, to me it doesn't make sense to say "You can use the site in your language, but anything you post has to be in (primarily) English." If everything has to be in English anyways, then it's clearer if everyone is on the same page interface-wise, since nothing gets lost in translation and there would be no difference in what any given person sees.

          9 votes