Seeing all the end-of-month chatter, I'm wondering how close we are to a alternative?

The model is absolutely a key piece of the future of support for creative endeavors, but with $47.1MM in -hopeful VC to pay off, it's rate of can be expected to ramp up in coming years. I know seems like it has some of the pieces (but is still a ways off); anyone aware of other promising versions?

@ntnsndr @KevinCarson1 @mayel


I think we are moving away from #UserOwned . (Some folk pointed out we should use word "member" instead of "user" and I like it a lot).

If so many people rely on #Patreon where should the influx of the external money come from? Won't the providers become real owners?

@ntnsndr @KevinCarson1 @mayel

@saper @ntnsndr @KevinCarson1 @mayel

It depends on how the is structured - the movement has a fair amount of experience w/ being able to take outside investment while keeping capital subordinate to use. The has been an innovator in the US with their use of non-voting preferred shares that received a dividend, but not capital gain:

@mayel @KevinCarson1 @ntnsndr @saper And, ultimately, the goal is for the to reach the point where all outside investment capital is retired and the coop operates on a non-for-profit basis towards its members, returning surplus to them on the basis of patronage...


A healthy #coop model (if understand it correctly) is that all members provide a bearable, equivalent contribution towards the common goal. (Please correct me if needed)

If money shifting comes from individual members to individual members we immediately create two classes of donors and beggars. And there is no place for cooperative decision making (with its advantages/disadvantages).

@mayel @KevinCarson1 @ntnsndr

@saper @mayel @KevinCarson1 @ntnsndr

Navigating outside is tricky for for sure; do it wrong, and face .

The key is distribution of voting power, IMHO - so long as all control is exclusively vested in the 1 member, 1 vote co-op shares that provide return on patronage (not capital), then outside equity in a behaves more or less like .


Suppose I am a major donor contributing to 100 community members. I don't consider myself external, I just want to be a member of community who happens to have a good job and I have 1 vote. But suppose I get grumpy after few stupid decision of the unexperienced community members and just cancel my support. I am exercising power!

@mayel @KevinCarson1 @ntnsndr

@saper @mayel @KevinCarson1 @ntnsndr

Two roles to consider:

1. Donor: You're a user of the platform who pays to support creators. If the platform is a creator-owned , then you wouldn't be a member. If it's a donor-owned co-op, you would be be. In the latter case, you'd get a slice of the profits based your donation total (pro-rated). If the former, that slice goes to the creators based on amount they received.

@ntnsndr @KevinCarson1 @mayel @saper

2. Investor: you buy investor shares that pay a limited dividend from 1st slice of profit, and can be retired at the discretion of the co-op's board. You can't simply withdraw these shares on a whim, but are structured as a long-term investment with a moderate return that will, if the co-op does well, be bought back to move the co-op towards distribution of all profits based on use.

@mattcropp @ntnsndr @KevinCarson1 @mayel

This investor thing reminds me a legal form of a very popular form of incorporation here in Europe.

@mattcropp @mayel @KevinCarson1 @ntnsndr

I consider myself an adopter of this technology who likes to tinker. I have already submitted a pull request on Github so my profile is marked "contributor". On the other hand, I have sent some contributions to some members of the community doing useful things (at my whim).

Am I a donor? If yes, then I can only be a non-member user in creator owned one, so where that #UserOwned thing?

@KevinCarson1 @mayel @mattcropp

In some other words: As much as I would like to have #UserOwned alternative, I see there is a serious obstacle if some/most of the members cannot stand on their own.

@saper @mayel @KevinCarson1 @ntnsndr If you want to get into really heady territory, plunge down the rabbit-hole of like

However, most co-ops pick a single stakeholder group, even when they have multiple roles. An analogue for this situation might be a - some people are net depositors & some are net borrowers, but the governance rights are rooted in the deposit of a nominal sum (share).

@ntnsndr @KevinCarson1 @mayel @saper Basically, outside investors get their limited return on capital (say, 5%) until the user-members decide to allocate some of their additional surplus to buying out the investors, which the may do @ any time. Over time, if successful, the class' "hired capital" is drawn extinguished and the coop distributes its full surplus as .

Good doc covering some of this:


I am afraid we are talking about different things :( sorry I can't make myself a bit more clear.

@mattcropp @ntnsndr @KevinCarson1 @mayel not exactly sure what you are talking about, but is #liberapay of any relevance here, by any chance?

@stragu That indeed looks promising, though it looks to have the same issue taking on the niche as : anonymizing contributors. Patrons oft like to be recognized.

@mattcropp @stragu is a fork of . One reason they don't work for co-ops is they don't (or at least Gratipay doesn't) tell you who your contributors are and there's no open accounting, as in OpenCollective.

@ntnsndr Actually, we've recently added an open invoice system for transparent accounting, but it's not finished yet and it's only enabled for our own use. See

Regarding anonymity, we're still planning to relax it, but maybe not as much as you want. If knowing who a payment comes from is a strict requirement, then that payment is probably not a donation.

@mattcropp @stragu

@Liberapay @mattcropp @stragu No, it's true—we're not looking for donation systems, we're looking for systems of accountable and transparent membership.

@ntnsndr @stragu @mattcropp cc: @whit537 I think 's goal has always been to show where money goes in terms of which individuals receive money from a project, if only because it originally evolved from a system to tip *people*.

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