Fan funding is a relatively new feature to YouTube. It was introduced and implemented in 2014 to only a few select regions, including the United States of America, Mexico, Australia and Japan. Since then fan funding has expanded to France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. While it is not accessible world wide, it is still a very unique and possibly career changing innovation. Fan funding allows for any supporter of your channel to donate a one-off contribution. During the transaction, Youtube will charge 21 cents, as well as 5% of the total commission on each donation.
This is a very interesting concept because it gives opportunities for creative YouTubers with a loyal following but not enough money, to make something truly extraordinary with the support of their fans. It also makes it easier for YouTubers who are making three-ten minute videos, to make a full length film or some other sort of artistic movement they have a passion for. One of the coolest features of fan funding is that the fan can actually get a potential say in what is done with their donation. After each contribution, the donor is invited to leave a comment. These comments will be marked with a special icon and sent directly to the channel manager. This possibility of getting to speak with someone you considered to be a fan of could be enough to make you donate by itself.
Something important to remember with fan funding is that it is not like other websites with similar motives, like Kickstarter, for example. YouTube’s content creators must solicit donations in their own name, as opposed to users of Kickstarter which may use specific projects as the name of donation. In addition, charitable and political donations are forbidden on YouTube.
Besides being in the region where fan funding is available, to be eligible for the Tip Jar feature, your channel must meet a series of requirements, including meeting the general criteria for YouTube partnership and having a YouTube account that is in good standing. You also must verify your account through your phone and you must already have an approved AdSense account linked to your YouTube account. Finally, it is essential that if you are apart of an MCN, they must be enabled for fan funding.
For those in one of the available regions, setting up fan funding is easy. First you must apply to join on the fan funding sign-up page on YouTube. Once you’ve been accepted, you must enable fan funding which can be found in the features. You will then be directed to a page asking you to confirm your YouTube account and agree to the terms and conditions. YouTube will than ask you for your Google Wallet information, so the funds can be transferred over to you. The final step will ask you to set up both a message to your supporters, and a thank you for those who have donated. After all these steps, a ‘Support this Channel’ box will appear on the right side of your home page, and is open for supporters to send tips.
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