Posted July 13, 2010 9:14 am by with 4 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

The next time your company needs to raise funds for more people or servers, forget venture capital. That’s so, 2009.

Instead, simply ask your users to chip-in with a donation of their choice. That’s exactly what Reddit did yesterday, much to our chagrin. But, you know what? It worked!

More than 6,000 of Reddit’s eight million active users made a donation. While that represents just 0.00075% of active users, that’s apparently enough to be deemed a “huge success” by Reddit’s tiny team of developers.

  1. We’re getting a much-needed cash infusion.
  2. We’ve shown that, despite popular belief, people on the Internet are willing to be supportive if you treat them with honesty and respect.
  3. It’s given everyone involved with reddit a good kick in the pants right when we needed it.

So how much did the 6,000 donate. No idea. But “a much-needed cash infusion” suggests that the total amount was in the high 5 figures, maybe even 6!

Who would have thunk it. Maybe newspapers should look at this model. Instead of ramming paywalls down our throats–and losing subscribers–why not let each reader make a donation?

  • One never knows… one?

  • I don’t even know why Reddit even went this route to try to raise money for their company

  • There’s another precedent in here with Paste magazine, which has an awesome online presence, but still has their traditional print offering.

    They asked for money last year, and as a reward, upgraded folks for a donation. For $5 or $10 (can’t remember which), I got access to an MP3 library that had tracks more than 100 artists had donated.

    I love that model. Donate, break down a paywall & see what happens.

    They reported receiving more than $150K in donations plus the donated tracks.

    • It’s pretty cool but the prerequisites for generating any real ‘income’ are big traffic numbers and rabid support which mean severe barriers to entry for most.

      Also, you have to be a true “internet property” where the user base would understand the motives and donate almost as a show of solidarity.

      Next question though is “Will they donate again?”

      Thanks for the info.