For YouTube creators looking to monetize their channel, tipping platforms are a fantastic option. No matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re an established YouTuber.
These platforms allow your viewers to show their appreciation by leaving you tips, making recurrent donations, or joining a community of subscribers for extra content.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the many advantages of donation and tipping platforms, and the best options out there to suit your channels’ needs.
What Are the Advantages of Tipping Platforms for YouTubers?
The creator economy has generated a need for a very specific kind of platform, one that lets your fans easily leave tips and make recurrent donations, especially with the ability to offer incentives. Options include subscription tiers, merchandise sales, and fund-a-goal fundraisers.
Unlike other monetization options for YouTubers, these tipping platforms have no entry threshold. YouTube’s Partner Program, which gives you access to ad revenue and features like Super Thanks, has specific requirements. Brands likely won’t offer you sponsorship if your channel is three days old.
Tipping platforms let you monetize your channel as soon as you have an engaged audience, no matter its age or size. Got a single fan? Great! Point them at your tip jar. Historically, YouTube and other major platforms didn’t even offer funding features other than ad revenue sharing – and even that took a while to become common.
Today, these creator funding service also typically take a much smaller cut of your revenue than the main social media platforms that offer on-site monetization. Some do have a subscription fee.
Furthermore, dedicated tipping platforms also give you more branding options and tend to innovate faster than social media. All this together makes then a great addition to your YouTube monetization strategy.
That said, there’s a wide range of tipping and subscription platforms out there. Some offer a basic just-a-tip-jar concept. Others expand this with subscriptions, then incentives, then tiers. There are dedicated membership-only sites, such as OnlyFans, and even business-in-a-box services that let you build your very own app for your community.
Here are our top picks.
ConvertKit’s Tip Jar
To start with the basics, there’s Tip Jar by ConvertKit, an email marketing company. Tip Jar is straightforward and intuitive. You can use it as a standalone page and link to it from all your social media bios.
Plus, you can also embed it on your website, if you have one, or even put it into emails, if you decide to use any of the platform’s other features. Sending your supporters a thank-you email is a good idea anyway.
Your fans will see just a simple page with a few suggested amounts, though they can also enter a custom one.
The nice thing about Tip Jar is that it’s part of ConvertKit’s free plan. In return, it takes a small cut of 3.5% plus $0.30 on every donation.
Pricing: The feature is included in all ConvertKit plans, including the free one (which supports up to 1000 email subscribers). Once you go over 1k email subs, you’ll need a higher-tier plan, which will then start at $25/mo.
Commission: 3.5% per donation + $0.30
Next up, Patreon is probably the most popular stand-alone tipping and donation platform. It’s been around for a while, and it’s packed with features.
This platform allows your fans to subscribe to you and support you and the amazing content you create. You can offer your viewers different subscription tiers with different incentives, and post subscriber-only premium content.
One of Patreon’s main advantages is that it’s widely compatible with platforms like Twitch, Vimeo, Discord, and MailChimp, meaning that you can automate many aspects of giving fans incentives. Subscribers for a certain tier, for instance, could automatically get a special role on your Discord server.
Pricing and commission: There is no subscription fee, but Patreon will take a cut of your earnings. How big that cut is depends on the plan you choose. The Lite plan, for instance, comes at 5%, Premium at 12%.
On top of this, there are payment processing charges: 2.9% + $0.30 for payments over $3, and 5% + $0.10 for smaller amounts. Non-USD payments will be converted, which will add another 1–2%, depending on the currency.
By the way, we’ve written up a walkthrough of setting up your own account: Here’s how to create a Patreon for your channel.
Note: Payment processing charges are not specific to Patreon – just about every platform uses PayPal, Stripe and other services to actually handle the money, and these companies take their own cut.
Another great option out there is Ko-fi, a solid subscription and tipping platform for YouTubers.
Viewers can either subscribe on a recurring basis or leave one-time tips. Furthermore, Ko-fi offers a storefront that allows you to sell channel-branded merchandise, as well as digital goods like online courses and e-books.
A major upside of Ko-fi is that pricing is straightforward. Its Gold plan is a flat $8 per month ($6 if you pay annually), and it removes the 5% cut that the platform usually takes on the free plan on features other than donations, like memberships and commissions.
Even if you’re on the free plan, though, donations are always transferred in full (minus payment processor fees).
Find our guide to setting up your own Ko-fi here!
Buy me a Coffee
Buy me a Coffee, like Ko-fi, allows your viewers to leave one-time donations and to get a subscription to support you in the long term.
One of the advantages of this platform is that it’s flexible when it comes to payment methods. Your fans can pay via PayPal, credit card, Stripe, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Plus, Buy me a Coffee also comes with a solid mobile version, and provides extensive analytics data to creators without making them pay an arm and a leg.
This platform takes a flat 5% cut of all revenue from your offers. This is the same as Patreon’s lowest tier, but it comes with a few more features.
Headquartered in Paris, France, Tipeee is a European tipping platform. It allows one-time tips, recurring donations, as well as project- or goal-based funding. Optionally, you can give tippers digital rewards.
Like other options on this list, you can embed Tipeee on your blog or website, post exclusive content, and integrate it with platforms such as Discord.
So far, so good, so much like the options above. But with TipeeeStream, it provides a lot more than that for streamers. It allows you to build a custom overlay for your stream so that you can show incoming tips and messages, as well as all kinds of info and stats widgets.
That’s a great way of incentivizing your audience to pitch in!
Another plus point for Tipeee – and one that’s particularly important for streamers – is that it offers 24/7 technical support. And not just in English, but also in German, French, and Italian.
Tipeee takes an 8% commission fee, plus transaction fees, but no subscription charges.
Based in Cyprus, Destream’s stand-out features as a tipping platform is that it allows donations in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It also takes credit cards, PayPal, and ApplePay.
Destream’s features are eclectic. Apart from plain tipping and recurrent donations, it offers a streaming overlay builder, similar to Tipeee’s, and a marketplace.
Also like Tipeee, they offer 24/7 multilingual support.
One major downside? While Destream claims they offer some of the lowest commission fees out there, you have to dig a little to find out what they actually are. In the Terms of Service, you’ll find it as 4.77%, plus the payment processor’s fees.
Hy.page is a link-in-bio service, but one that has grown to include donation features. Now, you can also run a store for anything digital, take paid requests, accept tips, set up subscriptions, and make paywalled posts.
Your fans can pay with credit card or PayPal, and you can receive pay-outs via PayPal or Stripe.
Pricing: While there is a free plan, it is fairly limited. The monetization features are all locked in the paid plans, which start at $19/month for Pro.
Fees: Hy.page says it takes no transaction fees, by which it means that they don’t take a cut of what you earn. The payment processors, however, will take about 3% of your revenue.
Linktree, finally, is another link-in-bio platform. Its monetization features are more basic than Hy.page’s, but it does give you “support-me links” for one-time tips, as well as “request links” for commissions or merchandise, to put on your Linktree site. Currently, over 30 million creators use the platform – and they all have access to the monetization features.
And that’s because Linktree’s monetization features are included in the free plan. The platform currently charges no transaction fees beside payment processing. Note, though, that this is marked as “for a limited time”.
The Bottom Line: The Best Tipping Platforms for YouTubers
As a YouTuber, tipping platforms are a great way of diversifying your revenue streams and generating passive income – or not so passive, if you create a lot of incentives.
Depending on whether you’re looking for a simple tip-jar, a platform to set up a membership program, or a place to sell merchandise, there are diverse options out there. The list above will help you pinpoint the one that best suits your needs.
Ready? Get earning!
YouTube passes 70% of the revenue Super Thanks, Chat, and Stickers on to video creatures. There are no other transaction fees, but other tipping platforms usually take a much smaller cut.
YouTube, Instagram and other social platforms were slow to offer monetization features other than ads, and even now have thresholds. Tipping platforms fill the gap, giving every creator a way of having fans support them directly.
Yes, it does. Linktree and other link-in-bio services – like Hy.page, Willow, or Koji – now offer simple monetization features. If you only get one link in your bio, you might as well make the most of it.