The short version is that they're shifting a chunk of the cost of the credit card processing fees (which used to come out of Patreon's bottom line and Creators' take-home) onto the Patrons. In order to do this, they'll be charging patrons who pay per-creation (ding ding Hi! That's all of you!) for each creation rather than one cumulative charge monthly. And each of these charges will have fees assessed on them, some of which are a flat rate per transaction that doesn't scale with the amount of the transaction. (Economists would call this "regressive.")
The stated purpose of this is to have Creators see higher returns and have those returns be more predictable. And all else held equal, maybe it does achieve that.
But regardless of the stated goal, what it definitely does in practice is make donating through Patreon significantly more expensive for patrons who contribute small amounts to several different projects on a per-creation basis. (ding ding Hi! That's a lot of you, and a lot of podcast fans in general.)
So in short, we're really unhappy with this decision. We're really unhappy with the effects, and we're really unhappy with how suddenly it's been rolled out. If they consulted creators about this, then TOAFN certainly didn't get that memo. Patreon provides us, the Creators, with a service by handling all of the hosting and permissions and credit card processing, so us paying them fees seems reasonable. But you all are just trying to support the shows you love, and it's really unfair for you to get stuck with those fees. And it's doubly unfair for the people with the least to spare to get hit with the brunt of that.
As of right now, we unfortunately cannot change Patreon's policies. We've expressed our displeasure to Patreon. We've requested a feature where creators have an option as to whether they or their patrons pay the fees. We've requested a feature where patrons can see how much of their pledge actually gets to creators after fees and have the option to increase accordingly if able. We've not heard back. We know that many other podcasters and creators have also reached out to Patreon to say similar things. We're told that Patreon has been decent about responding to feedback in the past, so fingers crossed. But we can't promise anything will change.
We want you to know how much we value all of you, regardless of pledge level. All of you are the reason we're able to keep making this show, and your support means so much to us. We're going to be putting a lot of thought into what changes we can make so that you feel that value in a material way, probably involving some sort of restructuring of our reward tiers. (Patreon doesn't allow us to have a reward tier for less than $1, despite the fact that $1 pledges are hurt most by these changes and are quite frankly the lifeblood of so many projects on this platform.)
In some sense, we lucked out timing-wise since we're on a brief hiatus from regular episodes. That gives some breathing room, before any of you get charged again, to really be smart and fair about how to make this right (or at least better). If you have any suggestions to that end, we'd love to hear from you. Also be on the lookout for polls we might post in this feed, to see how you'd feel about certain possible solutions.
If you need to discontinue your pledge to meet other financial obligations, or even to prioritize creators whom you feel need it more, we completely understand. We're sorry to see you go and would love to see you back someday, but we know your it's not your fault or your preference.
If you've got the extra money to spare, we'd love for you to stick around. But if you feel that withholding your business from Patreon is the best way to make a statement, we can't say that's not valid. There's kind of this really crappy game theory calculation that we're all having to make - if a critical mass of users leave, that would send a very powerful statement to Patreon that this new policy sucks. But until that critical mass is reached it's the creators who'll take the hit from protest cancellations. You shouldn't have been placed in that position, and we can't make that call for you. But we respect and value you whatever you decide.
As a potential stop-gap, we can always accept PayPal donations (iordic.princes at Gmail). But we have to be honest that if you're not on Patreon it may take some time to figure out how to get you your rewards in a reliable way.
We love you all, and we hate that this is happening right now. Every single cent you've given us has made TOAFN better, and more ambitious, and more sustainable for the people whose labor it depends on. As always: thank you, thank you, and thank you again.