Easy money, overlooked

Donations are the third part of your Reader Revenue Trifecta, alongside subscriptions and memberships.

Subscription-based readers want access to your content. Members want that access (and maybe whatever bonuses you add to the package), but they also want to support your mission.

Your mission is the driving force behind your publication. It can be anything from bringing local news to a vibrant audience, to disseminating information to truck drivers or fishermen, to giving children (or adults) a place to display their creativity, to bringing a specific subculture into broader notice.

Donations come from people who align themselves with the mission first and the specific content second.

Tea Journey Magazine — whose mission is to boost knowledge on tea, its origins, and the culture that surrounds it — has found a simple and effective way to make donations a possibility.

How it works

Tea Journey is using a new setting on their subscription levels in Leaky Paywall to accept donations.

The subscription card contains mission-based copy, telling the reader exactly why they collect donations, both on a macro-level (‘to bring our unique tea content from around the globe’) and the micro (‘to pay our writers and staff’).

(You’d be amazed how many readers are under the impression that magazine costs come from government grants or other funding. Gently telling them otherwise can have a tremendous impact).

Once the reader has chosen to donate, they are presented with a slider to set their donation amount. Tea Journey has chosen to make the donation itself a one-time gift, but 

it could also be set as a monthly recurring donation. The settings also include other options for setting the amount, instead of the slider.

The amount of the donation should start at slightly above the price of an annual subscription (for the one-time gift) or a monthly subscription (for the recurring).

Once the donor has chosen their amount, they’re directed to a payment page identical to any other subscription level. For Tea Journey, this is also where they’re informed that their gift comes with a subscription.

It’s just that easy.

Why it’s better

The ability to create your own donation package gives you several advantages. Most other donation functions are third-party services. They take place on a subdomain rather than your own site. And they don’t allow you to attach a subscription as a reward.

Tea Journey’s way is also as easy as setting any other subscription level. Publishers often ignore donations as a revenue stream because they fear complications for little pay-off. But donations are easy money. And with Leaky Paywall they can be set up with no fuss at all.

Within days of introduction, Tea Journey had already seen donations start to trickle in. And all they had to do was click a few buttons to make it happen.

Want to learn more about ways Leaky Paywall can increase your publication’s revenue? Let’s talk.