Frequently asked questions

If you have a question that you don't see answered here, contact us at contact@give.to or Tweet to us @ givetoartists.

The Guide is organized into four sections:
Giving, Artists, Funds, and Origin.


Giving

What is Give?

Give is an online platform that enables anyone to give any amount of money to any musical artist, directly.

Gifts from patrons to artists are at the heart of Give. A Gift is an expression of gratitude and support from a fan to a musical artist they love. It can be for a small or large amount. It can be a one-time gesture of support or an ongoing expression of patronage. How you choose to use Give is up to you.

Why would I Give?

All of us like to support the musical artists we love in our own way. You might Give to someone that you know, and that you want to see succeed. You might listen to music with a streaming service – but it doesn't pay the artists enough to continue making the music that you love. You might have been downloading music for years and wish to show gratitude to the artists that are most important to you.

How much should I Give?

It is completely up to you.

Give $2 because you like a new sound on SoundCloud. Give $9 because you always Give $9. Or, fund an artist for an entire year because you believe strongly in what they are doing.

Every song is probably not worth 99 cents to you – some may be worth much more. You are the one that should place value on the music in your life, not the supply chains and distribution models of the 20th century.

What's in it for me?

You support the things that you wish to exist in the world. Becoming a patron of the artists you love ensures that you can continue to enjoy the benefits of their creativity. Additionally, by directly supporting an artist you can make a statement to the world about what's important to you.

How do artists find out about my Gifts?

An amazing outcome of 21st century technology is that you can send a signal to almost anyone in the world. Online services often have mechanisms to "mention" someone, which ultimately means to ask for their attention.

Each time you Give, you will be given options to share your Gift online. With these tools at your side, you are the one to let artists know about their Gifts. If you wish to support someone, let them know. From our experience, they are very grateful.

Is it just for indie bands?

No. Our goal is to enable anybody to Give to any musical artist. Our database currently has over 3.2 million bands and artists listed, and we are continually adding to it. If you can't find someone that you would like to Give to, let us know.

Is it just for musicians?

Creative artists of all kinds are adapting to new ways of making, distributing, and funding their work on the Internet. Musical artists were among the first to experience the dramatic impact that digital distribution had on creative content.

With this in mind, we are focusing Give on musical artists to address the disparity between the ease of distributing music with the difficulty of compensating artists for it. That said, we do realize that there are grey areas between creative disciplines and we will continue to evolve the definition of our service.


Artists

How do I get involved?

You can sign up by claiming your profile or contacting us directly.

Once we verify your identity and you provide us with payment information, you will receive all of the Gifts in your account at the end of every payment period.

How are artists verified?

Before we begin paying an artist, we first verify their identity. This is done in two ways:

First, we verify an artist's online identity by connecting with them through their networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and SoundCloud. We ensure that they control their artist accounts on these networks.

Second, we verify their real world identity by collecting their payment information. This is secured and verified by a third-party payment provider.

How did you get a profile for me?

We have a database of artists that we acquired from other services. We also enable a small group of our trusted users to help us maintain and grow this database. It is the intention to enable anybody to Give to any musical artist, so we are attempting to create a fully comprehensive database.

If you have any questions or concerns about your profile, please let us know.


Funds

How do artists get paid?

Once an artist account is verified, we pay them on a regular payment schedule. Any balance in their account at the end of the schedule is paid to them directly.

How do you make money?

We take a small fee from each Gift:

  • $0.50 for Gifts of $1 to $5
  • 10% for Gifts of $6 to $50
  • 5% for Gifts of $51 or more

This fee covers the costs of maintaining the service, which include payment processing, transfer fees, and server infrastructure. Our goal is to maximize the amount of money that goes directly to artists, while building a sustainable service for artist support.

We show this amount to patrons when they are deciding how much to Give, in order to make our fees transparent.


Origin

Who makes Give?

Johnny Rodgers & Connor Lowe, founders of Systems for Living. We are designers who believe that we can create technological systems that encourage healthy ways of being. We live in Vancouver, Canada.

Why did you build this?

We believe that the world needs it. The idea emerged out of an open dialogue about how we could best support the artists that we love. Like a bolt of lightning, the concept of direct support via gifts gave us instant clarity of how the problem should be solved. For the over 6 years since then we have been steadily working to make it happen.

What problem is this solving?

There are a myriad of ways to buy, download, stream, sample, and share music — some of which compensate artists financially and others that don't. Many artists don't get paid as much as they should.

Give provides a flexible and frictionless way for artists to receive money from their fans, enabling them to provide music in whatever way they see fit.