This is the old Gittip blog. We have renamed to Gratipay and moved our blog.

With Payouts, Gittip is Minimally Viable

August 24, 2012, 3:27 pm

Gittip is a system for funding people who build free culture. The core is small weekly gifts. The idea is that if 1,000 people give $1 a week to a great programmer, musician, scientist, teacher, etc., then that frees them up to pursue their vision even further for making the world better.

We’ve been pulling money into the system for twelve weeks, but until today there was no good way to get money out of the system. There was a bad way, which was me giving you cash from my wallet. I actually did that twice for one Gittip participant, when I ran into him at conferences, for a total of $2.50 withdrawn (followed by manual SQL updates). Then I did make a PayPal donation on behalf of another participant, for a grand total of $26.80 paid out. But meanwhile we’re now moving over $1,000 per week, and by this morning we had $5,604.76 escrowed in the system.

I’m pleased to announce that you can now connect a bank account to your Gittip profile. If you wire up a bank account, then Gittip will automatically deposit your money in it each week. If you are set up to give to others, then Gittip will reserve that amount in your Gittip account for the following week, to avoid processing fees. There is a $10 minimum withdrawal, and a 30¢ flat fee on withdrawals. Withdrawals show up on your history page along with gifts to and fro, and any credit card charges.

Gittip works closely with Balanced Payments as our payment processor. They are responsible for verifying your identity, securely storing your account details, and processing your payments with the credit card and ACH networks. Balanced is designed specifically for marketplaces such as Gittip, and greatly streamlines the process of verifying the identity of “merchants” (as the banks would have it) who receive money through the site.

Balanced is US-only for payouts (Balanced and Gittip both support paying in with non-US credit cards). You can voice your interest in support for non-US identity verification and bank accounts on this Balanced ticket and/or this Gittip ticket. In the meantime, I’m continuing to handle non-US payouts manually. Please contact me, Chad Whitacre, at, @whit537, or +1-412-925-4220 to arrange for a PayPal payment or check (you’ll be responsible for postage/fees at cost).

Nine out of ten US citizens can verify their identity by providing their name, address, phone number, and date of birth. One in ten will need to also provide their Social Security Number to verify their identity.

Two bank accounts were connected for today’s payday, and $1,147.50 was withdrawn. Withdrawals take one business day to clear the ACH network, so today’s withdrawals are expected to clear on Monday. We are considering running Gittip payday on Thursdays instead of Fridays so that funds are available in recipient bank accounts on Friday (as is customary for payroll in the US, at least).

With this feature, Gittip is now minimally viable. Thanks to Balanced and especially to Balanced employee Marshall Jones for contributing the bulk of the payouts integration.

$5,449.41 is currently escrowed in Gittip. If some of that is yours, then go wire up a bank account before Gittip 13 to receive your money!