Reddit Gave Away $110,000 to Make 8 Subreddits' Dreams Come True. Here's How It Got Spent.

Reddit Gave Away $110,000 to Make 8 Subreddits' Dreams Come True. Here's How It Got Spent.

As part of its Community Funds program, Reddit financed zines, mass crafting supplies, and Lord of the Rings book giveaways.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
An image of the Reddit icon on an iPhone screen is shown.
Reddit’s Community Funds program gives subreddits money to finance projects for their members.
Photo: BigTunaOnline (Shutterstock)

It’s not often you see a company give a group of strangers on the internet $50,000 and tell them to do something cool. On Reddit this week, we got a dose of the internet as good and pure force, just in time for the holidays.

On Wednesday, Reddit published a snapshot of the eight projects it had financed this year with its Community Funds program, a $1 million initiative from the company that aims to help Redditors with good ideas for their subreddits bring their visions to life. The subreddits collectively received more than $110,000 from the company and used the money for a wide variety of projects focused on everything from art to random acts of kindness.

The company describes the program: “What happens when we pair big ideas from our communities with the funding they need to come to life?”

One subreddit created a zine with its members’ photos and shipped them a physical copy. Another, meanwhile, helped fund Christmas dinners, decorations, and gifts for people struggling during the holidays.

Click through to check out the eight projects funded by Reddits’ Community Funds this year. Spoiler: One project included getting Redditors’ names on a race car.

Advertisement

2 / 10

r/LOTR_on_Prime: Book Giveaway for Lord of the Rings Fans

r/LOTR_on_Prime: Book Giveaway for Lord of the Rings Fans

25 Lord of the Rings books are stacked on top of each other next to a Rings of Power pillow.
The subreddit r/LOTR_on_Prime gave away 25 TV tie-in books to members of its community.
Photo: Courtesy of Reddit

In November, the folks over at the r/LOTR_on_Prime launched a book giveaway for their members. As its name suggests, the subreddit focuses on news and facilitates discussion about Amazon’s The Rings of Power.

The project was a simple and sweet. Moderators told members to comment and share their favorite moment from The Rings of Power. Winners would receive a TV tie-in The Lord of the Rings book with appendices.

“Was it the excitement you felt hearing we were getting a series? Was it the first image of the trees? Was it a moment in a specific episode? Was it something community related?” moderator u/VarkingRunesong wrote. “Just give us your favorite moment or interaction in the community or show so long as it deals with The Rings of Power.”

After closing the comment thread, moderators then proceeded to pick 20 winners at random and 5 winners based on their replies.

Advertisement

3 / 10

r/povertyfinance: 500 Costco Memberships for Redditors in Need

r/povertyfinance: 500 Costco Memberships for Redditors in Need

A person holds a Costco membership card in front of a Costco store.
The subreddit r/povertyfinance gave away 500 Costco memberships to its members, many of whom struggle financially.
Photo: Andy.LIU (Shutterstock)

As noted by the moderators at r/povertyfinance, a subreddit dedicated to providing guidance to people who are struggling financially, the last two years have been a nightmare for a lot of people. That said, as its Community Funds project, r/povertyfinance decided help make life a bit easier for as many people as they could.

“We realize that it’s expensive being poor and that at times, a barrier to saving money is being able to shop at a place where you can get things in bulk or have access to cheaper foods and goods,” u/AMothraDayInParadise wrote. “Those places often have a membership fee and that can be a significant barrier. So we’re going to remove that for 500 of you.”

To commemorate reaching 1.5 million subscribers, r/poverty finance gave away a total of 500 Costco memberships to Redditors in the U.S., Canada, and the UK in December. Not going to lie, reading the comments from the winners will give you the feels.

Advertisement

4 / 10

r/Handarbeiten: Community Knitting in Europe

r/Handarbeiten: Community Knitting in Europe

An image of cross stitching showing flowers on top of a pumpkin is shown.
The moderators at r/Handarbeiten used their Community Funds money to send members yarn, fabric, and needles to make handcrafts.
Photo: Courtesy of Reddit

This year, Community Funds also allowed a group of Redditors to make crafts together. Folks at r/Handarbeiten used their funds to send 50 of their members sewing, embroidery, and crocheting supplies so that they could create a fall-themed craft together, like the one above.

Some members who received a kit posted their creations to the subreddit, which was awash with photos of brightly-colored baskets, bags, and cross stitches.

Advertisement

5 / 10

r/brisbane: A Gallery Exhibition About Brisbane

r/brisbane: A Gallery Exhibition About Brisbane

The Ferris Wheel at South Bank in Brisbane is shown.
The subreddit r/brisbane is using its Community Funds money to create a gallery exhibition on everything related to Brisbane, Australia.
Photo: AdrianoK (Shutterstock)

While some Community Funds projects have been completed, others are still ongoing. r/brisbane, which celebrates all things about Brisbane, Australia, is creating an exhibition to showcase at the Woolloongabba Art Gallery for two weeks beginning on January 31, 2023.

The exhibition will feature works created by members of r/brisbane and can include a variety of things. According to the moderator, members don’t need to be an artist or submit something traditional like a painting to participate, though they can if they want to.

“If you can hang it on a wall go for it and there may be room for a sculpture or five,” moderator u/Chap82 wrote.

In the subreddit’s most recent update, moderators said they had already received a number of submissions, including photos, sculptures, and a meme. Yes, a meme. That’s how you know it’s Reddit.

Advertisement

6 / 10

r/analog: A Zine Featuring Work From a Subreddit’s Members

r/analog: A Zine Featuring Work From a Subreddit’s Members

The front cover of the zine created by r/analog is shown. It features old film cartridges.
r/analog used its Community Funds money to create a zine showcasing the work of its members.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo / r/analog

When most people think of Reddit, they don’t usually think of physical objects. That’s why the project from r/analog was so interesting to me. It was Reddit, which is synonymous with the internet, in physical form.

r/analog used its Community Funds money to create a zine featuring the film photography created by its members. The 200-plus page book showcases member photos of nature, landscapes, architecture, buildings, and more. In an interesting crossover between the online and offline, some photos identify their photographer by their Reddit usernames, while others use their real names.

In the zine’s introduction, members of r/analog state that their project aimed to embrace the film, the old, as well as digital, the new. They also explained that seeing something in a physical form allows it to be appreciate more.

“Using the power of digitizing analog images to allow them to be shared and collected from across the web, we can then present them in printed form. Bringing back the physicality that was lost in the process while simultaneously embracing new technology,” the members wrote. “Hopefully, seeing the images presented in this zine will allow for them to be appreciated more, instead of just seeing them as images on an endless feed.”

The zine is free and can be downloaded via this post on r/analog. Folks wanting a physical copy can get one for $10, which is used for storage, organization, and handling.

Advertisement

7 / 10

r/SantasLittleHelpers: Dinners, Decorations, and Gifts for Needy Families

r/SantasLittleHelpers: Dinners, Decorations, and Gifts for Needy Families

A child's hands are seen holding a present wrapped in brown paper and a ribbon.
It would be Christmas if we didn’t have Santa’s little helpers running around. Well, in this case it’s the subreddit r/SantasLittleHelpers.
Photo: catalina.m (Shutterstock)

It wouldn’t quite be a holiday article if we didn’t include details on Santa’s little helpers—the Reddit version, that is. The subreddit r/SantasLittleHelpers used its Community Funds money to provide Christmas dinners, decorations, and gifts to needy families with children.

In recent weeks, moderators at r/SantasLittleHelpers launched three contests to provide at least 60 members with what they needed to make their Christmas special. Prizes included $100 gift cards to their favorite supermarket, Christmas trees and decorations worth up to $100, and family gifts of up to $130.

To participate, members were asked to post comments describing how they would decorate their Christmas trees, have their child draw a fictional character they wanted to invite to dinner, and share what gift would bring their entire family joy, among others.

If you’re curious about the winners, you can check out the subreddit’s main page, where folks have posted what they’ve received. Again, tissues may be needed.

Advertisement

8 / 10

r/RandomActsOfGaming: A Year’s Worth of Gaming Giveaways

r/RandomActsOfGaming: A Year’s Worth of Gaming Giveaways

A screenshot of a giveaway calendar for the subreddit r/RandomActsOfGaming is shown.
r/RandomActsOfGaming celebrated its 10-year anniversary with give aways all year round.
Screenshot: Jody Serrano / Gizmodo / r/RandomActsOfGaming

Gaming is expensive, so it warms my heart to see a subreddit dedicated to helping players give away their games to others who might enjoy them. To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, r/RandomActsOfGaming used its Community Funds money to spread the love and host giveaways all year.

Just this month, r/RandomActsOfGaming has given away the Steam games of the user’s choosing, a Nintendo Switch Lite, and a Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB Graphics Card. It also created the cute little calendar above to announce its upcoming giveaways, since it’s not done yet.

Advertisement

9 / 10

r/nascar: A NASCAR Race Car Stamped With Names of Reddit Users

r/nascar: A NASCAR Race Car Stamped With Names of Reddit Users

A photo of the names of 1,400 Reddit community members on a NASCAR race car.
Folks over at r/nascar used their Community Funds money to print 1,400 of their members’ names on driver Ryan Vargas’ racecar.
Photo: Courtesy of Reddit

This is probably one of the most ingenuous Community Funds projects I’ve seen, and it’s so Reddit. With their funds, r/nascar decided to print out 1,400 of its members’ names and put them on the rear of NASCAR driver Ryan Vargas’ Chevy Camero racecar. As an added bonus, the car’s hood featured Reddit’s alien mascot, Snoo.

Vargas took the racecar for a spin around the Talladega Superspeedway, no doubt making many a fan’s dream come true.

Advertisement

10 / 10