Allow users to donate to pay hosting fees for a site

For the sites which are hosted on Discourse, would it be possible to add a way for people to help pay for the hosting fees directly? So rather than someone giving the money to administrators on the hosted site and then the site administrators paying Discourse, could someone instead give the money directly on Discourse to be a credit into the account for the site? Sometimes sites cannot support themselves directly through ads or whatever and they may ask the members for financial help. Rather than all the sites having to manage those financial headaches themselves, they could just ask their members to go to Discourse and make a contribution to their hosting fund on Discourse.


That would be turning Discourse (CDCK) into a sort of financial broker/distribution service. That’s not something I think Discourse would be keen on doing. It could make them responsible for thousands (or more) of financial transactions. Some along the line of PayPal would be better suited for this. Handling financial transactions on this scale would be a large and separate business endeavor for Discourse.

  • Site owner creates a PayPal account;
  • Site owner puts a donation link on their forum.
  • Members who wish to donate click on the link, and
  • PayPal takes it from there.

The only thing remaining is having the details of auto-renewal setup between Discourse and your financial institution (bank, credit/debit card, etc.).

PayPal is already set up to do these financial transactions. This would distract Discourse from its core idea of making the software even better than it already is - especially when there are “Card Declined” issues. It’s like asking Discourse to duplicate PayPal’s purpose (or any other similar money exchange site). :smiley:


Have you seen, Discourse Subscriptions plugin? Pretty sure that can also do one-time charging of “products.”


Hey @filmore :wave:

As Craig said the Discourse subscription plugin is what you are looking for in your case. There is a new campaign feature which allows you to ask your community for help.


I would guess that you’d need to be on an enterprise plan to get that to happen. :wink:

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Another alternative is to make a patreon and link that.


I second patreon.

The plug-in is very good and provides an incentive for people to donate. I like how it directly integrates into discourse.

You can provide full transparency to your community (which was important to me).

What made me hesitant at first was that it promotes a monthly subscription model rather than one off donations. I doubted my self that people would be prepared to regularly donate.

I was wrong. Using patreon helped make my site sustainable long term. Especially as it grew and costs escalated.

People are happy to donate for support knowing it is a community (important word), that there are no adverts, and increasingly important knowing we are not like Facebook and don’t harvest people’s data.


Even with seeing plugs for Patreon on some YouTube videos, I always seem to forget about that. :man_facepalming: I may even consider that for my forum.


Nope – it’s available on Business.