At Discourse, our users form the heart of what we do. While our forum and online community tools are free and open-source, we also offer hosting services for those who want a smoother setup and management experience. When you factor in the additional costs of community managers and other staff, an important question arises for anyone leading an online community: 'How do we pay for this?’ For many customer support or brand communities, the answer is straightforward as it is folded into the budget. However, for specialized online groups, the community itself often needs to be the source of funding.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.discourse.org/2023/11/community-monetization-how-ecommercefuel-monetized-their-niche-community