Possible to donate money to Discourse?

Being a .NET developer I hardly can contribute anything in code to Discourse.

Still I would love to contribute otherwise.

I came accross this thread which talks about funding certain features.

Beside that I found no discussion related to donating money for the core Discourse development.

My questions:

  • Is it allowed/accepted to give some money to the Discourse developement team?

  • If yes, in which way? (PayPal? Patreon? Kickstarter? …?)


The best way to give us money right now is to sign up for one of our hosting plans. If you have no need for that or it exceeds your budget, perhaps encourage people you know to sign up instead?


Thanks. Actually I have no need for that hosting. I’ll try to convince others.

I assume everything else like e.g. Patreon/Kickstarter would bring in way too few money and/or makes way too much overhead for you?

1 Like

Well for Kickstarter we’d have to deliver something in exchange for the money, which means coming up with reward tiers and managing that, so I doubt we’d do that.

As I understand it Patreon just collects money monthly for people who support the project or team? That might be a better fit, but I’m not sure how many others would be interested and how the rest of our team would feel about it. I can ask on our call.

1 Like

Thanks! Personally I would like to do something like transfering lets say 200 USD every now and then (lets say once a year) without any subscription model or something like that.

So maybe just a PayPal donate button could be enough?


i would be interested in supporting the Devs through patron but since i don’t have much disposable income, i don’t think i could contribute anything.


@uwe_keim i need for hosting…But None of hosting plans fit my budget… :smile:


Something like this would be great. I have no needs for a hosting plan yet I still want to donate.

Give me some Paypal button or Bitcoin address (for those that have beef with paypal basically) and a box with “What should these funds go to” or something like that.

That probably makes people feel entitled and maybe even angry when that feature X isn’t developed yet after Y months, but IMO it’s not too tragic.

1 Like

We appreciate the sentiment, but often the best way to contribute involves your time more than money.

Yes, you could sign up for a hosting plan. That’s always appreciated.


  • set up a Discourse development environment and contribute pull requests to Discourse for copy, features, bugs, or translations

  • repro bugs and post detailed (and reproducible, on try.discourse.org or here) bug repro steps here on meta

  • run your own Discourse forum and provide feature and support feedback based on your live instance


I find myself in the same position. I dink with my install too much to be a good candidate for hosting, and we’re technically capable of managing our own Discourse instances.

But we love the product, and do what we can to support development and evangelize as well. If a formal system of setting up monthly/annual support were to be put in place, it would be nice to be listed as a proper supporter.


Why not open a lighthouse campaign? Some people just dont have time to donate, but they want to see the project prosper.

1 Like

I get a lot of request from people to port their forums to discourse. (i work as a freelancer)
Most of the time people are saddened to know the horrible condition of the importers.
for example Vanilla importer can even import the media files.

i think the best way to contribute financially to Discourse will be to hire a developer who will make importer scripts for discourse.

This way a lot of people will switch to discourse, in a way you are encouraging people to use discourse :slight_smile:


Hmm our paying customers we used the Vanilla importer on did not seem to care about the media files. Perhaps this is specific to your case? That said better importers are a plus, it is open source, feel free to either

  • contribute code


  • buy hosting with a business plan and we will do your import, improving the Vanilla importer as we go.

And of course we always release our importers as open source, we just don’t typically spend time improving them unless it is for a customer.


Keep in mind that many philanthropy professionals will tell you that some people don’t have time or skills to give, and giving money is the only practical way for them to show gratitude. In fact, there are lots of anecdotes where stakeholders even become alienated when there’s not a way for them to contribute back to what they see as a good cause.

I realize CDCK Inc. is not a charity or a non-profit, but people still might want to send in money anyway. There’s obviously accounting overhead involved, but simple take-a-cut solutions like PayPal or Amazon’s service if it’s still around can make that easier. Or even just a PO Box where someone could mail a check. Keep it in mind as growth continues.


It also makes you feel like a beggar, panhandling for change. Is that really worth it? Why be perceived that way, when you don’t want to be?

If people really have absolutely no time to contribute, that’s fine, they just passively benefit. That is how open source works. And even by running or merely using a Discourse you indirectly contribute to the ecosystem and expose yourself and others.

If we make a good product, then there should be natural ways to pay, and there are. If we do not make a good product that inspires people to support us, then we deserve to fail.


That is probably one of the more profound things I’ve read lately (regarding business in general, not specific to Discourse). It was really well said and I’ll be sharing that with other small teams I interact with.


We are migrating one of our forums to Discourse hosting today.


That is exactly my point!
People are waiting for better importers in good conditions!

Also another problem is that most poeple dont have enough :dollar: to spend on DIscourse.org hositng or installation. They find the 10$ Digital Ocean expensive too! (People are used to cheap servers for their php forums :frowning: )

1 Like

Installing discourse anywhere increases adoption and thus helps us


Not everyone who supports the work being done here needs to run their own forum. Would it be OK if John Doe signs up for a hosting plan and then doesn’t use it? If so, maybe that’s enough. (But it seems wasteful.)