Discourse Installs for Non-Profit and Education

Jeff Atwood February 19, 2014

Discourse is an open source project so it can reach the entire breadth of the web, including non-profits or schools that may have modest budgets.

If you’re part of a non-profit or educational organization that needs a great next-generation discussion platform, we can help:

For a flat one time setup fee of $99, we can set up a fully configured Discourse instance in the cloud for you. Please note that a $10/month hosting fee is still payable to the cloud provider (Digital Ocean), and that this option is completely self-support after the initial install.

Here’s how:

  1. Decide what domain name you want for your discussion community, in the form of:,,,, etc. You must have control over the DNS for this domain.
  2. Purchase the install via via our E-Z payment form.
  3. Upon receipt of payment, we’ll begin setup. Once complete, we’ll contact you via email with the simple DNS changes and credentials necessary to make your shiny new Discourse discussion community go live!

If you have any questions, contact us at any time.

The process usually takes 1 business day in most cases. Welcome to the family. :)

Notable Replies

  1. eriko says:

    As much as I like this I think most .edu's in the USA will have FERPA issues if they let students into something like this. This is part of why we host our own instance. That and I like coding on it. We also use Canvas which is cloud hosted and part of the selection process was them proving that they protected the data.

  2. If we already have our own server, can we pay $99 just for the set-up?

  3. Do you have any estimate on the traffic this sort of install could handle?

    Also does this apply to local programming users groups that are 'non-profit' but are not registered as such?

  4. The $10 tier should handle a reasonable number of users, if you have greater needs try the $20/month tier, which is quite robust at Digital Ocean:

    • 2GB Memory
    • 2 CPU Cores
    • 40GB SSD Disk
    • 3TB Transfer

    Remember that the $10 tier of 1 CPU / 1 GB is the absolute minimum for Discourse -- you can jump up to the $20 tier at any time if you want a server that is a guaranteed excellent experience for (nearly) any size community.

    I hope programming groups can follow the official install guide on the project page, which we're about to switch over to Docker any day now.

  5. Yes. This is your instance. You can (and should) do whatever you want with it wink


  6. Hi @codinghorror! Vanessa from Peer 2 Peer University here.

    We've been using Discourse for our internal community and for our project-based moocs like Learning Creative Learning

    Right now we're trying to come up with some best practices on installs for educational communities. So far, we've found it useful to make each learning module a category. I've combed through the UX forums but haven't seen specific recommendations as far as pedagogy goes. If anyone has insights or recommendations, we'd be much obliged!

Continue the discussion

16 more replies