Many times over the years I have thought of different options to fund the site, I recall the very early days of running the site 20 plus years ago, at that time there were two other sites, both of them funded themselves differently, One well established site which some of you may recall run a lot of adverts, I did ask the owner, who was very helpful and gave me good advice, one being the adverts took up a lot of his time as there was always changes they wanted made and to top it all it did not cover the cost.
Another site went to a subscription route, I believe it was £10 a year, for the first year it did very well, then the numbers dropped off and the site closed after 2 years.
Pretty certain that neither site offered a forum, which I believe has given the members a great place to talk about most subjects over the last 13 plus years.
We are very lucky to have Tony onboard who sorts out all the tech issues including updates, security and various licences, he gives his time for free and if his services had to be paid for, the site could no longer function and would close very quickly, along with Tony we have two admins with Pearl & John who keep an eye on things, we do seem very blessed with not having many issues to deal with over the years, so we consider this a safe place for members, we don't sell your data and we work hard to keep out folk want to join and cause us problems.
What we cannot avoid is external running cost, server space, domain name, security software, software licences etc, so I don't see a problem asking for help with these cost, I know some folk cannot afford this, so I never post who has donated and how much, so as not to make those people feel guilty.
I do feel blessed with the generosity of the members who have helped keep the site running since I retired and I would now struggle to fund it all myself.