I love this website and use it a lot. The website is really good and awesome. I was just wondering how the website actually earns any money, as I don't see any single advertisement at all.

Is there any donation feature then?

How exactly do they earn money? Also, are there any paid workers on the website?

  • It does have ads, albeit in the most polite way you can imagine. It is now planning to take things a step further: meta.stackexchange.com/q/306737/309993
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 9:30
  • 3
    This is a very old answer from the founder, Jeff, himself. meta.stackexchange.com/a/79448/309993. And here's a related blog post: stackoverflow.blog/2016/11/15/…
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 9:31
  • 11
    It will soon be releasing its own crypto currency RepCoin, to cash in on the block chain craze. (j/k) Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 15:49
  • 4
    @user1284969632635 Oh, hey, welcome back. Speaking for the OP, it's not easy for new users to know what and where to "research" about the workings of the SE. I vote up for it is "useful and clear".
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 5:49
  • @NVZ Greetings. Surely the bare minimum research approach, even when in doubt if it will bring any results, is to search the internet. A Google search for How does Stack Exchange earn money returns a plethora of results. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 19:04
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it shows absolutely no research and a google search for How does Stack Exchange earn money returns a plethora of results, including results from SE/SO (and Quora). So we might ask, minimally, how do those results not provide a satisfactory answer. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 19:06
  • 1
    @MattE.Эллен Well, let's hope they don't go mining coins from our web browsers. I'm sure there are hours and hours worth of CPU/GPU available to SE from us readers. :P
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 19:16
  • 3
    I voted up because I have often wondered the same thing, but not enough to spend time doing research. I therefore found this question useful.
    – ab2
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 1:42
  • @MattE.Эллен ...whose value is tied to the open market on convertible frequent flier miles.
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 13:56
  • @MattE.Эллен We already have them. You can use them to buy bounties and down-votes. :P
    – Lawrence
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 23:47
  • (Who cares how SE gets their money... in 2015 40 million was raised mostly by a single venture capital firm) Hmm.. uses the site a lot? Posted a year ago in February, and not seen since March 2018. What would be interesting, is to know why the OP left the site.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 7:43

1 Answer 1



Advertisers can "purchase a campaign" to run relevant advertising on certain sites. This page (also here) lists all the sites included:

In addition, ads now run on all main Stack Exchange sites (except MathOverflow). This change was announced here on June 19th, 2019. These ads come from an advertising platform and are not targeted nor vetted as well as the ads from campaigns.

Ads only run on the main pages, not metas. Advertisements are either for the "top leaderboard", "sidebar", or "mid-page leaderboard".

Note that Community Promo Ads are different. Community Promo Ads don't generate any revenue, and require a high enough net score in order to be shown (I believe you need +6). House ads ("ads" for questions on other sites) don't generate revenue either.

Amazon Affiliate Links

You may not have noticed, but there is one subtle way this site makes some money: Amazon links. Whenever someone links to Amazon.com, the link becomes a Rads.stackoverflow.com link, which means that if someone clicks and buys a product they know that Stack Exchange referred the person and pay them a small portion of the profit from the sale. Across the network this “paid for far more than [some employee’s salary] each month”.

Site Sponsorship

According to the post where it was first announced:

A sponsorship generally entails enabling ads relevant to the subject and affixing a small "sponsored by..." logo in the upper-right corner.

Currently, there are some sponsored sites:

It's important to note that Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing are (currently) beta sites in almost every respect (for example privilege levels), but they have a design. The sponsorship for Software Engineering, being internal, doesn't directly give any revenue but it does help get the word out for Teams (see below), which does generate profit.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is the biggest site in the network and generates the most revenue. The following are Stack Overflow-specific revenue generators:


Yes, there are 250+ people employed by Stack Overflow. Management is listed here. The Community Managers are listed here.

I'm not sure what happened to the list of all employees, but you can find an archived list here.

  • Thanks Laurel for the well-elucidated answer :) What kind of role do you have on this and maybe other websites? just wondering Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 7:34
  • 4
    @RohitShekhawat I'm just a user like you.
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 15:16
  • 3
    @Laurel the employee list was removed after a recent incidence (I don't think it's good to mention this publicly, but some Taverners on the Meta knew)
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 18:30
  • Forgot to mention the 40 million raised by Andreessen Horowitz in 2015. I'm not sure if that can be classified as "earning" though, but it's a significant sum of money and explains how the boat was kept afloat. "The company (SE) did not disclose its valuation or revenue, but said it is not profitable."
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 7:48

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