How BLUF is funded

BLUF is free to join, and that's something we're keen to maintain - we don't believe in things like restricting how many messages you can send, or how many profiles you can look at, based on whether or not you pay. However, running a site like BLUF - and in particular all the time spent writing and updating apps, and keeping the software up to date - does cost quite a lot, in terms of both time, and money. So, we have various sources of income, which help cover our costs, while still ensuring that all members receive the same benefits on the website.

One off donations

Many members make one off donations to the club, whenever they want to. There's no maximum or minimum amount for these, but if a member donates more than the qualifying amount, then they are entitled to a BLUF White card. This is a 'virtual' membership card, which can be displayed in our apps, and a range of vendors provide discounts to members who show their card when they make a purchase. A BLUF White card is valid for a year at a time.

Regular donations

Members who commit to making a regular donation to the club, either via credit/debit card or by direct debit from their bank account, receive the BLUF Black card. This is a plastic card that's mailed to qualifying members, and provides the same benefits as the BLUF White card, plus some additional extra discounts. The BLUF Black card remains valid as long as regular payments are made.

Compare the benefits of the Black and White cards on this page.

Merchandise sales

BLUF also receives income from merchandise sales. We run one store for members in the EU, at and another for the rest of the world at In both of these you can find specially made items, such as badges, tie clips and keyrings, as well as on-demand items, including T shirts, hoodies, mugs, calendars and even a selection of artworks.

How to make a donation

If you are a member, visit the My Donations page to make a donation, manage your regular donations, or manage your BLUF card. If you are not a member, please contact us via email to

How we use your donations

The principal use of your donations is to pay for the costs involved in hosting on a dedicated server. We use a dedicated server, because we believe that's the best way of ensuring we can develop the site in the way we wish, and maintain the privacy of our members.

Other typical expenditure includes

  • Fees for services such as email and SMS delivery
  • Software licences for developing the BLUF site and apps
  • Membership of relevant developer programs
  • Costs of software development
  • Promotional material, such as BLUF flags and flyers
  • Marketing and store costs, including software
  • Banking and payment charges
  • Professional fees, such as accountancy
  • Royalties, such as fees for fonts, graphics and other intellectual property
  • Internet service charges, such as domain fees
  • Other fees, such as company filing charges

Day to day management of BLUF, and the organisation of events is all undertaken on a voluntary basis, and expenses or remuneration are offered only in exceptional circumstances.

For major projects, including ongoing app and site development, our aim is to eventually be able to pay at least the equivalent of the London Living Wage, though we are some way from having sufficient income to do so.

Donations and tax

Because we want to reserve the right for BLUF to campaign, or to make statements that might be considered political - for example, about equal marriage, PrEP or censorship of the internet - we are not a registered charity. So, it's not possible to claim a tax rebate or deduction for donations made to BLUF. Nevertheless, we hope you'll consider making a gift.

BLUF Ltd, the company that operates BLUF, does not have employees or shareholders. You can read more about how we are set up on this page.