Nathan Schneider is a user on social.coop. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.
Nathan Schneider @ntnsndr

How do non co-op instances support themselves?

@ntnsndr donations mostly (from what i gather) a lot are just paid for by the admins (me for example)

i'm planning on going invite-only again whenever upstream gets that feature (which might already be a thing)

@ntnsndr my instance is supported by the roof trusses of my garage.

Quite literally. The physical server hosting coales.co and several other VMs is installed in a small 4u rack along with a UPS and switch, and that rack is hanging from the garage ceiling supported by lag bolts screwed into the roof trusses.

Oh financially you mean? Well just out of my paycheque at the moment..incremental utility bill increase for electricity plus $5 per month for the fixed IP.

@ntnsndr As a user I contribute to the admin of my instance monthly. Should be contributing more, actually.

@ntnsndr depends on the instance. There are a few hosted at universities and laboratories. Many are just out of pocket for the instance admin, users may or may not help out.