Gaia is developed and maintained by one person, and that one person spends a lot of time working on the project. If you like Gaia and wish to support its future development and continued existence, I ask that you buy me a coffee or two. This kind of work takes a lot of time and dedication, and as much as I love Gaia, and would love to do this for free, sad fact is we all gotta eat.
Donating will give you the Donor member group. This stops ads from appearing for you, for any sites you create on the free hosted platform, enables mature content on the free hosted platform for your sites, and probably pays for my doctor bills. That seems to be the most common outcome. It also eases up my financial stress a little and lets me code without too many other things going on in the back of my head. Once donation is complete, you'll be redirected to another page here that will allow you to download the Gaia software, and install it on your own server.
Gaia best operates with PHP 7.3, Apache 2.4 with mod_rewrite, PDO, and .htaccess overrides enabled, and MariaDB 10.3. It is known to work with RPG Initiative's hosting, highly recommended for users that will need help with it - I am support staff there and can easily help.