I wonder if it is possible to donate reputation points.

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    $\begingroup$ Related question: When, if ever, is this appropriate? $\endgroup$ – Brett Frankel Dec 28 '12 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ @BrettFrankel When I decide to withdraw from this site and give my points as a prize to some outstanding moderators. $\endgroup$ – user26857 Dec 28 '12 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ @YACP Don't forget active non-moderators who are so low on rep that they can't even fix typos without being placed in a queue. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Dec 28 '12 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ Clooney has Darfur, I need to find my Darfive. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Jan 5 '13 at 5:33
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    $\begingroup$ Would it also be considered appropriate, if you have a friend in real life, who you know is reliable, to decide to give him (or her) some reputation when they join the site, so that they are considered more reliable by the community? $\endgroup$ – Alfonso Fernandez Jan 6 '13 at 17:26

Yes, but only to someone who's answered a question. You can do this by setting a bounty on the question and then assigning it to the answerer. (I am not entirely sure whether you get to choose who gets the bounty if the question isn't yours, but I assume you do.)

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, the bounty setter gets to choose the bounty receiver. The owner of the question has no say in the matter. @YACP Why does not this process meet your need? All you need to do is to find some question that the user has answered; most users answered at least one. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Dec 28 '12 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @PavelM Thanks. I've get your point and this sounds okay for me. $\endgroup$ – user26857 Dec 28 '12 at 0:50
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    $\begingroup$ Would this not be a misuse of the bounty system? Is it not explicitly prohibited anywhere? $\endgroup$ – ronno Dec 28 '12 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ When you initiate a bounty, aren't you supposed to put some text there? So just write: The bounty was created so I can give some rep points to Quiaochu, who is running low. $\endgroup$ – GEdgar Dec 28 '12 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ @ronno The bounty dialog explicitly allows to give bounties as a reward for an existing answer. What constitutes a bounty-worthy answer is subjective. In any case, all of current mods have lots of great answers worthy of such a reward. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Dec 28 '12 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ What happens to the questions or answers in that case? Certainly some of reputation gained because of answers and some due to questions. $\endgroup$ – mrs Jan 3 '13 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Babak: in what case? $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Jan 3 '13 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ Assume I want to donate some of my reputation to someone. What happens to my answers or questions? Surely, the reputation I have got is due to answers and questions. Do the remain in my profile as mine and just my reputation will be changed and moved to someone? $\endgroup$ – mrs Jan 3 '13 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Babak: yes. The StackExchange software keeps track of reputation separately from votes (I have seen the relevant SQL tables). $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Jan 3 '13 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks so much. +1 $\endgroup$ – mrs Jan 3 '13 at 10:22

May I offer a simple alternative?

Up-vote useful questions and answers.

By up-voting:

  • We can "donate" hundreds of points. We can upvote 30-40 questions/answers in a day; we get a few more if we vote on questions.
  • We can direct the points towards users who deserve it.
  • We can draw attention to useful questions/answers.


  • The daily limit resets at 0.00 UTC time. I try to use my unused up-votes before the reset.

  • There are a lot of great answers that go virtually unnoticed because they were quickly "accepted" and dropped off the front page.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 To clarify, the daily limits are: at most 30 votes on answers, and at most 40 votes altogether. A user hitting either limit is out of the game for the day: one cannot first vote for 30 answers and then for 10 questions. Voting is noncommutative. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Jan 5 '13 at 2:25
  • $\begingroup$ Hitting either limit is rewarded with a badge: Suffrage and Vox Populi, respectively. Only 313 users earned the former and only 189 earned the latter. (I have both). $\endgroup$ – user53153 Jan 5 '13 at 2:29
  • $\begingroup$ I'd like to add another way to quickly spend unused upvotes. The list of new users shows the tags in which they posted their first question or answer, if they posted anything. If it's a good quality contribution, a few upvotes may encourage the user to come back in the future. This is more important if the tags are on the less elementary side; I admit not caring very much about additions to big-list, etc. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Jan 5 '13 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Douglas What you propose doesn't work for me simply because I can't vote without understanding. Or to give $30$ upvotes daily means to read $30$ answers, which is simply too much for me. Furthermore, it is possible (and most probably) to not be interested in reading so many things. (There are days with good questions, and boring days, you know.) $\endgroup$ – user26857 Jan 5 '13 at 9:58
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    $\begingroup$ Since the question came up in the context of withdrawing from the site (which could conceivably mean deleting the account), it's worth mentioning here that user deletion removes all votes (and reputation given through votes) but the bounties remain in the system. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Jan 5 '13 at 20:01

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