Dana is a Pali word meaning "to give", and in a wider sense, generosity. It is a fundamental aspect of the Buddhist practice. Since 2500 years the transmission of the Buddhist Theravada tradition has been made possible through the generous support of the monastic community by lay people.
The course fees (if any) usually include only food and lodging but not any fee for the teaching itself. This is in accordance with the Buddhist tradition which states that the teaching is priceless. Giving and generosity are active aspects of a spiritual practice. Monks and lay teachers rely on Dana for their livelihood. This makes it possible to keep the teaching accessible for everybody.