The 3D modeling application that is Blender 3D has continued to garner a reputation as one of the most popular creative software applications used worldwide for tasks such as 3D modeling, animation, sculpting, and game asset design. Yet the software remains accessible to all users. Surely there must be a catch somewhere? So how does Blender make its money?
The Blender Foundation creates investments using the Blender development fund, a tier-based donation, and sponsorship system designed to allow anyone to make regular donations to the continued development of the Blender Software ranging from $5 a month to single, one-time donations to $100,000 annual sponsorships.
While the system used may some complex, know that as an end user, you are never obligated to pay for Blender in any way, shape, or form, and that Blender will always be free, open-source software.
What Is The Blender Development Fund?
To access the Blender Development Fund, we would need to go to the subdomain fund.blender.org which would take us to the web page where we can view how the Blender Development Fund works. Because the Blender Foundation is a nonprofit charity, it has to find different ways of bringing in the investment required to improve the blender software.
Alternatively, you can access the development fund here
A key tool they use for this is the Blender Development Fund, a system that was put in place a few years ago to help artists that wished to contribute to the continued development of the 3D modeling application.
The Development Fund is divided based on a tier system, starting with the bronze tier and going all the way up to corporate sponsorships.
Not only does the tier system allow you to determine exactly how much you want to invest into Blender’s development each month, but there are also additional benefits if you want to go with a higher tier, such as the gold or platinum tiers.
For example, The gold here will allow you to have the name of your brand or yourself as an individual published on the Development funds webpage.
If you were to go with a bronze or silver membership, you would have been classed as an anonymous investor.
Go up a couple of tears to titanium, though, and not only will you be able to have the name of your brand published on the page, but you will also be able to have a link that directs you to your brand’s website.
And suppose you want to take things a step further. In that case, you can go for a corporate membership divided into several sub-tiers, from corporate bronze to corporate patron. Corporate membership will allow you to have your company’s logo published on the Blender website.
Corporate memberships will also allow you to gain more control and insight over what your investment is changing regarding the blender software.
Can You Make One-Time Payments?
Not everybody wants to commit to making continuous payments every month, even for developing an incredible application like Blender. Not everybody can afford to make these kinds of payments.
Fortunately, there is a way that you can make singular payments to help with Blender’s development. From the front page, go up to the header bar at the top of the web page and select the option for one-time donations.
This will take you to the donations page on the Blender website. If, however, you’re trying to reach this page from the Blender homepage, you can reach it by going to the about option in the header menu and selecting donations from the sub-bar.
Alternatively, you can reach the donations page here.
What Are The Different Ways To Make A Donation?
From the donations page, there are several ways to make a payment for the Blender Foundation. The first option that is made available is a bank transfer. This is not recommended, though, if you live outside of the European Union, as there is a 10-dollar fee on top of your donation.
The easiest method for donations to the Blender Foundation is to use PayPal. This is recommended if you live in a country where PayPal is currently accessible. If this is not the case, we recommend falling back into the bank transfer option.
The third method of making donations is using a form of cryptocurrency. Blender Company accepts four forms of cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
Can I Not Pay If I Don’t Want To?
At no point during the download or installation process does blender invite you to participate in the Blender Development Fund or even make one-time payments. I had a friend who didn’t realize that the Development Fund existed until a couple of months after he started using the software.
So don’t worry about ever having to pay. Anything to Blender to use the software? As previously stated, Blender is a free-to-use application and will always be free to use. Whether or not you choose to help with its development is entirely up to you.
Thanks For Reading Through The Article
We appreciate you taking the time to read through this article, and we hope you now have a better understanding of how Blender generates its own investment. Below we have some additional articles that we believe might be of interest to you.