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BlenderNation Birthday Present: A Whole School


wholeclassroom_06_thmb.jpgThat's right. To celebrate BlenderNation's first Birthday, rather than giving BN something, let's give a whole school to those who need it.


Don't stop giving yet; read the update at the bottom of this article.

Have you enjoyed your stay on this website so far? If you have, I guess you've learned a lot and if we're lucky you shared much of your knowledge with others here or on a Blender forum. In a sense, that's what this community is about: we have a shared interest, and many members in this community invest their time into helping others.

Many people are not so lucky, but we're a huge crowd (over 7,000 daily readers!) and we can make a real difference.

I've been playing with this idea in my mind for a long time until I came across an initiative by Oxfam: Oxfam Unwrapped. They allow you to buy 'gifts' that help communities in developing countries help themselves: you can buy a sheep or a goat, products for agriculture and many other things. One gift caught my eye in particular: an entire classroom.

From their website:

Give walls, windows, lights, blackboards, desks, chairs and safe water - get a new generation of children with the skills to overcome poverty for themselves - a really classy gift!

I want to raise enough funds to finance this classroom with the entire Blender community.

Now, it's not cheap: a full classroom costs ₤1,700/$3,350/€2,500, but I'm confident we can raise that money together during the next seven days.

How to participate?

To participate, click on the 'Make a donation' button on the right. The BlenderNation School-o-Meter on the right will show an indication of the number of gifts and the total raised amount; I have to update it by hand, so please be patient for your donation to appear. Donations can only be made through a PayPal account or by Visa/MasterCard.
What about the small print?

Unfortunately it's not always easy for an organisation such as Oxfam to find exactly the right place for the projects they offer. In those cases, they'll spend the money on closely related projects:

Teaching a teacher, textbooks, school desks and chairs, girls' clubs-, kitting out [equipping]a teacher, renovating a classroom and school dinners may also be used to support other educational work, including adult literacy classes.

For more information, please read the following pages:

Oxfam, an international charitable organization, is recognized around the world. For example, Oxfam America is a National Charity Seal organization.
How much should you give?

It's completely up to you. I'm hoping for $5-$10 per gift but less is fine too! If you can't donate you can also help by spreading the word in other Blender/3D communities. I won't publish a list of donations; everything will be completely anonymous.

What if we don't reach the amount?

I've set a high goal and I won't be disappointed if we don't make it. In that case, I'll put together a selection of other education related gifts and make sure we'll spend every last cent we raise.

Having said all that, I can only hope we'll all be proud one week from now. Now, please go ahead and do some good!




I'm thrilled to announce that we've made our target of $3350 in only four days. Better than that: we have currently raised $3650, $300 more than what we had hoped for! The extra money will be put to good use by adding additional educational products to our gift, such as text books, hot meals and teacher's kits. There's still three days left to give, so if you haven't donated yet please consider chipping in. The more we can give, the better!

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Look at it this way: 7,000 people view this site a day, so if each person who visits the site gives 50 cents, there will be a Blender-sponsored classroom!

  2. Great idea! A friend and me are also raising money for an oxfam unwrapped classroom. We did no presents = no poverty over Christmas and took donations instead of presents. A worthy cause, keep up the good work!

  3. Of course, there are always minor problems: if you donate via the text link, the school-o-meter will not be updated automatically (this issue has already been reported to It DOES appear in my PayPal account however. At the moment of writing, there's $436,76 in my PayPal account, donated by 38 people. Maybe I'll hand-code a proper school-o-meter myself tonight :-)

  4. Well let's see 450$ in a few hours...

    Multiply by 7 days...

    I wish I could donate, but college and every last penny goes to it...

    I've posted the link to a CAD community doing mechanical design.

    Good luck!

  5. ₤1,700/$3,350/€2,500/¥29,7600 /CHF 4084.99 / 7000= ₤0.242857143/$0.478571429/€0.357142857/42.5142857 Yen /CHF 0.58357

    So everyone would have to pay 24-25 Penny / 47-48 $ct / 35-36 €ct /¥ 42.51 - 42.52 /58 - 59 Rappen (I haven't found an English word, even here
    ¥ and CHF are calculated by Google with the $-price.

  6. 6 hours 450 $... 24 hours 1800 $... 7 days... 12600$ / 3550$ = 3.54929577 classrooms^^ 3-4 classrooms, maybe more very good. that's allready 1/4 of a small-medium school

  7. I don't mean to criticize, I just thought you might like to know that whereas the rest of this article says that the fund raising will last for one week, there is one sentence that says two: "but I’m confident we can raise that money together during the next two weeks."

    I think it is a great idea, and wish I could participate (but, unfortunately, I can't).

  8. LOL, good that I remembered my rusty dutch...

    Needed to reset my password to make a donation ;)

    Good luck with the project ...

  9. Well, I'd love to contribute; but I've only got Solo so I can't pay with my card :(
    Other than that, it's a brilliant idea!!


  10. Ok, i havent read all comments so i dont know if this has ben said before.
    What about placing a single add on the right side of the page, just in the period is gathering money for the classroom? You would reach it MUCH faster in that way.

  11. Update: the ChipIn system gave me too many troubles in the end, mainly with donations not showing up (although they WERE properly added to my PayPal account, don't worry), so I coded something myself. It has to be updated by hand, but it shows the correct count.

    At the moment of writing, we have already received $1600!

    I'm proud. Thank you.

  12. Donated this morning while this was at 14%, I come back later in the afternoon and we're already at the 50% mark, very nice! :)

    Go Blender community!

  13. cool, great idea!

    i know that it's not the point but could this give more recognition to blender in any way?
    i'll be happy to donate anyways...have to get my dad to use his credit card :P

  14. sorry but my dad and i have a very good concern - scam? why is this money going to your account? can't there be a way that we are sure that u use this for what you say?

    heck, as much as i trust guys online from overseas, i can't donate yet. i'd love to but i need more security.

  15. As of now, this article has been up for no more than 24 hours,
    yet you seem to have already raised 50% of all the funds.


  16. @jason: what can I say? I've been around this community for ten years and I've been running this site for one year - I hope that gives you some confidence in my motives. If I wanted to scam you I would have done it without investing ten years of work first :)

  17. Jason, I can understand your concerns, but those of us who have known Bart online for a number of years, and have met him in person dont have that concern.

  18. hey cool! we have the same project here where i live where we donate an hour's pay to lesser fortunate children.

    unfortunately, i don't have a Visa/MasterCard account and my bank is not recognized by PayPal :(

    anyway, this is really a good project and i commend all those who thought of it and all those who donated. :)

  19. Hello, happy birthday! I have donated some because I never was able to before and I thought that would be my perfect opportunity to donate for Blender and its community and I always wanted to help those kids so it's a perfect thing for me! Thank you for the opporunity! :D

    For everybody else, it's a beautiful gift, I could not think of anything better than this, please donate and help the kids to have a better future!

  20. hi this is a great idea....

    Ive been keeping eyes on a similar project, OneLaptopPerChild. they are on the version of requireing IT pros to take this machines into the developing world and roll them out to students and staff. they also need pros to prepare the ground work - installing netorking equipment and WiFi stuff. If you want to make a difference in person, keep any eye on the news site


  21. Bart,
    Great work here!!
    Looks like you'll reach the target sooner than 7 days!!
    Gave what I could now, but I don't doubt you'll see more soon.
    Very great impact with this, Blender is making a difference!!! :)

  22. Cool. Fill in for a single $1. Press "pay" and whamo - there she goes! When this clss goes up, I will be part of it! So easy!

    Hey man, you reckon you might get more than one class up at this rate?

  23. Hey Bart !
    great idea your projekt - dam it haven´t paypal yet.

    I dont see a problem that you finish this finance projekt successfully - but the speed of donation is amazing!!!

    Brian - you are courgeous, respekt - go ahead!!!


  24. My god!! The work today was hard:
    Brian - you are courgeous, respekt - go ahead!!!

    Did i write Brian??? I MEAN -> BART !!!!

    ... i thing its time for my...for bed

  25. Hi! I joined today because you were doing the donation. Kudos to everyone that gave money. Blender is the only thing that keeps me from going crazy at my insanely boring job! I donated because Blender is free, a lot of you write excellent tutorials, and because it's the right thing to do.

  26. This is really a great idea, but unfortunately I don't have international credit card (they cost a bomb here to maintain). So, I wish us luck that we will raise the money. Seeing by 80% target reached and 5 more days to go, it is certain that soon we will have a Blender sponsored classroom somewhere in this world.

    My request is, let us know where this classroom is built and how is the response.

  27. @Bart: helping one or more classrooms, that have a real name and known location, in a developing country using Blender could be a future project. I have been thinking about that myself for a while.

  28. 97% and 4 more days to go!!! I'm impressed by the support. A great thanks to Bart for setting this up. I'll be watching...

  29. Thomas Vecchione on

    I got sick of seeing it not full;)

    It may not be quite the same as sponsoring the open source developers that have given to me in allowing me to use the great software, but it is something I believe in none the less. Have fun Bart.


  30. ok so assuming an actual classroom is gifted what happens next year?
    do the kids of the village miss out when the money is used?
    maybe having set up a classroom blender folks could have an annual funraise to keep it running....need not be another $3300 of course...may be $500 keeps it happening ?? I don't know about details of how this all works...
    Maybe bart knows... if he still talks to me :)
    Also I wonder if blender shop can handle money over the year so that it makes giving easier if you don't have credit card arrangements.
    Unfortunately because of where I live I can't partipate in this directly but next time I order stuff from the shop I can include something perhaps

  31. 500/7000=0.0714285714
    But it seems to be better to calculate with ~ 150-200
    so 500/200=$2,50...
    It's still 97%... so it has not happened much since cekuhen's entry yesterday @ 9:22...


    I'm thrilled to announce that we've made our target of $3350 in only four days. Better than that: we have currently raised $3750, $400 more than what we had hoped for! The extra money will be put to good use by adding additional educational products to our gift, such as text books, hot meals and teacher's kits. There's still three days left to give, so if you haven't donated yet please consider chipping in. The more we can give, the better!

    Now I'll just have to fix our school-o-meter. The poor thing just exploded :)

  33. Virgilio Vasconcelos on

    I'm nothing but VERY HAPPY to see this happening.
    One thing I think is one of the best features of Blender is its community. =D

  34. @ Big Fan:

    The money will not necessarily be used for a classroom (but for related items such as textbooks), which may on the one hand be disappointing, but on the other hand it will take away the fears of having paid for a classroom without further support.

  35. Woo ooo oo t!, very admirable. Congrats BlenderNation community. Just goes to show what a nice bunch of folks blender users are!

  36. Yeah its great and all, but only 188 out of 7000? - SEVEN THOUSAND! Lets face it, thats really bad! Im actually rather disappointed...

  37. @mpl: well, I suspect that many people are either already donating to other causes or they may not be in a position to give their money away. And who knows - we might see a few more people donating in the remaining days :) I'm impressed with the result so far!

  38. Hey, just to add to all the compliments already given to this great community, I have so much respect for you people you can't imagine...I just wish I understood what drives you to be so caring and willing to share your time, your knowledge, and your money in this case :)...
    I hope you'll keep up your gr8 work Bart, I think this is a real nice thing your doing here
    Take care

  39. ok not knowing you i didn't want to send money to a personal account like that...i didn't mean to offend at all, forgive my naivety and thanks for your dedication! you make a good point, i just didn't want to do anything stupid, so maybe for future such events it would be better to do something more official or secure. i'm really pleased that the goal was met and exceeded!

  40. sweet that was fast!

    I hope this will help. i went to a private school and did fund raising for new schools in kenia, africa.
    no matter what you give those students down their, it helps. something is better than nothing.

    and for those how fear a continuation. yes this might happen. but often an initial start has to be made
    to get things going. and often they go.

    bart congratulations.

  41. Wow $3845 with 195 donations, That mean that each person gave around $20 each. Thats a whole lot better then $0.50 each. I'm proud. If only this came around one month later then I could donate, as I turn 18 next month, I'm too yound to donate right now.
    This needs to be a yearly thing, I mean look how sucessful this turned out to be, we should donate to this or a different cause every blendernation birthday.

  42. @jason,

    To quell your fears, the project is not directly run by Blender foundation (although I myself would not worry if it was) its via Oxfam, who as you probably know are one of the worlds lading charities for aiding in developing countries (check the website). This alone should enable you and Dad to rest easy with your donations.

  43. What a great idea :)
    really love it,
    I would like to donate, but tell the bank to give me a credit card under the age of 18 :(

    But, really love this :)

  44. Congratulations, Bart!!!
    Keep going, people, show 'em what you're made of!!!
    Maybe this would make a great annual present to Blendernation....

  45. This is really great! Unfortunately I don't own a credit card :-\
    Now, the extra money should be used to educate the teachers in using BLENDER, so they can teach alllll the children how to BLEND :-D
    Congratulations with this great project Bart, I'm proud of the blender-community!

  46. @Joeri - it doesn't? I did my best to make it work for >100% on all browsers. It's supposed to show the green box 'breaking out' of the white box (the 100%)

  47. That bar being bigger than the box is really great!

    I can only fantasise about how far it's gonna go in the next days... i'm hoping for the 5k mark! :D

    btw the counter says "4 more days to go", but 9th and 10th of january are only 2 days. The project ends at the 10th right?

  48. Yeah, wonderful idea and I had to participate!

    For example I'm one ¤%&# greedy lazy __fill in more__ b*****d. Giving some money (like equal of having dinner out etc.) is the least I can do.

  49. All this "I'm too young to donate" stuff is of course a cheap excuse: Why can't you bug someone who *is* over 18 to use *their* credit card, and just give them the money? Next time, I'll publish my bank account number here so we can raise even more funds and transfer them through my credit card :-)

    Otherwise, nice thing :-)

    (Yes, yes, I know, I only complain! But hey, I just try to look behind the scenes ;)

  50. i wish i could of contributed, but i'm only 13; i'd need a credit card. this is a really good idea. your a good guy bart.

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