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BlenderNation now three years old! Help us make a difference


Woah! Three years have already passed since I began a small experiment in blogging :). Time for a birthday present!

Maybe you remember our previous fundraiser where we donated 1 classroom, 4000 hot meals, 2 goats, 1 alpaca and 3 animal care kits to a Third World country? That was great, but when tax time came it became hell for me because I had to sort out all the donations with my bookkeeper ;-)

Still, I want to do something similar again - use the size and enthusiasm of this community to do good for others. Just with less tax headache.

One of the best initiatives in this area are 'microcredits': people provide small, interest-free loans to people in third world countries, who use the money to start or expand their own business. I believe this is a *much* more successful approach than simply giving money.

An easy way to do this is through - a website where you can find an entrepreneur or activity, and lend them something. As they would say it, "connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty".

Loans start at $25 (paid through PayPal or creditcard) and are usually repaid within 3-12 months. After that, you can either loan it to someone else, or pull it out from Kiva. Just for the records: there is a *small* possibility that someone might not be able to repay a loan, but I have yet to encounter that.

If you want to know more about Kiva, you should read their 'About' page and the international press coverage they're getting.

I began using Kiva a little over a year ago and I'd like to invite you all to try it out, too. There's now a BlenderNation team that you can become a member of - when making a loan, you can assign it to the team so we can all see how well the group is doing.

Interested? Then here's what you should do:

  1. Register on Kiva.
  2. Log in, visit the BlenderNation team page and become a team member (do this before making your first loan!)
  3. Find someone who you would like to lend $25 (or more) to.
  4. Assign this loan to the BlenderNation team,
  5. Enjoy the good feeling!

Thanks for reading, and I hope we'll see you around in the BlenderNation Kiva team!

*scurries off to buy a birthday cake*

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. Happy birthday and thanks for this post. I knew about microcredits, but not about this internet way of lending money to small entrepreneurs. I have looked at the website and my first impression is that this a great way to help somebody start up his/her business.

  2. happy b-day,!(English)
    Joyeux Anniversaire!(French)
    Selamat Ulang Tahun!(Indonesian)
    Hartelijk gefeliciteerd!(Dutch)
    Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!(Japanese)

  3. Happy Birthday, BlenderNation! Yahoo! Way to go, Bart! Glad you started this place. 3 years, eh? Wow, that's cool, we are still in the early years! Kiva is a cool idea. :)

  4. Yeah! Happy Birthday - Birthday boy! ;)

    It's pretty impressive keeping alive and active for such a long time. It has with no doubt been a huge credit to
    the entire Blender community - it takes stamina and perseverance to keep things running over time.

    Well done!


  5. Happy Birthday. This experiment in blogging seems to have been a success. I turn to Blender Nation for all my news and updates on Blender. Thank you to you and to the Blender community for their time and efforts to make all this possible. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Also I think the Kiva donation idea is an amazing idea. Thank you for bringing it to our attention as I personally did not know a system of lending like this existed. I will be spreading the word about Kiva to all my friends. Thank you and C ya.

  6. This is a great idea, thank you for the blendernation, i already had heard about this Kiva thing, but im 14 and brazilian, so i don't have a credit card, neither a paypal acount (with money), so i can't help, but it is a really a good idea

    feliz aniversário (<== Brazilian portuguese)

  7. Wszystkiego Najlepszego z Okazji Urodzin (polish)

    I think I am gonna lend some money. Thank you for letting us know about that site. This is a good start to really change the life of some societies maybe some day even countries.

  8. Great site and good way of contributing. I have joined the team but forgot to assign my loan to the team. Can I still go back and do this? can't figure it out.

  9. Hi Bart,

    I have just read in the first entry on Blendernation that you started with about 400 Vistiors a day. How many has blendernation now, after three years?


  10. @HolgerB: we typically get a little over 10,000 unique visitors every day - almost 1 million pageviews per month! Quite a boost from 400 :)

  11. I have been a Kiva member for over a year. If I get one more repayment on one of my loans soon I will have enough money to lend again and I will add my loan to the team.

  12. Ah, I remember the time when Bart asked if blendernation was a good name, what associations I got by hearing that name..

    The Kiva project looks very 'kiva'! Will be doing some soon too.


  13. Been there, and actually done that.

    Now leaning back to "enjoy the good feeling!"n ;)

    Thanks for covering a lot of good news on a daily (and some even more important ones at a yearly) base for all of us.

    In RP it would be "/me bows to Bart" now.

  14. I am late. sorry. I had problem with my Internet connection. But anyway

    Happy Birthday.

    Puttina rooju subhaakankshalu. (Telugu India)

    read as: pu-ttina rooju subhaa-kan-ksha-lu.

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