Epic Games has been handing out grants to people and organizations that in some way contribute to their Unreal Engine ecosystem. The Blender Foundation is the latest awardee, which received $1.2 million USD to use however they wish. According to Ton Roosendaal, the only stipulation is that the money must be spent to improve Blender.
The Epic MegaGrants program launched in March (at GDC) with $100 million USD to give away as bursaries. This was over and above the $5 million USD Unreal Dev Grants program that started in 2015. When the original program launched, Tim Sweeney said that it was to help out game developers, so they don’t spend time, like he did, literally mowing lawns to support their projects.
The Blender Foundation also received $13,500 USD from Epic Games back in 2014. That donation was specifically for FBX import/export and navigation controls, however.