Members of the Steam Community have created more than 1,200 items for the aforementioned games, and they've made more than $10 million from sales of those items. But the community has been clamoring for a way to compensate the people behind the tools and services that facilitate the creation of those items.
"Creating high-quality content for games is rarely a solo endeavor," said Valve. "Along the way, item creators often make use of specialized tools and receive help, guidance and feedback from various communities and individuals."
From today onward, creators of Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 items can choose from a list of companies, organizations and individuals to which they can direct funds. The choices are unique to each game and are selected by Valve; you can see the lists for Team Fortress 2 here and for Dota 2 here. For example, creators might want to thank the nonprofit Blender Foundation for Blender, the free, open-source 3D creation software. Valve said it will seek community input for other groups to add to the lists.
It's worth noting that compensation for these groups comes out of Valve's cut of revenue from item sales — not from the creators' revenue.