Since our last blog Worldbuilders has raised another $20,000 dollars for Heifer International. That puts us at $328,000, soundly trouncing last year’s donation total of $311,000.
Not bad for a bunch of book-lovers and sci-fi geeks.
Speaking of, here’s a snippet of an e-mail I just got today:
My boyfriend and I decided that instead of Valentine’s gifts, we’re donating to Worldbuilders. We’re both such adoring fans of yours and Kvothe’s, but you’ve also made us adoring fans of the children and families that benefit from a goat or chickens and the excrements that come from both. :)
Worldbuilders is our favorite time of year thanks to you, and we just wanted to really let you know. We love you Pat! Even if it’s not here yet, I think this Valentine’s Day is going to be the best one yet.
I love you too, Sara. It’s because of people like you that Worldbuilders is a success.
Oh sure, we’re lucky enough to have some people stomp in with thousand-dollar donations. But the truth is, most of our money comes from regular folks chipping in what they can. More than 25% of the money we raise comes from people donating between 10 and 50 bucks.
I mention this because I’ve had people e-mail me saying they’re sorry they can only kick in ten or twenty bucks because they’re in college. Or because they have a new baby in the house. Or because they just lost their job.
What’s my point?
Well, my first point is to say that I know what it’s like to be strapped for cash. I was a college student for more than a decade and paid my own tuition through most of it working several jobs. After I finished grad school and got a job as a teacher, I was still poor enough to qualify for low-income housing.
Even now that I’m all internationally published and and whatnot, you know how I *really* measure my financial success?
It’s not that I can now afford burritos that cost more than 33 cents. It’s not that I can order Chinese food anytime I want. It’s not even the fact that recently, for the first time in my life, I bought a car for more than 500 dollars.
That’s my change jar. This is how I know I’m rich.
There are quarters in there.
There’s been a lot of no-quarters in the jar times in my life. I’ve had a fair amount of no-dimes times too. And there have been a few times when I’ve bought groceries with nickles and pennies. This is my metric for success.
My point is that I know how big a deal ten dollars can be.
My point is that when I get an e-mail that says, “I can only kick in twenty dollars because our car broke down right after Christmas.” I don’t think, “Twenty bucks? Is that it?”
No. I think: You. Are. Awesome.
What’s my point? My point is that every year y’all impress me. Every year you make me proud to be a geek.
So, because we’ve beaten last year’s total with time to spare, I’m officially declaring this year’s fundraiser a success.
That said, we are not yet an amazing success. And personally, I like to shoot for amazing whenever I can.
The fundraiser is still going until January 21st at midnight. So today, I’m making my final pitch for Worldbuilders. And it will be in, *ahem* three parts.
- Part One: What Heifer International Does.
I could go on again about how Heifer gives people a leg up rather than a handout. I could talk about how they’re education-based. How they promote long-term sustainable growth in communities.
But honestly, I’ve said it all before. So this time, how about I post up a video instead?
Four Families: India from Heifer International on Vimeo.
We good? Yeah. I thought so.
- Part Two: Bigger Bang For Your Buck.
This year we’re trying out the stretch goal thing, and one of our big ones happens when we hit $400,000.
Specifically, if we hit 400,000 dollars before January 21st at midnight, I’ll donate $100,000 to Heifer, bringing our yearly total to over half a million.
If not, I will keep that money and do something stupid with it. I swear I will blow it on catgirls, methadone, and multiple pairs of the same kind of shoes.
That’s probably the best way to think about it. If we make it to $400,000, not only will Heifer get a boost, but you’ll be saving me from myself. Seriously. I can’t be trusted with this amount of money. I’m already about one haircut a year away from being Howard Hughes.
- Part Three: The Odds are in Your Favor.
As many of you know, one of the cool things about Worldbuilders is that if you donate to Heifer International on our Team Page, you have the chance to win stuff.
(We have so many books we can’t even fit them all into one picture.)
Note that I say “stuff” because while most of our donation incentives are books, we also have comics, music, and DVD’s. There’s also other miscellany in the mix, like my offer to read-and-critique your unpublished manuscript, or chances to visit the Heifer Ranch with the Worldbuilders team.
You could even win a favor from me. Something which, in the auction we’re currently running, is going for a truly baffling amount of money.
So. How likely are you to win something? Very.
Right now, if you donated $10 to the fundraiser, you’d have about a 3% chance of winning something. About a 1 in 35 chance.
In mathematical terms, that means you’re approximately ten hajillion times more likely to win something from Worldbuilders than from any official lottery.
Let’s say you donate $60, enough for Heifer’s team to go in and provide education, support, and seedlings so folks can plant some trees.
Donating $60, you have a 15% chance of winning at least one prize. That’s about a 1 in 7 chance.
Plus farmers get to prevent soil erosion on their land. Plus that cute little girl gets to eat fresh fruit. Plus you get to have a huge warm fuzzy knowing you made the world a better place.
Or, let’s say you kick in 120 bucks. Enough to buy a goat.
With that donation, your odds of winning a prize are about 30% overall. You have about a 1 in 3 chance of winning something.
Goats provide milk, rich in calcium and protein, wonderful for growing children. Plus the extra milk can be sold, which gives the family an extra source of income. Plus, goats have babies, which Heifer families pass on to their neighbors, improving their lives too….
Or you could go all the way up to $500 dollars, enough to buy a Heifer.
(This is Heifer International, after all.)
Donating enough to buy a heifer will get you a 76% chance to win something. And really good odds of winning more than one prize. (Every 10 dollars gives you an extra chance to win, remember.)
Cows produce nearly four gallons of milk a day, which means just one cow can act as the equivalent of a small business for the family selling the milk. This money gives people the chance to educate their children, buy medicine, and generally take control of their lives.
So there you go folks. My final pitch for the year. We’ll be posting more donations in the next couple days, but this is my last hard sell.
Here’s the link to the Worldbuilders donation page.
Lastly, I’d like to add that one of the best things you can do to help Worldbuilders is to spread the word. Any boost to our signal I would take as a great kindness. So feel free to share this post around, twitter it, or use excerpts of it in your own blog.
Though preferably not the part where I joked about methadone. That would be kinda odd taken out of context.
Later space cowboys,
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If you have any questions about worldbuilders, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have some cool auctions ending soon. You can see all our current auctions here.
If you’d like to see all the items that have been donated to Worldbuilders, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can find all the details either on my blog, or by checking out our website.