On the Cusp of Awesome: Worldbuilders is Nigh

Hey there everybody. We’ve got an announcement to make… but we figured we’d do it in video format.

That’s right. It’s almost time for Worldbuilders.

This year’s fundraiser and Carnival of Delights will be November 10th through December 8th.


You’ll note two differences from last year.

1. We’re starting earlier.

Those of you who have been around since the beginning might remember that Worldbuilders was originally a November event. But over the years, as I became increasingly busy and decreasingly organized, the fundraiser slowly got pushed back a little at at time until it wasn’t even starting until December.

In some ways this was nice, as people tend to feel generous around the holidays.

But the downside is that everyone tends to be insanely *busy* around the holidays, too. Students have end-of-semester chaos. Parents have holiday shopping. Most everyone has some sort of family gathering. All of that means it’s really hard to get people’s attention.

Luckily, now I have the Worldbuilders team.


 (Not pictured: the monkey who took the shot, Brett)

Not only are they handling more and more of the heavy lifting of the fundraiser themselves, but they’re delightfully well-organized.

So this year, we’re getting back to our roots and moving the fundraiser a little earlier.

2. The fundraiser is going to be faster.

Last year’s Worldbuilders was a huge success. We raised more than 700,000 dollars for Heifer International.

However, the fundraiser itself went from December 3 to February 4. It was nine weeks long.

Not only was it like running a marathon, but it overlapped the holidays. That made it hard to keep the momentum of the fundraiser going while at the same time making me feel like an absolute scrooge of a boss.

It occurred to me that the length of the fundraiser was mostly a holdover from when I was organizing things myself. Which is to say I was mostly *not* organizing them. These days the Worldbuilders team is a well-oiled machine. They have meetings and timetables. They use a calendar and everything. Seeing them using these revolutionary tools, I realized we really didn’t have a *reason* for the fundraiser to run as long as it has been….

So earlier this year, we tried an experiment. We ran an Indigogo campaign for one week to see if we could make a short fundraiser work.

And it did. We blew the doors off and raised more than $200,000.

So this year we’re going to keep it short and sweet. Or at least shorter and sweet. It’s going to be like an avalanche of awesome. We’ll be posting up new stuff pretty much every day.2013 Book Wall 02

So stay tuned, lest you miss something.

  • Donations.

SubPress - No Flash (1)

Why yes. We’d love some donations. Thanks so much for asking.

We’ve had books, games, and cool ephemera coming in for a couple months now. But this is your fair warning: since we’re doing a more compact fundraiser this year, we need things to arrive by the middle of November if we’re going to make good use of them.

If you have something you want to kick in, like geeky memorabilia, or signed books, or you should email us at donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

If you’re a member of the geek glitterati who wants make a donation or help us spread the word by doing an act of whimsy, email us at donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

If you have an idea for an author or other cool person you think would be a good addition to our fundraiser but you’ve never seen featured here, maybe drop them a line and ask them to email us at (you guessed it) donations [at] worldbuilders.org.

  • Volunteer and Other Offers of Help

I’m well aware that some of you would love to help with the fundraiser, but cash is hard to come by. No worries. I understand completely. I’ve spent most of my life in that position.

What can you do to help other than chip in money when the time comes? Well….

  • If you live in central Wisconsin, you could stop by Worldbuilders HQ and help us work our magic. We have a lot of work and never as many hands as we’d like, so we’re always looking for volunteers to help out around the store. Email us at volunteers [at] worldbuilders.org
  • If for some bizarre reason you don’t live in Wisconsin, you could start planning an act of whimsy of your own for when the fundraiser starts. We’re encouraging everyone to play this year.
  • Run a blog? Write for a paper? Are you huge on Facebook, Twitter, Ello? We love it when people help us spread the word. So start warming up your click fingers.
  • If you’d like to do an interview or set up some type of more formal press or event with the Worldbuilders team. Drop us a line at Questions [at] worldbuilders.org.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more tour announcements and other sundry things.

Brace yourselves, folks, together we’re going to change the world.


This entry was posted in videos, Worldbuilders 2014. By Pat35 Responses


  1. sandibd
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    I love Worldbuilders and can’t wait to donate!!!

  2. SporkTastic
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    This brings me so many happies. I dunno how much I’ll be able to give this year, but I will *definitely* be sharing on…and possibly spamming…my own social media things. I know a few geeky artists who may be able to contribute, also Tasty Minstrel Games would be a perfect fit for your sponsors! :-D I’m gonna suggest that to them, too, but. Perfect fit.


    I wish I lived in Wisconsin. When I’m done with the schoolin’…in…ummm…a few years… :-P

    • SporkTastic
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

      Have y’all thought about working with Geek and Sundry to do a thing? Or Mr. Wheaton himself for TableTop? If I were a bettin’ man, and my history with the Worldbuilders’ lottery shows that I am, I’d say that seats at a game with Wil Wheaton and Pat Rothfuss…possibly on an episode of TableTop…would get a *huge* response.

  3. Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    I’m always excited for worldbuilders :-)
    Was that leaf in your hair the entire time intentionally?

    • Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

      Amanda put it in there as a joke and I forgot to take it out.

      • Amanda
        Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

        I put it there to make you beautiful.

        • Blarghedy
          Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

          Oh, Pat doesn’t need a leaf to be beautiful.

          But the leaf helps.

          • calliemo
            Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

            Actually doesn’t Pat make the leaf more beautiful? I mean, have you ever seen a leaf with a mighty beard of power?

          • Blarghedy
            Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

            I’ll admit that I’ve never seen a firry leaf.

      • Holmelund
        Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

        Was the joke inspired from The Iron Druid books?

  4. Posted October 23, 2014 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    We’ll be glad to help, here at Roca de Guía, as we agreed when we met you in Spain last summer. We already emailed Maria a few weeks ago, but we couldn’t get in contact with her yet, I’m sure she is so busy this days. We’ll email WB again soon, just so you know we’re still here willing to help. If you need anything from us, you know where to find us :)

    • Amanda
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

      Maria just found that email in her spam folder! She’ll get back to you ASAP :)

  5. psharman
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Good-fellow Rothfuss,

    (Not sure why that sprang into mind…)

    I was discussing the awesomeness that is Worldbuilders with my fiancee, and that since I (soon to be we) am/are finally in a position to be able to donate more than $15 or $20 to charity this year, I was hoping we could contribute a bit more substantially to Worldbuilders.

    She thinks Heifer is a wonderful organization, but wondered why we would donate through Worldbuilders instead of directly to Heifer itself… I told her that because she is marrying a geek, the thought of giving money to charity with the off chance of winning something cool and nerdy along the way fills me with joy. I also explained to her that I’m rather sure that worldbuilders does not skim any money off the top to pay administrative fees, etc. But she wasn’t completely convinced.

    Any chance you could put this debate to rest, and ensure that my charitable donation of the year goes to Worldbuilders?

    Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you in Seattle next week!

    • CancerKiller
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM | Permalink


      All that info is here on the worldbuilders page. Look under the FAQ. Also this has been addressed in a blog around here. Just can’t find the entry. Hopefully Pat or Amanda can give you a direct link.

    • Amanda
      Posted October 23, 2014 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      When you donate on our team page, you’re donating directly to Heifer International, just in association with us. None of that money comes to us, so you’re safe there :)

      • psharman
        Posted October 23, 2014 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

        Thanks folks! =]

        • Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

          I love it when questions get answered on here without me.

  6. tanis0
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    It’s not going to affect me personally this year since this is my giving year, but it’s very helpful having the event span the new year. This lets me pool two years worth of donations into a single year for tax purposes which means I can afford to give more. Is it still your intention to let the event extend at least a few days into the new year?

    • Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:28 AM | Permalink

      You can donate to Worldbuilders at any point in the year. But I’m afraid we won’t be running the main fundraiser into the new year….

  7. Neville Longbottom
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    I’m about Pat’s age. A few months older, if his wikipedia page is right.

    Because of some choices my wife and I have made, money isn’t a huge concern for us. That has some advantages and some dis-advantages, as you’d guess. I’ll tell you this: financial security does tend to remove you alot from the struggle of life. If you ask me, it’s only through struggle that we humans can even try to be noble. So that wouldn’t count as one of the advantages in my book.

    For some damn reason that I can’t even remember now, I didn’t give at all during the one week sprint in the spring.

    So I make this vow right now. I’m going to make myself as proud during worldbuilders this year as Pat is, rightly, of the college students who scrape together a few dollars they didn’t really have. I don’t know how yet, but I’m not stopping until I’m comfortable using the word “carnage.”

    Let’s do this, people….

  8. firebird
    Posted October 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    One of the things you can buy should be called the Tinkers Sack…you know a sack full of wondrous things you can tinker with.

  9. Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:47 AM | Permalink

    One step closer to beard auction! That is all.

    • Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

      You mean… an auction to personally shave off Pat’s beard?

      • Posted October 25, 2014 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

        As much as I’d like it to be the winner shaving it, I think it’d be terrifying for Pat if someone angry about book 3 not being released yet won. I know I wouldn’t want them holding a razor to my throat!

        I think they talked about doing a contest where the fans decide through donations whether the beard is kept or not. Perhaps we could unlock a video of a special guest doing the honors?

  10. Kvon
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    I love the auction part of Worldbuilders, but I’m starting to get rude to the people calling from Heifer to sign up for their monthly donation ‘opportunity’. Is there some way to keep us off their general call list?

    • tanis0
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

      The Worldbuilders FAQ has a section on reducing mail. I haven’t actually received calls from them myself, but it might be worth trying this:

      “How can I get fewer mailings from Heifer International?”

      If you want to receieve (sp) less, or no mail from Heifer International, you can call them at 888.548.6437.

      Ask to be put on their “do not solicit” list, and they’ll be sure to update their lists. Know that it might be a month or two before the mailings stop, but it should go into effect after that.

      If you have any other concerns, feel free to contact the lovely folks over at Heifer via their .

      • tanis0
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

        Formatting didn’t like my hyperlink. Here’s the link to the Heifer help page: http://www.heifer.org/support/index.html

      • Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

        We’ve been working with Heifer on this too. But it’s been moving a little slow, as it requires a change to their overall solicitation strategy.

        I’m hoping this year people that donate will be able to determine their own level of marketing engagement.


  11. Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    Had a blast volunteering last year, hopefully this year I can make it back :)

  12. Dulcet
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    Can we buy extra Worldbuilders stickers to put on ____ so people know we support you? I noticed I randomly get one and would like to purchase them specifically like you have the Whiffle stickers.

  13. Jezdynamite
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 12:46 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat and the gang,
    Before we get into the new stretch goals for 2014, do you happen to have an update for last year’s outstanding stretch goals please?
    I’m especially interested with the progress on the $600,000 stretch goal: “Nate Taylor Draws a Detailed Map of the Four Corners”.
    Kind regards,

  14. RegistrationIsStupid
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    Oh thanks for mentioning Molly Lewis’ performance of 2013-WB, it send me right over to the worldbuilders page of last year (nice page btw).
    I remember listening to that song for days on repeat and I still loved it, when I listened to it again just now. I don’t think you can up with anything better for a stretch goal, but please, do proof me wrong ;)

    Thanks for being awesome and letting us play a part in it.

    Maybe you could throw all/some of the stretch goal coolness together to create a DVD of sorts. Would be cool for you as an archive and I think it would be a cool thing to buy from the shop. You can put it in the DVD shelf and revel in the knowledge that you were part of it somehow. And I could play the Molly Lewis version of The Greatest Adventure on my TV.

  15. Posted October 28, 2014 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    What exactly is an “Act of Whimsy”? Or is it an exact thing? I looked around on the WorldBuilders page and couldn’t really find anything. I wanted to request some more information to be sure we’re planning something that will be helpful.

    Thank you in advance!

  16. Posted November 13, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    I’m going to throw in my two cents. It’s not much and you can take it or leave it, it is only 2 cents. I think we can agree that Jim Butcher is amazing. Everyone loves him and if you don’t that is OK it’s your right to be wrong sometimes. BUT can we get some love for James Marsters??? He seriously makes the Audiobooks so much more ridiculously better.

    If he did something whimsical, I’d… I’d… poop on a stick. And seriously what was I thinking when I made that handle???? OR if you got both of them to do something together. Oh man, I’m geeking out.

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