Worldbuilders 2015: The Wrap Up

As some of you can guess by the fact that I’m posting blogs again, I’m mostly recovered from our big end-of-year fundraiser, followed by the holidays. What’s more, the Worldbuilders team has recently finished shipping out the last of this year’s prizes.

One of the things we do when we’re wrapping up the yearly fundraiser, is look back over the previous year. We look at our numbers, sift through data, we assess our current projects and think about where we’re going to focus our attentions in the future. (More about this later.)

This is oddly dangerous ground for me. Because, the truth is, every year before we launch our big End of Year fundraiser, I worry about Worldbuilders.

You see, I always want Worldbuilders to be better than the year before. I want us to be bigger, raising more money, working with more people, doing new and exciting things. I want us to continue growing and being a force for good in the world.

But on the other hand, I know the key to happiness is reasonable expectations. 2014 was our first million-dollar year. It’ a level of success that would’ve seemed unattainable to me a couple years ago. So for me to demand we do even *better* than that… it seems somehow arrogant, if not just downright silly.

The problem is my brain. For me, it’s a short step from this:

Two Million Dollars sketch1

To this:

Two Million Dollars sketch2

This is a constant dance I do mentally, I want the charity to be awesome, but I also want to be emotionally healthy. What’s more, I want to be a good boss, and reasonable expectations are a huge part of that. How awful would it be if we ran a fundraiser, made a million dollars, and felt like we’d failed?

The truth is, Worldbuilders raised a million dollars in 2014. And if we never, ever got bigger than that, we would still be an awesome charity.

That said, in 2015 we *did* raise more than two million dollars.

worldbuilder(1)(Which is kinda awesome.)

This is counting the our mid-season Geeks Doing Good campaign on Indiegogo. And our completely-impromptu fundraiser for the Syrian Refugees. We had a huge outpouring of support from the community that caused both of those to be delightful successes.

So, let’s look at some graphs. Because as much as I love the words, sometimes it’s easier to grok this stuff graphically.



That’s almost a mind-numbing amount of money. Because of it, villages will get clean and reliable water for the first time. There will be a ton of fruit trees planted, to increase air quality and provide healthy food. Parents will be able to feed their kids milk and eggs. Families will be able to generate income that will give them control over their own lives, letting them have better homes, education for their children, and a brighter future.

This also shows very visibly that y’all are willing to come along with us to support other worthwhile causes like helping with the Syrian refugees.

But that’s not the only cool thing going on. Check this out.


This is a really cool piece of data for me. It means people who donated $60 or less made up 22% of our total for our big End of Year fundraiser.

Every year I hear people say, “I was only able to give $20….” as if they felt guilty about it. As if they weren’t *really* helping.

So check out that graph. That proves what I say every year. There really aren’t any small donations. And it’s by working together that we are mighty. If you’re one of the folks who helped out with 20 or 30 bucks, I want you to know that together with your brethren and sistren, it added up to a huge piece of money.


There were 3,824 new donors this year who have never participated in Worldbuilders before. Considering we had 7100 unique donors, that’s a RIDICULOUS number of new donors. More than half of you stepped up and participated even though you’d never done so before.

Unique Donors_Final

Across all fundraisers, we had almost 14,000 unique donors. We are growing every year thanks to you guys. This was the first year we shipped prizes in January. We also finished shipping prizes last week, which is by far the fastest we’ve gotten prizes out.

It’s almost like we’re getting better at this stuff.

*     *     *

On that note, we’re already looking toward the future. We’re constantly trying to improve the fundraiser, deciding where to devote our energies.

To do a good job at that, we need as much data as we can get. We’d like to know what you like about the fundraiser, how you’ve participated, and what you think about some ideas we have for the future.

If you’re willing to help us out, the survey is right here. It won’t take too long, and it’ll do a lot of good in terms of helping us make good plans so we can keep growing in the right direction.

Thanks everyone. You warm my bitter old heart.


This entry was posted in Achievement Unlocked!, Worldbuilders 2015. By Pat21 Responses


  1. Laitainon
    Posted February 12, 2016 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    I am glad I was able to pitch in. Thanks for starting an awesome charity, Pat!

    Also, “Worldbuidlers” (in the first graph) :D Made my day!

    • Brett
      Posted February 12, 2016 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

      Oops! That was me. If you ever see it spelled “Worldbuidlers,” that’s totally my fault. It’s hard to type with felt hands.

      • Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

        I don’t know what Worldbuidling is, but it sounds kinda fun. I want to try it now…

  2. hatman
    Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    2 million is amazing! Congratulations! I’m proud to have played a small part in that. I love your attitude about this, and I love what you’re doing. As I mentioned before, my contribution this year was larger than normal, in thanks for your helping a friend of mine, but I do plan to keep contributing every year, no matter how long or short the campaign is.

  3. Lannar
    Posted February 12, 2016 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations on this new record! I’m happy to see new blog entries, even Worldbuilder ones. I follow this blog since its beginning and remember those days to be full of funny stories, chit-chat and advide for writers. It was about the life of a new-to-success writer and his doings. That was inspiring to all of us wannabe writers. Lately this blog is only about charity… which is not a bad thing, because you know, goats. If I were to choose between drinkable water for a village and having fun on the computer, then I’m happy this blog isn’t as fun to read as before. I still check it weekly nevertheless.

    Keep up the good work with Worldbuilders!

    • Posted February 12, 2016 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

      Yeah. One of the things I’m going to be working on is doing more of the fun blogs, too. I don’t want it to be all-charity all the time on here either….


      • guimond777
        Posted February 15, 2016 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

        If I may make an observation, Pat. Back in 2013, you used to post quite a few of these “fun” blogs you are referring to, sometimes even 2-3 of them a week during some stretches. I noticed that once you got yourself a twitter (after that “guess the real Pat on twitter” contest you had)…your fun blog posts started to get less frequent. Not sure if you getting a twitter is what caused this, or some other outside force….

        Not a knock on you or your great work in any way, just wanted to point out that observation. I used to enjoy those random “a day in the life of Pat” posts you used to make. Hoping to see them return.

  4. kdculb
    Posted February 12, 2016 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    I enjoy the fundraiser and would donate even without the lottery. That being said, I also enjoy getting that package and wondering what is in it. This year one of the items looked like a yellow box wrapped in cardboard. Upon closer inspection it was two books with yellow edges and I thought, “that is what books looked like when I was a kid.” Sure enough they were two books from the 80’s when the pages had yellow edges. It got even better, when I opened the first book a Science Fiction Book Club signup fell out – I wonder if they would still send me 5 books for a buck. This brought back great memories from when I had more time to read and paper backs had a cover price of $3.95. Fire Get and Fire Lord by Cheryl J. Franklin will be my first read.

    Thanks Pat and Team!

  5. SporkTastic
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 3:42 AM | Permalink

    That is *super* fucking awesome! I always try to give as much as I can, but sometimes that’s really only $20 or $30; I’m glad to see that that really does make a difference. I talk about how awesome Worldbuilders is a *bunch*, too…I’m pretty sure most of my friends get sick of hearing about it. (That won’t stop me, though!) It’s been fantastic to be a part of something great.

  6. Slidingtoke
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    Glad to be able to contribute Patrick :)

    – First time donator

  7. firebird
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    Gender fluid? Seriously? Tumbler is leaking.

    • Liam
      Posted February 15, 2016 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

      Hey now, no need to be a jerk.

      • firebird
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

        If I had wanted to be a jerk I could have gone a whole lot worse then that. This sjw and crazy feminist stuff needs to calm down. You’re a dude or you’re a chick. That’s it.

  8. christie
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    I enjoyed the detail of the monitor on top of the books in the first drawing.

  9. audrey
    Posted February 15, 2016 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    This was my first year having an income and I feel privileged to have been able to contribute – I’ve been following your blog and fundraisers for years now, and your blog posts have always put my situation in perspective and made me happy to donate (finally). Thanks so much to the Worldbuilders team as well for running such a kick-ass ship!

  10. Henry
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    If you just finish the next darn book – I’ll double my donation from last year.

  11. Dan M
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    I think the difference you are seeing is a matter of publicity. 2015 was my first year participating, mainly because I didn’t know this was going on in 2014. I ended up purchasing a Geeks Doing Good bundle that I saw advertised on Reddit. I’m sure the more people know about this kind of thing, the more will donate. Social media really isn’t my thing, but in the specific case of geeks, charity and cool swag, I think it doesn’t hurt to be a little pushier.

  12. Rotiv7
    Posted May 16, 2016 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

    ” When you wait a few span or month to (READ a finished BOOK) , the anticipation
    adds savor. But after a year excitement begins to sour. By now, ( FIVE YEARS
    and TWO MONTHS ) had passed and folk were almost mad with curiosity ”
    Kingkiller Chronicles – Day one – The name of the wind – Chapter 12

    This waiting is killing me !!!

  13. szilagyigab
    Posted May 18, 2016 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    I have recommended your books to all the people I care about. I have got my son, my wife, my friends to read them. I live and breathe them. I am at the point of not willing to read them once again lest it gets dull and I lose something precious, the chance to get away from everyday life and lose myself in the world of Kvothe. But. It has been 5 years now without any news. Please

    • Rotiv7
      Posted May 19, 2016 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

      I’ve read somewhere in the internet that Rothfuss will wait for the movies and the games that the LionsGate negociated with him be ready for the release of our so waited third book.
      Until there we’ll wait, those who are real lovers of the Kvothe’s Story will have to be patient and don’t disheartening themselves. unfortunately many of the people that i’ve shown Pat’s books are now bored and no more cares about this story no more.

      Every one knows that this is an awesome trilogy, i’ve never read something like this before… but, people becomes tired of wainting for so long.

  14. Rotiv7
    Posted May 19, 2016 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    “”Kingkiller Chronicle Book 3 Release day”” (SOME DAY, IN A NEAR FUTURE…)

    Patrick Rothfuss: – “I was gonna bring it in last YEAR, but then I thought
    ‘one last coat of REVIEW, READ it AGAIN, and let DO A BIT MORE OF SUSPENSE.
    ‘Can’t say I’m sorry I did. Lord and
    Lady, it’s THE BEST THING as anything these hands have ever made.”

    FOLKS EVERYWHERE: – A small line formed between the PEOPLE’s eyebrows. Then, seeing the BOOK in the Rothfuss’s hands, they brightened. “Ahhh! The THIRD BOOK!” WE gave a smiled tiredly. “I’m sorry PAT. It’s been so long. I’d almost forgotten.”

    Rothfuss gave a bit of a strange look. “FIVE or SIX YEARS ain’t long for A GOOD BOOK, not with ALL THE GOODS THAT I’M BRINGING, MOVIES… GAMES…
    “FIVE OR SIX YEARS…,” WE SAID echoing. seeing PAT watching us, we hurried
    to add, “That can be a lifetime if you’re waiting for something.”


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