Worldbuilders 2016

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.

It’s with genuine excitement, that I announce the beginning of our annual Worldbuilders fundraiser.


Worldbuilders is the charity I founded when I realized that geeks were startlingly empathetic and caring people, and, when given the chance, they will charge out in force to make the world a better place.

Worldbuilders raises money for several different causes, but our end-of-the-year fundraiser focuses on raising money for Heifer International. Heifer helps people raise themselves out of poverty and starvation. For more than 60 years, they have worked to improve education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.

Don’t take my word for it though. Watch this instead. Seriously. It’s only a minute and a half.

This is what Heifer is all about. They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so people can take care of themselves. They give families goats, chickens, and sheep so children have milk to drink, eggs to eat, and warm clothes to wear. They provide communities with clean water to drink, building materials to improve homes, and business training to help families become self-sufficient. Forever.

Now for the big news: This year, Worldbuilders has access to a million dollars of matching money.That means if you donate enough to buy a woman like Chasha a goat, your donation will be doubled and Heifer will be able to provide another goat for someone else in need. If we can hit our total, we’ll have raised two million dollars that will help permanently change the lives of thousands of families all over the world, from Nepal to Appalachia. We have all the way until the end of the fundraiser on December 19th at 11:59pm PST to use it all.

There are a few different ways you can contribute and help us earn that matching money, each with a couple of additional benefits…

  • Option 1: The Lottery

This is the simplest option.: quick, easy, and tax-deductible. You just head over to the fundraising page we’ve created and donate.

When you donate on that page, in addition to having your donation doubled, you’ll be entered into our prize lottery, which contains thousands of books, games, comics, and more.

For every $10 you donate on the fundraising page, your name will be entered into our random drawing. So if you donate $30 (enough for a flock of chickens) your name goes in three times. Donate enough for a goat ($120) and your name goes in 12 times. Enough to give clean water to a whole village ($500) you get 50 chances to win.

What’s in the lottery? A lot. So much that if I showed it to you all at once, the raw intensity of the aggregate awesome would cook your brain like a toad thrown into the sun.

So we’ve spread things out so that we can show them to you in all their glory without risking your precious brain. I’ll be posting up blogs a couple times a week here on my blog, but there will be content going up pretty much every weekday on the Worldbuilders website. (Which we just finished re-designing, so it’s even better than last year.)



If you head over there, you can see *all* the different games and books we’re giving away on our Lottery Library page that we’ll be updating throughout the fundraiser.

You can also go check out the blogs full of prizes here:

In order to make sure everyone gets prizes they love while also making sure all our prizes find good homes, we’ll have you answer a question or two when you make a donation.


Alternately, if you prefer not to leave things to random chance….

  • Option 2: Auctions

Sometimes we get donations that are cool…but only to a select group of people. Some people would squee with delight at winning a portal gun, but some people (sad, unhappy people) just wouldn’t be into it.

The same thing is true with action figures, musical instruments, manuscripts, collectibles. Signed signed art and rare books.

When things like that get donated, we put them up for auction.

Sometimes we also have people offering interesting services. Like writers and editors who are  willing to read and critique manuscripts. We’re auctioning off cameo appearances in comics and the chance to have your name in upcoming books.

All our current auctions are over on the Worldbuilders eBay page. Keep an eye on it. We’ll be adding stuff all the time.

The funds raised through the auctions will be going to Heifer International too. So whatever you bid in the auctions will be doubled as well. So and they count toward our matching money, so you’re still helping us have a huge impact on the lives of people who need it.

  • The Sure Thing

For those of you who want to have an absolute sure thing, we have an online store.

We have geekery from my books, games, t-shirts, and tons of other stuff for your perusal. The purchases there don’t go toward our fundraiser total, but the profits in the end will come to Worldbuilders and help make the world a better place.

  • Added Incentive: Stretch Goals

To help spread the word about the fundraiser (and encourage donations) we’ve brought members of the geek community together to do whimsical things as our donation total grows. There will be dirty limericks, grown adults clucking like chickens, happy dances, Neil Gaiman reading in that awesome voice of his, and so, so much more….

A special stretch goal this year is coming from Neil Gaiman: he’s offered to read to all of us again, and this year, you get to help decide what he reads. You can cast your vote when you make your donation:


Once we hit $1,000,000, we’ll tally all the donations and tell Neil what he’ll be reading for us. In 2013, Neil read Green Eggs and Ham; the next year he read The Jabberwocky. This year promises to be equally wonderful.

  • Streaming on Twitch

Last year as an experiment, I tried livestreaming on Twitch to raise awareness of charity, talk about our prizes and what Heifer does, and have some fun with y’all at the same time.

It worked pretty well, so this year we’re doing it again. Here’s my new Twitch schedule through the end of the fundraiser (December 19th):

  • Mondays: 1pm-4pm CST
  • Tuesdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Wednesdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Thursdays: 4pm-7pm CST
  • Fridays: 2pm-5pm CST
  • Saturdays: 2pm-5pm CST
  • Sundays: 2pm-5pm CST

I don’t have anything scheduled on Wednesday November 23, Thursday November 24, and Friday November 25 to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I might do a surprise, unofficial stream in the evenings, but it won’t be pre-planned, and it definitely won’t be at these scheduled times.

As for what I’m streaming… well… I’m thinking I’m going to figure that out as we go along. I’ll probably play some games. But I’ll probably also do some Q&A sessions. Maybe do a few writing discussions. Maybe I’ll read some more kids books, or just work on book three while y’all stare at my coffee mug and listen to the tantilizing clickity of my old IBM keyboard while I write.

You won’t know unless you tune in. So if you want to know, you should head over here, follow the stream, and then change your settings so you get a notification when I start a new stream.

Important Links and Contact Information

Our website has all of the information you’ll need, including a nifty bar that shows off how much money we’ve raised from all of our various avenues. Worldbuilders also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account for those of you who like to have the internet injected directly into your veins.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Check out our handy FAQ.

Want to donate something to Worldbuilders? Help us spread the word? Do a stretch goal? Write a story for your local paper? Drop us a line here: donations [at]

All right folks. Are you ready? I’m so ready.

Let’s do this thing.


P.S. Just in case you missed it, here’s one more link to our Fundraiser donation page.

This entry was posted in cool news, Worldbuilders 2016. By Pat11 Responses


  1. arachnid
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    > That means if you donate enough to buy a woman like Chasha, a goat

    Well, which is she, a woman, or a goat?

    More seriously, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for Worldbuilders 2016 for a while now. This is going to be awesome!

  2. PlatypusPrime
    Posted November 14, 2016 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been looking forward to this so much! Just a quick callout, though: the links to Neil reading Green Eggs and the Jabberwocky aren’t working, and ditto for the FAQ. (I know, I know, this is the very first day.)

    Thank you for doing this, Pat!

    • Amanda
      Posted November 15, 2016 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for pointing those out! I’ve fixed them.

  3. hekuan
    Posted November 15, 2016 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

    Hah! Reading as Gollum!
    Code: Fist pump!
    Hopefully I’ll find a job and then donate some more!

  4. A Sunny Moo
    Posted November 15, 2016 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    A potential typo: “Seth Fishman hosts and Agent Q&A.” Do you mean “an”?

  5. I_Am_Kvothe
    Posted November 15, 2016 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    Hi! Another quick potential correction- under the lottery library listing, the “Arya Stark’s Needle Sword” is listed as from “Valyrain Steel” as opposed to the “Valyrian Steel” on the other listings from the same. Not sure if these are two different things or an inconsistency!

    • Amanda
      Posted November 16, 2016 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

      It’s an inconsistency, thanks for pointing it out, we’re on it!

  6. Anne-Marie
    Posted November 15, 2016 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,
    Given the million dollar target this year can we please resurrect the Preciousssssss? I know you can’t always be selling off bits of your life willy-nilly but I yearn for one of those rings. Perhaps if we exceed the target?

  7. Momo
    Posted November 17, 2016 at 4:53 AM | Permalink

    Hi, I’ve got a question about the organisation “Haifer International”. I read lots of articles, that proof that the programme of this organisation isn’t very sustainable (working with animals often brings more trouble than it solves for the people in this area).
    So why did you choose this organisation?

  8. Emurihart
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    What are the chances you guys could generate a pdf as a thank you for the donation, so that I can use these gifts as stocking stuffers?

  9. sbrow154
    Posted December 7, 2017 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    Hi Mr. Rothfuss,

    I am currently a reporter for The Pointer at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I was curious if you could give me a little more information on why you chose to create Worldbuilders and work with Heifer International. I’ve read many of your blog posts, but we are really interested in doing an interview with you. Thank you for your time and enjoy the rest of your day and year!


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