Bracing for Impact…

Hey there everybody – long time no blog.

This year has been… a year. It feels like it has stretched on forever. Endless and interminable. Like I’ve been living Zeno’s year.

In other ways the time has blurred by. I feel like I’ve spent the whole year running from emergency to emergency, trying to put out fires.  And now, after all of it… the fires are kinda still there? They’re not worse for the most part, which is nice, I suppose. But it feels like I should have more to show for this than singed hands and a collection of not-as-bad-as-it-might-otherwise-be crises smouldering sullenly around me.

It’s kinda like treading water, except with all that burning talk in the previous paragraph that analogy doesn’t work, does it? I’m mixing a metaphor really badly. Maybe I’m treading fire instead.

Anyway. What I really mean to say here is that I feel bad that I’ve been… away. Absent for a longish while. I haven’t streamed as much on twitch. Haven’t gone to as many conventions or signings. Haven’t completed a lot of projects I was hoping to finish and share with y’all. Haven’t finished any of the blogs I’ve started. Hell, I haven’t hardly been tweeting this year.

But time and tide wait of no man. And whether I lost this year to fire or water, whether it was fast or slow – It’s November now, and that means Worldbuilders is nigh upon us.

I feel unprepared, and overwhelmed, and… oddly grateful.

Here’s the thing. There’s a lot of stuff in the world I can’t fix right now. A lot of stuff in my life I can’t make better, try as I might.

But I can do some charity. I can feed some hungry kids.

You guys want to come along with me and make the world a better place?

*     *     *

This year the Worldbuilders fundraiser will run from December 3rd to the 17th.

If you’ve been around for Worldbuilders before, there will be a lot familiar there. We have thousands of prizes, fabulous auctions, videos about goats… I’ll be livestreaming and hosting discussion panels with other cool geeks and luminaries. We will have surprises and spectacles galore…

Before the madness sets in, before it all starts, I want to make sure you know how much you all mean to me. So many of you show up for this every year, and that is one of the few constant and unswerving joys in my life. One of the few things that never fails to warm my bitter old heart.

You are my people. Cut from a similar cloth and yearning to do something good in the world. You don’t know how much that means to me.

(Just remembered this picture someone made for me, based off a blog I wrote.)

Now to be clear, this blog isn’t the announcement of the beginning of the fundraiser. It’s just a heads-up. I’m letting you know you should brace for impact.

The fundraiser is only two weeks long now where we used to run it for an entire MONTH. That means once it starts, it’s going to come on hard and fast. If you miss even a couple days, you’ll miss a lot.

If you’re excited about what’s coming up, and you’d like to lend a hand or to start preparing for the coming storm, we have a couple ideas:

  • Wanna help us spread the word?

This is always a challenge for us. How do we get more eyes on the coolness that is Worldbuilders?

We’ve got two ways you can help:

1. Bring a Friend.

This is the simplest thing we’re going to ask people to do. Not just bump things around on social media or share links. (Though that *is* a lovely help.)

This year, we’re asking those of you who already love Worldbuilders to recruit one person and bring them into the fold. Like a cult.

Nope. Wait. I’ve just been told we’re not going with that. Not like a cult. Our branding people are 100% not cool with me comparing our charity fundraiser to a cult.

Mabye we’re more like a secret new Hogwarts house? No… they’re saying no. Copyright issue there. Maybe a gang? They’re there scowling at me now. How about a club? A cool club that you love and you want to share with other large-hearted people who enjoy winning cool prizes and making the world a better place?

So yeah. I mention that we’d like to bring more people into the fold now, so you can start to think about who your best target might be. So you can study them. Track their movements. Make a list of their weaknes…

Nope. Wait. Again. They’re shaking their heads very firmly. Not that.

Just give it a bit of a think. Odds are, I’m guessing you know someone out there who would love the chance to do some good in the world while also having the chance to win cool books and games.

And if you happen to know a *bunch of people…

2. Plan your own page.

This year, we’re letting people create their own fundraiser pages as part of the main Worldbuilders Event.

This means you can create a place to rally a group of people around. You can make a page for your book club, your church, your local co-op or Comic Book store. You can make a page and tell your family that for Christmas, you’d like a donation there instead of a gift. You can make a page and tell your friends if they manage to raise $300 (enough for clean water for an entire village) you’ll *finally* run that Call of Cuthulu game they’ve been bugging you about for years.

You can do anything you want with your team page, really. We’ll be throwing the doors open for you to create them on the first day of the fundraiser.

But you can start your planning now….

  • Want to Leverage your donation?

Every year we get some folks who donate large chunks of money, but don’t care about winning prizes. Sometimes they’ve approached us directly and asked if we wanted to use their money for matching donations to encourage other people to donate.

It’s a great strategy. So this year we’re inviting people to do that if they’d like to. To effectively come in as sponsors to the charity in the same way a publisher or a game company would.

But before I give you the contact e-mail, I have to explain something.

Many of you may remember Thera from Last year’s fundraiser. She’s the one that rallied my own people against me and pushed for this abomination as a stretch goal:

See, Thera is a big fan of John Mulaney, which is right and good, as the man is brilliant.

Anyway, I mention all of this as context so you understand why she chose this particular e-mail as the way to contact us at our very professional charity if you’d like to offer up some matching money:

[email protected]

So… yeah. There you go.

  • Help us take some money off our corporate overlords?

Guess what? Turns out a lot of big businesses offer corporate matching money if their employees donate to official, federally recognized charities.

A charity like, just to pick a name off the top of my head, Worldbuilders.

Mastercard, for example. Offers a *double* match. So if one of their employees makes a $100 donation, Mastercard kicks in $200 of its own making it $300 total.

I’d like to compile a list of businesses that offer matching deals like that. I’m guessing a lot of you work for places that would gladly back your charity play and you don’t even know it.

So. If you work somewhere that offers something similar, and they recognize Worldbuilders as valid recipient, can you mention it in the comments below? We’ll dig through our records too, and start a compiling a running list here at the bottom of this blog?

What’s more, if you check and discover your company needs something from Worldbuilders to get officially recognized, ping us at the address above and we’ll jump whatever hoops they require so we can get hold of that sweet, sweet corporate honey.

That’s all for now. Thanks for sticking with me to the end of the blog, and until the end of the year.

I’m looking forward to surprising you over the next couple weeks.


This entry was posted in How to be a Worthwhile Human Being, musings, trepidation, Worldbuilders. By Pat57 Responses


  1. Jerome Meredith
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    Pat, I have all of Thanksgiving week off if you need any additional help with prep work

  2. Ben Wipperman
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    AT&T does a degree of matching – generally once per year as part of an employee giving campaign around August. The company might do something to specifically support this campaign. I will ask. I’m also going to go adjust my Amazon Smile option, though I know that’s comparatively piddly.

    That aside, I’m with you, Pat. It has been a rough year and treading fire feels like the right way to describe it. The internal voice of shame can be a terribly cruel dragon. None of us can do everything we want to, or think we ought to, and we fall far short if we don’t take care of ourselves, too. 2019 taught me that, with a bat, several times over. It’s okay that you’ve been away awhile and will continue to be.

    Here’s to Bilboing it up.

  3. Janice M
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Most of the Berkshire Hathaway companies match. And that list is long indeed!

  4. Patrick Gordon
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    With the cliff hanger ending!

  5. Alan Chandler
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    Expedia Group matches all employee contributions. Love this fundraiser, keep up all the great work!

  6. Paul H.
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Intel will match employee donations up to $10,000 per year, per participant. As best as I can tell, any 501c3 donation is eligible as long as the receipt states that no goods or services were received in return. Deadline to submit for matching funds is Dec. 13 so employees will need to give early in the fundraiser to be able to apply for the match.

  7. Leslie
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    Salesforce offers a 100% match on employee donations over $50 (if you work at Salesforce, you need to log it to the “Volunteerforce” app, and matches are processed once every 90 days).

  8. Josh
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Oracle has %100 matching for Worldbuilders

  9. Posted November 22, 2019 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    The world is what one makes of it, a wise man has told me. Look at this: you just created a world in which there are men with pink beards! Anything is possible!

  10. Posted November 22, 2019 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Happy to see you again!

    I’m thinking, OK I’m hoping that 2020 will be a better year than 2019. Bad things are happening, yes, but some good things are happening too.

    Worldbuilders is one of those good things. I’ve been lucky to have been able to support this fundraiser from back when you had to devastate your *own* bank account to match our donations.

    I work for a small private pediatric office, so no matching funds for me. I work as a pediatrician though, so I will be buying a cow. A virtual cow.

  11. Bradley
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    LendingClub matches 100% of our donations up to $200. I used it with Worldbuilders before.

  12. Lennon
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    I know you’re not their biggest fan, but Apple matches donations 100%, I’ve used it with all my Worldbuilders donations.

    Occasionally they run limited time 2-1 matches as well, which I just took advantage of a few months ago to get a nice fat donation from our corporate overlords to Worldbuilders.

    • Posted November 23, 2019 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

      I don’t particularly have a problem with Apple. (No more so than I do with most large corporate entities at any rate.)

      And the fact that they match donations to Worldbuilders raises them up a notch or two in my book.

      Thanks much for letting us know.

      • Lennon
        Posted November 27, 2019 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

        Welcome! I certainly have my concerns about all the giant tech companies as well, but at least Apple doesn’t have a monopoly like Facebook and Google, and Tim Cook’s commitment to privacy seems genuine. I feel good working there in a way I never could at Facebook, for example. Especially when I can steer some of our outrageous money pile toward good stuff like Worldbuilders and RAINN.

  13. Occamslaser
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    My adulthood is finally fledging and so actually have money this year to donate!
    This will be a great way to offset the growing anxiety of needing to be an active player in a world that does seem to be increasingly on fire. :|

  14. Posted November 23, 2019 at 3:52 AM | Permalink

    Hey, read this and thought of Auri and Tunnel Bob

  15. Petra Halmešová
    Posted November 23, 2019 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    I’m so excited about Worldbuilders this year. We need to buy all of the bees!

  16. Scott Smith
    Posted November 23, 2019 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    Cigna matches 100%.

  17. Llee
    Posted November 23, 2019 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    It has been a rough year, but hey- we love you. Hug your family tight. :) Looking forward to the fundraiser. And thanks for giving us a chance to help make the world better!

  18. Laura S.
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

    I’m so sorry the year has been such a challenging one, Pat; you have so many important relationships in your life to manage, let alone the multitude of projects you have going. I hope you are able to find moments of peace and calm in the midst of so much. <3

    So looking forward to Worldbuilders! It is a highlight of my year, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to help some more people.

  19. Holmelund
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 3:40 AM | Permalink

    Out of curiosity.
    Any news on last years Worldbuilders stretchgoals? New homepage was one of them.

  20. NoNameNamer
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

    Microsoft matches 100% up to $14k / yr. They have an easy to use internal website that allows you to select Worldbuilders when requesting a match.

  21. Posted November 24, 2019 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    You can definitely put out fires while treading water if you’re on a ship. Just saying, that’s my mental scenario for your situation.

    Looking forward to Worldbuilders again this year. Happy to recruit some more cult members for ya.

  22. Cynthia L
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    Wayward Backers is going to make a page this year!! We may not make the $10k that one glorious year we beat the Nerds but we’ll try our darnedest. Glad to see you, sorry it’s been a rough year. I know it’s not the same, but I lost the dog-of-my-heart in January to lymphoma two weeks after her 14 birthday and I’ve been down. Looking forward to next year.

    • Posted November 25, 2019 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

      Huzzah! I look forward to seeing the heat y’all can bring….

  23. Vrouwke
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for the heads-up. So glad to see this post again. Wishing you a less fiery-water-treading 2020, already.

  24. Karim
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Well, at least we’ll always have Worldbuilders. I hope you feel better soonish, Pat. Is “Zeno” a reference to the Italo Svevo novel? What’s “Zeno’s year”? Google isn’t helping much.

    • Karim
      Posted November 24, 2019 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

      Although, mind you, less Twitter isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    • Thomas
      Posted November 24, 2019 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

      Zeno’s year is a reference to Zeno’s paradox. Because one could cut a path into infinitely many sub-paths (This is usually done by halving the distance after each step. That means the first sub-path is half the length, the next is 1/4, then comes 1/8, and so forth), one may say that there is no way that you can walks all of these infinitely many sub-paths in finite time. In other words, it would take an eternity to cross the distance, which is clearly not true. Ergo the paradox. So when Pat Rothfuss says that it’s been Zeno’s year, he means it has seemed like an eternity.

      At this point, I feel like I must resolve the paradox. Consider a runner that goes at a constant velocity. Because each step is shorter, the time it takes to traverse it shortens as well. Just as the sum of these infinite sub-paths is finite (i.e. 1/2 +1/4+1/8+..=1), so, too, must the sum be finite (It would take half the total time to run the first half, then 1/4 the total time to run the next bit, then 1/8, and so on. Clearly we get a sum like the one before, which definitely converges to a finite value).

      P.S. if a mathematician reads this, please forgive the fact that I assumed there existed a finite total time in my “proof” for showing that the last sum converges. It is merely there to help make it more understandable. ;)

      • Karim
        Posted November 25, 2019 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

        @Thomas: Oh, lovely! Thank you. Something to read up on for sure.

      • Posted November 25, 2019 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

        As a mathematician (and therefore a demonstrable representative of all mathematicians by subsection XIV of the Proofs and Theories Quorum of 1963 Addendum 3.14), you are forgiven. Go forth and live logically!

  25. Ben Letham
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Avanade offers donation matching to Worldbuilders through Benevity. I assume Accenture would have something very similar.

  26. Sandhya Harris
    Posted November 24, 2019 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    I have missed you so much! And worried about you. So glad to see you are still there with your humor and intelligence. Welcome back, (I hope)!

  27. Robert
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

    I like you.

  28. Posted November 25, 2019 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    I get into Pat’s blog, idk, maybe twice a week, expecting some news and blog posts. It’s good to see that we are close to the fundraiser and somehow he is back.
    Whenever I feel kinda sad or tired, I get into the blog to read and maybe see some fun things and jokes.
    This year I am DEFINITELY gonna donate some money. Even with the dollar matching 4.2 of my currency *sigh*

    • Karim
      Posted November 25, 2019 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

      If it’s too much for you, I can donate on your behalf (say, the equivalent of $20) and you can donate on mine when your currency is a little less a punch in the gut. We don’t have to show each other or anything; we’ll do it in good faith. Does that sound good?

  29. Marco
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    hey pat – any luck on hiring that business manager/fire putter outer?

    just curious I suppose


  30. Shane
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Cardinal Health matches employee donations to Worldbuokders at 50%

  31. Forest Roberts
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    Global Payments matches up to 250 dollars per employee, per year, as long as the gift doesn’t come with auction or raffle tickets.

  32. anonym
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    A single considerate and supportive comment

  33. Sarah
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    BP offers a dollar for dollar match up to $5000 per year. Employee just needs to fill out an online form with proof of their donation. I have done this every year I’ve donated, so hopefully you’ve been receiving the matched $$.

  34. Posted November 25, 2019 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Don’t worry, Pat, I understand perfectly.

    I’ve already acquired a target who will make a great convert for your totally-not-a-cult nudge nudge wink wink say-no-more. He’s already read your books, and when I dangled the possibilities of favor rings, signed books, and fancy gaming tables in front of him, well, let’s just say he was practically foaming at the mouth with an almost religious fervor. He’ll donate. Oh, he’ll donate and thank you for the privilege.

    Sadly, my current company doesn’t match donations. They pay me pretty well, though, so I’ll just go ahead and match what I was planning to donate anyway at 100%. Keep up the good work!

  35. David Henry
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

    Seek Aid is the best ngo all over the world working for improving the lives of causes affected people through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts. Please come forward and contribute. Your contribution will transform the lives of millions of peoples. Goodwill donation

  36. Chris Black
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    Hello all,
    This may have already been mentioned, but seems like it could be helpful to know about.

    I work for a company called Illumina, which will match gifts between $25-250, which is awesome!

    Stoked for the fundraiser this year! Soory I haven’t been in to volunteer in WAY too long. New job has me running…

    Cheers all –

  37. Laura
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    Boston Scientific matches 100% up to $500/year per employee. Looking forward to the fundraiser!!

  38. Matt
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    Adobe matches 100% up to $10k/year.

  39. Helen
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

    Ecolab matches 100% if you donate through their giving portal, but sadly (and selfishly) I haven’t been able to figure out how to participate in the Worldbuilders lottery and the Ecolab giving portal at the same time.

  40. Biz Stolz
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    I work for Disney, and they do a corporate match!

  41. Skye Winspur
    Posted November 30, 2019 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Patrick. This post means a lot to me. I do believe our civilization is collapsing from climate change — I just can’t pretend anymore that the richest people oohing and aahing over weather disaster after weather disaster after weather disaster that they can observe from the comfort of a phone screen are competent to save us. I am trying very hard NOT to be sour and pessimistic about it. History does show that beauty and hope emerge out of ruin and bad leadership can change very quickly for the better.

    Thank you for showing what I think is the right attitude in times like these. The total artifice of what money is compared with the very raw reality of what the planet is throwing at us is always on my mind. We should be wildly liberal with our money.

  42. Chanelle
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    Starbucks matches at 100%! You just have to fill out the forms 😊

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