End-of-Year Fundraiser FAQ

Want to know all the nitty-gritty of the Worldbuilders End-of-Year Fundraiser? Then this is the place for you! We’ve got plenty of answers below, but if you’re still wondering about something we haven’t answered, you can email us at fundraiser@worldbuilders.org.

PLEASE NOTE that these questions and answers apply only to an active End-of-Year Fundraiser.

The fundraiser starts at noon CT on December 1st, 2020, and will run until midnight CT on December 15th. Some of the Auctions will end earlier, though; you’ll have to look at the individual items for details.

Yes! We understand that PayPal is the easiest method for many of our supporters, so our current Fundraiser Page allows PayPal payments.

Absolutely! Simply download the Offline Donation Form and mail it to:

Worldbuilders
Attn: WBFund19
PO Box 186
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Muahahahahah….

Um…. Wait. No. You really shouldn’t. It’s just risky all around.

However, if you don’t have a checking account or a credit card, you could get a money order at your bank or post office (and some supermarkets) and send that to us with an Offline Donation Form (see: If I mail you a check will you enter me into the Prize Draw? above).

Pat originally started the prize draw as an incentive, to encourage people to donate to the fundraiser. Doing good in the world is a great feeling…but, let’s face it, so is having cool stuff randomly show up on your doorstep. We’ve combined both of those feelings into a tornado of awesome that is the Worldbuilders Prize Draw!

For every $10 you donate, you will get a chance to be given one of the prizes. If you donate $30, your name goes in three times. Donate $120, your name is in twelve times. It’s kind of like creating a Wish List, but you’re also helping feed families and supply clean water instead, because you’re cool like that.

After the fundraiser is over, we’ll have a random drawing to give away all the swag we’ve gotten from our author friends, sponsors, publishers, game companies, collectors, and supporters. Once the recipients’ names have been drawn, we’ll send out thousands of books, games, comics, art, DVDs, and other cool miscellany.

We try to be inclusive here, so if you’re strapped for cash and you’d still like to throw your hat in for a chance in the drawing, there’s no donation necessary to enter. Just fill out our online form. We’ll put you on the list. Please note this non-donation entry is limited to 10 (ten) per person per year.

Yes. Here’s how it will work.

Say you donate 120 dollars, which might be used in coordination with Heifer International to get a nice family a new goat:

Worldbuilders Nepal

Your name would go into the prize draw 12 times. Then, if we draw your name out of the hat for a signed book, your name is still in there 11 more times for the rest of the stuff we give away.

That means you could, conceivably, win 12 prizes.

Better than if you don’t donate.

Seriously, if you’re doing this for any reason other than the good feeling you get from helping make the world better, there are better ways to spend your time. This is not the place to try and game the odds.

But, we’re math nerds, too, and it is an interesting question, so…

Here, have a widget!

Keep in mind these are very rough estimates, so use this widget more for entertainment purposes than information. The odds always shimmy around a bit as new stuff is added to the prize draw and donation totals rise. So as hard as we try, we can never give you a really good answer until it’s too late.

Best to keep in mind the sage words of another geek: Never tell me the odds.

Absolutely! We send prizes all over the world, and are happy to do so. You don’t have to worry about shipping costs if you win – we’ve got that covered! You might still need to pay VAT when your prize arrives, since we have no control over that.

Well…. they won’t be announced.

For one, it’s a privacy issue. It would be rude of us to suddenly post up everyone’s names without asking first.

For another thing, we really can’t e-mail you all individually, sort all that out, and post thousands of winners up online. It’s just not possible. Not even with the amazing abilities of the whole Worldbuilders staff- and besides, there’s more important work to be done.

If you win a prize, it will show up at your house. Keep in mind that we’re using a bulk shipping service to save money, so they’ll take a little longer to get to you. Also, you may have noticed there’s a pandemic, and that also can cause some really inconvenient delays. We will do everything we can to get the prizes in the mail as efficiently and safely as possible.

We are very much aware of the challenges involved in getting last year’s prizes out the door, as well as the Indiegogo prizes. We’ve learned a lot from both experiences, so…we’re ready to find entirely new challenges this year.

Fair warning: this is a random drawing, and therefore the odds are excruciatingly fickle, if not outright cruel at times. May they ever be in your favor.

Our advice is to assume you didn’t win, and then be pleasantly surprised if something shows up on your doorstep.

Nothing would make us happier. The fundraiser depends on everyone spreading the word. Talk us up on Twitter or re-tweet our upates. Post up a link on Facebook. Share a Worldbuilders post with all your friends. The more the merrier.

In fact, we’ve got an image library here with things you can post on your socials or site, as well as some suggested information. That being said, your social friends want to hear from you about things, not us, so it’s best to use your own words along with our images and tell them why you think this is worth their attention.

We always love it if you just link to the Worldbuilders website. Our main page gets updated whenever we get new prizes or something changes, so it’s best if people go there to get the newest information.

We spend a lot of time throughout the year making contact with people we hope will donate to the lottery, auctions, or the store. That said, we can’t get to everyone, and we’re likely to miss some really cool people.

For all we do, we’re still a pretty small organization. This means that sometimes, we don’t know if we should ask you. It’s not that we don’t love you, it’s that we wouldn’t want to bother you or become a hassle.

That said, if you’ve got a book or an ARC you’d like to send along, we’d love to have it. Just a few things, first:

  • If you’re the author, we’d love if you signed the books before sending them to us.
  • If you’re thinking of sending a collectible of some kind, please contact us first.
  • Please package the books carefully. It breaks our hearts when books arrive damaged.
  • Please include a packing slip with your contact information so we can send you a receipt.
  • It really would help us out if you included a letter with a little bio of yourself and a few blurbs or review quotes about your book(s)/creation(s). We can find reviews, but we’d rather use your favorites.

By all means. Have a bake sale. Search the couch cushions. Rally your book club or church group. Show people at work the website then pass the hat. Then get everything together and donate it here.

If you want to join the fun on a grander scale, hit our Team Page and under Start Fundraising, click the button that says, “Become a Fundraiser.” Follow the steps there to create an account and set up a Team Page of your own. We will still get names from any Teams that support Worldbuilders, so everyone is still entered in the lottery.

Purchases from our online store help Worldbuilders year-round, but they don’t directly add to the fundraiser total. Proceeds from the store do help cover the costs of shipping lottery prizes all around the world, and the costs of running the fundraiser itself. This allows us to donate 100% of what we raise during this fundraiser right to Heifer International.

Store sales help us with our other fundraising throughout the year, so even though buying geeky merchandise doesn’t add to the total raised, it allows us to give everything we can during all our fundraisers.

One of the best parts of the early fundraisers was that Pat offered to match donations. Ah, that sweet summer child; he had no idea how much money all of you would throw in the pot.

In a nutshell: Y’all broke the bank. As we’ve grown, we’ve raised more and more money, and it’s impossible for Pat alone to match all donations. In fact, we’ve officially passed the line where he could anymore. As failures go, this is the best one possible.

The good news is that the fundraiser is now big enough that other folks have stepped up so that we often have matching funds sometimes from other wonderful people who do this sort of thing anonymously. We can’t call them out, but we can say an enthusiastic “Thank you!

Meanwhile we’ve found other ways to steer extra cash toward Heifer.

With Humble Bundle, you can now choose which charity a portion of your money goes to, and we’re one of the options. We are also part of the eBay for Charity program, and we’re set up with Tiltify if you like to stream. The awesome folks at Goblin Bros donate a portion of all their sales to us, and they’ve got some awesome goods.

As an individual, Pat can’t match donations. But as an individual with a pretty decent organization behind him, he can tap into resources he never dreamed of eight years ago.

Does that sound as cool as Pat matching everything himself? No. Does Heifer still get all the money we raise during the fundraiser? Oh yes. And Worldbuilders-the-organization will be raising money for Heifer, Mercy Corps, and more proven charities all year.

All that said, if you or someone you know wants to help out by matching donations…you have our attention. You can contact us here, and we’d love to talk!

We are indeed! We’ve got the certificate to prove it, and that means your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. If you receive a prize, however, it is your responsibility to determine if that alters the way the donation appears on your taxes.

Yes! In fact, when you make your donation, there’s a simple and easy checkbox for you to be able to see if your company has a matching donation policy. Rules might vary from company to company, but the usual requirement for charitable matching is being a 501(c)(3) organization, which we are. If your company needs more information to approve the match, just contact us and we’ll hand over all our secrets. Or, at the very least, some general information about Worldbuilders.

Unfortunately, no. A lot of companies don’t process matches quickly enough to get to us before the end of the fundraiser, so the matching funds might not even reach us in time to go towards the fundraiser total (but don’t worry – Heifer still gets the money.) Rather than have some people miss out on extra Prize Draw entries because of their company’s schedule, we’ve just made a flat rule that company matches don’t count for the employee.

Well, first of all, remember that you aren’t donating an animal directly. Heifer International uses the funds we raise in whatever ways will best benefit the communities they serve. Yes, in some cases that is livestock, but in other cases it’s milk to drink, clean water, training in sustainable farming, or supporting women’s groups, just to name a few.

We don’t tell these communities “You need a chicken! Here!” We tell Heifer “We trust you to listen to these communities and help them get what they need for a better life…and here’s a bunch of geek-raised money to do it with!

If you’re still wondering about the livestock, though, we’ve gotten a response to these questions from Vicki Clarke, the Director of Philanthropy at Heifer.

Here’s what she said.

All of it, because separating “overhead” from the work being done is a false dichotomy. You can read about this in-depth here in Nonprofit Quarterly,  or there’s a great YouTube video from the Human Services Council pointing out the ridiculousness expectations often made of nonprofits.

That being said, Worldbuilders is very resourceful. We love the geek community, and they love us, and so there are donations made during the year, as well as purchases from Worldbuilders Market, that help us keep the lights on and provide a living wage for our small staff. It’s even let us branch out and do more, such as Operation Bookdrop 2020, the Project Hope Fundraiser in April 2020, and the Masked Hero Project.

That means that 100% of the money that you donate during the end-of-year fundraiser goes to Heifer International. We even make sure we cover the shipping costs for the Prize Draw, out of funds that we save during the rest of the year specifically for that purpose.

What does Heifer do with that money? Heifer is an award-winning charity for a reason. They’ve been doing good works for over 60 years. You can see some examples here.

 

This is a good question. Pat gave a long story about Batman as his answer back in 2008 on the blog. Feel free to read that, it’ll probably get a laugh.

The short answer is not right now. Not because your charity isn’t awesome, but because we can’t help every charity in the world. We’ve chosen Heifer for some good reasons after some serious research and are going to stick with them for now.