Please read the entire post before asking questions. If you have any questions about any of the topics in this post, other than questions concerning the charities selected, feel free to ask them in a comment to this post; if you have questions about the charities, please read the post here and ask your question there.
Note: None of the information below will apply to the Lightning Round or the Requests posts; all confirmations of donations in those posts are being done by the Offeror or the person filling the request(s).
What's the quick and dirty version of the closing/notification/donation/confirmati
The auction will close at noon Eastern Standard Time on January 20, 2010. About half an hour later, we will post to the comm and on our Twitter that Offerors can start notifying the winning bidder using the template below. In the afternoon of January 20 (EST) comm mods will also start notifying winning bidders - you can tell we're official by the shiny "You've won!" icons we will have!
Once you've been notified that you won, you can donate to any of the charities listed in heidi8's post here; if you wish to donate to one of the charities discussed in the comments, or to any other charity, you can do so if it is alright with the Offeror, but the Offeror will have to confirm your donation, as explained below.
Once you've made your donation, either confirm it directly with the Offeror or with the Comm Mods here, and the process of fulfilling your bid can begin. Offerors who are confirming donations will need to post here. In the case of Mod-confirmed donations, the Offerors will be informed so they can create/send/work on your winning item.
That's great! Nice plan! Now can we think this through?
(That's from Legally Blonde: The Musical.) Sure! Here's the longer and more meandering explanation of all that:
When the clock strikes noon, what will happen?
All comments/replies in this comm will be screened for approximately thirty minutes; this means that any bids placed after noon will not be visible, and will never be unscreened as they will not count.
After thirty minutes (although it may be as much as an hour), we will switch the settings so only comments on the Offering posts are screened and comments on posts like the Lightning Round and Charities will be visible when posted; we will unscreen any screened comments on the Lightning Round and Requests posts as quickly as possible.
This gives us a chance to shut down bidding rapidly. But because of the quirks of LJ, comments will be sent out even though they are screened; therefore, if you are an Offeror and get notification of a "bid" on your item that was made after noon, please disregard it.
How do I know whether I won?
Just after noon on the 20th, you can go back to the items you've bid on and determine whether you won based on these factors:
A. If the post offers just one item and you're the highest bidder, you've won.
B. If the post has more than one of the same item and your bid is in the top number of bids - eg. in the top three for a post with three items - you've won.
C. For posts with multiple items but more identical bids than the number of items, preference is given to earlier bids.
Note: We can tell whether bids have been edited; we will look to the time at which the post was edited to determine the time of bid.
How are you going to let winners know they've won?
There are two methods that we are going to use.
Either the Offeror can let the Winning Bidder know as explained below, or the Comm Mods will let the Winning Bidder know.
It is going to take the Comm Mods about 30 or so hours to get through all the winning bids - we'll comment to let you know you've won, remind you to donate if you haven't already, and tell you how to confirm your donation. But Offerors can help out and cut that time down considerably by notifying their Winning Bidder themselves.
If the Offeror wants to notify the Winning Bidder, the Offeror must reply to the comment by the Winning Bidder that contains the winning bid and incorporate this template (although you can say more, too):
If a Mod has already notified your winning bidder, it's okay to also reply with any sort of informal communication, such as:
"Hi Awesome Winner, please drop me an email/PM/comment on my LJ with your chosen fandom(s), pairing(s) and/or prompts so I can start writing your fic!' etc."
...or whatever fits the situation, as opposed to also replying with a templated notice - although you can use the template if you wish.
If the Offeror notifies at the same time as a Mod - don't freak out! There's nothing wrong with a double-notification, and it's fine if there's accidentally more than one. But please do not try to notify the Winning Bidder by replying to a Comm Mod's reply as the Winning Bidder may not see it.
I won! How do I donate?
You can donate via any of the links in the post here. As it says there, we will confirm donations to any national or local Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Magen David, OXFAM, UNICEF and/or Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, as well as any donations made to Yéle Haiti, or by purchasing the Help Haiti virtual gift sold by LiveJournal will be Confirmable, or made at Starbucks in North America (Starbucks takes cash for donations, and no purchase is necessary).
If you're in the US or Canada you can walk into a Starbucks and donate up to $249.99; you can use cash and they will give you a receipt like the kind you get with any purchase
If you're in the UK, you can donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee at any high street bank; again, you can use cash.
If you have a PayPal account, you can donate by purchasing Help Haiti virtual gifts sold by LiveJournal to the amount of your donation (rounded up) - in other words, if you are to donate fifteen dollars, you can purchase five Help Haiti virtual gifts. You can send them to the help_haiti comm or to anyone you wish.
Please use Google or the search engine of your choice, or visit Charity Navigator if you're in the US, to research any charity/agency/organization you are considering donating to, so you can be fully informed about their practices and policies.
When do I have to donate by?
By The Time heidi8 Awakens On February 5, 2010, which is probably around 7:00 AM (EST). Of course, the sooner you donate, the better, as the Offeror isn't supposed to start work on it or ship it until the donation confirmation is in.
OMG! I donated before bidding closed! Does it count?
If you didn't use that donation receipt as confirmation for something else, it will count as long as you donated after January 12, 2010.
Squee! I won multiple things! Do I have to donate for each separately?
No, you can do one donation to cover everything if you want to - you don't have to! If you cc any of the Offerors whose items are covered by Winning Bids donated on the same receipt, you have to cc all of the Offerors whose items are covered by Winning Bids donated on the same receipt. But if your winning bid's receipt doesn't include certain Offerors because they were, say, covered by v-gift donations, they do not need to be cc-ed. you must cc all of the Offerors whose items you won, as well as the Mods at helphaiti.lj at gmail.com. If you have an concern with this process, we can work around it - just email the Mods.
I've donated! How do I confirm that I've donated?
When you donate you must get a receipt. If you donate electronically, it should be emailed to you; you can screencap the on-screen confirmation or the one that is emailed to you. If you donate in person, get a written receipt; if you have a written receipt please write your LJ username and/or email address on it, then scan or photograph it. If you donated via text messaging, confirmation should be in your online phone management system; please screencap the confirmation.
You can confirm your donation by forwarding the screencap, scan or photo.
a. If you don't wish your offerer to have access to any of the unblanked information on your confirmation (eg. initials, part of RL name, etc.), please confirm to the Comm Mods.
b. if you wish to pay for multiple bids with one donation, please confirm to the Comm Mods AND the Offerers if you're comfortable confirming to them,
c. if you're donating to a charity approved by your Offerer but not on the Comm Mods' list, please only confirm to the Offerer,
d. if you're confirming a single payment that covers a single winning bid, and are comfortable with your Offerer seeing all non-blanked info on the confirmation, please confirm to the Offerer.
In your confirmation, please include the URL(s) for you winning bid(s) and the amount(s) of the winning bid(s).
We are expecting a big influx of confirmations in the first few days after the Auction closes, so don't be surprised if the help_haiti mods don't reply to your confirmation for a day or two. If we haven't replied after three days, please send it again, and put RESEND in the subject.
If you confirm to the Offeror, he or she can start as soon as they get the confirmation - but we would really appreciate it if she or he would let us know here that the donation has been confirmed.
I'm concerned about personally identifying information! Can I redact anything on my electronic receipt?
Definitely. If it's an electronic receipt, we need to be able to see the name of the entity you donated to and their address, the date/time of donation, the amount donated, a confirmation number and either (a) the first letter of your first and last name, or (b) your entire first name. Instructions on how to redact or black out personally identifying information can be found here.
WHEW! Lots of information, we know. But everyone has been wonderufully self-organized so far, and we just need to get past these little complexities to end this first round of the help_haiti auction successfully.
THANK YOU ALL so much for all your help, your offers, your bids and your support!