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A Fandom Auction to help Haiti recover

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Update on the Auction Closing Procedures
_Help Haiti, Help Haiti
heidi8 wrote in help_haiti
We haven't figured them all out yet - and nothing below applies to the Lightning Round. We are still testing some processes and procedures but we do know a few things:

1. 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).

2. Donations to certain other entities/charities/organizations will also be accepted, but we have not yet finalized the list of said entities/charities/organizations.

3. Any entities/charities/organizations requested by the Offeror whose item(s) for which you are the Winning Bidder will be Confirmable by the Offeror, even if said entities/charities/organizations are not listed on the comm's Confirmable list. In other words, if the Offeror has asked for donations to a specific charity, the Winning Bidder can donate to that charity, or to any of the Listed entities/charities/organizations.

4. You will be able to confirm your bid to the help_haiti mods if you donate to one of the Confirmable entities/charities/organizations. You can also confirm to the Offeror if the Offeror is okay with that, and we will ask that you confirm to the Offeror if you donate to an entity/charity/organization that is not on the Confirmable list.

5. We will have instructions tomorrow on how to mask your personally identifying information. We ask that if you confirm a donation made online to the help_haiti mods, you not mask your country, your email address or LJ username/OpenID, and either (a) the first letter of your first and last name or (b) your entire first name. Please do not use the "blur" feature, as it reportedly can be un-blurred; striking through your information with a rectangle or pen tool is not as reversible.

5b. We note that Starbucks in North America is facilitating donations to Yele and the American Red Cross; donations can be made in cash. To confirm donations via Starbucks, all you'll need is a scan or photo of your receipt with your email address written on it in ink.

6. Please do not list new offers after midnight Eastern Standard Time (US) on Wednesday, January 20. We understand that we initially said that we would not accept new threads after 6 AM that day and we will not block new offers made in that six hour period, but it would be a lot easier on us if people did not post new offers then. We will be hosting another auction in February, so if you didn't get to Offer something this time, you definitely can then! Plus, our UNICEF page will be open for donations at least through the spring.

7. [Added at 5:00 PM EST on January 18, 2010] If you've won multiple auctions, you will be able to donate in one lump sum to one charity/organization/entity if you want to; you will be able to confirm your donation by notifying the Comm Mods who will then notify the Offerors, or you will be able to confirm your donation by notifying all of the Offerors whose items are covered by the donation in one email that is cc-ed to each of the relevant Offerors, or via a GoogleWave that is visible by each of the relevant Offerors.

We know that many of you will probably have questions about the auction closing/bid confirmation procedures, so please feel free to ask them here! We are still working out the details and testing some technical things, though, so not every answer is, as yet, known.

Also, please note that winning bidders will be notified on January 20 and 21 - we have to do this manually, so it is going to take some time. If you haven't been notified by 8:00 AM Greenwich Mean Time on January 22, you can let us know, but please do not ask if you're the winner before that time.

I'm wondering about that too, mostly for boring tax reasons.

Will the works-creators get some sort of notification of who has won their work and that the donation has been confirmed?

Or will the winner have a... (this sounds weird) some kind of receipt from the comm mods so that we know our recipient has done their thing so we can start doing ours?


If you want people to confirm directly to you, you can tell them that once we've done the "Hey, You've Won!" replies or emails (that's one thing we're still trying to decide on).

If you want people to confirm to us, we will then email or PM you, or comment on the thread, to let you know that the donation has been confirmed. The first one will be more rapid than the latter.

Edited at 2010-01-18 10:05 pm (UTC)

Please consider Partners in Health for your list of acceptable charities. Their website is www.pih.org

Seconded! I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this organization, even first-hand accounts from friends about their work.

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I am a little confused. Are you going to be posting an easy step by step way of donating and confirming the auctions? I am a little auction illiterate and need a little help. Thank you for doing this. I think it is wonderful!

Yes, but we are not quite there yet. I think we are going to need a flow chart to explain this, but since everything is so manual, there's not going to be an easy, one-click way to do it. It's kind of like the internet circa 2002...

My husband's work offered to match donations, which means that the donation would not be in my name because they have to be register on his. Would this be a problem? his donation and my donation would be lump together. or do I have to make one separate donation on my name using my winning bid amount?

If you send it from either the same email listed in your bid or via the LJ PM system from your own LJ user-ID then you'll be fine. We aren't looking to real names for anything, to protect people's privacy.

And it's never a problem if the donation amount is more than your winning bid - we only worry if it's less.

Hurrah for your husband's work, too!

Charity recommendations

I'd like to recommend also the International Rescue Committee (EXCELLENT rating at Charity Navigator in terms of how much money goes to the cause) and anyone can text "Haiti" to 25383 to donate $5 to the IRC.

Partners in Health has a great rating as well and has been in Haiti for ages and has been working since the day of the quake.

Some of us have already donated for "buy it now" offers. Do you think we can make a post that we can comment at with all verifications?

Also, would there be a way (or post) to keep track of who has received their items from the offerer?

And, just say, some person wins three bids for $20 each. What's going to stop them from using their one time $20 donation confirmation as proof of donation on all three items? I think that the multiple payments lumped together is a bad idea because of this. Perhaps you can track donation ID's? Just a thought...

Not sure about how to incorporate the Buy It Now aspects into this, but will ponder it.

We will also set up a Squee Post where people can post links to the items they've received (or photos of the items, or the actual items in the case of small icon sets, art or vids) but that won't be before next week.

The reason we are requiring that a Winner cc all the Offerees of the items that she has donated because of is so they can see the total and make sure it covers all their Offerings.

Donating to a charity in The Netherlands would be easiest for me, but if I decide to donate to a US charity I'm limited to using Paypal. So far I've only found a few that accept it.

Save the Children among them. It would be pretty helpful for those of us who can only use paypal if it or another charity that accepts paypal was added to the list.

MercyCorps also takes Paypal and is on the list - it's the charity I've used for all my donations for the Lightning Round so far.

Is there a time limit on when I have to make my donation if I hypothetically win? I am leaving for vacation on the night of the 20th and I put a couple bids in.

I was wondering if I should go back and rescind my bids, because I won't be home. And I won't have access to email at all while I'm gone either.


Can you have anyone keep an eye on it for you? The rule is, the Offeror can't start work on it until you pay - but the deadline for paying is probably going to be the first week of February before we go ask the next bidder if they want it at their bid. How long will you be traveling for, if we don't get it to you before you leave?

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We can't do mass freezes - we are going to do mass screenings instead. But yes, anything that ends with something higher than XX:00:00, whatever the time zone, will not count. In other words, bid at XX:59:59 and you win, even if a bid placed at XX:00:08 makes it on.

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Yes, I know, and it's one of the reasons that Yele wasn't initially on our list. But Wyclef Jean and Yele are now partnering with Starbucks, and people have been asking for a way to donate in-person without their RL name being on the confirmation, so I'm hoping that (a) people research/google who they are donating to, and (b) the scrutiny of Yele makes them more responsible going forward.

Is there any chance you could post, say, a timeline or sorts? Of what to do first, then next, then next, etc. Because this is all very confusing for me to read.

When we post the final explanation of the Closing, Donating and Confirmation procedures, it will be with either a timeline or a flow chart. We're just not at that point yet.

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I think you have strayed onto the wrong post, Euphoria!!

I kind of hate to bring this up, but . . . has there been any thought given to the possibility that one person might win multiple auctions, then try to use the same donation to claim all of them? I don't mean making a donation that equals the sum total of all the winning bids, because that would obviously be okay, but rather making one donation of, say, $25 and then using that same donation over and over again to claim more than one winning $25 bid.

I know that 99.99% of the people here would never ever do such a thing, but there's always that .01%. However, I also realize that it would be a massive logistical undertaking to try to track and reconcile multiple wins across auctions, and it might not be worth it for that .01%. But since you seem to be developing a system, I thought I'd ask.

I'm using this icon in the "as if anyone would try *that*!" sort of way...
Yes, we have thought about it, and that's why we are going to ask that all winning bidders of multiple items who want to have the Offerors confirm their donation cc all the Offerors, so they all know that the total is meant to be shared amongst them all. If we do the confirming it's a little safer but will take a little longer to get the confirming done. We have a few spot-checks that we'll be putting in place on a random basis, too.

We also, btw, will know the total amount that should be donated and we will make it to that level. But I don't want to see any individuals screwing over people who have lost everything because that is just tacky.

This may have been answered, so I apologize if I am causing you to repeat yourself, but will the offeror be notified by you (the almight comm mods) of the person who won the auction and verification that their donation was made? Or how does that work?

Working on spelling out the details, but the answer will basically be, either the Offeror can notify the winning bidder, or the comm mods will notify the winning bidder, that said winning bidder has, well, won.

The winning bidder can then confirm to *either* the Offeror(s) or the comm mods or both that s/he has made his/her donation. It will be up to each individual bidder, because it's the bidder's privacy concerns that we want to look to. Yes, some portion of the name must be visible, but not all of it, just FYI.

: offers you popcorn