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Lifetime Subscriptions Auction FAQ

What is this offer, in a nutshell?

We are auctioning two lifetime subscriptions, through Amazon.com, to all three of our journals: MWJ, the weekly journal for serious Macintosh users, plus MDJ (the daily version) and MMJ (the monthly version). All proceeds after required fees will go to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, to help build the memorial scheduled to open 2000.04.19, the 5th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Why an auction?

It will cost nearly $30 million to construct the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Thanks to public and private donations, the foundation is over two-thirds of the way to that goal, but they need help. We felt that an auction would allow subscribers to gain all of our journals with one easy payment and help the world remember what happened in our own backyard on 1995.04.19. We are hoping your generosity will help the memorial more than setting a fixed price could.

Since MDJ and MMJ aren't yet in production, what does a lifetime subscription really mean right now?

Lifetime subscribers automatically get MWJ, our current publication. MDJ is in private testing (in text-only format with a slightly irregular schedule), and lifetime subscribers are welcome to participate in that testing if they so wish. Lifetime subscribers will also be welcome to test MMJ when it's ready, though we anticipate only a short testing period.

Are the winning bids tax-deductible?

First off, we're only speaking about US taxes, something we barely understand, so we're not even attempting statements on non-US taxes.

That said, no, the winning bids are not tax-deductible. The people placing winning bids will receive "goods or services" in exchange for their money; namely, subscriptions to all three of our journals for as long as they are published. That disqualifies them from being charitable contributions.

(For the cynics among us: yes, technically the donations we make to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation from the winning bids are tax-deductible for us, but we also have to count the fees as subscription income, so it comes out a wash.)

How can I make fully tax-deductible donations to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation?

You can find instructions for pledging to the Memorial Foundation online.

If I get all three journals, can I send them to different addresses?

Yes. You might want MDJ for yourself, MWJ for your bosses (or employees), and MMJ for your mom. The only restriction is that these are individual subscriptions, licensed for up to three readers each.

Can I get a refund later if I don't want the newsletters anymore?

No; the proceeds aside from fees go directly to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation. We won't be holding your money so we can't refund it. This offer is aimed at people who know they'll want our newsletters, now and in the future.

Can I transfer a lifetime subscription to someone else?
Certainly. We'll want to verify that with you, but you can have the subscription sent wherever you choose, as long as it only goes to the licensed number of readers (three each).

Is this an offer you intend to repeat?
We are considering similar charitable auctions on an annual basis. However, we have not decided that we will do this, and we cannot promise there will ever be more lifetime subscription offers. (They short-circuit future revenue for one-time gains; the longer we publish, the more expensive to us the offers become, and we intend to publish for a long time—between MWJ and MDJ, we've already published the equivalent of over five thousand pages of news and information.) If you are interested in a lifetime subscription, we encourage you to participate in this offer. It may not be repeated, and it's for a very good cause.

Why the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation?
We are an Oklahoma company, based near Oklahoma City. We wish to think globally but act locally; we wish to support important causes. This is a small way we can do this.

Is there any significance to announcing this offer on 1999.11.26?
The 168 Days campaign honors the 168 people who lost their lives in the bombing, one per day, during each of the 168 days leading up to the fifth anniversary of the bombing. 1999.11.26 is the day honoring Virginia Thompson, a friend and neighbor, and the only resident of El Reno, Oklahoma, who lost her life that day.

You can read a personal essay from our publisher if you wish.

What if I have more questions?
Bring 'em on! We welcome your questions or comments at <168days@gcsf.com>.

© 1999, GCSF, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.