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OCTOBER 24, 2009   

(Free) gifts

Screenshot of wcpn pledge drive websiteI made it through 9 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes of WCPN's 10-day October pledge drive before I called. Crass as it sounds, it was the gifts that made me do it.

Usually we make all our charitable contributions at the end of the year, sending checks to a couple dozen organizations just before the New Year holiday. Last year we sent WCPN about a hundred bucks. Today I pledged quite a bit more and think I got a good deal.

The major persuader was the prepaid mail-in box for the ScanCafe photo scanning service, given for a $150 donation. I've got hundreds—probably thousands—of photos from our wedding, family vacations, walks through England, walks through the Flats, years and years of memories. I've thought about having them scanned to help preserve them but more importantly to make them usable in video and interactive work.

I checked ScanCafe.com as the pledge drive was winding down, and after a quick look at their services and price ($149.99 for the Gift Box) I grabbed the phone and called. The $150 is money I'd have spent sooner or later for the scans, and now public radio and I both benefit.

Afterwards I went back to the Web to learn more about ScanCafe and found a helpful discussion at PhotoNet. I feel a bit disloyal, knowing that ScanCafe does the work in India while competitor SlideConverter does it in the US of A. The price difference ($.40 vs. $.25) is significant, though, as is the fact that SlideConverter's 300 ppi resolution is half that of ScanCafe's. And in this case, at least, my dollars are helping support National Public Radio.

Feeling generous I added another smaller pledge to get a set of Rick Steve's DVDs that will appear under the Christmas tree for Joanne this year. Much better than running around the shopping mall on December 24th.

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