DonorSearch is the first Russian project that applies modern IT approaches to the donor movement. A site, mobile apps, and databases—the load on our platform grows every day. And the nature of our work requires us to be online at all times. Selectel gives us a reliable infrastructure, and with it confidence that we can bring our ideas to life.
Founder and CEO, DonorSearch
IT social project for blood donations
Russia does not have enough blood donors. Today, when the worldwide standard is 40 out of every 1000 individuals, Russia has less than 20. DonorSearch is changing the situation for the better by bringing modern technology to its traditionally conservative field and Selectel volunteers to support this vital project.
The idea behind DonorSearch came from a student from Tatarstan, Ruslan Shekurova, in 2010. The project started with a group on the social network VKontakte, where people who needed blood could meet potential donors. Over the next six years, it grew into an online platform that has connected 45 thousand volunteers all across Russia. Each month, the project’s database receives up to 100 announcements looking for donors. The majority of these find a response.
DonorSearch’s mission is to provide the country with blood donors to save thousands of lives. “We shoot to make sure that blood banks get as much blood as they need every day. Additionally, the blood types and donations should meet the bank’s needs,” explains Ruslan Shekurov. According to him, there’s only one way to achieve this: by involving more people in the donation movement and motivating them to regularly give blood. This would be impossible without fully understanding his audience.
The project presents itself as a data analysis factory, which interprets the behavior of donors both online and off, evaluates different motivational methods, and tests new hypotheses and functions. Its second function is collecting and systematizing scattered data about hospital needs.
Lots of calculations requires a high-performance infrastructure. This is why dedicated servers built on Intel® processors became the optimal foundation for the DonorSearch architecture. In addition to its power, this solution is highly reliable: servers are hosted in Tier III data centers.
DonorSearch’s activities depend entirely on external support. “We tried crowdfunding, but that didn’t work out. We met with venture funds, but with no result. Investors admitted that what we’re doing is important, but they’re not interested in social projects that don’t monetize. DonorSearch is now developing thanks to grants and donations from sponsors.
However, this isn’t always financial support. It’s important for us to encourage donors immaterially: discounts on gadgets, invitations to the movies or bowling---there are a lot of options,” explains Shekurov. The project is hosted by Selectel free of charge.
The DonorSearch team has managed to create a convenient environment for donors and recipients. They personalized the line of communication, which has made finding donors faster. The project now includes blood banks, hospitals, foundations, etc. Experts have noted the innovation and success of DonorSearch: recently, the project made the shortlist for the international 2016 Eventiada Awards. DonorSearch plans to grow their donor base up to 6 million people and expand their borders to include CIS countries.