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Articles : Yahoo! Small Business and Redcross.org Deliver During Disaster



Just a few short weeks ago, hurricane Katrina stunned the Gulf coast with its power and ferocity. As President George Bush aptly stated, ''millions of lives were changed in a day by a cruel and wasteful storm''.

The resulting recovery and charitable giving efforts were equally unprecedented. As compassionate persons from around the globe stepped up to help, the web site at www.redcross.org began to funnel donations directly to those in need.

At the peak of activity, the redcross.org donation site was receiving 1.7 million page views and 512,000 unique visitors in a single day. The overflow of traffic could potentially have overwhelmed the site, if not for a different type of charitable giving - the hardware, software and human resources to keep the site live and accepting the critical donations. This task was generously undertaken by Yahoo! Small Business.

According to Jimmy Duvall, Director of E-Commerce Products, Yahoo! Small Business ''The site was hosted on the Yahoo! Merchant Solutions platform, the same systems that are offered to over 35,000 Yahoo! Small Business customers. All transactions were handled via the Merchant Solutions platform with funds going directly into the merchant account provide by the Red Cross.''

A recent tally put the contributions of the donation site hosted by Yahoo! at over $55.5 million in donations from over 390,000 separate donors.

The Redcross.org donation site itself was served via the load balanced Yahoo! Merchant Solution platform. Yahoo! uses theFreeBSD operating system for the site operating system. Three separate storefronts were used to distribute the backend credit card processing. Minimal resources were required to build and manage the site. One person handled virtually all aspects of thesite with operational monitoring provided by the Yahoo! Small Business Operations and Engineering teams.

According to Meg Garlinghouse, Director, Community Affairs with Yahoo!, ''Yahoo! has had a long standing relationship with the Red Cross. During 9/11 the Red Cross contacted us because they were having difficulty sustaining the traffic to their site generally and specifically to the donation engine. That was the first time that we used our Yahoo! Store functionality to process donations for them as well as three other organizations.''

''We have worked closely together with the Red Cross since our inception 10 years ago. During non-disaster times, we support them with general advertising on our site. This advertising is increased during any disaster - small or large. The Internet has played a critical role in times of disaster - not only for fundraising but also for providing critical information and also connecting loved ones'', Garlinghouse added.

Web hosting analyst, Derek Vaughan, with TechPad Agency commented, ''It is critical that the web hosting industry respond with full force to support those in the areas affected by Katrina. Yahoo! is setting the standard for our industry to follow in this regard.''

The Hosting News applauds Yahoo! Small Business for their outstanding contribution to the Katrina relief efforts. To find out more about how you can help the victims of Katrina, please visit: http://www.redcross.org/. For further information on Yahoo's view of corporate social responsibility and nonprofit partnerships, please visit: http://brand.yahoo.com/forgood.

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