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Last week it was Red Nose Day, a UK-wide fundraising event organized by Comic Relief every two years. A combination of television programs, local community events, social media and Drupal websites were used to raise £75 million ($113 million) in one day. On Red Nose Day everyone is encouraged to cast inhibitions aside, put on a Red Nose and do something funny for money. The money is used to make a difference to the lives of countless people across Africa and the UK who are facing terrible injustice or living in desperate poverty.
Rednoseday.com and Comicrelief.com are built in Drupal and the Acquia team have been supporting their talented web team with Drupal expertise and use of the Acquia Cloud to ensure a stable and massively scalable platform.
During the live show there were massive peaks in website traffic and every hour there were special heartfelt appeals within the program which results in a frenzy of donations. To deal with the sudden, massive spikes (they call them 'slams'), we had to employ 24 load balancers, 28 web heads and 2 database servers. We had an additional 12 load balancers and 2 web nodes ready for failover. This happens so quickly that it would not give you enough time to spin up additional servers once the traffic starts to ramp up. Along with the hardware, Acquia had 11 people helping with the infrastructure the night of the event.
As you can imagine, there is nothing like a live, six-hour televised national charity event where millions of dollars are at risk, to put fear into the hearts of any web team. To be able to do help inspiring charities such as Comic Relief gives the entire Acquia team an exceptional sense of accomplishment. I am very proud of their dedication and commitment to this project.
In fact, we've been doing our bit with some Harlem Shake videos from both our Reading (UK) and Burlington (US) offices to raise donations. It's not too late to help this tremendously worthwhile and life changing cause: https://www.rednoseday.com/donate.
The Kofi Annan Foundation is using Drupal. Kofi Annan was the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In 2001 Kofi Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Since leaving the United Nations, the Kofi Annan Foundation supports Kofi Annan in his current work to press for better policies to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.
Mercycorps.org just brought in more than $4 million USD for Haiti relief. They used the boost module to handle the tremendous flood of traffic that they received the last couple of weeks. Over $500K USD of the money was raised through Personal fundraising pages, which are nodes that donors create and then send to their friends. They had over 2,000 people sign up for Mercy Corps (Drupal) accounts and create Personal fundraising pages. The fundraising pages are still going strong and raising thousands of dollars for Haiti relief every day.
The site was built by their in-house web team with support from the Portland Drupal community.
Stories like this make me want to work on Drupal. It is absolutely rewarding to see that Drupal can help enable organizations like Mercy Corps. In addition to indirect help through Drupal, my wife and I have also made a monetary contribution for the victims in Haiti.