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One+One – a Blockchain-based charity marketplace

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Hi all, I’m Michael Paley, founder of the charity marketplace "One+One". We launched very recently, on August 15, 2017, and decided to start a blog on Habra to introduce our project to the IT community, as well as the field of philanthropy in which it operates.We hope to get feedback from developers, entrepreneurs, and inspire others to create their own IT projects in the charity or social field.
"One+One" is an online platform that brings together charity stores, socially responsible retailers, charitable foundations, and all those who want to do good deeds by buying and selling things. Here any user can put his or her things for sale or buy things from other people or stores. Money from the purchase will go to one of the charities connected to us. Which fund the money will go to, decides the one who puts the thing. If he doesn’t, the buyer decides at the time of purchase.
One+One - a Blockchain-based charity marketplace
Charity auctions have been known since time immemorial. Until recently, it was the business of rich people. But at the beginning of the 20th century the first charity stores appeared, in which people of all walks of life began to participate.
The most famous example is the organization Goodwill , consisting of thousands of charity stores located in the United States and a dozen other countries, with an annual turnover of several billion dollars. And in Europe, there have been online aggregators of charity stores for a long time.
One+One - a Blockchain-based charity marketplace
Over the past 10 years, similar projects have also appeared in Russia. One of the first in 2010 launched store "Thank you!" in St. Petersburg, now a mini-network of four stores. A little later, in 2014, there appeared Charity Shop. in Moscow, which is also a small chain.
There are also the first online charity stores in Russia, for example, a wonderful organization "Legko-Legko." But even they only work with one particular foundation and don’t allow people and regular stores to put things on their platform on their own by participating in charitable activities. We decided to give people and businesses that opportunity by using modern technology.

How we came up with the idea of an online charity platform

The project "One+One" appeared in my mind while I was still working in the banking sphere. It was there that I first encountered blockchain, and at the same time I was asked to help with a charity project for orphanages. Thus, I, who had previously avoided "close" contact with charity (because I did not fully understand the mechanisms of charitable foundations), but who regularly donated money, got the idea of combining modern technology and charity. Only it was not clear, where exactly they intersect the best and can give the greatest effect.
Why did we choose the field of charity? First of all, because this is the part of life that everyone needs and understands. If in other social directions that we had to deal with before (culture, history, art, and improvement of the quality of life of the country’s inhabitants), projects may be aimed only at certain groups of people, then charity is an all-embracing notion, which finds a resonance in every heart.
We began to think about where in this area it is best to apply modern technology to bring it to a fundamentally new qualitative level. We studied the market and saw that there are charity stores that have already proved their profitability, but for some reason so far they are limited to narrowly focused activities in favor of a particular charity foundation. Why not work with all existing foundations? Besides, all the charity stores work mainly with individuals who donate their items to the store in order for it to sell them, but there are also many regular stores that could also give part of the proceeds from the sale of their items to charity.
One+One - a Blockchain-based charity marketplace
So in March 2017 we came up with the idea of a blockchain-based charity trading platform that brings together a variety of charities, socially oriented commercial stores, and people who are interested in the idea of "easy" charity, when you just have to buy the thing you like and already help someone.
We conducted a survey among our potential audience and found that 67% of users are willing to give things to charity and buy them with our online service.

Command and run project

Five people worked on the detailed development of the idea, which became the founders of the project. For a long time we were united by various joint projects. For example, before "One+One", we launched the "Together" app, which solved the same problems as "Dobrodel". Before that, we helped the "Immortal Regiment" project. The roles in the new project were divided between us as follows: project manager, technical director, marketing director, head of working with payment systems, operations manager.
One+One - a Blockchain-based charity marketplace
We created a prototype of the project during the first month, and thanks to this version we were able to attract friendly investment. Within three months, we began connecting charities, and in August we launched the official version of One+One. At the end of September we attracted new investments, by October we connected retail, and by November we launched the auction mechanism.
Now the project is working on the order of 25 people. In addition to the founders, it is primarily 10 developers, divided into two groups: the first deals with the marketplace, and the second with the blockchain. Other groups are testers, a system administrator, an analyst and designer, client and operations managers, a communications manager, an SMM manager, a lawyer, an accountant and others.

Technological stack

The One+One platform is deployed based on the LAMP stack, on the Symfony framework, with Nginx as the front-end controller.
Users interact with a secure transaction. A secure transaction scheme in favor of a third party (a charitable foundation in our case) was specially developed for One+One at Yandex.Money. We are very grateful for their cooperation and the API provided to us.
One+One - a Blockchain-based charity marketplace
All transactions made through the site, are recorded in Blockchain Emercoin is used as the blockchain platform. We chose this technology because we see it as one of our goals to make the reporting of charitable foundations completely transparent. In addition, we have already begun creating the Association of Charitable Foundations on blockchain. In our opinion, such a solution will allow, at least :

  • Remove unscrupulous foundations and "one-day funds" from charity,
  • to attract to the charitable sphere those people who have not donated because of their distrust of charitable foundations,
  • Redistribute the donation market to companies willing to be transparent to donors.

We will devote a separate material to the issue of blockchain in charity, it is a very big and interesting topic.

Customers, users, partners

The main clients our service is designed to help raise money for good causes – charitable foundations. We already have more than 20 funds But there will be more (there are a lot of people who want to get involved). At the same time we pay special attention to the transparency and integrity of the fund, so we have an agreement with the Russian representative office of United Way, which helps with the verification of organizations wishing to connect to the site.
We have already had our first successes. For example, the "Home with Lighthouse" children’s hospice was able to raise more than 300, 000 rubles with the help of our service.
One+One - a Blockchain-based charity marketplace
The main users of "One+One" are divided into two groups: the first group – people who put up their things for charity sale, and the second – those who buy these things for themselves. The one who exhibits an item, assigns a price to it, as well as specifies the fund, to which the money from the sale will go. But you can not specify a fund, then the buyer does it. All communication is done at our marketplace
We also work with stores, which exhibit their products in our shop, and part of the proceeds are transferred to charities, which are connected to us. The store itself sets the percentage of sales that will go to charity, usually it’s 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25%. The store can choose the beneficiary (in case the company management has a specific preference for the charity or foundation) or leave the choice to the customer.
Many people doubted that a business could even be interested in participating in a project like this. But only for the first month, with no additional client work, 6 stores connected to us and are already selling their products. Willing to connect a lot, because the advantages are obvious. First, of course, is the opportunity to earn extra money by using One+One as an agency platform for sales. And this is good. Secondly, the reputation. The more ambitious the company, the more attention it pays to social responsibility, and the image in this area must be built on real cases with real partners, and our platform is a useful tool for this.
One+One - a Blockchain-based charity marketplace
Separately, we work with famous people who donate their items for sale with the charity auction Thanks in large part to our partner Share the Good among the stars who placed their items on the site are such people as Polina Gagarina, Chulpan Khamatova, Maria Sharapova, Andrei Kirilenko, Maxim Potashev, Andrei Makarevich, and many others.
We don’t charge charities for connecting to Blockchain. Our only monetization channel is the commission from sales through the online platform, which is 7%. We didn’t make a high commission for ethical reasons, and for the same reasons we don’t set ourselves high salaries and don’t give away advertising budgets. That said, we hope that over time, we will be able to significantly reduce or even do away with this commission altogether.
Doing good deeds is easy – that’s what we want to show. And it’s also important to get away from "pity-pressure" charity, which manipulates people’s emotions, and show that each of us can help. "One+One" allows us to change the world and help without sacrificing ourselves.

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