Although Yandex rarely engages in straightforward charity work, the company believes its role as the largest web portal in Russia, in itself, serves a specific social function. Yandex believes that the services it provides, such as exact search, are socially indispensable. These services are available for all Internet users, and allow people to access necessary information, socialize, work, and relax.
Information about all services that Yandex provides, is available here in Russian only. The section below provides an introduction to the Yandex-sponsored projects that are in line with the company's social investment philosophy and are helping to make the Internet more accessible.
Yandex offers academic competitions in order to generate interest in information search technologies on the part of academics and educators. Information search is a key research area at Yandex and the company is looking to increase the number of students studying in this field.
Yandex has hosted and sponsored The Internet Mathematics research contest since 2005.
Contestants submit project proposals in the field of information search and related disciplines. The winners, decided by the contest committee, receive a grant to carry out their research projects. In 2006, the contest awarded a total of 5 million roubles (approximately $185,000) to winning contestants.
Yandex also held its first contest for academic programs in information search and related disciplines last year. In this contest, the top eight winners shared one million roubles (approximately $37,000) in prize money.
The winner's research papers are available to anyone interested free of charge and Yandex encourages professors and educators to use them in their classrooms and syllabuses.
In the summer of 2007, Yandex announced the opening of their two-year Master's-level program to train students on how to apply data processing and analysis to the Internet and Internet search algorithms. Courses are offered in a variety of subjects such as automated indexing and information search technologies as well as complex methods of data processing (aggregation, automated classification, facts extraction, decision-making theory, etc.) and the application of cutting-edge scientific models and methods.
Classes are led by Dr. Ilya Muchnik, Ph.D., a world class scientist and professor of computer science at Rutgers University, and a Moscow-based academic staff as well as leading international experts.
The goal of this academic program is to give students a top-notch, practical education where they can develop the talents and knowledge that can immediately be applied upon entering the workforce.
Yandex helps support the largest number of student and university olympiads in Russia. The company's focus is on the olympiads inYandex's priority disciplines — mathematics, linguistics and programming.
Since 2004, Yandex has held practical seminars in Russia and Ukraine on how to effectively use online advertising. The seminars are led by Yandex experts and participation in most seminars is free of charge.
In 2006, Yandex started a large-scale program to build an electronic reference library.
The program is aimed at electronically compiling the most authoritative and popular reference books and encyclopedias, many of which are not yet available online.
Family search is a search function that allows parents to protect their children and themselves from adult content.
To help blind and visually challenged users better surf the Internet, Yandex provides for specialized interfaces designed to work with large fonts and text to speech software.
For the new school year 2007, Yandex launched the homepage for schoolchildren. Largely, the goal of the project is to provide all school students and their teachers with a convenient internet entry. The page looks much like www.yandex.ru but also features “family search”, individual blocks for encyclopedias and translation dictionaries, a specially complied directory of sites, science news, games, tips, and tests.
Besides, every school in Russia and CIS has now an opportunity to make its own homepage at the project and to stream there their own news and events.
Yandex supports the charity project Wse-wmeste (translated as All-together), an umbrella project for several large public funds. The project's homepage has information about those who need help, as well as information on various charity funds.
Wse-wmeste does not focus on one particular cause, they post information about young orphans, senior citizines suffering severe disabilities, handicapped, or homeless persons. Anyone who needs help can apply.