Make Your Website Accessible

User-friendly interface.

I had the opportunity to work with an incredible fundraiser at a nonprofit I used to work at.  And one of the things he taught me (among many others) was that colors aren’t visible to everyone the same way.

He showed me how, on our website, the two colors used in our organization’s marketing were difficult for him to see.

We realized that our fundraising could reach so many more people who cared about our mission if we made a few adjustments.

Here are some beginning ideas to make your online content more accessible to your donors – especially to your donors with older eyes.

  • Use high-contrast text, and minimize reverse text where possible.  Try a contrast checker to see if the colors you’re using are easily readable and high-contrast.
  • Check to make sure your font is large enough and easily readable.  For online reading, a sans serif font works best.
  • Make your donation form simple and quick.
  • Use alternative text and photo captions that clearly summarize photos and what you want the donor to do.

These are just a few ways to get started.  I’m definitely not a web designer or accessibility expert, but I’ve learned that we can always be looking for ways to improve, educate our teams, and create a culture that prioritizes accessibility in our fundraising.

PS — Want to dig deeper?  Try putting your organization’s website into WAVE.  This tool will evaluate your website’s accessibility according to the Web Accessibility Guidelines.

Sing from the Same Song Sheet

Donate page.

Here’s a quick, easy-to-do tip to help you raise a little more this year-end…

The copy at the top of your giving form should promise the same thing – maybe even be the same copy – as the call-to-action in your year-end fundraising.

Here’s the thing. Most people who end up on your giving form over the next couple of weeks will be driven there by your letters or emails.

So make sure the copy at the top of your form – the copy that says why the donor’s gift is needed and what it will accomplish – echoes what you said in your year-end letters and emails.

This will help your donor know that they’ve landed on the right page. It will reinforce what they expect their gift is going to do.

And it will increase the number of people who fill out the form and give you a gift.

If the copy is different, say a statement about your mission and how a gift supports the organization… that will cause some donors to be a little less sure of what their gift is going to do. And that tiny lack of certainty will cause some of them to click away without giving you a gift.

Example Time

Say your year-end letter asks people to “send a special gift to keep a missionary in the field next year.”

Your giving page copy should say that same thing. It should not be boilerplate language about your organization! It should not say, “We believe that blah, blah, blah, and your gift supports our holistic approach to missions…”

If your year-end email says, “Your gift today will provide the food, medication, and loving care an orphaned Bonobo needs to survive,” then the copy on your giving page should not say, “Founded in 1972, our organization is relentless in our striving to care for endangered creatures, and your gift supports our synergistic efforts to…”

Are you with me?

Then make sure the copy on your donate page matches what your year-end fundraising promises to donors that their gift will do. To your donors, you’ll look like you have your act together. More people will complete your form, and you’ll raise more money!