The charity sector is potentially missing millions in online donations because of “poor website accessibility”, according to new research.
A recent OnePoll survey of 600 neurodivergent and physically disabled adults in the UK shows that nearly half of the respondents have been put off making online donations due to their needs not being met online.
Giant Digital, a web development agency that commissioned the research, estimated that charities could be missing out on up to £65m a year in online donations as a result.
The Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIoF) said that charities must ensure that their “donation channels are as accessible as possible to everyone”.
Some 49% of respondents said that they have been discouraged from making online donations “due to poor web accessibility” and 33% said they have been put off making direct debits online.
According to the latest UK Giving Report 2023, an estimated £12.7bn was donated to charities in 2022.
Data from Barclays Bank shows that online donations make up 48% of all donations, totalling £6bn.
Meanwhile, government figures reveal that around one in five people (14.6 million) had a disability in the year ending March 2021.
This means that disabled people donate over £1bn (22% of £6bn) each year online, Giant Digital said.
Based on the OnePoll survey and these figures, Giant Digital calculated that charities could be missing out on up to £65m (49% of £1.32bn) annually due to a lack of focus on accessibility for donors.
Donation channels must be ‘as accessible as possible’
Daniel Fluskey, director of policy and communications at CIOF, commented: “It’s really important for charities to ensure that they’re fundraising and donation channels are as accessible as possible to everyone.
“Our guidance on Treating Donors Fairly highlights the need for organisations to be as responsive and flexible as they can be to ensure that everyone is able to make an informed decision on their donation and the needs and preferences of people with protected characteristics or accessibility requirements are met wherever possible.
“This is why it’s so important for charities to invest in digital fundraising appropriately so that teams have the right skills and systems which support them to be able to fundraise in the right way so everyone can have the best experience of giving.”
Charities must prioritise website accessibility
Alex McGibbon, director of innovation at Giant Digital, said: “In an increasingly digital world where online presence is paramount, it is imperative that charities and not-for-profit organisations prioritise website accessibility. By embracing inclusive design principles, they can forge stronger connections with their audiences, unlock untapped potential, and create a profound impact on the causes they champion.
“The findings from our recent survey shed light on the challenges faced by people who have been disproportionately impacted by inaccessible websites, and this valuable insight enables us to better understand their needs and create solutions that ensure inclusivity.
“Ultimately, charities are missing out on millions of pounds by not focusing on the fundamentals of their online presence.”