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This one-click charity is Not Recommended.
Note: I am a registered user of this site, but I logged out for the duration of the review, with the exception of examining the invite-a-friend feature and donation totals, for which registration is required. Registration is not required to donate.
Date of Review: April 7, 2002
Pertinent data for this site:
- Owned by: Care2.com
- Owner profit type: for-profit with 10% of revenues going to charity partners
- URL: http://breastcancer.care2.com/
- Donations go to:
- Percentage of revenue that goes to the beneficiary: 100% of this portion of the site's net sponsor revenue
- Method of payment: sponsors pay directly to beneficiary
- Geographic limitations: US
- Language(s): English
- Calendar day for this site starts at: not stated
Jump to the summary of what this site should do to improve
Criteria that have been met will have a checkmark graphic, and criteria that have not been met will have an X-mark graphic, as shown below. Further details will be listed below each criteria specifying what elements resulted in the checkmark or X-mark.
How this site scored on the criteria (version 1.3):
- I have confirmed that the beneficiaries are getting the money owed them as follows:
- Contact data for the one-click company/individual is displayed on the site as follows:
- Email or Form Mail (required) - main Care2 site has a feedback form
- Phone number (strongly recommended) - shown on the contact page for the main Care2 site
- Postal address (strongly recommended) - shown on the contact page for the main Care2 site
- There is a clear description of who gets the money, as follows:
- There is clear indication that the site is still operating (as of the date of this review) as follows:
When I reviewed Race for the Rainforest, I gave credit to the race because Care2.com as a whole appeared to be very up-to-date. I reconsidered that during the review of Race for the Big Cats because the only hint that that race was still operational was the copyright information at the bottom of each page (it had been changed to 2002 and it was early enough in the year for that to be a recent update). Climb to End Breast Cancer doesn't even have copyright information on the pages. Short of scripts running donation totals and giving the current date, there is no indication that this race is being maintained in any way.
There are many broken links spread throughout the pages, most notably the links to specific pages on the beneficiary site. Artwork that says "Click Here" don't actually point to the right link (The Breast Cancer Fund has an art gallery that is now arranged by artist name), and a link on the main page to order a booklet called Pathways to Prevention is broken (the link should be to the site's secure order form for that publication).
News and facts have no date by which a user can discern their timeliness. The About page says,
Our first milestones will be to: 1) Congratulate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for agreeing to settle a lawsuit brought by The Breast Cancer Fund (TBCF), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and other major health and environmental, and labor organizations. The EPA agreed to begin testing some of the most toxic pesticides used in the U.S. for health effects on consumers, children, and workers. 2)Urge the EPA to comply quickly with the settlement.
However, there is no indication of when this settlement occurred or whether such congratulations and urging have actually happened. The settlement is mentioned as part of The Breast Cancer Fund's October Alert. That means this settlement occurred more than six months ago. Why has there been no update on this information? Furthermore, this lack of update leads to the question of timeliness of the facts on the Facts & Figures page, which have no date to define what they mean by "this year."
The only reasonable conclusion is that the site is not being updated except by scripts. I could find no evidence that a human has updated Climb to End Breast Cancer in at least six months. The on-again, off-again nature of updates on the Care2.com site I've noticed in previous reviews does not provide a sufficient demonstration of timeliness and currency for the races. At the very least, a human should be going through links once every month or two to ensure their integrity.
Thus, I've decided to not give Climb to End Breast Cancer credit for demonstrating that they are still operating. Chances are they are indeed operating, but it is vital to make sure users can feel confident in that.
- The site does not require users to visit another site, nor perform any activity other than clicking on a donate button/graphic for a donation to count.
- The site counts donations regardless of user input or registration.
- There is no apparent conflict of interest.
- All possible ulterior motives (such as religious affiliation, being part of another organization, being part of a marketing campaign from some corporate entity, etc.) are listed as follows:
- Ownership by Care2.com is made very clear, and the Care2.com pages include plenty of detail about partnerships, ownership structure, etc.
- The site has up-to-date, accurate information throughout, as follows:
- As noted above, this site has broken links and undated facts. Some of the facts may still be accurate, but without being cited in terms of reference and date, it is too difficult for the average user to know if the data are still accurate this year.
- The site has a good frequently asked questions (FAQ) area.
- It would be nice to see a few other questions answered, such as when the calendar day starts or whether or not cookies are required for donations to count, but the FAQ is there and does provide many answers.
- The money is not just being collected for the future; it is in use now.
- The site specifies how much each sponsor pays per click as follows:
- The FAQ says, "Care2 donates 100% of our net sponsor revenue, or roughly 0.5 cents per click ($5 CPM), up to one visit per day by any individual." The sponsor page says, "Cost of sponsorship is $5 per 1,000 unique visitors per day. The minimum contribution is $5000."
- Type of currency is NOT stated. It is presumably US dollars, but since people click from all over the world, this should be made clear.
- The site is accessible to the disabled or to slow computers as follows (NOTE: Bobby's test page was down during the review, so I used the downloaded Bobby software resident on my own computer to run the test. The results should be the same.):
- Bobby test (Priority 1) results:
The imagemap that is missing ALTs at the top is actually the navigation between other races. It shows up as "Panda Race A" to anyone not using graphics, which is very misleading, since in fact it leads to all other races, not just the Panda Race. I checked other pages for missing ALTs, and there are many graphics missing them. The top bar on some other Breast Cancer pages has the wrong ALT whereby a graphic of a woman dancing on a mountain claims to be "Race for the Pandas Header." This sloppy coding could be very confusing to non-graphical users.
This page does not meet the requirements for Bobby Approved status. Below is a list of 1 Priority 1 accessibility errors found:
- Provide alternative text for all image map hot-spots. (4 instances)
Line 136, Line 137, Line 138, Line 139
User checks are triggered by something specific on the page; however, you need to determine whether they apply. Bobby Approval requires that none of them apply to your page. Please review these 5 item(s):
- If an image conveys important information beyond what is its alternative text, provide an extended description. (5 instances)
Line 25, Line 103, Line 109, Line 124, Line 125
- If a table has two or more rows or columns that serve as headers, use structural markup to identify their hierarchy and relationship. (6 instances)
Line 11, Line 32, Line 63, Line 94, Line 91, Line 22
- If you use color to convey information, make sure the information is also represented another way.
- If the submit button is used as an image map, use separate buttons for each active region. (1 instance)
- For tables not used for layout (for example, a spreadsheet), identify headers for the table rows and columns. (3 instances)
Line 32, Line 63, Line 22
- Standard elements such as ALT tags are not always present
- Site looks reasonable in Lynx, but confusing ALTs as noted above make navigation somewhat difficult.
- This site has good navigability as follows:
- As noted above, many of the links to specific pages on the beneficiary's site are broken. It is a disservice both to users and the beneficiary to not ensure that such links are up and working, and corrected as necessary. If I could find the proper links in a matter of seconds, surely the paid staff of Care2.com ought to be able to do the same.
- Also as noted above, missing or erroneous ALTs on navigation graphics could make navigation difficult and confusing for users without graphical access.
- Good navigation points include:
- navigation information on every page (strongly recommended)
- URLs are short and fairly logical.
- The site is aesthetically pleasing and uncomplicated, as follows:
- few animated gifs other than the ads
- good colour scheme
- pictures used are selected with taste and tact
- graphic pictures have warnings - There are no "graphic" pictures in terms of violence, blood or gore. However, there are displays of art that feature nude breasts, both abstract and realistic. While I personally have absolutely no problem with this, some people may consider display of breasts unsuitable for younger users. Care2.com may wish to consider inserting invisible voluntary PICS ratings into the code for the Breast Cancer pages, if not the whole site. Free ratings services such as ICRA would allow Care2.com to state that there is minor nudity in an artistic context. Users who wish to limit Internet usage to avoid such nudity can have their browsers set to read the PICS rating and not display pages that do not conform to their allowances. General users who do not activate the ratings settings in their browsers wouldn't even know the difference. This is not required within this review, but it would be an excellent demonstration of concern for users' wishes.
- The site does not promote, inadvertently or otherwise, poor behaviour such as spam.
Logged-in registered members can use the site's invite-a-friend feature to send mail to others, asking them to join the race. If the invited person does join, part of their score is added to the score of the person who invited them. Thus, there is a clear temptation to invite as many people as possible to help inflate one's own score.
The About page says, "While we appreciate some people's efforts to help even more by using "creative marketing" ideas, please do not send unsolicited invitations to people you do not know." However, this doesn't really help when such a message isn't located where it's needed: alongside the portions of the site that allow people to invite others.
Non-registered users are invited on the Thank You page to go ahead and put in email addresses to invite friends. I tested this while not logged in, and entered my email address, and pretended I was sending it from "Blah." Sure enough, the mail from "Blah" arrived, and it's an invitation to join their team in the race. On this page, there is no request to abide by any anti-spam policies or similar directive. By allowing anyone to enter any email address and any name, the site is encouraging spam in its name, which could end up hurting the site overall. Furthermore, the conflict between asking registered users to behave while not asking the same of non-registered users is rather unsettling.
- Cookies are not required for donations to count.
- During the Lynx test, I denied the cookies and appeared to still successfully donate. However, I can't be sure if it worked and the FAQ doesn't specify whether or not cookies are required. This should be made clear.
- If the money collected is only going to one country or smaller geographical division, this is noted as follows:
- The beneficiary appears to work only in the US, but this is not noted anywhere clearly on the Climb to End Breast Cancer pages. Indications of work involving the US's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are prevalent, but do not imply or state that programs are limited to the US. While it may be true that The Breast Cancer Fund's work could potentially impact environmental and breast cancer issues in other countries, their immediate goals and programs are clearly domestic, so users in other countries may not wish to spend their time clicking here. Care2.com should be upfront and clear about this so users are given the right to an informed, empowered choice.
- There is detailed, accurate information about why the money is needed, and statistics are used in a responsible, contextual manner.
- There is a fact page and some other tidbits of statistical information spread around. However, citation is minimal and there are few dates on statistics. This information would be improved greatly with proper citation so users know how current the facts are.
- Donation totals are posted.
Considerations outside of criteria
Care2.com is a large site with several other one-click, free donation races. I have chosen to review each race separately, although they are all closely integrated with the parent site. As such, some portions of the parent site have been considered within the criteria and there may be some duplication amongst the individual reviews. However, the races all have different beneficiaries, formats, FAQs, levels of information, etc., so I thought it best to review each one separately.
The race/climb program is a great idea to encourage repeat and regular visits, and to encourage people to get their friends involved. It has the unfortunate downside that less-than-scrupulous users may attempt to inflate their statistics by spamming people, and while the site has made some token efforts towards preventing this, the admonitions against spamming should be more prevalent and noticeable.
The registration elements, such as donation tracking as part of the race, are very good. But kudos to Care2.com for ensuring that those who do not wish to register aren't excluded from donating! That kind of open access is rare, and probably quite appreciated by those who care but wish to maintain privacy on their own terms.
In terms of accessibility, it's unfortunate that the site's programmers have elected to ignore the many people using screen readers, text-only browsers, or slow computers/connections who may wish to participate in the race. The simple addition of ALT tags alone would make a difference, although a few other pages could stand some HTML retooling to be in W3C specification compliance.
The site needs to make it very clear to users that it is still running by means other than scripts. Occasional updates to the facts and information, including dates, would help with this. The links page should be checked periodically for broken links. Right now, if it weren't for the parent site, Climb to end Breast Cancer would appear to be totally abandoned. This could discourage users.
As a for-profit entity, I expect more from Care2.com and its subsites.
There needs to be indication that the site is still running should be provided, aside from scripts.
Broken links should be fixed, and all links should be checked periodically. Several broken links to the beneficiary site is an inexcusable lapse in maintenance.
Facts and statistics should have citations and dates. Referring to "this year" is rather pointless when the user cannot tell what year is meant by that.
The FAQ should state when the day starts in terms of counting donations, and whether or not cookies are required to donate.
The type of currency should be stated when speaking of funds, instead of just assuming everyone around the world will guess it's US dollars.
ALT tags should be in place for all graphics, especially navigation graphics.
More effort must be made to discourage spam. Registered users are briefly asked not to send unsolicited invitations, but this pales in comparison to the encouragement to get new people involved. Non-registered users are invited on the Thank You page to go ahead and invite anyone with no anti-spam messages at all.
The presence of artistic nudity should have some kind of warning or a PICS rating in order to be respectful of users who would not appreciate such images.
The fact that the beneficiary does not seem to work outside of the US should be noted, in case people in other countries do not wish to spend their time contributing to a US-only charity.
- Original Review
- Date: April 7, 2002
- Grade: Not Recommended
- There needs to be indication that the site is still running should be provided, aside from scripts.
- Broken links should be fixed.
- Facts and statistics should have citations and dates.
- The FAQ should state when the day starts in terms of counting donations, and whether or not cookies are required to donate.
- The type of currency should be stated when speaking of funds.
- ALT tags should be in place for all graphics.
- More effort must be made to discourage spam.
- The presence of artistic nudity should have some kind of warning or a PICS rating.
- The fact that the beneficiary does not seem to work outside of the US should be noted.