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This one-click charity is approved and has a grade of C.
Date of Review: July 10, 2001
Pertinent data for this site:
- Owned by: MaterCare International
- Owner profit type: non-profit
- URL: http://www.matercare.org/lifesaver.html
- Donations go to:
- Percentage of revenue that goes to the beneficiary: 100%
- Geographic limitations: MaterCare International has several chapters worldwide, but the site states that the money raised from the Life Saver Program all goes towards a centre in Apam, Ghana
- 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 1.20):
- I have confirmed that the beneficiaries are getting the money owed them as follows:
- The site is owned by the beneficiary, so obviously the beneficiary knows about it. I assume the money is going where they say it will. Please remember that I do not review beneficiaries; see the links page for organizations that do rate beneficiaries.
- Contact data for the one-click company/individual is displayed on the site as follows:
- Email or Form Mail (required) - shown on the contact page
- Phone number (strongly recommended) - several choices shown on the contact page
- Postal address (strongly recommended) - several choices shown on the contact page
- There is a clear description of who gets the money, as follows:
- The FAQ mentions that the money will go to build a Birth Trauma Centre in Ghana.
- There is clear indication that the site is still operating (as of the date of this review) as follows:
The Donation Totals page is current up to the day before this review. It doesn't appear to be run by a script, although server-side scripting could produce this data even if the site was no longer being maintained. Most of the rest of the site looks out of date, except for the beneficiary's news page, which includes an update from last weekend. I emailled the site to double check that it was still active, and Dr. Simon Walley of MaterCare responded that the site is indeed up and running and still collecting money for the cause. He also said that they are having problems with an unreliable web host and are seeking a new host, plus the site is being maintained by a part-time volunteer, and they are seeking a full-time volunteer.
Given this situation, it is a good thing that the site is being kept minimally up-to-date. However, as Dr. Walley knows, the site would be much improved with significant updates throughout.
- 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:
- The site has up-to-date, accurate information throughout, as follows:
- The site is having trouble keeping up to date. While the Donation Totals page and the beneficiary's news page have been recently updated, little else on the site has. The proposed trauma centre page still says the ground will be broken in February 2000, with completion by November 2000. There is no indication if any of this has happened. I do know from Dr. Walley's email that the trauma centre has not been built, because MaterCare is awaiting funds from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
- The site has a good frequently asked questions (FAQ) area.
- Should also include when the calendar day starts, since only one click per day counts.
- The site is raising money for a future project (as opposed to using it now), but provides specific details on how the money will be used.
- what deadlines are present - dates listed for groundbreaking and construction have passed and are incorrect
- what happens if enough money isn't raised - no mention
- if the project should be cancelled, where the money that was raised will go - no mention
- Dr. Walley mentioned in his email that the funds are currently sitting in an interest-earning account while MaterCare waits for further funding from CIDA. This should be mentioned on the page.
- The site specifies how much each sponsor pays per click as follows:
- The sponsor information page, the FAQ, and the Thank You page all mention that each sponsor pays one cent per click. The site appears to be run by a Canadian in Canada, so presumably that is one cent in Canadian currency. This is not mentioned, however, and should be. Because most one-click donation sites are based in the US, most users will probably assume that unlabelled dollar currency is US dollars.
- The site is accessible to the disabled or to slow computers as follows:
- Bobby test results (for the main page only):
Although many images have ALTs, some do not, thus making this page inaccessible to some users. Other pages on the site are also inconsistent with use of ALT tags. The problems with the image map at the bottom of the screen are unnecessary, as are the problems found with a script in the middle of the page code that doesn't seem to work or have an application. The site administrators should clean up the code of the pages and ensure ALT tags are applied anywhere necessary.
This page does not meet the requirements for Bobby Approved status. Below is a list of 2 Priority 1 accessibility errors found:
- Provide alternative text for all image map hot-spots (AREAs). (6 instances)
Line 170, Line 171, Line 172, Line 173, Line 174, Line 175
- Provide alternative text for all images. (2 instances)
Line 99, Line 177
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 you use color to convey information, make sure the information is also represented another way.
- If this is a data table (not used for layout only), identify headers for the table rows and columns. (2 instances)
Line 38, Line 110
- If an image conveys important information beyond what is in its alternative text, provide an extended description. (12 instances)
Line 27, Line 41, Line 46, Line 51, Line 56, Line 60, Line 99, Line 112, Line 120, Line 133, Line 147, Line 177
- If a table has two or more rows or columns that serve as headers, use structural markup to identify their hierarchy and relationship. (3 instances)
Line 38, Line 110, Line 18
- Provide alternative content for each SCRIPT that conveys important information or functionality.
- Standard elements such as ALT tags are not always present
- Site looks reasonable in Lynx, but could use better layout, more accurate ALTs, and general brushing up.
- This site has good navigability as follows:
- While the main Lifesaver page has decent navigation links, other pages are inconsistent in what links are present. Too many links are buried, such as the links page, which can only be accessed through the FAQ or the Thank You page. It seems as though the site designers couldn't decide whether or not the Lifesaver pages are a separate portion of the MaterCare site, or should be integrated into the site fully. Also, the only links to the main Lifesaver page I found on the entire site is from the MaterCare home page and the how to help us page; the Lifesaver pages do not link back to the main Lifesaver page.
- The links at the bottom of the pages that use AREA features do not have ALTs.
- There is a broken link on the beneficiary home page: the link to MaterCare Ghana (http://www.matercare.org/mcighana.html) does not work.
- The site is aesthetically pleasing and uncomplicated, as follows:
- The only animated gif on the site appears to be the click-to-donate button, and it has an ALT.
- good colour scheme
- pictures used are selected with taste and tact
- The site does not promote, inadvertently or otherwise, poor behaviour such as spam.
- There's no spam policy, but neither is there any sort of Tell-A-Friend feature or request.
- Cookies are not required for donations to count.
- No cookies found in the donation portion of the site
- If the money collected is only going to one country or smaller geographical division, this is noted as follows:
- The FAQ makes it very clear that the money is all going to fund a birth trauma centre in Ghana.
- There is detailed, accurate information about why the money is needed, and statistics are used in a responsible, contextual manner.
- The obstetric fistula page gives plenty of details about the problem. There are a few statistics cited, and these could be improved by providing a source and date for the citations.
- Donation totals are posted. Non-daily totals or batch-posted totals include a statement as to how often the totals are updated.
Considerations outside of criteria
For all that the Lifesaver site is a bit messy in terms of navigation and accessibility and badly out of date in portions, it's getting its primary job done: raising money for the building of a birth trauma centre in Ghana. The people behind the site are aware of most of the problems I've cited here, and are in the process of finding a new web host and a full-time volunteer webmaster.
Since the site is likely to be completely redone by a new webmaster anyway, I would recommend doing so in a way that avoids the problems mentioned here. A commitment from the start to solid HTML programming, accessibility, good navigation, etc. would help in building a quality site that could attract more users. If MaterCare wishes, they may use the free sample templates provided by One-Click Charity Check, since these templates are valid HTML with consistent navigation links, as well as accessible.
Given that the site is aware of its lack-of-update problems, my biggest concern is the misleading FAQ entry regarding association with another group. Matercare is clearly linked to the Roman Catholic church, and denying this in the FAQ is a dangerous oversight.
Most of the site is in dire need of update, particularly the project page, whose construction dates are old and incorrect. More details should be posted regarding the project, including what is happening with the money right now, what will happen if sufficient money is not raised, etc.
The owner/beneficiary has a religious affiliation that is not only not noted in the FAQ, but actually denied. This should be rectified.
The FAQ should cite the start of the calendar day, since only one click per day counts.
The amount of money raised, as well as how much each sponsor pays, should all include mention of what currency is being used. It is likely Canadian dollars, and this should be mentioned in each case.
The site has some accessibility problems, such as some missing ALT tags.
Navigation is messy and inconsistent. Navigation information should be similar on each page, should allow the user to return to the main page easily, and should not bury some links within the body of one or two pages. A site map could help.
The statistics cited about obstetric fistula should include dates and sources.
- Original Review
- Date: July 10, 2001
- Grade: C
- Most of the site is in dire need of update, particularly the project page, whose construction dates are old and incorrect.
- Insufficient details about project, i.e. what will happen with the money if not enough is raised or project is cancelled
- Owner/beneficiary has a religious affiliation that is not only not noted in the FAQ, but actually denied.
- The FAQ should cite the start of the calendar day.
- Type of currency should be identified.
- Missing ALTs and other accessibility problems.
- Navigation is messy and inconsistent.
- Statistics cited about obstetric fistula should include dates and sources.