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This one-click charity is approved and has a grade of A.
DISCLAIMER NOTICE: In the interest of openness and honesty, I am disclosing that I have had a pleasant email conversation with one of this site's co-founders, Andrew Laties, for several months. Mr. Laties and I have discussed one-click charities, philanthrophy in general, Internet technology, other political topics, and occasional minor personal details. A significant proportion of those emails dealt with advice on changes Mr. Laties envisions for PovertyFighters.com. Mr. Laties is also a participant in the forum. I am, however, conducting this review the same as I would for any other site. No special allowances have been made that wouldn't have been made for any other site. I have tried to be completely fair. If anyone takes issue with any part of the review they feel has been biased by my ongoing friendly emails with Mr. Laties, please compare the example with other reviews to determine if it's something I'm regularly generous/critical on. If the bias is still noticed, please contact me to point it out. Please note that abusive email will be ignored.
Date of Review: October 29, 2001
Pertinent data for this site:
- Owned by: not stated, appears to be its own entity
- Owner profit type: for-profit, explained in the FAQ as a tax necessity
- URL: http://www.povertyfighters.com/
- Donations go to:
- Percentage of revenue that goes to the beneficiary(ies): 100% of the click revenue, but PovertyFighters "collects a 1 percent media-buying fee from sponsors who purchase one-year Community Investment Notes at Calvert Foundation," as stated in the FAQ
- Method of payment: sponsors pay directly to the Calvert Foundation
- Geographic limitations: none
- Language(s): English
- Calendar day for this site starts at: midnight US Eastern, or 5:00 am GMT.
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 1.21):
- I have confirmed that the beneficiaries are getting the money owed them as follows:
- Siddhartha Chowdri, an Information Associate with The Calvert Foundation confirmed via email that his organization is indeed receiving funds from PovertyFighters.com.
- Microcredit Summit Campaign has not yet received funds, but this is because their agreement with the site states they will get two percent of PovertyFighters' revenues after PovertyFighters has received over US$100,000 in operating revenue, which has not yet happened. This was explained to me by one of PovertyFighter's founders, Andrew Laties, and confirmed via email by Nathanael Goldberg, Microcredit Summit Campaign's Chief of Staff. Goldberg added that his organization also benefits from placement of the Microcredit Summit Campaign banner. This agreement should be clarified on PovertyFighter's About page, where it says, "The Microcredit Summit Campaign will also receive a share of PovertyFighters.com's operating revenues." Although the sentence is future-tense, it could be misinterpreted as meaning the organization is already sharing in revenues, which is not the case. The site doesn't need to explain the deal in detail, but should make it clear that money has not yet been collected for or sent to Microcredit Summit Campaign.
- Contact data for the one-click company/individual is displayed on the site as follows:
- Email or Form Mail (required) - shown on many pages, including the Thank You page and the FAQ
- Phone number (strongly recommended) - shown on the FAQ
- Postal address (strongly recommended) - shown on the FAQ
- 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:
Although there is a Donation Totals page, it is script-run and cannot be counted as an indicator that the site is still being maintained. The FAQ does make reference in one question to "now" being Fall 2001, which is the closest the site has to a direct indication of an update. There is, however, a listing of when articles about the various countries and microlenders were added, and since some of these dates are from less than a month ago (such as the list for the Dominican Republic), I'll give the site credit for this review. However, it is disappointing that the articles themselves do not have the dates that are present in the listings; at least the ones I sample-checked did not.
If PovertyFighters wants credit for illustrating that it is still operating in the next review, I strongly recommend some non-scripted way of demonstrating this. Adding "last updated" dates to main pages would be a great help, but at a minimum, I'd hope to see the articles dated, since the data is there in the list anyway. It would be bad if that portion of the FAQ noted above is not updated in early 2002.
- 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 About page gives significant detail into the backgrounds of people involved and the partner agencies.
- The site has up-to-date, accurate information throughout, as follows:
- One of the main strengths of PovertyFighters is its information. Visitors can read dozens of stories of how microcredit loans have helped people around the world. Although, as noted above, the stories themselves are not dated and ought to be, since the listing of the stories as found from the database page does provide dates. The majority of the information posted is from 2001, which is very good timeliness for third-world reports. There are also videos, but it would be nice if these had dates on them as well.
- The site has a good frequently asked questions (FAQ) area.
- A good and thorough FAQ, although it should state whether or not cookies are required.
- 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 answer pertaining to this is very thorough.
- Type of currency is not stated. It is probably US dollars. It should be made clear so that foreign users aren't left wondering.
- It is included in the FAQ. it is brief, but clear.
- The site is accessible to the disabled or to slow computers as follows:
- Bobby test results (for the main page only):
This site is missing ALTs on most graphics, which is unacceptable. Mr. Laties is concerned about accessibility and is considering options such as redoing the site to be accessible, or providing a functional text-only version. Until that is completed, however, the site will not get credit for it.
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 images. (35 instances)
Line 34, Line 35, Line 36, Line 40, Line 48, Line 49, Line 50, Line 51, Line 52, Line 53, Line 54, Line 55, Line 76, Line 77, Line 78, Line 79, Line 80, Line 81, Line 85, Line 87, Line 89, Line 95, Line 96, Line 101, Line 102, Line 103, Line 104, Line 105, Line 116, Line 121, Line 126, Line 127, Line 128, Line 129, Line 130
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 4 item(s):
- If this is a data table (not used for layout only), identify headers for the table rows and columns. (2 instances)
Line 74, Line 32
- If an image conveys important information beyond what is in its alternative text, provide an extended description. (39 instances)
Line 34, Line 35, Line 36, Line 40, Line 48, Line 49, Line 50, Line 51, Line 52, Line 53, Line 54, Line 55, Line 76, Line 77, Line 78, Line 79, Line 80, Line 81, Line 85, Line 86, Line 87, Line 88, Line 89, Line 95, Line 96, Line 101, Line 102, Line 103, Line 104, Line 105, Line 115, Line 116, Line 121, Line 126, Line 127, Line 128, Line 129, Line 130, Lines 150-154
- If a table has two or more rows or columns that serve as headers, use structural markup to identify their hierarchy and relationship. (4 instances)
Line 38, Line 112, Line 74, Line 32
- If you use color to convey information, make sure the information is also represented another way.
- Standard elements such as ALT tags are NOT present
- Site is pretty messy in Lynx. It is difficult to even locate the donate button, and information is fractured.
- This site has good navigability as follows:
Overall, the navigation would be pretty good if ALT tags were included, but they're not. I also noticed that the "Home" link goes to Thank You page instead of the actual home page. This is misleading, and a user who is trying to get more information instead of donating may resent being sent to the donate page unexpectedly.
Good navigation elements include:
- navigation information is on most pages except for the index page. It would be good to add it there as well, although there is some navigability from that page.
- all links should work and go where the user will assume they're going except as noted above
- URLs are short and logical
- The site is aesthetically pleasing and uncomplicated, as follows:
- no animated gifs other than the ads
- good colour scheme
- pictures used are selected with taste and tact
- The site does not promote, inadvertently or otherwise, poor behaviour such as spam.
- Although the FAQ does contain an anti-spam policy, it is not where it is most needed: on the page that allows people to send postcards that advertise the site. If PovertyFighters.com truly wants to discourage people from blindly sending out mass quantities of promotional mail in their name, they should put the anti-spam policy right there on the postcard page. Also, the nature of the card page (which is managed by a third-party site) allows users to enter any from address, so spammers don't even have to expose themselves.
- Cookies are not required for donations to count.
- I tried denying the cookie within a Lynx window, and was still sent to the Thank You page. I assume this means that cookies are not required, but I cannot tell for sure. If this is not made clear in the FAQ or elsewhere by the next review, I may downgrade this point.
- If the money collected is only going to one country or smaller geographical division, this is noted as follows:
- There is detailed, accurate information about why the money is needed, and statistics are used in a responsible, contextual manner.
- As mentioned above, PovertyFighters.com has many stories illustrating how microcredit loans can change lives. The site administrators have clearly gone to great lengths to present lots of information on the subject, and it shows well.
- Donation totals are posted.
- The Donation Totals page isn't very detailed, but it does give a variety of totals. It is script-run.
Considerations outside of criteria
As mentioned in the disclaimer, I have had numerous conversations with one of the co-founders of this site. Thus, I am aware that there is an effort being made to improve the site in many ways, such as new features, accessibility, more information, etc. Mr. Laties expressed concern that my review was coming now when he has many improvements planned, but I would not postpone the review on that basis.
Overall, this is a good site that just needs some brushing up, especially in terms of accessibility. There is a wealth of information that could keep a reader busy for hours and definitely speaks well of the microcredit cause.
If the site is owned by an outside source, this should be stated. However, I don't think it is.
The deal with Microcredit Summit Campaign should be clarified.
Although there is some indication of the site still running, there is room for improvement. Adding "last updated" dates to main pages and including dates on the stories would help. The videos should also have approximate dates on them.
The type of currency being collected should be stated to avoid confusion.
Missing ALTs hinder navigation and make the site inaccessible.
The anti-spam policy is in the FAQ, but not where it is most needed: on the postcard page.
The site should specify whether or not cookies are required in order for the donation to count.
- Original Review
- Date: October 29, 2001
- Grade: A
- If the site is owned by an outside source, this should be stated.
- The deal with Microcredit Summit Campaign should be clarified.
- Needs more indication that it is still running.
- Stories and videos should have dates.
- Type of currency should be stated.
- Missing ALTs.
- Anti-spam policy should be stated on postcard page.
- Should specify if cookies are required.