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Race for the Rainforest

Race for the Rainforest

This site is graded A by One-Click Charity Check
This one-click charity is approved and has a grade of A.

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, for which registration is required. Registration is not required to donate.

Date of Review: November 26, 2001

Pertinent data for this site:

  • Owned by:
  • Owner profit type: for-profit with 10% of revenues going to charity partners
  • URL:
  • Donations go to:
  • Percentage of revenue that goes to the beneficiary: 100% as stated in the FAQ
  • Method of payment: not stated
  • Geographic limitations: none, beneficiary works globally
  • 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.

[Checkmark] [X-mark]

How this site scored on the criteria (version 1.21):

Critical Criteria

  1. [Checkmark] I have confirmed that the beneficiary is getting the money owed them as follows:
    • The Nature Conservancy states on its site that it is receiving funds from Race for the Rain Forest. I found this statement by doing a search for "Care2" on the TNC site, and came up with a May/June 2001 magazine article that says, "Simply by logging on to and clicking the 'Save the Rain Forest' button, visitors conserve at least 6 square feet of rain forest land... Advertising sponsors cover all costs, and Care2 guarantees the Conservancy a minimum of $125,000, enough to conserve more than 3,500 acres of pristine rain forest." I consider this proof enough that The Nature Conservancy is aware of the site and leave it to them to ensure they collect all monies owed.
  2. [Checkmark] 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
  3. [Checkmark] There is a clear description of who gets the money, as follows:
    • The main race page clearly states that the money is going to The Nature Conservancy. Other pages provide more details on how much money is going, what projects are funded, etc.
  4. [Checkmark] There is clear indication that the site is still operating (as of the date of this review) as follows:
    • Instead of just having a continuing donation stream, the races work by encouraging registered users to outdo other users. As part of this program, the statistics are reset periodically and a "new race" is begun. According to the Race for the Rainforest's FAQ, "The fifth Race for the Rain Forest started on October 19, 2001 and will end when racers have saved 1,500 acres of rain forest."

      The previous race ran from November 2000 until October 2001. Had this review been performed a few weeks ago, the above update would not have been present, and likewise, the race date will likely go without update for some time.

      There are, however, other indicators that the site is still running. Some are script-based, such as the donation totals and race leaderboard. But the parent site as a whole has several features that illustrate that the site has not been abandoned to scripts. There is an online shopping element where users can purchase items such as stuffed toys with some proceeds going towards environmental charities. There are links to current news stories, featured charities, and petitions of the week.

      So even though there aren't specific "last updated" dates or other direct indicators of updates, users should be able to feel comfortable that the site is still running, even when the fifth race is several months in. appears to be making an effort to provide fresh content on a regular basis.

  5. [Checkmark] 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.
  6. [Checkmark] The site counts donations regardless of user input or registration.
    • Registration is only required if a user wishes to track their progress or to invite friends and have friends' progress added to their own. Daily donations can still be made without registration.

Important Criteria

  1. [Checkmark] There is no apparent conflict of interest.
  2. [Checkmark] 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 is made very clear, and the pages include plenty of detail about partnerships, ownership structure, etc.
  3. [Checkmark] The site has up-to-date, accurate information throughout, as follows:
    • From petitions to factoids, the Race for the Rainforest site has plenty of current information about the cause at hand. The parent site,, has even more extensive information and links.
  4. [Checkmark] 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.
  5. [Checkmark] The money is not just being collected for the future; it is in use now.
  6. [Checkmark] The site specifies how much each sponsor pays per click as follows:
    • The race overview states that, "Each sponsor has agreed to donate approximately $.005 per click." However, the clicks are generally indicated as being an amount in square footage that will be saved.
    • 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.
  7. [Checkmark] There is a clear privacy policy.
  8. [Checkmark] Users can access information about the site, such as the FAQ, Privacy Policy, etc. before clicking to donate. Sites that require the user to donate before providing links to information are asking the user to donate blindly, and that is unfair.
    • Although users can use a roundabout means to get to the Race's FAQ from the parent site, the main Race page itself does not have a link to the FAQ or other information. These links do not appear until the donate button is clicked. I will give the site credit insofar as there is that roundabout method at the moment because the FAQ does have links to the other information, but should make it easier for users to get details before having to click the button. I strongly recommend including the FAQ, About, Totals and other links on the main Race page, and may consider downgrading this point in a future review if those links are not there at that time.

Useful Criteria

  1. [X-mark] The site is accessible to the disabled or to slow computers as follows:
    • Bobby test results (for the main page only):

      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). (8 instances) Line 5, Line 6, Line 7, Line 8, Line 9, Line 14, Line 15, Line 16
      • Provide alternative text for all images. (7 instances) Line 93, Line 105, Line 112, Line 117, Line 119, Line 127, Line 136

      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. (6 instances) Line 35, Line 100, Line 81, Line 28, Line 24, Line 18
      • If an image conveys important information beyond what is in its alternative text, provide an extended description. (33 instances) Line 19, Line 23, Line 36, Line 37, Line 39, Line 40, Line 42, Line 44, Line 47, Line 49, Line 50, Line 51, Line 52, Line 53, Line 54, Line 55, Line 56, Line 71, Line 89, Line 93, Line 102, Line 105, Line 109, Line 112, Line 117, Line 119, Line 127, Line 136, Line 137, Line 150, Line 152
      • If a table has two or more rows or columns that serve as headers, use structural markup to identify their hierarchy and relationship. (8 instances) Line 35, Line 87, Line 100, Line 81, Line 80, Line 28, Line 24, Line 18
      • If you use color to convey information, make sure the information is also represented another way.
      The site is not accessible, primarily because of a lack of ALTs in key places, such as navigation buttons. There is no excuse for not providing ALTs. Also, some of the existing ALTs are inaccurate. For example, the logo has an ALT that says, "Race for the Rainforest." This could be very misleading, as it implies that clicking it will take the user to Race for the Rainforest, when in fact it will take the user away from the race and to's main page.
    • Standard elements such as ALT tags are NOT present
    • Site looks reasonable in Lynx, but barely. None of the top navigation links to other races come through at all, meaning non-graphical users are less likely to cross-donate. The image map donation button doesn't work as a choice directly; in the Lynx test I was taken to a separate page where I had to choose which link I wanted. I was able to easily guess which link went to which project by their names, but there was no indication on the main page that this choice would be given. The donation tables are messed up and difficult to read. All in all, the site is barely functional in a non-graphical format because of missing ALT tags and invalid HTML constructs.
  2. [X-mark] This site has good navigability as follows:
    • navigation information on every page (strongly recommended) - Navigation information for within the Race is not provided on the main page.
    • all links should work and go where the user will assume they're going - Problem that ALT for logo implies that it goes to the Race, not the site. Also, a link from the FAQ regarding privacy says, "For more information, click here." However, the "here" which should be race_info3.html is missing, so the page defaults to the main Race page instead.
    • navigational graphics and image maps have ALTs or other workarounds - Some of the navigation information does not show up/work properly on a non-graphical browser.
    • Good navigation elements include:
      • URLs are short and logical
      • navigation should not require javascript, frames, etc. without an alternative
  3. [Checkmark] The site is aesthetically pleasing and uncomplicated, as follows:
    • few animated gifs other than the ads
    • good colour scheme
    • no javascript and other useless toys
  4. [Checkmark] 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 invite-a-friend feature does implore users, "Please do not send invitations to people you do not know!" and there is a link to an "anti-spam policy" which actually goes to the parent site's privacy policy page. On that page, users would have to read at length to find a paragraph that says, "Care2 has a no-SPAM policy and thus will not collect or sell the e-mail addresses entered by Race participants... Sending the url in personal e-mail or posting it in text or image-link format is entirely the member's option, although Care2 specifically asks members to avoid sending the unique url to anyone they do not know."

      It thus appears that has made at least a minimal effort to discourage spam, so I will give them credit in this review. However, the request to not send to unknown people and the anti-spam link are both in colours that are difficult to distinguish from the background on which they appear, at least in IE5.5 on an HP Pavilion 15" monitor. These items should be placed more prominently and in a more contrasting colour from the background. Also, the link to the anti-spam information should go directly to that information.

  5. [Checkmark] 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.
  6. [Checkmark] If the money collected is only going to one country or smaller geographical division, this is noted as follows:
    • Not applicable
  7. [Checkmark] There is detailed, accurate information about why the money is needed, and statistics are used in a responsible, contextual manner.
    • There are daily and weekly facts given, as well as links to other information.
  8. [Checkmark] Donation totals are posted.

Considerations outside of criteria 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.

Overall, Race for the Rainforest seems to take user needs into consideration and does a fairly good job of that. The race 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 effort 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 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.

With some brushing up in a few areas, this could be one of the best one-click sites around.

Summary of what this site should do to improve

Some information is missing, such as: when the calendar day starts for new donations to be counted, whether or not cookies are required for donations to count, or what currency the money collected is in.

The main race page should have links to the FAQ, About, Donation Totals, etc. instead of forcing users to donate first. Users can get to these pages without donating through a roundabout method from the parent site, but the links really should be available on the main race page as well.

ALT information is missing from several graphics, and in other cases it is inaccurate.

A link from the FAQ regarding privacy says, "For more information, click here." However, the "here" which should be race_info3.html is missing, so the page defaults to the main Race page instead.

The invite-a-friend feature has some spam deterrents, but they are a difficult colour to discern from the background. The anti-spam link should go directly to the anti-spam portion of the privacy policy.

Review History:

  • Original Review
    • Date: November 26, 2001
    • Grade: A
    • Problems:
      • Missing information: when the calendar day starts, whether cookies are required, what currency is collected
      • Main race page should have links to the FAQ, About, Donation Totals, etc. instead of forcing users to donate first
      • ALT information is missing from several graphics, and in other cases it is inaccurate.
      • Link from FAQ to missing document race_info3.html defaults to the main Race page instead.
      • Invite-a-friend feature has some spam deterrents, but they are a difficult colour to discern from the background.
      • The anti-spam link should go directly to the anti-spam portion of the privacy policy.

This page was last updated on November 26, 2001.

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