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Solve Poverty

Solve Poverty

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

Date of Review: September 22, 2001

Pertinent data for this site:

  • Owned by: Opportunity International Australia
  • Owner profit type: non-profit
  • URL: http://www.solvepoverty.com/
  • Donations go to:
  • Percentage of revenue that goes to the beneficiary(ies): not stated, presumably 100% since the prime beneficiary owns the site
  • Method of payment: not stated, but since the prime beneficiary owns the site, it's reasonable to assume the sponsors send payment directly to the beneficiary
  • Geographic limitations: none
  • 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 beneficiaries are getting the money owed them as follows:
    • The prime beneficiary, Opportunity International Australia, owns and operates the site, so obviously they are getting the money from it. Their partner, Hyperstudy.com, has a link on their main page, so I will assume this means they are aware of Solve Poverty and its claims of partnership. Readers are reminded that I do not review beneficiaries, so I have not looked into whether or not Opportunity International Australia spends the money earned as it says it will. I leave that up to users to research on their own.
  2. [Checkmark] 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) - shown on the Contact page
    • Postal address (strongly recommended) - shown on the Contact page
  3. [Checkmark] There is a clear description of who gets the money, as follows:
  4. [Checkmark] There is clear indication that the site is still operating (as of the date of this review) as follows:
    • The News and Events page (which is actually part of the parent/beneficiary's site) has a September 2001 newsletter, and indications of upcoming events. However, this is the only indication that SolvePoverty is still running. The link to "Who are We Helping" from the Thank You page is http://www.opportunity.org.au/results.htm, but that URL was a dead link while this review was being conducted. If the page has moved, the administrators should fix that link. Because I could not access it during the review, I cannot guess as to what kind of results were posted, and whether or not they were indicative of the site still operating. I urge SolvePoverty to fix that broken link, and if they do not have donation totals posted, to do so. I also urge them to give more ways for users to know that the site is still up and running, such as "last updated" dates on the pages, etc.
  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.

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 of the site by its beneficiary is well-stated throughout. Partnership on some projects with Hyperstudy.com is also stated on many pages. There are several links to Opportunity International Australia's pages, making it easy for users to get a sense of the motive and philosophy of the organization.
  3. [Checkmark] The site has up-to-date, accurate information throughout, as follows:
    • Most of the information presented isn't time sensitive enough to call it up-to-date, but I assume it's all accurate. Some dated statistics about unemployment or other related figures in the countries being helped would be a good idea.
  4. [Checkmark] The site has a good frequently asked questions (FAQ) area.
    • It's a good FAQ, although it could stand to list a few more details, such as when the calendar day starts and whether or not cookies are required for the donation to count.
  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 FAQ and Thank You page each specifies that each sponsor pays two cents (US) per click. The Thank You page also states what the total click was worth, based on the number of sponsors at that time.
    • Type of currency is stated, which is very good since users may have assumed the Australian site would use Australian currency.
  7. [X-mark] There is a clear privacy policy.
    • There is a brief privacy policy given as part of the FAQ, but it is not clear. It says, "SolvePoverty.comís respects the privacy of its visitors and supporters. You are not required to provide any personal information to visit the site or to donate education." There is no indication of what non-personal information is collected and kept (such as IP addresses), no mention of the role of cookies on the site, no mention of what is done with information should a user email the site to ask a question or fill in the Tell A Friend form, etc. While it is a good thing that the site has some mention of a respect for privacy, it needs a more detailed explanation of what information is collected, stored, and used in order to qualify as 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.

Useful Criteria

  1. [X-mark] 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 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. (4 instances) Line 37
      • Provide alternative text for all images. (10 instances) Line 18, Line 19, Line 20, Line 21, Line 22, Line 37, Line 47, Line 51, Line 69, Line 72

      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 an image conveys important information beyond what is its alternative text, provide an extended description. (15 instances) Line 18, Line 19, Line 20, Line 21, Line 22, Line 36, Line 37, Line 47, Line 50, Line 51, Line 57, Line 58, Line 68, Line 69, Line 72
      • If a table has two or more rows or columns that serve as headers, use structural markup to identify their hierarchy and relationship. (9 instances) Line 16, Line 12, Line 9, Line 34, Line 55, Line 43, Line 66, Line 40, Line 31
      • If you use color to convey information, make sure the information is also represented another way.
      • For tables not used for layout (for example, a spreadsheet), identify headers for the table rows and columns. (1 instance) Line 66
      The absence of ALT tags on a site geared towards the poor is inexcusable. The site is messy and difficult to navigate in a text-only browser, and would likewise be very difficult to navigate in a graphical browser with image-loading turned off to conserve bandwidth.
    • Standard elements such as ALT tags are NOT present
    • Site looks messy and is hard to navigate in Lynx
  2. [Checkmark] This site has good navigability as follows:
    • navigation information is on every page (strongly recommended)
    • navigation does not require javascript, frames, etc. without an alternative
    • URLs are short and logical
    • This site does have two navigational problems that should be repaired, or I will consider downgrading this point in a future review:

    • navigational graphics and image maps do not have ALTs or other workarounds
    • There is at least one significant broken link (to 'Who Are We Helping' from the Thank You page), and some links go to the beneficiary page without warning. It would be a good idea to let users know that an apparently internal page is hosted on another site.
  3. [Checkmark] The site is aesthetically pleasing and uncomplicated, as follows:
    • no animated gifs other than the ads
    • good colour scheme
    • no javascript and other useless toys
    • pictures used are selected with taste and tact
  4. [X-mark] The site does not promote, inadvertently or otherwise, poor behaviour such as spam.
    • Although the site's FAQ does have an anti-spam policy, this request to not spam in the site's name is not presented where it is most needed: on the Tell a Friend page. There isn't even a link to the anti-spam policy. SolvePoverty should emphasize its apparent commitment to not allowing spam by prominently posting the anti-spam message on the Tell a Friend page.
  5. [Checkmark] Cookies are not required for donations to count.
    • I denied the cookies when donating as part of the Lynx test, and also tried denying the cookies when accessing the site from my husband's computer. In both instances, the total shown on the Thank You page changed, indicating that the donation probably counted regardless of the cookie being denied. However, it could have been coincidence with another person donating. The site should state whether or not cookies are required for donations to count.
  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.
    • The About Us page has some information as to why the money is needed and how it helps. It's hard to tell how accurate the very few statistics are, since they aren't dated. It might be a good idea to provide more statistics and to ensure that they're dated and linked to a source.
  8. [Checkmark] Donation totals are posted. Non-daily totals or batch-posted totals include a statement as to how often the totals are updated.
    • A script runs a small notation on the Thank You page that gives the total raised thusfar, and translates that to the number of jobs that could be created. However, there are no detailed donation totals. It is possible that the broken link from the Thank You page would go to such a page, but I cannot tell for sure. The site really should provide more detailed donation totals to illustrate to users how each click is needed every day to achieve a noteworthy total.

Considerations outside of criteria

This site looks as though a good amount of effort has gone into planning the site, anticipating users' questions and needs, and trying to put forth a well-organized free donation site. Most of the problems noted are areas for improvement as opposed to serious concerns.

The site was constructed by a professional design firm that really ought to know better than to leave out ALT tags, particularly on navigation graphics. Whomever administers the site now - be it the design firm or the site owner - should fix the broken link from the Thank You page. If it is the professional designers in charge, there is no excuse for an internal broken link, and pages should be more strictly managed.

Summary of what this site should do to improve

The FAQ could include some more information, including: how much of the sponsor money goes to the beneficiary's projects (as opposed to how much goes to pay for the site), when the calendar day starts in terms of clicking once per day, and whether or not cookies are required for the donation to count.

There should be better indication of how current the site and its information are. "Last updated" dates would help, as would dated statistics and a non-automated donation totals page. The donation total given should be expanded to give users a sense of how the money builds if they continue to click every day.

The privacy policy needs to be more detailed in order to be clear about what information is collected under various circumstances, and how it is stored and/or used.

The spam policy needs to be stated on the Tell-A-Friend page in order to maximize its effect.

Missing ALT tags need to be added, especially for navigation graphics.

There is a broken link on the Thank You page that claims to go to a page indicating 'Who Are we Helping?' This should be removed or fixed.


Review History:

  • Original Review
    • Date: September 22, 2001
    • Grade: B
    • Problems:
      • Missing information: how much money goes to beneficiary's projects as opposed to paying for the site
      • Missing information: when the calendar day starts
      • Missing information: whether or not cookies are required for donation
      • Needs better indication of how current the site and its information are
      • Donation totals should be expanded beyond script-run single total
      • Privacy policy is insufficient
      • Spam policy in FAQ, but not on Tell-A-Friend page
      • ALT tags missing from many graphics, including navigation graphics
      • Broken link on the Thank You page to 'Who Are we Helping?'

This page was last updated on September 22, 2001.

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