Sharing Insights: Charity Website Audits

At a time where everyone seems to be making up new words for the sake of it, suggesting that charities should use simple language might sound almost... rebellious.
Tags: Website, Accessibility, Content, Non-profit web design

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It’s really interesting to see how the findings from our charity website audits uncover such similar issues across the board. Whilst every charity and website has its own specific quirks and problems to overcome, these are some of the issues we see coming up with increasing frequency – and how they can be solved…

1. Accessibility

  • The Problem: Accessibility seems to have rarely been considered, with even the most simple elements, such as colour contrast rarely meeting the required levels. Most sites fail on multiple issues.
  • Solution: The good news is that solving this problem is very simple and relatively low-cost. Using tools like Accessibe can instantly transform your site to meeting WCAG 2.1 AA standard – these tools ensure that all content is accessible, including images, videos, and documents, by adding proper alt tags, subtitles, and accessible formats. It’s likely there are also some tweaks that should be made to the colours being used on the site to ensure the ‘default’ site colours are also accessible.

2. Outdated Content

  • Problem: Content is rarely updated and lots of it is even irrelevant to the current climate and even the charity itself.
  • Solution: Try and set aside time each year to review the content on your site and remove old and irrelevant material. Create (and try to stick to) a content plan and try to add new content to your website at least monthly to keep content fresh and to improve your position on search engines. 

3. Content Overload

  • Problem: Most charities have a lot to say and they fall into the trap of trying to say it all at once, straightaway.
  • Solution: Keep the ‘top level’ pages on your website simple and only give short pieces of information – just enough for users to understand what you do and how to find the information they want. Save more detailed content for linked pages or downloadable resources to avoid putting too much info on the main pages.

4. Lack of time/resource to manage the site

  • Most charities don’t have enough staff, so things that aren’t seen as ‘vital’ are often de-prioritised (understandably) and websites are often one of the first things to be forgotten about.
  • Solution: Identify the role of your website in supporting the charity’s wider objectives. Funders will all check your website and it’s a great platform for encouraging and receiving donations as well as providing information and education about what your charity does. Once you understand how important your site can be, it’s easier to unlock time and or budgets to provide the people power to give it proper attention.

5. Poor Maintenance and Training

  • Problem: Quite often the team in charge of the website has never really had any training, or understanding of how to manage the website, which leads to a poorly created anc clunky website.
  • Solution: Provide training sessions for charity staff on basic website management and upkeep. Develop simple manuals or video tutorials that staff can refer to when needed.

6. Undefined Role of Website

  • Problem: There is no clearly defined role for the website. MOST charity websites should be fulfilling one or all of the following roles for the charity; Information, Education, Participation, Donation. 
  • Solution:In line with your charity’s objectives, define clear goals and roles for your websites. Once you’ve created them, make sure you review and monitor your site’s performance against these objectives.

7. Lack of Mobile Optimization

  • Problem: Over 50% of all website traffic is now from a mobile device, yet many of the websites we review are not set up to work properly on these platforms. At best, users can;t use the site easily, at worst, they just leave the site altogether.
  • Solution: Ensure that all websites are responsive and test on various devices to guarantee usability and accessibility. It is very likely you will need support with this from a web specialist as it is tricky to do.

8. Poor CRM Integration

  • Problem: Lots of charities have implemented new websites and new CRM systems independently of one another, which often means they are poorly integrated, or not integrated at all. This will almost definitely be impacting on the charity in a negative way with lots of missed opportunities.
  • Solution: If you’re looking at a new CRM or website, one of the key factors you should consider is how easily they will integrate. Most CRM websites will show you what it is set up to integrate with. If you already have a website & CRM you are happy with, but the integration between them isn’t great it’s worth discussing with your CRM and web partners to see how you can improve this.

9. Outdated Website Design

  • Problem: Many sites are ticking on past 10years old and, as such the design is starting to (or is already) get outdated and look a little tired.
  • Solution: Regularly review and refresh the website design to reflect the current services, impact, and branding of the charity. This could be part of a broader digital strategy that keeps the charity’s online presence vibrant and engaging.


Take a look at your website and see how it stacks up against each of the 9 points above. If all, or a few of them resonate, it may be time to give your website a little bit of love to make sure it’s working hard enough for your organisation!

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