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June 6, 2023

5 Tips to Make Your Nonprofit Website Accessible to All

Guest Blog Writer

Your nonprofit website may be highly engaging and informative, but is it accessible to everyone? 

Accessibility is an important nonprofit web design practice to make your content easy to understand and navigate by people of all abilities. This will result in a more positive user experience, inviting visitors to explore more of your content and get involved in your nonprofit’s mission. 

Use these five key tips to make your nonprofit’s website accessible and emphasize inclusivity.

1. Understand and Follow WCAG Best Practices

When familiarizing yourself with accessibility best practices and setting your organization’s website up for success, it’s important you start by referencing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This guide is the foundation of accessibility standards online and provides all of the information you need to make your website inclusive and user-friendly. 

Ultimately, the best practices for accessibility outlined on WCAG’s website serve to make web content perceivable, adaptable, distinguishable, and operable. As the digital world evolves and new technological solutions become available, the WCAG changes its guidance as well. Remember to regularly check the guidance so you can implement any new suggestions.

2. Prioritize Simple Navigation

A website’s navigation is one of the biggest indicators of user-friendliness and accessibility. In fact, 37% of users said that complicated navigation is a leading factor for their desire to log off. It’s crucial to keep your nonprofit’s website as user-friendly and straightforward as possible so that people of all abilities can absorb your content.

Fortunately, there are many easy ways that your team can streamline your navigation:

  • Create a mega menu for simple navigation.
  • Use clear CTAs so supporters know their intended next action and how to access it.
  • Use breadcrumb navigation, which is a system that allows users to easily backtrack to pages they previously visited.
  • Add a search bar to your page headings so your users can easily find the content they’re looking for.
  • Use a floating header with the most important pages on it, like your about page and donation page, so users can easily navigate back to it.

Implementing these strategies allows your visitors to access your nonprofit’s important information as well as gives your organization the opportunity to funnel visitors through the pipeline to become active supporters. 

3. Make Your Content Easy to Understand

Remember that when you publish your website content, anyone should be able to access it. Include everyone in the conversation by making your content universally comprehensible. You can simplify your content by:

  • Avoiding technical jargon and industry language.
  • Explaining what acronyms stand for.
  • Providing definitions and background information if necessary.
  • Breaking up long paragraphs of text with visuals and white space.
  • Using straightforward language for CTAs.
  • Using descriptive anchor text for links that clearly outline where the links go.

A good rule of thumb for writing simple content is to write it at an eighth-grade level. That way, you can describe concepts to your audience in a concise manner.

4. Provide Alternatives to Visual Content

Many websites depend on visuals first and foremost to present information. However, as previously mentioned, visually-dependent content isn’t accessible for those with visual impairments, such as color blindness. Here are some visual content alternatives: 

  • Add alt text to images. Alt text is a description of images or visual content. Screen readers read it so people with visual impairments can absorb your content.
  • Provide audio descriptions of visual elements. Embed audio voice-overs of complicated graphics for visually impaired users. 
  • Use descriptive text. Instead of relying solely on visual cues, try to describe them in the text as well. For example, if you're using an infographic to convey data, include a summary of the data in text form.

Implementing these design tweaks helps you convey complicated information in a universally comprehensible way that’s sure to bring your website to the next level of inclusivity and drive more donor engagement.

5. Use an Accessibility-Focused Nonprofit CMS

A website builder takes away the complex process of coding a website and instead makes setting up your website with your content simple. According to Morweb, making all of the adjustments suggested in this guide and more is possible with a powerful website builder.

If your Content Management System (CMS) doesn’t have the tools to elevate your website’s accessibility, it might be time for a switch. When picking a CMS, make sure it can:

  • Implement the various adjustments previously discussed, such as alt text and video captions.
  • Ensure your website is up to date with WCAG standards. 
  • Automatically make your website mobile-friendly. 
  • Provide users the option to adjust your content to their needs with a built-in accessibility widget. 
  • Allow for secure logins so your team members can contribute.

Ensure that your solution is tailored to nonprofits so you get the most personalized approach. Look for a CMS that includes design templates for nonprofits that make it simple for you to implement accessibility best practices, regardless of your web design experience. Also, it helps to use a CMS that doesn’t require web development expertise to reduce human error and streamline the setup process. 

The Gist

Whether you’re setting up a temporary Giving Tuesday microsite or revamping your homepage, prioritizing accessibility will help your nonprofit inspire more people and grow your supporter base. 

That being said, don’t stop at adjusting your website for accessibility! For instance, you can make your fundraising emails even more effective by providing text descriptions of images and using clear and concise subject lines. By taking these quick and easy steps, your nonprofit can make a long-lasting impression on your current and future website visitors and better achieve your mission.

Murad Bushnaq is the Founder and CEO of Morweb. Since its inception in 2014, Murad has acted as Creative Director and Chief Technologist to help nonprofits spread their vision online through engaging design, intuitive software, and strategic communication.

Murad Bushnaq Headshot