Charities websites still have room for improvement

The second annual Charities Website Benchmark Report reveals that there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Commissioned by e-Consultancy, online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports and how-to guides, the iConcertina ‘Charity Website Benchmarks 2007’ report evaluates the top 120 charity websites (by voluntary donations) in the following categories:

· Usability – is the site easy to use?
· Accessibility – can everyone access the site?
· Communication – can users communicate with the charity and each other?
· Transparency – is the charity open with its information?
· Responsiveness – does the site encourage and support giving, volunteering, fundraising, and corporate involvement?
· Housekeeping – does the site work in harmony with social networking sites?

This year we found:
· Charity websites are best at Usability.
· They do well in Responsiveness and Communication.
· Their scores are weak in Housekeeping and Transparency.
· Accessibility scores catastrophically, showing a general lack of consideration in this area.

Compared to 2006, overall, sites score less. We see:
· Improvement in Usability and Accessibility.
· Huge improvement in Communication, where scores more than double. This is due mainly to the increased use of various communication channels by the charities.
· A small decrease in the scores for Transparency and Responsiveness.
· A serious decline in the Housekeeping scores, due mainly to reduced homepage ranks and the introduction of the new criterion – social media.

Congratulations to the highest ranked site this year; Cancer Research UK’s site; www.cancerresearchuk.org. It is the 2007 ‘winner’ in our benchmark study – last year it was fifth. The site noticeably improved its scores in Usability, Accessibility and Communication.

Subscribers of www.e-consultancy.com can down load the full report for free and non members can pay a one off fee. Charities can commission iConcertina to prepare a personalised reports for them and their peer groups specific results. Please contact Michelle Mace by email michelle@iconcertina.com or phone +44 20 7269 7919 with your request.

[ends]

For further information please contact:
Michaela Carmichael, Marketing Consultant, iConcertina Creative Ltd, (e: michaela@iconcertina.com, t: +44 (0)20 7269 7914)
Chris Lake, Editor, E-consultancy.com, (e: chris@e-consultancy.com, t: 020 76814052)

About iConcertina:
iConcertina Creative is a custom online solutions provider. We build bespoke solutions to meet our clients' specific needs by blending superior creative design, technical functionality and business process understanding.

About E-consultancy
E-consultancy is the UK’s leading online publisher of best practice internet marketing reports, research and how-to guides. It also publishes buyer’s guides and has a directory of 100,000+ third party internet marketing white papers.

Since moving to a paid-content model in 2003 E-consultancy has amassed thousands of paying subscribers, more than 36,000 registered users and 150,000+ unique users sessions per month. Its weekly newsletter is sent to 20,000 users.

Subscribers pay from £149 per year to access the exclusive and highly practical content, which helps internet marketers get the most out of their websites.

E-consultancy has more than 100 events lined up for 2007, including roundtables and monthly Supplier Showcases, where six suppliers pitch to an audience of pre-qualified buyers (typically between 100-150) in a Central London venue. E-consultancy also provides a range of public and in-house training programmes, such as seminars and workshops.

Published on: 12:00AM on 11th July 2007