Charity websites failing readability test on legacy giving details

Report by marketing agency Bluefrog indicates that many older people would struggle to read the sites

More than half of the UK's 100 largest charities use design styles on the sections of their websites covering legacy giving that are inaccessible to older donors, according to new research.

The report, Generating Legacies Online, produced by marketing agency Bluefrog and published this week, says 52 of the 100 largest charities by voluntary income use design styles that a large proportion of their target audience would struggle to read.

"The use of reversed-out text, greyed text or coloured text on another colour can make it difficult to read," the report says.

"Yet less than half avoided the use of these styles. Given the weakened eyesight of the majority of those considering leaving a legacy, this seems unwise."

The report says that only 20 of the charities had links on the home pages of their websites to information about legacy giving, and 29 offered large-text options on the legacies pages of their websites.

When the same survey was carried out in 2007, 18 of the charities offered large text and 13 had links to legacy information on their home pages.

The report also says that more than a third of the charities did not respond to requests made by researchers posing as potential legacy givers, who used their websites to request more information about leaving legacies.

"The over-55s are close to becoming the largest age group online," the report says.

"Charities are getting better at communicating with them online, but they still need to give more consideration to their needs."

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