11 March 2019

AmDee Weekly Digest March 11

News that Matters to You

Did You Know?

At least 2,258 digital accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2018?

Is your organization’s website ADA 508 compliant? Are you sure?

Currently if your nonprofit organization interfaces with, in any capacity, a government agency you must be ADA compliant by law.

AmDee remains the leader in Accessibility. Contact us anytime you need a second opinion or some direction in the matters of accessible design, development, and strategy.

Website Security News

WordPress accounted for 90 percent of all hacked CMS sites in 2018
Roughly 90 percent of all the hacked content management systems (CMSs) Sucuri investigated and helped fix in 2018 were WordPress sites. In a distant second, third, and fourth came Magento (4.6 percent), Joomla (4.3 percent), and Drupal (3.7 percent), according to a report the company published yesterday. Sucuri experts blamed most of the hacks on vulnerabilities in plugins and themes, misconfiguration issues, and a lack of maintenance by webmasters, who often forgot to update their CMS, themes, and plugins. Experts said that only 56 percent of the sites they investigated were running an up-to-date CMS at the time they were called in to remediate a hack.

Website Accessibility News

Website Accessibility Issues for Employers
JD Supra (press release)
A recent trend in suits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act) includes claims for website accessibility. A number of entities have received complaints on behalf of visually impaired individuals, claiming that the entity’s web presence is not equally accessible to the visually impaired. These claims have been brought under Title III of the ADA and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act on the theory that websites are public accommodations. Fueled by success in at least one federal district court case, complaints based on the same theory are being filed in increasing numbers against private entities. Thus, employers must be cognizant of website accessibility issues.

Gender gap in Internet access narrowing: Facebook study
Business Standard
Men still have more Internet access than women globally but low- and lower-middle-income countries narrowed the gender gap in 2018, a Facebook-led study has revealed. According to the Inclusive Internet Index (3i) prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for Facebook, there are demonstrable benefits from comprehensive female e-inclusion policies, digital skills programmes and targets for women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The UK, Namibia and Ireland, followed by Austria, Chile and South Africa, are among the top performers of the year, all with female digital skills training plans.

The Business Case for Digital Accessibility
Mirage News
A new resource called The Business Case for Digital Accessibility explores key advantages of web accessibility to businesses of all types. Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), it provides research and examples to inspire confidence among leaders and decision-makers that continued investment in accessibility is good for your business. The web offers the possibility of unprecedented access to information and interaction for many people with disability. However, many web products are developed with accessibility barriers that make them difficult or impossible for some people to use. Accessibility means that websites, applications, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disability can use them. A valuable by-product is better usability for everyone.

A Useful Experience: Why Usability Is Essential To UX Design
Chances are we’ve all encountered websites that may be informational but wouldn’t be described as easy to navigate or even pleasing to journey through. Built with the business in mind, the site is designed to deliver information about the brand or service it supports. This provides knowledge but no real engagement, excitement or use to the audience, let alone attention to functional aspects like speed, flow and function. Enter user experience design. With a clear focus on the user, UX design seeks to unlock the inner workings of an audience’s needs and how they expect a website to function, look and feel. These elements go far beyond the visual design, including all touch points a user encounters when they visit a website — from navigation, content, imagery, calls to action, interactivity, forms and the list goes on. Analyzing and assessing how well these assets work for the specific user is critical to ensuring a website is successful and provides valuable insight into the site’s efficiency and ultimate usability.

Designing For Accessibility Doesn’t Drive Costs; It Drives Opportunity
In 2014, H&R Block paid $145,000 to settle a suit filed by the U.S. Justice Department that claimed the company’s website, created by HRB Digital LLC (the business’s digital development unit), violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2008, Target was forced to pay $6 million in damages related to its online checkout process. More surprising, however, is the fact that both of those businesses could have actually saved time and resources in development and maintenance and delivered a universally better user experience had they designed for accessibility in the first place. So, how can that be? Designing for users with visual impairments doesn’t pose a challenge, but an opportunity. There are standard information hierarchies that have been established because they offer increased familiarity for most users, which, in turn, translates into a navigational structure that feels more intuitive. Working within these hierarchies forces a user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) designer to be deliberate about how every navigational choice relates or ladders up to every other choice (e.g., does the visual order align with the reading order? Is there a logical order to keyboard navigation?).

Assistive tech tools can help ensure curriculum impacts all students
Education Dive
Making sure assistive technology is available and in place in schools and districts is crucial. These tools can make all the difference when providing help to students across all ranges of abilities, allowing every student to be included in the classroom experience. As recently as 2018, 13% of students in the U.S between the ages of 3 and 21 depended on free specialized services to assist their learning. As Sullivan also noted in Edutopia, not all assistive tech tools need to be an expensive investment. Many are available at affordable prices, and some are even free. Mobile phones and devices, for example, are often studded with assistive tools such as text-to-speech options via digital assistants like Apple’s Siri on iPhones and iPads or the Google Assistant on Android devices. By just speaking aloud, students can craft notes and papers into documents and also access other apps and programs on their devices, as well as completing research.

Nonprofit News

5 Tips For Using LinkedIn To Boost Your Nonprofit
The beautiful thing about living in the age of social media is the medium it has created for connecting with people and spreading your organization’s mission. Each social media platform carries with it a different purpose, a different audience, and a different way to make real connections with people. Twitter can be great for creating a dialogue or sharing bits of news with your followers. Instagram lends itself well for creating a visual story, sharing behind the scene clips of the work your organization is doing, or photos from fundraiser events and gala. But one platform your nonprofit may be under-utilizing is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the largest social networking platforms, but unlike other platforms, LinkedIn is primarily used for professional purposes. There are more than 217,000 nonprofit pages currently on LinkedIn. Out of those, 40% of the monthly active users user LinkedIn daily. Once you’ve claimed your company page, it can be easy to forget that LinkedIn can be used for more than simply posting job openings. While LinkedIn is branded as a professional networking site, the platform is more than just a recruitment tool.

How This Nonprofit Is Changing The Way Minorities ‘Get In’ Commercial Real Estate
According to statistics, there are less than 1% of minorities in commercial real estate management roles. REAP (Real Estate Associate Program), a nonprofit based in New York City, wants to change that. Launched in 1997 in Washington, D.C., by then president of real estate at Giant Foods, Mike Bush, REAP connects minority talent to a thriving, multibillion dollar commercial real estate sector by answering one simple question: “How do I get in?” Other than D.C., and New York City, REAP has chapters in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas and Kansas City. The REAP program includes a classroom portion consisting of a 10-week academy where students receive foundational knowledge on a range of commercial real estate topics from financial analysis to market selection with a mix of exclusive networking receptions with top industry leaders.

Envisioning a Not-for-Profit World for a Sustainable Future
Nonprofit Quarterly
The challenges of the 21st century, including worsening inequality and ecological degradation, make clear the need for an economic system that can deliver widespread human well-being within the ecological limits of the planet. We need an economy that serves people and planet, not the other way around. What might an economic system that meets the needs and challenges of globally connected, ecologically threatened communities look like? Imagine a market in which all businesses exist only to ensure social and ecological well-being. Money circulates only when it is creating social benefit. This is an economy in which people feel a deep sense of purpose in their daily work, as it contributes to the health of their communities. You can buy bread from a bakery, knowing that it was made in the best possible way for your health and for the planet. Any financial surplus generated by the bakery goes back into ensuring that their products are as healthy, sustainable, and affordable as possible.

Let’s Talk About How to Build a Brand
While the online space and social media have ushered in access to knowledge previously locked away in library stacks, continuing education classes, and on microfiche, they’ve also opened the door to scam artists and faux marketers who hock five-figure online courses and master classes riddled with inaccuracies. Business coaches peddle their wares while they have zero experience beyond building an Instagram presence. I’m not knocking anyone’s hustle, but I’m questioning how factors of luck and opportunity (in addition to hard work, of course) can translate to the complexities of small businesses and corporations. What may have worked at a particular point in time may not work for others without understanding the discipline of marketing.

Fundraising News

Events Fundraising Down, But Recovering Slightly
The NonProfit Times
Nonprofits in the “Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Thirty” raised more than $1.39 billion in 2018, down 2.7 percent or about $38.8 million compared to 2017, a year when gross revenue dropped by 6.7 percent. It’s been a decade since the top 30 peaked at its high-water mark of $1.76 million raised. “The forecast for peer-to-peer fundraising has been steadily improving — and we are hearing from many of our members that they’re expecting to see strong results in 2019,” Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum President David Hessekiel said via a press release announcing the results at its annual conference this week in New Orleans, La. “As Relay For Life stabilizes after a planned downsizing, and as other programs continue to grow, we’re hopeful that we’ll see positive numbers for the top 30 when we conduct next year’s benchmark study,” he said. The 2018 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Thirty is produced by the Rye, N.Y.-based Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum (P2P) and sponsored by Austin, Texas-based Charity Dynamics. The largest event continues to be the American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life, grossing $184.8 million. That event also continues to see the largest declines, down $45.2 million, almost 20 percent. Relay for Life events had grossed twice that revenue as recently as 2013, some $380 million. Still, the campaign exceeded internal expectations, according to the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum statement, as ACS focused on reducing the size and hosting fewer, more profitable events. The number of events was slashed by 30 percent, from 3,570 to 2,516.

Donor Management Software: FAQ for First-Time Buyers
NonProfit Hub
When nonprofits experience growth, one of the major changes they can expect is the need to assume software that will support their expanding network. For organizations of a certain size, buying your first dedicated donor management software marks a key stage in your growth. Perhaps you’ve outgrown Excel and that’s why you’re looking to invest in new donor management software, or perhaps you’re wanting your nonprofit to grow through improved organizational processes and boosted fundraising efforts, but your current system just isn’t cutting it. Anyone who’s gone through this transition will tell you that investing in software is a big decision, and deserve to have all of your questions answered before making the final purchase. Donor management software also referred to as a constituent relationship manager (CRM), is a tool used by nonprofits to store and organize information about donors in order to adjust communication and outreach strategies to build stronger relationships.

Did you know that The AmDee blog covers topics related to WordPress, web design, web security, SEO, and content marketing topics for nonprofits and small businesses? Have a question or topic you’d like us to cover? Email us with the subject line “Dear AmDee”.

Christine Job

Christine is AmDee’s Sales and Marketing Manager. She is also the Social Media and Content strategist for AmDee. Her entrepreneurial experience, as well as her experience as a business development consultant, gives her the ability to craft sales and marketing strategies that are lean, comprehensive and effective, not only for AmDee but for also for AmDee clients as well.