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© 2019 by Blue Sky Philanthropy

How to make your fundraising communications more accessible

February 5, 2019


As fundraisers, we put a lot of work into our donor communications – we know how important it is to connect with our supporters to say thank you, and share the incredible impact of their gift.


So, it just makes sense to ensure that your communications are as accessible as possible to ALL your donors – including those who are blind, visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing.


Here are three practical ways you can make your communications are as accessible as possible to ALL your supporters.


1. Captioning your videos


If you’re using videos as part of your donor communications strategy (and I hope you are!) it’s so easy and affordable to get them properly captioned.


There are many great captioning and transcription services out there – you can also use online tools to like You Tube’s automatic captioning do your own captioning for free (if you go that route, just make sure you edit carefully for accuracy!)


Captioning also has a great added benefit – it increases engagement of all audiences on social media platforms, and helps every viewer understand the content, even on silent mode.


2. Get to know the basics of print accessibility


If you’re a savvy fundraiser, you’ll make it a priority to better understand print and digital accessibility. 


Globally, it is estimated that approximately 1.3 billion people have some form of vision impairment – and the majority of those people are over 50. These are your donors!


One tip that’s easy to implement is to keep your font size between 12 and 18 points – a lot of fundraisers find 13 points is a sweet spot for direct mail and other print communications.


To learn more about print accessibility, check out CNIB’s Clear Print Accessibility Guidelines (PDF).


3. Using image descriptions online


Image descriptions or alt text description of an image – they’re used by screen reading software to make images accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.


This is something I’ve not been consistent with, so I’m committing to using image descriptions here on my blog in 2019.


I’d love to hear how you’re making your communications more accessible to your supporters – I hope you’ll take a moment to share your tips, ideas and learnings below.



Emma Lewzey, CFRE is an award-winning fundraiser who has been helping great causes like yours build and grow successful fundraising programs since 1995. She’s the President-Elect of the world’s largest Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Chapter in Toronto, and the National Chair of AFP’s Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy. Contact Emma to book your free discovery session, and find out how you can work together to strategically focus your precious resources on the fundraising initiatives that truly work.

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