Leading the Way: GivePulse's Role in Promoting Digital Accessibility

As we gear up to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), May 16, it's the perfect time to reflect on the importance of digital accessibility, why it matters, and the strides GivePulse has made toward ensuring that our platform is inclusive and accessible to all. 

Since the start of GivePulse back in 2012, accessibility has been, and continues to be, a fundamental principle woven into every aspect of our work, from design, implementation, user experience, and beyond. Today, we are excited to share more about the importance of digital accessibility on our platform. 


Why Digital Accessibility Matters?

Digital accessibility refers to the practice of designing and developing digital content and technologies that can be used by everyone. This includes ensuring that websites, applications, and other digital tools are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for all users.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the gold standard for digital accessibility, recognized globally for their comprehensive framework. With over 1 billion people worldwide living with disabilities, including visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive impairments, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the need for accessible digital content is more crucial than ever. At GivePulse, we're committed to exceeding these standards, ensuring our platform is WCAG 2.2 compliant and continuously tested to not only meet but surpass regulatory requirements. WCAG guidelines not only set the standard but serve as the most widely utilized framework for evaluating digital accessibility, guiding our ongoing efforts to create an inclusive online environment for all users.

"GivePulse recognizes and celebrates the power of community engagement and the profound impact it can have on individuals and society as a whole. Our platform serves as a tool for fostering these meaningful connections, whether it's volunteering, participating in a community event, or supporting a nonprofit organization. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to participate fully in these experiences, regardless of any barriers they may face. That's why digital accessibility is not just a checkbox for us; it's a fundamental aspect of our mission. By ensuring that our platform is accessible to all, we're not only breaking down barriers but also amplifying the voices and contributions of every individual within our diverse community. Because when everyone can participate, we truly harness the full potential of collective action and create positive change that reverberates far beyond the digital realm."

- Bonnie Gier, GivePulse Product Manager


Impact of Accessibility

The importance of digital accessibility cannot be overstated. It's not just about compliance with regulations or standards; it's about inclusivity and equal access to information and services for all individuals. 

“As a person who uses a screen reader and was a user and admin on the GivePulse platform before coming to work for the company, I have been happy at how our team, from our CEO on down, understands the importance of accessibility. It is part of my job to help keep accessibility front and center, and it’s great that I don’t have to convince anyone that we should be building an accessible platform from the ground up.”

- Jana Schroeder, GivePulse Accessibility Specialist

When digital platforms are inaccessible, individuals are effectively excluded from participating fully in online experiences, whether it's accessing educational resources, engaging with community initiatives, or pursuing professional opportunities. By prioritizing accessibility, we're not just meeting legal requirements; we're opening doors and breaking down barriers for millions of people worldwide.

"Considering accessibility not only fosters better naming conventions and challenges assumptions about user diversity but also underscores the importance of reaching audiences in innovative ways. A strong grasp of web semantics and adherence to intended element usage form the foundation of good accessibility practices. Additionally, aligning automated tests with assistive technology landmarks provides an extra layer of assurance in our commitment to inclusivity."

- Tommy Wiebell, GivePulse Front End Engineer


Our Approach to Accessibility

At GivePulse, we're passionate about creating a platform that's not only functional but also inclusive and welcoming to all users. Our commitment to accessibility is multifaceted:

  • Color Contrast and Usability: We meticulously ensure the GivePulse platform meets and exceeds WCAG color contrast standards, making it easier for users with visual impairments to navigate and interact with our interface. Last year, we introduced our "Dark Mode" capability, allowing users to increase color contrast and reduce eye strain when navigating the platform. 
  • Continuous Testing and Improvement: Before each launch, our team conducts both hands-on and automated testing specifically having to do with the accessibility of the feature. Automated testing is built into the development cycle so that accessibility-related issues can be corrected prior to the launch of new features. We recognize accessibility is an ongoing journey, and we're dedicated to continually improving our platform based on user feedback and evolving standards. In light of GAAD the GivePulse team is dedicating a day to solving and addressing accessibility-related improvements to be made on the platform to ensure the user experience is smooth and seamless. 
  • Education and Awareness: We believe that fostering a culture of accessibility requires ongoing education and awareness-building. That's why we're proud to host events like our Accessibility Upgrade Day, where our team came together to deepen our understanding of accessibility best practices, brainstorm innovative solutions, and go beyond the current WCAG 2.2 standards. 
  • Functional Accessibility: As a part of the product testing team, we have a screen reader user on staff who conducts functional testing before the release of new features because automated accessibility tests are estimated to identify only around 57% of accessibility problems on websites. 

Looking Ahead

As we look to the future, our commitment to accessibility remains steadfast, and are committed to ensuring that our platform aligns with and exceeds the latest guidelines. Additionally, we're exploring new ways to promote accessibility within our organization and beyond, from creating educational resources for our customers to ensure the content they add to our platform is also accessible. 

"As we build an application that promotes community engagement and growth, it's important for us engineers at GivePulse to strive to build a platform that includes all members of our users' communities. Realizing the vast audience GivePulse connects has truly been a humbling and rewarding experience."

- Ben Hong, GivePulse Front End Engineer


Join Us in Building a More Inclusive Future

As we celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we invite you to join us in championing accessibility and inclusivity in the digital landscape. Whether you're a developer, designer, educator, or advocate, there's a role for everyone in creating a more accessible world. Together, we can break down barriers, amplify diverse voices, and build a future where everyone can participate fully and equally in the digital world.


About GivePulse

GivePulse's mission is to enable everyone in the world to participate and engage in lifting their community to new heights. We do so by providing a platform to list, find, organize and measure the impact of service-learning, community engagement, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and volunteerism.

Founded in 2012 in Austin, Texas, GivePulse works with 650,000+ groups, including colleges and universities, nonprofits, businesses, K-12/school districts and cities and municipalities. Together, we connect millions of people in a,n effort to create positive social change.

Are you looking to learn more? Schedule a demo here, and start making a difference today by visiting