Privacy is a big deal these days. Every week on the news you read or hear about another person having their identity stolen. This can be discouraging to sites that depend upon consumer trust: namely, eCommerce and online donations.
Privacy policies reassure your customers or donors that you will protect any information they give you through your website’s forms and commerce platforms.
Is your nonprofit collecting personal data?
Personal data collected over your nonprofit’s website needs to be protected. So the questions are: what is personal data and are you collecting it?
Personal data is anything identifiable to a person: email, name, address, credit card number, date of birth, etc.
“The exact contents required will depend on the applicable laws or policies. Also, the definition of what constitutes ‘personal information’ varies, but it often includes names and email addresses, and sometimes IP addresses and browser cookies.” KeriLynn Engel
Your donors believe in your cause; you want to thank them. They need to know that you’ll use their data to contact them via email or physical mail. As a nonprofit, you most likely have marketing information you’d like them to see as well.
“This precious data—contact information and insights on how they interact with your organization and communications—enables you to shape your outreach to be most relevant. And relevance rules!” Nancy Schwartz
You have two major options here: write your own or pay a service. If you count the man hours and expertise involved, it’s probably better to pay a service. That’s a decision you’ll have to make.
Lisa Thompson at Nonprofit Hub recommends writing your policy in plain terms, reviewed by a lawyer, of course. Don’t copy and paste from some other website. Understand what it means.
When it comes to donations, especially online, trust is paramount. Being upfront with your donors about the funds you require, how they are used, and what you plan to do with the information they give you all work together to build that trust.