Your website needs a privacy policy

Nonprofits and other charitable organizations run on the public's trust. Without it they're left with no money or volunteers to keep their causes going. Therefore, it's essential for any not-for-profit wanting to maintain a good relationship with donors to offer protected certified payment processing through its website.

Contributors need to know when they make a donation to your organization, their financial information is safe and secure. However, using solutions to protect and encrypt their payment card numbers isn't always enough. If you're a nonprofit accepting online donations, your website also needs a privacy policy. 

As data breaches become more commonplace even in the not-for-profit sector, people are more wary to give out their banking information to organizations whether they're for-profit or nonprofit. A privacy policy can reassure your donors.

What is a privacy policy?
While some of the visitors to your website might not even read it, this type of statement is good for both them and your nonprofit. A privacy policy is a few paragraphs stating what information you collect about each person that views your site and what you will do with his or her data. It details what the organization tracks like your Internet Protocol address and whether or not the website or a third party uses cookies to trace what you look at online.

The policy is also a way to assure patrons the purchases or donations they make through the website are secure and the company or nonprofit won't share sensitive information with anyone else. 

Why write one?
A privacy statement is vital for your not-for-profit if you want to gain and keep the trust of donors both large and small. As the number of people donating online increases, your contributors don't need the added worry of a data breach or the nonprofit sharing your information with unauthorized people.

Nonprofit Hub advised writing a statement in clear and concise language without all the legal jargon to ensure visitors to your website can easily understand your intentions. Having a good policy in place and following it to the letter not only demonstrates your trustworthiness, but it can also keep your organization out of the courts. If a legal matter ever arises over shared data, you can always point to your privacy policy. 

What to include
When writing your statement, be straightforward and tell your website visitors what you intend to do with the information you collect from them. Take a look at some sample policies online, but remember to formulate your own. People viewing your site need to know the statement is tailored to your nonprofit.

Your organization might want to consult a lawyer to ensure that you do not violate any laws with the data you collect. Make sure you're compliant with the rules and regulations set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and any health care laws. 

Once you have your statement written both you and your donors can enjoy some peace of mind.  

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