Terms of Use and Donation Conditions

1. Scope

The internet platform betterplace.org is operated by gut.org gemeinnützigen AG (gut.org gAG, Schlesische Straße 26, D-10997 Berlin). gut.org gAG is a social enterprise: all funds are used exclusively for non-profit purposes in accordance with the organization’s articles of association.

These terms and conditions apply to all registered users of betterplace.org and platform visitors. They regulate the rights and obligations of users/visitors when visiting the platform betterplace.org and using the provided functions. Where betterplace.org is mentioned as a uniform term below, this involves a legal relationship with gut.org gAG as operator of the platform. The term ‘donation conditions’ is to be understood independently of the tax status of the funded projects and their sponsoring organizations.

In addition to these Terms of Use, the  Privacy Policy  must also be observed. In the case of the registration of a project, an organization, volunteer searches or of a company, additional conditions apply. .

2. Registration as a user

2.1 . Registration as a user is free of charge. Certain functionalities of betterplace.org are only available for registered users:

In particular

  • the creation of an “organization”,
  • the creation of a “project”,
  • the creation of a “volunteer search”
  • the creation of a “fundraiser” and
  • the creation of a “company”

require prior registration as a user.

Details regarding the definition of terms and the requirements for listing are provided in the  Condi­tions for Organizations, Projects and Volunteers  and the Conditions of Use for Companies .

2.2. The minimum age for registration is 14. Young people under the age of 18 should inform their parents before registering. We also encourage you to take care with the use of personal data.

2.3. The user must be a natural person and is required to provide only accurate information, in particular with regards to their identity and age, when registering.

3. Duties and obligations of the user

3.1. The user is responsible for their conduct when using betterplace.org and is fully accountable for all content they post and its accuracy. Before actual participation or posting content, the user must confirm that their conduct or content will not breach regulations, moral expectations or legal rights (e.g. trademark law, the right to bear a name, copyright and data protection law, youth protection regulations). In particular, the user undertakes to obtain the required approval of participants/affected parties/beneficiaries, for example the photographers and the depicted or mentioned individuals, before uploading text and images and to provide betterplace.org with evidence of this at any time upon request. The user releases betterplace.org from any third party claims arising from a breach of this obligation.

3.2. When participating at betterplace.org, the user shall take into consideration that the betterplace community (i.e. the community of users and the operators of betterplace.org) work together on the basis of mutual respect and fair and reasonable relationships. The upmost measure of restraint and respect towards the differing options of others is required when dealing with issues of belief, religious or political beliefs.

3.3. It is illegal to directly upload, provide links to or otherwise facilitate access to the following content on betterplace.org:

  • Material which endangers or impairs young people and development, especially violent, pornographic or otherwise immoral content
  • Content that promotes or glorifies hate, violence or any form of discrimination
  • False statements of fact and offensive statements
  • Vulgar and obscene language, disrespectful, provocative and aggressive communication with other users
  • Misleading content
  • Calls for boycotts or non-peaceful or otherwise illegal activity

3.4. If the user finds content on betterplace.org which, in their opinion, violates existing laws or the Conditions of Use, they shall inform betterplace.org of this fact, e.g. by email (to:  change@betterplace.org  ) or by post (to: gut.org; Schlesische Straße 26, D-10997 Berlin).

3.5. If betterplace.org gains knowledge of prohibited content or suspects the existence of such content, betterplace.org is entitled to remove this content from the platform at any time.

3.6. An excessive negative impact on betterplace.org is to be avoided. In particular, measures are prohibited which may compromise the integrity, stability and availability of the IT systems of betterplace.org.

3.7. Passwords and other data used to access betterplace.org must be chosen by the user in accordance with the general principles of password security and must be kept strictly confidential. betterplace.org must be informed immediately if the user has reason to believe that the safety of betterplace.org or access to its website have been compromised.

4. Rights of use

If the user uploads text, images, or other content to betterplace.org, they grant betterplace.org the right to use such content on betterplace.org, in promotional material for betterplace.org and gut.org gAG and the API interface on websites of betterplace.org’s partners, both on and offline. betterplace.org is in particular entitled to abbreviate and save the content and make it publicly available on the platform or the API interface accessible, taking the original meaning into consideration. Distinct and clearly displayed alternative instructions when uploading the content remain unaffected.

 5. Provision of betterplace.org

betterplace.org shall endeavour to keep the platform available and free of disruption whenever possible and aims for an availability rate of 97 per cent per year. Specific availability is not guaranteed. betterplace.org is in particular entitled to take the platform off the network, both for regular and unscheduled maintenance work. betterplace.org is entitled to change the functionality, appearance and other features of the platform as it chooses. Access to the platform is only provided for the current version. betterplace.org is not obliged to store or save versions or content on behalf of users.

6. Termination, suspension of access, deleting content

6.1. Usage as a registered user can be terminated by betterplace.org or the user at any time by submitting a notification in writing and shall end at the end of the month following the termination.

6.2. The right to extraordinary termination for good cause remains unaffected. Good cause for termination by betterplace.org in particular includes situations where the user has significantly or repeatedly breached their obligations as defined in Clause 3 of this agreement or in the case of incorrect registration data.

6.3. betterplace.org is entitled to prevent the user from accessing individual or all functionalities of betterplace.org, irrespective of the right to extraordinary termination. In particular, this prevention of access affects the option of uploading or amending content on betterplace.org. betterplace.org is furthermore entitled to review, block or delete all content uploaded to betterplace.org. betterplace.org shall in particular make use of this right if third parties report the violation of any laws, third party rights or the rules of betterplace.org show by specific content or users.

6.4. Prior to termination for good cause or the prevention of access by a user or blocking of content, the user shall have an opportunity to comment.

6.5. After termination of the contractual relationship, the user profile is anonymous on the platform. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

7. Liability

The liability of betterplace.org is excluded for all damages and liability claims, regardless of their legal grounds (e.g. defects liability, delay, impossibility of performance, breach of duty or tort), except for claims …

  • due to injury to life, body and health,
  • due to fraudulent intent or on the basis of a warranty,
  • due to wilful intent or grossly negligent conduct of betterplace.org or their legal representatives,
  • in accordance with the German Product Liability Act (Produkthaftungsgesetz)

The legal regulations apply to these exceptions.

8. Donation Process

The donation process in the sense of these Conditions of Use refers to contributions made towards a “fundraising goal.” A fundraising goal is understood by betterplace.org to be a project, organization or fundraiser for a project or organization.

Such contributions can be made in the form of a monetary gift or unpaid voluntary work.

The terms “donor” and “donation process” are used in these Conditions of Use regardless of the tax status of the organization which is managing the project and for which funds are being raised.

8.1. Role of betterplace.org

8.1.1. betterplace.org only provides the technical infrastructure for sponsors and beneficiaries to communicate. Every sponsor is therefore personally responsibility for obtaining all information required to make their decision regarding a contribution towards a specific fundraising goal.

8.1.2. All information available to betterplace.org can be found on the platform itself. No further information about projects or volunteer searches and participants is available at betterplace.org. betterplace.org does not review the information provided on the platform about registered users, projects and volunteers searches. In particular, the identity of the individual which has uploaded the project, details of the project in the project description adjuster, project report and the information in the volunteer searches are not verified. betterplace.org does, however, require that organisations which are recognised as having a charitable status in the sense of German tax law to provide evidence of this by submitting a currently valid exemption certificate.

8.1.3. betterplace.org recommends that users should only support a fundraising goal if the sponsor knows the organization or representative or if the fundraising goal has been recommended by a trustworthy person and they deem this to be suitable on the basis of the descriptions.

8.2. Cash donations

8.2.1. Cash can be donated in the form of one-off payments or recurring payments (“regular donations”). Regular donations can be cancelled at any time with immediate effect in the user profile.

When making cash donations, the fundraising goal is usually a “project at betterplace.org. The planned use of the donations is described in the “project description”. For this purpose, each project contains one or more “project requirements” in which the “project manager” indicates the anticipated requirements for the implementation of the corresponding project.
It is also possible to make a donation to superordinate entities such as “organizations” or “fundraising”. These will then direct the donations to one or more projects where they are ultimately used for the implementation of the intended purposes defined in the project description

Details regarding the terms and conditions and the uploading conditions can be found in the  Conditions for Organizations, Projects and Volunteers .

8.2.2. Charitable beneficiaries – betterplace.org is a charitable organization recognised under tax law. Cash contributions for projects whose organisers are recognised as charitable in the sense of German tax law (donations) are initially accepted by betterplace.org as beneficiary of the contribution. By selecting a donation goal, the sponsor confirms their wish to support the corresponding project or organization or projects involved in the fundraising campaign. betterplace.org will comply with this request and disburse the funds to the selected project, as long as the conditions are fulfilled (see Clause 8.2.4.) or important reasons, such as breaches of the  Conditions for Organizations, Projects and Volunteers , prevent this from occurring.

8.2.3. Non-charitable beneficiaries – betterplace.org offers users the opportunity to support other projects within the country and abroad whose organisers (natural or legal persons) are not charitable in the sense of German tax law. All of these projects also have non-profit, charitable and/or religious purposes as defined in the tax code and betterplace.org’s articles of association. These cash contributions are made in the form of a “fiduciary donation” to an escrow account of the bank BNP Paribas. The sponsor hereby agrees to enter into a separate trust agreement with the bank during the donation process. betterplace.org arranges the transfer of the donated funds to the project as long as the necessary conditions are fulfilled (see 8.2.4.), unless important reasons, such as breaches of the  Conditions for Organizations, Projects and Volunteers , prevent the payment from being made.

8.2.4. Payment conditions – The following requirement must be met for the payment of donations: The collected donations exceed EUR 20.0 for projects run by recognised charitable organizations in the sense of German tax law or EUR 50.00 for all other projects. betterplace.org determines the donation amounts. betterplace.org can use the services of third parties for this purpose. At the time of the payment, the project manager documents the planned use by making a descriptive entry in the project blog. Payment shall be made no later than six weeks after the payment request by the project manager. betterplace.org reserves the right to pay a requirement without being prompted to do so in the case of full financing. The transfer shall be made to the organization managing the project or, in the case of an individual project, to the project manager.

8.2.5. Anonymous donations – The sponsor has the option of making an anonymous donation. In this case, registration as a user is not required. The sponsor provides their name, email address, postal address and bank account details during the donation process. Their donation will appear on the platform with no image or name as an “anonymous sponsor”.

8.2.6. Additional donations – In the case of a cash donation to a fundraising goal on betterplace.org, the user has the option of making an additional contribution directly to betterplace.org. This option is explained during the donation process. The suggested amount can be changed or completely deleted by the sponsor. There is no obligation to make a donation to betterplace.org.

8.2.7. Fundraising campaigns – betterplace.org provides users with the opportunity to set up fundraising campaigns on the platform. In a fundraising campaigns, the fundraiser (registered user) suggests that people come together to support one or more projects on betterplace.org by making cash contributions, to mark a special occasion (e.g. their birthday or a marathon). The selected projects must all have the same tax status. If the fundraiser selects projects run by organizations which are recognised charitable organizations in the sense of German tax law, the donators (not the fundraiser) shall receive a donation confirmation in the sense of Clause 8.2.11. The fundraiser shall ensure that the collected funds are distributed to the projects selected for the fundraising campaign. They will be instructed to pass on the collected funds to the projects to be supported as soon as possible.

If the fundraiser does not transfer the donations within 12 months, betterplace.org will ask the fundraiser to transfer the funds. If the fundraiser fails to act upon this request within 6 weeks or cannot be contacted with reasonable effort, betterplace.org is entitled to transfer the contributions to the projects selected by the respective fundraiser. If it is not possible to transfer the funds to these projects (as the project is now fully funded) , the contributed amount shall be transferred to betterplace.org, which shall use the funds to pursue its purposes in accordance with the organization’s bylaws.

8.2.8. Legal obligation – The sponsor undertakes to ultimately provide the contributed funds for projects with no deductions for any money transfer costs. The sponsors and beneficiaries are not entitled to claim interest on funds which have not yet been disbursed. The repayment of contributions to the sponsor is excluded unless the project is cancelled (see 8.4).

8.2.9. Payment and security – Payments can be made using any of the options provided on the platform (e.g. credit card, debit card, PayPal, bonus points). In this regard, the special conditions of the respective provider also apply. The donation process on betterplace.org is secure. The data is transmitted using an encrypted connection (SSL) and is only processed by betterplace.org in connection with the donation.

In case the sponsor takes part in the SEPA Direct Debit Scheme, the supplier will provide an advance information (Pre-Notification) before every SEPA Direct Debit to the sponsor which contains the due amount and the due date. The user receives the advance information not later than one day before the due date of the SEPA Direct Debit. The advance information can be sent separated or dispatched as a part of other informations.

8.2.10. Publication/review of donations – An important aspect of betterplace.org is transparency in the management of projects. The  Data Protection Policy apples to the publication of donations and can be viewed in its current valid status at betterplace.org. In addition, the sponsor authorises betterplace.org to review the information provided by the beneficiary and/or payment intermediary (“Payment Service Provider”) to check whether and to what extent a promised donation has been paid. betterplace.org is also entitled to save this information to provide details to authorities and other third parties as required by law for the duration stipulated by law.

8.2.11. Donation confirmation – A donation confirmation shall only be issued by betterplace.org if the beneficiary of the cash conation is a charitable organization recognised by the German financial authorities, or if the work of betterplace.org is also supported with a donation (see 8.2.6.) and insofar as betterplace.org has the information required to issue a donation confirmation, in particular the donor’s name and address details. Contributions which can be granted for a donation confirmation are identified as such on betterplace.org.

Donation confirmations are normally issued annually at the end of a calendar year with retroactive effect. A claim for an intermediate certificate does not exist.

If a beneficiary of a cash donation passed on by betterplace.org issues or receives a donation confirmation, betterplace.org accepts no responsibility for the tax advantage of the donation. Attention is expressly drawn to the fact that the recognition of foreign beneficiaries’ confirmations is often insufficient for tax enforcement.

8.3. Volunteer search

8.3.1. Volunteer requirements are listed in a “volunteer search” on betterplace.org. “Volunteer searches” can be registered on betterplace.org by natural (individuals) or legal persons (organizations). There is a representative of the “volunteer searches” for each volunteer search.

betterplace.org merely acts as a point of contact between potential sponsors and the representative or their nominated contact person for volunteer searches and only supports this communication. The coordination and implementation of unpaid voluntary work is dealt with exclusively between the sponsors and beneficiaries.

8.3.2. betterplace.org does not provide donation confirmations for volunteer work.

8.4 Cancellation of a project

Cancellation of a cash donation project – when the project’s aim as described in the project description is no longer possible, the representative is required to cancel the project and communicate this fact on the platform. Furthermore, betterplace.org is also entitled to cancel projects in the event of serious breaches of the  Conditions for Organizations, Projects and Volunteers . In this case, donations are to be refunded to the sponsors – as long as the contributed amount has not yet been paid out and as long as a bank account is available for the sponsor. If a bank account cannot be determined without reasonable effort or if a donation confirmation has already been sent to the sponsors, the contributed amount shall be transferred to betterplace.org, which shall use the funds for the purposes defined in its bylaws.

In the case of fundraising campaigns, the fundraiser will be asked by email to select an alternative fundraising target within twelve months – as long as the contributed amount has not yet been paid out. For tax reasons, this must be a fundraising goal with the same tax status (i.e. tax deductible or non-tax-deductible) as the previously selected fundraising goal. If the fundraiser cannot be identified without reasonable effort or if a donation confirmation has already been sent to the sponsors, the contributed amount shall be transferred to betterplace.org, which shall use the funds for the purposes defined in its bylaws.

Similarly, the contribution amount shall also be transferred to betterplace.org if a project which has received donations does not achieve the donation target required for pay-out (8.2.4.). betterplace.org which shall use the funds for the purposes defined in its bylaws.

8.5. Completion or cancellation of a volunteer search

8.5.1. Completion – if a volunteer search has been completed (for example, if a voluntary employee has been found), the representative should deactivate the application on the platform.

The deactivation of the application on the platform by the representative will mean that the application is no longer visible on the platform. The person responsible for making the application has the option of reactivating the application if required, so that it will be visible again on the platform.

betterplace.org reserves the right to apply a time limit to volunteer searches, after which they will be automatically deactivated, if the representative does not respond to a request by betterplace.org to confirm that the application should remain active.

8.5.2. Cancellation – Furthermore, betterplace.org is also entitled to cancel an application on the platform in the event of serious breaches of the  Conditions for Organizations, Projects and Volunteers .

9. Changes to Conditions

These Terms of Use and Donation Conditions came into force on 3 June 2013 and are currently valid.

We reserve the right to make changes to our Terms of Use and Donation Conditions at any time without restriction, in particular in order to adapt them to legislative or technical changes. The updates will be posted on our website 30 days before they take effect. Registered users are informed of upcoming changes at the same time by email. For comments or questions about the Conditions for Use and Donations of betterplace.org please contact our community manager at any time:

gut.org gAG
- Community and Campaigning -
Schlesische Straße 26
D-10997 Berlin
change@betterplace.org

10. Governing Law and Place of Jurisdiction

The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies, excluding the CISG. The headquarters of gut.org gAG are agreed as the place of jurisdiction.