Table of Contents
- 1. Scope
- 2. Definition of terms
- 3. Role of betterplace.org
- 4. Role of the organizations when using the platform for themselves and their projects
- 5. Permissible purposes
- 6. Registration of organizations and projects and conclusion of the usage agreement with an organization
- 7. Project management
- 8. Tax relief of the organization - guarantee, evidence, changes to status and identification on the platform
- 8.1. Guarantee of tax relief
- 9. Proof of the use of funds by the organization
- 10. No (forwarding of) donations to other foreign organizations, foreign natural persons or other foreign recipients
- 11. Timely use of funds - information requirements
- 12. (Forwarding of) donations to other domestic tax-privileged organizations
- 13. Rights of use, linking, identification rights
- 14. End or cancellation of a project and repayment of donations
- 15. Termination
- 16. Liability of the organization due to the misuse of funds
- 17. Blocking of projects
- 18. Appearance on the platform
- 19. Changes to conditions
2. Definition of terms
3. Role of betterplace.org
4. Role of the organizations when using the platform for themselves and their projects
4.1. betterplace.org does not provide any legal advice. The organization is responsible for fully investigating the legal requirements for their project before beginning the project. In particular, it is required to adhere to the requirements under tax law and non-profit law when executing their project. If the organization does not have the required knowledge itself, it is required to seek the assistance of a legal or tax advisor. This also applies if betterplace.org has already approved the project.
4.2. Submission of proof of tax relief in accordance with Section 8 and submission of the donation receipt in accordance with Section 9.1 as well as, if requested by betterplace.org, the submission of further evidence of the use of funds in accordance with Section 9.2. and 9.3. only serve to provide evidence of the proper use of funds by betterplace.org. However, they do not replace the organization’s own statutory obligations towards the tax office or third parties.
5. Permissible purposes
5.1. Only projects which are tax deductible as defined in the sense of the German Tax Law are permitted. Only those projects which directly serve non-profit, charitable and religious purposes within the meaning of the German Tax Code (AO) in its respective valid version and which comply with the statutory purpose and the tax-privileged purposes specified in the current exemption notice of the respective organization as a project manager may be displayed on the platform.
The following are in particular not permitted:
- Projects or other commercial projects for the direct or indirect purpose of generating profit,
- Projects which promise or suggest the prospect of some form of consideration in return for a donation,
- Projects which directly or indirectly serve the purpose of supporting or promoting political parties,
- Projects which exceed the limits of permitted political activity,
- Projects that raise donations for administrative costs which are inappropriate under non-profit law,
- Projects that ultimately also serve to generate income and which are not a special-purpose enterprise (“Zweckbetrieb”) within the meaning of the German Tax Code (AO), but instead constitute a commercial business enterprise within the meaning of the Tax Code.
Furthermore, organizations’ projects must not violate German regulations regarding tax legislation in connection with non-profit status.
5.2 betterplace.org reserves the right to make approval for projects subject to additional conditions, at any time and as required and/or announced by non-profit law.
6. Registration of organizations and projects and conclusion of the usage agreement with an organization
6.1. Authority to represent
6.2. Registration of an organization and a project and conclusion of the agreement with an organization regarding the use of the platform for its project
If a registered organization wants to register an additional project on the platform, the existing usage agreement will be extended to include the use of the platform for the additional project, whereby the organization is required to submit an offer upon registration of the project using the registration form (see above) and betterplace.org approves the additional project in accordance with the regulations specified above and thereby accepts the offer.
The subject of the usage relationship of an organization includes all rights and obligations during the use of the available functionalities of the platform.
6.3. Registration of a project
6.3.1 Projects can only be registered on the platform by organizations who are responsible as promoters of their projects.
6.4.1. Projects can only be registered by the organizations on the platform.
6.4.2. The registration of a project requires accurate, complete, realistic and detailed information about the proposed project. This in particular includes information in the project description about the project goal and purpose of use, in addition to information about the project plan and the time frame as well as the project location.
Any changes to the project manager are to be reported immediately to betterplace.org in the administrative area of the project. If the change of project manager is reported and no new project manager is named, or if no other contact partner is provided for the organization in accordance with Section 6.3.2., the respective organization will not be able to collect or request any further donations until a new project manager is named. The previous project manager will remain visible on the platform until a new project manager is named and registered. Until the appointment/registration of a new project manager, the contact partner for the organization in accordance with Section 6.3.2. will also act as the project manager.
7. Project management
7.1. Changes to the project description
If the project description is published, subsequent changes are to be clearly marked and, along with the project requirements and the project report, should give sponsors a realistic insight into the status of the project planning and implementation. Requirements which have already received donations can no longer be changed.
7.2. Project reports
The organization must ensure that regular and timely project updates on the platform provide accurate and reliable information about the progress and performance of the projects listed and the use of funds. Project reports should in particular include details of all transactions, purchases/expenses, and any delays or deviations from the project plan. Project reports should be provided in the form of blog posts with photos, linked documents and/or videos on the project page.
7.3. Use of donations
Donations must only be used for the tax-privileged statutory purposes specified in the project description and in compliance with Section 5.
Minor deviations, for example with regard to the quality or quantity of items to be purchased or small price differences are allowed, provided they are immediately and transparently listed without delay. betterplace.org will decide in each individual case at its own discretion when a deviation is minor, taking the principle of commensurability into account. Payments can only be made for specific purposes. Donations made directly to the project or the sponsoring organization are first allocated to a specific purpose before they are paid out.
8. Tax relief of the organization - guarantee, evidence, changes to status and identification on the platform
8.1. Guarantee of tax relief
8.1.1.The organization either guarantees that it is a domestic tax-privileged body and the project serves solely the direct attainment of their statutory tax-privileged purposes; or, that they are a domestic legal person under public law or domestic public entity in accordance with Section 10 b para 1, sentence 2, No. 1 2nd Alt. EstG (Income Tax Act) and the use of the donations is exclusively for tax-privileged purposes in accordance with the German Tax Code (AO).
8.1.2. The organization also assures that there are no circumstances that could lead to the revocation of its tax-privileged status.
8.2. Evidence of tax relief
The organization must provide betterplace.org with its current certificate of tax exemption or a notification in accordance with Section 60a AO as proof of its tax relief immediately after their registration or suitable proof of their status as a domestic legal person under public law or public entity. If only a notification in accordance with Section 60a AO can be provided in the case of newly established tax-privileged bodies, the certificate of tax exemption must be submitted upon being issued without being prompted to do so.
Organizations must always submit the respective current notice of exemption.
Organizations must always automatically submit a newly issued notice of exemption no later than six weeks before expiry of the existing notice of exemption submitted to betterplace.org. betterplace.org will assist in this regard by reminding the organization via e-mail about the expiry of the existing notice of exemption.
In any case, betterplace.org must have valid proof of tax relief at the point in time when it forwards the donation to the organization. Otherwise, no donation can be made to the organization by betterplace.org.
8.3. Changes to the tax-privileged status
The organization will inform betterplace.org about any changes to their tax-privileged status without delay and will guarantee the tax-privileged status until receipt of the notification of any changes by betterplace.org.
8.4. Identification of the tax relief on the platform and allocation confirmation.
9. Proof of the use of funds by the organization
The organization is obliged to prove the statutory tax-privileged use of the donations in accordance with the purpose specified in the project description to betterplace.org.
This obligation to provide evidence will continue to exist even after the usage agreement has ended if the donations paid by betterplace.org to the organization have not yet been used in full at the time of the termination and/or if all evidence relating to the use of the donations paid out by betterplace.org has not yet been provided at this time in order to enable betterplace.org to provide evidence of the correct use of the funds.
9.1. Confirmation of donation from the organization as evidence
The evidence must be provided by issuing a donation receipt as defined in Section 10b EStG to betterplace.org. Collective receipts of donations are possible for a calendar year. The donation receipts must be sent no later than two months after the end of the calendar year in which the donations were made, or earlier if requested by betterplace.org. If the donation confirmations are not submitted within this period, betterplace.org has the right to block the respective organization and its projects so that they can no longer receive donations from betterplace.org. betterplace.org will activate them again as soon as the donation confirmations have been received by betterplace.org.
9.2. Further evidence of use
In addition, at the request of betterplace.org, the organization must promptly submit further documents that enable betterplace.org to provide evidence of the proper use of funds.
9.3. Report on expenditure of funds when the organization achieves tax-privileged purposes abroad
9.3.1. If the organization achieves its statutory tax-privileged purposes abroad, either through its own activities or through the involvement of a domestic or foreign auxiliary person in the sense of Section 57 para. 1 (2) of the German Tax Code (AO), it shall provide additional evidence to betterplace.org upon request. betterplace.org will decide on a case by case basis at its own discretion which documents and paperwork the organization is required to submit to enable betterplace.org to provide evidence of the proper use of funds, taking the principle of commensurability into account.
The following documents - if necessary translated into German - can serve as evidence of the statutory use of funds abroad:
- Contracts and related transactions concluded in connection with the use of funds,
- Evidence of the outflow of funds abroad and receipts from the payee concerning receipt of the funds,
- Detailed description of the activities carried out abroad,
- Material about the projects carried out (brochures, press releases),
- Expert opinion of an auditor for large or ongoing projects,
- Donation notices from foreign authorities if the measures there are funded publicly, e.g. supported by grants.
- Confirmation of a German diplomatic mission that the claimed projects are being carried out.
9.3.2. If an auxiliary person is involved within the meaning of Section 57 para. 1 (2) AO, the organization must provide betterplace.org with the written agreement concluded between it and the auxiliary person upon request as preliminary evidence. This contract is to specify the content and scope of the activities and the auxiliary person’s legal accountability and must comply with the nonprofit law and other legal requirements.
10. No (forwarding of) donations to other foreign organizations, foreign natural persons or other foreign recipients
10.1. Forwarding donations acquired via the platform to foreign legal or natural persons or other foreign recipients is not permitted.
This applies even if they are recognized as non-profits in the respective country.
10.2. The possibility of involving a foreign auxiliary person within the meaning of Section 57 para. 1 (2) AO as mentioned in Section 9.3. remains unaffected (as they are not to be regarded as a foreign recipient, but rather the organization’s own realization of tax-privileged purposes abroad by means of an auxiliary person).
11. Timely use of funds - information requirements
Organizations must generally use the donations for their tax-privileged statutory purposes in a timely manner (Section 55 para. 1 (5) AO). The funds have been used in a timely manner if they are used within two years after receipt. Hence, if they are received in 2020, the donations must therefore be used in 2022 at the latest. Accordingly, the organization has no more than three years to use the received funds. If an organization does not use the donations collected via the platform in a timely manner, the organization is required to inform betterplace.org of this circumstance without delay, either within the scope of the project report when requesting the donations or by e-mail to email@example.com. betterplace.org will then decide whether and - in the case of a positive decision - under which circumstances the project will be permitted to continue.
12. (Forwarding of) donations to other domestic tax-privileged organizations
12.1. Organizations that wish to pass on the donations collected via the platform to other tax-privileged organizations (“final recipient”) are required to inform betterplace.org of this circumstance no later than when requesting the donations within the scope of the project report or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. betterplace.org will then decide whether and - in the case of a positive decision - under which circumstances the organization is permitted to pass on the donations to other tax-privileged organizations and will inform the organization of this.
12.2. The final recipient is permitted to use the donations which have been passed on by betterplace.org solely within the country.
12.3. An organization is never permitted to donate the donations received from betterplace.org to a domestic natural person.
13. Rights of use, linking, identification rights
13.1. For reasons of transparency, all project and organization content will remain visible on the platform as inactive projects and organizations even after the project has ended or been cancelled and after the usage agreement has ended, so that the use of donations can be tracked by users and the use of funds can be tracked for documentation purposes.
13.2. betterplace.org is entitled to make reference to the cooperation using the organization’s name and the general identification features, in particular in print, broadcasts or on the internet. In individual cases, this right may be shaped by the organization via the issuing of instructions.
13.3. Organizations are entitled to refer to the cooperation on their own website. For this purpose, the organization shall use the standard logo provided for download by betterplace.org for this purpose in conjunction with a link to the project webpage. Any alternative graphic design must be approved by betterplace.org.
14. End or cancellation of a project and repayment of donations
14.1. Termination of a project by the organization
Termination of a project by the organization if the donations collected before the termination can still be used for the intended purpose:
- 100% funded projects – 100% funded projects can either be terminated by the organization itself or they are automatically terminated by betterplace.org.
14.2. Cancellation of a project by the organization
Cancellation of a project by the organization if the donations collected before the termination can no longer be used for the intended purpose:
If it is no longer possible to achieve the project target as specified in the project description or if there is a serious risk of this, the organization is required to cancel the project and provide a corresponding notification on the platform.
In this case, the donation amount raised thus far shall remain with betterplace.org, which will use this for the pursuit of its statutory purposes.
14.3. Cancellation of a project by betterplace.org
betterplace.org is in particular entitled to cancel a project due to:
- a serious violation within the meaning of Section 14.4.2.
- failure to promptly apply for the transfer of the collected donations. betterplace.org regularly sends reminder emails to the organization informing them about the donation amount that can be requested for the project at betterplace.org. Organizations are obliged to promptly request payment no later than ten months after they are received.
In these cases, the donation amount raised thus far and not yet passed on will remain with betterplace.org, which will use this for the pursuit of its statutory purposes.
14.4. Refunding donations
14.4.1. In the following cases, betterplace.org is entitled to payment from the organization and the project managers or jointly and severally from the organization, the project managers and any possible recipients of donations amounting to the sum that has already been paid out:
- Project cancellation by the organization in accordance with Section 14.2 or by betterplace.org in accordance with Section 14.3. No. 1.
- Serious breach of the listing conditions within the meaning of Section 14.4.2.
- Sponsor has reclaimed and recovered the donated amount from their bank.
The payment for the benefit of betterplace.org is to be made to the same account from which the payment was made, without any deduction of costs.
14.4.2. The following in particular constitute serious breaches of the listing conditions:
- False information about participating individuals or significant features of the project
- Severe or continuing breach of the obligation to provide information about project developments
- Loss of the organization’s non-profit status
- Use of donations for other purposes (inappropriate use of funds)
- Project is impermissible in accordance with Section 5
- Failure to send the donation receipt to betterplace.org in accordance with Section 9.1. or further evidence of the use of funds in accordance with Section 9.2. or violation of Section 9.3. (Report on expenditure of funds when the organization achieves tax-privileged purposes abroad)
- Violation of Section 10 (no (forwarding of) donation to another foreign recipient)
- Violation of Section 11 (prompt use of funds and duty to provide information)
- Violation of Section 12 ((forwarding of) donation to another foreign organization)
14.4.3. Other criminal or civil law claims, rights and consequences remain unaffected.
15.1. Ordinary termination - The usage relationship with an organization can be terminated by betterplace.org or the organization at any time by giving notice in writing with a notice period of 14 days.
When the termination becomes effective, the organization will no longer be able to use the respective functionalities of the platform that are available for use on the platform according to the usage agreement (see Section 6.2.).
The organization’s projects will end when the termination comes into force.
15.2. The right to extraordinary termination for cause remains unaffected.
The following reasons in particular are to be regarded as cause for termination by betterplace.org:
- Breach of the listing conditions within the meaning of Section 14.4.2.
- Incompatibility of the user content with the current version of the principles of betterplace.org, which betterplace.org communicates transparently on the platform.
15.3. As soon as the usage agreement ends as a result of the termination by betterplace.org, the organization is no longer permitted to use the platform, even with other platform accounts, and shall not be able to re-register.
16. Liability of the organization due to the misuse of funds
The organization is obliged to compensate betterplace.org for any damages resulting from misuse of funds by the organization.
17. Blocking of projects
betterplace.org is entitled to temporarily block projects, regardless of the right to end a project (as a result of an ordinary and extraordinary termination of the respective organization as promoter of the project) and the right to cancel a project in accordance with Section 14.3. The blocking relates, for example, to the ability to post or change content on the project website on the platform and to raise and request donations. betterplace.org shall in particular make use of this right if third parties inform betterplace.org of the violation of any laws, third party rights or rules of betterplace.org in relation to specific content or users.
18. Appearance on the platform
Registered organizations add their own organization profile and project websites to the platform to represent themselves and their projects.
The various options are determined by the functionality of the platform.
All forms of product advertising and approaching individual users for the purpose of selling products are prohibited on the platform.
19. Changes to conditions
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