Terms and conditions for organisations and projects which are tax deductible and for volunteering
These terms and conditions apply to all volunteers and tax-deferred organisations and projects registered on the platform betterplace.org to collect donations for a recipient.
- the organisation,
- the project representative and
- the manager of a volunteer search.
Where betterplace.org is mentioned as a uniform term below, this involves a legal relationship with gut.org gemeinnützige AG as operator of the platform.
Where the term “non-profit” is used in the following, this also refers to charitable and religious purposes within the meaning of the German Tax Code (AO) in addition to charitable purposes within the meaning of the AO.
2. Role of betterplace.org
gut gemeinnützige AG and betterplace.org provide a platform where potential beneficiaries can present projects and volunteer searches and be found by potential supporters. gut.org gemeinnützige AG is a tax-deductible funding body and recipient of donations made by supporters at betterplace.org. betterplace.org aims to take the donation target (see definition in paragraph 4) specified within the scope of the donation made by the supporter on betterplace.org when using the funds; however, the supporter expressly has no legal right to determine that the donation is passed on to the target specified by the supporter. When using the funds, betterplace.org takes into account the wishes of the supporter and its statutory charitable purposes, the valid terms and conditions and the principle of the timely use of funds, according to which it is generally required to use its funds for its tax-deferred statutory purposes in a timely manner, and regularly reports on the use of the funds on betterplace.org.
In the case of gifts in the form of volunteering, betterplace.org acts only as an intermediary.
3. Authorised purposes
betterplace.org is only to be used for those projects and volunteer searches which serve non-profit, charitable and religious purposes within the meaning of the German Tax Code (AO) in its respective valid version. In particular, projects for the purpose of generating profit or other commercial projects and volunteer searches and projects and volunteer searches which promise or suggest the prospect of counter-performance in return for a donation are not permitted. Projects and volunteer searches which directly or indirectly support or promote political parties are also excluded.
4. Definition of terms
Various functions and descriptions relate to the use of betterplace.org and the associated Terms and Conditions:
- “Registered user” is a natural person who has registered on the platform, stating their name and email address.
- “Supporter” refers to a natural person or corporate body who makes a donation on the platform.
- “Anonymous supporter” refers to a natural person or corporate body who makes a donation on the platform without being identifiable on to the community on the platform.
- “Donations target” is a “project” , an “organisation” or a “fund-raiser” for a project or an organisation or a “volunteers search” which is seeking support in the form of money or volunteers.
- An “organisation” is a corporate body that has been registered on the platform by a registered user.
- A “project” is a specific initiative of a registered user or an organisation with an objective defined in the “project description”. This objective is to be met with cash donations.
- A “project representative” is a registered user who is responsible for the content of a project as a representative of an organisation. They are therefore responsible for the use of the received donations in the manner stated in the project description.
- “Project requirement” refers to a description in which the project representative specifically describes and quantifies the use of cash donations with the use of examples. The project requirement must always be in accordance with the purpose specified in the project description, whereby the purpose is exclusively tax-privileged in accordance with Sections 52 – 54 of the AO.
- “Fund-raising” is an initiative where a registered user encourages people to donate money to a selected project as a “fund-raiser”. The fund-raiser can also be the project representative. Normally, however, this is a registered user who wants to support the project with their activities as an external party.
- A “volunteer search” is a search for unpaid, voluntary work for non-profitable, charitable and church purposes within the meaning of the German Tax Code (AO).
An “individual responsible for a volunteer search” is a registered user who is responsible, either directly or as a representative of an organisation, for the content of a volunteer search and is responsible for the use of the supporter in the way described in the Volunteer Search.
5. Registration of organisations, projects and Volunteer Search
Projects can only be registered on betterplace.org by corporate bodies (organisations) subject to domestic law. Only tax-deductible projects within the meaning of German tax law are permitted.
“Volunteer Searches” can be registered on betterplace.org by natural (individuals) or legal persons (organisations).
5.1. Registration of organisations
5.1.1. A legal person (organisation) must always register and responsible as manager of the project. A volunteer search can wither be registered as a volunteer search by a legal person (organisation) if it is responsible as manager of the volunteer search or as a volunteer search by a natural person.
5.1.2. Responsible agent – The registration of the organisation is carried out by an authorised representative of the organisation. They must first register as a user at betterplace.org. This representative shall remain authorised to clarify matters regarding all matters relating to the organisation on betterplace.org with binding effect and to submit and receive the required statements to and from betterplace.org until we are notified otherwise.
5.2. Project representative upon registration of projects
Project manager – A responsible natural person (the project representative) who is registered at betterplace.org as a user is to be appointed for each project set up by an organisation. The project representative guarantees and ensures that the information about the project and participants is accurate and is responsible for project updates. Any changes to the project representative are to be reported immediately. The previous project representative will remain visible on the platform until a new project representative is named and registered. Until the appointment/registration of a new project representative, the organisation representative (5.1.2.) will also be responsible for the project.
5.3. Registration of Volunteer Search
Representative for the Volunteer Search – A natural person should be named as the representative for each volunteer search is a responsible natural person (the person in charge of the Volunteer Search), who guarantees and ensures that the actual information about the activities, participants and contact details are accurate. The person in charge of the Volunteer Search must be a registered user of betterplace.org. Any changes to the Volunteer Search representative are to be reported immediately. The previous Volunteer Search representative will remain visible on the platform until a new Volunteer Search representative is appointed/registered.
6. Guarantee, proof, change of status and identification of tax privileges
6.1. Guarantee of tax relie
The organisation either guarantees that it is a domestic tax-exempt corporation and that the project is intended solely for the immediate implementation of its statutory tax-privileged purposes; or that it is a domestic legal entity under public law or domestic public office according to Section 10 b para. 1 sentence 2 no. 1.2 of the old version of the Income Tax Act (EStG), and that the donations are used exclusively for tax-privileged purposes in accordance with Sections 52 -54 AO.
6.2. Proof of tax relief
The organisation is required to submit its latest notice of exemption or notice pursuant to Section 60a AO to betterplace.org immediately after registration as evidence of its tax relief or submit suitable evidence of its status as a domestic legal entity under public law or public office. If, in the case of newly-established tax-privileged corporations, only a decision pursuant to Section 60a AO can be submitted, the exception decision is to be submitted at a later date once it has been issued.
Tax-privileged corporations must always submit the most up-to-date notice of exemption.
Tax-privileged corporations are required to submit a newly granted notice of exemption no later than two months prior to the expiry of the notice of exemption submitted to betterplace.org, and without being prompted to do so. betterplace.org will inform the organisation about the expiry of the current notice of exemption by email as a supportive measure.
In all cases, there must be valid evidence of the tax privileges when the donations are passed on to the organisation by betterplace.org. Otherwise, it is not possible for betterplace.org to allocate the donations to the organisation.
6.3. Changes in the status of tax privilege
The organisation shall inform betterplace.org about all changes to the status of its tax privileges without delay and assures the status as a tax-privileged organisation until a notification of any changes is received by betterplace.org.
6.4. Identification of tax privileges on the platform and donation receipt confirmations
Upon proof of the tax privileges, organisations and projects shall be marked accordingly on the platform. Monetary donations to organisations or projects can be declared for tax purposes. The corresponding donation receipt confirmation shall in this case be sent directly from betterplace.org to the supporters, see Section 8.2.10 of the Terms and Conditions for Users and Donors (tax deductible).
7. Report on expenditure of funds by the organisatio
The organisation is required to provide betterplace.org with evidence of the tax-privileged statutory use of the donations in accordance with the purpose specified in the project description.
7.1. Donation receipt confirmation as evidence
This evidence is always to be provided to betterplace.org in the form of a donation receipt confirmation within the meaning of Section 10b EStG. Collective donation receipts for one calendar year are possible. The donation receipts are sent no later than two months after the end of the calendar year in which the donations were made, or earlier upon request by betterplace.org. If the donation receipts are not submitted within this time period, betterplace.org reserves the right to block the respective organisation and its projects, so that it can no longer receive any donations from betterplace.org. betterplace.org shall unblock them as soon as betterplace.org has received the donation receipts.
7.2. Additional reports on expenditure of funds upon special request
Furthermore, upon request by betterplace.org, the organisation shall promptly provide additional papers and documents allowing betterplace.org to verify the correct use of the funds.
8. Appearance on the platform
Registered organisations upload their own organisation profile to the platform to represent themselves and their projects or Volunteer Searches.
The various options are determined by using the functionality of betterplace.org. Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Terms and Conditions for Users and Donors (tax deductible) apply correspondingly to content which an organisation uploads to betterplace.org. betterplace.org is in particular entitled to remove content which contravenes the Terms and Conditions and the organisation is in particular obliged to ensure that their conduct and attributable content do not violate statutory provisions, public morality or rights of third parties (e.g. trademark, name, copyright, data protection and youth protection law) before uploading content; they in particular also undertake to to obtain the legally required permission of the photographer or depicted individuals before uploading text, images or other content, even if this involves their own responsible individuals or representatives; the organisation shall release betterplace.org from any third party claims that result from a breach of these obligations. All forms of product advertising and approaching individual users for the purpose of selling products or referring to a cooperation with companies or other forms of advertising for companies are prohibited.
9. Project management (cash donations)
9.1. Registration of the project
Projects are registered on the platform and requires accurate, complete, realistic and detailed information about the proposed project: This in particular includes information about the project aims and intended use and details of the project plan, time frame and project location in the project description text.
9.2. 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 updates, should give supporters a realistic insight into the status of the project planning and implementation. Requirements which have already received donations can no longer be changed.
9.3. Project news
The project representative ensures that regular and timely project updates on betterplace.org provide accurate and reliable information about the progress and performance of the listed project and the use of funds. Project updates should in particular include details of all transactions, purchases/expenses and any delays or deviations from the project plan. Project updates should be provided in the form of blog posts with photos, linked documents and/or videos on the project page.
9.4. Use of donations
Donations can be used only in accordance with the purpose stated in the project description and must only be used for tax-privileged purposes pursuant to Sections 52 – 54 AO. 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 described. Differences of less than ten percent are generally considered to be minor deviations. Payments can only be made for specific requirements. Donations made directly to the project or support organisation will initially be assigned to a specific requirement before being paid out.
9.5. End and termination of a donation project
9.5.1. Donations project terminated by the project manager
a) 100% funded projects – 100% funded projects can either be terminated by the project representative themselves or terminated by betterplace.org.
b) Early termination of projects without 100% funding – The project representative is required to end their project if they do not intend to fully complete their project on the platform. The project representative is required to state the reason for the termination of their project and the appropriate use of donations already donated to the organisation responsible for the project and can request payment of the donations made up to the end of the project. betterplace.org then decides whether it will pass on the donations to the organisation responsible for the project in accordance with paragraph 9.7. If betterplace.org decides not to accept the donation request, the donation amount already raised will remain with betterplace.org, which will use these funds for the pursuit of its statutory purposes.
Projects remain visible on betterplace.org as inactive projects for transparency reasons.
9.5.2. Cancellation of a donations project by the project representative – If it is no longer possible to achieve the project target as specified in the project description or if there is a serious risk, the project representative is required to cancel the project and provide a corresponding notification on the platform. In this case, the previously raised donated amount will remain with betterplace.org, which will use the funds to pursue its statutory purposes.
If no donations have been raised by the project cancellation date, the project representative can delete the project. Otherwise, the projects remain visible on betterplace.org as inactive projects for transparency reasons.
9.5.3. Cancellation of a donation project by betterplace.org – Furthermore, betterplace.org is entitled to cancel a project in the following cases:
- Serious breaches of these conditions.
In this case, the previously raised donated sums which have not yet been passed on will remain with betterplace.org, which will use the funds to pursue its statutory purposes.
- The omission of the timely request for the allocation of the collected donations.
betterplace.org regularly sends the project representatives reminder emails stating the donated amount available to be claimed for the project on betterplace.org. Project representatives are obliged to apply for donations promptly within ten months of receipt.
- Failure to achieve the minimum donation amount (see paragraph 9.7).
In these cases, the projects also remain visible on betterplace.org as inactive projects, unless the project has not received any donations yet when the project is cancelled.
9.6. Refund of donations
9.6.1. In the following cases, betterplace.org has a claim for payment against the project representatives or collectively against the project representatives and any recipients of donations according to the amount already paid out:
- Project termination by the project representative in accordance with paragraph 9.5.2. or by betterplace.org in accordance with paragraph 9.5.3. No.1
- Serious breach of the conditions for listing within the meaning of paragraph 9.6.2..
- Supporter has reclaimed and recovered the donated amount from their bank.
- Failure to send the donation receipt confirmation to betterplace.org in accordance with paragraph 7.1.
The payment is to be made to the same account for the benefit gut.org gemeinnützige AG from which the payment was made.
9.6.2. The following in particular apply as serious breaches of the conditions for listing:
- Inaccurate information about participating individuals or significant features of the project
- Severe or continuing breach of the obligation to provide information about project developments
- Use of donations for other purposes
9.6.3. Other consequences under criminal or civil law remain unaffected.
9.7. Donation process
Following the application for a donation by the project representative, betterplace.org decides on how the collected donations will be allocated. During its donations decision, betterplace.org usually takes the following criteria into account:
- The organisation and the project meet the formal requirements (verified charitable status, has tax-deferred purposes in accordance with our policies).
- The requested donations exceed EUR 20.00. betterplace.org determines the funding level. betterplace.org is entitled to use the services of third parties for this purpose.
- The project representative must provide an informative project update and state how the funds will be used at the time of the donation payment.
- betterplace.org still considers the project to be worthy of support.
The donation is usually made to the project representative within six weeks after a positive decision regarding a donation request by betterplace.org. However, betterplace.org reserves the right to allocate funds without being requested to do so if the funds are fully available. The funds are transferred to the organisation responsible for the project.
Under no circumstances does a right exist to demand payment from betterplace.org for donations allocated to the project requirements. The organisation responsible for the project is hereby expressly informed that this donation allocation is not binding according to applicable law and is therefore unenforceable by taking legal action.
Organisations that have received project donations from betterplace.org confirm the receipt of these donations by providing a donation receipt prepared by the organisation. Details are provided in paragraph 5.1.3.
9.8. Use of donations to cover costs
Use of donations to cover costs – When a cash donation is made, betterplace.org will decide whether to pass on the amount donated to betterplace.org. This decision only relates to the amount minus the transaction costs; the amount required to finance the transaction costs (see our cost coverage list) will always be retained by betterplace.org.
9.9. Supporters’ data and liability in the event of data misuse
The representative of the fund-raising goal requested by the supporter (organisation, project or fund-raiser) can see the name of their supporters. They are only permitted to use this information to create a unique thank you message, allocate the donations made by an individual and thank the supporter if they meet them personally. Under no circumstances can the representative uses the name of the supporter for advertising purposes without their express consent.
If the Supporter has granted the corresponding consent within the scope of the use of the platform, betterplace.org will provide the supporter data to the organisation selected by the supporter as the requested donations target exclusively for the purposes specified therein: The data is passed on so that the organisation can send the donor regular updates about its work and the progress of the project (e. g. newsletters). The data provided consists of the person’s full name, company (if applicable), email address, address and donation date, donation amount, requested donation target, donation requirements, information about whether this is a one-off or regular donation and the frequency of any regular donations (e. g. monthly, annually).
Data is also passed on for the purpose of statistical analyses to optimise the organisation’s fundraising. The data provided consists of the person’s full name, company (if applicable), email address, address, donation date, time of the donation, donation amount, the channel used to make the donation (e. g. ngo-website), the submission of a thank-you message, requested donation target, the total amount donated by the supporter, the type of donation (one-off or regular donation), the frequency of any regular donations (e. g. monthly, annually), language, and information about whether the supporter has requested personal messages (see betterplace newsletter & personal messages).
Consent is only granted for this specific donation. This information will be stored together with the information about the transaction.
Under no circumstances is the organisation permitted to use the supporter data for reasons other than those specified in the particular declaration of consent.
If the representative /organisation fails to comply with the aforementioned requirements in this paragraph 9.9., they shall release betterplace.org from any resulting liability towards third parties and agrees to compensate betterplace.org for all resulting damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
Bank and debit card details of the supporter are never stored on betterplace.org or passed on to the organisation or project representative.
10. Volunteer search (locating unpaid voluntary work)
10.1. Setting up a Volunteers Search
A volunteer search can be set up on betterplace.org. Accurate, complete, realistic and detailed information regarding the work to be performed must be provided, with the following minimum information:
- Contact person and their contact details
- Description of the activities to be performed; this must be for non-profitable, charitable or church purposes within the meaning of Sections 52 – 54 AO.
- Purpose of the proposed activity
- Time, duration and frequency of activity
- Requirements for this searched supporter
10.2. Appointment of the supporter
The volunteer Search representative will use the supporter located on betterplace.org in the area described in the Volunteer Search.
The coordination and implementation of unpaid voluntary work is dealt with exclusively between the supporters and recipients.
If an expense allowance is provided for the supporters by the recipient, this must not exceed the level permissible in this context and must not conflict with the voluntary nature of the activity. At the request of the supporter, the representative will confirm the scope and nature of the work performed.
10.3. Updating the Volunteer Search
The representative is required to keep the information provided in the Volunteer Search up-to-date. This particularly applies to the contact information provided. If the specified contact person is absent, they will ensure that a suitable representative is available.
Unless otherwise specified by the representative, Volunteer Searches are listed on betterplace.org for a maximum of six months. Before the end of this period, the person who created the search will be contacted and has the option of listing the Volunteer Search for another six months. A prerequisite for this is that they update the volunteer search accordingly.
If a volunteer search is no longer up-to-date before the end of the six-month period (for example if the position is filled or this member of staff is no longer needed) the representative undertakes to deactivate the Volunteer Search in their administration area.
10.4. Cancellation of a volunteer search by betterplace.org
betterplace.org is entitled to cancel the volunteer search or prevent the representative from searching for volunteers or organisations if serious breaches of the conditions for listing are committed, in particular:
- False information about participating individuals or significant features of the volunteer search
- Supporters work for purposes that do not comply with the specifications of the volunteer search
Other consequences under criminal or civil law remain unaffected.
11. Linking / identification rights
If an organization has its own form of identification or logos using the mechanism provided in the platform, betterplace.org shall be granted the irrevocable right to use these features on the platform for the intended purposes without time restrictions.
betterplace.org is also entitled to make reference to the cooperation using the organisation name and the identification feature in general, in particular in print, broadcasts or on the internet. This right can be exercised by the organisation by issuing instructions in individual cases.
Organisations are entitled to refer to the cooperation on their own website. For this purpose, the organisation shall use the standard logo provided for download by betterplace.org for this purpose in conjunction with a link to the project web page. An alternative graphic design requires the approval of betterplace.org.
12. Termination, blocking of access and registration
12.1. The cooperation can be terminated by betterplace.org or the project representative or the manager of the volunteer search at any time by submitting a notification in writing, to take effect at the end of the following month. The projects and/or organisations registered by the project representative on betterplace.org and the volunteer searches registered by the manager of volunteer searches on betterplace.org shall end when the termination becomes effective. Projects that have already received support in the form of cash donations are to be brought to an end in accordance with these conditions for listing. All projects and organisations, in addition to listed content, shall also remain visible on the platform following the termination/cancellation for transparency reasons, so that the previous projects and the use of donations can be tracked.
12.2. The right to extraordinary termination for good cause remains unaffected. Good cause for termination by betterplace.org in particular includes serious breaches of the conditions for listing (see paragraph 9.6.2 and paragraph 10.4) as well as data misuse (see paragraph 9.9).
12.3. For the blocking of content on betterplace.org by betterplace.org, paragraph 6 of the Terms and Conditions for Users and Donors (tax deductible)shall also apply accordingly with regards to the project descriptions and updates and the volunteer search descriptions.
13. Changes to Terms and Conditions
These Terms and Conditions for Organisations, Projects and Volunteers are valid from April 2017 and are currently valid.
We reserve the right to make changes to our Terms and Conditions for Organisations, Projects and Volunteers 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 about upcoming changes at the same time by email. We therefore ask you to regularly refer to the latest version on our website.
For comments or questions about the Terms and Conditions for Organisations, Projects and Volunteers of betterplace.org, please contact our Support Team at any time:
gut.org gemeinnützige AG
– Projects & Organisations –
Schlesische Straße 26