Terms and Conditions for Users and Donors (tax-deductible)

1. Scope

The internet platform betterplace.org is operated by gut.org gemeinnützige AG (gut.org gAG, Schlesische Straße 26, D-10997 Berlin). gut.org gAG is a social enterprise and a tax-deductible funding body. Our current policies and the current notice of exemption are available in our Transparency section. All funds are used exclusively for non-profit, charitable and religious purposes in accordance with our policies and within the meaning of the German Tax Code (AO).

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. 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.

In addition to these Terms and Conditions, the Privacy Policy must also be observed. In the event of the registration of a project, a volunteer search or an organisation, additional terms and 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, this includes the creation of

  • an “organisation”,
  • a “project”,
  • a “volunteer search”
  • a “fundraiser”

require prior registration as a user.

Details regarding the concepts and the uploading conditions can be found in the Terms and Conditions for Volunteers, Organisations and Projects.

2.2. Only users with full legal competency and those acting with the consent of their legal representatives are authorised for use. However, the minimum age of the user is 14 years old in all cases.

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

3. Duties and obligations of the user

3.1. The user is responsible for their behaviour 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 do 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 utmost 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 support@betterplace.org or by post (gut.org gemeinnützige AG, 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 of 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

4.1. 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, on other fund-raising platforms operated by gut.org gAG and fund-raising apps, in promotional material for the platform betterplace.org and gut.org gemeinnützige AG, including social media channels, and the API interface and iFrames on websites and in apps of betterplace.org’s partners, both on and offline. betterplace.org is in particular entitled to process and in particular 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.

4.2. The user also releases betterplace.org from any third-party claims resulting from a breach of paragraph 3.1, to the extent that the content uploaded to betterplace.org by the user is used on other fund-raising portals and fund-raising apps of gut.org gAG and on the partner websites and partner apps in accordance with paragraph 4.1..

5. Provision of betterplace.org

betterplace.org will endeavour to maintain the uninterrupted availability of the platform. The aim is to achieve availability of 97 % each year. Specific availability is not guaranteed. betterplace.org is in particular authorised 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 paragraph 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 Data Protection Policy.

7. Liability

The liability of betterplace.org is excluded for all damages and liability claims, regardless of their legal grounds (e.g. warranty, 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

Within the scope of these Terms of Use, the donation process refers to the donation made by the supporter to betterplace.org, specifying a “fund-raising goal” where appropriate. betterplace.org defines a fund-raising goal as a project, organisation or fund-raiser for a project which advertises on betterplace.org to raise funds and which betterplace.org can support within the scope of its donation decisions as a funding body. The support may take the form of a cash donation or the provision of voluntary work free of charge. betterplace.org aims to take the fund-raising goal requested by the supporter into account when allocating the funds. However, the supporter expressly has no legal right to demand that the donated funds are donated onwards 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-privileged statutory purposes in a timely manner, and regularly reports on the use of the funds on betterplace.org.
8.1. Role of betterplace.org

8.1.1. betterplace.org reviews the projects before their publication to determine the social purpose of their intended implementation. betterplace.org also requests evidence in the form of an up-to-date exemption notification to verify that the organisation responsible for the project is recognised as being non-profit within the meaning of German tax law.

8.1.2. betterplace.org recommends that users should only support a fund-raising goal if the supporter knows the organisation or representative or if the fund-raising goal has been recommended by a trustworthy person and they deem this to be suitable on the basis of the descriptions. Each supporter is personally responsible for obtaining all the information which they need, if applicable, to indicate a desired donation target.

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 dauerspende-kuendigen.betterplace.org at any time with immediate effect.

When making cash donations, the requested fund-raising 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 representative” indicates the anticipated requirements for the implementation of the corresponding project.

A requested fund-raising goal can also be a “fund-raiser” or organisation on betterplace.org.

Details regarding the concepts and the uploading conditions can be found in the Terms and Conditions for Organisations, Projects and Volunteers.

8.2.2. Donations decision – following the application for a donation by the project representative, betterplace.org decides on how donations collected will be allocated. During its donations decision, betterplace.org usually takes the following criteria into account:

  1. The organisation and the project meet the formal requirements (verified charitable status, has tax-privileged purposes in accordance with our policies).
  2. The project representative must provide an informative project update and state how the funds will be used at the time of the donation payment.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

8.2.3. Anonymous donations – the supporter has the option of making a virtually anonymous donation as either a registered or unregistered user.

The supporter provides their name, email address, postal address and bank account details during the donation process. This data is used for authentication purposes during the payment process.

When using the comment function, the supporter can choose whether their support should appear with or without their donated amount and their name and picture (if a picture is available) on the platform. If the supporter decides that their support will be displayed with no name and picture, they will appear as an “anonymous supporter”. The default setting for the respective display is based on the Privacy Policy in “Donation Process”.

8.2.4. 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.

8.2.5. Donations to support betterplace.org – In the event of a cash donation, it is possible to request that some of the donated amount or the entire donated amount remain with betterplace.org to pursue its purposes in accordance with its policies. This option is explained during the donation process. The suggested amount can be changed or completely deleted by the supporter.

8.2.6. Fund-raising campaigns – betterplace.org provides users with the opportunity to set up fund-raising campaigns on the platform. In a fund-raising campaign, the fund-raiser (registered user) suggests that people come together to support one or more projects on betterplace.org to mark a special occasion (e.g. their birthday or a marathon) by making cash donations. The supporters, not the fund-raisers, receive the donation confirmation within the meaning of paragraph 8.2.10. The fund-raisers specify the projects selected in the fund-raising campaign as requested fund-raising goals. They are asked to assign the donations collected in its fund-raising campaign to the selected projects as soon as possible.

Failing a timely allocation the donations, betterplace.org will send a reminder email to the fund-raiser ten months after receipt of the last donation. This reminder will ask the fund-raiser to allocate the donations to the desired fund-raising goals. If the fund-raiser fails to comply with this request, betterplace.org can end the fund-raising campaign two months after this reminder. betterplace.org will then, taking the desired fund-raising goals into account, either allocate the donations itself or the donated sum will remain with betterplace.org for the pursuit of its statutory purposes.

The latter is, for example, always applicable when it is not possible to allocate donations to any of the selected projects, as the projects are, for instance, now fully funded or are completed or cancelled in accordance with paragraph 8.3..

Even after completion of a fund-raising campaign, this and any uploaded content remain visible on the platform for transparency reasons so that the previous fund-raising campaign can be tracked.

8.2.7. Legal obligation – The supporter undertakes to ultimately provide the contributed funds for their desired fund-raising goal support with no deductions for any money transfer costs. The repayment of donations to supporters is not possible.

8.2.8. Payment & Security – Payments can be made using the various services offered on the platform (e.g. by credit card, debit card, PayPal). 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.

If the supporter participates in the SEPA direct debit scheme, betterplace.org will send the supporter preliminary information (a pre-notification) before each SEPA direct debit (in the case of regular donations, before the first SEPA direct debit for the standing order) specifying the debit amount and payment date. The supporter will receive the preliminary information at least one day before the payment date for the SEPA direct debit. The preliminary information can be sent separately or as part of other messages.

8.2.9. Publication/review of donations – An important aspect of betterplace.org is transparency in the management of projects. The Data Protection Policy applies to the publication of donations and can be viewed in the current valid version at betterplace.org. In addition, the supporter authorises betterplace.org to review the information provided by the recipient 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.

8.2.10. Donation receipt – A donation receipt will only be issued by betterplace.org if betterplace.org has the required information to issue the donation receipt, in particular name and address details. Contributions which can be granted for a donation receipt are identified as such on betterplace.org.

Donation receipts are normally issued annually at the end of a calendar year with retroactive effect. There is no entitlement to an interim certificate.

8.3. End and termination of a donation project

8.3.1. Donations project terminated by the project manager

  1. 100% funded projects – 100% funded projects can either be terminated by the project representative themselves or terminated by betterplace.org.
  2. 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 8.2.2. 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.

8.3.2. 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.

8.3.3. Cancellation of a donation project by betterplace.org – Furthermore, betterplace.org is entitled to cancel a project in the following cases:

  1. Serious violations of the Terms and Conditions for Volunteers, tax-privileged organisations and projects. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Failure to achieve the minimum donation amount (see paragraph 8.2.2).

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.

8.4. Volunteer search

8.4.1. Searching for unpaid, voluntary work is available on betterplace.org as a “volunteer search”. “Volunteer Searches” can be registered on betterplace.org by natural (individuals) or legal persons (organisations). There is a representative of the “Volunteer Searches” for each Volunteer Search.

betterplace.org only creates a point of contact between potential supporters 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 supporters and recipients.

8.4.2. betterplace.org does not provide donation receipts for volunteer work.

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 Terms and Conditions for Volunteers, Tax-Privileged Exempt Organisations and Projects.

9. Changes to Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions are valid from April 2017 and are currently valid.

We reserve the right to make changes to our terms and 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 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 of betterplace.org, please contact our community representative at any time:

gut.org gemeinnützige AG
– Support –
Schlesische Straße 26
D-10997 Berlin
support@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 gemeinnützige AG are agreed as the place of jurisdiction.