Terms and Conditions for Users and Donors

(Terms of use for StartGiving.org)

The internet platform StartGiving.org is operated by StartGiving Fundraising gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH, Schwarzwaldstr. 18, 60528 Frankfurt). StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH is a social enterprise and a tax-privileged funding body. Our current policies and the current notice of exemption are available here. All funds are used exclusively for non-profit and charitable in accordance with our policies and within the meaning of the German Tax Code (AO).

These Terms and Conditions apply to all registered users ofStartGiving.org and platform visitors. They regulate the rights and obligations of users/visitors when visiting the platform StartGiving.org and using the provided functions.

Where StartGiving.org is mentioned as a uniform term below, this involves a legal relationship with StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH as operator of the platform. Where the term “non-profit” is used in the following, this also refers to charitable purposes within the meaning of the German Tax Code (AO) in addition to benevolent purposes within the meaning of the AO.

In addition to these Terms and Conditions, the Privacy Policy must also be observed.

I. Registration as a user

  • Registration as a user is free of charge. Certain functionalities of StartGiving.org are only available for registered users. In particular

    • the complete processing of a donation process for the benefit of third party organizations (direct donations);

    • the creation of multi-user accounts (family and company accounts) and possibly related special functionalities;

    • the view of supplementary information on supported third party organizations as well as status of own resources and funding of StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH.

require prior registration as a user.

  • Only users with full legal competency and those acting with the consent of their legal representatives are authorised as users. The minimum age of the user is 14 years old in all cases.

  • The user must be a natural person or authorised to represent the legal entity and is required to provide only accurate information.

II. Duties and obligations of the user

  • The user is responsible for their behaviour when using StartGiving.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 StartGiving.org with evidence of this at any time upon request. The user releases StartGiving.org from any third party claims rising from a breach of this obligation.

  • When participating at StartGiving.org, the user shall take into consideration that the StartGiving community (i.e. the community of users and the operators of StartGiving.org) work together based on 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 worldview, religious or political beliefs.

  • It is illegal to directly upload, provide links to or otherwise facilitate access to the following content on StartGiving.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 or

    • Calls for boycotts or non-peaceful or otherwise illegal activity.

  • If the user finds content on StartGiving.org which, in their opinion, violates existing laws or the Conditions of Use, they shall inform StartGiving.org of this fact, e.g. by email (to: support@StartGiving.org).

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

  • Any excessive negative impact to StartGiving.org is to be avoided. In particular, measures are prohibited which may compromise the integrity, stability and availability of the IT systems of StartGiving.org.

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

III. Rights of use

  • If the user uploads text, images, or other content to StartGiving.org, they grant StartGiving.org the right to use such content on StartGiving.org, on other fund-raising apps operated by StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH, in promotional material for the platform StartGiving.org and StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH, including social media channels, and the API interface on websites and in apps of StartGiving.org partners, bith on and offline, and make it publicly available on the platform or the API interface, taking the original meaning into consideration. Distinct and clearly displayed alternative instructions when uploading the content remain unaffected.

  • The user also releases StartGiving.org from any third-party claims resulting from a breach of paragraph II. (bullet 1), to the extent that the content uploaded to StartGiving.org by the user is used on other fund-raising portals and fund-raising apps of StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH and on the partner websites and partner apps in accordance with paragraph III. (bullet 1).

IV. Provision of StartGiving.org

StartGiving.org will endeavour to maintain the uninterrupted availability of the platform. Specific availability is not guaranteed. StartGiving.org is in particular authorised to take the platform off the network, both for regular and unscheduled maintenance work. StartGiving.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. StartGiving.org is not obliged to store or save versions or content on behalf of users.

V. Termination, suspension of access, deleting content

  • Usage as a registered user can be terminated by StartGiving.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 notice.

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

  • StartGiving.org is entitled to prevent the user from accessing individual or all functionalities of StartGiving.org, irrespective of the right to extraordinary termination. In particular, this prevention of access affects the option of uploading or amending content on StartGiving.org. StartGiving.org is furthermore entitled to review, block or delete all content uploaded to StartGiving.org. StartGiving.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 StartGiving.org by specific content or users.

  • 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.

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

VI. Liability

  • The liability of StartGiving.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 StartGiving.org or their legal representatives,

    • in accordance with the German Product Liability Act (Produkthaftungsgesetz).

  • The legal regulations apply to these exceptions.

VII. Donation process

  • Within the scope of these Terms of Use, the donation process refers to the donation made by the supporter to StartGiving.org as donation, specifying an intended cause. This may also include contributions to the assets of StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH, if explicitly explained by the supporter.

  • StartGiving defines a cause the promotion of its statutory purposes. In each donation process, the supporter may promote one or more of the purposes specified in the statutes of StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH by means of money or support organizations which directly promote the purposes stated in the StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH statutes and are recognized as a non-profit or charitable body.

  • StartGiving.org aims to take the intended cause 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 passed on to the organisation specified by the supporter. When using the funds, StartGiving.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 StartGiving.org.

  • StartGiving.org charges fees of an appropriate amount during each donation process. As part of the donation process, the user has the possibility to adjust the amount of the fees between 0% and 20% of the donation amount. The fees displayed in the donation process are administrative costs only. StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH does not pursue a profit as a non-profit corporation.

  • The possibility to directly support the work of StartGiving.org in favor of the pursuit of its statutory purposes by grants, in which the person expressly states that they are intended to equip the corporation with assets or to increase the assets, is additionally pointed out.

  • StartGiving.org reserves the right to make reserves from any donation. According to section 62 para. 1 no. 3 AO, such free reserves are limited to 10% of the donation amount. The reserve is also used exclusively for the sustained promotion of the purposes set out in the statutes of StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH.

  • A conservative and sustainable investment strategy is pursued in managing own funds and reserves. If technically assignable, StartGiving.org intends to use income from assets as additional grants for the purposes requested by the user. The user is not entitled to this assignment.

  • StartGiving.org reviews the causes and organisations which can be supported on StartGiving.org. The review in particular includes requests of evidence in the form of an up-to-date exemption notification to verify that the organizations are recognized as being non-profit within the meaning of German tax law and supports the statutory purposes of StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH. StartGiving.org is entitled at any time without giving any reasons to not make an organization available for further promotion on StartGiving.org.

  • Each supporter is personally responsible for obtaining all the information which they need, if applicable, to indicate a desired donation target.

  • Cash can be donated in the form of one-off payments or recurring payments. Regular donations can be cancelled by sending an email to support@startgiving.org at any time with immediate effect.

  • The supporter undertakes to ultimately provide the donated funds with no deductions. The repayment of donations to supporters is not possible.

  • Payments can be made using the various services offered on the platform (SEPA Direct Debit, PayPal). In this regard, the special conditions of the respective provider also apply. The donation process on StartGiving.org is secure. The data is transmitted using an encrypted connection (SSL) and is only processed byStartGiving.org in connection with the donation.

  • If the supporter participates in the SEPA direct debit scheme, StartGiving.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.

  • A donation receipt will only be issued by StartGiving.org if StartGiving.org has the required information to issue the donation receipt. Donation receipts are normally issued annually at the end of a calendar year with retroactive effect. A claim for an intermediate certificate does not exist.

VII. Changes to Terms and Conditions

These Terms and Conditions are valid from December 2018.

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 StartGiving.org, please contact us at any time: support@StartGiving.org.

IX. Governing law and place of jurisdiction

The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies, excluding the CISG. The headquarters of StartGiving Fundraising gGmbH are agreed as the place of jurisdiction.