Giving Hope to the Future through Education

  Privacy & Communications Policy
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"Let there be private spaces in our togetherness."
                                                                                           - Kahil Gibran

With the advent of the Internet and expanded use of email, social media, online credit card payments, and other forms of electronic communication, there is always the concern that personal information may be shared or compromised. Avivara is committed to ensuring that each individual's privacy is protected. To help with this, Avivara maintains protections against hacking and other attempts to access or change information included on our website.

Special Note: Unfortunately, we have had problems with an unknown organization sending out emails using a false name with avivara.org as part of the originating email address. We have contacted our email provider to see if this can be stopped, but so far have been unsuccesful in locating the source of these "spoofing" or SPAM emails and having them eliminated. While most of these emails are "captured" by the SPAM filters in use by most email providers, some do get through, however. We apologize for this annoyance.

By policy, Avivara limits its use of email to the following:
  1. Confirming receipt of a contribution.
  2. Distribution of our newsletter (to registered subscribers only).
  3. Responding to informational requests from known clients, volunteers, donors, and/or individuals who have used the "Contact Us" form on our website.
  4. Sending out annual contribution statements.
  5. Sending out appeals to prior donors for contributions during our annual fall appeal.
Avivara does not use email to contact people not having an already established connection to Avivara.

Also, all information of a personal nature gathered by Avivara through the process of receiving contributions will be handled confidentially according to our Avivara Privacy and Communications Policy below.

Avivara Privacy and Communications Policy
This policy was officially approved by the Board of Directors of Avivara on December 19, 2009.


Avivara is committed to ensuring that each individual’s privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified, such as when making a contribution, completing a form on our website, using one of our services, or participating in a customer survey, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this Privacy and Communications Policy.

Avivara is also committed to honest and transparent communications that respect the privacy and information management needs of the members of our supporting community. Avivara will only send informational emails and surveys to those individuals who have contacted us and have agreed to be on our email contact list. Individuals on our list may manage their personal profile or "opt-out" of receiving future mailings from us at any time simply by going to the "Manage Your Subscription" link at the bottom of our emails or through the Contact Us form on our website.

Information we collect
In the process of our communications with you we may ask for and collect the following information:
  • Name
  • Contact information including email address, physical mailing address, and phone number, fax or other pertinent contact information
  • Information accompanying a contribution, such as a check number, amount of contribution, and date of contribution
  • Other information such as preferences or demographic information (age, gender, etc.) relevant to customer services we offer, such as coordinating visits to Guatemala. 
What we do with the information we gather
We utilize this information to understand your needs and provide you with better service, and in particular for the following reasons:
Financial record-keeping and accountability
  • To produce accounting records for the filing of audited financial reports, individual tax contribution statements, and legally required annual financial reporting to federal and state government agencies. Note: Access to individual contribution records is generally restricted solely to the Avivara Corporate Treasurer and the Avivara Executive Director, but may be made available to outside auditing agencies hired by Avivara, or to legal authorities when required by government regulation and/or court order.
Using the information to improve our services and keep you better informed of our program needs and activities.
  • Information we gather helps us to design our communications (website, newsletters, etc.) so that they better meet the needs of our donors and other interested persons.
  • We will periodically send informational emails (newsletters) about our programs and activities which we think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided.
  • We will periodically send emails asking for your financial support for the programs of Avivara.
  • We will periodically send direct mail via the US Postal Service asking for your financial support for Avivara. 
  • From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for feedback/research purposes. We may contact you by email, phone, fax or mail. We may use the information to customize our website and other communication tools according to the interests and preferences of our donors and supporters.
Security of personal information
We are committed to ensuring that all personal information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect from you. In addition, in our regular course of business we only utilize the services of third-party providers, such as our web-hosting provider (Network Solutions), the company that handles our on-line contributions (Paypal), and our e-mail delivery provider (MailChimp), that also employ industry-standard physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure your information. We will not knowingly sell or distribute any personal information that we collect, unless required by law or court order to do so.

Avivara uses analytic technology to track visits to our website
Our website does utilize Google Analytics to analyze traffic coming into our website. To do this it uses what are called web “beacons” which are embedded into each page on our website. These “beacons” are used to identify which pages are being visited, how often they are visited and from what general area the visits are originating from. They do not provide us with information about any individual visitor. This information helps us analyze data about our web traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to our visitor’s needs. Overall, these “beacons” help us provide you with a better website by enabling us to monitor which pages people find useful and which they do not. They in no way give us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us through our various website feedback forms. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and the data is not kept on a permanent basis. For more information about Google Analytics and their commitment to maintaining customer privacy, we encourage you to visit their Google Analytics Privacy Policy. It should be noted that this service is used widely by a vast majority of the businesses and organizations using the internet. 

Depending on which web browser that you use, you can choose to accept or decline these “beacons” (or sometimes referred to as cookies). Most web browsers automatically accept them, because they actually are not considered a threat to computer security. You can usually modify your browser setting to decline these beacons or cookies if you prefer. However, this may prevent you from taking full advantage of our website.

Links to other websites
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to any website that you visit.

Information gathered to improve our email communications
Avivara also uses the services of a third-party email provider, MailChimp, to deliver our informational and fund-raising emails, as well as gathering data from feedback surveys that we may send out from time to time. As part of that service, MailChimp provides us with specific information regarding who opens our emails, when the email was opened, if any of the links in the email were clicked, and if the email was forwarded to another person. They also let us know when any of our emails are rejected as Spam, or when a client requests being taken off our mailing list. Using this service helps us to be in full compliance with the federal CAN-SPAM regulations regarding the appropriate use of email. It also helps us know how we can best communicate with our supporters while also respecting their needs for controlling the information coming into their email in-boxes.

In general, our donors and supporters can expect to receive from us the following types of emails once they are on our email distribution list:
  • Our monthly newsletter, the Blackboard
  • Our semi-annual fund-raising appeal e-mails, and
  • Occasional “customer” surveys
Controlling your personal information and how it is used
You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information gathered by Avivara in the following ways:
  • To “Opt-out” of any or all of the types of email communications we send you can simply let us know via our Contact Us link on our website, or by simply updating your email profile in the “Manage Your Subscription” found at the bottom of every group email we send out.
  • After January 1, 2010, whenever a new contact is established with a donor or a person making an inquiry about our programs, an “Opt-in” confirmation email will be sent which asks for that person’s permission before being added to our email distribution list.
  • If you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for promotional purposes (i.e. testimonial statements or as a reference) you may change that agreement at any time simply by letting us know through the Contact Us link on our website, or by writing to us at the address found at the bottom of this document.
Access to your personal information
You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act of 1998. If you would like a copy of the personal information Avivara maintains for you, please contact our Executive Director, Gary Teale, through the Contact Us link on our website, or write to us at the address at the bottom of this document. However, before we release any personal information, we will go through a verification process to determine whether you are the person actually permitted to receive a copy of that information.

Accuracy of your personal information
If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to us at the address below, or Contact Us via the form on our website. We will promptly correct any information found to be inaccurate.
Our corporate mailing address in the United States is:                    
c/o Thomas Friedman                       

7202 33rd NW
Seattle, WA 98117

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