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Voluntarily Privacy Policy


Voluntarily is an online platform that connects volunteers with people and organisations asking for help.

Voluntarily is an initiative by the Pam Fergusson Charitable Trust (PFCT, we, our, or us) with support from Datacom, The Ministry of Education, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Spark Foundation, NZ Government Innovation Fund and many leading NZ corporates.

We comply with the New Zealand Privacy Act 1993 (the Act) when dealing with personal information. Personal information is information about an identifiable individual (a natural person).

The purpose of this privacy policy is to let users of the Voluntarily websites at voluntarily.nz and voluntari.ly (Website) and users of the Voluntarily platform accessible through the Website (together with the Website, Services) know when we collect personal information and what we do with it.

We don’t use, share or transfer personal information in connection with the Services except as set out in this policy, or as otherwise set out somewhere on the Website (including in terms linking to the Website).

You are not required to provide personal information to us, although in some cases if you choose not to do so then we will be unable to make certain Services available to you. For example, we need to have your contact information in order to allow you to offer or ask for help through Voluntarily or to provide you with updates.

This policy does not limit or exclude any of your rights under the Act. If you wish to seek further information on the Act, see www.privacy.org.nz.

Changes to this policy

We may change this policy by uploading a revised policy onto the Website. The change will apply from the date that we upload the revised policy.

Child safety

The Services are intended for use only by persons who are at least 16 years of age. If you believe that we have collected personal information from or about a child under the age of 16, please contact us at [email protected].

Information you give us

We collect the information that you provide when you register with and use Voluntarily. This includes information collected through the registration and sign-in processes, when you create a profile, and when you offer or ask for help.

Registration and sign-in

You must register to offer or ask for help through Voluntarily. The only information we require for you to register with Voluntarily is a full name and validated email address.

There are currently 2 ways to register:

  • create a new registration using an email and password

  • sign in using an existing social media account e.g. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.

Registration and sign-in are managed by a third party identify management system Auth0, https://auth0.com/. The Auth0 Privacy policy is set out at https://auth0.com/privacy.

If you volunteer to help build, maintain or contribute to Voluntarily, you may be asked to sign in to collaboration services that we are using (Slack, Github, Confluence, Jira, etc.) using an existing account with these services or by creating an account.

If you sign in using any of the third party services above or otherwise provide us access to information from these sources, the third party service that we use will be displayed and you can visit their privacy policy for further details on how it deals with personal information.

When you sign in, we may receive information about the sign-in source, username, nickname, email, email validation, picture and expiry. This information is retained only during the lifetime of your signed-in session and is not stored by us. We do not receive any more detailed social media information.


Once you have registered with Voluntarily, you can, if you wish, create a profile. Information that you can choose to provide includes:

  • full name

  • preferred name

  • preferred pronoun e.g. he/him/his, she/her/her. If none is provided, we use the neutral they/them/their

  • a short profile about yourself

  • education level

  • place of work and job title

  • city/region

  • skills and interests

  • a photo

  • social media links. We won’t post directly to your social media but this would allow others to ‘tag’ or follow you in their own postings. To avoid this, leave these fields blank

This information will be visible to other Voluntarily users on your profile.

Your profile will also include your email address and (if you choose to provide it) your phone number. Other Voluntarily users will not be able to see these details unless you choose to make these details available.

You can at any time amend, correct or remove the information on your profile, by signing in to your account and editing your profile.

Offers to help and requests for help

If you offer or ask for help, we collect the information that you submit in your offer or request.

We track:

  • which volunteering opportunities you are interested in, get invited to and participate in

  • offers of help you are interested in, request and accept

Demographic information

To ensure Voluntarily is fair to everyone, we may from time to time ask members to participate in third-party surveys that ask questions about gender, race, income, job sector etc. These surveys will be optional, independent and the resulting information only published in statistical summary form.

Public forums

We may, from time to time, make chat rooms, message boards, newsgroups and/or other public forums available to users. Any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when using these and avoid posting any personal information.

Information we collect about you from your use of the Services

We will automatically collect information from you each time you visit, log on to or use the Services. This may include:

  • technical information, including the internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, operating system and platform

  • information about your visit, including the full uniform resource locators (URL), clickstream to, through and from the Services (including date and time), page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), methods used to browse away from the page, and any phone number used to call our customer service number or social media handle used to connect with our customer service team

  • location data - inferred based on IP location

We use this type of information to have a better understanding of the way people use the Services, to improve the way they work and to personalise them to be more relevant and useful to your particular needs.

We may collect this type of information through the use of cookies and other means. Cookies are alphanumeric identifiers that we transfer to your computer’s hard drive to enable our systems to recognise your browser. If you want to disable cookies, you may do so by changing the settings on your browser. However, if you do so, you may not be able to use all of the functions of the Services.

We use Google Analytics to collect information about visitors to and users of the Services. Google Analytics collects information related to your device, browser, IP address, network location, and website activities to measure and report statistics about your interactions with the Services. We use this information to help us manage the performance and design of the Services and to improve the Services. For further information on how Google uses your personal information when you visit or use the Services and how to opt out of Google’s use of cookies, see https://policies.google.com/?hl=en.

Information we receive from other sources

We may also collect personal information about you from:

  • the Auth0 identity management system

  • third parties where you have authorised this or the information is publicly available


Effective screening, as part of a comprehensive organisational safety policy, can help identify potentially unsuitable people before they have the opportunity to do harm to others or allow harm to be perpetrated by others. To volunteer through Voluntarily you may be required to participate in a suite of tools and processes for:

  • identity - ensuring people are who they say they are

  • screening - processes for analysing the information gathered and identifying suitable candidates – in this case, those who can be relied on to keep other people safe

  • vetting - the formal process of obtaining checks from another agency, e.g. the Police vetting service, criminal conviction history checks

  • tracking - identifying volunteer activities that involve working with other people and signalling to activity organisers the status of the people volunteering

We may request specific information from users including:

  • consent or non-consent for the current employer to be contacted

  • a declaration of whether or not they have been convicted of a criminal offence, which is not eligible to be concealed under the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 and space to provide an explanation

  • consent to undertake a criminal conviction history check or Police vet, using the required forms

  • any other necessary disclosures, for example, details of professional registration status and any previous employment or professional disciplinary history that could be relevant to safety of other persons

If you successfully complete the above processes, we may indicate this through a badge against your user profile (see further details below). We will not otherwise disclose information obtained for vetting purposes except as specifically authorised by you.


Voluntarily users may be able to be issued badges representing an award recognising that the person has met specific criteria. Badges are illustrated with a small icon and a link to the badge description which may include the purpose of the badge, when issued, and a citation regarding the achievement or evidence provided to receive the badge.

Badges are intended to be made public and shared. However, badge receivers will be able to suppress the fact that they have a badge if they wish.

Badges fall into the following categories:

  • system administration

  • requirements and skills

  • achievements and accomplishments

System administration badges

Badges are used instead of status flags to indicate that a person has a certain status on the Voluntarily platform. These include:

  • email validation – confirmation that the person has reply access to the email address they have provided

  • completion of personal profile – this indicates that a person has provided information on skills and interests etc. so that a person asking for help can assess their suitability for an activity. Note website and social media links are not required for profile completion

  • identity validation – this indicates that the person has been validated as a ‘real person’ through various mechanisms that may include ‘RealMe’, viewing of passport or drivers licence. Note identity validation is a pre-requisite for being able to request a Police vetting process

  • school ready – this indicates that a person has completed preparatory training for volunteering in a school and has passed a Police vetting. Persons asking for help may require volunteers to have the school ready badge prior to attending an event or working with children. Note that absence of a school ready badge should not be taken as an indication of whether a person has failed a Police vet - other steps such as email and identity validation, training etc. are also required

Requirements and skills badges

These badges are used to indicate that a person meets specific requirements for an activity or has been assessed to have specific skills. Persons asking for help may require at least one person attending to meet these requirements.

These may include:

  • first aider – person has a current first aid certificate

  • organisation specific training

  • language skills – competency in Te Reo Maori, NZSL, Chinese etc.

  • specific technical or educational competency

Achievements and accomplishments

These badges are used to encourage participation and reputation in volunteering by recognising attendance, special effort, key capabilities etc.

These may include:

  • first time volunteer

  • regular volunteer

  • going the extra mile

  • volunteering where it is most needed

How we use your personal information

The personal information we collect about you (including any information provided if you register, set up a profile or offer or ask for help) may be used:

  • to verify your identity

  • to vet you (see further details below)

  • to communicate with you

  • to make recommendations to you for volunteering activities

  • to connect you to persons asking for help

  • to allow people asking for help to learn about who will be working with them and with other persons with whom a volunteer may be in contact

  • to provide you with promotional communications about our products and services

  • to administer and improve the Services, and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes

  • to keep the Services safe and secure

  • to allow you to participate in interactive features, when you choose to do so

  • to protect and/or enforce our legal rights and interests, including defending any claim

  • for any other purpose authorised by you or the Act

You can object to further marketing at any time by checking and updating your contact details within your profile, or by selecting the "unsubscribe" link at the end of all our marketing and promotional update communications.

Disclosing your personal information

We will not sell information about you and generally it will not be made available to third parties for them to use for their own purposes.

We may disclose personal information about you:

  • to service providers and other persons working with us to make the Services available or improve or develop its functionality (e.g. we may use a third party supplier to host the Services);

  • to persons asking for help for the purpose of finding the best volunteers and to enable a successful volunteering relationship

  • to your employer for the purpose of tracking volunteering that you have undertaken

  • where required by applicable law or any court, or in response to a legitimate request by a law enforcement agency

  • as otherwise authorised by you or the Act

Protecting your personal information

We will take reasonable steps to keep your personal information safe from loss, unauthorised activity, or other misuse.

Any personal information you provide to us will be stored in New Zealand and/or Australia.

All information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers and all communications between your browser and the service and the service and database are encrypted using secure sockets layer (SSL) technology before they are transmitted over the internet. Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your information transmitted to our Website; any transmission is at your own risk.

Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorized access.

The Services may, from time to time, contain links to external sites. If you follow a link to another site, the owner of that site will have its own privacy policy relating to your personal information. We suggest you review that site’s privacy policy before you provide personal information. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or the content of such sites.

Accessing and correcting your personal information

Subject to certain grounds for refusal set out in the Act, you have the right to request access to and correction of any of the personal information we hold about you. Before you exercise this right, we will need evidence to confirm that you are the individual to whom the personal information relates.

In respect of a request for correction, if we think the correction is reasonable and we are reasonably able to change the personal information, we will make the correction. If we do not make the correction, we will take reasonable steps to note on the personal information that you requested the correction.

If you would like to exercise these rights, please email us at [email protected]. Your email should provide evidence of who you are and set out the details of your request (e.g. the personal information, or the correction, that you are requesting).