I. Subject, definitions, legal relations

  1. Volunteer World GmbH, Erkrather Str. 228d, D-40233 Düsseldorf (hereinafter referred to as the "platform operator") provides a platform at www.volunteerworld.com (hereinafter referred to as the "platform") on which volunteering assignment are advertised and through which persons interested in volunteering (hereinafter referred to as "volunteers") may apply for a voluntary position.
  2. Volunteering assignments are officially offered by welfare organisations, charities and non-state or government-related organisations (hereinafter uniformly referred to as “social projects”). However, some social projects also use agencies (e.g. gapforce) as an intermediary for voluntary positions. One agency may act for several social projects.

    The organisational unit – the social project or the agency – which is the direct representative in relation to the platform operator and who manages the respective volunteering assignment on the platform shall hereinafter be referred to as the organisation.
  3. Through a volunteering agreement concluded via the platform, a contractual relationship shall arise exclusively between the organisation and the volunteer. The organisation shall be responsible for the modalities of the volunteering agreement concluded with the volunteer and for the performance of his/her contractual obligations. The platform operator merely provides its platform for the presentation and placement of volunteering assignments and shall be paid commission where this is done successfully.
  4. The contents, presentation, design, functioning and all other characteristics of the platform shall be at the sole discretion of the platform operator. This shall include the right to redesign, modify, remove or change the contents, presentation, design, functioning and other characteristics of the platform and individual elements, aspects, parts or features, or to restrict access to the same, at any time.
  5. These Terms and Conditions of Use shall govern use of the platform by the organisation and accordingly the legal relationship between the platform operator and the organisation. They alone shall govern the legal relationship between the platform operator and the organisation unless agreements to the contrary are entered into in individual contracts. Agreements which deviate from these provisions in this regard must be in writing.
  6. The platform operator’s Terms and Conditions of Use shall form the exclusive basis for the legal relationship. Any terms of use of the organisation shall not apply. These Terms and Conditions of Use shall also apply where the platform operator, in knowledge of conflicting terms of use of the organisation, performs its services without reservation and does not previously expressly object to the deviating terms of use of the organisation.

II. Reservation of right to amend

  1. The platform operator shall be entitled to amend these Terms and Conditions of Use subject to a reasonable period of notice.
  2. The platform operator shall only be entitled to do so where the amendment can deemed reasonable for the organisation taking into account the interests of the platform operator.
  3. The platform operator shall announce the amendments to the organisation in text form at least six weeks prior to their taking effect.
  4. Where the organisation does not agree with the amendments, it may object to them. The platform operator shall in its notification of amendment draw the organisation’s attention to its right to object and to the fact that the amendment shall be deemed accepted unless the organisation objects in writing within a period of one month from receipt of the notification of amendment.

III. Services of the platform operator

  1. The platform operator shall provide the technical conditions for use of the platform to the extent described below.
  2. Any organisation may set up its own account on the platform and create a profile. Here, individual settings may be adjusted and detailed information on the volunteering assignments provided by the organisation may be added.
  3. In addition, the organisation shall have the opportunity to publish its own contents through its profile. This user-generated content shall not be checked for legal permissibility by the platform operator. The organisation shall be solely responsible for this content.

IV. Setting up an account, creating a profile

  1. Registration is required to set up an account. For this purpose the organisation is required to complete the predefined mandatory fields completely and accurately, to provide a valid email address and, in order to secure the account, set up a password.
  2. Registration may only be completed and transmitted if the organisation accepts these Terms and Conditions of Use by clicking the button “I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use” and thereby incorporates them in its application.(2) Registration may only be completed and transmitted if the organisation accepts these Terms and Conditions of Use by clicking the button “I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use” and thereby incorporates them in its application.
  3. Completion of this initial registration on the platform shall constitute a binding offer on the part of the organisation to conclude an agreement for use of the platform. After registration has been completed the organisation shall receive a confirmation email to the specified email address. Dispatch of this confirmation email shall constitute acceptance of the offer to conclude an agreement for use of the platform.
  4. The confirmation email shall contain a link which must be used by the organisation to confirm its registration on the platform and complete the setup of its account.
  5. The platform operator shall be entitled to refuse the organisation’s offer to conclude an agreement for use of the platform for any reason. The organisation shall have no claim to the conclusion of an agreement for the use of the platform.
  6. Following conclusion of the usage agreement, the organisation may edit its own profile, manage volunteering assignments and add contents.
  7. Registration on the platform is free of charge; however, the organisation undertakes to pay agency commission to the platform operator in the event of the successful conclusion of a volunteering agreement.

V. Obligations of the organisation

  1. The organisation shall be responsible for the contents inserted by it and for the security of its account.
  2. Information, trademarks, brand names, designations and other contents belonging to the platform may not be changed, copied, duplicated, sold, leased, exploited, supplemented or otherwise used without prior written authorisation by the platform operator.
  3. The organisation shall be under obligation
    1. to provide complete and accurate information; this in particular includes complete and accurate information on its enterprise and, where applicable, the organisation for which it acts as agent to procure volunteers, the terms and framework conditions of the volunteering assignment, and the participation fees associated with the same. If the volunteering assignment is also offered on other websites/platforms the organisation may not specify participation fees on the platform which are different from those specified there.
    2. to refrain from setting up more than one account.
    3. to notify changes in its enterprise details without delay. Until the details are changed, the information provided by the organisation on the platform shall be deemed correct and complete in respect of the platform operator.
    4. to keep the password set up to secure the account secret.
    5. to prevent use of the organisation’s account by third parties.
    6. to notify the platform operator without undue delay of any misuse of the organisation’s account.
    7. to ensure that the contents added to the platform by the organisation do not breach statutory provisions on the protection of youth or violate personal rights or property rights, in particular trademarks, trade rights and copyrights, of third parties. For this purpose, the organisation shall ensure that it is entitled to the required rights to the work (e.g. texts, photographs, images, graphics, videos, pieces of music, samples) and/or the required permission of any pictured persons has been granted.
    8. to refrain from inserting contents which are immoral, discriminating, racist, left- or rightwing extremist, or offensive to religious sensitivities.
  4. In addition, the organisation shall draft the volunteering agreement in accordance with the following guidelines:
    1. The organisation shall be under obligation to display on the program description which payment options are available for the volunteer. Basically payments via PayPal, credit card or cash are possible. Depending on the particular payment option the organisation has to observe the following specifications:
      • Advanced cash payment
        After the conclusion of the volunteer contract the organisation needs to demand an advanced payment of 15 % of the participation fee. The advanced payment is to be paid via PayPal or credit card to the platform operator. The platform operator shall withhold the complete amount as agency commission, which the organisation has to pay to the platform operator according to section IX. The residual amount shall be paid in cash on-site in agreement with the organisation.
      • Advanced payment via PayPal/credit card
        After the conclusion of the volunteer contract the organisation needs to demand an advanced payment of 20 % of the participation fee. The advanced payment is to be paid via PayPal or credit card to the platform operator. The platform operator shall withhold 15 % of the participation fee as agency commission, which the organisation has to pay to the platform operator according to section IX, and pays out the residual amount. The final payment shall be made at the latest 30 days before the voluntary placement. The residual amount shall also be paid directly to the organization via PayPal or credit card.
    2. The volunteer may withdraw from the volunteering agreement at any time prior to the start of the voluntary placement. In the event that the volunteer withdraws from the volunteering agreement or if the volunteer fails to start its volunteering assignment, the organisation shall forfeit its claim to the participation fee.
      lieu of the participation fee, the organisation may, provided the volunteer has not withdrawn for reasons for which the organisation is responsible, demand adequate financial compensation. The amount of compensation shall be determined by the participation fees minus the expenses saved by the organisation and any gains it may make by using the voluntary placement otherwise.
      consideration of the commonly saved expenses and the commonly possible gains from use alternative of the voluntary placement, compensation is calculated as follows:
      • up to 35 days prior to the start of the voluntary placement 20 %
      • as of 34 days prior to the start of the voluntary placement 30 %
      • as of 25 days prior to the start of the voluntary placement 50 %
      • as of 15 days prior to the start of the voluntary placement 70 %
      • as of 5 days prior to the start of the voluntary placement 95 % of the participation fees.
      The volunteer shall have the right to prove to the organisation that the organisation has not incurred any expenses, or only significantly lower expenses than the flat-rate amount demanded by the organisation.
      The organisation reserves the right to demand higher, specific compensation in place of the above flat-rate amounts where it proves that it has incurred significantly higher expenses than the applicable flat-rate amount. In this case the organisation shall be under obligation to provide specific figures and evidence of the compensation demanded, taking into account any expenses saved and any alternative potential use of the voluntary placement.
    3. Where the volunteer’s withdrawal is due to reasons for which the organisation is responsible, e.g. because the volunteering assignment does not take place, the organisation may not demand adequate compensation.
    4. Up to the start of the voluntary placement, the volunteer may request that a third party succeed to his/her rights and obligations from the volunteering agreement in his/her stead. The organisation may object to the substitution by the third party if the third party does not meet the requirements of the volunteering assignment or if statutory provisions or official orders which preclude his/her participation apply.
      Where a third party accedes to the volunteering agreement, the third party and the volunteer shall be joint and several debtors in respect of the organisation for the participation fee and the additional costs incurred through the accession of the third party.
    5. A travel cancellation insurance and insurance covering the costs of return travel in case of accident or illness is strongly recommended.
  5. Where the first contact between the organisation and the volunteer is made via the platform, the organisation shall be under obligation to use exclusively the platform’s functions for concluding the volunteering agreement. Any communication between the organisation and the volunteer which does not take place via the platform shall in this case constitute a major breach of these Terms and Conditions of Use which shall entitle the platform operator to extraordinary termination of the usage agreement. The platform operator expressly reserves the right to assert further claims.

VI. Rounding up/down

  1. The platform operator shall be entitled to round the participation fees entered by the organisation up or down in order to remove positions after the decimal point. Amounts with positions after the decimal point of up to 49 shall be rounded down; amounts with positions after the decimal point of 50 upwards shall be rounded up.

VII. Usage rights under copyright

  1. The organisation grants the platform operator the right, free of any temporal, substantive and territorial restrictions, to use the names, trademarks, logos and images and any other information and contents transmitted by the organisation free of charge for the platform operator’s own marketing purposes. The organisation shall ensure that it is authorised to grant the above rights (rights of usage) and that these rights are not subject to the rights of third parties.
  2. Notwithstanding the above, the platform operator shall not be hindered or restricted by this agreement to use the names, trademarks, logos and images and any other information and contents transmitted by the organisation without the organisation’s consent to the extent which would be legally permissible without a licence (e.g. reasonable use in accordance with copyright law, use by way of reference in accordance with trademark law, or a valid licence by a third party).

VIII. Responsibility for contents, indemnification

  1. The platform operator does not inspect the contents of the organisation for violations of rights of third parties. The organisation shall be responsible for the permissibility of contents which it inserts, and for such contents not violating the rights of third parties, in particular in respect of copyright, competition law and criminal law.
  2. The organisation herewith indemnifies the platform operator against all claims which third parties assert against the platform operator due to a violation of their rights through contents inserted by the organisation.
  3. The platform operator shall be entitled to block contents inserted on the platform temporarily or permanently, to remove them from the network or to change them in a manner which removes the violation of rights of third parties, or to issue the demanded declarations to desist, if third parties apply for a prohibitive injunction against the platform operator due to contents which an organisation has inserted on the platform.
  4. The platform operator shall be entitled to amend content inserted on the platform temporarily or permanently if the provided information does not have a satisfactory quality or accurateness.

IX. Agency commission

  1. The organisation undertakes to pay agency commission of 15 % of the participation fees to the platform operator.
  2. Upon insertion of a new volunteering assignment, the platform operator shall clearly draw the organisation’s attention to the amount of provision payable for this programme.
  3. The agency commission shall be payable as soon as the volunteer has accepted the organisation’s final offer and a volunteering agreement has thereby been concluded.
  4. In the event that the voluntary placement is not carried out by the organisation, the platform operator shall only be obliged to refund the commission if the organisation is not at fault for the non-performance of the volunteering assignment (e.g. in cases of force majeure).

X. Duration and termination of the agreement

  1. The usage agreement is concluded for an indefinite period. Either party may declare ordinary termination of this usage agreement without notice at any time.
  2. Following termination the organisation’s account, including its profile and contents inserted, shall be deleted.
  3. A termination of this usage agreement shall not affect any legal relationship existing between the organisation and the volunteer.
  4. The right to extraordinary termination for cause remains unaffected.
  5. Termination must be declared in writing.

XI. Liability

  1. The platform operator shall be fully liable in cases of intent and gross negligence and for absence of a guaranteed property.
  2. In the event of ordinary negligence the platform operator shall be fully liable for cases of personal injury or death. In all other respects, the platform operator shall be liable for ordinary negligence only where a duty is breached, the performance of which is essential to the proper implementation of the agreement, the breach of which jeopardises the purpose of the agreement, and on the performance of which the organisation may regularly rely (cardinal duty). Liability for breach of a cardinal duty shall be limited to foreseeable damage typical of the type of agreement.
  3. Liability on the basis of the product liability law and other mandatory statutory provisions shall be unaffected.
  4. The platform operator shall not be liable in cases where the performance of its obligations from this agreement is delayed or does not take place due to reasons, events or other circumstances which are outside its reasonable sphere of influence (force majeure).
  5. The above Sections X (1)-(4) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the statutory representatives and vicarious agents of the platform operator.
  6. Claims for damages are excluded where the platform operator is unable to perform a contractual obligation because, without gross negligence on the part of the platform provider, its suppliers or service providers have failed to provide due delivery, or any software or network services supplied by the same do not function properly.
  7. The platform operator is not in a position to guarantee that services provided by third parties, in particular network services and other acts of cooperation by third parties, shall be free from disruption or error and secure at all times.
  8. The platform operator shall not be liable for compliance with any promises of donations. The organisation shall be fully responsible for compliance with the legal framework conditions to be observed in the case of calls for donations or promises for donations.

XII. Data protection

  1. The data provided by the organisation shall be saved and processed by the platform operator exclusively for the purposes arising from this agreement and in observance of the relevant statutory data protection provisions and the German Tele Media Act. In particular, in the absence of the appropriate authorisation, no personal data shall be disclosed to third parties.
  2. For security reasons, the platform operator shall be entitled to monitor the communication between the organisation and the volunteer on the platform. Conclusion of this usage agreement shall constitute express consent by the organisation to the above.

XIII. Applicable law and place of jurisdiction

  1. Amendments and additions to these contractual terms and any side agreements must be in writing and be signed by both parties unless the above provisions expressly stipulate otherwise. This shall also apply to any waiver of the requirement for written form.
  2. Where individual or several provisions of these contractual terms are or become invalid in whole or in part this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions or agreements in any cases of doubt. In lieu of the invalid provisions, a provision shall apply which approximates as closely as possible in legally permissible ways to the economic meaning and purpose of the invalid provision.
  3. The place of jurisdiction for all disputes in connection with these Terms and Conditions of Use shall, in the case of contracts with merchants, corporate bodies under public law or special funds under public law, be Düsseldorf. Any exclusive place of jurisdiction shall take priority.

Version of: February 2015

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