Updated: September 8, 2021

The following websites (each a “Website” or “Site”, or together the “Websites” or “Sites”) are operated by Defenders of Wildlife (“Defenders”): defenders.org, gifts.defenders.org, conservationist.io, domains support.defenders.org, fundraise.defenders.org and act.defenders.org. Your privacy will be protected on these Websites in accordance with this privacy notice (“Privacy Notice”).  

This Privacy Notice explains how Defenders obtains personal data, the types of personal data collected, how it is used, processed, shared, and protected. This Notice also lists Your Rights with respect to your personal data and ways to contact Defenders with any questions or concerns. 

Each time you use our Sites, the current version of the Privacy Notice will apply. Accordingly, whenever you use our Sites, you should check the date of this Privacy Notice (which appears at the top) and review any changes since the last version. This Privacy Notice is applicable to all Site visitors, registered users, and all other users of our Sites.

By visiting our Websites or using our mobile application you acknowledge that you have read and understood the processes and policies referred to in this Privacy Notice.

Our Websites contain links to other third-party sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our Websites and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.

Personal Data You May Choose to Provide:

In order to utilize certain features of our Sites or receive information from Defenders, you may choose to provide Personal Data. “Personal Data” is any information that enables us to identify you, directly or indirectly, by reference to an identifier such as your name, identification number, location data, online identifier or one or more factors specific to your, economic, cultural or social identity.

Personal Data that you give us
We may collect and process the following Personal Data:

  • Contact information (i.e., name, mailing, and/or email address)
  • Demographic information (i.e., geographic location, gender, age, interests)
  • Membership information (donation amounts, open rate, action rate, event attendance)
  • Profile picture (https://conservationist.io/ only)
  • Purchase information

Personal data collected from third parties
We collect information that is sent to us automatically by your web browser and we may use this information to generate aggregate statistics about visitors to our Sites, including, without limitation:

  • IP addresses
  • Browser type and plug-in details
  • Device type (e.g., desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc.)
  • Operating system
  • Local time zone

Personal data collated about you

We may use a variety of public sources to collate information about you we believe may be suitable for business purposes. Time to time, we may also receive referrals with personal data and will process that information in the same way that is described in this Privacy Notice. The information would include your name, contact information, address, phone number, email address. 

Financial Information You May Choose to Provide:

If you choose to make an online donation to Defenders, you will have to provide your credit card billing information. As this information is collected and transferred over the Internet to our secure server, it is encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, the industry standard security technology that is designed to protect sensitive data. Our donation pages display the Verisign Secure Site Seal to assure you that our Website is authentic and that all transactions are secured by SSL encryption. If you are making a donation, the credit card information that you provide at the time of donation is used only to process your donation. For more information on our security policies, please see the "Protection of Personal Data " section below.

Information We Automatically Collect and Store:

We automatically track and collect the following information when you visit our Websites: (i) IP address; (ii) domain server; (iii) type of computer; (iv) type of web browser; and (v) other logs (collectively "Traffic Data"). Traffic Data is anonymous information that does not personally identify you but is helpful for marketing purposes or for improving your experience on our Websites.

We also use "cookies" to customize content specific to your interests and to store your password, as applicable, so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our Websites. A cookie is a piece of data stored on a visitor's hard drive to help us improve your access to our Websites and identify repeat visitors. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our Websites. 

We use the following cookies:

  • Analytical/ performance cookies
  • Functionality cookies
  • Targeting cookies
  • Third-party cookies

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse all or some cookies. You may also delete them after they have been placed on your hard drive. If you block or delete our cookies, some areas of the Site that you access may take more time to work or may not function properly. For more information about cookies, visit: http://www.allaboutcookies.org.

For more information, please see our Cookie Policy 

Purpose and legal bases for processing your personal data:

If you do submit Personal Data to us, we will use that information for the purposes for which it was submitted. 

The legal bases we rely upon are:

  • Legitimate interest (a valid business reason) to fulfill or meet the reason for which the information is provided;

  • To fulfil a contractual obligation that we have with you;

  • Your consent for direct marketing.

Use of Personal Data we obtained:

We may process and use your Personal Data for the purpose it was first collected. Also, we may use it to contact you about other Defenders activities and/or fundraising campaigns or as otherwise disclosed to you at the point of collection. For example:

  • To manage our existing and prospective relationships.

  • If you join our email list by registering for Defenders Wildlife eNews, we will have a record of your email address and all other information you choose to provide. We will send you eNews and also may contact you with action alerts to save wildlife, fundraising campaigns and other Defenders activities.

  • If you make an online donation to Defenders, your information will be added to our donor list and database, and you may be contacted about other Defenders activities, news, action alerts, and/or fundraising campaigns. Defenders may share our donor list (mailing addresses, only) with like-minded organizations. This provides you with the opportunity to learn about related activities of other nonprofit organizations. If you do not wish to have your information shared in this manner, please contact us at memberservices@defenders.org. Defenders will not share your credit card information with other organizations.

  • If you join or opt-in to our activist network, you will receive informational updates and action alerts on wildlife and related issues. You also may be contacted about other Defenders activities, news, action alerts, and/or fundraising campaigns. Our activist network is an electronic network, and therefore we need an email address to contact you. 

  • If you sign up with Conservationist.io, we will collect your email address to verify your account. Additionally, you may choose to provide us with your profile picture for your account as well as sign up for notifications sent via email and various newsletters.

  • When you take an action such as sending a message to your elected representatives, government officials or other targets of Defenders advocacy, we will send your message to these recipients, along with the contact information you provide on the input form, typically including your name, address, and email address. Defenders is not responsible for what these recipients may do with your information. Please note that officials receiving these emails may choose to contact you. In addition, sometimes government agencies add the names of people who submit comments on government proposals into public documents recording the names of people who’ve commented in favor or opposed to a given proposal. This is often a part of the government process for receiving and recording feedback from the public. Government agencies typically have strict guidelines around not misusing information provided to them by the public for other purposes. However, you should review the policies of the appropriate government body if you are concerned.

  • We will receive any other information you choose to provide. For example, we may manage blogs or allow you to post stories or photos from time to time. By submitting such information to us, you give us permission to post it in the designated area on our Websites, edit it, or remove it if we deem that the content is not appropriate or outdated. To protect your privacy, please do not include any identifying information when submitting blog entries or stories.

Sharing of Personal Data:

You should be aware that we use third party vendors to provide services on our Websites and in our business operations. The information that you submit on our Websites may be provided to those vendors on a confidential basis so that those vendors can provide services on our behalf, such as, but not limited to:

  • IT service providers, e.g. for maintaining our database

  • Other service Providers, e.g. for sending email messages to activists, and for facilitating our fundraising activities and campaigns

  • Financial service providers, e.g. purchasing tickets to our events and for processing credit card transactions

In Conservationist.io, your username will be publicly available to all other users. Other personal information such as your name, personal description (if entered) can be made public if you specifically specify this preference.

Other than as described in this Privacy Notice, or as may be necessary to protect the rights, property, and safety of our organization or others, or as may be necessary to comply with applicable law, Defenders will not give, share or sell the personal information you provide to us online.

Please note that Defenders occasionally shares mailing address information with like-minded organizations. If you prefer that we not share your name or if you wish to modify communication, call 1-800-385-9712 or email us at memberservices@defenders.org. For the purposes of the GDPR, Defenders does not share any personal data of users from EU countries or territories.

Retention of Personal Data:

We maintain one or more databases to store your Personal Data and may keep such information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which we collect the personal data, except if required otherwise by law.  

Protection of Personal Data:

Defenders maintains all physical, technical, and organizational security measures to protect from the loss, misuse, alteration, access, disclosure, use, or destruction of the information under our control. The security measures used on our Websites include, but are not limited to, industry-standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, Verisign certificates, firewalls, and internal policies to maintain the security of stored data. All security technology is updated on an ongoing basis. We limit access to the information we collect about you to only employees that need access to provide services or support to you.

While we follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is completely secure. Many breaches of security occur when users are not vigilant in protecting their own information. 

The next section of our Privacy Notice suggests some actions you can take to help control the security of your personal information.

Your Help Is Needed:

Although Defenders does its best to protect your privacy, you can help in the following ways:

  • You have control over your own privacy. Think carefully before providing any personal information.

  • Although our Websites have security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control, no email or Internet transmission is completely secure against interception. If you are worried because your communication is very sensitive, do not send it via email or submit it online. You may call us at 1-800-385-9712, or contact us via mail at:

Donor Services
Defenders of Wildlife
National Headquarters
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

  • Remember that we cannot protect your privacy once you leave our Websites, such as via a "hyperlink" to a third party website. When you visit other websites including shopping/e-commerce sites affiliated with Defenders but managed by third party organizations, please check each site's privacy Notice yourself, and be careful about the information you provide.

  • We may send you personalized information via email or provide personalized links in emails that allow data fields to be automatically populated with certain personal information. Therefore, you should always keep your email account information secure and not allow others to access your email account.

The Personal Data that you provide to us is stored on servers located in the United States. If you are located in another jurisdiction, you should be aware that once your Personal Data is submitted through our Site, it will be transferred to our servers in the United States and that the United States currently does not have uniform data protection laws in place.


California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) imposes very specific requirements for Site users residing in California requiring certain businesses to disclose policies relating to sharing certain categories of your Personal Data with third parties. FOR RESIDENTS OF CALIFORNIA ONLY. Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code requires select businesses to disclose policies relating to the sharing of certain categories of your Personal Data with third parties. If you reside in California and have provided your Personal Data, you may request information about our disclosures of certain categories of Personal Data to third parties for direct marketing purposes.

You have the following consumer privacy rights:

Right to Know: you have the right to request information we have collected about you and for what purpose.

Right to Deletion:  you have the right to request the deletion of your personal data that we have collected from you.

Right to Access: you have the right to request information about how we process your personal information and to obtain a copy of that personal information.

Right to Opt-Out:  you have the right to opt-out of the ‘Sale’ of your personal information to third parties.

Right to Non-Discrimination: you have the right to not receive discriminatory treatment if, and when, you exercise any of your rights.

To Exercise Your Rights:

Right to Know, Deletion, Access

If any of the information that we have about you is incorrect, or  you would like to stop receiving emails from us in the future, need to update your email or other contact information, you wish to access information (including Personal Data), or you wish your information to be removed from our records, please contact us at memberservices@defenders.org.

Right to Opting Out

If you prefer not to receive marketing messages from us, please let us know by clicking on the unsubscribe link within any marketing message that you receive, or by sending a message to us at memberservices@defenders.org.

To exercise Your Rights, you may also contact us by:

Data Protection Officer
Attn: California Privacy Rights
Defenders of Wildlife
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Your European Rights

As a resident of the European Union, you have the right to ask us not to process your Personal Data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your Personal Data) if we intend to use your Personal Data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. 

Under the GDPR, in certain circumstances, you may request information about:

  • The purpose of the processing;

  • The legal basis for that processing;

  • The categories of personal data and the data subject concerned;

  • Information on the type or identity of third parties to which your data may be disclosed to and the protection provided;

  • The source of the personal information; and

  • Retention period.

You have the rights to:

  • Access your Personal Data;

  • Correct your Personal Data;

  • Request erasure of your Personal Data;

  • Object to processing of your Personal Data;

  • Request restriction of processing your Personal Data;

  • Data portability;

  • Opt-out of Personal Data processing to a third party;

  • Opt-out of direct marketing; and

  • Withdraw consent.

In addition, where you believe that Defenders has not complied with its obligations under this Privacy Notice or European law, you have the right to make a complaint to the EU Data Protection Authority where you reside, a list can be found here - https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members_en

For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulations, our Data Protection Officer is James Stofan who can be contacted by sending an email to privacy@defenders.org or by mail to:

Data Protection Officer
Defenders of Wildlife
National Headquarters
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Notice for Nevada Residents:

Under Nevada law, certain Nevada consumers may opt out of the sale of ‘personal identifiable information’ for monetary consideration to a person for that person to license or sell such information to additional persons. Defenders do not engage in such activity; however, if you are a Nevada resident who has purchased or leased goods or services from us, you may submit a request to opt out of any potential future sales under Nevada law by emailing privacy@defenders.org

Children's Privacy:

Our Websites are not intended for children, and we do not knowingly collect or use any personally identifiable information from online visitors under 13 years of age. If we learn that Personal Data of persons less than 13 years-of-age has been collected through our Sites, we will take the appropriate steps to delete this information.

Updates and Changes to Privacy Notice:

We reserve the right, at any time and without notice, to add to, change, update or modify this Privacy Notice, simply by posting such change, update or modification on our Websites. Any such change, update or modification will be effective immediately upon posting on our Websites. Therefore, it is important that you periodically review this Privacy Notice.

If we make any material changes to this Privacy Notice or the way we use, share or collect personal Data, we will notify you by revising the “Effective Date” at the top of this Privacy Notice, prominently posting an announcement of the changes on our Sites, or sending an email to the email address you most recently provided us (unless we do not have such an email address) prior to the new policy taking effect. Any changes we make to our Privacy Notice in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notification sent to you by e-mail. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to this Privacy Notice.

Contact Information:

If you have questions regarding this Privacy Notice, please contact Defenders’ Data Protection Officer at privacy@defenders.org

You may also contact us via mail at:

Data Protection Officer
Defenders of Wildlife
National Headquarters
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

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