Privacy Policy

Last Modified: September 2023

1. Scope, Key Terms & Definitions

This Privacy Policy (“Policy”) describes how Alliance for the Great Lakes (“Alliance,” “we,” or “us”) treat personal information on our websites and platforms where the Policy is located (the “Platform”). The Alliance websites and platforms where the Policy is located are intended to be used only in the United States.

Please take a moment to review this Privacy Policy. You may scroll through this Privacy Policy or use the headings below. It is important that you understand this Privacy Policy. By using our Platform, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy. If you have any questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy, you may contact us at any time using the Contact Information at the end of this Policy, or use the page of our Platform.

If you do not agree with our policies and practices, your choice is not to use our Platform. By accessing or using our Platform you agree to this Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy may change from time to time (see Changes to Our Privacy Policy). Your continued use of our Platform after we make changes is deemed to be acceptance of those changes, so please check this Privacy Policy periodically for updates.

It is helpful to start by explaining some of our key terms and definitions used in this Privacy Policy.

Personal Information” or “Personal Data”: Information identifying, relating to or about an identified or identifiable individual, as described more fully in this Policy.

Platform”: Our Website(s) and related functionality and online services, as applicable.

Privacy Policy” or “Policy”: This privacy policy.

Website”: Our website(s) located at

The Alliance,” “we,” “us”: Alliance for the Great Lakes.

2. Types of Information We Collect

The Alliance collects information from you and about you. Here are some examples of the information we may collect:

  • Contact Information. For example, when you donate, volunteer, subscribe to email, or take action on an action alert, we may collect your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address. We may also collect your mobile phone number.
  • Payment Information. For example, if you make a donation or register for a paid event through our Platform, we may collect your credit card number and billing address.
  • Information You Post. We may collect information you post in a public space on our Platform.
  • Social Media Information. We may collect information you post on our social media pages. We may also collect your social media profile information and information posted on your page.
  • Information You Submit. We may collect information when you create an account on our Platform, sign up to receive email updates from us, or use similar features on our Platform. This included information you collect and submit to us through your device including litter data, registration and/or check-in for a cleanup, and for taking attendance.
  • Demographic Information. We may collect your birthdate, age, gender and zip code.
  • Device Information. For example, we may collect the type of device you use to access our Platform. We may also collect your device identifier, IP address or mobile operating system.
  • Posting content to our Platform. You may also be able to add, post or upload comments, social media content, or other materials to our Platform on public areas of the Platform, or transmitted to other users of the Platform or to third parties (collectively, “User Contributions”). Your User Contributions are posted on and transmitted to others at your own risk. Although we may limit access to certain pages, please be aware that no security measures are perfect or impenetrable. Additionally, we cannot control the actions of other users of the Platform with whom you may choose to share your User Contributions. Therefore, we cannot and do not guarantee that your User Contributions will not be viewed by unauthorized persons.
  • Other Information. If you use our website, we may collect information about the browser you are using. We might look at what site you came from, or what site you visit when you leave us.

3. How We Collect Your Information

Alliance collects your information in different ways. Below are some examples of how we may collect your information.

  • Directly From You. For example, when you:
    • Register for an account.
    • Make a donation through our Platform.
    • Sign up to receive promotional communications.
    • Participate in one of our campaigns or cleanup events.
    • Use the Feedback feature to submit feedback on our Toolkit.
    • Sign the Plastic-Free Great Lakes Pledge.
    • Interact with Alliance social media pages.
  • Passively. For example, when you visit and navigate our Platform on any device. We may also collect information about users over time and across different websites and devices when you use the Platform. Third parties also collect personal information this way on our Platform.
  • From Third Parties. We may receive information about you from other sources. For example, this may include receiving information from:
    • Our business partner, companies that co-sponsor our promotions.
    • Social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
    • Family, friends and others who provide your information to us because they think you may be interested in our products and services or they want to share a product or service with you.
    • Companies that provide information to supplement what we already know about you. Certain third parties might link your name or email address to other information they have collected.
  • By Combining Information. For example, we may:
    • Combine information that we collect offline with information we collect through our Platform.
    • Combine information we collect about you from the different devices you use to access our Platform.
    • Combine information we get from third parties with information we already have about you.

4. How We Use Your Information

Examples of how we may use your information include:

  • To Advertise Our Campaigns and Other Volunteer Opportunities. This could include posting to our online Blog and News page information from cleanup events you have hosted or participated in, including your name, pictures of you, and any quotes you have given about the event.
  • To Improve Our Platform. We may use your information to make our Platform better. We may also use your information to customize your experience with us.
  • To Understand Your Interests. For example, we may use your information to better understand what campaigns interest you.
  • To Respond to Your Requests or Questions. This may include responding to your feedback or inquiries.
  • To Communicate With You. We may communicate with you about your account or our relationship. We may also contact you about this Policy or our Platform terms and conditions.
  • To Determine Your Eligibility. We may use your information to verify your identity or determine your eligibility to register for an account with us. For example, this may include verifying your age.
  • For Marketing Purposes. We may provide you with information about updates on the latest news on the Great Lakes and any opportunities to get involved and volunteer. We may also use your information to send you electronic communications, including through email or text message. For more information about your choices related to these communications, see the Choices section below.
  • For Security Purposes. This could include protecting our company and consumers who attend our events and make donations on our Platform. It may also include protecting our Platform.
  • As Otherwise Permitted By Law or As We May Notify You.

5. How We Share Your Information

We may share your information in the following ways:

  • We may share your information within our organization.
  • On our Platform. For example, we may display your picture or information about your participation in one of our events. We may also display information you submit in connection with a promotion.
  • With Our Service Providers. We may share your information with third parties who perform services on our behalf. For example, this may include the payment processors we use in connection with our donation page. It may also include companies that send emails on our behalf or help us run our Platform.
  • With Our Business Partners. For example, this may include a third party that co-sponsors a campaign or event.
  • With Any Successors to All or Part of Our Organization. For example, if Alliance merges with, acquires or is acquired, or sells a brand or part of its business to another business entity. This may include an asset sale, corporate reorganization or other change of control. We may transfer personal information as a standalone asset or as part of a larger transaction.
  • To Comply With the Law or To Protect Ourselves. For example, this could include responding to a court order or subpoena, or in connection with a promotion. It could also include sharing information if a government agency or investigatory body requests. We might share information when we are investigating a potential fraud. This could include fraud we think has occurred during the submission of a donation.
  • For Other Reasons We May Describe to You.

6. Children Under 13

The Platform where this Policy is located is meant for adults. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable data from persons under the age of 13, and strive to comply with the provisions of COPPA (The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). If you are a parent or legal guardian and think your child under 13 has provided us with information, please contact us at You can also write to us at the address listed at the end of this website Policy. Please mark your inquiries “COPPA Information Request.” Parents, you can learn more about how to protect children’s privacy online here.

7. Choices Regarding Your Information

You have certain choices about how we use your information. Certain choices you make are browser and device specific. As a general rule, you cannot opt out of our collection, use and sharing of Personal Information to the extent it is necessary to provide the Platform or related basic services, features and functionality available on or through the Platform to you.

  • Cookies. You can change the cookie settings that will be placed when you use our Platform by changing the settings on your Internet browser. You can also block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. Please note that internet browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. These settings are usually found in the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu of your internet browser. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including strictly necessary cookies), you may not be able to access or use all or areas and aspects of our Platform.
  • Messages. If you do not wish to have your email address used by The Alliance to send you advertising messages and content, you can opt out at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any marketing emails you receive from us. You may have other options with respect to marketing and communication preferences through our Platform.
  • Do Not Track Signals. We do not track you over time and across third-party websites or other online services for any purpose. Some web browsers permit you to broadcast a signal to websites and online services indicating a preference that they “do not track” your online activities.

8. Marketing Communications

  • You can opt out of receiving our marketing communications. To do so, you can follow the opt out instructions included with the communication. Note that you will still receive transactional messages from us, including information about your account and responses to your inquiries.

9. Cookies & Other Tracking Technologies

  • Your browser may give you the ability to control cookies or other tracking tools. How you do so depends on the type of tool. Certain browsers can be set to reject browser cookies. To control flash cookies, which we may use on certain websites from time to time, you can go here. Why? Because flash cookies cannot be controlled through your browser settings.

10. Our Do Not Track Policy

  • Some browsers have “do not track” features that allow you to tell a website not to track you. These features are not all uniform. We do not currently respond to those signals. If you block cookies, certain features on our sites may not work. If you block or reject cookies, not all of the tracking described here will stop.
  • Options you select are browser and device specific.

11. Your California Privacy Rights

If you reside in California, you have the right to ask us one time each year if we have shared personal information with third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

California Civil Code Section 1798.83 (California’s “Shine the Light” law) permits users of our Platform that are California residents and who provide Personal Information in obtaining products and services for personal, family, or household use to request certain information regarding our disclosure of Personal Information to third parties for their own direct marketing purposes. If applicable, this information would include the categories of Personal Information and the names and addresses of those businesses with which we shared your Personal Information with for the immediately prior calendar year (e.g., requests made in 2023 will receive information regarding such activities in 2022). To make a request, please send us an email at or write to us at the address listed below. Indicate in your email or letter that you are a California resident making a “California Shine the Light” inquiry.

California law permits minors under the age of 18 to request the removal of your User Contributions, subject to certain exceptions. If you are under the age of 18 in California, you may contact us using the Contact Information below (if you contact us via email, please use the subject “California Eraser Law Request”). We may not remove your User Contributions that we are required to retain under any federal or state law, or that have been provided to a third party. While we will do our best to remove a minor’s information upon a valid request, we cannot ensure the complete or comprehensive removal of your User Contributions from our Platform or any information that has been republished, copied, downloaded, or reposted by any third party, and we cannot guarantee that any such information may not be accessible to users of the Internet in the future. We do not advertise or market any of the products or services identified in California Business and Professionals Code Section 22580(i) to users who we have actual knowledge are under 18 years of age.

12. Security

The Internet is not 100% secure. We cannot promise that your use of our Platform will be completely safe. We encourage you to use caution when using the Internet. We use reasonable means to safeguard personal information under our control. A user id and a password are needed to access certain areas of the Alliance Platform. It is your responsibility to protect your username and password. We urge you to be careful about giving out information in public areas of the Platform like message boards. The information you share in public areas may be viewed by any user of the Platform. Any transmission of Personal Information is at your own risk. We are not responsible for circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures deployed on the Platform.

13. International Users

Our Platform is not intended for use by and is not directed to residents of the European Union. Information we maintain may be stored in or outside of the United States. If you live outside of the United States, by using and accessing our site, you understand and agree that we may transfer your personal information to the United States and consent to the transfer to and processing of personal information on servers located outside of the country where they reside. This Platform is intended for use in the United States and is subject to the laws of the United States, which may not provide the same level of protections as those in your own country.

14. Links

Our Platform may contain links to other third party sites that are not governed by this Policy. If you click on a link to a third party site, you will be taken to a site we do not control. We are not responsible for the privacy practices used by third party sites. We suggest that you read the privacy policies of those sites carefully. We are not responsible for these third party sites.

15. How To Contact Us

If you have any questions, comments or concerns with respect to our privacy practices or this Policy, or wish to update your information, please feel free to contact us at or by telephone at 1-312-939-0838. You may also write to us at the following address:

Alliance for the Great Lakes
150 N Michigan Ave, Ste 750
Chicago, IL 60601
Re: Alliance Privacy Policy

16. Changes In Policy

From time to time, we may change our Policy. We will notify you of any material changes to our Policy as required by law. We will also post an updated copy on our Platform. Please check our Platform periodically for updates.