Water First is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to addressing water challenges in Indigenous communities through training, education, and meaningful collaboration.

To carry out our mission, it’s important to communicate with you. And we’re committed to respecting our relationship with you, whether close or distant.

This privacy policy reflects our best efforts to maintain this respect, while ensuring we can communicate broadly, personally and accurately in the most cost-effective way possible. It explains how we collect, use and safeguard your personal information.

 

Information we collect and how we use it

Personal information

“Personal Information” is any information that can be used to identify (or infer the identity of) a specific person, including, for example, your name, address, birth date, gender, etc. In some cases, your computer’s IP address can be considered personal information, as it may give some indication of your geographic location.

We may ask you for personal information in a variety of ways, including website forms, surveys, mail-in forms, over the phone and in person.

There are a range of reasons why we may ask you for this information, including: to process a donation or registration; to fulfill your subscription to an e-newsletter; to allow you to send letters or sign a petition via an online action platform; to invite you to events; or to provide other information about Water First which might interest you. We may also contact you by mail, email or phone about opportunities to donate in support of our work.

Your choice to provide us with your personal information is at your discretion. You may always elect to withhold information. In some cases, we will require your personal information in order to fulfill something you’ve asked of us. For example, when you make a donation, we’re required by law to take your full name and mailing address in order to send you a tax-deductible receipt.

Cookies and data technology

We use cookies and other technology on our websites to make them easier to use and so that we can learn about how you use them. Information collected this way may include (but is not limited to) your IP address and internet service provider, the type of web browser and operating system you used and which of our website pages you visited. We use links in our emails to track open and click-through rates to help us learn what emails appeal to you most.

In some cases, interacting with our websites, social media accounts or emails provides us with “anonymous” data, such as IP address, link clicks, page visits, the time spent on a page, etc. We use Google Analytics on our website to learn where you are, when you’re using our site and what content you find most interesting. This helps us stay relevant.

We may also use 3rd party cookies, beacons and other storage technologies to understand what website content is most important to you so that we can measure our performance and target sponsored and unsponsored content to you on those 3rd party platforms.

It’s possible for us to put anonymous data together with personal information you give us to find out more about you. This helps us respect what we know about you. For example, when we have petitions that are meaningful locally, we try our best to send them to the affected communities and avoid sending irrelevant or too many emails.

Aggregate Data

In some cases, we may aggregate your information with other peoples’ in order to report on campaigns. For example, we may count the number of people who donate or sign a petition based on their postal code. That way, we can show where Canadians are taking action — with the number (e.g., “516 people from Toronto have donated to this campaign”) or by indicating the total on a map. We do not display your actual postal code.

Use of third parties

In many cases, we don’t actually collect and store personal information in our systems, but instead, use a third-party. For example, we use MailChimp to send out email updates on our activities.

Such services have resources dedicated to maintaining security and confidentiality, and we ensure that any third-party partner has written policies about never sharing your information with anyone other than Water First.

Donation and credit card information

In order to donate to us, you may need to provide your credit card information.

In the case of donations made online, Water First does not collect your credit card information. Instead, this information is collected and processed by third-party, PCI-compliant services. All online donations and monthly donations are processed by Canada Helps.

Donations made by credit card in person, through the mail or by phone are collected by Water First and processed then credit card information is destroyed/deleted. We do not keep any information on file.

A word on fundraising

As a registered Canadian charity, we cannot do our work without the financial support of our many generous donors. We do our best to reach out to as many possible individual supporters as we can. Our donors allow us to maintain our independence.

We may use information you provide (such as your postal code) to find more complete contact information from other sources (like Canada Post) so we can reach out to you, and we may use third-party providers to help. The chance to send you a letter or give you a phone call helps us see if we’re a good fit for you when it comes to making donations. You may opt-out of these communications at any time by contacting info@waterfirst.ngo.

Links to other websites

Our websites contain links to websites owned and operated by other organizations. They may have their own privacy policies and terms and conditions and are not governed by this policy. We encourage you to carefully review the privacy policy and terms of use of each website you visit.

 

What you need to know about consent

By providing personal information to us, you allow “deemed” consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your information in accordance with this policy.

We may be unable to provide you with certain information or services if you do not give us specific personal information. For example, we cannot issue you a charitable tax receipt if you don’t provide your address, or send you an e-newsletter if you don’t share your email address.

When you provide contact information to us for one purpose, we may contact you using that information for other areas of our work. For example, if you make a donation and provide us with your mailing address, we may also send a paper newsletter to your home in order to keep you up-to-date with work you’ve helped make happen.

We respect your right to control your personal information — please contact us immediately if you want us to stop using it in any particular way. We will fulfill your request in the timeliest way possible.

Please note that in order to adhere to Canada Customs and Revenue Agency rules, we are required to maintain donation records and are not allowed to remove this information from our internal records, even at your request.

Updating your consent

If you would like to stop receiving email from us at any time, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our emails or you can email info@waterfirst.ngo and type “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

If you would like to stop receiving mail solicitations from us, please email info@waterfirst.ngo. You can also reach us by phone at 1 (800) 970-8467.

Upon reasonable request and notice, you may view and have corrections made to the personal information we hold about you, subject to any legal or contractual restrictions. If you are aware of any inaccuracies in the personal information we hold about you or to remove all of your information from our databases, please contact us at info@waterfirst.ngo.

Ways to prevent us from collecting “anonymous” data

Our websites use cookies and JavaScript-based tracking scripts to collect the anonymous data referred to above. To stop this from happening, adjust your web browser’s “cookie”, “cache” and JavaScript settings. Please note that doing so may affect the performance of our web properties, and in some cases may completely prevent you from using some of our pages and forms.

 

How we keep your information secure

We endeavour to maintain appropriate physical, procedural and technical safeguards for your personal information. Some information we collect may be stored and processed on servers located outside your jurisdiction of residence, including outside your country. As a result, this information may be subject to disclosure to governments, courts or law enforcement agencies in those areas, according to their laws, without notice to us or you.

 

Policy updates and changes

We may change this policy from time to time without notice. Changes will be reflected on this page.

 

Need more information?

For further information, please contact our Executive Director by email at john.millar@waterfirst.ngo and by mail to: 178 Mill Street, Unit D Creemore, ON L0M 1G0.

This document is available to the public and explains how we collect, use and disclose information, in accordance with this policy, the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act, the Personal Information Protection Act and other relevant legislation.