Privacy Policy

SRF Privacy Policy for Volunteers

If you are in the European Union (EU) and/or European Economic Area (EEA), this General Privacy Policy does not apply to you. Please view our EU Privacy Notice for Volunteers available here.

Revised June 28, 2021

Your information privacy is extremely important to us. We have prepared this Privacy Policy for SRF Volunteers (“Volunteer Privacy Policy”) to explain how we collect, use, protect, and disclose information and data with respect to our volunteers, and the Voluntary League of Disciples website (“VLD Website”), and any other websites or mobile apps we may create from time to time (“Volunteer Sites and Apps”). This Volunteer Privacy Policy applies to you if you are outside the European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), or European Economic Area (EEA), and you volunteer directly with SRF and/or visit or use the Volunteer Sites and Apps.

This Volunteer Privacy Policy applies with respect to your volunteer activities. SRF’s Privacy Policy explains how SRF collects and uses information in other situations (such as if you take part in SRF services or meditation groups, have applied to study the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) Lessons, have applied for Kriya Yoga initiation, sought spiritual guidance and counselling from us, or have otherwise been in contact with SRF, whether over the internet or otherwise).

BY VOLUNTEERING WITH SRF OR USING THE VOLUNTEER SITES OR APPS, YOU ARE CONSENTING TO THIS VOLUNTEER PRIVACY POLICY. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.

1. Managing Your Information Preferences

You can review, correct, update, delete, or change your Personal Information through your Volunteer Portal account or by emailing us at GDPR@voluntaryleague.org. You can also opt out of receiving certain emails and other communications from us by using the “unsubscribe” link in the emails. However, you cannot opt out of receiving all emails from us, such as emails about the status of your account.

2. Information We Collect

When you volunteer with us or interact with us through the Volunteer Sites and Apps, we may process the following categories of personal data about you.

Personal Information

  • Names, titles, and photographs (if you provide them).
  • Contact details and account credentials such as telephone numbers, addresses, and email addresses, and your login information for any volunteer accounts you create.
  • Your communications with us and Personal information that you provide to us in your volunteer application and/or volunteer profile.
  • Records of your donations (such as bank account numbers, payment card numbers, donation/transaction identifiers).
  • Information related to your Student Status (SRF Lessons or Kriyaban status), and your status as a VLD member.
  • Information related to your volunteer activities, including your volunteer history, and information collected through our Volunteer Sites and Apps.
  • Other operational personal data created, obtained, or otherwise processed in the course of carrying out our activities, for example, your volunteer ID.
  • The data we process may constitute sensitive personal data because, as a church, we necessarily process data suggestive of your religious beliefs. We may also process other categories of sensitive personal data including about your mental and physical health, family or employment relationships, and other information of this nature that you have provided us.

Usage Data and Site Activity

We may automatically collect the following information about your device and your use of our Volunteer Sites or Apps through cookies, web beacons, and other technologies: your browser type and operating system; web pages you view; links you click; your IP address, MAC address, Unique Device Identifiers (UID), and other persistent identifiers; the length of time you visit our Sites and or use our Services; and the referring URL, or the webpage that led you to our Sites (“Usage Data”). We use this information to monitor and improve the Volunteer Sites and Apps, enhance your online experience and to enable us to provide you with an easier and more personalized experience and level of service.

Cookies and Anonymous Identifiers

  • We use cookies (a small text file placed on your computer to identify your computer and web browser) and may use anonymous identifiers (a random string of characters that is used for the same purposes as a cookie). We use cookies for authentication purposes (to keep track of the fact that you have logged in) and for certain functionality (such as to allow you to put items in your shopping cart).
  • We use Google Analytics on the Volunteer Sites and Apps to collect Usage Data and to analyze how users use the Volunteer Sites and Apps. The information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. The cookie information we send to Google Analytics is not linked to personally identifiable information, and is not used to track users across websites not owned by SRF. Further, we send only anonymized IP address information to Google. For more information about how to opt out of having your information used by Google Analytics, visit https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/.
  • In addition, we use third parties to enhance the functionality of our Sites, and these third parties set cookies. For example, we may use PayPal to allow people to make purchases or donations using PayPal’s services, or we may use the services of social media companies (such as YouTube or similar companies) to help display video or social media content on our Sites. Cookies set by these third parties allow the provision of enhanced functionality, and so certain functionality might not be available if you choose to reject all cookies. As further explained in Section 6 below, these third parties may also use cookies to track your activities on our Sites and on other sites.

Most web browsers are initially set up to accept cookies. You can set your web browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent; however, certain features of the Volunteer Sites or Apps may not work if you delete or disable cookies.

3. How We Use Information and When We May Share and Disclose Information Generally

We use the information, including Personal Information, alone or in combination with other information that we may collect about you, including information from third parties, for the following purposes that are necessary for the performance of the contract between us to provide you with the services you requested or that we consider in our legitimate interests:

  • To contact and communicate with you: (i) in relation to your volunteer activities; (ii) to keep you informed about news and events, activities and services in which you may be interested; and/or (iii) to respond to questions and communications from you;
  • To process your application or nomination for a volunteer role; determine your qualifications and fitness for the role; manage volunteer activities and schedules; reimburse volunteers as appropriate; and to provide you with services, support, and guidance in performing your volunteer role;
  • To assist you with and process any donations;
  • To provide activities for our volunteers: for example, to provide and process registrations for group activities, meal preferences, and the like;
  • To enable us to meet all legal and statutory obligations or requirements, and obligations to third parties;
  • For safeguarding purposes (including diligence and complaints handling), with the aim of ensuring that all children and adults are provided with safe environments in connection with SRF activities;
  • To deliver SRF’s religious mission to our worldwide membership, and to carry out any other voluntary or charitable activities for the benefit of the SRF community;
  • For personnel, administrative, accounting and management purposes, for example to maintain our accounts, and to monitor performance of volunteer groups and expenditures;
  • To provide you with the Volunteer Sites and Apps, including to allow you to participate in online communities and allow you to post content and to send you alerts about your account;
  • To improve your browsing experience by personalizing the Volunteer Sites and Apps and to improve our online services and to better understand how users access and use our Volunteer Sites and Apps, to maintain, support, and improve our Volunteer Sites and Apps, and for research and analytical purposes.

Please note that when you volunteer with SRF, our Voluntary League of Disciples (VLD) manages our volunteer programs. Thus, information related to your volunteer application, your volunteering, and information from our volunteer websites will be shared with VLD. In addition, we may share your contact information with other volunteers so that they may contact you in connection with your volunteer role and for organizational and administrative purposes.

We will not disclose Personal Information to third parties, including for their direct marketing or commercial purposes, without your consent, except as explained in this Privacy Policy. We may disclose to third parties, certain Usage Data regarding the Volunteer Sites and Apps. However, in such cases, your Usage Data is aggregated with the Usage Data of others and does not identify you individually.

4. Personal Information You Make Available to Others

By using the Volunteer Sites or Apps you may make certain of your Personal Information available to others. For example, if you post information to a public testimonial or public discussion forum, or post a photo, or other content in a public area, other users and the general public will see the information that you post or choose to make available.

5. Service Providers

We share Personal Information with our authorized service providers that perform certain services on our behalf (“Service Providers”). For example, we may contract with Service Providers to provide certain services, such as to process payments or donations from you, for hosting and maintenance, data storage and management, email newsletters, or management of certain volunteer activities. We only provide our Service Providers with the information necessary for them to perform these services on our behalf. Each Service Provider must agree to use reasonable security procedures and practices, appropriate to the nature of the information involved, in order to protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Service Providers are prohibited from using Personal Information other than as specified by us.

6. Online Tracking

We use third parties to enhance the functionality of our Volunteer Sites and Apps. The third parties we use may set cookies and collect certain information when you visit the Volunteer Sites and Apps. These companies may collect your IP Address, information from cookies they set during your visits to the Sites and other websites, and other information (e.g. click stream information, web browser type and other information about your browser or computer operating system, time and date, the pages or videos you viewed). These companies may track your activity over time and across different websites, and may use the information they collect to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of interest to you. Our systems do not recognize browser “Do Not Track” signals, but several of the third parties who utilize these cookies on our Sites enable you to opt out of targeted advertising practices. To learn more about these advertising practices or to opt out of this type of advertising, you can visit optout.aboutads.info and optout.networkadvertising.org.

7. Notice to California Residents/Your California Privacy Rights

We do not share your Personal Information with third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

8. Compliance with Laws and Law Enforcement

We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials and private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We may disclose Personal Information and any other information about you to government or law enforcement officials or private parties if, in our discretion, we believe it is necessary or appropriate in order to respond to legal requests (including court orders and subpoenas), to protect the safety, property, or rights of our company or of any third party, to prevent or stop any illegal, unethical, or legally actionable activity, or to comply with the law.

9. Be Careful When You Share Information with Others

Please be aware that whenever you choose share information on any public area of the Volunteer Sites or Apps (such as by posting information to a public testimonial or public discussion forum), that information may be accessed by others. That information may be further passed along or for further made public by others. This means that anyone with access to such information can potentially use it for any purpose, including sending unsolicited communications.

10. Security

We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect the confidentiality and security of information transmitted to us. Although no data transmission over the Internet or other network can be guaranteed to be 100% secure, we strive to protect your personal data on or through the Volunteer Sites or Apps so that it is not inappropriately lost, misused, accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed. However, we cannot and do not guarantee the security of any information you transmit on or through the Volunteer Sites or Apps, and accept no liability for any unintentional disclosure or misuse.

11. Links

Our Volunteer Sites and Apps may contain links to other websites or allow others to send you such links. A link to a third party’s website does not mean that we endorse it or that we are affiliated with it. We do not exercise control over third-party websites. You access such third-party websites or content at your own risk. You should always read the privacy policy of a third-party website before providing any information to the website.

12. Children’s Privacy

The Volunteer Sites and Apps are intended for users who are 13 years old or older. We do not knowingly or intentionally collect Personal Information from children under the age of 13. If we become aware that we have inadvertently received Personal Information from a child under the age of 13, we will delete such information from our records. California users under the age of 18 may request the removal of their content or information publicly posted on the Volunteer Sites or Apps by emailing us at info@yogananda-srf.org. Please note that complete and comprehensive removal of the content may not be possible.

13. Processing in the United States

SRF is located in the United States. Please be aware that when you provide your Personal Information, visit our Volunteer Sites, use our Apps or communicate with us, you are transferring your Personal Information to the United States. Thus, your Personal Information and communications may be transferred to and maintained on servers or databases located outside your state, province, or country. And if you are located outside of the United States, we process and store all information in the United States. The laws in the United States may not be as protective of your privacy as those in your location. By using the Site or Services, you are agreeing to the collection, use, transfer, and disclosure of your Personal Information and communications will be governed by the applicable laws in the United States.

14. Privacy Policy Changes

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we decide to change this Privacy Policy, we will inform you by posting the revised Privacy Policy on the Volunteer Sites. Those changes will go into effect on the “Revised” date shown in the revised Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the Volunteer Sites or Apps, you are consenting to the revised Privacy Policy.

PLEASE PRINT A COPY OF THIS PRIVACY POLICY FOR YOU RECORDS AND PLEASE CHECK THE VOLUNTEER SITES FREQUENTLY FOR ANY CHANGES.