We stand for Black lives. Black youth. Black futures.
See our COVID-19 Response & Resources

Privacy Policy

Your privacy on the Internet is important to Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence.

This Website (“Website”), located at independencebigs.org, including any services and features available on or through the Website such as blogs and user communities, is published and maintained by Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence (“BBSI”). BBBSI is referred to in this Privacy Policy as “we,” “us,” “our,” or other similar pronouns.

This privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”) covers BBBSI’s privacy practices with respect to “Personally Identifiable Information” (as further defined below) that is transmitted electronically to or collected by BBBSI via this Website and addresses the following items:

  • How BBBSI collects and uses Personally Identifiable Information
  • With whom BBBSI may share Personally Identifiable Information
  • The choices available to you, as a Website visitor, regarding collection, use and sharing of Personally Identifiable Information
  • The security procedures that BBBSI has in place for Personally Identifiable Information under our control

By visiting this Website, and/or using the Website’s services, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy as they may be amended from time to time. As we update and expand our programs and services, this Privacy Policy may change, so check back to this page from time to time. This Privacy Policy is incorporated into, and part of, the BBBSI Website Terms of Use, which governs your use of and access to this Website in general. This Privacy Policy does not apply to information that you may provide to us, or that we may obtain, other than through our Website, such as over the phone, by mail, or in person.

Advertisements displayed to you on this Website and on other sites on the Web may be customized to your interests, based on the terms that you search for on the Web, the Web pages that you visit on our Website and other Websites and other information about you and your usage of our Website and other Websites. We work with third parties, such as Google, Meta, and LinkedIn, to make this happen, and to do so these third parties may employ cookies, clear GIFs, tracking pixels and/or other tracking technologies. To opt-out of this, please notify us at marketing@independencebigs.org. If you do want to opt out using these tools, you need to opt out separately for each of your devices and for each Web browser you use (like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari) on each device. However, if you opt out, we may still suggest offerings to you on our Website based on your history at our Website. You may also click here to individually opt out of Google’s use of your information in this way. For more information about Google’s applicable privacy policy, visit www.google.com/privacy_ads.html.

Unless you opt-out, you consent to the use of tracking technologies in this way and as described in more detail below. For more information about third party advertisers and how to prevent them from using your information, visit the NAI’s consumer Web site at http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/ or the DAA’s consumer Web site at http://www.aboutads.info/choices/.

You may opt out of our sharing of your Personally Identifiable Information with third parties for marketing purposes, by following the directions in the Sharing Personally Identifiable Information section below.

Collection and Use

BBBSI collects Personally Identifiable Information from you when you expressly volunteer the information. This includes when you:

  • Register for a seminar or become a Volunteer.
  • Request information (electronically) about BBBSI’s programs and services, subscribe to newsletters, or enter a promotional contest.
  • Use various tools to select BBBSI programs and services that are suitable for your Website visit.
  • Request contact with an BBBSI staff member.
  • Provide BBBSI with comments, questions or feedback about BBBSI programs and services or your Website experience.

“Personally Identifiable Information” includes, for example, your name; home or business address; e-mail address; telephone, wireless and/or fax number; short message service or text message address or other wireless device address; instant messaging address; credit card and other payment information; employment information and work experience; demographic information and/or other information that may identify you as an individual or allow online or offline contact with you as an individual.

BBBSI will not sell, share, or rent Personally Identifiable Information other than as disclosed in this Privacy Policy. BBBSI does not sell, share with or rent to others e-mail addresses solely for the purpose of third party marketing, other than as disclosed in this Privacy Policy, but we may include third party advertisements within e-mails that we may send to you.

Among other things, we may use your Personally Identifiable Information to respond to your requests and inquiries; to provide you with the services, programs and features offered on or through the Website; to customize our Website to your interests and history with us; to protect our rights and property; and for other purposes disclosed when Personally Identifiable Information is submitted to us. We may also use your Personally Identifiable Information to tailor ads displayed to you on our Website and elsewhere to your interests and history with us and to communicate timely information and special announcements (for example, in the form of e-mails, mailings, and the like) about programs, services, companies and events, sponsored by us and others, that we think might interest you. You may choose not to receive our promotional e-mails and mailings by e-mailing marketing@independencebigs.org. Please understand that if you choose not to receive such promotional correspondence from us, we may still contact you in connection with your relationship, activities, transactions and communications with us.

If you register for a seminar or make a donation using a credit card, Personally Identifiable Information (such as your name and shipping address) and financial information (such as your credit card number and expiration date) may be required. This information may be used for billing purposes and to fill orders. If we have trouble processing an order, this contact information may be used to get in touch with you. Personally Identifiable Information also may be collected when you apply for a position with BBBSI or a program sponsored by BBBSI. In these cases, Personally Identifiable Information is used only for the purpose of processing and evaluating the application.

The Personally Identifiable Information you give us via the Website may be combined with other Personally Identifiable Information (such as demographic information and past history) and Website Usage Information available from our records and other sources (including, without limitation, our databases and third parties). This information may be used to make our future marketing efforts more efficient and will help us to improve the operations and maintenance of our Website and business.

Any or all of the above activities with regard to Personally Identifiable Information may be performed by us or on our behalf by our service providers or partners.

When You Refer a Friend/Colleague

BBBSI respects the privacy of your friends and coworkers. BBBSI will not keep or maintain names or e-mail addresses when you use our refer-a-friend function. The refer-a-friend function is solely to provide your friends and coworkers with the information you have requested we pass along to them.

Sharing Personally Identifiable Information

BBBSI may share Personally Identifiable Information collected electronically through its Website in the following ways:

  • BBBSI or BBBSI partners may use third parties to provide services for BBBSI (or on its behalf), such as an outside shipping company to ship orders, and/or a credit card processing company to bill for donations made through the BBBSI Website, and BBBSI will share Personally Identifiable Information with those entities.
  • From time to time, BBBSI works with business partners, service providers and sponsors to provide or offer specific programs and services. When you sign up for or utilize such programs or services, we will share Personally Identifiable Information necessary for the partner/sponsor to provide these programs or services to you.
  • E-mailings of BBBSI newsletters and other materials, as well as various operations of the Website, are handled both in-house and by outside service companies (such as e-mail service providers, address list hosting companies, distribution companies, suppliers and other service providers). On occasion, where BBBSI contracts with a service provider for this purpose, it may request or it may be necessary that the provider collect and/or provide information (including Personally Identifiable Information) directly from our customers on our behalf. In all such situations, BBBSI restricts how these suppliers and other service providers may access, use and disclose Personally Identifiable Information. BBBSI does not permit these suppliers and other service providers to sell Personally Identifiable Information to third parties except as permitted by this Privacy Policy. If you receive information through BBBSI or through a third party supplier about BBBSI that you prefer not to receive, you should request to be removed from the active mailing list by e-mailing marketing@independencebigs.org.
  • When you contribute to a public area or feature of our Website, such as one of our online communities, messaging services, chat services, bulletin boards, message boards, blogs or other such open forums, the information that you submit will be made available to the general public. For this reason, we recommend that you exercise caution in the submission of Personally Identifiable Information to these areas of our Website as it will be publicly accessible.
  • We may disclose to third parties aggregate, non-personally identifiable data regarding user behavior, such as overall patterns or demographic reports, as a measure of interest in, and use of, our Website, e-mails and other messaging campaigns.
  • We may use or disclose Personally Identifiable Information in order to investigate any claim or suspicion of a violation of our Website Terms of Service, to assist with law enforcement investigations, or as otherwise required by law.

BBBSI may transfer Personally Identifiable Information to a third party in the event of a merger or consolidation, reorganization, or other transfer of all or a portion of the assets of BBBSI, whether voluntarily or by operation of law. In using the Website and the various features and services made available thereon, you consent to such transfer of your Personally Identifiable Information.

Website Usage information—Not Linked to Personally Identifiable Information

A cookie is a piece of data that is stored on a visitor’s hard drive. BBBSI uses information from cookies, for example, to analyze trends, track visitors’ movements and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. If a visitor rejects the cookie, the visitor may be limited in some areas of the Website. Most Web browsers can be set to inform you when a cookie has been sent to you and provide you with the opportunity to refuse that cookie. You should consult your Web browser to choose the appropriate setting to accept or reject cookies.

In addition, BBBSI uses various third party service providers and third party provided services that use sophisticated cookie technology to measure site traffic and visitor behavior in aggregate. These cookies may remain on your hard drive after the conclusion of your site visit.

Clear GIFs
We may use “clear GIFs” (aka “Web beacons” or “pixel tags”) or similar technologies in the Website and/or in our communications with you. A clear GIF is typically a one-pixel, transparent image (although it can be a visible image as well), located on a Web page or in an e-mail or other type of message, which is retrieved from a remote site on the Internet enabling the verification of an individual’s viewing or receipt of a Web page or message.

IP Address and Clickstream Data
Additionally, when you visit the Website, our server automatically collects data about your server’s IP Address, which is a number that’s automatically assigned to your computer by your Internet service provider whenever you’re on the Internet. When you request pages from our Website, our servers may log your IP Address and sometimes your domain name. Our server may also record the referring page that linked you to us (e.g., another Website or a search engine); the pages you visit on this Website; the Website you visit after this Website; the ads you see and/or click on; other information about the type of Web browser, computer, platform, related software and settings you are using; any search terms you have entered on this Website or a referral site; and other Web usage activity and data logged by our Web servers. We use this information for internal system administration, to help diagnose problems with our server, and to administer our Website. Such information may also be used to gather broad demographic information, such as country of origin and Internet service provider.

Among other things, this information enables us to generate analytics reports on the usage of our Website. These technologies enable us to assign a unique number to you, and relate your Website Usage Information to other information about you, including your Personally Identifiable Information. These technologies also enable us to recognize you when you access our Website using different Web browsers and different computers or devices.

We may use and share your Website Usage Information for all of the purposes that we may use and share Personally Identifiable Information as described in this Privacy Policy. Any or all of the above-described activities with regard to Website Usage Information and tracking technologies may be performed by us or on our behalf by our service providers or partners.

Social Media
We use several social networking and blogging platforms to communicate with our customers, some of which are operated by third parties, such as Facebook or Twitter. This Privacy Policy applies to our use of information you submit to us through social networking platforms and features, but it does not apply to what those third party platforms do with your information that they receive from us or from you directly. Those platforms have their own privacy policies, and we encourage you to read them.

BBBSI’s Website contains links to other sites. Some links are to sites of BBBSI’s partners that offer BBBSI customers and Members a variety of special products and services. Please be aware that BBBSI is not responsible for the content, security or privacy practices on or of such other sites. We trust that you are aware when you leave the BBBSI Website, and we encourage you to read the privacy statements of each site to which ours is linked.

This Privacy Policy applies solely to information collected by or on the Website.


BBBSI endeavors to protect Personally Identifiable Information submitted to BBBSI via its Website. However, because the Internet is an open global communications vehicle, we cannot guarantee that information, during transmission through the Internet or while stored on our system or otherwise in our care, will be safe from intrusion by others, such as hackers.

In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your Personally Identifiable Information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development. If a notification is appropriate, we would try to do so as promptly as possible under the circumstances, and, if we have your e-mail address, we may notify you by e-mail. You consent to our use of e-mail as a means of such notification. If you prefer for us to use another method to notify you in this situation, please e-mail us at marketing@indpendencebigs.org with the alternative contact information you would like us to use.

If you have any questions about privacy at the BBBSI Website, please send an e-mail to marketing@indpendencebigs.org.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Privacy Policy, we will post those changes in the Privacy Policy accessible from the home page of the Website so that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. Any changes or updates will be effective when posted. Under certain circumstances, we may also elect to notify you of, or request your consent to, changes or updates to our Privacy Policy by additional means, such as posting a notice on the front page of our Website or sending you an e-mail.

Problems or Complaints

If you have questions or comments about our privacy practices, or if you believe that there has been a violation of this Privacy Policy, please contact us at marketing@independencebigs.org. We will investigate and take appropriate action and report back to you within a reasonable period of time.