To make this document more readable, “we”, “us”, and “our” refer to Empower Illinois. “You” and “your” refers to anybody using our Sites and Services.
Empower Illinois provides scholarships to low-income and working-class students. We work with donors to help them donate to Illinois’s tax credit scholarship program, schools to help them secure scholarships for their students from low-income and working class families, and parents and guardians to help them apply for available scholarships for their children.
What We Collect
We collect data from the following types of users interacting with our Sites and Services:
“Visitors” – users accessing the Empower Illinois Site(s);
“Donors” – users accessing our website to donate to Illinois’s tax credit scholarship program;
“Schools” – users accessing our website on behalf of a school to secure financial scholarships for the school’s students; and
“Parents” – users accessing our website to apply for available scholarships on behalf of their children.
Empower Illinois collects the following information from Visitors, Donors, Schools, and Parents (collectively, “Users”):
For Visitors to our website, we collect any information you directly provide to us, which may include your name and basic contact information (including email, address, and phone number).
For Donors, we collect information including your name, contact information (including email, address, and phone number), the amount donated, and any Donor conditions on the donation. We also collect the information that you submit on your Contribution Authorization Certificate from the Illinois Department of Revenue. Through our service provider, we may also collect your payment information, including bank account information. By law, we are required to keep the contact information and contribution histories of Donors on file.
For Schools, we collect information relevant to the school’s scholarship applicants, recognition status with the Illinois State Board of Education, tuition and fees, address and contact information for the school and its key staff, and information required to provide scholarship payments to the schools.
For Parents and Guardians, we collect information that you provide to us, including your name and contact information (including email, address, and phone number), Social Security number, ethnicity and/or race and other demographic information, information included on your tax return, and other financial information including your annual income. We also collect information related to your student, including the student’s name, Social Security number, and ethnicity and/or race and other demographic information. Pursuant to the Illinois Invest in Kids Act, you also authorize Empower Illinois, its service providers, and others as permitted by law to access information needed for income eligibility determinations.
We may also automatically collect information about how you use our Sites and Services to optimize your experience on our Sites. This includes commonly logged user-to-server information such as device internet protocol (IP) address, device type, browser and operating system type, and information about the pages you visit on our Sites.
We do not respond to web browser “do not track” signals.
How We Use Your Data
We collect and use your personal information to operate our Sites and Services, to administer scholarship programs, and to deliver the services you have requested. As described above, the purpose for collecting personal information differs for Donors, Schools, and Parents. Empower Illinois collects information from Donors to facilitate their efforts to donate to Illinois’s tax credit scholarship program, collect their donations, and allocate their donations to specified schools or regions. We collect information from Schools to help them participate in scholarship programs. We collect information from Parents to help them complete scholarship applications on behalf of their student children. We share information between Donors, Schools, School Networks, Parents, and others as required by law, in order to fulfill our mission to administer scholarship programs under the Illinois Invest in Kids Act, although we respect Donors who wish to remain anonymous and not have their information shared with others.
With your affirmative consent, we may sell your contact information to other organizations that want to provide you with additional information about how you can be involved to support making scholarships possible. Your consent or lack of consent to be contacted by other organizations will have no affect on scholarship eligibility.
As noted below, Empower Illinois partners with and hires other companies to provide services on its behalf. If you provide personal information directly to these other companies on their websites, please be aware that your information is governed by their respective privacy policies. We encourage you to review their privacy policies carefully.
Empower Illinois reserves the right to aggregate and anonymize your personal information for marketing, research, or any other lawful purpose.
For all Visitors to our Site(s), we also use the data we collect to operate the Site(s), provide technical troubleshooting or support, solicit feedback, and provide notice and alerts of product upgrades, planned maintenance, or downtime. We may use personal information you previously provided while visiting our website when you return on subsequent visits, for your convenience.
We may also disclose your information to protect our rights or property or the safety of our employees or others; to comply with any court order, legal process, or respond to any governmental or regulatory request; to comply with the provisions of the Illinois Invest in Kids Act; and to transfer information in the event of a merger, transfer of assets or other organizational restructuring.
Empower Illinois reserves the right to retain personal information indefinitely. Upon request, Empower Illinois will provide you with information about whether we hold or process any of your personal information and the type of information we hold.
We normally would not hold records covered by the Illinois School Student Records Act or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). If any of the records we hold are determined to be covered by the Illinois School Student Records Act or FERPA, Parents would have rights (1) To inspect and copy the records; (2) To challenge the contents of the records; and (3) To limit any consent to designated records or designated portions of information within the records.
In certain circumstances, we may be required by law to retain your personal information.
Third Party Services
Empower Illinois partners with and hires other companies to provide services on its behalf. In some circumstances, we may directly share User personal information with these service providers. We require our service providers to maintain the confidentiality of personal information that we share with them and prohibit them from using the information for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was collected.
Opt-Out of Promotional Emails
We may contact Visitors to our Site(s) via email if you have submitted your personal information during your visit to our Site(s). If you wish to opt-out of receiving future promotional communications, you may do so by following the unsubscribe instructions included in these emails, or by contacting us at [email protected].
User Testimonials and Feedback
We often receive testimonials and comments from users who have had positive experiences with our scholarship programs. We occasionally publish such content along with the user’s first name and last initial. We may seek your consent to publish your last name and/or home city alongside your testimonial or feedback.
Please be aware that if you make any comments on a blog or forum associated with another website, any personal data you submit there can be read, collected, or used by the operator of that website and other users of that forum. We are not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to post on blogs and forums not operated by Empower Illinois.
We are committed to maintaining your confidence and trust, and take steps to help protect the personal information you provide to us. However, no transmission or electronic storage of information is guaranteed to be secure. We therefore urge you to always use caution when transmitting information over the internet.
Your California Privacy Rights
California’s “Shine The Light” law permits California residents to annually request and obtain information free of charge about what personal information is disclosed to third parties for direct marketing purposes in the preceding calendar year.
Our website is not specifically directed to children under 13. If you inform us that we have collected or received information from a child under 13, we will delete such information immediately from our databases. We shall not knowingly use or disclose any personal information that we know to have been erroneously collected from children under 13.
Consent to Transfer
Our Site operates in the United States. If you are located outside of the United States, please be aware that any information you provide to us will be transferred to the United States, even though the United States has privacy laws that the European Union considers not to be adequate. By using our Site, participating in any of our services and/or providing us with your information, you consent to this transfer.
Feedback or Questions
If you have questions or comments, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as we can.