Friends of the Columbia Gorge Privacy & Open Information Policies

Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust (referred to together as "Friends") care about your privacy and make safeguarding it a priority. Friends created the following privacy policy to explain why we collect particular information and how we will protect your personal privacy. As part of our commitment to respect the rights of individuals who interact with us, we endeavor to provide a privacy policy that is easy to understand and transparent. 

In addition, Friends’ open information policy guides the ways in which Friends responds to information requests. The policy describes our approach to transparency and the criteria we use to determine whether or not information can be shared.

We encourage anyone with questions or concerns on either our privacy or open information policies to contact us at with any questions.

Friends' Privacy Policy

When you visit our website

When you visit our website, we automatically collect analytics information (including IP addresses) and receive reports from Google Analytics via "cookies" -- a string of information a website stores on a visitor's computer. 

We may use session cookies (meaning they disappear when you close your browser) on our website to learn more about how visitors use and reach our website as well the types of visitors using demographic information reported via Google Analytics. 

We collect analytics visitor information to our website to help diagnose server problems, administer our website, analyze trends, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use in order for us to improve our site and how we communicate. You have the ability to opt out of this reporting on our and other websites through use of the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-On. 

Lastly, our registration and donation forms require users to give us additional information. We do not store sensitive information from our visitors, such as social security numbers.

Collecting information from children

This website is not directed at children under the age of 13 who have protections under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Some children may use Friends' website to obtain information, but we do not anticipate that they will engage in activities that result in Friends obtaining any personal information.

Site visitors from outside the U.S.

Individuals outside the U.S. are welcome to use our website, but must acknowledge that any personal information provided to us through our website is collected, stored, and otherwise processed in the U.S. Privacy protections for personal data in the U.S. are different from privacy protections available by law in other countries. 

When you join our mailing list

We distribute electronic communications, including action alerts, newsletters, event and community announcements, and other similar information, via a third-party email marketing platform (such as Mailchimp) to deliver most communications to our email list. This company employs techniques for tracking open rates and click-through's that use email address as an identifier.

Friends also works to avoid sending emails that could be considered spam in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. To this end, we:

  • Always offer recipients of e-mail marketing and e-newsletters a clear means of opting-out from the receipt of future messages;
  • Always includes a link to our physical address within the body of all e-mail messages;
  • Never use false or misleading header information in any email message;
  • Never attempt to deceive email recipients by using deceptive subject lines; and
  • Never use automated means to harvest email addresses from websites or web services.

If you choose to join our mailing list, we will use the email address you provide us to send you messages associated with that particular list or issue as well as occasional general Friends announcement. We do not sell, rent, or share our mailing list.

You may subscribe, unsubscribe, or manage your e-mail list preferences at any time. To unsubscribe, look for an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of your email or you may send mailing list update requests to

When you make a donation

Friends of the Columbia Gorge is committed to respecting the privacy of its financial and in-kind donors, whether the donation is made online, by mail, or any other method. When you make a financial or in-kind donation, you provide your name and contact information. When you provide Friends with your personal information, we may enter that information into our constituent database and contact you in order to provide you with information, including Friends of the Columbia Gorge news, events and services, or to request voluntary time or monetary contributions to Friends. 

Financial donors provide standard payment information including, in many circumstances, credit card data. Donations made through our website are protected by the latest in SSL encryption. All personal information provided to us is stored in secure databases. We use industry standard safeguards to protect your information. These measures make it difficult for anyone to intercept the credit card information you send to us. We do not store your credit card information. When we work with other companies to process credit card transactions, those companies also use encryption and other appropriate security measures. 

We will not sell, share or trade our donors’ personally identifiable information with any other entity. In addition, we will not send mailings to our donors on behalf of other organizations, unless a donor has given us specific permission to do so. Friends has vendors that assist with processing and managing donations and donor data. We give these vendors access to donor data. Our vendors are bound by strict confidentiality rules and are permitted to use donor data only to support Friends operations. (Read Friends' full Donor Privacy Policy.)

When you share a comment, story, or photo with Friends

Friends uses public and member comments, testimony, and stories to help us in our advocacy efforts, legal work, media outreach and public education initiatives on pressing conservation issues and other concerns facing the Columbia Gorge. We do not share any personally identifiable information unless you give us permission or we are legally required to do so. 

In addition to buying and contracting for photos and images, Friends runs a photo contest and regularly works with a wide community of volunteer photographers as part of its outreach and public education efforts (learn more about Friends' photo contest submission policy). Photographers with any questions regarding the use of any photos or other images should contact Stan Hall at

Mail sent to us containing personal information

You may decide to send us personally identifying information, for example, in an email message requesting information about your membership. We will use this information to determine how to respond to you and we may add your information to our database.  At your request, the record may be marked to receive no other mailings.

Friends' work with third-party vendors and contractors

Friends uses a number of third-party contractors and vendors to help with operations, outreach, fundraising and administration. When necessary we may disclose personal information we collect to contractors who provide administrative services and support to Friends. This may include auditors, our Internet Service Provider, database providers, lawyers, consultants, volunteers, contractors, and others.  

We attempt to minimize sharing personal information, and we avoid it where possible; however, we depend on third parties to support some of our services and operations.  We strive to select vendors and contractors who have strong privacy and security policies.

How does Friends address access, correction, and data quality?

Friends uses Salesforce to help manage relations with its members and supporters. If we have personal information about you, we will make that information available to you upon request. We also welcome updates to your contact information so we can keep in touch with you. You can ask us to delete any personal information we have about you, and we will comply unless we are otherwise required to keep it. Please contact us if you have such a request.

How does Friends protect the data it collects?

Friends strives to maintain appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect all information we have, including your personal information. It is impossible to guarantee absolute security, but we exercise great care in protecting any information we collect. Friends also relies on third parties to take appropriate security measures for web hosting, email marketing, and donation processing.

Changes to this policy

Friends may make changes to this privacy policy on occasion. We will announce substantial changes on this page and in our blog.

Privacy policy revision history

Updated: May 2020

Friends' Open Information Policy


Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust (referred to together as “Friends of the Columbia Gorge” or "Friends") believe that transparency is vital to enabling good performance and is key to maintaining legitimacy and credibility.

This open information policy is an expression of Friends' commitment to transparency and openness, and is meant to guide the way in which Friends shares information. The policy describes our approach to transparency, and the criteria we use to determine whether or not information can be shared.

Friends sees this as a living document that will continue to evolve as the work we do expands or changes, and as new standards governing transparency in our sector emerge.


1. Our Approach to Transparency

The following principles form the foundation of Friends' open information policy:

  • Disclose information proactively: Friends will seek to make public as much information as possible by default, rather than wait for and respond to individual information requests.
  • Assume a presumption in favor of openness: Friends will err on the side of sharing more rather than less information, unless there is a good reason not to do so (please see the section on exclusions below).
  • Make it easy to find information: Friends will work to make information about our work as easy to find online as possible.
  • Provide information in accessible formats: Friends will share information in formats that make it easy for others to reuse, to the greatest extent possible.
  • Adhere to high data quality standards: Friends will work to ensure that the information we publish is always accurate and reliable.

2.    Information requests

If the information requested is not available on Friends' website, requests may be made in writing via email or by mail. Friends will do its best to respond to requests on a timely basis, taking into account possible time, legal or resource constraints. If a request is denied, a justification will be given.

3.    Exclusions

Friends will not share information if doing so would:

  • Be against the law or other regulations
  • Violate any legal privileges, such as the attorney work product privilege or attorney-client privilege
  • Compromise our ability to effectively carry out our work
  • Lead to the disclosure of business or proprietary information
  • Break confidentiality
  • Violate individuals' privacy or Friends' privacy policy
  • Endanger the safety of our staff, or that of our members and partners
  • Violate the terms of an agreement with other parties

This means we will generally not externally disclose:

  • Proprietary, legal, and other internal communications and documents not meant for public distribution.
  • Information that would violate the constitutional rights, such as the freedom of association, of Friends, its members or partners.
  • Personal information about our staff including but not limited to payroll and banking records, or human resources files.
  • Contact information for board directors, advisors, trustees, members or volunteers.

We also will not share information if the costs of producing that information significantly outweigh the potential benefits, or if we deem a request for information to be pernicious or frivolous.

4.    Responsibilities

All Friends staff are responsible for complying with this policy. 

Contact Us

To make an information request, or if you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, our Open Information Policy, or our other web or social media practices,  you can contact us at: 

Friends of the Columbia Gorge

333 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 300
Portland, OR 97204