Privacy Policy

Polaris values the privacy of its donors and supporters and is committed to protecting personal or otherwise sensitive information provided to us. Polaris does not sell, trade or share donor or supporter information or mailing lists with any organizations or third parties.

Online Donations
Online donations are processed through a secure server operated by PayPal, a third-party vendor not owned by, or affiliated with, Polaris. Information provided by a donor through the online donation form will be accessible to PayPal in order to complete the transaction and, as indicated in PayPal’s privacy policy, is retained only as long as needed by PayPal to process the gift. PayPal states that it does not sell, trade or share personal or credit card information with any other third party.  To learn about how Paypal collects, stores, and secures your data, please visit Paypal’s privacy policy, available here.

Privacy Preferences
Polaris reserves the right to send updates, newsletters, and donation solicitations (“Communications”) via email or mailing addresses provided by a donor or supporter through our email sign-up sheet unless specific preferences are otherwise noted. Online Communications are facilitated through Engaging Networks, a third-party vendor not owned by, or affiliated with, Polaris. Read Engaging Networks Privacy Policy here.

Donors and supporters may change their communication preferences at any time, including by opting out of future Communications or by having their personal information deleted from our database. Change your privacy preferences here.

Data Protection
Polaris takes the protection of data seriously and we have adopted commercially acceptable means to protect our donors’ privacy. We work with PayPal and Engaging Networks to collect and secure donor and financial information. The security measures used include firewalls, SSL technology protocols, compliance with PCI DSS, data encryption, physical access controls to our data centers, and information access authorization controls. While safeguarding donors’ information is a top priority at Polaris, no information system is 100% secure. Because of this, Polaris has procedures in place to deal with any suspected personal data breach.

If you have questions or requests regarding your current privacy preferences, you may also call 202-790-6300 or submit your question or request to:

Development Office
P.O. Box 65323
Washington, DC 20035

Changes to Privacy Practices
If we modify this privacy statement, we will post the revised statement here.

Last updated: 1/1/2020

Websites use cookies and similar files or technologies such as pixel tags, web beacons, local storage, HTML5 local storage, and mobile device IDs to store information or gain access to information stored on your device in device or equipment. You can find out more about cookies and similar technologies, and how we use them, in the information set out below.

If you do not accept the use of these cookies or similar technologies, please disable them by following the instructions in this policy below or by changing your browser settings so that cookies or similar technologies from cannot be placed on your computer or mobile device.

1. What is a cookie?

Cookies are small text files that uniquely identify your browser or device. The cookie file is stored on your browser. When you return to that website (or visit websites that use the same cookies) these websites recognize the cookies and your browsing device.

There are other technologies which are similar to cookies such as pixel tags, web beacons, and mobile device IDs.

Pixels are small portions of code. Pixels are used to learn whether you have clicked on certain web content. This helps websites measure and improve their services and personalize your experience.

Web beacons are invisible picture files that are placed on a website. Web beacons are used to see how you interact with websites and understand how often you view certain content so that websites can be more efficient and easier to use. Web beacons collect limited information, including a cookie number, a record of the page on which they are placed and a timestamp. Websites may also carry web beacons placed by third party advertisers.

Mobile device IDs are a unique identifier which can be used to identify a mobile device. Advertising partners use these to show you ads that are useful to you and also to make sure they don’t show the same ad to you twice.

Local storage Is used to store data on your device such as the last time you visited a webpage, to remember which items you put in our shopping cart, or welcome you to a website.

Some websites store information locally on your device using HTML5. This allows information to be stored in your browser after the browser has been closed and reopened. We only use HTML5 to store non-sensitive information, such as the previous page you viewed, the name of the current page you are viewing, the page title, and some of your preferences. We do not use HTML5 local storage to collect personal data from you. You can choose whether the data in HTML5 local storage should be kept beyond your current browser session or deleted. Depending on your browser, you can remove local storage, including HTML5, when clearing your cache and cookies.

2. Categories of cookies

Cookies do many different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improving the user experience. Cookies can tell us, for example, whether you have visited before or whether you are a new visitor. They can also help to ensure that adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.

There are different categories of cookies, including:

  • First-party cookies

First party cookies, which are served directly by us to your computer or device.

  • Third-party Cookies
    Third-party cookies, which are served by a third party on our behalf. We use third-party cookies for functionality, performance/analytics, and social media purposes.

Cookies can remain on your computer or mobile device for different periods of time. Some cookies are ‘session cookies’, meaning that they exist only while your browser is open. These are deleted automatically once you close your browser. Other cookies are ‘permanent cookies’, meaning that they survive after your browser is closed. They can be used by to recognize your computer when you open your browser and browse the Internet again.

3. What types of cookies do we use and how do we use them?

The types of cookies and similar technologies used by us and our partners in connection can be classified into one of five categories, namely ‘essential cookies’, ‘functionality cookies’, ‘analytics and performance cookies’, ‘advertising cookies’, and ‘ social media cookies’. Cookies do a lot of different tasks to ensure you enjoy your visit to, for example, they are used to remember your preferences on sites you visit, and to help you navigate between pages more efficiently. We have set out some further information about each category, and the purposes of the cookies we and third parties set in the following table.

Cookies necessary for essential purposes

  • These cookies are essential to provide you with and any services available through this website and to use some of its features, such as access to secure areas. Without these cookies, services you have asked for, like transactional pages and secure login accounts, would not be possible.
  • You can block these cookies by changing your browser setting but as they are essential for the operation of the site, this may impact the provision of our service.

Functionality Cookies

  • Functionality cookies record information about choices you’ve made and allow us to tailor to you. These cookies mean that when you continue to use or come back to, we can provide you with our services as you have asked for them to be provided.
  • These cookies allow us to remember the date of your last visit so as to disable pop-ups from appearing excessively.
  • Please see the instructions set out in ‘How to control or delete cookies’ below.

Performance Cookies

  • We use performance/analytics cookies to analyze how is accessed, used, or is performing in order to provide you with a better user experience and to maintain, operate and continually improve the website.
  • We use Google Analytics, which is a web analytics tool that helps us understand how users engage with the Website. Like many services, Google Analytics uses first-party cookies to track user interactions, as in our case, where they are used to collect information about how users use our site. This information is used to compile reports and to help us improve The reports disclose website trends without identifying individual visitors. For more information on Google Analytics, see here.  You can opt out of Google Analytics without affecting how you visit our site – for more information on opting out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites you use, visit this Google page:
  • These cookies allow us to:
    • Better understand visitors so that we can improve how we present our content;
    • Test different design ideas for particular pages, such as our homepage;
    • Collect information about visitors such as where they are located and what browsers they are using;
    • Determine the number of unique users of
    • Improve by measuring any errors that occur; and
    • Conduct research and diagnostics to improve product offerings.
  • You can opt out of Google Analytics without affecting how you visit our site – for more information on opting out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites you use, visit this Google page:

Social Media Cookies

  • On some pages of, third parties that provide applications through will set their own cookies in order to track the success of their applications or customize applications for you. Because of how cookies work, we cannot access these cookies, nor can the third parties access the data in cookies used by us. Some pages of will also contain embedded content, such as video content from YouTube, and these sites will set their own cookies.
  • These cookies are used when you share an article using a social media sharing button on (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus) as the social network that has created the button will record that you have done this. If you are logged in to your account with the third party, the third party will be able to link information about you with your actions via cookies.
  • uses AddThis for social media sharing functionality – for more information, visit this AddThis page:
  • Please see the instructions set out in ‘How to control or delete cookies’ below.

In addition to the cookies we use on this website, we also use cookies and similar technologies in some emails which enable us to understand whether you have opened the email and how you have interacted with it. If you have enabled images, cookies will also be set on your computer or mobile device and will also be set if you click on any link within the

4. How to control or delete cookies and other locally stored data

We use cookies on this site to make sure you can use the site easily and enjoy the site. Some of these cookies are essential and we can’t provide our service without them, but there are others that can be turned off. You have the right to choose whether or not to accept these optional cookies and similar technologies. However, please note that if you choose to refuse cookies or other essential locally stored data such as certain types of HTML5 data you may not be able to use the full functionality of

You can change your preferences by changing the settings in your browser. Most browsers will allow you to choose the level of privacy settings you want. This lets you control your cookie settings so that you can:

  • See what cookies or other locally stored data you’ve got and delete them on an individual basis;
  • Block third party cookies or similar technology;
  • Block cookies or similar technology from particular sites;
  • Block all cookies or similar technologies from being set; or
  • Delete all cookies or similar technologies when you close your browser.

Deleting cookies or similar technologies means that any preference settings you have made on a website will be lost. If you have set your preferences to opt out of cookies, this setting will be lost too, as that information is stored in a cookie. Blocking all cookies or similar technology means functionality on our websites will be lost, as described above. We do not recommend turning all cookies or similar technologies off when using our websites as we cannot guarantee that your experience on will be as good as it could otherwise be.

If you want to reduce your settings at any time (for example, if you accept all cookies, but later decide you do not want a certain type of cookie) you’ll need to use your browser settings to remove any third party cookies or similar technologies dropped on your previous visit.

For more information on how to manage the most popular browsers, please see below:

Internet Explorer


Google Chrome


How to opt out of online ads

You have the option to opt out of seeing targeted online ads from Polaris by visiting Please note that this list will contain more networks than those used on our site. Alternatively, you can opt out of certain cookies through the settings in your browser. Please note that neither of these options mean that you will see less advertising when you visit our site, the only effect is that the advertising will be less relevant to you.

Alternatively, you can manage cookies through the settings in your browser. Please note that this does not mean that you will see less advertising when you visit our, the only effect is that the advertising will be less relevant to you.

Please note that these lists will contain more networks than those used on our

We have also set out below links to some of our partners who set cookies on our These links contain instructions on how to opt out of cookies:

To learn more about the advertising companies we work with and the choices they offer, please take a look at the following resources:

How to opt out of managing performance cookies

You also have the option to opt out of having your browsing activity within websites recorded by performance cookies. We use the companies set out below and you can learn more about their cookies by clicking on the links provided. Please note that this will take you to the relevant third party website and will stop any further cookies being set by those third parties.

You can opt out of Google Analytics without affecting how you visit our site – for more information on opting out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites you use, visit this Google page: uses AddThis for social media sharing functionality – for more information, visit this AddThis page:

You should remember that if you block performance cookies, we cannot learn about your preferences or about what you like or don’t like in relation to our website.

When you visit for the first time, we will provide you with a notice which lets you know how we use cookies, why we use them and how you can change which cookies you accept.

5. Changes to this policy

We will occasionally update this policy to reflect changes in our practices and services. When we post changes to this policy, we will revise the “Last Updated” date at the top of this policy. If we make any material changes in the way we collect, use, and/or share information held in cookies, we will notify you by prominently posting notice of the changes on We recommend that you check this page from time to time to inform yourself of any changes in this policy or any of our other policies.

6. Cookies that have been set in the past

If you have disabled one or more cookies, we will still use information collected from cookies prior to your disabled preference being set, however, we will stop using the disabled cookie to collect any further information.

7. Contact us

If you have any questions or comments about this policy, or privacy matters generally, please contact us via email at or this address: Polaris, P.O. Box 65323, Washington, DC 20035

A copy of the latest financial report, registration filed by this organization, and a description of our programs and activities may be obtained by contacting us at: PO Box 65323, Washington, DC 20035, 202-790-6300.  Polaris was formed in Rhode Island.  If you are a resident of one of the following states, you may obtain financial information directly from the state agency:


Georgia: A full and fair description of our programs and our financial statement summary is available upon request at our office and phone number indicated above.

Maryland: For the cost of copies and postage, from the Office of the Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Mississippi: The official registration and financial information of Polaris Project may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office by calling 1-888-236-6167.  Registration by the Secretary of State does not imply endorsement.

Nevada:  Contributions may be tax deductible pursuant to the provisions of sec. 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C. §170(c).

New Jersey

New York: Upon request, from the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005,
1-212-416-8686 or

North Carolina: Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-919-814-5400. The license is not an endorsement by the state.

Pennsylvania: The official registration and financial information of Polaris Project may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999.  Registration does not imply endorsement.

Virginia: From the State Division of Consumer Affairs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, PO Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218.

Washington: From the Secretary of State at 1-800-332-4483 or

West Virginia: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305.  Registration does not imply endorsement.

Wisconsin: A financial statement of the charitable organization disclosing assets, liabilities, fund balances, revenue and expenses for the preceding fiscal year will be provided to any person upon request.


Polaris’s written and graphic content is available for public use under a Creative Commons license.

Please read the licensing and use restrictions carefully before proceeding.  

The following key restrictions apply:

  • Materials must be published in their entirety. Excerpts are not permitted.
  • Written content cannot be changed in any way.
  • Material must be credited to Polaris. Credit must include the following:
    • This material (or the title if there is one) was created by Polaris and licensed under a
    • CreativeCommons Attribution-No Derivatives 4.0 International license. 
    • URL or hyperlink to material
    • Author’s name if there is one in the material
    • Use of this material does not imply Polaris’s approval of any other content in this work/publication/blog etc.
  • Permission to use material does not constitute permission to use the Polaris logo or trademarked properties.
  • Keep intact any copyright notices for the work: If a work you’re using has a notice that says “© 2008 Jill Smith,” reproduce that notice when you credit the work.
  • Use of our materials does not constitute a partnership. User may not imply or state that they are working with Polaris in any way or that Polaris endorses the project or work in which the material is used
  • The following items and content are EXCLUDED from this license, meaning they cannot be republished under any circumstances.
    • Photographs
    • ANY material in the Survivor Story section of the website.
      • Survivors should always have full ownership over their stories, including how, where, and by whom these stories are shared. Sharing a survivor’s story without their knowledge and explicit permission is re-exploitative. Survivors who share their stories with Polaris are compensated, permission is requested, and additional compensation is provided for use of these stories in other materials.
  • The content sharing policies above also apply to the Survivor Gallery with a few additional restrictions. Specifically:
    • Content featured in the Survivor Gallery is owned by the survivors who created it. If you are interested in sharing on social media, you must link to the page in its entirety or share Polaris-created social media graphics (which have been approved).
    • Excerpts and/or creating graphics with content from the Survivor Gallery is NOT permitted.
    • If you are interested in connecting with a featured survivor to obtain their permission to share their content or collaborate with them, you may send an email to

We encourage discussion and hope you share your thoughts and ideas with us. However, we reserve the right to delete posts that are in conflict with our standards, including: 

– spam/links
– profanity
– off-topic comments
– personal attacks
– active “trolling”
– threats of violence
– deliberate misinformation

Please note that we will ban users from our page if they routinely violate this policy.

Need help? Polaris operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.