Progressive ACTS FAQS

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Candidates

We are glad you want to try Progressive Acts. Setting up your page is easy and fast.  Just click here and you will be prompted to register. From there you will find a candidate guide and a step-by-step guide to help you through the process. If you have any question feel free to contact us at: candidatesupport@progressiveacts.eu, we will reply as soon as possible.

Progressive Acts is open to all progressive candidates in local, regional, federal, national, or European elections in all EEA countries as well as in Switzerland.

While your country may be covered, however it remains up to you to carefully check if you can use it for crowdfunding for your campaign on the basis of applicable campaign financing laws. For instance, due to very strict campaign regulations on crowdfunding French candidates cannot use platforms to gather funds.

Candidates from all parties can participate. Progressive Acts only requires your commitment to share and pursue its values.

Progressive Acts was established to help new candidates enter the political arena and contribute to renew political representation in the progressive field. If you are seeking a third term it is likely that you already have a solid network of support that can help you win. However, if you are running for an election at a new electoral level (i.e. from municipal to regional or from municipal to national) you are welcome to use the platform!

All EEA Member States. However, our payment processing gateway (Stripe) only operates in some countries (click here to know more). If your country is not covered by Stripe we can still help you but the set up will be a bit more complicated. Contact us at support@progressiveacts.eu to know more.

While your country may be covered however it remains up to you to carefully check if you can use it for crowdfunding for your campaign on the basis of applicable campaign financing laws. For instance due to very strict campaign regulations on crowdfunding French candidates cannot use platforms to gather funds.

Progressive Acts can be used for any election featuring candidates (i.e. not referendums) throughout Europe at all electoral levels. This includes primaries if your party organises one.

However, the platform is not for intra-party elections (e.g. the election of a party’s Secretary), as its focus is on candidates running for public office.

Yes. When setting up your page we will ask you to specify whether you are already a candidate. If not, you will be able to set up your page even so, but would not be able to receive donations, only pledges. This will help you to gauge what resources – both volunteering and donations – you would be able to rely on when the electoral campaign begins. Once you announce your candidacy, you will be able to contact the people who have expressed interest and ask them to turn their pledges into volunteering and donations.

As a candidate you have no obligations towards Progressive Acts. We do not ask you to take specific political positions or to run your campaign in a particular way.

To use Progressive Acts, you will need to respect our Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy, including your obligations in handling volunteer and donor data, specified here. You will also have to confirm that you share Progressive Acts values.

At the end of your campaign, you will also have to upload on your page a dedicated financial transparency form to report on the use of your donations. We provide a template, but feel free to use your own as long as it contains at least the same level of information.

No. Progressive Acts is based on trust. We fundamentally believe that candidates who want to use the platform do so in good faith. Once you accept our Terms and Conditions, Values, and Privacy Policy you are good to go.

However, if we have reason to believe that candidates are not respecting the Terms and Conditions, are not being truthful in their personal page, or are not adhering to Progressive Acts values we will contact them to ask for an explanation and may decide to terminate their page.  We have included a feedback system for users to flag candidates in order to help us in identifying potential such cases, using this contact form.

Your personal page is…yours, so you can fill it out in any language. The main platform pages on the other hand are in English. However, 99% of interactions with your candidature are likely to take place on your page, so no worries and it is up to you to decide which language to use.

You may also want to use two languages on your page. In this case we suggest that you start with the language your volunteers and donors are likely to use the most, and then English.

That depends on the payment gateway (Stripe) but it does not take more than a matter of days. On your own Stripe dashboard you will be able to set the payment schedule and the bank account where you want your money to be transferred.

Your candidate page is already optimised for sharing on social networks. You can also share links directly to the donation form on your social media accounts or via email.

Normally this means that funds you raise need to go to your party. We have foreseen this possibility and you will need to indicate so when registering your candidate page. Users will be made aware on your page and upon donation that they are donating to your party and not to you personally.

The same applies if you need your funds to be directed to the bank account of a legal mandatory or a dedicated committee/association in compliance with electoral law. In this case, the information about the final beneficiary of the donation will be included on your page.

In other specific cases feel free to contact us so we can assess your individual situation.

Yes. But you need to be aware that in several Member States it is forbidden to receive funds from outside your own country. You will be able to indicate whether you accept contributions from abroad in your dashboard when creating your campaign.

If you are in doubt about the rules that apply in your country, contact your party. For purely indicative purposes you can also refer to this database.

The donations are yours to use. As a candidate, you will have to decide what to do with any remaining funds in compliance with relevant national norms and practices. As they are donated for a specific purpose, we strongly encourage you to use any such funds for political initiatives linked to your candidature, to hand them over to your party or, if you wish, to make a donation to Progressive Acts to continue improving the services we offer.

In all cases we do ask you to inform at the end of your campaign your donors and volunteers on the actual use of the donations through our form.

Rules vary across Member States. We do suggest you get in touch with your party to know those applicable to you. For purely indicative purposes you can also refer to this database.

Your Stripe dashboard will provide you with the details of all your donors. Each time someone makes a donation to you, we will also send you an email containing all the relevant personal data.

Be aware that you will need to treat these data with care. Details on this topic can be found in the privacy policy and the joint controller agreement you agreed to. If you have any questions or doubts, ask us.

In virtually all countries there are limits to the amount an individual donor can donate to a candidate. We allow candidates to set that maximum in their personal page.

On the other hand, we have no way to block the same person from donating more than once and exceeding the maximum total donation. If this happens, you will need to manually refuse the donation on Stripe. In case you have any doubt feel free to contact us.

You will be able to set geographical limitations when you register your page, so that we can block donations coming from outside your country.

How does Progressive Acts works

Progressive Acts’ job is to help candidates gather donations by creating a dedicated page for their candidature where they can receive funds or volunteering availabilities.

The actual donation processing happens on a separate platform (Stripe), an authorised payment gateway that we use as service provider for the purpose of processing the donations.

Progressive Acts does not process the funds nor receive them in its accounts. The entire donation with the exception of transaction fees (see below) go directly to the account indicated by the candidate.

Stripe is a payment gateway with global reach we use to process donations. We use their standard configuration based on direct charges. This means that candidates will need to create their individual and autonomous Stripe account and link it to the platform. All donations will flow directly from the donor to the candidate’s Stripe account, without an intermediary role for Progressive Acts. Stripe also ensures that Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering regulations are complied with.

To withdraw your money you need to use your Stripe Dashboard.

Yes, as you may indeed have reasons to refuse donations (for instance if through several donations the same donor exceeds the legal limit in your country). To do so you simply use your Stripe Dashboard.

Several parties (and in some cases the law itself) prevent individual candidates from fundraising for themselves.

So yes, we do allow candidates to fundraise for their own party. Candidates will need to indicate this is their intent when registering their candidate page. Users will be made aware on the candidate page and upon donation that they are donating to a party and not to the candidate personally.

As you are not fundraising for yourself in this case, make sure that your party is aware you are doing so.

Over each transaction Progressive Acts charges a fee of 3.5% that is primarily used to maintain and further develop the platform. The payment gateway (Stripe) charges another 1.4% of the donation plus a €0.25 flat fee on average (depending on your location this may vary). Our aim is to make sure that 95% of each donation goes straight to the candidates.

In virtually all countries we cover, candidates running for elections can gather donations from individuals (not companies or other legal entities). Progressive Acts is simply a way to do so in a transparent manner making use of the power of the web to do so.

However, there are rules on those donations that vary from country to country. We strongly advice to candidates to contact their party to be aware of them and check if they can use the platform. For instance due to very strict rules on political financing crowdfunding for elections is forbidden in France. If you are in doubts please contact us and we will see how to work together to address your questions.

In addition on Progressive Acts candidates will be able to set limits to the maximum donation they can receive and the geographical location/nationalities that can donate. These are typically the main parameters applicable to the donations in Europe and can help you being compliant.

Last but not least we do not allow donations from other then individuals and anonymous donations of any kind.

No, only individuals are allowed to donate on Progressive Acts

Donors

No. All donations are final. However, if you have good reason you can always ask the candidate directly if they can refund your donation. But that will be their decision and is left to their own complete discretion.

Of course if your credit card was used without your authorisation this is completely different. In this case contact your credit card issuer and they will deal with the claim.

Yes, the candidate is responsible to provide this. If you have not received one, contact us and we will contact back the candidate to flag once again.

In some countries there are tax benefits for individuals donating to candidates. You will need to check your relevant legislation.

Several parties (and in some cases the law itself) prevent individual candidates from fundraising for themselves.

So yes, we do allow candidates to fundraise for their own party. Candidates will need to indicate so when registering your candidate page. Users will be made aware on the candidate page and upon donation that they are donating to a party and not to the candidate personally.

The transaction is handled by Stripe, a secure payment gateway that respects international and European standards.

Your donation is only fully disclosed to the candidate himself. In accordance with our privacy policy, neither we nor the candidates can further disclose this information to any third party.

This excludes cases where disclosure is in compliance with statutory obligations. In several Member States, for instance, candidates need to inform the responsible electoral authorities of the names of their donors.

You can also decide proactively to show your name as one of the backers of the candidate in the candidate page. That’s your free choice and you will need to explicitly agree to it when donating.

We do not retain any data about users of our website unless you explicitly consent to it.

If you do consent then we will keep a minimal amount of information to be able to contact you in the future. You can find more details in our Privacy Policy.

Candidates are solely responsible for the use of your donations.

However, if you have reason to believe that a candidate is misusing donated funds, please flag it and we will investigate. If it is the case, we will take appropriate action, up to and including terminating the candidate’s page.

Yes. If you have reason to believe that a candidate is not respecting the Platform Terms and Conditions, is providing false information, or is misusing donated funds donated, you can report him/her to us and we will investigate whether to suspend or terminate his or her page.

We ask all candidates to subscribe to a set of values. These are broad as we are not a political party and do not enforce party discipline about policy choices.

If a candidate clearly breaches our basic values, however, we will terminate or suspend his or her page.

Yes. But be aware that in some Member States it is forbidden to receive donations from abroad or from non-citizens. Candidates will indicate this in the settings and if that is the case you will be prevented from donating.

However, you can always volunteer for the campaign in case donation is not an option.

No. Donations are final.

However, if you have reason to believe that a candidate acted in clear breach of the Terms and Conditions of Progressive Acts flag it to us and we may decide to suspend or terminate his or her page.

On the other hand, if you believe the candidate acted fraudulently, you can take legal action. We also reserve the right to do so and to act on behalf of donors.

Volunteers

Progressive Acts is not only about donations. We do facilitate as well the matching of candidates with potential volunteers. If you want to help a candidate and his campaign just click on the ‘volunteer’ button on the candidate page.

Sure. He or she will be able to judge how best you can contribute to his or her campaign.

That really depends on the candidate. Once you leave your personal information, we will provide it to the candidate, who will contact you depending on campaign needs.

Privacy

We are committed to ensuring privacy of the data you provide and we strive to respect in full the very strict European norms on data protection contained in the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you want to know more on this subject, check out our privacy policy or contact us!

Depending on the processing operation, your data is secured through different means. For instance, credit card information is secured directly by our trusted payment gateway (Stripe). The data in our databases is protected by way of firewalls and dedicated local protection systems. If you want to know more, check out our privacy policy or contact us!

In several Member States the home address is needed to provide unequivocal certainty of the identity of the donor to the electoral authorities in charge of controlling campaign financing.

Candidates are bound by the General Data Protection Regulation and the agreement they sign with us when they set up their page. In a nutshell they cannot use your data for purposes other than those for which you provided it and cannot transfer the data to any third party without your explicit authorisation.

To know more check out our joint controllership agreement applicable to candidates under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you believe that we or a candidate have contacted you outside the scope of the reason for which you provided your data, please flag it to us and we will make sure it does not happen again.

If instead you initially consented for us to contact you, and you have changed your mind, no problem.   Just tell us and will make sure your personal data are immediately erased or anonymised on our database and you are not contacted again.

You can find all relevant information in the privacy policy. But to make it simple you just have to fill in the contact form and we will make sure to follow up.

The Platform

The platform is managed by a Belgian non-profit association (ASBL).

We rely on the transaction fees of the donations performed on the platform for funding. We may also run our own crowdfunding campaign from time to time to expand our operations!

Nope. We are not a party, we are not affiliated with any specific party, and we do not intend to become one.

The money we receive through the transaction fees is primarily used to maintain and improve the platform. The residual part is used by the non-profit association controlling Progressive Acts to foster the same objectives of expanding opportunities and access for innovative candidates to politics. You can find our statute here.

At Progressive Acts we concentrate on candidates not parties. We believe that renewing the political class is an objective of its own, and that is what we want to focus on. We have a broad platform of values that can cover candidates on a wide progressive spectrum. We believe that simply by running on grassroots mobilization and crowdfunding, candidates using Progressive Acts will be more accountable and better represent the interests of their own constituencies.

This said while we have no party limit we believe in some key values that to us define the progressive family. Candidates need to subscribe to those values to use the platform.

All Progressive Acts revenues go to maintaining and improving the platform. The residual part is used by the non-profit association controlling Progressive Acts to foster the same objectives of expanding opportunities and access for innovative candidates to politics. You can find our statute here.