Frequently Asked Questions About Crescendo Services
Crescendo Interactive, Inc. is the nation's leading service provider of planned giving software and marketing services. Crescendo has been in business for more than 30 years and works with thousands of nonprofits. Our clients include national charities; universities and colleges; hospital and medical foundations; community foundations; religious and faith-based charities; civic-related charities; art institutes, museums and zoos; environmental and conservation-minded organizations; and more.
1. What is GiftLegacy?
Crescendo's GiftLegacy service is the only complete planned gifts marketing system available from a single company. GiftLegacy includes:
- A planned giving website with new weekly content
- Integrated donor email newsletters and social media content
- A web-based planned giving illustration calculator
- A literature library for print marketing with more than 1,200 literature pieces including wills planning guides, brochures, briefs, postcards, ads, newsletters and more
- Gift planning software to prepare donor illustrations
- Crescendo's popular GiftLaw content to build relationships with donor advisors
2. What is GiftLaw?
GiftLaw is a service to help charities build relationships with donor advisors in order to generate planned giving leads and includes web pages and content for advisors, advisor emails, online planned giving illustration calculator and GiftLaw Pro charitable tax reference guide. GiftLaw is incorporated as part of GiftLegacy and is also offered as a separate service. The terms in the GiftLaw portion of the contracts page apply only to the separate service (and do not apply to GiftLaw integrated as part of the GiftLegacy service).
3. What is GiftCollege?
GiftCollege is Crescendo's online video education series for gift planning staff. There are more than 100 videos on various planned giving topics together with slides, outlines, quizzes and other educational materials. Each video is available for viewing for a nominal price. GiftCollege is a separate service.
4. If my organization wants to sign up for GiftLegacy, do we also have to agree to the separate GiftLaw terms as well?
No. The GiftLaw Terms and Services document applies only to the stand-alone GiftLaw service.
5. Why do the GiftLegacy and GiftLaw terms contain an auto-renewal provision?
This provision became a standard part of our contracts after many gift planners requested a method to avoid having to submit a contract for legal review each year. Gift planners also expressed concern about service disruption in the event their organization failed to send a renewal notice or the annual payment was late. In response to overwhelming client demand, we adopted the auto-renewal provision as the sole standard in our contracts. By adopting the same renewal standard in each GiftLegacy and GiftLaw contract, we are able to keep our costs down and pass cost savings on to our clients.
6. Does Crescendo offer GiftLegacy without an auto-renewal provision?
We do. GiftLegacy Pro subscribers can elect to prepay for five years of service, in which case the auto-renewal provision would not be part of the contract. We are not able to offer or negotiate alternative arrangements as to term or price.
7. Our organization is going to sign up for GiftLegacy; why are the software terms in a separate agreement?
Our software is based on a "seat" license, meaning a license allows use by only one user. As is customary with seat license software, the software license agreement is a "click-wrap" agreement. This means that a licensed user will agree to the terms of the software license agreement when they access the software.
8. Do the Crescendo services or software retain or store donors' "personal information" or "personally identifiable information" that would be protected by state law?
Crescendo offers two kinds of planned giving software: (1) CD-based software (also available as a web download) that is installed directly on to the licensed user's computer and (2) online, cloud-based software. Crescendo Admin and certain legacy software products are CD-based software. With this software, the user can save data records associated with planned gifts illustrations. Only the CD-based software will save "personal information" that is protected by state law (It can save Social Security numbers as part of the data used in the creation of a charitable gift annuity agreement or administration). The online software will not save Social Security numbers as part of any data record. Accordingly, data records that retain personal information would be stored on the user's computer but not on any Crescendo server or equipment.
9. How did Crescendo develop the terms of your contracts?
Due to the nature of our online technology platform and software products, Crescendo needs each client that uses a given service to agree to the same set of terms. We have developed our terms based on years of feedback from our clients and prospects. If a client has suggested edits to Crescendo's standard terms that we would be willing to incorporate into the standard terms, we have done so. Accordingly, our terms are based on terms that have been agreed upon by thousands of charities and are fair and balanced. We are, however, unable to agree to changes that would affect the economics of our services or to changes in the technology upon which those services are based.
10. What are some examples of changes in economics that Crescendo cannot agree to?
Suggested changes to our contract that would constitute a "change in the economics" include:
- Terms that limit our ability to set the price for our services;
- Terms that require a prorated refund for unused services following a cancelation;
- Terms stating that our services are a "work for hire" (meaning legal ownership of Crescendo property will transfer to a client at any point); and
- Terms that require Crescendo to submit to audits of our books and records.
11. What are some examples of "changes in technology" that Crescendo cannot agree to?
Suggested changes to our contract that would constitute a "change in technology" include:
- Requiring modifications to Crescendo software or the CresManager;
- Changing reference in the GiftLegacy terms (Section 17) or GiftLaw terms (Section 12) that states matters of privacy and technology will be governed by any state's law other than California law; and
- Requiring that Crescendo seek approval from any client before we can modify our technology or the Terms and Services.
12. Can you explain why Crescendo would not agree to another state's laws in the area of privacy and technology?
General software and technology platforms are designed to adhere to the laws of a single state. Crescendo has adopted California law in the areas of privacy and technology. California is a logical choice for several reasons. First, California has led the way in adopting privacy protection laws and is generally regarded as the most protective of your donors' privacy. Second, other states have followed California's lead and modeled their laws after California law (please compare your state law to California law and you will likely find that our "California compliant" system also complies with your state's laws). Third, many technology companies are located in California, and your organization is very likely already using services based on California law and your organization has already agreed to California law in terms of privacy protection. (If your organization uses Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or any Google service, your organization has agreed to a contract that states matters of privacy will be subject to California law.)
13. What security arrangements are there for Crescendo's cloud-based systems?
Crescendo's cloud-based systems can be accessed through our proprietary website portal. Within that portal, clients can utilize our cloud-based software (including CresPro, CresEstate and CresLite). There are multiple layers of security for our cloud-based services. Crescendo leases space for its primary datacenter from CoreSite. The CoreSite datacenter in Los Angeles has 24 hour security, multiple internet connections, redundant electrical power generators, regular data backup/restoration procedures and are rated SSAE 16 Type 2. CoreSite requires biometric (fingerprint) confirmation and access code in order for our engineers to gain entrance to the Crescendo datacenter. Two senior Crescendo engineers have such authorization. The CoreSite datacenter maintains a denial of service defense that monitors incoming traffic. The Crescendo data center is protected by enterprise-grade firewalls leveraging IPS and IDS technology. Additionally, two other levels of encryption or layered security protect client data. User data is encrypted through individual website SSL certificates and is then transmitted over a private network to segregated database servers behind the layered firewalls. This combination of SSL encryption and layered datacenter security is similar to the system that protects millions of Americans who use online banking. Crescendo also maintains a mirror site at a secured datacenter located in another U.S. state. All of our servers are based in the United States.
14. As part of our contracting process, our organization will require that Crescendo complete a "security review" that assesses Crescendo's online security measures. Can Crescendo accommodate this request?
Yes. In order to quickly provide your security team with answers to questions relevant to Crescendo's cloud-based software, Crescendo has developed a standard "Software Security Review Questionnaire" (or "SRQ") for our clients and prospective clients. We have created this document based on the security-related questions received from thousands of non-profits over the years. This document is also specific to Crescendo's software services so your security team will not have to spend time reviewing information that is not relevant to our services. This document should provide you with all of the relevant information that your security team needs to evaluate the security of our cloud-based software. Due to the overwhelming volume of requests that Crescendo receives each year, however, Crescendo is only able to provide this information by way of our standard document.
15. As part of our contracting process, our organization will require that Crescendo complete a "vendor questionnaire" that provides certain information. Can Crescendo accommodate this request?
Yes. In order to quickly provide your finance office with answers to questions that your vendor questionnaire might include, Crescendo has developed a standard "Response" that we provide to our clients and prospective clients. We have created this document based on the business and finance-related questions received from thousands of non-profits over the years. This document should provide you with all of the relevant information that your finance team will need. Due to the overwhelming volume of requests that Crescendo receives each year, however, Crescendo is only able to provide the information by way of this standard document. To obtain a copy of this document, please call Crescendo's offices and ask to speak to Lisa in our Financial Department.
16. Our organization engages in marketing and fundraising activities in the European Union. We need to work with a vendor who understands GDPR privacy rules. What steps has Crescendo taken in relation to GDPR?
For clients that operate in the European Union (EU), Crescendo's standard contract terms incorporate by reference the terms of a Data Processing Addendum for Crescendo Services ("DPA") that includes terms related to GDPR. The DPA recognizes that, under GDPR, our clients are using our services as a Controller and that Crescendo is acting as a Processor. The DPA includes terms that we believe satisfy the requirements of GDPR. The DPA's terms: (1) demonstrate that Crescendo possesses "technical and organization expertise" to act as a Processor; (2) explain how certain privacy-related features of our services are designed to protect a data subject's personal information and to help a client meet its obligations as a Controller; (3) provide Crescendo with written data processing instructions, as required by GDPR; and (4) establish the process by which Crescendo will assist a client following a data subject request.
17. Who can I contact if I have other questions about Crescendo's contract terms?
Please call Crescendo at 800-858-9154 and ask to speak to a GiftLegacy Marketing Specialist.