How we use your data

Who we are 

The Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) at the University of Bristol supports the delivery of the University’s key strategic priorities by facilitating philanthropic giving, expanding our international community of alumni and friends and demonstrating how engagement and philanthropy can make a positive impact on local communities across the world. 

Our donors choose to support Bristol in response to our appeals and engagement by direct mail, telephone, email, social media and through face to face and online meetings. 

We are proud of our donors and the difference they make and will treat them with respect as detailed in our fundraising promise

Data Protection statement 

We are committed to protecting your privacy.  This statement describes how DARO collects and uses personal information about people.  

The terms of this statement may change from time to time. We will provide any updated information on our website and alert you to the changes through our usual channels of communication. 

You can request a copy by emailing us at or phoning us on +44(0)117 394 1046

DARO is part of the University of Bristol, and the University is the Data Controller. You can find full details of the University’s data protection policies here

You have the right to object to the processing of your data in any of the ways outlined below and you can change your marketing and contact preferences at any time by emailing us at, phoning us on +44(0)117 394 1046

How we collect information 

All University of Bristol student names, degrees, contact addresses and telephone numbers are transferred from the student database and used to create a record for you on the DARO database.  We also hold records on non-alumni friends of the University, donors and potential donors and those who administer estates of people who have included the University in their will. 

If you are a graduate we will inform you of the change in use of your details around graduation, and you will have the opportunity to opt in or out of our communications at any point. 

In addition to the information transferred when you graduate, we also record updates you supply when you enquire about our activities, update your details via our website, make a donation to the University of Bristol or otherwise provide us with personal information. 

We may also receive information about you from third parties, such as your friend passing on your details to us to invite you to a reunion. We will always check with you before using these details for marketing purposes. 

We will sometimes collect information about you that is publicly available and append it to your record, such as your current employment, or any awards or accolades you may receive, or information in openly available newspapers, publications or directories. This is to ensure that our records remain up to date, and that you continue to receive the emails, opportunities and invitations that will be the most appropriate and interesting to you, and in order to ensure our fundraising activity is as effective as it can be. 

Occasionally, we may ask external companies to add data about you to our existing record. This may include wealth screening companies or companies that will append additional information to the records we hold. The information received from these companies may be generalised, such as Mosaic classifications based on your postcode, or personal, such as notifications that you have changed address, updated contact details, or an indication of your wealth or philanthropic giving capacity. The companies conducting this activity will be carefully vetted by the University to ensure that their processing of your data is fair, reasonable and compliant under relevant legislation. Any data supplied by the University will only be used for the activity they have been asked to carry out, and will not be kept by them or added to the data that they hold. We take this approach to ensure that you continue to receive relevant and interesting communications and that our philanthropic fundraising activity is as effective as it can be. 

What we collect 

The personal data stored and processed by the University may include: 

  • Biographic information including your name and title and your contact details 
  • Information about your time at the University 
  • Your professional activities and / or other information in the public domain 
  • Details of any volunteering carried out or donations received by the University 
  • Your attendance at University events 
  • Responses you supply to surveys 
  • Your current interests and activities, which may include extracts from any related media stories 
  • Relationships to other alumni, donors and friends 
  • Donor status and wealth assessment information 
  • Information about dietary, health or access requirements if you are attending an event organised by the University, or if you have supplied it and it is otherwise relevant to your relationship with us 
  • Scholarship information which may include personal details about the award of that particular scholarship 

The personal information we hold is used to: 

  • Keep you up to date with news and progress regarding the University 
  • Promote University events, activities and programmes 
  • Promote benefits and services you are eligible to receive 
  • Further our charitable aims through a range of philanthropic fundraising appeals and programmes, including direct marketing (such as receipt of University publications), telephone and email fundraising and, where relevant, a request to meet you in person 
  • Provide you with any services you have requested 

We may use your details for the purposes of telephone fundraising or market research. Our telephone fundraising campaigns are managed in-house or through trusted external agencies. Our callers are current University of Bristol students and are paid for their work, which provides them with valuable work experience whilst raising vital funds for the University.   

We respect and honour our alumni’s rights to privacy, and will fully comply with their requests on how they wish to be contacted by the University. We will conduct all our fundraising in accordance with the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice. 

Grounds for processing your data 

In accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), DARO will process your data according to the following legal bases. 

Public Task 

The following tasks are carried out in accordance with the public role and official functions of the University: 

  • Core alumni functions as related to the Alumni Association and any future body or mechanism replacing this body 
  • Provision of data to partake in the Graduate Outcomes survey which involves graduates 15 months after graduation. This is facilitated by an external party and delivered to the Higher Education Statistical Agency. We are required by statute to provide this information  

Legal Obligation 

The following tasks are carried out because the University has a legal obligation to do so in order to: 

  • Facilitate Gift Aid claims, personal data must be submitted to HMRC for any donor who has made a gift covered by a Gift Aid declaration 
  • Satisfy regulatory requirements to “know your donor” the university may carry out research on the financial and reputational background to large donations  
  • Carry out some aspects of the processing of the receipt of gifts left in people’s wills  


The following tasks will be carried out because there is a contractual, or quasi-contractual relationship between the university and the data subject: 

  • The sale of event tickets, merchandise, and any other similar transactions 
  • In order to implement contractually binding aspects of gift agreements between the University and a donor 


The following activities will be carried out only with your consent:  

  • Sending of electronic marketing to personal email addresses, including email newsletters, event invitations, volunteering opportunities, fundraising emails and other University updates, including those sent on behalf of the Alumni Association or volunteers 
  • Inclusion in our fundraising telephone campaign of any telephone number registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) 
  • Inclusion of philanthropic donations you have made in any public donor lists that we publish 
  • Use or storage of any Special Category data, such as religious beliefs, political affiliations, ethnicity or health information, unless there is a substantial public interest which allows us in certain limited circumstances to use Legitimate Interests to process this data 

Legitimate Interest 

The following activities have been assessed by the University, and are carried out on the basis of Legitimate Interest. This means that they are considered to be in the legitimate interests of the University, and having balanced these interests with your rights as the Data Subject and the requirements of the UK GDPR, it is reasonable for these activities to be carried out: 

  • Use of current student data 
  • Receipt and storage of student and alumni data 
  • Use of data to contact alumni and supporters, to provide newsletters, event invitations, volunteering opportunities, philanthropic fundraising communications and other University updates, noting that electronic communication and use of TPS registered phone numbers are only to be used with the consent of the recipient, as outlined above 
  • Administration of donations, events, volunteering and other activity 
  • Appending of data to the database using publicly available information or through use of third party data appending and wealth screening services 
  • Profiling, segmenting and analysing of data to review or project the performance of our programmes and to target activity to relevant audiences, ensuring you receive the most appropriate and interesting content for you 
  • Production and publishing of class lists, showing the names of all those who graduated from a certain course at a certain time 
  • Sharing of photographs, films or videos from University events or activities, or shared with the University by alumni and supporters 

Stopping any of these activities would immediately have an impact on our relationship with you. Each activity is designed to support your experience, whether this is through invitations to engage in activities, processing or appending data to ensure that mailings and individual conversations are appropriate and likely to be of interest, or enabling us to review ongoing activity and stop programmes or approaches that are not well received. 

Substantial public interest 

The following activity is carried out because there is a substantial public interest to do so: 

  • The use of special category data in certain limited circumstances, for example in fundraising for scholarships designed to support the widening of access to education by groups whose defining characteristics might be covered by a special category (e.g. fundraising for a scholarship for students from an ethnic minority.) 

How long we keep your data for 

We retain your data for varying amounts of time, depending on the nature of the data and the purpose for which it is used. Basic information on who you are and what you studied is required to be kept by the University. We have a detailed retention policy which is available on request from

How we protect your information 

Most personal information we obtain will be held securely on the University’s supporter and alumni relations database. This is hosted within the EU and is fully SAS 70 Type II Certified and PCI DSS compliant. We take appropriate steps to ensure that we only record and store information which is relevant, that we keep it securely, that it is accurate and up to date and only kept for an appropriate length of time. 

Use of data outside the UK and European Economic Area 

We use US based companies, Blackbaud Inc. and MailChimp, to process our email communications. We take steps to ensure that all of our partners have appropriate safeguards in place when personal data is transferred overseas, for instance standard contractual clauses and associated mechanisms.  

We also work with The University of Bristol Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation which raises the profile of the University of Bristol and facilitates fundraising for University of Bristol projects of its choosing. Any exchange of personal data for these purposes is covered by appropriate legal and contractual provisions. 

Disclosure of information to third parties outside of our public duty 

We will never sell or give away your data to other companies or charities. Where a task does not fall into our public duty, we will only share your data with third parties providing a service for the University. Personal information will not be disclosed to external organisations other than those acting on the instructions of the University. Where this is the case, a written contract will be put in place between the University and the third party to set out the purposes for which the information can be used and the security measures that must be in place. The service provider will agree never to use your data for any additional purpose not set out in the agreement with the University. Such companies will include the use of a mailing house to facilitate the mailing of the alumni magazine ‘Nonesuch’ and other bulk communications, a third party to provide a service such as ‘Bristol Connects’, or an agency like Factary who provide wealth assessment services for fundraising purposes. 

Bristol Connects is an online service provided free of charge for University of Bristol alumni. All potential users will be verified against our current records during the registration process before being granted full access to the site.   

If you have a relationship with the Students Union, for example as a lifetime member, we may share your contact details with them to ensure they have the most up to date means of contacting you. 

Accessing your personal information 

If you wish to request access to any of your personal information held by DARO, please use the University’s subject access procedure. 

Your right to complain 

You have the right to object to any of the above uses of your data and to raise any concerns or complaints with our data use or this Policy. You can object to the use of your data for the purposes of profiling or direct marketing. Complaints, objections and concerns can be raised with DARO by emailing us at, phoning us on +44(0)117 394 1046 or writing to us at: 

Development and Alumni Relations Office 
University of Bristol 
Ground floor G.12 
1-9 Old Park Hill 
BS2 8BB 

The University of Bristol Data Protection Officer can be contacted by emailing us at, phoning us on 0117 394 1824 or writing to: 

Information Governance Manager 
University Secretary's Office 
University of Bristol 
Senate House 
Tyndall Avenue 
BS8 1TH 

Where relevant, escalated complaints that are unable to be resolved by the University of Bristol can be lodged with the Information Commissioner's Office


08 February 2023 

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