Privacy Notice

Terms and Definitions


The terms ‘We’, ‘Us’ ‘Our’ or ‘the University’ refer to the Alumni Relations and Philanthropy offices of the University of Essex (collectively known as the Advancement Office or Advancement Team), and to the University of Essex as a whole. The term ‘You’ refers to alumni, friends, partners and supporters of the University. The term ‘Marketing’ refers to any communication regarding the objectives or activities of the Advancement Office and/or the University of Essex as a whole.


The University of Essex is committed to protecting the privacy of its alumni, friends and supporters and being transparent in how we process and store personal data. This statement outlines how the Advancement Office of The University of Essex handles and uses the data it collects.


We will share with you any changes on the terms of this statement, but please check it from time to time. If you have any queries or comments about it, please contact the Advancement Office at advancement@essex.ac.uk or call 01206873372.


What data do we collect and how?


Personal information we record and process may include:

  • Biographical information (e.g. name, salutation, DOB, gender)
  • Postal Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • E-mail addresses
  • Information about your time at the University, and other education history
  • Your current and past professional activities (e.g. organisation name, position, industry)
  • Membership of groups
  • Current Interests (e.g. interests in supporting particular areas of the University)
  • Media coverage (e.g. news articles, blogs)
  • Family and spouse/partner details
  • Relationship to other alumni, donors and friends
  • Volunteering activities and expression of interest in volunteering
  • Registration and attendance at events
  • Donation details (e.g. donation amount, donation date)
  • Donor status, research and fundraiser reports/briefings and wealth assessment information, indicators of your interest in giving, ethical and reputational risk analysis
  • Records of communications, meetings and marketing activities by the University
  • Gift Aid information
  • Bank details, only if you have a standing order or direct debit with us


The Advancement Team does not store any credit/debit card details within its database.


We collect some of this information directly from the University’s student record system at the point of completion of studies. Some of the information recorded will have been obtained directly from you (for example through a registration form for an event, alumni update form, or donation form).


We may record special category data you provide directly to us for a specific purpose e.g. about a disability you disclose to us to ensure we have appropriate facilities in place at our events. We might also record special category data about publicly available criminal records if we believe this information could affect the reputation and present an ethical risk to the University of Essex.


We store all information collected in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 on our own secure database, which is hosted on the University’s own secure internal servers.


Research and Wealth Screening


The University of Essex was founded with the help of philanthropy, and philanthropy continues to make an enormous impact at our University.  As we are a fundraising institution, we may gather information about you, from publicly available sources, to help us to understand more about you as an individual and your interest in supporting the University, in kind through volunteering, or through a financial donation. The research is carried out internally by University employees, and gathers information including job details, media coverage and contact information available in the public domain or via subscription services like LexisNexis or LinkedIn that aggregate publically available information. On very rare occasions, and in circumstances where carrying out this research would be difficult in-house (for example where there are language issues or limited access to in-country media), we may carry out wealth screening, where trusted third-party partners conduct this work on our behalf. Those partners use biographical information supplied by us to find additional publically available information on things like occupation, interests and previous giving, and use them to provide an estimated potential level of giving. This is only done once the partner has signed a contract that requires them to work in accordance with the strict instructions of the University.


By doing this research, we can focus conversations we have with you about fundraising and volunteering in the most effective way, and ensure that we provide you with an experience as an alumnus/a, donor or potential donor which is appropriate for you. If you would prefer us not to conduct this activity please email advancement@essex.ac.uk.


We also use publicly available sources to carry out due diligence on donors in line with the University’s Gift Acceptance Policy and to meet money laundering regulations.


What do we do with the information?


The mission of the Advancement Team at The University of Essex is to keep in touch with University alumni, friends and supporters, providing benefits and services to them and engaging in relationships with potential and current supporters.


We use the personal data collected for alumni relations and fundraising purposes. This might include:

  • Communicating with you to inform of news and developments at the University which we believe will be of interest to you
  • Offering alumni services and membership benefits such as JSTOR access, careers support, discounts on further study, networking and reunion opportunities, and exclusive experiences (like trips to Parliament and the London Eye)
  • Requesting volunteers for speaking engagements, student mentoring, focus groups, recruitment fairs, and for case studies for publications and promotional literature such as our Essex Heroes project and University prospectuses
  • Inviting you to events and processing event registrations and ticket purchases where applicable
  • Requesting and processing donations, including those processes relating to the administration of direct debits and Gift Aid declarations which are required by law, and keeping you updated on how your gift has helped the University.


Occasionally we conduct alumni telephone fundraising campaigns. We also call our most recent graduates once per year, to introduce alumni benefits and offer careers support if required. We inform all those we intend to phone, by post or email, of our intention to call at least four days in advance, and offer the opportunity to opt-out of receiving a call. Our calls are all conducted by current students employed by the University for the purposes of calling. We will never call you if your telephone number has been registered with the Telephone Preference Service or the Fundraising Preference Service and you have not consented to receive such call. We do not use automated calling systems.


Sharing your information


We may share your data with external agents contracted by us directly for purposes benefiting the University or its alumni and friends. This may include organisations such as mailing houses and fundraising agencies.


We only share information with these partners once they have signed an agreement that requires them to abide by UK data protection legislation, treat your information as securely as we do, only use the information for the purposes for which it was supplied, and that allows us to check these conditions are being carried out. We will never sell your details or share with anyone else for non-University of Essex purposes.


The University may facilitate communication between two individuals on request, but in doing so we will never release personal contact details without prior consent.


We are also required to share alumni details with the Higher Educational Survey Agency (HESA) to conduct the Graduate Outcomes survey.


Control of your data and communication preferences


You are in control of your data. You have a choice about whether you want to receive information about the University, our progress or fundraising activities, and by which methods of communication. You can also request that we remove your contact details from our database or change the way we process your individual details.


Any electronic communications will be made in accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. This means we send e-mails to you only if you have consented to receive communication from us.


If you want to update your contact preferences, or personal data, please contact advancement@essex.ac.uk, or call +44 (0)1206 873372 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday). All our email communications contain links to opt-out of future communications, should you change your mind – but please also use the contact details above to let us know if you wish to change how, or if, you hear from us. You may also update your preferences at any time via your profile on the alumni website (alumni.essex.ac.uk).


Should you object to the holding of your data by the Advancement Office, the use of your data for any or all of the above purposes, or should you wish to amend the type of communications you receive or the way in which the University contacts you, please contact advancement@essex.ac.uk. We will work with you individually and personally to ensure we are adhering to your wishes.


Your rights


Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you have a number of rights over your personal data and the way(s) in which we use it. These include:

  • The right to have inaccurate personal data rectified or erased
  • The right to prevent your data being used for direct marketing
  • The right to access a copy of the information we hold about you (known as a Subject Access Request)


If you wish to exercise any of these rights please use our Subject Access Request Form, or contact the Data Protection Officer by emailing dpo@essex.ac.uk.


For more information regarding your rights under the Data Protection Act, please visit the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office ico.org.uk


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