Privacy statement

At CAFOD, we are committed to protecting personal information and we take our responsibilities regarding the security of supporter and volunteer information very seriously. This Privacy Notice explains what personal data we collect about you, how and why we use it, who we disclose it to and how we protect it.

What is included in this privacy statement

Who is CAFOD?

Who is responsible for your data

Personal data we collect about you

What data we collect and when

Sharing your personal data

How and why we use your personal data

Legal basis for processing your personal data

Data analysis

Wealth screening

Children and vulnerable people

How long do we keep personal data?

Your rights

Requesting access to your personal data

Security of your personal data

Uploading information to the CAFOD website

Cookies or other tracking technologies

Updates to our Privacy Notice

Contact information and telling us when things have changed

Who is CAFOD?

CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Our mission inspires us to:

  • Work in ways that support the poorest and most marginalised to access the essential services needed for a dignified and sustainable life.
  • Save lives and relieve suffering in crisis situations and support communities to respond to, recover from and avoid future disasters.
  • Work for changes in the systems and structures at all levels in society that keep people poor, oppressed and marginalised.
  • Help strengthen the capacity of the poorest people and those working with them to act for positive change in ways that respect the earth and the whole of creation.
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the causes of poverty and injustice in ways that inspire people to give, act and pray in commitment to lasting change.

Who is responsible for your data

Our Privacy Notice applies to the personal data that CAFOD collects and uses.

References in this Privacy Notice to “CAFOD”, “we”, “us” or “our” mean the CATHOLIC AGENCY FOR OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT, a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1160384) and a company limited by guarantee no 09387398. Our registered office is Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB.

We control the ways your personal data is collected and the purposes for which your personal data are used by CAFOD. We are the “data controller” for the purposes of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and other applicable European data protection legislation.

We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, registration number ZA106788.

CAFOD has a designated Data Protection Officer who can be contacted via

Personal data we collect about you

When using the term “personal data” in our Privacy Notice, we mean information that relates to you and allows us to identify you, either directly or in combination with other information that we may hold.

We collect some personal data from you, for example, when you donate to us, use our website, use our services or contact us.

What data we collect and when

We may collect and process the following categories of information about you:

Personal information, including contact details

For example, your name, postal address, telephone number and date of birth.

We collect this when you contact us or donate by post, telephone or on our website.

Bank details

We collect your name, sort code and account number.

We collect this when you set up a regular gift (eg, direct debit or standing order) with us or send us a cheque in the post.


We collect the communications you exchange with us.

We collect this when you email us, write a letter or call us.

Third party information

We collect information indirectly from third parties such as event organisers (eg, marathon organisers) or fundraising sites like JustGiving, where you have agreed to support CAFOD and have given your consent. You may also have provided permission for a company or other organisation to share your data with third parties, including charities. This could be when you buy a product or service, register for an online competition or sign up with a comparison site.

We collect this information when you use a third party site such as JustGiving whereby CAFOD is the named beneficiary. You may wish to check their privacy statement to find out more about how they will process your data.

Non-personalised data

We collect non-personal data such as IP addresses, details of web pages visited and files downloaded. Website usage information is collected using cookies. Please see the section on cookies below.

We collect this when you use our website or World Gifts site.

Social media

We collect your posts and messages on social media directed at CAFOD.

We collect this When you interact with us on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.


We collect Information about how our website is used, such as your searches for information.

We collect this when you navigate on our website.


We collect personal data as part of our staff or volunteer recruitment processes.

We collect this when you apply for a job or for volunteering opportunities with CAFOD.

Legacy administration

We collect personal data necessary for legacy administration.

We collect this when a supporter has died, leaving a legacy to CAFOD, and you are the executor or you have an interest in the estate.

Sensitive personal data

We collect and use personal data you provide to us, as CAFOD supporters, to contact you and inform you about CAFOD’s activities. We recognise that many of our supporters (but not all) hold religious beliefs and, since this can be considered to be sensitive information, we put in place policies and procedures to ensure that your supporter data is kept secure. This information is only accessed on a need-to-know basis. Unless required by law or as otherwise described in this Privacy Notice, we do not disclose your personal data to any third party without your prior consent.

Sharing your personal data

CAFOD does not share your data with any other charity, public body or commercial organisation, unless we have to do so either for legal or compliance reasons, or where it is more cost effective and efficient for us to use a third party to deliver a product or service on our behalf.

Legal duty

We may need to pass on personal information if required by law or by a regulatory body. For example, if requested as part of a Gift Aid audit or by a law enforcement agency.

Other service providers or third parties

We sometimes employ third party service providers to carry out tasks on our behalf. This can be because it is clearly more efficient for them to carry out certain tasks (such as when sending out large volume mailings) or when we do not have the capacity to do a specific task ourselves (for example, during times of an emergency appeal when we would expect to experience a large volume of processing that we would be unable to handle ourselves).


We will let you know when we are working in partnership with other agencies on specific campaigns. CAFOD is a member the Climate Coalition of over 100 organisations. Supporter data will be held on a common database but will only be used for the purposes and duration of specific campaigns and only used by any member agency with the consent of the supporter concerned.

CAFOD is also part of Your Catholic Legacy, a group of 26 Catholic charities working together to promote legacy giving among the Catholic community. CAFOD’s legacy team currently process any enquiries to YCL on behalf of the members involved. We will only share individuals’ details with the specific member charities about whom they’ve requested more information. Data is stored securely and is not processed by CAFOD unless individuals have shown interest in receiving updates from us. If you do not agree to all of these terms, please do not submit any material to CAFOD.

Campaign targets

When participating in an online action on CAFOD’s website, your contact details may be seen by the target of your action. For example, corporations and politicians who receive e-mail communications via an online action on our website could respond to your personal e-mail or physical address if you have provided these. These bodies also have obligations under current Data Protection laws. If you believe your personal information has been incorrectly gathered or disclosed by one of our targets as a result of participating in a CAFOD action online, please contact CAFOD campaigns.

How and why we use your personal data

We use your personal data for the following purposes:

To manage your donations, requests or calls to action

When you interact with us, we use your information to perform our services in relation to your donation, to deal with your queries and requests and to process responses to our campaigns or advocacy work.

To fundraise and promote CAFOD’s work, in both financial and non-financial ways

We know how fundamental our supporters and donors are to the work we do. In order to develop and foster your ongoing support, we want to keep in touch with you through feedback and further opportunities and invitations to support our work in both financial and non-financial ways.

To communicate with you and manage our relationship with you

Occasionally we may need to contact you by mail, email and/or telephone for administrative or operational reasons – for example, to send you confirmation of your donation or your World Gifts orders. Please be aware that these communications are not made for marketing purposes and as such, you will continue to receive them even if you opt out of receiving marketing communications from us.

We will also use your personal data if we contact you after you have sent us a request, filled in a web form through our website or contacted us on social media. 

Your views and opinions are very important to us, so we may send you a survey to seek your feedback.

We will use the communications you exchange with us and the feedback you may provide to manage our relationship with you as a supporter of CAFOD and to improve our services and communications.

To personalise and improve your experience when engaging with CAFOD

We strive to continually improve the information and services we offer to our supporters so that we can be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.

We may use your personal data to tailor our communications to your needs and preferences and to provide you with a more relevant experience, for example, by sending you communications on topics you have shown an interest in.

We may also collect information about how you use our website, which pages of our website you visit most, what you search for and what World Gifts products you buy, to understand your preferences. We may use this information to tailor content and, if you have agreed to receive marketing communications, to send you relevant messages that we think would be of interest to you.

To inform you about our news and ways you may be able to help CAFOD

We may send you marketing communications, if you have indicated that you are happy to receive these – for example, when you have donated or completed a campaign action and you haven’t opted out of receiving such communications. You can also ask us to send you marketing communications by contacting our Supporter Care team on 0303 303 3030 or via email at

If you are happy to receive marketing communications, we will provide you with news, information about our fundraising, advocacy and campaigning work, together with opportunities and invitations to donate or support CAFOD in other ways.

Please note that we do not share your contact details and other personal data with any other charities or companies for marketing purposes.
If you do not want to receive marketing communications from us, you can simply tell us by ticking or clicking the relevant box on various marketing materials, or by contacting our Supporter Care team on 0303 303 3030 or

You can choose to opt out of receiving email marketing communications at any time by clicking on the relevant unsubscribe link at the bottom of any marketing related email you may receive from us.

To manage our volunteers

We need to process and keep some personal information in order to recruit and manage people that volunteer for CAFOD.

To maintain and improve our own accounts, records and organisational processes, to fulfil our administrative purposes and protect our charitable interests

The purposes for which we will use your information include accounting, billing and audit, credit or other payment card verification, fraud screening, safety, security and legal purposes, statistical and marketing analysis, legacy administration, systems testing, maintenance and development.

Our processing also includes the use of CCTV systems at our premises for the prevention of crime.

Legal basis for processing your personal data

The General Data Protection Regulation requires organisations to consider the legal basis on which they process personal data.
CAFOD will process personal data in line with the following principles:

  • Where it is necessary for us to fulfil a contract with you: for example, when you make a donation or World Gifts purchase.
  • With your consent: we will only send you emails, make telephone calls or send you SMS text messages with your explicit consent.
  • When it is in our legitimate interests to do so: as part of our engagement and efforts to build long-term relationships with our supporters, we will send you communications and marketing material via post unless you have told us you do not wish to receive these communications. This need not be an “all or nothing” option. We maintain a wide range of communication preferences and options, so you can choose both the type of material (whether that’s fundraising activities, our campaigns and advocacy work, volunteering or our work within schools and the education sector) and the most convenient channel(s) for you to receive information from us (such as email, post, telephone or SMS).

Data analysis

We use Post Office address search, postcode lists and other sources to ensure the quality and accuracy of data you provide us – for example, where we cannot read information on a handwritten form. We do not attempt to complete any information you have chosen not to provide (for example, if you have left a telephone number blank).

We do not routinely use external sources to update our database; for example, a change of address. We will normally rely on you to tell us if your details have changed. However, if you are an active giver and we find items such as newsletters are returned to us, we may use  
external sources to update your address so that we can maintain contact with you.

Fundraising is a key part of CAFOD’s work and enables us to reach poor and disadvantaged communities all over the world. For this purpose, we may use profiling techniques in order to send you communications we believe may be of interest to you. This means we conduct analysis of information held on our database, such as previous behaviour (previous donations or campaign actions) or information supplied by our supporters, such as date of birth.

We sometimes include publicly available geographic and demographic data in our analysis using third party software. Often this information is aggregated at postcode level and so cannot be used to identify individuals directly. Where it might apply to an individual – for example, a date of birth – we check that you have consented to the third party sharing your data.

If you would rather your data was not used for the purposes of data analysis, you can contact our Supporter Care team on 0303 303 3030 or via email at

Wealth screening

As CAFOD is a fundraising charity, we are always grateful for any donation our supporters can give.

Like the majority of other similar-sized UK charities we also build long-term relationships with individuals, private companies and family trusts and foundations that can support us with significant gifts, ensuring their donations make lasting positive change to the lives of the most vulnerable people around the world. Our major gifts and philanthropy team organise regular events, can introduce individual donors to our programme and international staff and (where possible) meet our partners and communities overseas, to see the difference their support is making.

As part of their work, our major gifts and philanthropy team may gather information about you from publicly available sources – for example, Companies House, the Electoral Register and the media – to help us to understand more about you as an individual and your ability to support CAFOD. We may use information gathered from public sources, from networking events or from your colleagues and peers. By doing this, we can focus our engagement with you as a supporter, donor or potential donor in the most effective way and ensure that we provide you with an experience that is appropriate for you.

For significant corporate financial donations, we also use publicly available sources to carry out due diligence on individuals who control companies and trusts and foundations, in line with CAFOD’s Ethical Donations Policy and to meet money laundering regulations.

We are committed to working in a transparent, ethical, responsible and honest way. To reflect this commitment, we are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and are committed to the Regulator’s Code of Practice.

If you would rather your personal data was not used for the purposes of wealth screening, you can contact our Supporter Care team on 0303 303 3030 or via email at

Children and vulnerable people


We are committed to protecting the privacy of the young people who engage with us through our website, at events and at schools. If you are under 16 and would like to get involved with CAFOD’s work, please ensure you have consent from a parent or guardian before giving us your personal information.

Some of our young people’s events, our young leadership programme and gap year programme request specific information about the age of participants and we may require explicit parental consent for this. We will only ever collect or process any personal information for a child under 13 with explicit parental consent. When we collect information about a child or young person aged under 16 we will make clear the reasons for collecting this information, as well as how the information will be used.

Supporters in vulnerable circumstances

We are committed to protecting vulnerable supporters. We provide training to our staff who come into regular contact with supporters to be aware of, and to identify signs of, people in potentially vulnerable circumstances. We work in accordance with our Vulnerable Supporters Policy at all times. We may record relevant personal information so that we can respond appropriately in future – for example, by ensuring no further marketing or fundraising requests are sent.

How long do we keep personal data?

We will keep your personal data only for as long as we consider it necessary to carry out each processing activity.

We maintain data retention criteria to help implement this. This takes account of our legal and accounting obligations, balancing this with what would be considered reasonable.

We are required to keep details of financial transactions, including donations, for seven years to meet accountancy and HMRC requirements. We will anonymise or delete personal data if, after a period of seven years, we have not had any contact or communication from you (this will be measured on a rolling seven-year period) – subject to special circumstances concerning legacies.

Many supporters kindly tell us that they have included a gift to CAFOD in their will, or that they intend to do so. We retain their personal information indefinitely so that we can keep in touch during their lifetime and provide a caring and efficient legacy administration service.

Your rights

CAFOD actively supports the principle of “fair and transparent” processing of your personal information. We support your rights in relation to your personal information under the General Data Protection Regulation, including the:

  • right to be informed (chiefly via this policy)
  • right of access
  • right to rectification
  • right to erasure
  • right to restrict processing
  • right to data portability
  • right to object
  • rights related to automated decision-making including profiling

If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer in writing at CAFOD, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB or via email at

Requesting access to your personal data

You have a right to request access to the personal data that we hold about you.

If you would like to request a copy of your personal data or have any questions in relation to your personal data, please contact us at

Security of your personal data

We are committed to taking appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect your personal data against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage. When you provide your personal data through our website, this information is transmitted across the internet securely using high-grade encryption.

CAFOD takes particular care with online giving. CAFOD uses Worldpay, which specialises in the secure capture and processing of online transactions. The credit card form is secure, and your information is encrypted and stored on a secure database. CAFOD does not retain any card payment information.

As described elsewhere in this Privacy Notice, we may in some instances disclose your personal data to third parties. Where CAFOD discloses your personal data to a third party, we require that third party to have appropriate technical and organisational measures in place to protect your personal data.

The information that you provide to us will be held in our systems, which are located on our premises or those of an appointed third party, acting as our Data Processor. We may also allow access to your information by other third parties that act for us for the purposes described in this Privacy Notice or for other purposes approved by you.

Uploading information to the CAFOD website

All material uploaded to our website is subject to approval by CAFOD before being used. By uploading material in the form of photographs, videos, stories or any other format onto our site you are automatically agreeing to CAFOD editing and using your material on the website and in future promotional material or events. This agreement is lifelong and royalty free and non-exclusive to CAFOD.

You must be 18 or over and if not you must have the express permission of your parent or guardian to upload the material. Material must not violate any copyright laws, the rights of any third party or any other laws. Photographs and videos must have been taken with the knowledge of the subjects, or where the subjects are under 18, with the permission of their parent or guardian. All subjects must have given permission for the material to be used by CAFOD.

By submitting material you agree that CAFOD has the right to share the material with any third party involved in the submission and receipt of the material as well as any third parties which CAFOD uses to act on their behalf.

Under certain laws and regulations CAFOD might be asked to disclose information to government agencies or employees. By submitting material you authorise CAFOD to do this without having to give you prior notice.

CAFOD will use any material in accordance with our own data protection policy and the Data Protection Act (1988).

CAFOD receive a copy of the emails that you send your MP or other politicians using a form on our website. This helps us keep an eye on any technical glitches with the system, so we know your MP receive your message as you intended.

CAFOD is a member of the Keeping Children Safe coalition

In exceptional circumstances, your personal data may be accessed by and processed outside the European Economic Area (EEA) by CAFOD staff based outside the EEA, working in our international offices. Where your personal data is transferred outside of the EEA, we require that appropriate training and safeguards are in place.

Cookies or other tracking technologies

In order to improve our services, to provide you with more relevant content and to analyse how visitors use our websites, we may use technologies, such as cookies or other tracking software. Please be aware that in most cases we will not be able to identify you from the information we collect using these technologies, as this is based on your Internet Protocol (IP) address only.

The CAFOD website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google. Google Analytics uses cookies, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyse how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about aggregated use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States.

Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf.

Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. However, please note that if you do this, you may not be able to use the full functionality of our website.

In order for us to understand how our supporters interact with the emails that we send, the email tools we use let us know if the emails we send are opened or links are clicked on. We use this information to make the content that we send as relevant to you as possible.

Updates to our Privacy Notice

We may make changes to this Privacy Notice from time to time, including as part of the new European data protection legislation, which will come into force on 25 May 2018. We will update the Privacy Notice as and when required and we will publish any new version of this Privacy Notice on this page.

Contact information and telling us when things have changed

CAFOD will occasionally provide you with the opportunity to opt in to receiving certain types of communication. If you are already receiving such communication, you do not need to opt-in again as your existing preference will persist until you provide explicit instruction that you want to opt out.

You can change your preferences on what you receive from CAFOD at any time, including fundraising and marketing materials or how we contact you. Let us know:

By calling our Supporter Care team on 0303 303 3030

By emailing us at

By writing to us at

Supporter Care CAFOD
Romero House
55 Westminster Bridge Road

We welcome any questions, comments and requests regarding this Privacy Notice. If you have any complaints about the way in which we have used your personal information, please email or contact us via this address:

Data Protection Officer
Romero House
55 Westminster Bridge Road

You can also contact the Information Commissioner's Office or the Fundraising Regulator.

Please see CAFOD's open information resources for our other policies, including how to make a complaint.

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