We may use your information for administration purposes
Processing your donation or purchase
When you make a donation or other payment to Practical Action, we will use your payment and contact details, payment amount, date and time of payment to process that payment and take any follow-up administrative action needed (for example, sending a receipt).
If you choose to include Gift Aid in a donation to us, then we will also ask for your address and UK taxpayer status as this information is required by law. You can read more about how Gift Aid works here. This information is needed for us to fulfil our obligations under tax (sections 413 to 430 Income Tax Act 2007) and charity law. Information associated with Gift Aid declarations must be retained for 7 years. This information will be shared with HMRC for tax regulation purposes and may also be shared with the Fundraising Regulator and the Charity Commission in the event of an enquiry or investigation.
Responding to enquiries
If you contact us with a question, comment, compliment or complaint then we will keep a record of this correspondence and any associated documents so that we have the information available in the event of a follow-up, dispute or investigation.
Notifying you of changes to policies
If we make significant changes to our policies which may affect you, we will use your contact details to inform you of the changes.
Requesting information if you are attending our events
If you participate in an event that we have organised, we may ask you to provide information to make sure we can manage the event safely and efficiently. We may also ask you for details of any accessibility need which you may have, so that we ensure our event is inclusive, in line with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
If you participate in an event organised by an external party or make a donation through a processor like JustGiving, then your information may be passed to us by the processor. We may use this information for marketing purposes but you have the right to unsubscribe or opt out of future communications. Clear information on how to unsubscribe or opt out will be provided within such communications.
We may use your information to invite you to become involved with us in new ways, raise funds and grow our supporter base.
Sharing marketing and fundraising materials with you – Marketing and fundraising materials that we might share with you include information about our activities and their impact, our news, events and fundraising appeals, as well as other ways you can become involved with us. We run a number of newsletters, including for people interested in certain specific projects, for our Development Education work and for Practical Answers, among others. For these we share information about our activities and events to people we think will be interested and individuals who have signed-up.
Where you have provided your postal address or telephone number we may send this information to you by post or by calling your telephone unless you have asked us not to. We may also email you this information or send by SMS if you have agreed for us to do so, or if you are a representative of an organisation and would interested in our message.
You can let us know at any time, if you’d prefer to change how we share this information with you or stop it altogether. Simply use the details we’ve provided in the ‘Contacting us’ section to let us know your preferences. If you receive our e-newsletters, you can also use the unsubscribe link in the emails we send.
We will keep your personal information for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed (in accordance with our internal policies/retention policy). If you ask us not to contact you, we will keep some basic information about you on our suppression list in order to avoid sending you unwanted materials in the future. If you have told us that you would like to leave Practical Action a gift in your Will, we may keep your donor record for longer than others, unless you tell us not to.
Targeting our communications and researching our supporters – we have a duty to make sure that we’re spending your donations wisely, and that means doing some research and analysis to inform our decisions. We want to send the most effective messages that we can in the most efficient way possible. In order to work out who to contact, what to say and when to get in touch, we carry out the following activities:
Analysing how emails are opened and read – we track emails which we have sent to you to see which messages have the highest response rates and whether there are messages that resonate with particular groups of people. We do this by logging whether emails we send have been opened, deleted and interacted with (for example, by clicking on links within the emails). Although we only use this information to look at general patterns, it is still personal information because it is linked to your email address. We may ask you occasionally whether you still want to receive emails, and unsubscribe you if we do not hear from you. We use email platforms such as Dotmailer and Mailchimp (which have their own privacy policies) to manage and send fundraising, newsletter and project update emails, and to ensure you are unsubscribed if you opt out of email messaging.
Segmentation – this is where we analyse information such as your postcode, region, the subjects you are interested in and what kind of interaction you have had with us and how recently. This helps us to tailor communications to you, as well as improve your experience as a Practical Action supporter.
Analysing our supporter base to send different communications to people who might choose to give higher donations – we undertake in-house research and engage other organisations such as Experian and Factary to help us identify people who may be able to support us with a larger gift; using information you have given us and publicly available records such as the electoral roll, land records, ‘rich lists’, Who’s Who publications and Companies House records. We may also collect information on your interests, for example board memberships, career, hobbies, or articles about you in newspapers or magazines. You can find more information about the sources we might use here. We use this information to tailor our communication with you and invite potential supporters to get involved with us in new ways including joining groups and events or exploring publications which may be of interest to them.
Finding other people like you who might like to hear from us – we may use the email address you give us to help find more people like you, so that we can grow our supporter base through our online channels. We use third party services to do this which you are likely to be familiar with, including Google, Facebook and Twitter.
When might we add information to your record that you may not have given to us directly?
We may also add information or update your record with us, from publicly available sources. This may include your telephone number, address, information from death registers, age or the information mentioned in the section above ‘Targeting our communications and researching our supporters’. We use this information to tailor our communications with you and send you more appropriate information.
These activities form a vital part of keeping support for our work going. You can request more information on these activities, or change your preferences, by using the information in the ‘Contacting us’ section at the beginning of this document.
We may use your information to enforce and comply with the law
We ensure that our activities comply with the law. Therefore we may need to share or use your personal information if we are required to do so by law (eg.; in response to a warrant or court order) and we may use information from other sources for the purposes of fraud prevention, for example to comply with money laundering regulations, or to protect people’s rights, property or safety.
If certain levels of donation are made, the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice requires us, and all charities in the UK, to perform checks. More details can be found at www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk.