Our relationship with our alumni, friends and supporters, and our respect for their privacy and data security, is of great importance to Imperial. Also important to Imperial is philanthropy and the generous support of those people who are committed to our academic mission and building Imperial’s global reputation.

This information specifically relates to personal data processed by the Advancement Division in its work to build a more vibrant, engaged community. The Advancement Division is the department of the College that has responsibility for alumni relations, events, and fundraising and charitable giving to the College. We consider that the College has a strong and legitimate interest in keeping up its relationship with alumni, friends and supporters for the benefit of its fundraising and development activity and to help safeguard the College's future. We also believe that it is important to communicate this positive message to those we engage with, while respecting personal privacy choices and considering the College's interests together with your own reasonable expectations.

To this end, the Advancement Division works in accordance with the College’s Data Protection Policy, which is available on our Legal Services Office web pages. In addition, the following statement sets out how the Advancement Division specifically may use your data. 

Data Protection Statement

The Data Controller is Imperial College. Our registration number in the Data Protection Register is Z5940050.

We are committed at every level to making sure that our communications with you are secure and considered. All personal data is held and processed in accordance with UK data protection law, the College’s Data Protection Policy and other relevant legislation. Data will only be handled by staff who have received data protection training.

Any personal data stored in our database is held on the College’s secure servers, with access restricted to authorised personnel only. Most information that we hold will have been obtained directly from you, and some from publicly available sources such as the Post Office’s National Change of Address database or those mentioned below.

Personal data held and processed by Advancement may include:

Contact and communications information, such as:

  • Your contact details, which may include your parental address
  • Your communication preferences
  • Records of communications and interactions we have had with you

Biographical information, such as:

  • Your name, gender, nationality and date of birth
  • Your family and partner/spousal details
  • Your professional activities and employment, including work contact details
  • Information you have publicly shared on social media
  • Your interests and extra-curricular activities

Financial information, such as:

  • Your donation history, including gift amount, purpose, date, method of payment, cheque numbers or other payment references
  • Your bank account number, name and sort code (used for processing Direct Debits)
  • Tax status and Gift Aid declaration information
  • Details of financial transactions e.g. event tickets purchased
  • Our assessment of your ability and willingness to make donations, including considerations of income
  • Donations to other organisations

Please note that we do not collect or store any credit/debit card details in our database, if you have used these in transactions with the College.

Relevant educational background and interaction with the College, such as:

  • Your education history at Imperial and other schools/universities
  • Your attendance at events
  • Records of meetings, conversations and correspondence
  • Website activity and interaction with emails we send
  • Dietary preferences
  • Your relationships with other Imperial alumni, donors and friends
  • Your volunteering activity for the College including alumni volunteering
  • Your student clubs or societies affiliations and other connections with the College

If you are a student or studied at the College, some of your personal data is routinely transferred from your student record to the College's alumni database.

If we lose touch with you we may use external sources and data agencies to ensure that our contact details for you are up to date, allowing us to continue to communicate with you about the range of events and activities in which you may be interested. If you do not wish the College to do so, please contact alumni@imperial.ac.uk if you are an alumnus. Other friends and supporters should contact advancement.update@imperial.ac.uk.

How Advancement uses the data

This data is used by the College's Advancement Division to support a full range of activities for and in relation to our alumni, friends and supporters. These include:

  • Providing you with information about our work and our activities. This might include sending you publications, e-newsletters, invitations to events and details of volunteering opportunities.
  • Providing services, including access to facilities on campus (e.g. Alumni Visitor Centre), email hosting for alumni and online accounts.
  • Conducting surveys, focus groups and other research.
  • Supporting an international network of over fifty alumni associations that provide opportunities for alumni to network in their local area and connect around academic interests.
  • Internal record keeping, including the management of any feedback or complaints
  • Administrative purposes e.g. regarding a donation you have made or an event you have registered for or attended.
  • Furthering our charitable objectives, including to help us raise money or by asking you to donate money to Imperial, but always in accordance with Our Fundraising Promise.
  • Transfer to HM Revenue and Customs in respect of any Gift Aid claims
  • Wealth screening, profiling and research to gain a better understanding of our supporters, inform our fundraising strategy and target our communications more effectively and appropriately

We also need to ensure that the ways in which we communicate with you, such as sending out College publications, inviting you to events, or advising you about our alumni benefits and fundraising priorities, do not conflict with your chosen communication channel preferences (for example, by post, telephone or electronic means).

Digital tools may be used to monitor the impact of the College’s communications, such as using email tracking to record when an email we send to you has been opened.

If you interact with the College through a third party (for example, making a donation via JustGiving or a crowdfunding page) then we may obtain information about you from that third party, but only if you have given your explicit consent to that third party sharing your information.

Data will not be disclosed to external organisations other than those acting as agents for the College or alumni associations with whom the College has data sharing agreements, or where appropriate to the Imperial College Foundation (based in the United States) or Imperial College Union. The College does not sell any of its data to third party organisations.

Research, profiling and ‘wealth screening’

To ensure that our communications are relevant to you and your interests and to assess your likely ability to make, and interest in making, donations to the College, we may use additional information such as geographical information and measures of affluence where available from external sources to assist us. This will be a combination of publicly-available information, for example drawn from company resources and news media, with what you have provided to us, such as past donations and career information. We may use the services of external screening/profiling companies, and publicly available data from social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, depending on your privacy settings and/or interaction with us.

The College may hold personal data that has been created by us from other personal data that we already hold about you, either from internal or external research/profiling.

This may be carried out by automated or manual processes, and enables us to better understand you as our supporter and make appropriate requests for support. A list of publicly available sources of information used by the College for the purposes detailed is available on request.

If you do not wish the College to undertake this activity, please email advancement.update@imperial.ac.uk.  

Please note however that before seeking or accepting major donations we are required to conduct a minimum level of due diligence, including reviewing publicly available personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences. Due diligence is conducted in accordance with the College’s gift acceptance policy, available at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/advancement/about-us/advancement-policies/gift-acceptance/.


The College commits to holding this data securely, both in its digital systems and in appropriate staff access protocols, and treating it with sensitivity. For more information about your personal data's security see the College’s Data Protection Policy.

Your rights

Imperial considers its relationship with its alumni as lifelong, and we will therefore maintain a database record for you indefinitely. However, if you advise us that you no longer wish to remain in touch, we will keep a record of that fact but not retain any information about you which we no longer have any purpose for.

You have a right to request copies of the data that we hold about you (please see the College’s Data Protection Policy) and to ask us to stop processing your personal data in certain ways (where it is not necessary for the purpose you provided it to us, such as processing your donation or registering you for an event). Please contact advancement.update@imperial.ac.uk for any requests or related enquiries. We will however need to keep a sufficient record of your constituent ID, name, date of birth, education details and your stated preference to ensure that your data is not further used for such processing.

We may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time. Any significant changes to this Policy or to the way we treat your data will be communicated via the College website or by contacting you directly through the most appropriate means.

Please note that this Privacy Policy should be read in conjunction with the College’s general Data Protection Policy and any other relevant information the College provides you with from time to time about how your data is used.

Advancement Division
1 June 2017, minor revisions 22 June 2017 and 28 September 2018, Version 2.02