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Data Protection

Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy
Privacy Notice

Version 4.6   30/04/2024

The Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy (AEP) database contains personal data collected by Queen’s University during the course of our relationship with our students, alumni (including honorary graduates), donors and friends.  Most of the information stored will have been obtained directly from you; some of the data may also have been obtained from publicly available sources.

The Queen's University of Belfast Foundation
 is an independent charity set up to receive and steward philanthropic donations on behalf of Queen’s University Belfast.  The Inland Revenue’s charitable status number is XR 22432.  The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

All data is held securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 / General Data Protection Regulation 2018.  The legal basis for storing information is legitimate interest.

Data Controller 

The Data Controller is The Queen’s University of Belfast.  Our Registration Number in the Data Protection Public Register is Z6833827.


Queen’s University’s Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy Directorate supports a global community of stakeholders (students, alumni, parents, donors, volunteers, employers, researchers and advocates) related to the research, engagement and outreach activities pursued by Queen’s University Belfast. In order to deliver all of the related products, services and opportunities in a bespoke manner and to ensure each individual and constituency receives relevant information, process personal data of stakeholders. This helps to ensure that you are getting the best contact available from AEP for your purposes. This also helps us, where appropriate, to ask for your support with the things we believe you care about the most.

What is our lawful basis for processing?

AEP rely upon legitimate interest as the primary legal basis for processing personal data relating to the University’s graduates (alumni), donors, friends and supporters. 

We may occasionally send a 'service message' to update alumni of a major change that will impact the service they receive. The legal basis for emailing this information is legitimate interest.

How do we collect information?

AEP holds data collected directly from you during a number of interactions with you over a number of years.  These interactions are: 

  • Student graduation;
  • School / Faculty records;
  • Alumni community website ( online personal details update forms;
  • Online and paper Donation Forms;
  • Registration for events;
  • Telephone conversations;
  • Pledge and information cards at events;
  • Surveys;
  • Meetings with AEP staff.

Data about you may also be collected from indirect sources, such as:

  • LinkedIn;
  • The World Wide Web;
  • Companies House and other business-related resources;
  • Publications and news sources (Honours Lists, Rich Lists, etc);
  • National Change of Address File and other services that provide email addresses and telephone numbers.

We collect data about you so that we can establish and maintain a mutually beneficial, life-long relationship with you as either your alma mater or as your charitable cause of choice.

What information do we collect?

If you are a student/graduate, some of the data that we hold about you is transferred to The Raiser’s Edge from your student record.  This data will have been provided by you, either as part of the application process, or from updates provided by you during your time as a student and will include: 

  • Your name, title, gender, nationality and date of birth;
  • Your home or parental address, email address and telephone numbers;

Some of the data we hold about you has been created by us as part of your education record, namely: 

  • Your student number.
  • Mode of study (eg full-time, part-time, distance learning);
  • Academic School and programme of study;
  • Start, end and graduation dates;
  • Type and classification of degree;
  • The School you attended and your membership of clubs/societies/sporting teams.

Some of the data we hold about you is provided by you during your transactions with us (contact details updates, website activity, event registration, volunteer activity or making a donation), namely:

  • Gift amount, purpose, date and method of payment including cheque numbers or payment references.  At no point do we store payment card details if you donate, or pay for an event, using a payment card;
  • Tax status and Gift Aid Declaration information;
  • Your spouse/partner’s name and whether they are also a Queen’s alumnus/na;
  • Updates to your contact details;
  • Children’s names, gender and year of birth;
  • Record of verbal or email conversations/meetings including any personal interests;
  • Dietary preferences;
  • Web activity whilst visiting

Some of the data that we may hold about you relates to your professional history.  This data may have been provided by you, or it may have been obtained from social media (eg LinkedIn) or publicly available sources (Companies House, the world-wide-web, news articles etc), namely:

  • Your employment status (part-time, full-time, retired etc);
  • Your current job title and work email address;
  • Your previous role(s) job title;
  • Your current and past employers, name, address and telephone number;
  • The dates that you have been employed in any particular role;
  • Your photograph;
  • Your income band. 

Some of the data we may hold about you is created by Queen’s University based on other data that we already hold (i.e. name, address, postcode, and employment data), either through internal or external research/profiling, namely:

  • Your estimated asset worth, property value and shareholdings;
  • An estimate of income and potential capacity to make a major gift;
  • Internal classifications and ratings as a major gift prospect;
  • Alumni survey rating or score;
  • A rating of your level of engagement which is created from a mix of your event attendance, donation history and other interactions with the University.

How do we use your information? 

We will use your personal data:

  • to provide you with regular electronic, paper and telephone updates according to your email, mail and telephone preferences which can be changed at any time;
  • to further our charitable aims, including for fundraising activities;
  • to support the University’s aim to conduct leading-edge education and research, focused on the needs of society, through fundraising appeals and volunteering activities.
  • to thank you for any support you may have given to Queen’s.

As part of this, we may analyse the personal information we collect to create a profile of your interests and preferences so that we can contact you in the most appropriate way and with the most relevant information.

We may need to share your information with our service providers, associated organisations and agents for the purposes described above. Further details about data sharing are given below.

How long do we keep your data?

Queen’s considers its relationship with you to be life-long.  This means that we will maintain an alumni or supporter record for you until such time as you tell us that you no longer wish us to keep in touch you.  In this instance we will remove the majority of your personal data from our records, but will maintain a skeleton record that will ensure that we do not inadvertently create a new record for some reason in the future.

Communication choices

You have a choice about whether you want to receive information about our progress and fundraising activities, and by which channels.  We will not use your personal information for marketing purposes if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted.  Communications may be received from either AEP or The Queen's University of Belfast Foundation.  You can change your marketing and contact preferences at any time online at or by contacting Mr Paul Hawthorne, Information Analyst, Alumni Engagement And Philanthropy, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN or email

How do we protect personal information?

Your data is stored in compliance with data legislation including; The EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), The UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Your data is encrypted and stored on a secure cloud platform managed by our third party software provider which permits only select Queen's staff access to your information.  Our cloud providers follow industry best practice in internet security.   

We take appropriate measures to ensure that the personal information disclosed to us is kept secure, accurate and up to date.

Will we disclose the information we collect to outside parties?

We may pass your information to our service providers.  We always make sure there are appropriate controls in place first; the service provider will never use your data for any additional non-Queen’s purpose.  Some examples of service providers would be using an emailer service to send out personalised email newsletters, using a mailing house to send out alumni magazines, or screening names and addresses via a data bureau to identify deceased alumni and to keep addresses up-to-date on our mailing list.

Your information is held securely by AEP and may be shared with The Queen's University of Belfast Foundation (Charity Registration No: NIC102044).  This is the registered charity set up to receive and steward philanthropic donations on behalf of Queen’s University Belfast.   This is the same for students, prospective students/parents, alumni, donors and supporters who have interacted with the North American Friends of The Queen's University of Belfast, Inc. who have an independent 501©3 charitable status in the United States.

The University is required to disclose some personal data of graduates to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for the purpose of a survey of new graduates.

If you make a donation to Queen’s, you are given the option of deciding whether your name can be used on donor lists and other stewardship materials.  If you consent to this, we may publish your current name and the fact that you are a Queen’s donor to say thank you officially.

We may need to disclose your information if required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).

AEP may share personal data with third party organisations which carry out contracts on behalf of the University (such as a venue hosting a University event).  AEP will only share personal data that is relevant and proportionate.  The University’s partners are subject to contractual agreements which help to ensure compliance with Data Protection legislation. This will happen in the following circumstances:

  • To send you a copy of our printed alumni magazine or other newsletters;
  • To send you information relating to our fundraising appeals;
  • To maintain your contact details so that we can keep in touch by letter, email or telephone;
  • To conduct alumni surveys;
  • To compilers of ranking leagues, including, but not exclusively, Financial Times, The Economist, QS (Quacquarelli Symonds), W100, Times Higher Education and Wall Street Journal rankings;
  • To event organisers – names and accessibility and assistance requirements and related information;
  • To the Charity Commission – for compliance with charity law;
  • To assess your ability to support the University with a major gift (£5,000 or more);
  • Third parties (including mailing companies, social media firms etc) engaged by the University to provide alumni, supporter and fundraising related services – we share biographical, contact and education details, professional details, volunteering and philanthropic details;

When AEP shares personal data as detailed above we ensure that security is maintained, using tools that incorporate secure encryption. 

Personal data is NEVER sold on to third parties.

Your consent

By providing us with your personal data, you consent to the collection and use of this information in accordance with the purposes described above and this privacy statement. 

Right of access

If you are a Queen’s Alumnus/Alumna and have created an account to update your personal details, you can sign into your account to access and update most of your information.

You have the right to ask for a copy of all the information we hold about you and to have any inaccuracies in your information corrected.  If you wish to exercise this right, contact Information Compliance Unit, Registrar’s Office, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN  You will be asked to formally prove your ID before your data can be released.


Our website may include links to websites run by other organisations.  Queen’s is not responsible for the privacy practices of these other websites so you should read their privacy policies carefully.


If your personal details change, please help us to keep your information up to date by notifying us at the above address or by updating your details online directly.

We may change the terms of this privacy statement. If we do so, we will post the changes here so please check from time to time. By continuing to use our services you will be deemed to have accepted such changes.