Data Protection statement


This statement explains how the Downing College Alumni & Development Office ('we' and 'our') handles and uses data we collect about our alumni and our past, current and future supporters ('you' and 'your'). In broad terms, we use your data to keep in touch with you as alumni (and life-long members of the College) and supporters, in order to keep you apprised of our activities and developments, to provide services to you and to identify ways in which you can support us, through donations and/or other forms of financial and non-financial support.

The College is currently considering the implications of national changes to data protection legislation, and the obligations of the Colleges to you in helping you understand further how and why we process your personal data. It anticipates that this statement will be revised again within the next six months (i.e. by the end of December 2017).

How your data is used by the Alumni & Development Office

Your data is used by us for a number of interdependent purposes, including alumni and supporter relations, communications and fundraising. These include:

• publications,
• surveys,
• appeals and requests for donations, assessments of your ability to donate, and research on when
   and whether particular fundraising appeals may be of interest to you,
• the promotion of alumni and other Downing College events, and
• the promotion of other services and products open to members of the College.

Communications to you may be sent by post, telephone or electronic means, depending on the contact details we hold and the preferences expressed by you about the types of communications you wish to receive.
If you have concerns or queries about any of these purposes, or how we communicate with you, please contact us at the address given below.

What data is held by the College?

We work closely with the University as a result of its shared interest in having a co-ordinated approach to its alumni and supporters. We have a separate database from the University, but we also have access to the University’s database; we also maintain other electronic and paper records. Any transmission of data to or from the University is managed through agreed processes which comply with UK data protection legislation. The University has its own data protection statement and procedures, see: 

 Most records contain:
• details of your school, College and University education,
• unique personal identifiers (e.g. student number, CRSid, date of birth), and
• your contact details.

Where provided by you, or provided by the University or obtained from reputable sources, we also record:

• your attendance at College or University events,
• other contact with us or the University since graduation,
• your key relationships including: family members, other alumni or supporters of the College and/or the University and other Colleges within
• your career highlights and other life achievements,
• financial information relating to you and any of your key relationships (including, but not necessarily limited to, income, philanthropy and other
• donations made by you to either the College or the University,
• information about your areas of personal interest (which may be used to identify your potential interest in specific fundraising appeals),
• personal data provided by you for a specific purpose or purposes (for example, disability, catering preferences or lifestyle status for event
   management), and
• your communication preferences.

Where data is included from sources external to the University and the College, we only use data from our partners (as outlined below) or other reputable sources. We may use automated or manual analyses to link data (including data in the public domain) to help us identify your potential for supporting us and/or the University. In addition, we may include in our analysis personal data collected by the College as follows:

• Full name
• Full address
• Maiden name
• Spouse’s full name
• Home telephone number
• Date of birth
• Matriculation year
• Graduation date
• Date left College
• Business name
• Business address
• Business telephone number(s)
• Total amount of gifts made (£ amount, number, largest and last)
• Gift dates (largest and last).

When the College shares your data with others

Depending on constraints set by you, and which you may change at any time, we may share any of the above categories of data with the University. 

Additionally, we share data on a considered and confidential basis, where appropriate, with:

• Cambridge in America (the University’s affiliate alumni office in the USA),
• third-party agencies who provide us with data in the public domain about alumni and supporters,
• selected companies who provide College-branded or College-endorsed products and services, 
• volunteer partners closely related to us (e.g. College trustees, development board members, alumni group representatives), and
• contractors providing services to you on our behalf or services to us (our 'data processors').

We employ consultants to guide us in appropriate fundraising best practice, and to advise us on donation amounts for fundraising appeals. Consultants would be provided with the above categories of personal data in order to ascertain an individual’s ability to donate. All third parties are asked to sign confidentiality agreements with us.

We do not sell your personal data to third parties under any circumstances, or permit third parties to sell on the data we have shared with them.
We also facilitate communication between individual alumni (of the College or the University), but in doing so we do not release personal contact details without prior permission.

Your rights

There is no statutory or contractual requirement for you to provide us with any personal data.

You have the right: to ask us for a copy of your personal data (a data subject access request); to object to processing that is causing you, or is likely to cause you, damage or distress; to object to communications or direct marketing; in certain circumstances to require us to correct or erase your personal data; and a right to compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection Act.

We will retain your data indefinitely or until you request us to do otherwise.  We will publish on our website any changes we make to this data protection statement and notify you by other communication channels where appropriate.

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at

Questions and further statutory information

Please contact us at if you have any questions about this statement or how we manage your personal data. Where you have specific requests relating to how we manage your data, we will endeavour to resolve these, but please note that there may be circumstances where we cannot comply with your specific request.

Where you opt out of all future communications or exercise your right to erasure, we will continue to maintain a core set of personal data (name, subject(s), matriculation and graduation details, unique University identification number and date of birth) to ensure we do not contact you inadvertently in future, while still maintaining our record of your academic achievements.  We may also need to retain some financial records about you for statutory purposes (e.g. Gift Aid, anti-fraud and accounting matters).

If you have any concerns about your personal data held by the University, you will need to contact the University directly.
Last reviewed 25 May 2017

Alumni & Development, Downing College, Cambridge CB2 1DQ. Telephone 01223 334850· Email