Alumni and Development Office Data Protection Statement

This statement explains how the College (“we” and “our”) handles and uses data we collect about our alumni and our past, current and future supporters and those who have requested to be on our mailing list as a “Friend” of the College (“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. We anticipate that this statement will be revised again prior to the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation.

How your data is used by the College

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

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

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.

In order to help facilitate alumni events and promotion of services, other departments in College may have access to your St Catharine’s College education record and your contact details.

If you have concerns or queries about any of these purposes, or how we communicate with you, please contact us (

What data is held by the College

We work closely with the University as a result of their shared interest in having a coordinated approach to their alumni and supporters.   We have a separate database from the University, but we also have access to the University’s database; additionally, we 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, 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 with other alumni or supporters of the College and/or the University and other Colleges within Cambridge,
  • 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 giving),
  • donations made by you to either the College or the University,
  • information about your areas of personal interest,
  • your ability to donate based on publicly available data,
  • 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 together to help us identify your potential for supporting us and/or the University.

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 US),
  • 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 Fellows, development board members, the St Catharine’s College Society, alumni group representatives), and
  • contractors providing services to you on our behalf or services to us (our “data processors”), including but not limited to Blackbaud Inc. software company, Action Mailing and Buffalo Fundraising Consultants.

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

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 do not use third party wealth screening companies.

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 always maintain, for archive purposes, a historic record of name, matriculation year and subject even if we are asked to delete all contact details.

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 if you have any concerns or questions about the above information.  Where you have specific requests relating to how we manage your data, we will endeavor 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 separately; they can be contacted at