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Data Protection guidance

In your volunteering, you will often hold data on Christian Aid supporters: for example, the names and addresses of your collectors. As a Christian Aid volunteer, you are responsible for keeping the data you hold safely, and for meeting the GDPR regulations that came into force last year. 

As a Christian Aid volunteer, you’re also responsible for keeping data on other supporters safely and in line with the new rules. 

Keeping data safe

You’ll need to follow these straightforward steps in order to keep data safe.  

1. Ask whether people want to receive emails and phone calls about Christian Aid.

We are required to ensure that we only contact people in the ways they want. Before you email or phone anyone about Christian Aid, please ask them whether they’re happy for you to do this. This includes collectors and people who help at your events, even if you’ve called or emailed them about Christian Aid previously. If they say yes, this means they ‘opt in’. You don’t need to ask church leaders and staff, so long as you are contacting them via the email address or phone number they use for church.  

2. Record information and keep this safe.  

Please record contact details and opt-in information, ideally, by keeping the online portal up-to-date (see point 3). If this isn’t possible please use this sheet and ask the supporter to sign it. 

Please keep these sheets securely, and don’t keep copies of the data anywhere else.  

3. Add this information to the online portal.  

The safest place you can hold the contact details and opt-ins of your volunteers is on our online portal. This means that together we can ensure the information is as accurate and up to date as possible. This is the quickest and easiest way to share it with Christian Aid. Sharing the data is a legal requirement to ensure we only contact people in the ways they want. Adding your volunteers’ details to the portal means they will only receive extra information from Christian Aid to help them with their volunteering. If you are unable to use the portal, please contact us for support.

4. Keep all supporter details securely.  

Anything material containing Christian Aid supporter contact details on should be stored securely, for example in a locked filing cabinet. This includes Gift Aid slips, campaign petition sheets and sponsorship forms before they are sent to Christian Aid, as well as your records of contact details.  

5. If someone tells you that they would no longer like to receive emails, calls or mail from Christian Aid, please let us know!  

The quickest way to pass the message on to Christian Aid is by using the portal. Otherwise, please contact us directly. We’ll make sure the supporter’s preferences are updated. Remember, you’ll need to stop emailing, calling or mailing them (depending on what they say they’d like!) as well.

Accessing the portal

Thank you to everyone who has explored the online portal so far and input their data. During 2022 we will follow up where we are missing submissions.  

  1. All supporters registered with a volunteer role as an organiser, church representative, Christian Aid group secretary or Christian Aid treasurer will have automatically received an email invite in early 2019. If you’re accessing the portal for the first time, you will need to register through the link in your invitation email. If you’re returning to the portal, find it online at  
  2. Input or amend the volunteers listed under your church or Christian Aid group on the portal. This information will be automatically shared with Christian Aid to ensure that we all follow the preferences of your volunteers.  
  3. Any newer volunteers registered with us should also have received an automatic invitation. If you haven’t had an email, or you would like any assistance, please contact us.

How do I know if I hold data?

Data protection covers any personal information about an individual. For people you phone, email or post information to about Christian Aid, you are most likely to have their names, address, contact number and email address, and this data needs to be protected. 

Why does my church/group have to share the data they hold?

Volunteers like you and Christian Aid staff have the same responsibilities under GDPR, and we need to share the data to make sure we can both meet our legal requirements. 

For example, if someone decided they no longer wanted to receive phone calls relating to Christian Aid, they might tell either their local organiser or a member of Christian Aid staff. Neither of us should call them again and we’d need to share this information to make sure we didn’t! 

Sharing data also helps us make sure that the data we hold is accurate and up-to-date, which is another requirement under GDPR. 

We’ll only use the details you record to contact supporters with information relevant to their Christian Aid Week volunteering. This is likely to be a copy of the Christian Aid Week edition of Christian Aid Magazine, plus a small handful of emails a year in the run-up to Christian Aid Week. This should help your volunteers to feel supported, inspired and confident talking about Christian Aid and the difference their support makes. We want their volunteering to be as enjoyable and productive as possible, so they come back to volunteer next year! 

We also occasionally need to contact volunteers with essential last-minute news, such as safety advice due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We won’t use the details you send us to contact your volunteers with anything other than information about their volunteering, and they won’t get fundraising mailings or phone calls. 

Volunteer communications

If your volunteer has already been receiving communications from us, they will continue to receive these. 

If I already have an email from someone about Christian Aid Week, do I still need to ask their permission to use it? 

If someone has emailed you about Christian Aid, you’re allowed to respond specifically to the contents of their email without further permission. But if you wanted to email them about something else eg, an invitation to a Christian Aid Week event, you would need their permission. 

What should I do if a collector or other volunteer refuses to give me permission to email/phone them? 

Please don’t email/phone them. You can still talk to them about Christian Aid face-to-face.. 

Whose details should I be recording?

Anyone you phone, email or post information to about Christian Aid if you are holding their data. This includes your collectors and others who help out at Christian Aid Week events. Church reps should already have given permission for contact as part of their role. 

If you are organising an event within your own church and contacting church members as you would normally do for an event in your church, then you can continue as normal. Examples might be a coffee morning, soup lunch, collection or announcement during a service. 

If you are working within your own church, but are collecting and holding data, or organising an event Christian Aid has asked you to hold, you will need to make sure you follow our guidelines. Examples may be collecting details of house-to-house collectors, using sponsorship forms, or running an exhibition with Christian Aid staff. 

If you are working with people from other churches or those outside of your own church, you will also need to make sure you follow our guidelines. Examples may be working in a Christian Aid group or running a joint event with a local church. 

What if people don’t want any contact from Christian Aid as an organisation?

As a volunteer, you are a representative of the organisation, and so if a supporter doesn’t want phone/email/post from Christian Aid, you won’t be able to phone/email/post them either. Please let us know if this happens, so we can stop communicating with them as well. Face-to-face contact is still fine.