Keeping data safe
As a Christian Aid volunteer, you keep data on other Christian Aid supporters. This data could be, for example, the names and addresses of your collectors.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes the way organisations like Christian Aid have to treat data.
As a Christian Aid volunteer, you’re also responsible for keeping data on other supporters safely and in line with the new rules.
What this means for you
You’ll need to follow these straightforward steps to keep data safe:
Ask whether people want to receive emails and phone calls about Christian Aid.
Before emailing or calling 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. 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.
Record information and keep this safe.
Please record contact details and opt-in information and store this on the new online portal (coming soon!) If you aren’t able to use an online portal, please contact your local office who can help you.
Keep all supporter details securely.
Anything with 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.
If someone tells you that they would no longer like to receive emails, calls or post from Christian Aid, please let us know!
Please pass the message on to your local Christian Aid office and we’ll make sure the supporter’s preferences are updated. Remember, you will need to stop emailing, calling or mailing them (depending on what they say they’d like!) as well.
Frequently asked questions
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, like the advice on avoiding lobbying for the snap election called shortly before Christian Aid Week 2017. 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.
If your volunteer has already been receiving communications from us, they will continue to receive these.
What can I use to collect permission?
There are two main ways you can collect permission:
- Download this sheet and ask the supporter to sign it.
- Ask for permission verbally.
Make sure you record the permission they gave on your form as soon as you can, and make a note that it was a face-to face-conversation or if they signed the form.
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.