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Privacy policy

At Tree Aid, we rely on the generosity and commitment of our supporters to carry out our vital work of protecting the environment and helping people lift themselves out of poverty. That is why we want to be completely transparent about the information we hold on you and the way we handle it.

Your privacy and security is important to us and we promise to protect all personal data you share with us.

This Privacy Policy sets out who we are, how and why we collect, use and protect any information that you give to us.

  • Our vision

    Tree Aid’s vision is of thriving, sustainable communities across the drylands of Africa. We help people unlock the potential of trees to reduce poverty and protect the environment.

    Our details

    Tree Aid is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee , incorporated in England.
    Registered office: Tree Aid, Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE.
    Registered charity no: 1135156. Company registration no: 03779545.

    Tree Aid is also registered in our 5 countries of operation: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Niger.

    Tree Aid is registered with the Charity Commission, the Fundraising Regulator and is required to adhere to the Code of Fundraising Practice and the Fundraising Promise. The Code requires charities to follow legal guidelines and be open, honest and respectful in its communications at all times.

    Contacting us

    If you would like to make an enquiry about data protection, request or update the information we hold about you, request or opt out of receiving marketing communications from us or change the way we process your information, you can let our Supporters Team know by:

    Write to us: Tree Aid, Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE
    Phone us: 0117 909 6363
    Email us:

  • We collect information for many reasons, including:

    • To provide you with the service or information you have requested.
    • To process your donations, including tax processing e.g. Gift Aid.
    • To keep you updated about how your donations are helping people and how you can help Tree Aid continue its work to end poverty and protect the environment.
    • To understand your relationship with us e.g. if you have supported us, and for how long.
    • To keep in touch with you regularly if you have signed up to a fundraising event to ensure you have all of the details you need for taking part. We may also contact you after the event to get your feedback and communicate the total of the funds raised.
    • To inform our marketing and raise more money for Tree Aid in a cost efficient way.

    The law on data protection sets out a number of reasons that permits us to collect and process your personal data:

    • Consent – when you make a gift or contact us you have the option to ‘tick a box’ to give us consent to using the data you supply us. Consent is required for us to contact you by email and text.
    • Legitimate interest – we believe our existing supporters have a legitimate interest to continue receiving updates from us about the impact their gifts are having on families living in poverty in West Africa and Ethiopia. For this reason, we don’t require consent to continue to contact our current supporters by mail and phone calls (providing the telephone number isn’t registered with the Telephone Preference Service). You can opt-out of this at any time – see below.
    • Legal compliance – for example HMRC requires us to collect information regarding Gift Aid.

    We may, on occasion and only with your permission, improve the quality and accuracy of the information you have provided by checking it against external data lists. For example, your data may be matched against telephone or address lists to ensure we have the correct contact details for you. This helps us ensure our records are fully up-to-date and helps us avoid misdirecting our communications. We will only do this if we have your consent.

  • We will collect information about you when:
    • you make a donation to us. This includes one-off donations, regular donations via Direct Debit and standing order and purchasing one of our Gifts That Grow. Sometimes, your information may be collected for us by a trusted organisation working on our behalf. Please be assured that when we work via other organisations, we are still responsible for your data and we adhere to our same high standards of data collection.
    • you sign up to receive our email newsletter.
    • you take part in one of our events or fundraise for us or enquire about doing this.
    • you contact us through the following channels: online, email, phone or post.
    • you visit our website. Like most websites, we use “cookies” to help us make our site – and the way you use it – better. They are small text files that allow information about your visit to be recorded, and enable websites to recognise a user (anonymously) to make interacting with a website faster and easier. Please see our cookies policy for more information on this.
    • you post on our social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Depending on your privacy settings or the privacy policies of these sites, you might give us permission to receive information about you from them.
    • you use third party sites such as Care2 and JustGiving – but only if you’ve given them permission to share your information with us. These organisations will have their own privacy policies so please do make sure you read them before providing your information.
    • We may also collect publicly available information about you, including where you live, your potential to give and other demographics such as age. We will use this to tailor communications and our fundraising asks to you based on what we learn. Please let us know if you are not happy for us to do this.
    • Your name, address, email address and phone numbers
    • Your date of birth
    • Your bank or credit card details (only if you are making a donation)
    • Your previous donation history
    • Your tax status if you have given us permission to claim Gift Aid on your donation or told us you are not eligible
    • Notes on when we have been in touch with you, or you with us.
  • We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as it is necessary for the relevant activity, for example to comply with HMRC rules we will keep a record of donations that are eligible for Gift Aid for at least seven years.

    If you request that we stop sending you fundraising materials we will need to keep a record of your contact details and appropriate information to enable us to comply with your request not to be contacted by us.

    Legacy income is vital to Tree Aid. We may keep data you provide to us for up to 80 years after the end of your support to enable us to carry out legacy administration and communicate effectively with the families of those supporters that leave us a gift in their Will. This also enables us to identify and analyse the source of legacy income we receive.

    We will ensure that, 10 years after the end of a relationship with a supporter, we only retain the minimum amount of data that is necessary in order for us to identify a reactivating supporter or legacy giver.

  • We will never sell your data. We will only share your data with carefully selected partners who do work for us and have guaranteed to keep your details confidential and secure. This will include organisations that send mail, process financial transactions, contact supporters or enquirers on our behalf for fundraising or administrative purposes.

    We also send Gift Aid data to HMRC. We will only pass personal data to these organisations if they have signed a contract that requires them to:

    • Abide by the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation
    • Treat your information as carefully as we would
    • Only use the information for the purposes it was supplied
    • We would also share your data if we are legally required to do so, e.g. by a law enforcement agency legitimately exercising a power or if compelled by an order of the Court.

    We ensure that there are appropriate technical and organisational security measures in place to protect your personal details in accordance with current data protection legislation. This means:

    • We secure access to all transactional areas of our websites using ‘https’ technology.
    • Access to your personal data is password-protected, and sensitive data (such as payment card information) is secured and tokenised to ensure it is protected.
    • We regularly monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.
    • We undertake regular reviews of who has access to information that we hold to ensure that your information is only accessible by appropriately trained staff, volunteers and contractors.

    We always strive for best practice in our fundraising and communications and adhere to our legal obligations, including the General Data Protection Regulation, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, Fundraising Preference Service and the Telephone Preference Service. We adhere to the regulations set by the Fundraising Regulator who actively regulates charities carrying out fundraising activities.

  • We collect information from anyone who applies to work or volunteer at Tree Aid. We only use this information for our recruitment or employment purposes.


    When you apply to work or volunteer at Tree Aid we will ask for information about you and your work history to understand how your skills and past experience matches the requirements of a role. There are two circumstances where we might disclose details outside of Tree Aid as we process your application:

    • We will ask for details of referees, and we will contact them to verify the information that you have given us – when we contact them, we will share your name and the role that you have applied for. We contact referees on the basis of our legitimate interests as an organisation to understand applicants and their suitability for the roles they apply for.
    • Some roles also require us to obtain a disclosure from the Disclosure & Barring Service. This will be clearly marked in the job advertisement, and so we will not give you further notice before we apply for this disclosure.

    The personal data you provide as part of the recruitment process will be held and processed for the purpose of the application only and kept securely on our system during the recruitment process and up to 6 months after. After that, unless you agree otherwise, it will be deleted from our system.

    You should know that we always keep anonymous statistical information about applicants to develop our recruitment processes and for equality and diversity monitoring, but this does not contain any information that could be used to identify individual job applicants.


    If you begin employment with us, we will put together a staff file, which will contain your information. We keep this information in this file secure and will only use it for matters that apply directly to your employment with Tree Aid.

    We provide all of our employees with our data protection policy, which explains exactly how we process their data as an employee.

    If you would like further information about how we use your information when you apply for a role at Tree Aid, please email

  • You have the right to change the way we use your data at any time or ask to us to stop using it. You can also request to see the information we hold about you and ask us to correct or delete it. On occasions we may search for publicly available information about our supporters to help us focus future communications and fundraising asks. You can opt out of this at any time.

    To change your mind about how you would like to be contacted or for any other enquiry relating to the personal information we hold about you, please write to Supporters & Fundraising Team, Tree Aid, Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE, email or you can call us on 0117 909 6363.

    Please note, it may take up to six weeks for your request to take effect as we update our systems accordingly.

    Supporters can also use the Fundraising Preference Service to opt out of any communications from Tree Aid.

    We report annually on the complaints made to Tree Aid. In 2019-20, we received 6 complaints.

  • We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information we will make this clear on the Tree Aid website or by contacting you directly.

    This Privacy Policy was updated in May 2018.