What We Do With Your Data

What We Do With Your Data



The University of Aberdeen Development Trust SCIO (“the Trust”) is a charity registered in Scotland (no. SC050996). The Trust was established in February 2023 with the sole purpose of attracting charitable donations to provide benefit to the University of Aberdeen (“the University”). The Trust and the University are separate legal entities.


In its fundraising activities, the Trust utilises information about alumni, supporters and potential supporters of the University. This notice explains how we access, obtain and utilise this information.


How we process personal information


The personal information utilised by the Trust is held on secure IT systems provided by the University.


Under the terms of a data sharing agreement, the University permits the Trust access to the University’s database of contacts for alumni communications, external relations and events management to assist the Trust in its fundraising objectives. Access under this agreement is restricted to Development Trust SCIO staff. The University and the Trust are joint controllers of the database for data protection purposes.


Information that we collect and use about you


The Trust uses several types of information (see list below), mainly accessed through the joint database. Please note that the database does not include all information types for all individuals. The vast majority of information that is held on the database has been provided to the University or the Trust by the individual concerned, or relates to the individual’s interactions with the University (e.g. records of attendance at University events). In some cases, this is supplemented with information from other sources (for more detail please see ‘Information sources’ below).


For most individuals whose details are held in the database, the personal information is limited to: 

  • Personal details – title, name, gender preference, date of birth and, where appropriate, familial relationships. We also record date of death, if applicable and if known;
  • Contact details – postal address(es), email address(es), telephone number(s);
  • Job title, employer and work contact details, and links to company websites and LinkedIn profiles;
  • Records of attendance at University and Trust events and participation in University volunteering activity;
  • Records of meetings, phone calls and/or correspondence with the University and the Trust.

 In addition to the above, we may hold the following information for the relevant individuals: 

  • For alumni, the subject of the degree and year of graduation; and
  • For non-alumni members of the General Council, the position held at the University.

 For those individuals who have made a gift to the University or the Trust, the database may also hold: 

  • Bank account number, name and sort code (where provided for enabling donations and direct debits);
  • Gift amount(s), purpose(s) and method(s) of payment; and
  • Tax status and Gift Aid declaration information.

 For some donors and prospective donors, the Trust also holds information from public sources relating to the individual’s capacity to make a gift.


Information sources


The information used by the Trust comes from a number of sources as follows: 

  • Information about University alumni, University staff and former staff and individuals that have attended University events is held on the joint database.  Information about attendance at Trust events is collected by the Trust through the administration of these activities;
  • Information about personal interests, career and connections with other alumni and friends of the University is provided direct to the Trust by alumni and supporters, for example in response to surveys and through correspondence and meetings;
  • If a supporter has utilised an online fundraising platform such as JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving to raise funds for the Trust, the online platform will pass to the Trust the name of the supporter, their contact details, the gift amount(s) and Gift Aid status. Details of those individuals who sponsored the supporter are not passed to the Trust.

 Information may also be gathered from the following sources: 

  • Companies House data published on the GOV.UK website;
  • Honours lists published on the UK Government’s website;
  • Websites and publications of businesses, charities and other organisations;
  • Websites and publications of public bodies, e.g. Registers of Scotland, local authorities;
  • Professional registers e.g. Law Society of Scotland, Royal College of Physicians;
  • Print and online news media;
  • LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter;
  • Commercial providers that supply postal and email addresses and telephone numbers, all gathered from public sources.

 Why we process this information, and our lawful basis


We collect and utilise this information for the Trust’s charitable purpose, and we use it in the following ways: 

  • Planning and executing fundraising appeals to benefit the University of Aberdeen;
  • Segmenting individuals into groups, based on the information held, in order to target communications and appeals towards those who are most likely to be interested;
  • Thanking our supporters;
  • Preparing meeting and event attendance briefings on individuals;
  • Reclaiming Gift Aid from HMRC, where applicable; and
  • Maintaining our records to ensure efficient and responsible administration of the University of Aberdeen Development Trust SCIO and compliance with charity legislation.

The Trust processes personal information about supporters in accordance with our legitimate interests. These interests are to raise funds for the University in order to provide support to current students, to research, and to community engagement and heritage projects, as set out in our Deed of Trust.  And to process and administer gifts to the Trust and comply with being a registered charity and for reclamation of Gift Aid from HMRC, where applicable.


The Trust processes any special category personal information provided by supporters, such as information about health or political opinions, with consent.


We also process contact details and contact preferences of supporters for electronic direct marketing purposes on the lawful basis of consent.


Disclosing personal information


Through our data sharing agreement, personal information that the Trust collects is accessible to the University. The University provides separate notices describing the ways that it uses personal information at www.abdn.ac.uk/privacy.  The Trust may provide personal information under contract to our suppliers to carry out activities on our behalf. This would happen in the following circumstances: 

  • To maintain your contact details so that we can keep in touch by letter, email or telephone;
  • To set up a direct debit for regular giving;
  • To distribute fundraising materials on our behalf; and
  • To manage a telephone fundraising campaign.

 On the occasions that we use third party suppliers, we only disclose the minimum information necessary to deliver the service and there is always a contract in place to ensure that the supplier only uses the information for the stipulated purpose and period, after which the data is deleted.


The Trust does not share personal information with any third parties for their purposes, and would never sell, trade or give away personal details to any other organisation. The Trust may disclose information to other recipients when required to do so by law (e.g. when served with a court order or for the purposes of prevention of fraud or other crime).


How long your information is kept


We retain your other personal information whilst the information is relevant to our ongoing contact, or until you update your details.  We retain gift information in perpetuity for gift counting purposes, and for a minimum of 7 years for compliance with HMRC.  This information may still be retained without full personal information after this time.


Your rights and preferences


The Trust considers its relationship with alumni and supporters to be lifelong. We will always try to ensure that the data we hold for you is up to date, reasonable and not excessive. You always have the right to: 

  • be informed as to how we use your data (via this privacy notice)
  • access or request a copy of the data we hold about you
  • update your information and/or manage your communications preferences at any time
  • object to direct marketing and  other processing, or restrict our use of your information
  • ask us to remove your data from our records
  • withdraw consent, where it is used as a legal basis for processing.

You can update your personal information and manage your preferences for contact at any time via the online Alumni Hub. You can also contact the Trust at the following address with any enquiries or requests about the way we handle your personal information:


University of Aberdeen Development Trust SCIO, Powis Gate, College Bounds, Aberdeen AB24 3UG


Tel: +44 (0) 1224 272281


Email: giving@abdn.ac.uk