Child-Friendly Privacy Policy

We've made some changes to our privacy policy. We made a few tweaks to make it clearer and made the following changes:

  • we’ve changed the legal basis for how we handle postal marketing communications, so that we now offer an opt out
  • we’ve reduced the number of opt in boxes on our forms, making them easier to complete
  • we’ve also made it clearer how we use social media marketing, including how we use your email address
If you want to find out more, take a look at our full privacy policy below.


This document is aimed at under 18s and tells you how, when and why we collect data from people, and what we use it for. Your data is anything that tells us something about you, eg your address, your age, or things you’re interested in.

At Tearfund we want to keep safe any information you give us about you.

We only keep information about you if we need to use it for a specific reason, eg to get in touch with you about something. After that, we won’t keep the information.

We also have rules like this for our website, and you can read about that here. There is also a full privacy policy here.

We’d love to hear from you if you want to talk or ask questions about any of this. Just call us on 020 3906 3906 or email


Tearfund is a Christian relief and development charity called to follow Jesus where the need is greatest. We are a charity registered in England and Wales (number 265464) and Scotland (SCO 37624). Our company number is 994339 and our registered office is 100 Church Road, Teddington, TW11 8QE.

In this document, when we say ‘us’, ‘we’ or ‘our’, that means Tearfund, including Tearfund Trading Limited, our trading company.


When you get in touch with us

If you give us your personal information, we save it and use it to contact you. Personal information means things like your name and contact details.

You send us these details when you donate, ask us for Tearfund packs or information, sign up for an event, provide comments or complete surveys.

Where you open an email from us and click through to our website, we may record this to help us improve our future communications with you.

When you visit our website

We may collect personal data about people who visit our website. That means things like cookies and IP addresses (which tell us, for example, the places where people are logging on), which pages people visit and which files they download. This helps us to find out if our website is working well and helps us to improve it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly tell us who you are. For more information on how these cookies work, please see the section on cookies below.

Information you put online

Sometimes we use information that people put on places like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Why don’t you check these organisations’ privacy settings and privacy policies to find out how they use or share your information and to make sure you’re happy with it?

Information we get from other organisations

If you tell them they can, other organisations might send us information about you. This could be an event organiser (for example, a marathon organiser) or a website like Just Giving when you fundraise for Tearfund. You can check their privacy policies to see how they look after information about you.

Personal or private information

If you send us personal information about yourself, for example about your religious beliefs, or your physical or mental health, remember that we might keep this information. When we do so, we will first ask you to agree to this. We only keep this if we need it, for example to keep you safe while you volunteer with us, and we promise to keep it secure.


Our rules for using information

We are required by data protection law to have an appropriate legal basis for holding and using your personal data. When processing your personal data we rely upon:

  • where you’ve given us your consent to contact you or hold your information
  • for the performance of a contract or legal agreement with you
  • where there is a legal obligation placed upon us – for example if you allow us to claim gift aid
  • where it is in your vital interest, such as a medical emergency
  • where it is in our legitimate interests to do so

Where we rely upon our legitimate interest to process your data (including contacting you), we only do so after having carefully considered how it might affect you and your rights and having considered this against our need and potential benefits from contacting you.

Where you provide us with sensitive personal data, such as where you worship or any medical information about you, we will process this using one of the following permitted criteria; with your explicit consent (ie you make it very clear to us that you are happy for us to hold this information); where you make this information publicly available on purpose, by your own choice – such as on a church website; or where you have been in regular contact with us. We will hold your data securely and only those who need to, will be able to see or use this information.

We want you to receive the right level of contact in the right way for you, so you can change your preferences at any time. Please see the section ‘Your choices and telling us when things change’ below.


Answering requests and taking donations

We may use your personal information to:

  • keep you up to date on news and stories about our work
  • ask you to give money or help in other ways, eg volunteering or praying
  • process donations you give us, or support you when you fundraise for us
  • send out information or packs, for example youth resources you’ve asked for
  • make information we give you relevant eg showing you website content that would interest you or putting your name on emails we send you
  • make it easier for you to use our website and find or see things that interest you
  • keep a record of when you’ve been in touch, for example questions you’ve asked or complaints you’ve made

Marketing that’s just for you

We might use your data to:

  • tell you about ways you can campaign, such as writing to your MP
  • send you fundraising and emergency appeals
  • tell you about our work, and how you can get involved, eg volunteering, praying and community fundraising
  • show you digital advertising about our work to you on social media such as Google and Facebook. See ‘Social media marketing’ section below
  • help us tell you about things that are relevant to you. For example, we will look at where you live and your interests so we can invite you to a local event or tell you about a need to do with a certain topic you’re interested in
  • engage with your church (if you have told us about your church), eg by providing speakers or offering church packs
  • do market research eg finding out about the types of people who might want to support us

Social media marketing

Where you have provided your email address with consent for us to market to you, we may reach out to you by using Facebook advertising.

We may also reach out to people who have similar interests to you through Facebook. For example, we might use Facebook’s Custom Audience Programme.

In both instances, we do this by providing Facebook with your email address. If you don’t have a Facebook account, Facebook just deletes the information. Any Facebook advertising you might end up seeing from us through this process, will have been processed in accordance with the terms and conditions you agreed to for Facebook and the privacy settings you set within Facebook.

When we use Facebook’s Custom Audience Programme, Facebook will use your activity on Facebook, such as the things you like and events you attend, to find others who have similar interests and therefore may wish to support Tearfund. This matching is carried out by Facebook on our behalf and is not at any time seen by Tearfund.

This social media marketing provides us with a cost-effective way of reaching both you and new supporters. There are more details on Custom Audiences at Facebook Business, and you can read Facebook’s Privacy policy here. Facebook also allows you to have a say in the ads you recieve. You can find out more here.

Let us know if you have any questions on how we use social media, or if you don’t want to see social media ads from us.

Call us on: 020 3906 3906

Email us at:

Write to us at:
Supporter Care
100 Church Road
TW11 8QE

Volunteering with us

When you apply to volunteer with us, you send us personal information by completing an application form. We will store and use this to:

  • set everything up so you can volunteer with us. This may include sharing your private personal data, such as medical information, to keep you safe, but only after you have agreed to this.
  • answer any questions you may have or take feedback
  • give you information, including fundraising materials (see the ‘What do we do with it?’ section) or information about your volunteer role
  • organise events or opportunities to serve
  • check if the volunteer role or trip was a good one
  • check we’re making these volunteering opportunities and trips available to everyone (equal opportunities policy)


How long?

We will keep information about you only for as long as we need it to do any of the above things.

In deciding how long we need to keep information for, we think about:

  • what we have to do by law
  • what we have to do to sort out money and tax
  • how we might need to use it to complete the task it is required for

When we do this we follow our data retention policy – this sets down strict rules about how long we can keep information about you.

When you tell us you’re happy for us to contact you, we will keep getting in touch for up to five years, unless you tell us you don’t want to hear from us anymore. We decided on five years by asking our supporters what they thought would be a good length of time. We will anonymise your data after a further 10 years.

For surveys, pledges or petitions, we will keep your answers for a short period of time, typically under 6 months, to do our analysis. After that we keep the results anonymised at an overall level and keep a record of who we sent it to and whether you gave us any answers. Each survey will make it clear what we intend to do, so you will know what’s going to happen with your answers before you start any surveys with us.

If you have any questions about how long we keep information about you, please get in touch.

Write to us at:
Data Protection Officer
100 Church Road
TW11 8QE

Or email us at:

Remember if you are 12 or under you will need to get your parent or guardian to do this.

Keeping information about you safe

We have IT controls to make sure any information you give us about you is kept safe. For example, online forms are encrypted and our network is protected and regularly checked.

The only people allowed to look at your information are those Tearfund staff or volunteers who have to look at it to do their jobs. These people are specially trained so they know how to keep the information safe.

Sometimes we may use other companies to help us organise people’s personal information. We carry out checks on these companies and agree on and sign contracts with them, and then keep checking them regularly. When we do use external companies, it’s still up to us to keep information about you safe.

However, don’t forget that the internet is never 100 per cent safe, and whenever you share information about yourself there is still a risk.

Credit / debit card security

If you use your debit or credit card to donate, purchase something or pay for a trip, whether online, over the phone or by mail, we’ll process your information securely.

We don’t keep debit or credit card details. All the details are destroyed after the donation or payment is made.

Where we store your personal information

We use cloud-based systems, eg Google drive, to organise information about you – that means the information might be sent outside the European Economic Area (EEA) while it’s being organised. We only let this happen when we are sure the information will be kept secure. We do everything we can to make sure information about you is kept safe as described in this document.

By sending us information, you agree to us using the cloud-based system to store and organise it.

If you travel overseas with us, we may share personal information with partners in other countries. This may include private personal data such as medical information so they can help you if you become ill. When we do this we will tell you what information we want to share and ask if you are happy for us to share it.


In line with our beliefs and values, we do not share or swap your information with any other charities for them to send you marketing.

When we have to share information by law

We may need to pass on information if required by law or by organisations such as the police or Charity Commission.

We may also pass on information where required to do so under a contract with the Government or an organisation that provides grants to us, such as to qualify for aid match from the Department of International Development. In these cases, we will only share the minimum data necessary to meet their needs.

Other companies

Occasionally we may use other companies to help with our work – doing tasks such as sorting donations. They are bound by contract to keep information about you safe and it is our responsibility to make sure they do the right thing.

We may give other companies general information about the people who use our website, but this information is all anonymous. For example, we may tell them ten people visited our donation page, but they won’t know who those people are. However, we may use an IP address (which tells us the exact location of a computer) to identify a person if we feel that they are dangerous to others, or if we need to by law.


What are cookies?

We collect online information using cookies. A cookie is a text file that gets sent to us from our website as soon as you visit it. This helps us identify your computer (not you) and collects information about how you use our site – it doesn’t tell us who you are or give us any personal information about you. And when the data comes to us it’s bulked together with details about all the other visitors to our site.

Cookies may be used to tell us about visits to our website. For example, how many people are visiting, the locations where people are using our site, whether people are looking at our site on phones/tablets/computers etc, the date and time people visit and the pages they visit.

Almost all major websites use cookies. You can read more about cookies at or

How we use cookies on our website

To make the most of our website you should leave cookies turned on, otherwise you might not be able to get to parts of the site.

We may use information from cookies to:

  • tailor our website and make it interesting to you, and to help us understand what you might want to see on our website
  • deal with any requests, applications or payments
  • help us with internal administration and analysis

Turning cookies off

You can turn off the cookies on most internet browsers, eg Google. To find out how, why not speak to your parent or guardian, or search under the Help function on your browser?

Cookies from other organisations

Tearfund works with a number of other organisations who set cookies on our website. These cookies are mainly used for reporting and advertising so we can be better at communicating.

We use websites such as Youtube and Vimeo to embed videos, and these websites may send you cookies. We don’t control the setting of these cookies, so you should check these other websites to turn them off if you want to.

Tearfund also uses other web organisations to do some tasks, such as Facebook, HotJar and Google Analytics, which may also use cookies. They may also use tracking pixels in adverts – this works out whether an advert is effective or not.

At any point you can turn off Google's tracking cookies. Google uses cookies to inform and show you ads based on what you’re interested in. If you don’t want us to advertise to you based on this information, you can use Google's Ad Personalisation Tool.

None of this information recorded by Google’s cookies will tell us who you are or give us any personal information about you. However, these services help us understand how people browse our website and the number of visits each page has had. If you don’t want Google to include you in this information, you can install the Google Analytics Opt Out Tool.

You can also visit the Digital Advertising Alliance website to change the way you see advertising on the internet.

As some of these internet services are based outside of the UK and the European Union, they might not be protected by UK law. If you are worried about this, you can change your cookie settings (see above). For more information about this visit


Aged 12 or under

Whenever we identify that a child is sending us their personal data, for example if they sign up for a Tearfund Action, or a community event such as Mean Bean Challenge, we will ask for their date of birth.

If they are 12 or under, we will ask their parent or guardian to sign up on their behalf.


What we send you and how we contact you

At any time you can change what you want us to send you and how you want us to contact you. Remember, if you are 12 or under you will need to get your parent or guardian to do this.

Call us on: 020 3906 3906

Email us at:

Write to us at:
Supporter Care
100 Church Road
TW11 8QE

Updating your details

It’s really helpful if you keep your details with us up to date. You can do this in the same way as telling us what to send you and how to contact you (above).

We may use a Post Office address search, postcode lists or other available sources to check information you send us, eg if we are unsure of the address you have written on a form.

We will not use these sources to gather information you haven’t given us, eg if you’ve left your telephone number blank. Nor will we automatically update changes of address – we will normally only update your address when you tell us it’s changed. But if you are a regular giver, and items such as the Tear Times magazine are returned to us, we may use external sources to update your address details. This is so we can let you know how your money has been spent through our news and stories.

Your rights (for example, telling us to stop using information about you)

You have the right to:

  • ask us to delete information we have about you
  • limit how we keep and use information about you
  • disagree with our reasons for keeping and using information about you
  • disagree with us using information about what interests you and where you live to send you messages about our work or events that are tailored to you
  • ask for information about you to be given electronically to another organisation
  • access your information. You have the right to know what information we hold about you. We will reply to a request for this information within one month

You can exercise these rights at any time. Remember, if you are 12 or under you will need to get your parent or guardian to do this.

Call us on: 020 3906 3906

Email us at:

Write to us at:
Data Protection Officer
100 Church Road
TW11 8QE

For more information about your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation you can visit the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office at


Changes to this policy

This child-friendly policy was last updated in May 2018. We’ll amend this policy if there are any changes to how we do things or changes to data protection or other laws. If we make any significant changes we’ll show you clearly on our website, in our publications such as Tear Times or by writing to you.

When you contact us through our websites, social media, email or telephone, or by otherwise sending us information about you, we will process your information as explained in this policy. By giving us your information, you will have agreed to this policy. If you do not agree, please do not give us information about you.


We’d love to hear what you think of this document and any questions you have.

Call us on: 020 3906 3906

Email us at:

Write to us at:
Data Protection Officer
100 Church Road
TW11 8QE


You can also contact us if you are worried about anything in this document or if you want to complain. Remember, if you are 12 or under you will need to get your parent or guardian to do this.

Call us on: 020 3906 3906

Email us at:

Write to us at:
Data Protection Officer
100 Church Road
TW11 8QE

You also have the right to make a complaint about how we use information about you with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), the UK data protection regulator. You can do this by calling the ICO helpline or through the ICO website. For details, visit

Terms and conditions

Please read through our Terms and Conditions. If you do not agree with them, please do not use the website. If you do use the website, your conduct…

Continue Reading