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At Tearfund we are committed to keeping your data safe, and your privacy and peace of mind are important to us.

We only collect data from people for specific purposes, and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

This document tells you how, when and why we collect data from people, and what we use it for. We also have website Terms and Conditions, which you should read as well.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback or questions on any of this. Just email us at or write to Tearfund Learn, Tearfund, 100 Church Road, Teddington TW11 8QE, UK

Who we are

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.

For the purposes of this policy, ‘us’, ‘we’ and ‘our’ refer to Tearfund. References to Tearfund include Tearfund Trading Limited, our trading company.

When and how we collect information

Directly with us

Firstly, and most obviously, when you give us your personal information, we save it and use it to communicate with you. Personal information means things like your name, contact details, church role or job title.

You give us this information when you request resources or information, sign up to receive footsteps or emails, register for e-learning, buy from our webshop, 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 contacts with you.

When you visit our website

We may collect personal data about people who visit our website. That’s things like 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 find out if our website is working well and helps us improve it. This information is collected using cookies. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify you. – see the section on cookies below for more information.

Information you put online

Sometimes we gather information that people make available on places like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. You can check these organisations’ privacy policies to make sure you’re happy with how they handle your data.

Indirectly from third parties

We may collect information from third parties where you have agreed to support Tearfund and have given your consent. You may wish to check their privacy policy to find out more information on how they will process your data. For organisations such as churches, trusts or schools, we may additionally gather information from your public website.

Publicly available data

We may collect publicly available information from Companies House, the Charity Commission and information published in articles, newspapers or blogs.

Sensitive data

If you give us sensitive information about yourself, for example about your religious beliefs, or your physical or mental health, please be aware that we may keep this information. When we do so we will seek your consent. We will only keep this information where it is relevant to your interaction with us and only for as long as it is necessary. We promise to keep it secure.

Our basis for processing

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

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 the impact upon you and your rights and having weighed this up 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 clear to us that you are happy for us to hold this information); where you manifestly make this information publicly available – 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.

For organisations such as churches, or NGOs we may contact you where we have a legitimate interest – ie we believe it is reasonable to do so. Again we will only do so having carefully considered how it might affect you and the potential benefits from contacting your organisation.

Where we contact you, by calling or emailing you, in a professional capacity rather than a personal one, about your job role for example, we will usually consider you to be a ‘corporate subscriber’ under Data Protection Regulations or Law.

As a ‘corporate subscriber’ we are permitted to contact you unless you tell us that you would like no further contact from us. We may also mail you unless you tell us that you don’t want us to do so. Further information on this (what is generally called a ‘business to business’ approach) can be obtained at the ICO website and on the Telephone Preference.

Service website

We want you to receive the right level of communications 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.


If you show us you might be interested in sharing information or learning, we may collect further information based on our legitimate interest. There are more details in the next section, ‘What do we do with it?’ This helps us to identify those individuals or organisations who would benefit from further discussion with the Tearfund Learn team in order to build beneficial relationships together.

Religious beliefs

As a Christian charity, we may record where you worship or what role you play in a church. We will only do this where you are happy for us to use this information or where you choose to make this public ( e.g. on your church website)

What do we do with it?

Processing requests

We may use the personal data we collect to:

Personalised marketing

We might use your data to:

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.

Please contact us if you have any questions on how we use social media, or would prefer us to exclude you from social media marketing activities.

Email us on:

Write to us at: Tearfund Learn Tearfund 100 Church Road Teddington TW11 8QE

Applying for a job or volunteering with us

When you apply for a job, you send us personal information through your CV or by completing an application form. We will store and use this to:

If you are volunteering or doing an internship with us, you may need to send us personal or sensitive personal data – things like information about your dietary requirements, mobility requirements or your health. We’ll keep and use this information to:

How and where we store your information

How long?

We keep your personal information only for as long as we need it for each activity. What we have to do by law, accounting and tax all come into play. We also have a separate data retention policy to guide us.

If you tell us you’re happy for us to send you information (such as Footsteps), we’ll keep contacting you for up to five years, unless you tell us not to. We will anonymise your data after a further 10 years.

For surveys, we will keep your responses for a short period of time, typically under 6 months, for analysis purposes. Thereafter we keep the results anonymised at an overall level and a record that we approached you and whether you responded. Each survey will make it clear what we intend to do, so you are informed before you choose to respond.

If you have questions on any of this, or want to see the data retention policy, just get in touch:

Data Protection Officer Tearfund 100 Church Road Teddington TW11 8QE

Or email:


We do all we can to protect your personal data, and this includes having the right technology. For example, online forms are encrypted and our network is protected and regularly monitored.

The only people who can access personal data are those Tearfund staff members or volunteers who can’t do their jobs without it. These people are all trained in data protection.

Occasionally we also use external companies to help us with personal data tasks. We do checks on these companies, have them sign contracts, and keep checking them regularly. When we do use external companies, we are still the ones responsible for keeping your data safe.

But please remember, despite all of this, the internet is never 100 per cent secure. When you submit data there is always a risk.

Credit / debit card security

We use Shopify and PayPal to handle all the payments we get through our webshop. We never keep people’s credit or debit card details, because that side of things is all done by Shopify and Paypal. You can read Shopify’s Privacy Policy here and can find information about PayPal Services at

Where we store your personal information

We use cloud-based systems to process data – that means data may be processed outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). We only let this happen when we believe your data will be kept safe. We do everything we can to make sure your data is looked after as described in this policy.

By giving us your personal data you’re agreeing to us using the cloud-based systems to process it.

Where we share your information

We want you to know that we don’t share or swap your information with any other charities for them to send you marketing. That decision is informed by beliefs and our values and by how important your privacy is to us.

When we have to share information by law

We may need to pass on information if required by law or if a regulatory body, like the Charity Commission, or the police ask us to.

We may also share information where required to do so under a contract with a Governmental or grant making body , such as to qualify for aid match from the UK Department of International Development.

In these cases we will only share the minimum data necessary to fulfil these obligations.

Our service providers and third parties

Sometimes we use agents to help us with tasks such as fulfilling orders or providing e-learning. They are bound by contract to protect your data and we are still the ones responsible for keeping your data safe.

Sometimes we give external companies information about the people using our website, to help us make sure the website is working well and to find out how we can improve it. But this information is both anonymous and delivered in bulk. We’ll only use IP address information to identify someone if we feel they may cause safety/security issues, or if we have to give this information by law.


What are cookies?

Every time you visit our website, it sends us a cookie. This is a text file that tells us about your visit. And when the data comes to us it’s bulked together with information from all the other visitors to our site. Cookies tell us, for example, about traffic data, location data, device information, the date and time people visit and the pages they visit.

Most major websites use cookies. You can find out more 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 see all of our site.

Cookies help us:

You can find a full list of the cookies used on our site here: policy

Managing cookies

You can turn off cookies on most browsers. To find out how, use the help function.

Third party cookies

There are a few external companies that Tearfund works with who set cookies on our website. These cookies are mainly used for reporting and advertising so we can improve the way we communicate.

We use websites like Youtube and Vimeo to embed videos, and they may send you cookies too. We don’t control the setting of these cookies, so check those websites for more information.

Tearfund also uses companies like Facebook, HotJar and Google Analytics, which may use cookies. They may also use tracking pixels, which tell us how effective our adverts are.

You can opt out of Google's tracking cookies any time you want. Google uses cookies to match adverts with your preferences so they’re more relevant to you. If you don’t want to see adverts from us based on that information, you can use Google's Ad Personalisation Tool.

All information we get through Google's cookies is anonymous, it just helps us understand how people use our website and which pages are more popular. 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 to personalise your advertising preferences.

As some of these services may be based outside of the UK and the European Union, they might not fall under the jurisdiction of UK courts. If you’re worried about that, you can change your cookie settings (see above). Or for more information, visit

You can see a detailed list of the cookies we use on our website: policy

Children and vulnerable people


The information that we provide on Tearfund Learn is written primarily for adults and some of the content, such as information on sexual and gender-based violence may not be suitable for younger children. Therefore we do not intentionally collect or maintain data about anyone under the age of 13 through our subscription lists or otherwise.

Vulnerable people

We want to do all we can to support anyone we engage with who is in vulnerable circumstances. Our public-facing staff are all trained to identify signs of vulnerable circumstances and engage with the person in the right way.

Your choices and telling us when things change


If you want to change what we send you or how we contact you, just let us know – eg you can tell us you no longer want to receive Footsteps or blog notification, or ask us to contact you by email rather than post.

Email us on:

Write to us at: Tearfund Learn Tearfund 100 Church Road Teddington TW11 8QE

Updating your details

It’s really helpful if you keep your details with us up-to-date. Just get in touch and let us know if things change, using the same details (above).

Sometimes, for UK addresses, we use a Post Office address search or postcode lists etc to check data you send us. This could be when, for example, we are unsure of what address you’ve written on a form.

We won’t use these sources to gather information you haven’t given us, for example if you’ve left a 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.

Your rights (for example, telling us to stop using your data)

At any time you can:

If you do want to do any of the above, just get in touch and let us know.

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

Email us on:

Call us on: 020 3906 3906

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

Changes to Tearfund's privacy and security policy

Changes to this policy

We last updated this policy in March 2020. We’ll amend this policy if there are any changes to how we do things or changes to data protection or other legislation. If we make any significant changes we’ll show you clearly on our website, in our publications or by writing to you.

Whenever you engage with us through our websites, social media, email or telephone, or send us your personal information in any other way, we’ll process your information as explained in this policy. When you provide your information, you’re agreeing to this policy. If you don’t agree, please don’t give us your data.


We’d love to hear from you with any feedback or questions.

Email us on:

Write to us at: Tearfund Learn Tearfund 100 Church Road Teddington TW11 8QE


You can also contact us if you’re worried about anything in this policy or if you want to make a complaint.

Call us on: 020 3906 3906

Email us on:

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

You can also make a complaint about the use of your personal data 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

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

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