Our privacy policy and use of cookies

At Book Aid International, we’re committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

1. Who are we?

We are Book Aid International, a registered charity in England and Wales charity number 313869 and company number 880754. Since founding in 1954, we have been the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Our vision is a world where everyone has access to the books that will enrich, improve and change their lives. We rely on the generosity of thousands of supporters to continue our work working with libraries overseas.

Book Aid International is registered with the Fundraising Regulator, the independent regulator of charitable fundraising, established to strengthen the system of charity regulation and restore public trust in fundraising.

Book Aid International is a Direct Marketing Association Member. This means we are part of the largest community of marketers in Europe. We stick to the DMA Code and its five principles: putting the customer first, respecting privacy, being honest and fair, being diligent with data, and taking responsibility. It also means we don’t just stick to the law and industry regulations, but go beyond them.

2. Data Protection

Your personal data is protected by the EU legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force on 25 May 2018. This policy was written in May 2018 to reflect the requirements of GDPR, with updates made in June 2022.

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully, along with our Supporter Promise, to understand how we collect, use and store your personal information, and to ensure you remain informed and in control of your information.

If you have any questions about how Book Aid International processes your information or would like to change the way we communicate with you, please get in touch:

  • Email: dataprotection@bookaid.org
  • Phone: 020 77 33 3577
  • Post: Head of Fundraising, Book Aid International, 39-41 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 9NR

We may change this Policy from time to time so please check this page occasionally to ensure that you’re happy with any changes. If we make any significant changes to this Policy we will let you know. By using our websites (bookaid.org, donate.bookaid.org) you’re agreeing to be bound by this Policy.

3. What type of information is collected from you?

Depending on your interaction with Book Aid International, the personal information that we collect from you may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Your contact details such as name, postal address, phone number and email address
  • Your date of birth
  • If you are supporting us financially; your financial information such as bank account details and your Gift Aid eligibility declaration
  • A record of our communications with you
  • Your communication preferences
  • Your donation history
  • Your interests and reasons for your support.

Special Categories:

Under data protection law, certain categories of personal information are recognised as special, including health information, race and religious beliefs. Book Aid International will sometimes collect special category data when you volunteer or apply for a job with us. We will always obtain your consent to process this data.

4. How do we collect information from you?

We will obtain personal information directly from you in a number of ways when you interact with Book Aid International, for example when you:

  • Subscribe to our e-newsletter
  • Make a donation
  • Enquire to volunteer or submit a job application
  • Attend an event
  • Fundraise for us
  • Communicate with us online, in writing or over the phone.

We may also obtain your personal information indirectly, for example when you:

  • Make a donation to us through other websites like our Christmas Card Shop, Just Giving and WeBuyBooks
  • Sign up to hear from us through other websites like Facebook.

These independent third parties will only share your information with us when you give consent. These organisations have their own data protection and privacy policies which you should be aware of before signing up.

5. How is your information used?

We collect this information in order to process your requests and keep in touch with you about Book Aid International’s work. Examples include:

  • To process donations and Gift Aid transactions
  • To send communications in line with the preferences you have told us about that may be of interest to you, such as fundraising appeals and supporter newsletters
  • To record any contact we have with you to help us provide you with the most appropriate communications
  • To process volunteering enquiries or job applications
  • To check that your communications preferences are up to date
  • To ensure that the content from our websites (bookaid.org, donate.bookaid.org) is presented effectively for you and your digital device.
6. Legal basis for processing

Book Aid International’s marketing activities help us to raise the funds which enable us to send books to those who need them most.

Book Aid International will seek your consent to send you marketing messages via email and telephone.  If you choose to hear from us in this way, you may receive e-mail updates about our work and from time to time requests for donations. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.

Book Aid International will use a legitimate interest basis to send you relevant marketing and fundraising communications by post, if you have provided a postal address. Unless you tell us not to, we’ll contact you by post with communications we believe you’ll be interested in. If you would like to opt out of these communications, you can let us know at any time by contacting us by email at info@bookaid.org, telephone at 020 77 33 3577 or by post to Book Aid International, 39-41 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 9NR.

This legal ground for processing means that we can process your personal information if we have a genuine and legitimate reason for doing so, and that reason is not overridden by your rights and interests as an individual.

Examples of the legitimate interests processing activities we undertake are:

  • For fundraising purposes: to process your donations and Gift Aid where you have asked us to do so, and to send you fundraising communications by post.
  • For administration purposes: to provide you with information about any fundraising activities you have agreed to take part in, and to follow up with you about your enquiry.
  • To conduct research: such as supporter satisfaction research, to invite you to take part in surveys to improve our services, or to conduct desk research to help identify high value supporters.
  • To analyse data: to improve our services, understand our supporters and to tailor our marketing communications to you. We may do some profiling or analysis on previous support.

We have considered and balanced our legitimate interests against individuals’ privacy rights in these scenarios and we do not believe that any adversely affect our supporters’ rights or interests. If you would like to find out more or ask us to stop processing your data in these ways, you can do this at any time by contacting us at the details found in section 2 of this Policy.

7. Data security

Book Aid International follows payment card industry (PCI) security compliance guidelines when processing credit card payments and any personal information transferred between locations will be both encrypted and password protected.

If you’d like more information on our data security policy, please contact us.

8. Data retention

We retain personal information for different periods of time depending on your relationship with Book Aid International and the legal requirements pertaining to types of information. For example, there is a legal requirement to retain some types of financial information for up to seven years after your last interaction with us.

We will keep some data indefinitely (for example, your basic personal details like your name and giving history). We may use these details to exclude you from future marketing activities. If you decide you no longer wish to hear from us, we’ll mark you on our database to not be contacted.

It is also important for us to retain a record of donations should we receive a gift in a Will in the future. Sometimes legacies are left many years after the supporter’s last interaction with Book Aid International. It is important for us to know that the individual was a supporter in the past in case the Will is contested.

If you’d like more information on our retention policy, please contact us using the details in section 2.

9. Data storage

Book Aid International is aware that countries outside the European Economic Area have differing approaches to data privacy laws and that enforcement may not be as robust as it is within Europe’s borders.

If we work with organisations that process data outside the EU, we ensure data security is in line with the law. International organisations we work with who process data have verified their data processing standards at a minimum meet the EU-US Privacy Shield which sets out clear safeguards and transparency responsibilities for US-based organisations processing data from EU citizens.

10. Data sharing with third parties

Book Aid International will never sell your personal information or exchange it with another organisation for their marketing purposes.

However, there are some situations where we may have to share your personal information with other organisations, for example with HMRC to reclaim Gift Aid.

We may also disclose or use personal information if required to do so by law and may use external data for the purposes of fraud prevention, for example to comply with money laundering regulations or otherwise to protect the rights, property or safety of individuals.

We may also use other companies to provide services and process your personal data on our behalf including delivering mail, sending emails, making telephone calls and processing credit card payments. We will only provide those companies with the information they need to deliver the specific service and ensure that your data is treated with respect and integrity.

In these situations, the relationship between Book Aid International and the third-party data processor will be governed by a contract and strict security requirements will be in place to protect your personal information.

11. Analysing your information

It’s important for us to know why you choose to support Book Aid International, as this helps us to give you the information that is most relevant for you. We’ll analyse your data in order to better understand your preferences, to improve our services, and to tailor our marketing communications to you. The information we’ll use to do this might include things like your interests, preferences, and level of potential donations so that we can see who may be interested in supporting us or who may be able and willing to give more.

We may also do some analysis to build up donor profiles, by using your data such as your giving history to inform our marketing decisions. We may expand our reach by using these donor profiles to find supporters with similar interests to you.

In some instances, we may add publicly available information to our analysis. This might include information that is contained in the Companies House or Charity Commission Registers, press and web articles and LinkedIn.

Book Aid International may use the Acorn postcode-based segmentation tool to understand the demographic make-up of geographical areas of the UK. This allows us to get a better understanding of the types of people who live in different parts of the country.

Book Aid International also carries out click-through email tracking, which allows us to analyse when an email has been interacted with (e.g. opened or when links within it are clicked). This helps us to better understand the impact of our communications and success of our campaigns.

On our website, we sometimes use Hotjar in order to better understand our users’ needs and to optimize this service and experience. Hotjar is a technology service that helps us better understand our users’ experience (e.g. how much time they spend on which pages, which links they choose to click, what users do and don’t like, etc.) and this enables us to build and maintain our service with user feedback. Hotjar uses cookies and other technologies to collect data on our users’ behavior and their devices. This includes a device’s IP address (processed during your session and stored in a de-identified form), device screen size, device type (unique device identifiers), browser information, geographic location (country only), and the preferred language used to display our website. Hotjar stores this information on our behalf in a pseudonymized user profile. Hotjar is contractually forbidden to sell any of the data collected on our behalf.

For further details, please see the ‘about Hotjar’ section of Hotjar’s support site.

12. Your data protection rights

When Book Aid International is using your personal information on the basis of your consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. You also have the right to ask Book Aid International to stop using your personal information for direct marketing purposes. Simply contact us using the contact details in section 2 and we will amend your contact preferences.

Presuming that these rights are not overridden by our legal obligations, or where our legitimate interests are not overridden by your rights and interests as an individual, you have the following data protection rights:

Right to be Informed

You have the right to be told how your personal information will be used. This policy document and shorter summary statements used on our communications are intended to be a clear and transparent description of how your data may be used.

Right of Access

You can contact us asking what information we hold on you and to request a copy of that information. We have 28 days to comply once we are satisfied you have rights to see the requested records and we have successfully confirmed your identity.

Right of Erasure

You have the right ‘to be forgotten’ (i.e. to have your personally identifiable data deleted). We’ll be required to keep an appropriate record so that we can make sure you don’t receive future communications.  In some instances a legal basis will override the right to erasure.  An example of this would be the legal requirement to record financial transactions for up to seven years.

Right of Rectification

If you believe our records are inaccurate you have the right to ask for those records concerning you to be updated.

Right to Restrict Processing

In certain situations you have the right to ask for processing of your personal data to be restricted because there is some disagreement about its accuracy or legitimate usage.

Right to Object to direct marketing

You have an absolute right to stop the processing of your personal data for direct marketing purposes.

Right to object to automated decisions

In a situation where a data controller is using your personal data in a computerised model or algorithm to make decisions that have a legal effect on you, you have the right to object. This right is more applicable to mortgage or finance situations; Book Aid International does not undertake complex computerised decision-making that produces legal effects.

If you want to exercise any of these rights, please contact us by phoning us on 020 77 33 3577, e-mailing us at dataprotection@bookaid.org or by writing to us to Data Protection, Book Aid International, 39-41 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 9NR.

13. What to do if you are not happy

In the first instance, please talk to us directly so we can help resolve any problem or query. You can contact us by filling in our complaints and comments form, by phoning us on 020 77 33 3577, e-mailing us at dataprotection@bookaid.org or by writing to us to Data Protection, Book Aid International, 39-41 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 9NR.

You can also register with the fundraising preference service (FPS). This service is run by the Fundraising Regulator and allows you to stop email, telephone, addressed post, and/or text messages from a selected charity or charities by using the online service at www.fundraisingpreference.org.uk or by calling 0300 303 3517. Once you have made a request through the FPS, we will ensure that your new preferences take effect within 28 days.

You can also contact the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if you have any concerns about Data Protection by using their help line 0303 123 1113 or at ico.org.uk

14. Our Use of Cookies

Our website uses ‘cookies’ as most sites do. Cookies are small packets of data that are stored in your web browser. By using this site you give consent to our use of cookies.

Cookies help us to identify information such as how many people are using our websites, how they are using those websites and what devices they are using. This allows us to improve our site for the people who use it. We also sometimes use cookies to improve our marketing and advertising.

If you would like to disable Tracking cookies use the option below:

Below you will find a list of the cookies in use on this website.

Essential Cookies:

Cookie name Purpose of cookie Time period
CookieControll Cookie Control cookies. This cookie is set to remember the user’s preferences about cookies. 3 months

Functional Cookies:

We sometimes use cookies solely for functionality that may also contain elements of tracking to help monitor and improve how we present content to you.

We use embeds from third party providers to present content in different forms such as audio, video or some other interactive element.

Cookie name Purpose of cookie Time period
wordpress_logged_in_ , wordpress_sec_ The cookie name is of the form wordpress_logged_in_*hhhh* and wordpress_sec_*hhhh*, where hhhh is a hashed version of the site URL.

These cookies help us keep you logged in to our site.


Analytical Cookies:

Google Analytics allows us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily. We don’t collect or store your personal information (for example your name or address) and Google does not use or share our analytics data. To reject or delete this cookie visit:

– https://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html

– https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

Cookie name Purpose of cookie Time period
_ga, _gid Used by Google Analytics which collects information about how our visitors use the website. We use this information to compile reports and to improve the website experience. The cookies collect information such as, the number of visitors to the website, where visitors have come from and the pages they visited.

For more information, please visit: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2700409


2 years

_gat Used to throttle the request rate, and expires after one minute. If Google Analytics is set up using GTM, this cookie is set as _dc_gtm_<property-id> 2 years

Marketing cookies

Cookie name What it’s for Expiry
c_user, datr, __fbp, fr, sb, wd, xs Used by Facebook to deliver a series of advertisement products such as real time bidding from third party advertisers.

For more information, please visit: https://en-gb.facebook.com/policy.php

27 days

Third party website and social network cookies

If you click on a hyperlink from our website to any third-party websites (e.g. if you ‘share’ content from our website with friends or colleagues on social media) or engage with the content we have embedded with our website from third party sites (such as YouTube), you may be sent cookies from these third-party websites. They will do so pursuant to their own policies on privacy and cookies. It’s a good idea to check their privacy policies to fully understand their use of cookies.

You can also choose how your browser handles cookies or turn them off entirely by changing your browser settings. This may affect how you see our websites and how well they work for you.

The website www.aboutcookies.org has useful information on how to manage cookies in your browser.

If you do not wish to use the cookies listed in this policy then you are able to turn them off. We would encourage you to keep our first party cookies enabled as they will improve your experience on our website. However, if you wish to disable cookies you are able to manage cookie permissions via your internet browser settings:

How to manage cookies in Internet Explorer

How to manage cookies in Firefox

How to manage cookies in Chrome

How to manage cookies in Opera

How to manage cookies in Safari

Your browser may also support add-ins which give you more control over how cookies are used.

You can find out more information on disabling cookies here https://www.aboutcookies.org/