Development and Alumni Relations

Privacy Policy


The University of Sussex Development & Alumni Relations Office (“we”) promises to respect any personal data you share with us, or that we get from other organisations and keep it safe. We aim to be clear when we collect your data and not do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect. 

Developing a better understanding of our supporters through their personal data allows us make better decisions, fundraise more efficiently and, ultimately, helps us to reach our goal of nurturing life-long mutually beneficial relationships between the University and its former students (“alumni”) and friends. We have made improvements to this policy to make it more clear, especially around our policies on data-appending and profiling and screening. You can find out more about this below.

Our marketing communications include information about our latest research breakthroughs, campaigns and events. You can opt out of receiving such communications at any time. To do so, please contact us on 01273 678258 or

Where we collect information about you from

We collect information in the following ways:

When you leave a course of study at the University of Sussex

Your information may be transferred to the Development & Alumni Relations Office database (“alumni database”), from the Student Records system, after you complete or leave your course of study. At that point, the alumni database becomes the primary record of your ongoing relationship with the University, unless and until you commence another course of study at Sussex.

When you give it to us directly

You may give us your information in order to sign up for one of our events, register as a user of SussexSphere, make a donation or communicate with us.  Sometimes when you support us, your information is collected by an organisation working for us (e.g. a telephone fundraising agency), but we are responsible for your data at all times.

When you give it to us indirectly

Your information may be shared with us by independent event organisers, for example the Brighton Marathon or fundraising sites like JustGiving or Everyday Hero. These independent third parties will only share your data with us when you have indicated that you wish to support the University of Sussex and with your consent. You should check their Privacy Policy when you provide your information to understand fully how they will process your data.

When you give permission to other organisations to share or it is available publicly

We combine information you provide to us with information available from external sources.  This is known as data- or tele-appending and enables us to contact you in the event that you change your address or phone number, or didn’t provide it to us.  We also use this information to gain a better understanding of our supporters to improve our fundraising methods, events, and alumni benefits and services.

The information we get from other organisations may depend on your privacy settings or the responses you give, so you should regularly check them.  This information comes from the following sources:

  • Third party organisations

    You may have provided permission for a company or other organisation to share your data with the University of Sussex specifically or with ‘other organisations’ more generally.  This could be when you buy a product or service (e.g. post redirection service) or sign up with a networking site (e.g. LinkedIn, Graduway).

  • Social Media

    Depending on your settings or the privacy policies for social media and messaging services like Facebook or Twitter, you might give us permission to access information from those accounts or services.

  • Information available publicly

    This may include information found in places such as Companies House and other business-related resources, the World Wide Web or published in articles/newspapers.

What personal data we hold and how we use it

The personal data we store and process may include:

  • Biographical information
  • Your gender
  • Contact details
  • Information about your time at the University, and other education history
  • Your photograph
  • Your professional activities
  • Membership of groups such as Suss-ex and the Bee Club
  • Current interests and activities, which may include extracts from related media stories
  • Family and spouse/partner details, and whether they are also Sussex alumni
  • Relationships to other alumni, donors and friends
  • Donor status, research and fundraising reports/briefings and wealth assessment information, indicators of your interest in giving, ethical and reputational risk analysis (commonly known as due diligence)
  • Records of communications, meetings and marketing activities by the University
  • Volunteering by you on behalf of the University
  • Registration and attendance at events, and any additional information you provide to facilitate event attendance (e.g. dietary requirements, access/mobility needs)
  • Donation details if you express an interest in or make a donation to the University. If you make a donation to the University of Sussex, you have the option of deciding whether your name can be used on donor lists or other stewardship materials.

Building profiles of supporters and targeting communications

We use profiling and screening techniques to ensure communications are relevant and timely, and to provide an improved experience for our alumni and supporters. Profiling also allows us to target our resources effectively, which donors consistently tell us is a key priority for them. We do this because it allows us to understand the background of the people who support us and helps us to make appropriate requests to supporters who may be able and willing to give more than they already do. Importantly, it enables us to raise more funds, sooner, and more cost-effectively, than we otherwise would. 

When building a profile we may analyse geographic, demographic and other information relating to you in order to better understand your interests and preferences and contact you with the most relevant communications. In doing this, we may use additional information from third party sources when it is available. Such information is compiled using publicly available data about you, for example addresses, listed Directorships or typical earnings in a given area. 

Direct Marketing

Through our marketing communications we will let you know about news of the University, our students, staff and alumni, make you aware of opportunities to attend events and take part in activities, and to ask for donations or other support (such as volunteering). Under UK and EU data protection legislation, these communications are considered to be ‘Direct Marketing’.

We make it easy for you to tell us how you want us to communicate, in a way that suits you. Our forms have clear marketing preference questions and we include information on how to opt out when we send you communications. If you don’t want to hear from us, just let us know when you provide your data or you can contact us on +44 (0)1273 678258 or

Sharing your story

Some people choose to tell us about their experiences while studying at Sussex or as a Sussex supporter, for the purposes of advancing the University in its mission.  They may take on a role as an Ambassador or Volunteer Speaker, sit on Advisory Boards or act as an informal advisor to or advocate for the University.

We use some of the information provided to invite you to become involved in relevant opportunities.

If we have your explicit and informed consent to share your story, this information may be made public in University publications, marketing or communications, or at events.

How we keep your data safe and who has access

We ensure that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details.  For example, our online forms are always encrypted and our network is protected and routinely monitored.

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.

Occasionally, we use external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf. We do comprehensive checks on these companies before we work with them, and put a contract in place that sets out our expectations and requirements, especially regarding how they manage the personal data they have collect or have access to.

Personal data is shared with third party organisations in a limited number of instances. If you are a member of the alumni community of, or have donated to, the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), which is a charity in its own right and is separately registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, your personal data held by University of Sussex will be shared with IDS under a Data Sharing Agreement which requires them to provide assurances of protection of the data. This is the same for members of Suss-Ex (former staff society) and students, prospective students, parents, alumni and donors who have interacted with the Friends of the University of Sussex who have an independent 501(c)(3) status in the United States.

The University is required to disclose some personal data of graduates to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for the purpose of a survey of new graduates.

On rare occasions we may need to use a supplier who runs their operations outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Although they may not be subject to the same data protection laws as companies based in the UK, we will only transfer personal data to organisations which are in countries that have the same level of protection as UK data protection law. By submitting your personal information to us you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA.

We may need to disclose your details if required to the police, regulatory bodies or legal advisors.

We will only ever share your data in other circumstances if we have your explicit and informed consent.

We never sell your data to third party organisations.

Keeping your information up to date

Where possible we use publicly available sources to keep your records up to date; for example, the Post Office’s National Change of Address database and information provided to us by other organisations as described above.

We really appreciate it if you let us know if your contact details change.

How long personal data is held by DARO

We consider our relationship with alumni, donors and other stakeholders to be life-long. This means that we will maintain a stakeholder record for you until such time as you tell us that you no longer wish us to keep in touch. In this instance DARO will delete the majority of your personal data it holds, but will maintain basic personal data to ensure that we do not inadvertently create a new record in the future.

Your right to ask us to stop using your data

You have a right to ask us to stop processing your personal data. If you do so, we will delete the majority of your personal data we hold if it’s not necessary for the purpose you provided it to us for (e.g. processing your donation or registering you for an event), but will maintain your education record (if you are an alumnus/a) and basic personal data to ensure that we do not inadvertently create a new record in the future. Contact us on +44 (0)1273 678258 or if you have any concerns.

Changes to the Policy

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 University of Sussex website or by contacting you directly.

This policy was last updated in August 2017.