Privacy policy

Worldwide Cancer Research takes the privacy of your information very seriously.

This Policy applies to personal information processed by Worldwide Cancer Research. It tells you about the way we collect, store and use personal information, your rights under data protection law, how you can request to see your information, and what to do if you have any concerns about our management of personal information.

Our use of data for recruitment and for research funding are dealt with in more detail in separate notices.

Recruitment privacy notice
Research funding privacy notice

Worldwide Cancer Research is a UK charity funding research into any type of cancer, anywhere in the world. We are a registered charity No SC022918 based at:

Worldwide Cancer Research,
1st Floor, Canning Exchange,
10 Canning Street,

If you have any questions or concerns about how we use personal data, or anything written in this policy, please contact us at the address above or email

How do we collect your personal information?

Information you give us: Most of the personal information we process is given to us directly by you when you make an enquiry to Worldwide Cancer Research, make a donation, register for information, apply for research funding, register on our grants system or otherwise provide us with your details. If you call us, we also record and store phone calls for training and monitoring purposes – please refer to our Call Recording Policy.

Information from known third parties and social media: We may acquire or receive your personal information from third parties when you have given permission for them to share it with us. For example, from fundraising websites such as Just Giving or Virgin Money, other similar organisations such as events suppliers and Free Will service providers.

We also may receive data about you from subcontractors acting on our behalf who provide us with technical, payment or delivery services, and from business partners, advertising networks and analytics providers used on our website.

You should check any privacy policy provided to you when you give your data to a third party.

When you engage with us via social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) we may receive personal information about you. For example, if you tag us in an event photograph. The information we receive will depend on the privacy preferences you have set on those types of platforms.

Information from the use of our website and services: When you visit our website, we automatically collect the following information:

  • technical information, including the type of device you’re using, the IP address, browser and operating system being used to connect your computer to the internet.
  • information about your visit to this website, for example we collect information about pages you visit and how you navigate the website, i.e. length of visits to certain pages, products and services you viewed and searched for, referral sources (e.g. how you arrived at our website).
  • We collect your personal information using cookies on our website. More information can be found in our Cookies Policy.

Information available publicly: We supplement information on our supporters with data from publicly available sources such as charity websites and annual reviews, corporate websites, public social media accounts, the electoral register and Companies House in order to create a fuller understanding of individual interests and how best you can support Worldwide Cancer Research. Personal information we may collect via these channels may include your job title, directorships, contact information, demographic data (including estimated income and property value), date and size of previous donations to other charities, details of philanthropic activities you engage in, etc, Please see Making our communications relevant to you below for more information.

We also use public information for the purposes of identifying suitable experts to review research grant applications or to join our Scientific Advisory Committee. Please refer to our Research Funding Privacy Notice for more information.

What personal information do we collect?

Personal information is any information that can be used to identify you. We routinely collect, use and store the following types of personal information:

  • your name and contact details (postal address, email address and telephone number)
  • your date of birth
  • financial information you provide where you make a payment or as part of research grant award, such as bank details or credit/debit card details, although we don't store credit or debit card details (see Management of financial payments below)
  • information about your activities on our website and about the device you use to access these, for instance your IP address and geographical location;
  • information as to whether you are a UK taxpayer so we can claim gift aid
  • where you have left us a legacy, any information regarding next of kin with which you may have provided us to administer this
  • your interactions with Worldwide Cancer Research. This could include your donation history; your responses to our communications; information you’ve shared with us about why you have supported us; events, meetings and fundraising activities you’ve taken part in or shown an interested in
  • any preferences about your interests and how you like to be contacted
  • any other personal information you provide to us

Certain types of personal information are in a special category under data protection law, as they are considered sensitive. Examples of this type of sensitive data would be information about health, race, religious beliefs, political views, trade union membership, sex life or sexuality or genetic/biometric information.

We do not usually ask you for sensitive personal data unless there is a clear reason for us to do so. However, we may need to ask for information about your health, for example, if you are participating in an event. You may also wish to share information about your health if you decide to speak out about your experience of cancer or otherwise make information public. If you do, we will always treat it sensitively and ask you for explicit consent to use this information in the form of case studies or interviews.

How we use your personal information?

We use your personal information for a number of purposes including the following:

Fundraising and Marketing activities which aim to raise funds and awareness of our charity. For this, we use a range of channels including phone, email, letters, face-to-face activity, digital, print, broadcast advertising and prize draws.

We will always respect your choice to not receive marketing communications. We always seek your consent to send you marketing by email, phone or text and regularly check in with you to make sure you are still happy to receive these communications. We will send you marketing by post unless you have told us you don’t want to receive this.

You can choose to opt out from receiving marketing communications at any time, by clicking on the relevant unsubscribe link at the bottom of the marketing related communications you may receive from us or by contacting us (see Contact Us below).

Please note that if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted by us for marketing purposes, we will retain your details on a 'do not contact' list to help ensure that we do not contact you accidentally in the future. However, we may still need to communicate with you for administrative purposes like where we are processing a donation or thanking you for your participation in an event. Please see Administrative and Internal Management Purpose below for more information.

Data Analysis of our supporters can help us understand how we can ensure we send you communications that are most relevant for you. By analysing your data, we can develop our messages to enable us to engage with you in a more personalised way.

It also allows us to be more efficient and cost-effective with our resources and further reduces the risk of someone receiving information they may find irrelevant or intrusive. Please see Making our communications relevant to you below for more information.

Facebook Advertising: sometimes we use Facebook’s advertising tools “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences” to try to reach potential new supporters. This involves using some personal data of existing supporters, such as email address or location, in Facebook to help find like-minded individuals who may be interested in supporting us. Facebook then displays our adverts to these new audiences, whose data is not shared with us.

Market research can help us deliver our charitable objectives and we may collect personal information when conducting research into the needs and behaviours of our existing supporters. We may invite potential participants from our existing network to take part in surveys, focus groups and telephone interviews under our legitimate interests in fundraising to deliver our charitable objectives. We will always seek your consent when collecting any potentially sensitive personal information or when we wish to further use your data for a different purpose.

Management of Volunteers to record your volunteering activity, training delivery and to update you on our projects, campaigns and activity, as well as ensuring your safety.

Management of financial payments - If you use your credit or debit card to donate to us, buy something or pay for a registration online we will use a specialist payment processor.

If you provide your card details to donate by phone, only staff who are authorised and trained to process payments will be able to collect or see your card details. We never store your credit or debit card details following the completion of your transaction or on call recordings. All card details and validation codes are securely destroyed once the payment or donation has been processed.

We ensure that card details are handled securely under Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards.

Allocation of Research Grants on a contractual basis including the administration of grant awards, legal, personnel, administrative and management purposes including the payment of grant expenses in accordance with our application handling procedures and our Terms & Conditions of Award. Please refer to our Research Funding Privacy Notice for more information.

Administrative and Internal Management Purposes to contact you regarding a donation you have made or the event you have registered for. We may use your personal information for the purposes of credit risk reduction or fraud prevention and for record keeping of enquiries, feedback or complaints. We take reasonable steps to ensure your information is accurate and up to date. Where possible we use publicly available reputable sources to identify deceased records or whether you have changed address

Online Services and Website Management to improve the services we offer and make them as user friendly as possible. We may use IP addresses to identify your approximate location, to block disruptive use, to record website traffic or to personalise the way our information is presented to you. We also use a data validation tool provided through a third party, Data8, to check the validity of addresses, email addresses and phone numbers submitted through our website.

Making our communications relevant to you

In certain circumstances we use publicly available sources of information to enhance the personal data we hold about individuals or groups or individuals. These sources include; online databases such as YouGov, websites, social media, and professional consumer profiling companies.

We do this in order to understand more about your interests and preferences so that we can tailor our communications and enhance your experience of supporting us. The process allows us to tell you about the things you are likely to be interested in, to let you know of ways to fundraise that are relevant to you, and to make sure that we only talk to you about way of giving that are appropriate to you.

We analyse data from our database so that we can understand our supporters better. For example, we may use external data sources, such as Experian Mosaic, to create supporter groups within our database. This data is based on postcode and we will, where appropriate, store this information on your record.

We will also use broad demographic information such as statistics and analysis from trusted third-party companies to better understand how our own supporter base compares to the general population. This helps us to improve our fundraising by identifying new audiences, deciding who to send our communications to, and ensuring the communications you receive are relevant to you.

If you would prefer, you can ask us not to use your information in this way, via

We may use your information to carry out market research to ask for your feedback so we can improve our supporter service. If you would prefer, you can ask us not to use your information in this way

Our Legal basis for Processing Your Information

We are legally obliged to have a lawful basis for processing your personal data in the ways that we have outlined in this Policy.

This means that we will only collect and use your data if:

  • You have given us consent or
  • We have formed a contractual relationship or are taking steps to enter a contractual relationship or
  • We have a legal obligation to share information or
  • Where it is necessary to protect the vital interests of an individual or
  • It is within Worldwide Cancer Research's legitimate interests to do so.


In some instances, we will rely on obtaining your specific consent to use your personal information in a certain way, for example, asking for your consent to use your personal information to send you direct marketing information by email.

When you have given your consent for email marketing, we will consider your consent to be validon an ongoing basis until any time when you choose to withdraw your consent. . All marketing emails contain the option to unsubscribe from future emails.

You have the right to withdraw consent for any future use of your information for this purpose at any time. See Contact Information below for details on how to do this.

Contractual Relationship

We have a basis to use your personal information where we are entering into a contract with you or performing our obligations under that contract. For example, if you apply to work for us or are awarded/apply for a grant from us to undertake research.

Legal Obligation

We may need to collect, process and disclose personal information to comply with a legal obligation. For example, we are legally required to hold donor transaction details for Gift Aid or accounting/tax purposes. In some cases, we may need to share your information with various regulators such as the Gambling Commission, or to use information we collect about you for due diligence.

Vital Interests

Where it is necessary to protect life or health (for example in the case of medical emergency suffered by an individual at one of our events) or a safeguarding issue which requires us to share your information with the emergency services.

Legitimate Interests

When we are using our legitimate interests to process your personal information this means that we have considered any potential impact on you, including how intrusive you may find it, and determined that balance is in favour of using the information for our interests.

We consider our legitimate interests to be running Worldwide Cancer Research as a charitable organisation. For example, to:

  • administer and record details of our supporters, researchers and general enquiries
  • facilitate the peer review of grant applications
  • perform analysis and segmentation of our grant application and award information to help inform our strategy, and monitor and improve our effectiveness
  • conduct research to better understand our supporters and to improve the relevance of our fundraising
  • use third party sources to update your address when you move.
  • send you postal communications which we think may be of interest to you
  • better understand how people interact with our website
  • record calls made to and by our Supporter Service Team for training and monitoring purpose and to assist us in meeting our principles set out in our Vulnerable Person’s Policy
  • take and use photos and/or films of event participants and attendees
  • monitor against fraud, money laundering and other due diligence.
  • promote Worldwide Cancer Research on social media, YouTube and other online platforms

Special Category Data

Please note that when we process sensitive information about you (see What personal data do we process) then we require an additional legal basis under data protection law. In the majority of circumstances we will ask you for your explicit consent to process this type of information unless we are required to process the information under another legal basis, for example to comply with a legal obligation or to protect your vital interests. We may also process special category personal data which you yourself have deliberately chosen to make public.

Your Rights

Data protection law give you specific rights that help you be in control of your personal data and we want to make it easy for you to exercise these rights. Below you will find more information about your rights and how we work to fulfil these. You can exercise any of your rights in relation to the data that we hold about you, by contacting us– see Contact Us section.

Please note that exceptions apply to a number of these rights, and not all rights will be applicable in all circumstances. For more details we recommend you consult the guidance published by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Right to be informed
You have the right to be told how your personal information will be used. This document is intended to provide you with a clear and transparent description of how your personal information may be used.

Right of Access
You are entitled to know whether we hold your personal data and if so, receive a copy of your data. For the protection of your information, we may need to verify your identity.

If you submit a request on behalf of another person, we will need to ensure that this person has authorised you to make this request and receive their data. When we have confirmed your identity we will aim to respond to you within 1 month.

Right of Erasure
You may ask us to delete some or all of your personal information and in certain cases, and subject to certain exceptions, you have the right for this to be done. Should you choose to exercise this right then we will delete your personal information from our records if we don't have an overriding legitimate reason for holding it (e.g. to comply with a legal obligation). In some cases, we will anonymise or suppress the information, rather than delete it. For example, if you indicate you wish to be deleted from our database to prevent further communications then we will suppress your details. This means we will not accidentally contact you in the future.

Right of Rectification
The accuracy of your information is important to us. If you believe our records are inaccurate you have the right to ask for those records concerning you to be updated. If you believe the information we hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete, please provide us with details and we will investigate and correct any inaccuracies.

Right to Restriction
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 you believe your privacy rights outweigh our legitimate interests to use your information for a particular purpose and you have objected to us doing so.

Right to Object
You have the right to stop the processing of your personal data for direct marketing or profiling purposes, research and statistics, or for other legitimate interests of the charity when we are unable to demonstrate a compelling reason to continue processing.

Right to Data Portability
If we are processing your personal information based on your consent, or in order to enter into or carry out a contract with you, and the processing is being done by automated means, you may ask us to provide it to you or another service provider in a machine-readable format.

Rights related to Automated Decision-Making and Profiling

The law requires us to give you specific information about any automated decision-making and profiling where processing of your personal data and the decisions involved in that processing are made by automated means without human involvement. We have no solely automated decision-making systems or processes. Our use of profiling, which does not use automated processing and does not have significant effects for individuals, is described in this policy under ‘Making our communications relevant to you’. Your right to object to this and how to do so is also described in this section.

How do we protect your personal information?

We want to reassure you that your privacy is respected and safe in our hands. Under data protection law, we have a legal duty to protect any personal information we process about you. The ways we do this include:

  • Using encryption when collecting or transferring sensitive information, such as credit card details;
  • Having in place technical and organizational measures designed to ensure the ongoing integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services;
  • Limiting physical access to our premises;
  • Limiting access to the information we collect about you;
  • Ensuring that we and our Business Partners have appropriate security safeguards to keep personal information secure

How long do we keep your personal information?

Worldwide Cancer Research has specific criteria to determine how long we retain your information for, which are determined by legal and operational considerations. For example, we are legally required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory and contractual obligations (e.g. health/safety and tax/accounting purposes or research funding contracts).

We keep your information for no longer than is necessary for the purposes it was collected for. We have adopted a data retention policy that sets out the different periods we retain personal information for in respect of these relevant purpose.

In general, we will keep records of financial donors for at least seven years, to meet our requirements for any Gift Aid audit from HMRC.

Personal information that we no longer need is securely disposed of and/or anonymised so you can no longer be identified from it. Some personal information may be retained by us in archives for statistical or historical research purposes although we will do this in a manner that complies with data protection law.

We review our retention periods on a regular basis.

Who is your personal data shared with?

We will never sell your information to third parties or share your information with another organisation for its own marketing purposes. However, in some cases, we may need to pass your information on to our third-party agents and service providers who are contracted by Worldwide Cancer Research, in order to fulfil the business purposes of the charity. In this case you can be assured we only work with third parties who treat data as securely as we do.

We work with specialist third party service providers to help us run our organisation more efficiently. This includes providers of: telephone fundraising, marketing services, response handling, lottery processing, print and production, database (CRM) system, payment services, online grant system, our grants payment processing partner or our specialist intellectual property advisors. For example, our payment service providers include WorldPay, PayPal and Stripe.

Other than these third-party service providers who are contracted to us, you can be assured your information will not be disclosed to outside organisations unless we are required to do so by law, for example if you choose to Gift Aid a donation then we are required to send your name and address details to HMRC in order to make a Gift Aid claim.

International data transfers and processing

In certain instances, we use service providers who transfer your information to countries outside of the UK. For these international transfers of data, we take steps to make sure that adequate safeguards are in place to protect your personal information and privacy rights.

  • We will only transfer your personal data to countries that have been found to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data. Countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) are approved as having this adequate level of protection for data.
  • We may also use specific approved contracts with our service providers that are based in countries outside the EEA. These contracts give your personal data the same protection it has in the EEA.

Please refer to the Research Funding Privacy Notice for further information on international transfers

Updates to this Privacy Policy

Our Policy is a dynamic tool and we will modify it when there is a change to the way we process your data. We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time, to ensure that the information we provide to you is up to date and in accordance with the relevant data protection laws. Any new version of this Policy will be published on our website. It was last updated in November 2021.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or you have concerns about how your data is processed, please get in touch so we can help resolve any issues. Please write to us at:

Worldwide Cancer Research,
1st Floor Canning Exchange,
10 Canning Street,

Or contact us at

If you’d like to control the frequency or the nature of fundraising and marketing communications you receive, you can contact on (0)300 777 7910 or by email at

You also have the right to complain about how we use your personal information to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can find details on how to complain on the ICO website.


If you need this information in another format, please contact us using the information above.