Transparency notice - fundraising and development

The British Library is required to generate a proportion of its income from commercial activity and philanthropic donations. As such we carry out fundraising research in order to understand the background of people who may support us, and to help us to make appropriate requests to supporters who may have the desire to donate to the British Library.

From time to time we may analyse our database to find people who we think might be able to support us based on factors such as previous contributions, transaction history and demographics. In doing so we may use profiling techniques or use third party wealth screening companies and insight companies to provide us with general information about our donors or potential donors. Such information is compiled using publicly available information, information that has already been provided to us through the use of our Services, or information shared by other organisations where they have been given consent to do so.

We will not send fundraising and development marketing to users of our Services unless you have specifically consented to receive marketing communications from us. We may however make direct funding applications and approaches to known philanthropic donors or other high profile supporters of the Library through their charities, foundations, agents, or private offices.

All of our fundraising and development activities are carried out on the basis that they are in the legitimate interests of the British Library, and that the personal data is processed in such a way that the interests, fundamental rights, and freedoms of our donors and potential donors are properly protected.

In our fundraising database we process personal information relating to the identity of our potential or actual donors, their family, employment history, social activities, interests, and financial status and philanthropic activities. In relation to our actual donors we also process their bank and GiftAid details in order to manage their donations.

General information about donors or potential donors is retained for as long as it remains current and of potential use, after which it is deleted. Transactional information about donations is retained for the year in which the donation was made plus a further six years for tax and accounting purposes.

We have chosen to register with the Fundraising Regulator and adhere to their Code of Fundraising Practice. We ensure that all our fundraisers and third parties do so. Information about our donors may be used to ensure that we comply with the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice, which stipulates that we must take steps to assess and manage risks to our work and reputation with regard to certain levels of donation. More details can be found at