Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy (the Policy) was last updated on 12th February, 2019
If we make any changes to this Policy, we will publicise these changes clearly on our website or contact you directly to let you know when there have been any significant changes. Please do revisit this Policy each time you consider giving your personal information to IFAW.

Our Commitment
IFAW is committed to preserving and respecting your privacy and we will always do our best to protect your personal information and keep it safe, whether on this website or by any other means.

One important thing for you to know is that we will not sell or exchange your personal information for marketing purposes.

Please take the time to read this Policy, which explains how we collect and use your information. It is important to us that you understand what information we collect and how we use it. If anything is unclear, please let us know.

If you have any queries or concerns about our Privacy Policy or Cookie Policy please email, write to us at IFAW, 1 Boulevard Charlemagne, Bte. 72, B-1041, Brussels, Belgium.

Who we are

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is an international animal welfare organisation and our mission is to rescue and protect animals around the world.

This Privacy Policy applies to all IFAW entities in the European Union and the US* who are joint controllers of your information under the conditions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Broadly, ‘controllers’ are individuals or companies that collect personal information about individuals and determine how that information will be used and why, i.e. they have primary ‘control’ over the information they collect. It is possible for two or more individuals/organisations to be joint controllers, i.e. jointly make decisions about what personal information they will collect and use and why. The IFAW entities listed above may each be data controllers of your personal data and may sometimes be joint controllers. They each have different roles, but some activities they undertake overlap and personal information may be shared between them for certain purposes.

When we refer to ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘’IFAW’ in this policy, we are referring to IFAW’s European Union and US entities listed below.

* IFAW’s European Union office is located at 1 Boulevard Charlemagne, Bte. 72, B-1041, Brussels, Belgium, and is a branch of IFAW’s German entity, IFAW Internationaler Tierschutz-Fonds gGmbH, located at Max-Brauer-Allee 62-64, D-22765 Hamburg, Germany. IFAW’s US entity, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Inc., is a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation registered at 290 Summer St., Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts 02739, USA.

What information we collect, use and store

We might collect, store and otherwise use the following kinds of personal information about you:

  • Your name and contact information, including your physical address, email address and telephone number (when you provide such information to us);
  • Volunteered information you have provided when contacting or speaking with us or interacting with us via social media;
  • Your financial information when you provide it;
  • The amount and frequency of donations you have made to us;
  • Your content subscription preferences;
  • Web browser and browsing data: browser type, device type, IP address, referral source, the fact that you are visiting our website or clicking on our content, length of website visit, number of page views;
  • Your date of birth and gender;
  • Details of your qualifications and experience;
  • Information about our services which you use/ which we consider may be of interest to you; and/ or
  • Information you choose to share with us.
How we collect your personal information

We collect and store information about you when you interact with us in the following ways:

3.1 When you give your personal information to us directly

We will collect personal information (for example, your name, address, date of birth, email address and telephone number) provided by you to us directly when you engage with us, for example when you:

  • Make a one-off donation or set up a regular gift (we will also collect bank or credit card details);
  • Give us information on your gift aid eligibility;
  • Subscribe online to receive IFAW e-Alerts;
  • Participate in our online advocacy campaigns;
  • Request information about IFAW, including our programmes and Campaigns;
  • Respond to our mailings, contests or prize-draws;
  • Speak to us on the telephone (we will note anything relevant);
  • Contact IFAW or become involved with us in another way (including via social media);
  • Let us know you are fundraising on IFAW’s behalf;
  • Give us feedback or make a complaint; and
  • Attend IFAW events;

Job applicants and volunteers
We will collect personal information (for example your name, address, date of birth, e-mail address, telephone number, work history) when you apply for a job. For more information click here.

You can give your information to IFAW on other occasions, for example:

Events - we will collect personal information (for example your name, address, e-mail address), if you sign up to receive information from IFAW when you attend an event (e.g. an Educational Fair), where IFAW is represented;

Fundraising events - when you inform us you are fundraising for IFAW;

Photograph and Video – when you give IFAW permission to use your image in a photograph or video or for which you have copyright.

3.2 When you give consent to others to share it with us
We collect and store information about you when you have given your consent to others to share your information with us. This would include information when you:

  • donate to IFAW through a payroll-giving scheme;
  • fundraise for IFAW from an external fundraising website e.g. Virgin Money Giving;
  • when you donate or fundraise using Facebook Donate and consent for your details to be shared;
  • when you respond to a Lead Ad on social media e.g. Facebook and sign up for future contact;
  • have allocated a Power of Attorney to act on your behalf or have advised us in writing or given us verbal permission to allow someone else to act on your behalf; and
  • have indicated to another organisation that you are willing for your information to be shared with IFAW (or a specific type of organisation which includes IFAW) for informational or marketing purposes.

3.3 When your personal information is publicly available or from other external sources
We may also collect information about you from the public domain, either directly or from third parties.

For example, we may:

  • keep your information up to date by using a national Change of Address database and postcode validation and check against deceased suppression files;
  • if you are a Parliamentarian, keep a record of your contact details, your political opinions, your attendance at events and other information to inform our political campaigning from public sources; and
  • use profiling techniques to analyse your personal information and create a profile of your interests, preferences and ability to donate. This allows us to ensure communications are relevant and timely in order to provide an improved experience for our supporters. It also helps us understand the background of our supporters so that we can make appropriate requests to those who may be willing and able to donate more than they already do or leave a gift in their will. This enables us to raise funds quicker and is more cost-effective. When building such a profile we may make use of additional information about you, including geo-demographic and biographical information and measures of affluence. Such information is compiled (either by us or our suppliers) using publicly available data e.g. addresses, information available from public registers (such as listed Directorships), typical earnings in a geographical area, information from the electoral roll, press reports, internet searches and social media posts etc.

Please let us know if you would prefer your personal data not to be processed in this way by:

  • Sending an email to
  • Writing to the following postal address:1 Boulevard Charlemagne, Bte. 72, B-1041, Brussels, Belgium.
  • Calling the EU office on +32 (0)2 230 97 17

3.4 When your information is shared within legal documentation

For example:

  • When we are notified you are the Executor of an Estate or are named within the Estate documentation;
  • When your personal information is contained within a contract.

3.5 Information we get from your use of your website
We use IP addresses to help us analyse trends, administer the site, track use of our website, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

IFAW will use your IP address to identify you if IFAW believes it necessary to (i) facilitate payments of donations, (ii) protect IFAW, our website, website users or other individuals, or (iii) enforce the terms of and/or compliance with IFAW’s Terms of Use.

When you access our website on your mobile device, we may obtain information from your mobile device about the type of mobile device you are using and/or your mobile device identification information. We may also use technologies, such as location-based information, to provide you with tailored information and features as you use our website. We may use this information to notify you of features and products that may be available on your mobile device.

3.6 Cookies and other tracking technologies on the website
Like most other websites, our website uses cookies. A "cookie" is a piece of data stored on the user's hard drive containing information about the user. These cookies allow us to distinguish you from other users of our website, which helps us to provide you with a better, more personal experience when you browse our website. The cookies we use are "analytical" cookies. They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around the site 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 also use click through and open mail tracking when our website is accessed via links in an email we have sent. This enables us to uniquely identify the device or user accessing our website.

Most browsers allow you to turn off cookies – look at the “help” menu on your browser. Switching off cookies may restrict your use of the website and affect the way in which it operates. Read more about the individual cookies we use and how to recognise them by clicking here.

Our website also uses web beacons or tracking pixels. A Tracking Pixel is a digital technology that enables tracking of a user journey through their activity on our website and also with third-party service providers across different websites and applications (only if they also have the tracking pixel installed). This allows us to measure the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns and to better understand the audience donating to IFAW and signing up to receive our e-alerts. It also helps us to generate IFAW advertisements for you that appear on social media, websites and search engines through retargeting and the use of “lookalike” audiences. We do not collect personal information via web beacons or pixels. Third parties may collect or receive information through your use of our websites to provide advertisements or other services.

3.7 Special category data
We will generally not seek to collect sensitive or “special category” data without your consent. This refers to information about your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic or biometric data, health information or your sexual orientation. Under the GDPR, the law recognises this type of personal information as being sensitive and requiring additional protection.

When we do collect, store or otherwise process your special category personal information, it will only be in circumstances where there is a valid reason to collect/use that information and we are allowed to do so under the law.

3.8 General
In general, we may combine your personal information from these different sources set out within section 2 for the purposes set out in this Notice.

To the extent we have not done so already and when required to do so, we will notify you when we receive personal information about you from third parties and tell you how and why we intend to use that personal information.

Who we share your information with

We will not sell your personal information or share it with other charities or organisations for marketing purposes.

However, in general we may disclose your personal information to selected third parties in order to achieve the purposes set out in this Notice. We will never give individuals/service providers any rights to use your personal information (or to contact you) except in accordance with our instructions.

Non-exhaustively, those parties may include:

  • Suppliers and sub-contractors for the performance of contracts we enter into with them, for example IT service providers, website hosts and server providers and handling of responses to mailings, including the processing of IFAW donations;
  • Insurers and professional service providers such as accountants and legal services providers;
  • Individuals who we contract to assist us in our activities, such as a consultant campaigners or consultant administrators, etc;
  • Financial companies such as Ingenico, SOFORT and PayPal that collect or process donations on our behalf;
  • Regulatory authorities such as tax authorities;
  • Print production and mailing companies we contract to send out information on our behalf;
  • Social media companies such as Facebook. We occasionally participate in Facebook’s “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences” which enables us to display adverts to our existing or potential supporters via Facebook or to suppress certain IFAW adverts from our existing supporters’ Facebook feeds e.g. an advert directed at signing a petition when you have already signed it. In order to do this we provide supporter names and email addresses to Facebook to enable them to determine if you are a registered account holder with Facebook. Your data is sent in an encrypted format that is deleted by Facebook if it does not match with a Facebook account. Depending on your settings our adverts may then appear when you access Facebook and on your Facebook feed, as well as on other third-party websites and applications. For more information please read the Facebook Business page about Custom Audiences and Facebook’s Data Policy.
  • Companies and individuals instructed to assist during the organisation of an IFAW event;
  • Telemarketing agencies when we use an agency to telephone supporters on our behalf;
  • Data suppliers such as the national Change of Address database and deceased suppression list; and
  • Under special circumstances we may need to share or disclose your personal information in order to comply with any legal obligation or where required for the purposes of fraud protection.

We have contracts in place with our service providers which ensure that they –

  • Can only use the personal information for the limited purposes which we have outlined;
  • Delete or return the personal information after a specific time period or at the end of the contract;
  • Take appropriate measures to ensure the security of processing;
  • Ensure that anyone acting on their behalf is subject to a strict duty of confidentiality;
  • Will notify us of any data security breach without delay; and
  • Shall permit a third-party audit on our request.

If we ever were to merge or partner with other organisations your information may be a transferred asset, or in the event that a portion or all of our assets are sold or transferred to a third party, your personal information would likely be a transferred asset.

How your donation is processed

Online donations are securely processed by our PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant payment service providers. This is the international standard for safe card payment processes. Our systems do not directly collect or store payment card information e.g. the full 16-digit number on the front of the card or the security code on the back. Your payment details are collected in an encrypted form (SSL Protocol). Any credit card details provided to IFAW over the phone are retained only for as long as it takes to securely process your payment, at which point all but the last 4 digits of your card number are redacted from our records.

Offline donations made by cheque, monthly debit or credit card are securely processed either by IFAW or our PCI compliant trusted service providers.

How your information is kept secure

IFAW is committed to keeping any data you provide to us safe and secure and we have appropriate and proportionate security policies and organisational and technical measures in place to help protect your information. All IFAW staff and volunteers handling personal information receive comprehensive data protection training. IFAW’s website has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. This includes a firewall and 24-hour monitoring of site activities by our hosting service provider as well as 256-bit SSL encryption protection (where permitted by law) on all transaction oriented operations between you and IFAW via our transaction service provider.

We make no representations about any other websites, and when you access any other website through a link on our website (including social media sites), you understand that it is independent from IFAW and that we have no control over that website or the way your personal information is collected through those websites. Those websites may have their own privacy policies and we encourage you to look at those policies or contact the website operators directly to understand how your personal information is used.

When we enter into agreements with our service providers we ensure that your personal information is handled securely through contractual agreement. Click here for more information.

We also do everything we can to protect user-information off-line. IFAW offices are securely locked and protected, our computers are encrypted and secured and any hard copies of personal information are kept locked away outside office hours.

Where your personal information is transferred, processed and stored

Given that we are part of an international organisation, your personal information may be transferred to and stored outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). For example, when we collect your personal information it will be transferred to, processed by and stored with our US entity - International Fund for Animal Welfare, Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation registered at 290 Summer St., Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts 02675, USA. It may also be transferred, processed and stored by Cloud service providers and suppliers both within and outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). The data may also be processed by staff of other IFAW country offices within the EEA as well as entities operating outside the EEA (Australia, Canada and South Africa). We are aware that legal protection for personal information in countries outside the EEA may not be equivalent to the level of protection within the EEA. Therefore, in order to further safeguard your personal information and ensure you have the same level of protection, IFAW European entities hold an EU Standard Contractual Clause agreement with IFAW United States.  

When we enter into agreements with our service providers we will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that the recipient implements appropriate safeguards (such as by entering into standard contractual clauses or ensuring they are signed up to the US Privacy Shield) designed to protect your personal information and to ensure that your personal information is treated securely and in accordance with this Notice.

If you have any questions about the transfer of your personal information, please contact us.

Unfortunately, no transmission of your personal information over the internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure – however, once we have received your personal information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try and prevent unauthorised access.

The length of time your personal information is stored

We will keep your personal information in accordance with applicable regulations. We make every effort to destroy, archive, anonymise or minimise personal information that we hold when it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected. As a rule we will retain supporter data for up to ten years after the end of the relationship, for taxation and company accounting purposes, with the following caveats: during this standard retention period, data will be cleared where possible. However, if special situations arise, e.g. a dispute or claim, we may secure evidence and store data for a longer period.


If you are under the age of 16 and do not have explicit permission from your parent, guardian or teacher please DO NOT USE IFAW’s website and social media sites.

IFAW does not purposefully or knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 without receiving consent from a parent or guardian or teacher. With permission, we may collect information when a child participates in an IFAW Education art or writing contest, to collect feedback on our education materials, to attend special events or when a legal waiver is signed, for example, for permission to use photographic or video footage. With permission, when your child has fundraised for IFAW, we will keep a record of their donation but will never knowingly send them marketing materials.

If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 16 years of age, and believe that he or she disclosed information to us, please contact the EU office by writing to IFAW, 1 Boulevard Charlemagne, Bte. 72, B-1041, Brussels, Belgium or email If we learn that we have collected or received personal information of persons who are under 16 years of age without verification of parental consent, we will exercise commercially reasonable efforts to delete this information.

Legal basis for processing your data

When dealing with your personal information we will at all times comply with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) to the extent required by law and any other applicable legislation. The GDPR requires us to rely on one or more lawful bases to use your personal information. We consider the following grounds to be most relevant:

  1. Where you have provided your consent for us to use your personal information in a certain way (for example, we will ask for your consent to use your personal information to send you fundraising material by email, and we may ask for your explicit consent to collect special categories of your personal information).
  2. Where necessary so that we can comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject (for example, where we are obliged to share your personal information with regulatory bodies which govern our work and services).
  3. Where necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party or to take steps at your request prior to entering a contract (for example, if you apply to work for/ volunteer with us).
  4. Where there is a legitimate interest in us doing so.

The GDPR allows us to collect and process your personal information if it is reasonably necessary to achieve our or others’ legitimate interests (as long as that processing is fair, balanced and does not unduly impact your rights).

In broad terms, our “legitimate interests” means the interests of running IFAW and pursuing our aims and ideals; for example, pursuing a world where animals are respected and protected.

When we process your personal information to achieve such legitimate interests, we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative), and your rights under data protection laws. We will not use your personal information for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you, for example where use would be excessively intrusive (unless, for instance, we are otherwise required or permitted to by law).

Specific examples of when we might rely on the above bases include: –

  • Postal mail - we rely on our legitimate charitable interest for the purposes of raising funds and raising interest in our mission by sending postal mail. We may at times ask for and rely on your consent to send you postal mail.
  • Email - to contact you by email for fundraising or advocacy purposes we will always require your consent and will regularly confirm with you (and at least every two years) that we still have your consent. You will be given the opportunity to withdraw your consent on every fundraising email IFAW sends you.
  • Telephone – if you have positively engaged with IFAW within 18 months, based on our legitimate charitable interest, we will use a phone number you have provided or a phone number available from public sources (e.g. telephone directory) in order to call you for fundraising, stewardship (e.g. to invite you to events or update you about our work with animals and how you can help) or administrative purposes (e.g. confirmation of donation). We will at times ask for and rely on your consent to contact you by telephone. We will never call you if you have asked us not to, or call without your consent for marketing purposes, if you are registered with a Do Not Call Service. At the start of each fundraising call, we will ask for your permission to continue the conversation. You can ask us not to continue calling you at any time. If you have not positively engaged with IFAW in 18 months, we will only contact you by phone for administrative purposes.
  • Administrative purposes – we rely on our legitimate charitable interests to contact you for administrative purposes e.g. to clarify a request you have made or to acknowledge your donation.
  • Research purposes – all our research supports IFAW’s mission and depending on the type of research we will rely on your consent (e.g. in a voluntary survey) or on our legitimate charitable purposes (e.g. when we investigate wildlife issues).
  • Education - we rely on our legitimate charitable interests to send information to teachers and educators by mail and will always get consent for emails.
  • Job applications – we rely on our legitimate charitable interests in order to process your application.
  • Donations - we have a financial and legal obligation to hold your personal information for 10 years and will rely on our legitimate interests to process personal information to fulfil a donation you make to us.

We may also hold your information where necessary for the performance of a contract with you.

If we are relying on your consent to do something with your personal information, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. This includes the right to ask us to stop using your personal information for campaigns or fundraising purposes or to unsubscribe from our email list at any time. Please note we may need to keep some of your information for legal purposes.

You also have other rights in relation to the way we use your information – for example, if we are relying on legitimate interests, you can object to us using your information on this basis. Please see ‘your rights’ for further information.

Your rights

You have various rights in respect of the personal information we hold about you. IFAW shall provide information on action taken when you make a request regarding your rights without undue delay and in any event within one month.

Your rights are as follows:

  • Right to Access – you have a right to request confirmation of what personal information we hold about you and to request a copy of that personal information. This includes the personal information we use, why we use it, who we share it with and where possible how long we intend to keep it. Provided we are satisfied that you are entitled to see the personal information requested and we have successfully confirmed your identity, we will provide you with your personal information subject to any exemptions that apply.
  • Right to Rectification – if you believe our records of your personal information are inaccurate, you have the right to ask for those records to be updated. You can also ask us to check the personal information we hold about you if you are unsure whether it is accurate / up to date.
  • Right of erasure / right to be forgotten – you can ask IFAW to delete your personal information where it is no longer necessary for us to use it or where you have withdrawn your consent or where we have no lawful purposes for keeping it. We may need to retain your personal information or some of your personal information for financial regulatory or legal requirements
  • Right to restrict processing – you have the right to ask for processing of your personal information to be restricted in some circumstances such as if there is disagreement about its accuracy or legitimate usage – for example, you might tell us that you think we hold some information about you that is inaccurate. Whilst we take steps to check this and ensure it is accurate, you have the right to ask us not to use your personal information
  • Right to Portability – to the extent required by the GDPR, where we are processing your personal information (that you have provided to us) either (i) by relying on your consent or (ii) because such processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are party or to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract, and in either case we are processing using automated means (i.e. with no human involvement), you may ask us to provide the personal information to you – or another service provider – in a machine-readable format
  • Right to object to processing – you have the right to object to processing where we are (i) processing your personal information on the basis of the legitimate interests ground, (ii) using your personal information for direct marketing (this can include postal marketing, email marketing, telephone marketing, text message marketing, any profiling activity and online behavioural advertising) or (iii) using your information for statistical purposes
  • Rights related to automated decision-making – you have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing of your personal information which produces legal or similarly significant effects on you, unless such a decision (i) is necessary to enter into/perform a contract between you and us/another organisation; (ii) is authorised by EU or Member State law to which IFAW is subject (as long as that law offers you sufficient protection); or (iii) is based on your explicit consent.

We may ask you for additional information to confirm your identity and for security purposes, before disclosing personal information requested by you.

Please note that some of these rights only apply in limited circumstances. For more information, we suggest that you contact us using the details below.

Contact us

If we hold your personal information please contact us if you:

  • no longer want to receive post from IFAW
  • no longer want to receive emails from IFAW – (please note instructions for unsubscribing from e-mails are included in each e-mail alert we send)
  • would like IFAW to stop processing any or all of your data in any particular way
  • have a change in your contact details
  • want to find out about the information that we hold on you
  • want to exercise any of your rights
  • wish to make a complaint about the way in which your personal data is handled by IFAW

You can let us know by:

  • Sending an email to

  • Writing to the following postal address:

    IFAW, 1 Boulevard Charlemagne, Bte. 72,
    B-1041, Brussels, Belgium

  • Calling the EU office on +32 (0)2 230 97 17

To the extent that your query relates to IFAW US, IFAW Germany Company Number HRB35636, Max-Brauer-Allee 62-64, D-22765 Hamburg acts as its EU Representative. Because IFAW US is a US organisation, EU data protection law requires it to appoint a ‘representative’ in a country in the EU, as a point of contact for EU-based data privacy questions and queries. IFAW Germany can be contacted by telephone at +49-40-866 500-0 or email at However, in the first instance please contact IFAW EU office using the details set out above who will, if appropriate, pass your query on to IFAW Germany.

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