Privacy Policy


At Cool Earth we take your privacy seriously and are committed to protecting your personal information. Please read our privacy policy, alongside our website terms and conditions in order to understand how we collect, use and store your personal information, as well as understand your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

We aim to be clear when we collect your information and about what we will do with it. We may undertake additional processing which is subject to separate Privacy Policies and we will draw them to your attention where this is the case.

Who we are

Cool Earth is a charity that backs people to protect the rainforest and fight the climate crisis. Cool Earth is a registered charity in England and Wales (company no. 05938412, charity no. 1117978) and also operates its affiliate in the United States, Cool Earth Action, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation (registration no. 26-3688173).

We are registered as the data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), registration no. ZA270275. Any data we collect will be used in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). All electronic direct marketing communications will follow the requirements of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

If you have any questions, comments or requests regarding your personal information (including how to object to us processing your personal information) please contact us through:

Email: send us a message through our ‘Get In Touch’ form

Cool Earth
Tremough Innovation Centre
Penryn, TR10 9TA
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1326 536 136

Quick links

What personal information we collect

Personal information means information which relates to a living individual who can be identified from that information such as names, e-mail addresses, personal home addresses, personal phone numbers, personal bank account details, personal description and photograph, etc. (“personal information”).

The types of personal information we collect depends on how we intend to use it. Cool Earth collects, stores, and uses the following kinds of personal information:

  • Identify Data, includes your name, title, age, gender, family & spouse/partner details, relationships to other donors or organisations
  • Contact Data, includes billing address, delivery address, email address, and telephone numbers
  • Financial Data, includes card and bank account details collected and passed to our payment processors (note that for security reasons and payment card industry compliance; card and bank details are not stored in our systems)
  • Transaction Data, includes details of your giving history
  • Legacy Data, includes Identity Data, Contact Data and may include financial information if we receive a pledge, intention to pledge or enquiry into leaving a legacy
  • Technical Data such as your IP address, when you browse our website
  • Usage Data includes information about how you use our website, products and services
  • Marketing and Communications Data, includes your preferences for receiving communications from us
  • Any other information you provide us as seen below ‘How We Collect Information About You’

Aggregated data

We also collect, use and share aggregated data including statistical or demographic data, this data could be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law because it will not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate supporter postcodes to determine where we should launch our next fundraising event. If we combine or connect aggregated data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we will treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy policy.

Sensitive personal information

Data protection law identifies certain categories of personal information as sensitive and therefore requiring more protection. This includes information about health or ethnicity. Where appropriate we may collect/use this information, but only where we have your explicit consent or data protection law allows it. We only aim to collect this type of information when we feel it is necessary in relation to your relationship with us.

How we collect information about you

We collect personal information in the following ways:

When you provide it directly

For example when you:

  • enquire about our activities or services
  • visit our website
  • make a donation
  • sign up to our newsletter and/or request marketing to be sent to you
  • meet with us
  • take part in one of our events, surveys, campaigns or fundraise for us
  • communicate with us (either online, by email, phone, SMS or post), or
  • apply for a role with us as an employee or volunteer (see our Job Applicant Privacy Notice)

When your information is provided indirectly or with permission

Your information may be shared with us by third parties, such as partners or fundraising platforms like JustGiving. For instance, if you participate in an event organised by an external party or make a donation through a processor like JustGiving, your information may be passed to us by that processor.

These organisations have their own privacy policies and statements, so please review these when providing your personal information to them. We work to ensure it’s completely clear to you that your information will be shared with Cool Earth. The information we receive from these third parties depends on your settings and the permissions and choices you have provided, so you should routinely check what you have agreed that these third-party organisations may share with us or with others.

When you use our website

Upon visiting our website, information about your visit is recorded and stored. See the section below on the use of cookies for more details.

Via social media

This policy does not include how we will use your data collected from any of our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube). Depending on your settings and the relevant policies and terms of service, when using social media, you may have granted Cool Earth permission to access information about you from those accounts.

Through publicly available sources

Prospect research

As a fundraising organisation, Cool Earth undertakes in-house research to gather information about current donors and prospective supporters from publicly available sources. Additionally, we engage trusted third parties to collect this information. This research helps us identify individuals who may have an affinity for our cause, including those connected to our current major supporters, trustees, or other key supporters, with whom we are not yet in touch. By leveraging publicly available information, we can build a broader and more diverse supporter base. This is essential because Cool Earth relies on donations from individuals and organisations to sustain its vital work. These contributions enable us to support communities in protecting rainforests and combating the climate crisis effectively.

Wealth screening

For a small portion of our audience, we may also use your data for wealth screening to better understand individual giving capacity and potential interest in further supporting Cool Earth. This allows us to tailor our fundraising approaches to your specific circumstances and interests.

To perform wealth screening, we use a trusted third party to screen a selection of records against publicly available sources such as the Electoral Register, Companies House, Charities Commission, and/or socioeconomic data. This helps us identify individuals who may have a stronger affinity to support our cause. The third party we work with is contractually tied to Cool Earth and is only authorised to process our data for our benefit and no other purpose.

Types of information we may collect:

  • Lifestyle and other demographic insight information
  • Published biographical information and media coverage
  • Previous charitable contributions
  • Your parliamentary constituency
  • Estimate of the size and composition of your household
  • Estimate of your wealth
  • Employment history and earnings
  • Shareholdings
  • Philanthropic interests and networks
  • Previous charitable contributions and motivations

We use this information to create a profile of your interests and preferences, relevant to engaging with Cool Earth. This helps us communicate in meaningful ways and determines how you might be interested in supporting us.

If you do not want Cool Earth to conduct research or profiling work using your publicly available information, please let us know here.

How we use your information

We will use your personal information in a number of ways, depending on the purpose for which it has been collected. Most commonly, we will use your personal information to:

  • Provide you with information about our work and and/or any information you have requested
  • Update you about any changes to our services
  • Communicate with you as set out in this policy including administrative communications as well as communications about our work, services, fundraising and events
  • Administer payments such as donations, including Gift Aid processing
  • Display your profile or content on the website (if you have agreed to do so)
  • Administer our website and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes
  • Maintain our organisational records and ensure we have your most up-to-date details, including marketing preferences and donation history
  • Help us improve our services, campaigns or information-offering, and improve your interactions with our website (including via cookies)
  • Enable you to participate in interactive features on our website
  • Enable you to participate in voluntary surveys or market research
  • Monitor and analyse your website behaviour
  • Monitor the effectiveness of our communications with you, including through email tracking which allows us to track responses from our email marketing campaigns (typically aggregated and anonymised in analysis)
  • Tailor our advertising that is presented to you electronically according to your interests, preferences and other characteristics, and to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you
  • Administer your employment application
  • Assist in your voluntary or fundraising work or events
  • To keep records when you share comments and opinions with us, ask us a question or make a complaint.
  • Audit and/or administer our accounts
  • Contact you where you have been identified as a contact person for an organisation, such as a school
  • Identify relevant networks and other suitable partners for Cool Earth
  • Research in order to help us understand our donors and potential donors

Lawful basis for processing

When we collect and use your personal information, we will ensure it is only done in accordance with at least one of the legal grounds available to us under data protection law. The following legal grounds are used by Cool Earth in processing your personal information:

  • Consent. In several cases we will request your permission to process your personal information for specific purposes, such as sending you project updates, marketing and fundraising communications via email, SMS or Whatsapp, making phone calls, or providing you with requested products, services or information. Where we rely on consent, you have the right to withdraw it at any time.
  • Legal Obligations. Where processing is necessary for Cool Earth to comply with legal obligations, for instance where we are legally required to hold donor transaction history for Gift Aid or tax purposes.
  • Contractual. The majority of our relationships are voluntary, however if we are bound by a contract with you we will process your information in order to administer the contract.
  • Legitimate Interests. Wherein appropriate and as long as your interests and fundamental rights are not overridden, some ways Cool Earth will use legitimate interest as a legal basis include:
    • Sending fundraising materials, by mail or email, to individuals who are fundraising on behalf of Cool Earth, for the purpose of supporting their fundraising campaign
    • Segmenting our donor database based on various criteria, such as donation history, giving frequency, donation amount, geographical location, interests, and engagement level – this segmentation enables Cool Earth to create targeted marketing campaigns tailored to specific donor groups.
    • We use your phone number to call our supporters for stewardship and, occasionally, for fundraising purposes. Our primary aim is to keep you updated on our work, maintain our relationship with you, and provide you with opportunities to support our mission. Our communications are designed to be relevant, non-intrusive, and we will always provide a clear and simple way for you to opt-out of future communications.
    • Depending on your relationship with us and your indicated preferences, we may utilise your data for wealth screening and prospect research, aiming to better understand our members, donors, and potential donors, including insights into your philanthropic interests and capacity to support us. We gather information from publicly available sources but may also employ trusted third-party partners to automate some of this wealth screening process. Through this research, we tailor our conversations about fundraising and support to ensure an effective and personalised donor experience, and we may also tailor our financial asks accordingly.
    • Analysing our fundraising activity to ensure resources are used in the most cost-effective way, including the use of email tracking and linking Google Analytics data with our donor base records
    • Maintaining and administering our donor database and systems for audit trail purposes and ensuring we are communicating with you in your preferred way
    • Informing about Gift Aid and how your eligible donation could be 25% larger at no extra cost to you

Whenever we process your personal information, we will always consider your rights as an individual and make sure we would never use your personal information in a way or for a purpose beyond what you would reasonably expect in agreement with this privacy policy. See section ‘Your Rights’ to review how you, the individual, has ultimate control on how we use your personal information. Cool Earth commits to balancing our legitimate interests with your rights as an individual, in pursuit of our ultimate objective in backing people to protect the rainforest and fight the climate crisis.

How we keep your information safe

We ensure that there are appropriate technical and organisational controls in place to protect your personal details. For example, we only allow authorised personnel to have access to your information, Cool Earth staff receive training on data privacy and how to keep your data secure annually, and our network is protected and routinely monitored.

Payment details (such as credit or debit cards) we receive through our website are passed securely to our payment processing providers who meet the required Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards. We do not store your card details when donations are made in this way.

Unfortunately, no data transmission over the internet is 100 percent secure. As a result, while we try to protect your personal information, Cool Earth cannot guarantee the security of any information you share with us and you do so at your own risk. We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

How long we keep your information

Cool Earth only retains your personal data for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or reporting requirements. For some information we collect, there are legal requirements which dictate how long we must keep it. For example, HMRC requires us to retain details of Gift Aid for at least six years after the year in which the last donation was made.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or other requirements.

In general we will only keep your contact information for as long as our interactions with you continue and for six years thereafter. After such a period, within our database, we anonymise records so we can reference behavioural patterns in our data analytics, but the information is no longer identifiable to you.

Please note if you have asked to be removed from our mailing lists, we will keep information such as your name and address to ensure that we don’t mail you in the future.

Sharing your information with other organisations

It is our policy not to sell, trade or rent your personal information to anyone. Depending on the context, we may use external organisations to strictly process personal data on our behalf, like Workable in processing personal data on Cool Earth’s behalf during the recruitment process (see our Job Applicant Privacy Policy), or Meta in order to send targeted marketing through advertising. This also includes suppliers, subcontractors, payment providers, and external fundraising entities and platforms. Before working with these companies we perform rigorous checks to ensure they provide appropriate safeguards in respect of your personal data and treat it in accordance with the law. We always ensure we have a contract in place with these third party suppliers, and those contracts include robust data protection requirements. These data processors will act only on our instructions and Cool Earth will retain full responsibility for your personal data.

Cool Earth is an international charity and on occasion financial or technical considerations may occasionally lead us to use services from suppliers based outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or United Kingdom (UK), which in turn might lead to your personal information being transferred, processed and stored outside of the EEA or UK. Such transfers will only occur where strictly necessary and either contractual clauses or data sharing agreements will ensure that your data will be processed with the same protections in place as in the EEA or UK. If you would like to receive further information about this, please contact us at [email protected].

How we use your cookies

Cookies are small data files that are sent from a website to your computer or mobile phone. They are stored on the hard drive of your device. Some are stored just for the duration of your visit to the website, others are stored for much longer periods. You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when websites set or access cookies. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of this website may become inaccessible or not function properly. Please see our Cookie Policy for further details.

Children’s privacy

We do not collect or maintain information from individuals under 13 years old. Our website is not directed at children under 13, and we do not knowingly collect personal information from them. If we discover that a child under 13 has provided personal information, we will promptly delete it from our systems. We do not respond to information requests from children under 13. Parents or guardians must initiate any requests for information on their behalf. We encourage parental supervision of children’s internet usage.


Should you wish to make a complaint about how we process your personal information, and/or would like more detailed information on our complaints procedure, please see our Complaints Policy.

If you are unhappy with how we handle your personal information, you can notify the ICO by calling their helpline at +44 0303 123 1113 or through live chat. We of course would appreciate the opportunity to address your complaints or concerns before you decide to speak to the ICO.

You can always register with the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) to stop receiving unsolicited marketing communications from charities. We will address any new FPS preferences within 30 days time.

Changes to the policy

Our privacy policy is kept under regular review. If we make any significant changes to this policy, we will publicise these changes clearly on our website, or contact you with more information. Please review this policy any time you are sharing your personal information with Cool Earth.

This policy was last updated on 5 June 2024.

Your rights

Under the data protection legislation you have various rights in relation to your personal information we hold about you, these are detailed below.

  1. You have the right to access the personal information we hold about you by making a subject access request in accordance with the Data Protection Legislation.
  2. You have the right to have your personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete.
  3. You have the right to have your personal information deleted in certain specific circumstances.
  4. You have the right to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain specific circumstances.
  5. You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.

For more information on your data rights, visit the ICO website.