Privacy policy

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

How we will use the information you provide us.

Our mission is to help vulnerable children in Malawi grow up healthy with the love and security of a family. To do that, we rely on your support and we will send you content that we think you’ll be interested in based on information we collect from you. We only use your information where we have a proper legal basis for doing so. 

We wrote this policy to help you understand what information we collect, how we use it and what choices you have about it.  And we welcome your questions and comments on this policy by phone (01423) 530 129 or email

By using our services, getting involved in our activities or visiting our website, you agree to your details being collected and used as outlined below. We’ll keep this information notice up to date and so please check back here from time to time. We’ll also keep you up to date with any significant changes with a note on our website. 

1. Who we are

We are Open Arms Malawi (charity reg 1171686), a UK funding trust that supports Open Arms Infant Homes in Malawi. As an independent charity we raise awareness, funds and encourage engagement with the work we support in Malawi.  You can find out more about us by visiting What we do 

2. How we collect your information

We collect information in the following ways: 

·         Directly

We collect personal information about you when you interact with us (e.g. by phone, online or post), register with us, enquire about our activities, make a donation, participate in an event, buy from us, visit our website or give us your personal information in any other way.

·         When you give permission for others to share

Your information may be shared with us by companies, such as fundraising sites, like Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving or eBay. These independent third parties will only do so when you have indicated that you are happy for your details to be passed to us. You should check their privacy policies when you give your information to them.

We may also obtain information about you from a family member or a friend or service provider who contacts us on your behalf or if a fundraiser passes on your details to us. For example, we have many kind individuals within our communities who want to support Open Arms Malawi at their wedding or anniversary parties, and arrange for donations to be made and gift aid forms to be available during these events. These supporters may then pass on these donations and details of the persons kindly giving a donation to us to use to say thank you and record the donation. If you would rather we don’t receive this information, please let the event organiser know.

We may also receive information about you collected or processed by organisations working on our behalf e.g. our data cleanse company or email marketing provider.

·         When your information is available publicly or from other external sources

We may combine information that we already have about you with information available publicly or information available from external sources in order to gain a better understanding of you and to improve our fundraising, marketing and communication methods, products and services. Such information could be, for example, socio-demographic and lifestyle information.

The information we get from other external sources may depend on your privacy settings or the responses you give, so you should regularly check them. For example, you may have provided permission for a company or other organisation to share your data with third parties, including charities, e.g. the Royal Mail. Depending on your settings or the privacy policies for social media and messaging services, like Facebook, WhatsApp or Twitter, you might give us permission to access information from those accounts or services.  We may also obtain information about you where it is publicly available and found in places such as Companies House, the Land Registry website and information that is published in articles and newspapers.  To understand how we use information about the communications devices you use, such as IP address (the location of the computer on the internet) and cookies, please see our cookiespage. 

3. What are the types of personal information we collect

Personal information is information that can be used to identify you. It can include your name, date of birth, email address, postal address, telephone numbers, bank account details, credit/debit card details, the company you work for and whether you are a UK tax payer so that we can claim Gift Aid (please rest assured we do not collect information about your actual tax payments, just whether you are a tax payer).

Data protection law recognises that certain categories of personal information are more sensitive. This is known as sensitive personal information and covers health information, racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature, political opinion and trade union membership. We do not systematically collect “sensitive personal data” about our supporters unless there is a legitimate reason for this (e.g. if you participate in an event for which we may need to provide support, to ascertain what services are relevant to you or to cater other services and support to you.) 

We also collect information about how our website is used and track which pages users visit when they follow links in emails. We use this information to monitor and improve our website, services and activities e.g. to make our website more visible to people who are looking to find our services or to see which services or events are of most interest. Where possible we use anonymous or aggregated data that does not identify individuals. See further information about our website below. 

As we carry out these activities we will ensure that we collect the information we need to carry out the purposes for which this information is processed. 

4. Children and Young People

If you are aged under 18, and would like to participate in an event, make a donation or get involved with us, please make sure that you have your parent/guardian’s permission before giving us your personal information. When we collect information about a child or young person, we will make it clear as to the reasons for collecting this information and how it will be used. We will also endeavour, where reasonably possible, to ascertain your correct age to ensure you are suitable to participate and ensure we have parent/guardian’s consent for the storage of any information on children and young people. 

5. Supporting people in vulnerable circumstances

We recognise the importance of protecting our vulnerable supporters and follow the guidance issued by the Fundraising Regulator on treating donors responsibly and fairly. This helps to support our staff and fundraisers who come into contact with supporters to provide high quality customer care, ensuring anyone donating to the charity is in a position to make a free and informed decision. 

Please visit https://www.fundraisingregulat...- for more guidance. 

6. Credit, Debit card payment information

When you use the online donation or payment pages on our website you will be directed to a specialist supplier company, who will receive your credit card number and contact information to process the transaction. We do not retain your credit, debit card or bank account details. We will only use third party payment providers who meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.  Find out more information about PCI DSS standards by visiting their website at  

They may use, retain and disclose your personal information and credit card details for this purpose as set out in their privacy policies, including transferring your data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).  Where such transfer occurs, we ensure your data is adequately protected under UK data protection law.   If you provide us with credit or debit card details on a hard copy form, over the telephone or in person we will ensure all card details are securely destroyed once the payment or donation has been processed. Only those staff authorised to process payments will be able to see your card details.  If we receive an e-mail containing any credit or debit card details, it will be immediately deleted, no payment will be taken and you will be notified about this.   

7. How we use your information

We may process your personal information for a number of reasons, such as:

·         To identify you

·         To provide you with a service, product or information that you have requested; 

·         To process a donation or payment we receive from you

·         To claim Gift Aid on your donations. 

·         To provide you with further  information about our work and services

·         To further our charitable aims, such as asking you to help us to raise money, but always in accordance with our charity values

·         To fulfil a sale online or through our shops

·         To gain a full understanding of your situation so we can develop and offer you the best possible personalised communication and customer service

·         To say thank you and provide you with information about how your support helps the children that we support in Malawi

·         To send items that you have ordered

·         To invite you to  participate in surveys or research or share your experiences in other ways

·         To keep a record of your relationship with us and for internal administrative purposes (such as our accounting and records), and to let you know about changes to our services or policies.

·         To look into, and respond to, feedback complaints, legal claims or other issues. 

·         To carry out statistical analysis and research in order to help us to understand how we are performing and how we can improve our services

·         To monitor website use

·         For financial recording or reporting purposes

·         Where required or authorised by law

We may also use your personal information for other purposes which we specifically notify you about and, where appropriate, obtain your consent. 

We collect this information for legal and contractual reasons or because the organisation has a legitimate interest to do so that it can raise awareness, engagement and funds needed to fulfil our mission. 

8. Direct Marketing

We may contact you for marketing purposes by mail, telephone, email or social messaging; in some cases, this will require getting your permission. The aim of this activity is to keep in touch with you about how your support for Open Arms Malawi helps the children in Malawi and update you on our work, services, campaigns, volunteering and fundraising activity. This is considered by law to be marketing activity. We will do this for two years from your last engagement with us and will write to you prior to the two year point to ask whether you would like us to continue keeping in touch with you beyond this point. There may be exceptions to this approach for eg.  where people support a particular campaigns that last a lot longer than two years and it is therefore reasonable to continue contacting them beyond this point such as people who support take part in fundraising activities, donate regularly, volunteer or notify us that they wish to leave us a gift in their will. 

As part of our commitment to you, to demonstrate the difference your support makes and to make sure that you know when and how we need your support, everyone who donates to us will be entitled to receive the Open Arms annual newsletter and our Christmas message, which are both posted out once a year each and contain the latest news from Malawi.  

As we are a small organisation, and individuals often support us in multiple ways, eg, they both take part in fundraising and volunteer, much of our communication activity features many areas of our work at once.  News may contain a number of inserts that include information about current campaigns and chances to get involved.

However, you can opt out of any of these updates if you would like to. All our messages have clear communication preference questions and always contains information on how you can let us know you would like to change the way we keep in touch with you.

You can change your communication preferences at any time by calling (01423) 530 129 or emailing   

You can also register with the Telephone Preference ServiceTPS which gives you the opportunity to opt out of receiving unsolicited calls. The Mailing Preference ServiceMPS will enable you to register to have your name taken off direct mailing lists and the Fundraising Preference Service FPS will do this too.

We will not use your information for marketing purposes, if you have told us not to and no service we provide is dependent on our ability to market to you. If you let us know that you would like us to stop contacting you for marketing purposes, we will fulfil this request within 28 days. Our database will be updated immediately, ensuring telephone calls and emails stop straightaway but due to mailing schedules that may be already underway it may take up to a month for post from us to stop. It is also important to note, however, that we may need to retain your details on a suppression list beyond this point,  if we are required to do so for either contractual or legal reasons such as if you have made a donation or a tax declaration.

You may also receive administrative communications via mail, e-mail, telephone, text or social posting, for example, where you place an order for goods or services, or if you have made a donation by text, for example. This type of communication is considered separate to marketing communications and is necessary for us to fulfil the requests you make of us. For us to provide an effective service to you at the smallest cost to us the primary tool we will use for administrative communication with you will be email and we request, where suitable to you, that we can communicate with you in this way. However, if you have a different preference, please do let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request. 

9. Building profiles and personalising communications  

To comply with our obligations as a charity, we may take reasonable and appropriate steps to know who our supporters are, particularly where significant sums are being donated.  This means that we may conduct research, including accessing information which is already publicly available, on prospective donors, partners or volunteers to ensure it would be right for us to accept support whether that is from an individual or organisation.  This will help to give assurance that the donation is not from an inappropriate source and to safeguard our reputation.  This does not mean that we will question every donation, nor that we will research lots of personal and other details about every donor.  Any information we do collect for this purpose will only consist of what is necessary for us to meet these requirements and will be processed in line with your rights. 

10. Who we share your information with

We will not sell or swap your information with any third party. We will only share information with other organisations where we have your permission to do so in accordance with this information notice, where it is necessary for a legitimate reason connected with the services we offer apply our terms and conditions or rights under an agreement; or to protect us, for example, in the case of suspected fraud or defamation or where it is required by law or regulation (e.g. police or a government body).

All our partners are required to comply with the law and our standards. We will always make sure appropriate contracts and controls are in place and we regularly monitor all our partners to ensure their compliance.

When we collect your personal information we use strict procedures and security features to prevent unauthorised access. However, no data transmission over the Internet is 100% secure. As a result, while we try to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us and you do so at your own risk.

As a user you can help protect the integrity of any data you transmit to Open Arms Malawi by taking common precautions, such as regularly allowing patching for your operating system, ensuring you are running up to date and supported anti-virus software, and only transmitting data where HTTPS appears at the beginning of the page URL (this refers to the security technology Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and indicates that the data is being transmitted securely). 

11. How we store your information

Although most of the information we store and process stays within the UK, some information may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area. This may occur if, for example, one of our service provider’s servers is located in a country outside the EU. Where such transfer occurs, we will ensure your data is adequately protected under UK data protection law. For example, we use the US-based eTapestry database to send out emails.

In line with the law we require these suppliers to ensure adequate protection under UK law for personal data is in place e.g. data transfers from the EEA to the US are permitted if the receiving company has been certified under the EU- US Privacy Shield. We will keep your information for as long as required to enable us to operate our services but we will not keep your information for any longer than is necessary. We will take into consideration our legal obligations and tax and accounting rules when determining how long we should retain your information. When we no longer need to retain your information we will ensure it is securely disposed of or anonymised to remove all personally identifiable information. 

12. Your Rights 

As part of your relationship with Open Arms Malawi you have the right to:

If you wish to know more about any of the points above, please contact us on (01423) 530 129 or  

We will always endeavour to carry out your request where it is possible for us to do so. For example, for legal/financial reasons as stated in Section 9, we are required to store your data for seven years which will mean that should you request us to remove any data needed to trace your donation we will not be able to do so until after that time due to our legal obligations. But, what we can do is make sure we minimise this information, only keep what is necessary and use it only for these legal purposes. After these seven years we will delete or anonymise your information unless you tell us that you would like us to keep in touch for a longer period of time. We will write to you prior to the seven year mark to let you know what is happening and give you the choice.

We aim to ensure that all information we hold about you is accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. If any of the information we hold about you is inaccurate and either you advise us or we become otherwise aware, we will ensure it is amended and updated as soon as possible.  To help us keep your information correct we may cleanse our databases using a third party data cleanse company who may check your data against sources such as the electoral roll or the Post Office’s National Change of Address database, and we will update your details through this mechanism. 

13. Our website

Our website does not generally collect personal information although many people choose to contact us via the website using emails, social media links, and forms contained on this website. Some links may take you to third party providers e.g. websites who we work with. You should make sure when you leave our site that you have read and understood any new site’s privacy policy in addition to our own. We have no control over the privacy practices of these other sites and cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us in this way, although we make sure that we do have procedures and security features to protect your information and seek to work with third parties who adequately protect your information under UK data protection law, as discussed in earlier sections.

If you use social media networks, such as Facebook to interact with us, we ask you also take time to consider how these sites may use your information and make sure you read and understand their privacy policies. We have no control over the privacy practices of these social media sites and cannot guarantee the security or any information you choose to share whilst using these platforms.

Our websites and social media do currently use cookies to help track the success of our online advertising and monitor the usage of our website. Cookies are text files placed on your computer to collect standard internet log information. They fall into different categories.  Some cookies are necessary for normal website function. These cookies cannot be switched off because the website won’t function properly anymore. However, these do not store your personal data.

There are also cookies for analytics. We also use Google Analytics for our web analytics and work with Facebook to monitor our online advertising results.  The cookies used here are Google Analytics cookies to determine new sessions, users, and traffic sources that explain how a user reached the site. They help us to understand how people use our website and improve the service we provide for you. Any information we collect and share as a result is anonymous and does not personally identify you. It does not contain your name, address, telephone number, or email address or IP address.

The third categories of cookies we use are functional cookies. Many of these are provided by the third party cookies e.g. Vimeo or You tube. Without them links to them within our website won’t work.

For further information about cookies you can visit or You can set your browser not to accept cookies and the above websites tell you how to remove cookies from your browser. However in a few cases some of our website features may not function as a result. 

14. Changes to the way we use your information

We keep our information notice under regular review and we will place any significant updates on this website. This privacy policy was last updated on 25 May 2018. 

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