This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By using this site you accept the terms of our Privacy Policy
Hide Message
CharityGo logo

Your online training partner

Distribute, monitor and evidence
online training and policy compliance.

All from one easy to use, online dashboard!

The importance of Data Protection for Charities

Data held by charities is often sensitive and confidential, some of it relating to vulnerable people whose protection is their duty, so we thought it was a good time to remind you about UK data protection laws.

Charities are not exempt from the law

All organisations and companies, whether third sector or not, are obliged by law to collect, use, share and store data in a compliant way. They can face serious consequences if data is misused, stolen or disclosed incorrectly.

Here are some recent examples of fines implemented on UK charities by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

  • An HIV charity was fined £10,000 after they sent out an email containing personal information to over 100 people without using the blind carbon copy (bcc) function
  • Eleven charities were fined a total of £138,000 for serious breaches of data protection law. Activities including incorrectly targeting donors for additional funds and some traded personal details with other charities
  • A transgender charity was fined £25,000 for failing to keep the personal data of its users secure following a data breach relating to an internal email group.

As well as leading to financial loss through fines, data breaches can seriously harm a charity’s reputation. Supporters may be lost as they no longer feel confident their data is stored securely. They may also be angry that money they’ve donated to support a good cause has been wasted covering a fine.

The fundamentals of data protection

Both staff and volunteers have obligations for keeping personal data private and secure, and charities need to ensure they implement clear policies for everyone to follow.

The UK’s data protection laws changed after Brexit and now consist of two frameworks. Both are important to reference when implementing your charity’s data protection compliance to ensure everyone is acting in a legal and responsible manner:

  • UK-GDPR which replaces the EU’s GDPR
  • Data Protection Act 2018 The UK has continued to add to the Data Protection Act, including further exemptions and future proposed changes

Anyone in your charity who has access to personal data should undertake training to make them aware of their responsibilities and the possible repercussions for not keeping the data safe.

Where do threats come from?

The most common threats are from human action or human inaction:

  • Accidental or over disclosure
  • Lack of awareness or surroundings
  • Not following policies and procedures
  • A deliberate or illegal act

How much importance does your charity place on data protection?

Our research has found that smaller charities don’t always train their staff and volunteers on data protection and staff are often unaware of how personal data can be compromised by, for example, giving information about a patient or service user to someone without properly verifying who they are.

Data protection is one of the topics covered in CharityGo’s online library of expert-written, ready-made courses. Powered by TrainingToolz, subscriptions start at just £49 plus VAT per month for up to 500 training sessions and new clients can benefit from added extras if they sign up before 31 March 2023.

For more information email or call us on 0113 526 5980.

About CharityGo

CharityGo provides an online dashboard to distribute, monitor and evidence statutory training, policy compliance and vital communications.

The built-in library provides a range of ready-to-use expertly-written compliance training, covering topics such as safeguarding and cyber security for both your staff and volunteers.

All of the assignments provided in the library are fully editable for your specific needs. In addition you can create and distribute your own custom training and policy assignments.

For further details and a free trial, visit

CharityGo provides a complete tool kit for online training, compliance and CPD
  • Library of 5 fully customisable compliance training materials
  • Easy-to-use interface to create your own training
  • Range of simple distribution methods
  • Powerful evidenceing and reporting tools

Learn More
Get Started Now