Making our work more unique to you

Making our work more unique to you

We endeavour to provide our supporters with a great experience and communicate with them in the best and most cost-effective way possible to enable us to divert more funds to our vital animal welfare work. 

In order to ensure we send communications to you that are relevant to your interests, in line with your preferences and level of potential donations, we may carry out prospect research to ensure we deliver relevant and timely communications to you, that you want to receive. 
Prospect research involves the gathering of information about an individual or a group of individuals and analysing their characteristics or behaviour patterns in order to understand them, their interests or likely behaviour. It enables the RSPCA to inform the relevance of its fundraising activities and helps us to identify possible new supporters. There are lots of ways that prospect research can be carried out; we use data matching, segmentation and high-value donor analysis.


The RSPCA, like many other charities, undertakes research in order to engage with suitable high value donors. We do that by reviewing publicly available information and information from within our networks to create a profile of your interests, preferences and your ability to support us, including the amount or level of potential donation or legacy you may be able to give. That research may be undertaken for both existing and prospective high value donors.

We undertake this research so we can contact you in the most appropriate way and with the most relevant information, which enables us to raise funds sooner and more cost-effectively. This individual approach helps us to provide the best possible donor experience that is aligned with your interests and capacity to give, and it enables us to be more efficient with our resources. We may also use prospect research to exclude people who may be vulnerable from marketing.

We identify potential high value donors in a number of ways:

  • By carrying out research on donors who have given £500 or more.
  • By asking our existing high value donors to give again.
  • By inviting potential high value donors to attend our supporter events as a way of engaging them with the work that we do. We also identify potential new donors by researching event attendees who were previously unknown to us.
  • By researching people who have not given to the RSPCA in the past but who we believe may have a connection to our cause and have the capacity to give significantly.
  • By working with specialist prospect research companies to identify supporters who may have the financial capacity to provide greater support.
  • By asking our donors and influencers to open up their networks to us.
  • By asking our donors and influencers to introduce us to potential donors we have identified through our research and that they have a link to.

We carry out this research by compiling information from a number of sources such as public registers (e.g. listed Directorships and trusteeships on the Companies House and the Charity Commission websites, the Electoral Commission (Political Donations), the Electoral Roll and Land Registry), public LinkedIn and social media profiles, Who's Who, the electoral roll, newspaper and online articles. The type of information we collect can include a career overview, gift capacity and measures of affluence, areas of interest, history of giving to the RSPCA and others and public information on any philanthropic activities.

We sometimes use third parties to assist with our prospect research activities, but only where we are confident that the third party will treat your data securely, in accordance with our terms and in line with the requirements set out in the UK-GDPR. This includes screening our database against the third party agency's demographic database in order to assess (based on estimated levels of wealth), whether our existing supporters may have the capacity and propensity to provide greater financial or other support to the RSPCA.

We might also ask existing supporters or volunteers whether they would be prepared to open their networks up to us, and if we discover that someone in our network knows a potential donor that we have identified, we might ask them to facilitate an introduction. Here, we would advise our existing supporters about our data responsibilities and ask them to ensure that the individual in question is happy for an introduction to take place. Following the introduction, we would direct the individual to this privacy notice and confirm their marketing and communication preferences.

Our Philanthropy and Partnerships team foster long term relationships with our existing and potential donors. However, we are committed to ensuring any information collated is not excessive or intrusive, and is sourced reliably and appropriately. We are also committed to only keeping data on individuals with whom we have an active relationship.

Please let us know if you would prefer us not to process your data in this way.

Postcode analysis

We use the Mosaic, postcode-based segmentation tool from Experian Ltd. This database enables us to better understand the types of people that live in different parts of the country; the database provides information on averages within an area, we do not collect specific information from it. We also use Mosaic for anonymised behavioural analysis on our supporters to help us segment our supporter database. Using Mosaic helps us send effective marketing communications which we think you'll be interested in and ensures we make the best use of our resources.

Facebook custom audience advertising

The RSPCA uses social media and other internet platforms to communicate with people and share information about the vital work that we do for animal welfare.

We also use Facebook custom audiences to place targeted adverts in news feeds. This is done by encrypting the personal data of our existing supporters to create an audience; that audience is then linked to Facebook, which will determine if you have an account and if you do, you will be served digital advertising campaigns. For example, if you have previously purchased a ticket for the RSPCA Lottery, we may seek to place an advert promoting the purchase of additional tickets for the latest draw in your Facebook feed.

We only carry out this activity if you have already consented to us sending you marketing via email and we will only serve you content that we think may be of interest to you. Your personal data is also deleted from any applications used to undertake this activity as soon as it is no longer needed for that purpose.

If you do not want your information to be used by us in this way, you can change your marketing communication preferences at any time. You can also manage the targeted advertising you receive from us on Facebook by referring to the instructions provided by Facebook.

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