Bellingcat Fundraising Privacy Policy

Bellingcat Fundraising Privacy Policy

This policy provides you with information about how we, Bellingcat, process your personal data with regard to our fundraising work, and how we respect your privacy and protect your personal data.

In case you want to know more about how the Bellingcat in general protects your Personal Data and maintains the privacy of its supporters, please refer to

Data controller


PO Box 15712

1001 NE Amsterdam

The Netherlands

What are Bellingcat’s interests and purposes in processing my personal data and what kinds of personal data are processed?

Bellingcat is funded by voluntary contributions. To continue publishing groundbreaking stories that expose wrongdoing and counter disinformation it is vital that our relationships with our supporters and partners is strong. By supporting or donating to Bellingcat, you actively help us fulfil our mission.

In the course of our relationship with you, we will be processing your personal data under certain circumstances, as explained below. If we did not process your personal data, we would not be able to provide the services you request or accept your donations.

Keeping you up to date with our mission

We process your personal data in order to update you on the impact of our research and on how your contributions and financial support make a difference. We also use your personal data to send you electronic updates or information about upcoming events, projects and any opportunities we think will be of interest to you.

When donating to Bellingcat you are asked about your wish to receive updates about our organization. If you opt out of receiving updates you will not receive any communication from Bellingcat with the exception of a confirmation of the receipt of your donation.

When Bellingcat processes your personal data to keep in touch with you, for instance with updates about our organization, we rely on your consent. You may also receive, from time to time, specifically tailored communications that stem from our legitimate interest in cultivating our relationship with you. You can, however, opt out of our communications at any time. If you no longer wish to receive electronic communications from us, you can unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the bottom of our emails.

The personal data we process are your contact details, i.e. name, and email address.

We don’t, under no circumstances, share your personal data with third parties.

Processing and screening of donations

When you choose to contribute to Bellingcat financially, we process your personal data in order to administer your donation, together with our payment providers or banks. In order to comply with certain legal requirements, we are obliged to ensure that donations from supporters and partners above a threshold of EUR 5.000 are in line with the Bellingcat’s AML policy and Fundraising Policy and do not contradict the values we believe in. If this is not the case, the donation will be rejected. To gain a full understanding of whether all these criteria are met and to assess risks associated with receiving the different forms of support, eligible supporters/partners and donations made above a threshold of EUR 5.000, whether from potential private supporters or from partners (both companies and foundations), are subject to a screening process, which draws on reliable public sources. When we process your personal data in such a context, we do so only to administer your donation and fulfil our legal and ethical requirements with regard to fundraising.

When Bellingcat processes your personal data in relation to the examination of proposed gifts, it is always in accordance with the legitimate interests of Bellingcat, which require processing of such data.

The personal data we process is the information you provide alongside your donation, being your name and email address.

Widen the network of our supporters

In order to widen our circle of supporters and partners, we reach out to individuals that we think may be interested in our mission and want to help fund our work. To gain a full understanding of the individuals, companies or foundations that may want to support our research we draw on external public sources, but only when we have compelling reason to believe that this adds valuable information to help us grow our circle of supporters and partners.

The purpose of processing your personal data in such a context is, therefore, to widen the circle of supporters and partners of Bellingcat.

When Bellingcat processes your personal data in relation to our efforts to widen our circle of supporters and partners, we do so only in accordance with our legitimate interest in strengthening our mission with the backing of our supporters and partners.

Leaving a legacy to Bellingcat

If you choose to remember Bellingcat in your will, we process your personal data in order to administer your contribution. We also process your personal data to send you updates on how your bequest will be used.

Additionally, in order to uphold and protect our principled humanitarian action, all charitable bequests to Bellingcat must comply with strict ethical principles – otherwise, they will be rejected. To know whether all criteria have been met, we need to make sure that eligible contributions above a certain threshold (cash, in-kind donations, estate, etc.) from potential private supporters and partners (individuals, companies, foundations, etc.) comply with our legal obligations and do not contradict our AML policy and Fundraising Policy. Wherever possible, we rely on internal resources to assess the risks associated with receiving support from potential supporters. Where necessary, we also consult reliable external sources.

Whenever we process your personal data in relation to any gift or contribution, we do so only on the basis of our legitimate interest in strengthening our mission with the backing and generosity of our supporters and partners. Sometimes, however, we are obliged to process your data to comply with legal obligations (i.e. respect your legacy wishes).

The personal data we process are:

  • the information you provide before or at the time of your bequest, such as your title, first and last names, country of residence, postal address, phone number and email address
  • the information you provide to any of our team members in the course of your relationship with Bellingcat, such as background information, your education, professional experiences or personal interests
  • the information we receive from you or any third parties involved such as notaries or banks, in order to be able to accept your contribution.

Attending events hosted by Bellingcat

We collect personal data and background information you may want to share with us, e.g. contact details, professional experiences, general interests or food preferences, when you complete a registration form to attend or take part in a Bellingcat-hosted event. Such processing is necessary if you attend any of our events or interact with our representatives as either a guest, speaker or participant.

We collect and process your personal data solely to maintain your contact information for administering our events, providing you with information about upcoming events and keeping in touch with you.

Please note that during events, filming and/or photography may take place. We may use the photos/videos on our website or in social media posts. If you prefer not to be photographed, please let our photographers know during the event.

Whenever we process your personal data in relation to organizing an event, we do so only in accordance with our legitimate interests. If we process your personal data during events, we do so only for administrative purposes. With regard to any filming or photography that may take place during our events, we process personal data only with your consent.

Do you use profiling?

We do not take decisions based  on profiling (meaning, in this case, any form of automated processing of personal data intended to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to you, or to analyse or predict your performance at work, economic situation, location, health, personal preferences, reliability or behaviour).

Who else do you share my personal data with?

We do not sell or trade our donor’s personal data with any other entity, nor send messages or mailings to our supporters and partners on behalf of other entities or organizations. Within Bellingcat your personal data are only shared with staff members who need access for the processing purposes set out in this document.

How long will you keep my personal data?

We will keep your personal data only for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected them for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or archiving requirements. To determine the appropriate retention period, we take into account the nature and sensitivity of your personal data, potential risks of harm from unauthorized use or disclosure of your personal data and the purposes for which we process your personal data.

When we no longer need your personal data, or you request they be erased or indicate in any other way that you no longer wish to support Bellingcat we will delete your data.

What are my rights regarding my personal data?

We are committed to treating your personal data with security, respect and confidentiality; all your personal data will be processed in compliance with the Bellingcat rules on Data Privacy. In addition, you have certain rights with regard to your personal data. To exercise any of the rights set out below, please contact us (see contact details below).

Information and Access

You have the right to request information about the personal data we hold concerning you. Furthermore, under certain circumstances you may verify your personal data and access them. To make such a request, you will be required to answer questions necessary for us to verify your identity.


You are entitled to request the correction of any mistakes or inaccuracies in your personal data provided we are able to verify your identity. Please note that this does not apply in the event that your correction request relates to an assessment carried out by our staff and you are unable to provide sufficient proof of the assessment’s inaccuracy, or respective data are contained in a record held by our archives. Please contact us to learn more about correction requests.


You are entitled to request that your personal data are fully deleted from our systems. However, please note that there may be certain circumstances under which we are obliged to retain your personal data.


You have the right to object at any time to the processing of your personal data on compelling legitimate grounds relating to your particular situation. Any objection of this kind will be accepted if your fundamental rights and freedoms in question outweigh our legitimate interest in processing your personal data.

You also have the right to opt out of receiving future information about Bellingcat at any time. Please communicate your wish to unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the bottom of each of our communications.

Contact details

We aim always to meet the highest standards to safeguard your privacy. If you wish to learn more about how we protect your personal data or would like to exercise any of the rights set out above, or if you have any questions, concerns or complaints, please contact us.

Our contact details are: