Our privacy policy

The RSA promises to take great care with your personal data, and we commit to protecting any personal information we obtain about you, whether you are visiting our website as a supporter, Fellow or funder.

This Privacy Policy sets out how and why we obtain, use and protect personal information.

1. Who we are

We are made up of one core Royal Charter Company and two trading subsidiaries and this privacy policy applies to them all.

The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (‘RSA’), (also trading as The Royal Society of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerice) is a Royal Charter Company and registered charity in England and Wales (charity number 212424) and in Scotland (charity number SC037784). It has two wholly-owned trading subsidiaries (Adelphi Enterprises Limited, company number 002784581 and Shipley Enterprises Limited, company number 09823249).

We additionally share our data with our affiliates RSA in the USA (registered in the US) and RSA ANZ (registered in Australia, also known as RSA Oceania).

This Privacy Policy applies to all the above entities.

The RSA's and its subsidiaries registered address is 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ.

This Privacy Policy relates to information which is obtained by the RSA and for which the RSA is the Data Controller.

2. Our Purpose

Our purpose is to unite people and ideas to resolve the challenges of our time. 

The RSA’s mission is to unite people and ideas to resolve the challenges of our time. Central to this mission is our commitment to be transparent about the data we collect about you and how it is used and shared.

The RSA seeks to share powerful ideas, carry out cutting-edge research and build networks and opportunities for people to collaborate, helping to create fulfilling lives and a flourishing society. The RSA includes its 30,000 Fellows who are members of the RSA under its governance structure. The RSA seeks to involve its Fellows in its work as partners and advocates on its behalf.

3. Why we hold and process personal data

We keep data for the furtherance of our charitable obligations.

We hold and process personal data for a number of reasons:

  • To keep a record of our Fellows their subscriptions, other donations and actions taken by our wider supporters including our communications with them
  • To make offers of Fellowship and invite people to become involved in our work and projects
  • To claim gift aid on donations
  • To send our Fellows and supporters marketing information about our projects, fundraising activities and appeals where we have their consent or are otherwise allowed to
  • To fulfil contractual obligations entered into with supporters and funders
  • To meet wider legal obligations such as those of our grant funders
  • To support Fellows and other volunteers to form networks, run events and projects, and collaborate
  • To record our campaigning actions and those of our supporters
  • To meet our charitable reporting duties
  • To track those who use our House either as Customers, members of the public or Fellows.
  • To ensure we do not send unwanted information to supporters or members of the public who have informed us they do not wish to be contacted.

Our website and charitable outputs are available to all in line with our charitable obligations. Our Fellows also share their professional identities, engage with network, exchange knowledge and find opportunities through our MyRSA section of our website.

4. Your Consent and Notices of Changes

If you engage with us including through use of our website, you consent to this Privacy Policy, including our Cookies Policy.

If you engage with the RSA including through our website, you consent to the collection, use and sharing of your personal data under this Privacy Policy (which includes our Cookie Policy and any other documents referenced in this Privacy Policy). We provide you with choices that allow you to opt-out or control how we use and share your data.

This Privacy Policy may be updated from time to time so you may wish to check it each time you submit personal information to the RSA. The date of the most recent revisions will appear on this page. If you do not agree to these changes, please do not continue to use the RSA website to submit personal information to the RSA. If material changes are made to the Privacy Policy we will notify you by placing a prominent notice on the website.

5. Information we collect

You provide data to us when you attend our events, join as a Fellow, register with us or use our website.

We log your visits and attendances to events in our website.

We receive data from your devices and networks, including location data.

If you communicate through our online tools, we learn about that

We are improving our website and online presence, which means we get new data and create new ways to use data.

Attendance at Events or Involvement in our Projects

We gather information on those who participate in projects or attend our events including your name and e-mail address.

Joining as Fellow

All Fellows who join the RSA are asked to give their name, date of birth, email address, postal address, contact numbers and give details of their occupation and reasoning for joining.

Registration as part of MyRSA

To create an account you provide data including your name, email address and/or mobile number, and a password.

Website Use and Social Media Interaction

We log usage data when you visit or otherwise or engage in our charitable work such as when you view or click on content, or perform a search. We use log-ins, cookies, device information and internet protocol (“IP”) addresses to identify you and log your use. This helps us to understand engagement with our content, and the preferences of our supporters.’ Or refer to the profiling section at the end of the doc.

Your Device and Location

When you visit or leave our website (including our plugins or cookies or similar technology on the sites of others), we receive the URL of both the site you came from and the one you go to next. We also get information about your IP address, proxy server, operating system, web browser and add-ons, device identifier and features, and/or ISP or your mobile carrier. If you use our website from a mobile device, that device will send us data about your location. Most devices allow you to prevent location data from being sent to us and we honour your settings.


We collect information about you when you send, receive, or engage with messages in connection with our Service including through MyRSA. Messages are stored for up to three years and are accessed only if we receive a complaint or to perform an aggregated analysis of usage.


Our charitable work is dynamic and we often introduce new features, which may require the collection of new information. If we collect materially different personal data or materially change how we use your data, we will notify you and may also modify this Privacy Policy.

6. How we Share Information

Any information you include on your MyRSA profile and any content you post or social action (e.g. likes, follows, comments, shares) you take on our website and online tools will be seen by others

We may use others to help us with our website and online tools.

We may need to share your data when we believe it’s required by law or to protect your and our rights and security.

Our Charitable Work

We do not share our data with third parties unless compelled to do so or in a strictly controlled way to certain Service Providers working on our behalf set out below.

Where other third party sharing takes place we will always seek permission from the data subject.

Data is shared on the profiles contained as part of the MyRSA section of our website with other Fellows. If you join an RSA network we share the membership list with all members of that network as well as the organisation they represent or work for.

All volunteers who receive data and operate on the RSA’s behalf receive appropriate training and technical resources.

Service Providers

We use others to help us provide our charitable work including our website and other core online services including our CRM and mailing tools (e.g. for, maintenance, analysis, audit, payments, fraud detection, marketing and development), printing and distribution of our journal and other postal mailings, provision of catering services through our subsidiary RSA Adelphi Limited. They will have access to your information as reasonably necessary to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for other purposes.

Legal Disclosures

It is possible that we will need to disclose information about you when required by law, warrant, or other legal process or if we have a good faith belief that disclosure is reasonably necessary to (1) investigate, prevent, or take action regarding suspected or actual illegal activities or to assist government enforcement agencies; (2) enforce our agreements with you, (3) investigate and defend ourselves against any third-party claims or allegations, (4) protect the security or integrity of our Service (such as by sharing with companies facing similar threats); or (5) exercise or protect the rights and safety of the RSA.

7. Your Choices and Obligations

We keep most of your personal data for as long as your account is open.

We keep some of your data even after you end your relationship with us.

You can access or delete your personal data. You have many choices about how your data is collected, used and shared.

Data Retention

We retain the personal data you provide as needed to carry out our charitable work. If you are a Fellow or supporter who receives mailings we keep your data to help us improve our charitable work. We delete keep data for three years for supporters and other contacts and seven years for Fellows. Our Fellowship Record is a historical record and we keep a minimum amount of data for posterity as part of our archive.

We retain your personal data even after a Fellow has ceased their membership or a supporter has stopped receiving mailings to comply with legal obligations (including law enforcement requests), meet our regulatory and financial requirements, resolve disputes, maintain security, prevent fraud and abuse, or fulfil your request to “unsubscribe” from further messages from us. The list of the Fellows of the RSA is a historical record which is maintained for posterity with the limited amount of information we require to achieve this.

Rights to Access and Control Your Personal Data

You can access or delete your personal data. You have many choices about how your data is collected, used and shared which we manage through our consent centre and speaking with us.

If you would like more information, or have any questions about this policy, please contact our Fellowship team by email at [email protected] or write to us at: The RSA, 8 Johns Adam, or call us on 020 7930 5115 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

To make a formal complaint about the RSA’s approach to data protection or raise privacy concerns directly with our data protection team, please contact:

The Data Protection Officer


8 John Adam Street



Email: [email protected]

You also have the right to make a complaint direct to the UK's data protection authority, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The ICO can be contacted at: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

Concerns can be also be logged via the ICO website.

8. Other Important Information

We monitor for, and try to prevent, security breaches. Please use the security features available through our online tools.

We are not responsible for the content of third parties including any personal data contained.

We store and use your data outside your country.

Our statements regarding direct marketing.

We target our communications using profiling based on the information we know about you.


We implement security safeguards designed to protect your data, such as HTTPS. We regularly monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Content provided by Third Parties published on our website

We often publish and link to reports, blogs and articles written by Fellows and others who are not members of staff at the RSA. We are not responsible for the accuracy of either the content or any personal data contained within such content.

Cross-Border Data Transfers

We process data both inside and outside of the United Kingdom. Where we transfer data we do so either within the EEA, under EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks or through written contract terms.

Direct Marketing

We currently do not share personal data with third parties for their direct marketing purposes.


Profiling is a common technique used in direct marketing and involves analysing data to improve the targeting of communications. The RSA uses profiling techniques to help ensure our communications are relevant.  Profiling allows us to target our resources effectively, which donors consistently tell us is a key priority for them. It enables us to raise more funds, sooner, and more cost-effectively, than we otherwise would. The data may have been provided to the RSA by our supporters when responding to our marketing campaigns, or when using our website, or social media sites such as Facebook. It may also have been provided by external organisations as described below.

 When building a profile we may analyse geographic, demographic and other information relating to you, as well as your previous responses to our marketing campaigns. We do this in order to determine whether we believe a particular marketing campaign might be of interest. Some of the data is provided by external organisations and may be provided at an aggregate level (e.g. by postcode). Where it relates to you as an individual we check that you have provided your express consent to the relevant third party for this use of your data. This helps to maximise the effectiveness of our campaigns and to minimise the wastage that would result from sending marketing information where it is not of interest.

9. Email Disclaimer

The information in any e-mail (and/or document attached) sent by or on behalf of the RSA is confidential and may be legally privileged and/or contain copyright material of the RSA. This information is intended solely for the use of the named addressee. If you are not the named addressee of an email from the RSA, please notify the sender immediately and do not disclose, copy or distribute the contents to any other person. 

Any contractual representations contained therein on behalf of the RSA must not be taken as final, and are entirely subject to contracts signed formally by an authorised representative of this organisation.

Whilst the RSA takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that e-mails from the Society are virus free, no responsibility will be taken for viruses transmitted from its systems.