Privacy Policy


This privacy notice explains how we use your data, how you can control the way in which we use that data and what actions you can take if you would like to change the way in which your data is being used.

Who are we?

We are the Social Metrics Commission (SMC), an independent commission hosted by The Legatum Institute Foundation (registered charity number 1140719) (the Legatum Institute). For the purposes of this Privacy Notice we refer to ourselves as “the SMC”.

Why do we need your information and whose data do we collect?

We are an independent Commission formed to develop a new approach to poverty measurement that both better reflects the nature and experiences of poverty that different families in the UK have, and can be used to build a consensus around poverty measurement and action in the UK. We publish reports which are publicly available, hold various meetings to share our work with the public and fundraise to support our activities.  To do this well, we need to know about the people who interact with us.

We hold data on people who do, or might do, the following:

  • attend meetings, held both at the Legatum Institute and at external venues;
  • take part as a speaker or panellist in one of our events and activities;
  • contribute to research we carry out;
  • attend meetings with members of staff;
  • support the Commission financially and in other ways;
  • sign-up to receive regular updates on our work; and
  • download our code that produces the Poverty Measure developed by the Commission

How we obtain your data

From you

The majority of the information we hold about you will have been provided directly by you when you have taken part in one of more of the activities outlined above.

From someone other than you

In some cases we may supplement the information you have given us with data from elsewhere. Examples include adding social, economic, financial or demographic data to our visitor or fundraising information, improving or correcting contact details or conducting appropriate due diligence to safeguard the assets and reputation of the SMC in the case of significant financial transactions. Sources of data could include information gathered from a news article or on-line media (including social media), publicly available directories and similar information such as the telephone directory, Royal Mail’s National Change of Address database, Companies’ House and cultural sector audience segmentation data. We may also obtain information about people entirely new to us. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • if an existing supporter or contributor suggests we get in touch to see if you might be interested in becoming involved with us.

What we do with your data

The core activities we carry out with your data enable us to:

  • send information to you about the SMC;
  • provide information for events;
  • administer donations;
  • build support for the SMC through various fundraising and marketing activities;
  • promote the aims and objectives of the SMC through any other activities not specifically mentioned.

What information we collect

We collect the following classes of information:

  • Name(s) and address, email, phone number(s) and other relevant contact details and preferences;
  • Information on event attendance;
  • Use of social media relating to the SMC (e.g. following our Twitter feed);
  • Records of donations;
  • Photographs, recordings (audio and video) and associated information produced at our events;
  • Information about our relationship with you, correspondence and meeting notes;
  • Occupation, skills and professional activity, network(s) and interests where relevant to our needs;
  • Financial information and interest in philanthropy where relevant to our needs.


Although we do not currently do this, we may in future use your data to group together people who have behaved, or might behave in similar ways. For example, we might find that people who had been to certain events were likely to come to similar events, or be interested in similar areas of research. If this was the case then we might “tag” your record to remind us to include you in invitations to similar events or to assess the likelihood that you might come to another type of events. We might carry out similar processes to help us organise our fundraising.

You have a specific right to ask us not to do this. If you would prefer us not to, then please contact us using any of the contact details below.

Protecting your data

We keep your data secure in our database with appropriate security mechanisms in place.

In principle we do not share your data with anyone else or any other organisation unless it is necessary for the purpose for which you have given us the data or described in this notice. Examples are given below:

  • We will provide information to HMRC on Gift Aided donations since we have a legal obligation to provide this information.
  • We may share basic information on the attenders at an event or function or meeting with the host or members of the SMC.
  • We may pass data to other organisations, known as Data Processors, to provide specific services to us. A contract is always in place with a Data Processor, and they are not allowed to do anything with your data other than that which we have requested. In these cases we never lose legal control of your data.

Our responsibilities

The law requires us to tell you the legal basis upon which we process your data.

  • Some activities (for example sending you emails which promote the SMC’s interests) require your consent. If the law requires your consent to process data in a certain way then we will obtain it before carrying out that activity.
  • Other activities are carried out to fulfil a contract or agreement. If a contract is in place then we will process your data based on that contract.
  • In some circumstances the law requires us to disclose information to another party. An example is the reclaim of tax on Gift Aid. If you Gift Aid a donation, then we are required to tell HMRC the name and postcode of the donor and the date(s) and amount(s) of any such donation.
  • In all other cases, and outside our public obligations, the law allows us to process your data if it is in our legitimate interest to do so. We may only do so if we can demonstrate a business need, and so long as your “interests or your fundamental rights and freedoms are not overriding”. Practically speaking this means we carry out an exercise to check that we will not cause you harm by processing your data, that the processing is not overly intrusive and that we will only do so in a way which is described in this privacy notice.

How long do we keep your data?

We will keep data for as long as is needed to complete the task for which it was collected. Donors relationships are often long term ones, and so we expect to keep your data for as long as that relationship exists, or until we no longer need it.

Your rights

You have a variety of rights about the way we process your data. These are as follows:

  • Where our use of your data requires consent, you may withdraw this consent at any time.
  • Where we rely on our legitimate interest to process data, you may ask us to stop doing so.
  • You may request a copy of the data we hold about you.
  • If we are carrying out profiling, you may ask us not to do so.
  • You may change or stop the way in which we communicate with you or process data about you. If the data we hold is not required for the purpose you provided it, then we will do stop using it. Activities like processing Gift Aid donations may mean we cannot entirely stop processing your data. However, we will always endeavour to comply with such a request.
  • If you are not satisfied with the way we have processed your data then you can complain to the Office of the Information Commissioner, with whom we are registered.

Contacting us

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, about the way in which we process your data, or if you wish to change the way we use your data, including how we communicate with you, then please contact us:

By post: David Wesson, Managing Director, The Legatum Institute, 11 Charles Street, London, W1J 5DW.

By email:

By phone: 020 7148 5400