RISD Institutional Advancement Privacy Statement


Rhode Island School of Design ("RISD") is committed to supporting the privacy of RISD Students, Alumni, Parents and Friends. This Privacy Statement explains how RISD’s Office of Institutional Advancement handles and uses the personal information we collect about our alumni and our past, present and future supporters.

What personal information we collect

While specific information may vary for particular individuals, we may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal information about you, which we have grouped together as follows:

  1. Basic biographic/contact information – home and business addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and social media contact information
  2. Demographic information – names, gender, age, birth and death dates, photograph, and ethnicity (solely if you choose to provide ethnic information)
  3. Student information obtained from RISD records – degrees, majors, RISD affiliations and clubs, awards and activities
  4. Employment information – company names, job titles, and industry information
  5. Family information – spouse/partner's name, children's names, birth dates, and familial relationships
  6. Alumni information – event attendance, volunteer interests, organization affiliations, committee participation, awards, honors and exhibitions, gallery affiliation
  7. Donor information – giving information regarding any donation which is made, including wealth assessment information and indicators of your interest in giving
  8. Analytical information – aggregated information related to web visitor activity and email marketing actions

How we collect personal information about you

We collect information about you from a variety of sources. A significant portion of the information we maintain is that which you have provided to us, either by updating your information online, registering for an event, communicating with us, or making a donation. For RISD students and alumni, your personal data is transferred to the Institutional Advancement database from RISD’s student record system when you enroll at RISD.
We may also augment the information we collect about you from targeted internet searches and may use third party sources, including but not limited to social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin), Lexis Nexis for Development Professionals, LiveAlumni and Melissa Data.)

How we use your personal information

We use your personal information for a number of legitimate purposes all in support of RISD and our mission. Specifically, we use your personal information to:

  1. Keep you updated with information about RISD and alumni activities
  2. Conduct surveys, including alumni satisfaction, donation preferences and interests
  3. Provide alumni services, such as access to RISD alumni email forwarding for life and alumni benefit opportunities
  4. Fundraise for particular RISD concerns, initiatives or programs, including those related to your departmental major(s)
  5. Send you information about volunteer activities and invite you to RISD events in your area
  6. Conduct philanthropic preference research in order to understand alumni and supporters, to inform our fundraising strategy and target our communications
  7. Perform administrative tasks and for internal record keeping purposes.
  8. Create and analyze aggregated (fully anonymized) information about our students, alumni, donor and other supporters for statistical research purposes in support of our educational mission.

If you have concerns about any of these purposes, or how we communicate with you, please contact us at privacy@risd.edu. We will always respect a request by you to stop processing your personal information (subject to our legal obligations).

When we share your personal information

To perform the functions listed above, it may be necessary to share your personal information with volunteers and students. All individuals performing functions for us are informed regarding appropriate handling of your personal information. We may also share your personal information with third parties performing services under contract with us, including but not limited to Blackbaud, LiveAlumni, RNL, People Grove, SoftDocs, Event Brite, PG Calc, Meyers and Associates, and Blenderbox.

Transferring Your Data

Both by interacting with RISD’s website and by explicitly providing RISD with your personal data, you acknowledge that your personal data may be transferred to Rhode Island School of Design and stored on computers, servers and/or in files in the United States. Please note that U.S. federal and state laws are not, at present, considered to meet the same legal standards of protection for personal data as European Union law. However, in order to safeguard your personal data, we only transfer data from the E.U. to the U.S. under a contract or another appropriate mechanism that is approved under applicable law and that protects that data to the same standards that you would expect in Europe.

How your information is stored and secured

RISD employs appropriate technical and administrative security controls to protect against access to your personal data by unauthorized persons and against unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage. RISD also endeavors to take all reasonable steps to protect personal data from external threats such as malicious software or hacking. However, there are always inherent risks in sending information by public networks or using public computers and we cannot 100% guarantee the security of all data sent to us.

How long we keep your personal information

We consider our relationship with alumni, donors and other stakeholders to be lifelong. This means that we will maintain a record for you until such time as you tell us that you no longer wish us to keep in touch.

Recording your communications preferences

Please feel free to contact the Advancement Services office within Institutional Advancement at advancmentservices@risd.edu (note “Communications Preference” in the subject line) or 401-454-6775 to let us know your communications preferences. You may also make changes to communication preferences online through links provided in our email communications.

Rights for Individuals in the European Economic Area

You have the right in certain circumstances to (1) access your personal information; (2) correct or erase information; (3) restrict processing; and (4) object to communications, direct marketing, or profiling. To the extent applicable, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation provides further information about your rights. You also have the right to lodge complaints with your national or regional data protection authority.

If you are inclined to exercise these rights, we request an opportunity to discuss with you any concerns you may have. To protect the personal information we hold, we may also request further information to verify your identity when exercising these rights. Upon a request to erase information, we will maintain a core set of personal data to ensure we do not contact you inadvertently in the future, as well as any information necessary for RISD archival purposes. We may also need to retain some financial information for legal purposes, including US IRS compliance. In the event of an actual or threatened legal claim, we may retain your information for purposes of establishing, defending against or exercising our rights with respect to such claim.

If you provide information directly to RISD from the European Economic Area (EEA), you consent to the transfer of your personal information outside of the EEA to the United States. You understand that the current laws and regulations of the United States may not provide the same level of protection as the data and privacy laws and regulations of the EEA.

You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide any personal data to us (other than personal data provided in connection with your status as an RISD student).

Additional Information

We may change this Privacy Statement from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information, we will make this clear on our RISD websites or by contacting you directly.

This policy was last updated in AUGUST 2020.

If you wish to specify email preferences, please do so via this link.

For questions or concerns, please contact privacy@risd.edu.