Privacy Policy


This Data Privacy Policy applies to Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation (henceforth "Helvetas"), Switzerland.

We explain in this Data Privacy Policy how we collect and process personal data. We define personal data as all information related to an identified or identifiable person. When we refer to the processing of your personal data in this Data Privacy Policy, we mean any operation with your personal data. This includes in particular the collection, storage, management, use, transmission, disclosure or deletion of personal data.

When you provide us with the personal data of others (such as family members and work colleagues), please ensure that these individuals understand this Data Privacy Policy and only share their personal data with us if you are permitted to do so and the personal data are correct.

Protecting your personal data is very important to us and the responsibility of all Helvetas staff; this applies to employees as well as volunteers. Helvetas does not trade in addresses, nor does it rent, sell or exchange any personal data. Helvetas observes the applicable data protection provisions, in particular the Federal Data Protection Act. Moreover, Helvetas complies with the ZEWO Standards and the Ethical Guidelines for Fundraising as defined by Swissfundraising, the Swiss association of fundraisers.

1. When do we collect personal data?

We collect personal data as part of our commitment for development cooperation in order to conclude contracts with our customers, donors, sponsors and business partners and comply with the resulting obligations. If you work for a customer or business partner of Helvetas, your personal data may be collected in connection with your role.

We collect your personal data when we are in contact with you or you visit our website. There are many situations in which we have contact with you. This includes the following circumstances in particular:

  • You support Helvetas with a donation;
  • You purchase goods in our shops or through our website;
  • You sign up for a newsletter;
  • You take part in a Helvetas event or contact Helvetas at third-party events;
  • You commission Helvetas or use a service;
  • You take part in a competition or prize draw;
  • You use or communicate with us or third parties via our websites, apps for mobile devices or offerings on Internet platforms, multimedia portals or social networks;
  • You communicate with us by telephone, fax, email, voice messaging, text messaging (SMS), image messaging (MMS), video messaging or instant messaging;
  • You take part in one of our market research events or opinion surveys.

2. What personal data do we collect?

We collect personal data which you provide to us or which are automatically generated or manually recorded when you contact Helvetas.

Identity data

  • First name and last name;
  • Residential address, postcode; city;
  • Date of birth and age;
  • Gender;
  • Household size or other household members;
  • Purchasing habits;
  • Information on purchasing power or creditworthiness;
  • Customer and purchase preferences;
  • Delivery address;
  • Billing address;
  • Credit card, debit card and account information;
  • Language preferences;
  • Telephone number(s);
  • Email address(es);
  • Information on subscribed newsletters or other advertising;
  • Consent for receiving advertising;
  • Online customer/donation account information (including opening date, user names, profile images);
  • Memberships, sponsorships, pledges for regular donations;
  • Photo and video recordings when participating in events.

Activity information

  • Contract data (such as contract date, contract type, contract content; contract partners, contract term, contract value; payment method, asserted claims from the contract);
  • Purchase and donation information (including purchase and donation date, place and time; type, quantity and value of purchased goods and donation made; shopping basket; cancelled shopping basket; payment methods used; paying agent; purchase history);
  • Customer service information (including returns of goods, complaints, warranty cases, delivery information);
  • Data related to visiting our websites, apps for mobile devices or offerings on Internet platforms, multimedia portals or social media (including the length and frequency of visits, language and country settings, information on browser and computer operating system, Internet protocol addresses, search terms and search results; ratings submitted);
  • Communication by telephone, fax, email, voice messaging, text messaging (SMS), image messaging (MMS), video messaging or instant messaging.

3. Why do we process personal data?

We process personal data for the purpose stated when collecting the data (see chapter 1). Furthermore, we process personal data for fundraising, to the extent this is permissible and we consider appropriate, and when fundraising relates to the following reasons in which we have a legitimate interest:

Processing purposes in connection with communication

  • Provision, administration and execution of donation and customer communication by post and via electronic means of communication;
  • Commercial communication by post and telephone, fax, email, voice messaging, text messaging (SMS), image messaging (MMS), video messaging or instant messaging;
  • Analysis of the use of our offers via telephone, fax, email, voice messaging, text messaging (SMS), image messaging (MMS) or instant messaging, including: type of use, frequency and duration of use, exact location of use.

Processing purposes in connection with our goods

  • Provision and sale of our goods;
  • Processing of orders and contracts, including dispatch of order and shipping confirmations, delivery confirmations; delivery and billing;
  • Organisation and execution of customer services;
  • Checking customer creditworthiness.

Processing purposes in connection with special activities and events

  • Organisation and execution of competitions or prize draws, including notification and publication of winners via our websites, apps for mobile devices or our offerings on Internet platforms, multimedia portals or social networks;
  • Organisation and execution of events.

Processing purposes in connection with behaviour analysis

  • We optimise the product range by recording and analysing the historical and current donation, customer and purchase behaviour in our shop in an individualised and personal, but also anonymous and group-related (i) manner (this includes the creation and analysis of shopping baskets). When you use the offers on our websites, on apps for mobile devices or on Internet platforms, multimedia portals or social networks, we also record these data and analyse them in order to improve our communication. (ii) We identify, classify and analyse current and potential donation/customer needs as well as donation/customer interests, and (iii) we categorise donation/customer behaviour as well as donation/customer potential and analyse these data for the purpose of optimising our offers;
  • We statistically analyse donation/customer behaviour;
  • We combine the newly collected personal data about your identity with the data we already collected in the past;
  • We combine personal data that we have collected with publicly accessible data, such that we are able to more effectively align our data basis and the analysis of donation/customer behaviour to you. The enrichment of profiles with third-party data includes: missing address and contact data (such as telephone numbers), data from the Federal Statistical Office, calendar data or geodata.
  • We process your personal data partially automatically, such that we can analyse individual personal aspects (profiling). We use profiling in particular to inform and advise you about products in a targeted manner. In this connection, we use analysis instruments which enable us to engage in needs-based communication and advertising including market and opinion research.
  • As a rule, we do not use any fully automatic decision-making systems, neither to establish nor execute commercial relations. In the event that we use such procedures in individual cases, we will specifically inform you accordingly, insofar as this is prescribed by law, and we will explain the associated rights to you.

Processing purposes in connection with direct marketing

  • Processes – such as for donations, purchases or bookings – are simplified. We can use insights from analysing donation and customer behaviour in order to continually improve all donation, goods and service offers;
  • Insights obtained from analysing customer behaviour enable individualised and personalised contact and help to prevent unnecessary advertising;
  • Sending of individualised and personalised advertising by post and telephone, fax, email, voice messaging, text messaging (SMS), image messaging (MMS), video messaging or instant messaging;
  • Individualised and personalised adjustment of offers as well as advertising on our websites, apps for mobile devices or for our channels on Internet platforms, multimedia portals or social networks.

4. How do we protect personal data?

We have technical and organisational security procedures to maintain the security of personal data and protect personal data from unauthorised or unlawful processing and/or against unintentional loss, alteration, disclosure or access.

5. How long do we retain data?

We process and store personal data for as long as necessary for the fulfilment of our contractual and statutory duties or as required for processing in accordance with the pursued purposes; for example, for as long as the entire commercial relationship lasts (from initiation and processing to the completion of a contract); or additionally, if this is required by statutory retention and documentation obligations. In this connection, it is possible that personal data are retained for the period in which claims may be asserted against our organisation and for as long as we are otherwise legally obliged or such retention is necessitated by legitimate commercial interests (such as for verification and documentation purposes). As soon as we no longer need personal data for the above-mentioned purposes, they will generally be deleted or anonymised, where possible.

6. What rights do you have in connection with your personal data?

In connection with data protection law applicable to you and, to the extent prescribed therein, you have the right to information, correction, deletion, restriction of data processing and to object against our data processing. Insofar as the European General Data Protection Regulation applies, you also have the right to have your personal data transferred to another organisation (data portability). However, please note that we reserve the right on our part to assert the legally prescribed limitations, such as if we are obliged to retain or process certain data, we have a prevailing interest in the data (to the extent we may invoke this provision) or we require these data to assert claims. In the event that costs are incurred to you, we will inform you in advance. Please also note that the exercise of these rights may be opposed by contractual agreements and may result in consequences such as premature termination of contract. In such cases, we will inform you in advance unless this is already contractually regulated.

In order that you can exercise such rights, you are generally required to unequivocally verify your identity (such as by presenting a copy of your identification if your identity is unclear or cannot be verified).

Each data subject also has the right to assert their claims in court or to lodge a complaint with the competent data protection authority. The competent data protection authority in Switzerland is the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (

Insofar as you have provided your consent for us to process your personal data for certain purposes (for example, if you signed up for a newsletter), we will process your personal data in accordance with, and based on, this consent, provided that we have no other legal basis for processing and require such consent. Granted consent may be revoked at any time. However, this will have no effect on any previous data processing.

7. How can you contact us?

If you would like to assert your rights related to your personal data or have questions or concerns with respect to the processing of your personal data, you can contact us as follows: We will respond to your questions or concerns within a reasonable period upon receipt.

8. What personal data do we share with third parties?

In connection with our commercial activities and purposes, we also pass on personal data to third parties, to the extent this is permitted and we deem appropriate. This is either because they process these data on our behalf or they require these data for their own purposes. This concerns the following organisations in particular:

  • Service providers commissioned by us to process your data (such as banks, insurers, collection agencies, printers, distribution partners, logistics companies or payment platforms including Raisenow);
  • Public authorities, administrations or courts;

For the most part, these organisations are based in Switzerland or in the Member States of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA). When we wish to transmit data to a country which does not have an appropriate statutory level of data protection, we ensure a suitable level of protection as legally prescribed with corresponding contracts or apply legal exemptions.

9. Email campaigns and e-news

Helvetas provides information by email on current issues and invites recipients to events. We will only send you our Helvetas e-news if you have given us your consent (such as on the website or by participating in a competition). You have the option to unsubscribe from Helvetas e-news at any time, either using the unsubscribe link contained in each e-news dispatch or directly on our website under "e-News".

To the extent permitted, we sometimes integrate in our newsletters and other marketing emails visible and invisible image elements which, when accessed from our servers, enables us to tell whether and when the email was opened. This allows us to analyse whether our communication is read and is relevant to you. You can block this function in your email program.

10. Cookies/tracking and other technologies in connection with your use of our website

10.1. User statistics

The Helvetas website uses Universal Analytics, a web analysis service of Google Inc. ("Google"). Universal Analytics uses "cookies", which enable the analysis of website use. The information generated by the cookie about your use of this website is generally sent to a Google server in the USA, where it is then stored.

If IP anonymisation is enabled, as is the case with this website, your IP address will first be shortened by Google within the Member States of the European Union or in other contractual states of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. It is then no longer possible to clearly assign the IP address to an identity. Only in exceptional cases will the full IP address be sent to a Google server in the USA and shortened there. IP anonymisation is active on this website. On behalf of the operator of this website, Google will use this information to analyse the use of the website, to compile reports on website activities and to provide other services to the website operator related to website and Internet use. The IP address transmitted from your browser via Universal Analytics will not be combined with other data held by Google. You can prevent the storage of cookies by configuring your browser software accordingly; however, we would like to point out that, in this case, you may not be able to use all the functions of this website to their full extent. Since user data are not only collected by cookies, this does not fully prevent data collection by the measurement protocol when you delete cookies.

You can also prevent data related to the use of the website (including your IP address), generated by the cookie, from being recorded and sent to Google and from being processed there. To do so, download the browser plug-in available via the following link and install it:

Further information about terms of use and data privacy can be found at and

On this website, a technology is used in connection with Google Analytics which collects IP addresses. These data are, however, collected in anonymised form in order to protect website visitors.

Demographic data and areas of interest:
the Helvetas website uses cookies to collect demographic and interest-related user data. All data that can be collected are provided by the user to Google Services in advance.

10.2. Google Ads and conversion tracking

This website uses the online advertising program Google Ads and the associated conversion tracking tool. The cookie for conversion tracking is placed when a user clicks on an advertisement displayed by Google. These cookies are not used for personal identification. If the user visits certain pages of this website and the cookie has not yet expired, we and Google are able to recognise that the user has clicked on the advertisement and was sent to this website. Each customer of Google Ads receives a different cookie. Cookies cannot therefore be traced via the websites of Google Ads customers.

Conversion cookies collect information that Google Ads customers, who have opted for conversion tracking, can use to prepare conversion statistics. The customers find out the total number of users who clicked on their advertising and were sent to a page containing a conversion tracking tag. They do not, however, receive any information that allows the users to be personally identified. Users who do not wish to take part in tracking can easily deactivate the Google conversion tracking cookie via the user settings of their Internet browser. These users are not included in the conversion tracking statistics. Learn more about the Google Data Privacy Policy (in English).

10.3. Advertising

With the help of the service providers

this website collects and stores information in anonymised and/or pseudonymised form about the surfing behaviour of website visitors for marketing purposes and in order to continuously improve the offer. Using a "web bug", website visitors can be technically identified (without personal identification); pseudonymised profiles are then created. The data are subsequently stored on your computer with the help of cookies in an encrypted and compressed form. This cookie is only accessible to the visitor and service provider.

The service providers analyse surfing behaviour and can then display targeted product recommendations as personalised advertising banners on other websites. Under no circumstances can these data be used to personally identify the visitor of this website. The collected data are only used to improve the offer. The data are not used for other purposes or disclosed to third parties. The data obtained from the offer do not contain any personal data.

10.4. Use of Facebook plug-ins

We have integrated plug-ins of the social network (henceforth "Facebook") in our website. Facebook is a company of Facebook Inc., 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA. You can view a list and the appearance of these Facebook plug-ins on this website.

Each time a user visits a page on our website that contains such a plug-in, the plug-in causes the browser used by the user to load and display the visual appearance of the plug-in from the Facebook server. This informs the Facebook server about which pages of our website you are currently visiting. If you are a member of Facebook and are logged in to Facebook when visiting our website, Facebook will recognise which specific page of our website you are currently visiting, based on the information sent by the plug-in, and will assign this information to your personal user account on Facebook. If you then confirm one of the plug-ins, for example by clicking the "Like" button or entering a comment, this will be sent to your personal user account on Facebook and stored there. Moreover, the information that you have visited our website will be sent to Facebook, regardless of whether you interact with one of the plug-ins or not.

If you would like to prevent Facebook from storing and transmitting your surfing behaviour and data, you must log out of Facebook before visiting our website. In order to block the data collection and provision of your visitor data by Facebook plug-ins for the future, you can use the "Facebook blocker", a browser add-on, for a number of Internet browsers. Please do not delete the browser add-on for as long as you wish to block the Facebook plug-ins.

On the following website, you can find the data privacy policy of Facebook with more information on how Facebook collects and uses data, your associated rights and the settings available for protecting your privacy.

10.5. Facebook fan page

You can disclose personal data on the Facebook fan page of Helvetas. In accordance with the Facebook terms of use, which every user agrees to when creating a Facebook profile, Helvetas can identify the subscribers and fans of the Helvetas Facebook profile as well as view their profiles and further shared information.

On our Facebook fan page, we process the personal data of users such that we are able to offer them and other visitors an up-to-date information and interaction platform. You do not have to be a member of Facebook in order to view the content.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided in its ruling dated 5 June 2018 that the operator of a Facebook page is responsible together with Facebook for the processing of personal data. We have therefore entered into the agreement Page Controller Addendum with Facebook. You can find this here.

We are aware that Facebook processes the data of users for the following purposes: Facebook uses cookies to store and further process information. These cookies are stored on the various end devices of users. Provided a user has a Facebook profile and is logged in to it, the storage and analysis will also occur across devices. The Facebook data privacy policy contains more information on data processing.

As the operator of the website and the Facebook fan page, we are unable to rule out the transmission and further processing of personal user data in third countries, such as the USA, as well as the associated potential risks for the users.

Facebook Inc., the US parent company of Facebook Ireland Ltd., is certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield and thus commits to adhere to European data protection standards. Further information on the Privacy Shield status of Facebook is available here.

The "insights" of the Facebook page enables us to view statistical data in various categories on an anonymous basis. These statistics are generated and provided by Facebook. As the operator of the website, we have no influence on the generation and representation of these statistics. We cannot suspend this function nor prevent the generation and processing of data. With respect to our Facebook page, we are provided with the following data by Facebook for a selectable period as well as for the categories fans, subscribers, persons reached and interacting persons: total number of page visits, "Like" information, page activity, post interaction, reach, video views, post reach, comments, shared content, replies, proportion of men and women, origin related to country and city, language, clicks on the route planner, clicks on telephone numbers. Such data are likewise provided with respect to the Facebook groups linked with our Facebook page. The ongoing development of Facebook results in changes to the availability and preparation of the data. We therefore refer to the data privacy policy of Facebook for more details in this connection. More information about the insights is available here.

We can use these data to make our posts and activities on our Facebook page more attractive to users. For instance, we use the distributions by age and gender to adjust our language accordingly and the preferred visiting times of users to optimise when we publish our posts. Information about the type of end devices used by visitors helps us to adapt the posts visually.

Since only Facebook has full access to the user data, we recommend contacting Facebook directly if you would like further information or have other questions about your rights as a user (for example, right to deletion). Should you require assistance or have any other questions, please contact us via the address provided.

11. Amendments to this Data Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to revise, change or otherwise amend this Data Privacy Policy at any time. The respectively updated version published on our website applies. In the event that we make changes, we will publish these immediately on our website. Your visit to our website is deemed to be agreement with this Data Privacy Policy. Insofar as the Data Privacy Policy is part of an agreement with you, we will inform you by email or via another appropriate channel about an update or amendment.

12. Responsibility

Responsible for this Data Privacy Policy:

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
Weinbergstrasse 22a
8021 Zurich, Switzerland