Privacy Notice

The West Virginia University Foundation, Inc. (WVU Foundation or WVUF) is committed to protecting the privacy of West Virginia University and West Virginia University Health System students, alumni, donors, faculty, and friends. This Privacy Notice describes the types of personal data we collect and the policies and procedures we have implemented to safeguard it. If you have additional questions or concerns not addressed in this Privacy Notice, please contact

What personal information do we collect?


While specific information may vary from individual to individual, the WVU Foundation may collect, store, use, and share (with authorized users and third-party vendors) the following types of personal data:



  • Contact and demographic information, including names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, social media accounts, birth and death dates, gender, and ethnicity.
  • Student information, including degrees, years of graduation, majors, college and department affiliations, student activities, awards, and athletics.
  • Employment information, including job titles, occupations, specializations, company names, business mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Family information, including names of spouses/partners and children. We also link the accounts of family members to share credit for philanthropic gifts and to reduce print mailings.
  • Alumni information, including volunteer activities and participation, event attendance, board participation, honors, and awards.
  • Donor information, including individual giving transactions, pledged gifts, stewardship efforts, contact reports, wealth assessments, and other indicators of a person’s likelihood to donate to WVU.
  • Web analytic information, including email engagement data, authenticated activity on WVUF websites, and public social media usage.



How do we collect personal information?


The WVU Foundation receives personal information from sources throughout WVU and the West Virginia University Health System. We typically receive and load new student data shortly after the beginning of each semester and graduation data not long after commencement. We also collect personal information directly from our alumni, donors, faculty, and students when they make a gift, register for an event, fill out a form, or, as is often the case, contact us directly and request to have their records updated.


On occasion, we also partner with third-party sources who have contracted with us to assist in updating information, such as the national change of address service provided by the US Postal Service. We also collect data from standard Internet searches and from other publicly accessible resources, including social media.


The West Virginia University Foundation is also the fundraising agency for the West Virginia University Health System, which is the clinical and educational partner of the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center. Because of this partnership, the foundation receives extremely limited protected health information (PHI) about individuals who received service at a West Virginia University Health System facility.


We do not receive any information regarding health conditions or diagnoses. Because of this partnership, the foundation is subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law created to provide protection of personal health information and to safeguard access to and use of PHI. Any PHI data is maintained securely with limited access in compliance with HIPAA requirements.


How do we use personal information?


The WVU Foundation uses personal information only for secure and legitimate purposes that directly support the primary missions of the West Virginia University Foundation, West Virginia University and the West Virginia University Health System including:


Every magazine, postcard, event invitation, email, and phone call that a former student or donor receives from WVU begins with our data. The system also allows us to note and honor communication preferences. For example, if a graduate requests to no longer receive magazines, we will exclude them from all future mailings.


Personal information drives West Virginia University’s philanthropic efforts, from planning years-long campaign efforts, identifying potential donors, and tracking progress to making solicitations, processing gifts, and thanking donors for their support. As with WVUF’s communication efforts, we also use this data to note and honor solicitation preferences.



Our data is an invaluable tool for better understanding the West Virginia University’s constituents and, as a result, for more effectively and efficiently addressing their widely varying needs. It also plays a critical role in the accreditation process for many of the schools and colleges within WVU.


The WVU Foundation and its partners do not sell, rent, or lease its data to third parties.


How is personal information stored and accessed?


The WVU Foundation has put in place reasonable physical, technical, and administrative safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to or use of personal information. Only authenticated users with specific permissions may access our data. We employ information security best practices and monitor any attempts to access the system without permission.


The primary users of personal data stored by the WVU Foundation are full-time employees of the WVU Foundation. Access is granted by a qualified administrator only after the employee has been trained and has agreed to abide by all policies governing the use of confidential information. All personal information transferred from a WVU Foundation database must be properly secured and then promptly destroyed upon completion of the task. When a university employee or alumni volunteer receives data from the WVU Foundation—for example, a file containing mailing addresses for an alumni magazine—he or she must follow identical protocols.


The WVU Foundation also occasionally shares personal information with third-party vendors, but only under the terms of an approved contract and an applicable data privacy agreement. The WVU Foundation will not share your information with third parties except:


  • As necessary to meet one of WVUF’s lawful purposes, including but not limited to: any legitimate interest related to WVUF’s mission or operation, contract compliance, pursuant to consent provided by you, and as required by law.
  • As necessary to protect WVUF’s interests.
  • With service providers acting on our behalf who have agreed to protect the confidentiality of the data as required by the data privacy agreement.


How long do we store personal information?


The mission of the WVU Foundation is to honor and cultivate a lifelong relationship between West Virginia University and its students, alumni, donors, faculty, and friends. Certain student records and gift transaction details must be stored permanently for auditing purposes. Otherwise, we accommodate to the best of our ability all requests to change contact and solicitation preferences.




The WVU Foundation is committed to complying with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). The Foundation does not knowingly request or solicit personal information from children under 13 years of age without the consent of a parent or guardian. Users under the age of 13 and their parents and guardians are cautioned that the collection of personal information volunteered by children online or by e-mail will be treated the same as information given by an adult — until the Foundation becomes aware that the user is under the age of 13. Once aware we have collected such Personal Information without the requisite and verifiable parental consent, we will delete that information from our database as quickly as is practical.


Changes to our Privacy Notice


We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. Any material changes to this Privacy Notice will be posted on this page and will take effect as soon as it has been updated.


This Privacy Notice was last updated as of January 2024


Update your information           


If you would like to update your information you may do so at


Contact us


If you have any questions or comments about our privacy practices or compliance efforts, please contact Christopher Britton, Director of Digital Transformation Security, at 304-284-4091 or email