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38 Degrees is a community of millions of ordinary people who live all across the UK. We work together on the issues we all care about to bring about real change.
38 degrees is the angle at which a pile of snowflakes becomes an avalanche. When enough gather in the right place, they become an unstoppable force. 38 Degrees campaigns are inspired by this idea, giving individuals a chance to join an avalanche of people working together for a better world.
38 Degrees believes that power should rest with the people. Our millions of members work together to:
38 Degrees members take simple, powerful actions to weigh in at critical moments when our values are at stake and we can make a difference. Sometimes we act online, like signing a petition, emailing an MP or corporate boss, or raising awareness on social media. Sometimes we act offline, like visiting an MP or minister, taking out ads in newspapers, holding public meetings or fundraising for legal action. We also get creative when we need to – in the past we’ve hired bike ads to circle council offices, descended on Parliament Square dressed as beekeepers and camped out in public toilets to keep our issues on the agenda.
38 Degrees has a small staff team. The office is run by staff and volunteers with the help of the 38 Degrees Board. However it’s 38 Degrees members who set the agenda. Together, we choose campaigns and help pick the tactics we use to win – and then we act. 38 Degrees staff and office volunteers work full-time to make sure our campaigns are as effective as possible. Staff and office volunteers write the emails that let members know wha’s going on, as well as making sure that the technology we use is working properly. Staff also draw on advice from other campaigning groups, issue experts and others to make sure we’re getting good information about the best way to make change happen.
Definitely not. We are not connected to any political parties, and are funded entirely by donations from our members. Our independence means we can campaign on issues that we feel passionately about and that we decide on together. We are driven by issues and outcomes, and judge all politicians by the same standards.
38 Degrees is people-powered – we don’t take money from government or big business, so we rely on donations from hundreds of thousands of members of the public from all over the UK to make change happen. We ask members to donate to support work or to fund a specific campaign or a specific action (e.g. to pay for the costs of organising a demonstration or putting ads in newspapers). 38 Degrees received some money from charitable trusts and foundations back in 2009 to help with set-up costs, but since 2011 we have been funded entirely by small donations from our members. If you would like to support our work please donate using our secure online donation system. If you are a foundation interested in funding our work or an individual wishing to give a large gift please contact us here. You can read more about the 38 Degrees donations policy, where the money comes from and how we spend it, here.
38 Degrees keeps costs low by maintaining a small staff team so the majority of donations can fund campaigns. We rely on donations from individuals to help pay for the technology, the research, the equipment and the small office we need to organise campaigns. You can donate here using our secure online donation system.
If you donate to a specific campaign we’ll spend the money on that campaign. In a rare case where we can’t (e.g because we’ve won the campaign already!) we’ll spend the money on the same issue. If we can’t do that we’ll put the money into general funds to support all our work.
If we’ve asked for donations for a very specific purpose (eg. to pay for an advert), and then aren’t able to do the thing we’ve specified or something very similar, we’ll get in touch to explain why. You can read our full donation policy here.
38 Degrees is inspired by the impact of advocacy groups like MoveOn in the United States, GetUp in Australia and Avaaz around the world. These groups have used the same model, technologies and techniques to mobilize nearly 9 million people to campaign on issues important to their members.
38 Degrees was founded by a group of activists and funders concerned about the state of our democracy and determined to try something different. Founders include Gordon Roddick, Henry Tinsley, Pete Myers and Paul Hilder. The project was developed by Ben Brandzel, Nina Kowalska, David Babbs and Warren Puckett. 38 Degrees was founded in memory of Anita Roddick, a lifetime champion of the power of ordinary people to make a difference.
38 Degrees members have contributed to some incredible, people-powered victories since we started working together to make change happen. Here are just a few.
We helped stop the Government’s plans to sell off our ancient national forests. We helped stop plans for a nuclear dump in the Lake District. 38 Degrees members helped convince the government to sign up to the EU Directive on human trafficking, helping prevent trafficking in the future as well as ensuring victims are properly looked after. We forced the Olympic sponsors not to dodge their tax, stopped eBay from selling illegal bee-killing pesticides, and stopped the unpopular hospital closure clause from becoming law.
Campaigns are chosen by members. Members take part in weekly polls to choose which campaigns to prioritise, and vote on individual campaign ideas as well if news stories break suddenly. 38 Degrees members can also suggest campaigns on the 38 Degrees website, as well as by sharing ideas on the Facebook page, blog, or by tweeting to @38_degrees. Staff and volunteers in the 38 Degrees office then work together to identify the issues most important to members. You can learn more about the campaign selection process here and see the latest poll results here.
Absolutely! The best way to suggest a campaign and see what other 38 Degrees members think of the idea is via the 38 Degrees Facebook page. This is actively used by members all the time. Alternatively, why not tweet your idea to @38_degrees?
We’ve also built a set of tools that help members set up and run their own campaigns. It’s called Campaigns by You, and it’s there to give 38 Degrees members and partner organisations the opportunity to campaign on all the hundreds of really important issues, both local and national, that we all care about – far more than the small office team could ever support. If you feel passionately about something, why not start a campaign?
Yes. 38 Degrees campaigns on both local and national issues. It’s up to 38 Degrees members to set the priorities.
Many 38 Degrees members have set up and run campaigns on local issues that are important to them using Campaigns by You.
38 Degrees members often meet up locally to take part in activities related to 38 Degrees campaigns. For example they may meet up to deliver a petition to their local MP, or to discuss ways to protect the NHS in their local area.
38 Degrees doesn’t operate “official” local branches – it’s much more informal than that. 38 Degrees members come together when they want to, and the office does its best to tell other local members that events or meetings are coming up. 38 Degrees tells members about events happening in their area via email, Facebook, Twitter or the website. If you’re organising a meet-up with other 38 Degrees members locally, pop the staff team an email and we can try and spread the word.
Sometimes the staff team organise “member meals” around the UK. These are an opportunity for local 38 Degrees members to meet other members, go for a meal together and discuss issues that are important to them. When a member meal is happening near you the staff team will let you know!
38 Degrees members taking action locally are asked to take care to describe themselves as “a group of 38 Degrees members from X” rather than giving the impression that they are speaking on behalf of the millions of 38 Degrees members across the UK.
For any other campaign, please forward responses to email@example.com. If you are unable to scan in or photograph the letter, please send the office team an email including your MP’s name and a very brief summary of his/her/their response. The office team gathers all the MP responses online, so everyone is able to see what their MP thinks on a issue.
No, it doesn’t. Before 38 Degrees members deliver petitions, the office team go through all the names and remove any signatures which appear more than once.
There is no charge to join 38 Degrees, you just have to take action on a campaign.
The only requirement of membership is to take an action – as simple as signing a petition, or attending an event.
If you would like to help with a 38 Degrees campaign or more generally, we would love to hear from you. If you email the office team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV, how you feel you can help and any relevant logistical or cost information, then our team of staff and volunteers will get back to you as soon as possible.
We only send emails to people that have taken actions on our website. Someone might have forwarded you an email, or maybe you saw the link on Facebook or Twitter. We don’t acquire email addresses from any third party organisations.
If you’d rather not receive emails from 38 Degrees you can unsubscribe at any time here. Make sure you type your email address correctly or it won’t work. If that doesn’t work, double-check which email address the 38 Degrees email was sent to and try again.
It can take up to 24 hours to take effect – you might still get an email in that period so please be patient!
Of course. Please let the office team know using our contact form here.
Quite often these things are caused by a temporary glitch – does the same thing happen if you try again? If something’s very wrong, the office team will be scrambling to fix it so please be patient! Do let us know if you still have the same problem after 24 hours.
Does the red message say: “Did you mean [some other ending]?” but you are sure your typed it correctly? Don’t worry! Our system’s a bit sensitive but it should still work. If you’re getting the error over and over, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to sort it out.
The emails could be automatically arriving in your spam folder – a few members have reported this problem recently. Please add “firstname.lastname@example.org” to your safe/trusted senders list to prevent this.
To be extra sure you continue to receive 38 Degrees emails, sign up to any recent action on the 38 Degrees site. You can find them all here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns