Urgent: Appeal Campaign Title here about 10 words here

Frequently Asked Questions

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38Degrees FAQs

38Degrees FAQs

What is 38 Degrees?

38 Degrees is a community of more than a million people who – in a moment away from their busy days – take small actions on issues they care about, which all add up to something bigger, a movement for a better Britain for everyone who calls our country home.

A Britain where we all get a fair chance in life and where the place we were born, or the area we live in, doesn’t decide that chance. Where we protect our planet and hold those in power to account for doing the same, and where we are treated, and treat one another, with respect.

We come from all walks of life; we’re nurses, taxi drivers, parents, shopkeepers, pensioners and more.

How can I get in touch?

We’d love you to get in touch. You can find our contact details here.

How can I reach a media spokesperson?

Please email the 38 Degrees media spokesperson on press@38degrees.org.uk or hannah.g@38degrees.org.uk.

How does 38 Degrees Work?

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. For example, by signing a petition, emailing an MP or a 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.

Campaigns are chosen by 38 Degrees supporters. Supporters take part in surveys to choose which campaigns to prioritise, and vote on individual campaign ideas as well if news stories break suddenly.

Members of the 38 Degrees community can also suggest campaigns by sharing ideas on our Facebook page, by tweeting to @38degrees, or emailing us direction at emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk.

How have you made a difference?

38 Degrees supporters 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 huge funding cuts at the BBC and 38 Degrees members successfully campaigned for the removal of slave owner Robert Milligan’s statue from West India Quay. We helped force the government into a u-turn, to provide food vouchers instead of food parcels for children across the UK. Together, we have pushed to make workplaces safer and to protect the £20 Universal Credit uplift.

Who runs 38 Degrees?

38 Degrees has a small staff team. The office is run by this staff team with the help of the 38 Degrees Board. However it’s 38 Degrees supporters who set the agenda. Together, we choose campaigns and help pick the tactics we use to win – and then we act. 38 Degrees staff work full-time to make sure our campaigns are as effective as possible by writing the emails that let members know what’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.

Is 38 Degrees connected to a political party?

Definitely not. We are not connected to any political parties, and are funded by donations from our supporters. 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.

Where does the funding come from?

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.

Where did the idea for 38 Degrees come from?

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 mobilise nearly 9 million people to campaign on issues important to their members.

Who started 38 Degrees?

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.

What does the name mean?

38 Degrees is the angle at which a pile of snow becomes an avalanche. When enough gathers in the right place, it becomes 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.

I’m Interested in working for 38 Degrees!

Great! Please check out our careers page.

Can I start my own Campaign?

Yes! We’ve 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 here?

Does 38 Degrees campaign on local issues?

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.

Does 38 Degrees have local branches?

38 Degrees doesn’t operate local branches but members may meet up locally to take part in activities related to 38 Degrees campaigns. For example, to deliver a petition to a local MP or to discuss ways to protect the NHS in a local area.

38 Degrees members come together when they want to and the staff team does its best to tell other local members that events or meetings are coming up. If you’re organising a meet-up with other 38 Degrees members locally, send the staff team an email and we can try and spread the word.

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.

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Campaigns by You FAQs

Campaigns by You FAQs

Queries about how to run a petition on our Campaigns By You website

How do I contact people who’ve signed my petition?

Just click ‘Email supporters’ and follow the instructions. You can send up to three updates per week. See picture guide below:

How many emails can I send to the members who’ve signed my petition?

You can send a maximum of 3 per week.

Can 38 Degrees send my campaign out?

It’s unlikely that this will happen. It really is 38 Degrees members who decide the issues we campaign on and which are emailed out to other members. We get around 25 petitions a day set up on the website, and I’m sure the number of 38 Degrees members would quickly plummet if we sent out an email on every campaign.

Why can my petition only have 100 signatures, and how do I change this?

The signature counter will automatically update as your petition gets more signatures – so please don’t worry, there’s no cap on the number of signatures you can collect.

What writing tips do you have for my petition?

It’s great to keep the ask short and concise, provide links to helpful sources in the ‘why’ section, and address your petition to the correct target!

Why can’t I tick all the categories?

The office team limits the number of categories for each petition to the most relevant. This helps the categories to have a clear structure and meaning.

How do I edit my petition?

How do I edit my petition?

First click on ‘my campaigns’ to find your campaign. Select your campaign, then on the campaign page, click ‘edit content’. See picture guide below:

Why can’t I edit the ‘ask’ of my petition any more?

Once people have signed your petition you can’t change the ‘ask’ – this is because the people who’ve signed put their name to a certain ask and it wouldn’t be fair to change it afterwards!

Can a petition have multiple admins?

Yes! Just click Settings, then ‘Campaign Admins’. You can then email invitations to future co-admins. See picture guide below:


Why can’t we find my campaign by searching for it on the site?

Not every campaign will appear in the list of petitions on Campaigns by You. This is so the office team can highlight petitions that we think will particularly appeal to 38 Degrees members. Don’t worry though – petition pages are still live and open for people to sign even if they don’t appear in the list. And since almost all your signatures will come from people sharing your petition, whether or your petition appears in the list will not affect the success of your campaign.

I’m going to hand-in my petition – should I end my petition?

Not yet!

After you hand your petition in, it’s a good idea to keep your petition open. This way, you can get in touch with petition-signers to let them know what happens after the hand-in, and continue the campaign if you need to.

I’ve won my campaign! What do I do?


First go to Settings, then click ‘End Campaign’ and follow the instructions to write about your success! The office team will moderate your reasons for ending as soon as possible. See picture guide below:

I’ve lost my campaign – what do I do?

Keep campaigning – don’t give up! You can start a new petition, or look for new ways to keep your campaign going.

How do I end my campaign?

You can end your campaign under the “settings” tab above your petition.

Chapter :

Technical FAQs

Technical FAQs

Issues with signing petitions, emails, broken links, and unsubscribing etc.

How do I unsubscribe?

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!

My email address has changed. Can you update your records?

Of course! Please let the office team know by getting in touch with us at meettheteam@38degrees.org.uk

My email address wasn’t accepted

Does the red message say: “Did you mean [some other ending]?” but you are sure your typed it correctly? Don’t worry! Our system can sometimes be bit sensitive but it should still work. If you’re getting the error over and over, please drop us a line at emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk and we’ll do our best to sort it out.

I’m not getting your emails any more!

The emails could be automatically arriving in your spam folder Please check your spam and add “action@38degrees.org.uk” to your safe/trusted senders list to prevent this.
If you’re still having issues it might be that your email reply hit our unsubscribe filter, which picks up phrases like “stop emailing me” and “remove my email” so people who no longer want to hear from 38 Degrees can be taken off the list immediately.

You can resubscribe to our mailing list at any time here: https://act.38degrees.org.uk/act/subscribe-page

A link in one of your emails doesn’t work

If you’re using Safari as your internet browser, this can occasionally block a pop-up that offers to open or share the petition. If this is the case, try using a different internet browser, or change your pop up settings to allow 38 Degrees to open that page.
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 by emailing us at emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk

It won’t let me share on Facebook/Twitter

Once you have our email open:
Right click on the button of or link next to the response that you wish to select (e.g. ‘Facebook’)
Click ‘Copy link address.’
Go to your internet browser and Right Click on the search bar at the top of your internet browser (where you would normally type in a website).
Click ‘Paste.’
Press the Enter button on your keyboard
This should take you to a page where you can open or share the survey.

My non-UK postcode wasn’t accepted

Unfortunately, at the moment 38 Degrees petitions can only take signatures from people based in the UK. This is because 38 Degrees is a UK-based campaigning organisation and in general 38 Degrees campaigns and petitions are directed at United Kingdom recipients; MPs, MEPs, national organisations, councils, UK arms of multinationals etc. This means that the people campaigning to these organisations need to be the people these organisations are accountable to – UK residents.

The software that is used for 38 Degrees online actions also relies in part on the UK postcode database to ensure that each electronic signature comes from an individual.
If you feel strongly about this issue, perhaps you could spread the word about the campaign online, by posting about it on your Facebook, Twitter or any other social media you might use?

You could also talk to or email any UK-based friends or family to tell them about the campaign and encourage them to get involved with 38 Degrees by going to https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange/ or why not tweet @38degrees?

Do I need to donate to sign?

No! It doesn’t cost anything to sign petitions or take actions on 38 Degrees. Donating is entirely optional.

If you press ‘submit’ after signing a petition and then you see the donation page, this means your signature has been added to the petition. After signing a petition you will often be automatically directed to a donation page with the option to donate.

So please be assured that your signature has been added, and you don’t need to donate on these donation pages to have your signature added to that petition.

Chapter :

Parliament petition site vs 38 Degrees

Parliament petition site vs 38 Degrees

It’s a very common misconception that the Parliament petition website has more impact because of the promise of a debate at 100k signatures – but there are a few reasons this simply isn’t what it’s made out to be:

Unlike petition platforms which are designed to grow successful campaigns the Parliament website isn’t set up to help you grow your petition. There is no functionality to prompt people to share the petition on social media, and you cannot contact anyone who signed the petition at all – so you cannot ask them to share it. The vast majority of growth comes through people who have signed the petition from links that friends and family have shared – which makes the 100k mark significantly harder to achieve unless you can go viral!

The Parliament website will only allow a petition to be live for 6 months – after that they close it down. They also reset after an election and as there is no way to contact people who signed the petition, if you can’t hit 100k signatures in 6 months, you have to start from zero with no way of contacting anyone who had signed previously.

Getting 100k signatures doesn’t guarantee a debate – it means it gets it looked at by a committee of MPs who consider holding a debate. Even if a debate does go ahead, it has no decision making power or voting function – and generally is only attended by supporting MPs, which means it often has little impact.

If you compare the level of success of 38 Degrees campaigns with parliament petitions, it really plays out! t At 38 Degrees our entire mission and reason for existing is to provide tools and support for people to run successful campaigns – something that simply isn’t true of official petition platforms. It means that our platform is designed to make it as easy as possible to grow and gain support, and there are often options beyond just a petition to put pressure on MPs. Whether or not the office team is able to offer specific office support to your campaign, you have the ability to contact the people who sign your petition with requests for action. This could mean anything from asking your supporters to share the campaign to updating them on any developments, concerns, or even asking them to donate for an exciting campaign tactic you have planned!

Obviously not all campaigns will be successful – and there are certainly many MPs who don’t take kindly to the level of pressure they face from 38 Degrees community members in their constituency. But y having the ability to build and grow a campaign, to email supporters and ask them to take further actions beyond signing n, is generally much more important for building pressure and a successful campaign than the potential of a parliamentary debate without a vote or power to directly change something.

Start your own petition now!

Launch a petition on an issue you care about with support all along the way. Start a petition, email your supporters, organise events & win your campaign!

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