What is 38 Degrees?

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 believes that power should rest with the people. Our millions of members work together to:

  • Defend fairness
  • Protect rights
  • Promote peace
  • Preserve the planet
  • Deepen democracy

I’d like to join 38 Degrees!

Great! You can sign up to join 38 Degrees here – you’ll be joining over 2 million people across the UK who take action with 38 Degrees!

There is no charge to be part of 38 Degrees, the only requirement of membership is to take an action – it’s as simple as signing a petition, or messaging your MP!

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?

For media enquiries only please call the 38 Degrees media spokesperson on 020 3290 1407.

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 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 members. Members take part in surveys 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 by sharing ideas on the Facebook page, blog, or by tweeting to @38_degrees. Staff in the 38 Degrees office then work together to identify the issues most important to members.

How have you made 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 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

You can read more about campaigns 38 Degrees has won here and about everything we achieved together in 2020 here.

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 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 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 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.

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 do donations go?

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.

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 “38 Degrees” 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.

Help with 38 Degrees emails and technical issues

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 details have changed. Can you update your records?

Of course. Please let the office team know using our contact form

My email address wasn’t accepted

If you’re getting an error message, please drop us a message at emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk and we’ll do our best to help

I’m not receiving emails anymore!

The emails could be automatically arriving in your spam folder – please add “action@38degrees.org.uk” to your safe senders list to prevent this.

You can re-subscribe to 38 Degrees emails here

I think I have signed a petition twice, does it matter?

No, it doesn’t. If you mistakenly sign more than once, our system will filter it out, but the signer wouldn’t receive a notification, so it would look like the signature had gone through.

My MP has responded, would 38 Degrees like a copy of the letter?

Yes please!

You’ll have a custom link in an email from 38 Degrees you would have received right after sending the email to your MP. If you have this link, just follow the steps to enter your MP’s reply.

If you can’t find this, or if you get an interesting reply from a decision maker about any other campaign or issue, please forward it to the office team at emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk

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 an issue.