About 38 Degrees
38 Degrees members work together to bring about real change in the UK by taking action on the issues that we all care about.
WHAT IS 38 DEGREES?
38 Degrees is one of the UK's biggest campaigning communities, with over 2.5 million members. We share a desire for a more progressive, fairer, better society and come together to decide which issues we campaign on and the actions we‘ll take to help us achieve that.
Anyone can be a 38 Degrees member. We’re united by a set of shared values; to defend fairness, protect rights, promote peace, preserve the planet and deepen democracy.
38 Degrees puts power into people’s hands. We’re helping to strengthen democracy by giving 38 Degrees members a new way to be involved in politics. We want to be more than just voters and ensure our voices are heard all of the time, not just once every five years.
We are a community of people who want positive change. We are a loud and persistent knock on the door of the politicians, influencers and institutions who make the decisions that affect us all. We hold them to account and make sure they listen and respond to our calls for positive change.
38 Degrees is the angle at which an avalanche happens. Join 38 Degrees and be part of the avalanche for change. Anyone can become a member of 38 Degrees - it’s free and you can join just by signing a petition, or taking another action.
WHAT WE DO
Through the power of the internet, 38 Degrees members link up, discuss and vote to decide which issues we campaign on together.
We come together from across the UK to influence the institutions, like the government or big business, who make decisions that affect us all. Together, we take action to hold powerful people and organisations to account.
38 Degrees members use a lots of different tactics to bring about change, like signing petitions, emailing or phoning our MPs and chipping in to fund newspaper ads about our campaigns. We also get together to get our voices heard face-to-face, for instance by meeting up locally to hand petitions to our local MPs, or hosting discussions about the issues of the day. We also hold local celebrations when we have a campaign breakthrough.
38 Degrees members have contributed to some incredible, people-powered victories since we started working together to make change happen. We helped stop the government’s plans to sell off our ancient national forests. We stopped plans for a massive mega-dairy in Lincolnshire. We helped stop Donald Trump’s plans to build a golf course at the expense of families in Menie, Scotland, who were at risk of eviction.
38 Degrees members also helped convince the government to sign up to the EU Directive on human trafficking, helping prevent trafficking in the future as well as making sure victims are properly looked after.
HOW DO WE DECIDE WHICH CAMPAIGNS TO RUN
New technology enables us to bring together a large number of people, who together with our office staff and volunteer team decide which campaigns we run.
38 Degrees members are constantly discussing campaign ideas and voting for their priorities on our Facebook page, blog and website. You can read about past polls and member discussions about campaigns here.
The initial idea for a 38 Degrees campaign may come from a number of sources:
- 38 Degrees members suggest campaigns on the 38 Degrees website, as well as by sharing ideas on the Facebook page, blog, or by tweeting their idea to @38_degrees.
- The small staff team is constantly looking for campaign opportunities that might reflect 38 Degrees members’ priorities.
- Our advisory network of academics, campaigners and professional members tell us about the latest developments on issues of concern to our members.
The most popular ideas and opportunities are voted on through regular polls of 38 Degrees members. The staff and volunteers in the 38 Degrees office will then work together to find the best ways to have a big impact on the issues which are a high priority to members.
For example, our Save the Forests campaign started with a member post on our Facebook page highlighting an article in a Sunday newspaper about the public forest sell off. Throughout the day we received hundreds of comments and posts on Twitter and email. The next Monday, we polled our members and got some expert advice to check the facts.
We then moved quickly to launch a petition. Within a week of the campaign first being suggested by 38 Degrees members on our Facebook page, tens of thousands had signed the petition. Eventually the petition was signed by over half a million people. These half 1 million people then work together to send hundreds of emails to MPs, publish adverts in national newspapers and put up posters all over the country. After just a few weeks the Minister dropped the plans for the sell-off.
So far, the way we choose campaigns has meant many of our campaigns are about big issues that affect us all and where we can make the most difference. In the future, we’d like to be large enough to be able to run more local and regional campaigns as well.
HOW WE ARE FUNDED
38 Degrees is people-powered. We don't take money from political parties, government or big business. We rely on donations from thousands of 38 Degrees members from all over the UK to make change happen. You can see our donations policy, and a copy of our audited accounts, here.
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 up adverts). 38 Degrees has also received some money from charitable trusts and foundations.
If you'd like to chip in, the easiest way is to make a donation online. Or you could send a cheque to our office.
IS 38 DEGREES CONNECTED TO A PARTICULAR POLITICAL PARTY?
Absolutely not. 38 Degrees is independent of all political parties. Our independence means that we can campaign on issues that 38 Degrees members feel passionately about and that we decide on together. We are driven by issues and outcomes, and judge all politicians by the same standards regardless of what party they belong to.
WHO RUNS 38 DEGREES?
38 Degrees has a small staff team and our office is run by staff and volunteers with the help of our board. But it’s 38 Degrees members who set the agenda. We work together to choose the campaigns and help pick the tactics we use to win. The campaigns work because thousands of members choose to get involved.
38 Degrees staff and office volunteers work to make sure that we’re as effective as possible. Staff and office volunteers write the emails that let members know about what 38 Degrees is getting up to, as well as making sure that the technology we use is working properly. Staff also draw on advice from other campaigning groups, experts and others to make sure we’re getting good information about the best way to make change happen.
The 38 Degrees board is a group of individuals with experience in campaigning and running organisations. They meet a few times a year to ensure that the organisation is financially sustainable, and that the staff are focused on listening to 38 Degrees members and running the campaigns 38 Degrees members prioritise.
38 Degrees is inspired by the impact of groups like MoveOn in the United States, GetUp in Australia and Avaaz around the world. These groups have used the similar model, technologies and techniques to mobilise nearly 9 million people to campaign on issues that their members care about.
It’s free to sign up and to start receiving campaign emails and if you like what we are doing, you can get involved. Change happens when enough people work together. Join 38 Degrees and be part of the avalanche for change.