Donations to 38 Degrees
We want to be transparent and accountable about how we are funded and how we spend your donations - please get in touch if you've got a question or any feedback on how we present this information.
Where does 38 Degrees get its money from?
38 Degrees is independent and people-powered - we don't take any money from government, political parties or big business.
We rely on donations from thousands of members of the public from all over the UK to make our campaigns happen (as you can see on the map to the right). From time to time we’ll ask our members to donate to support our 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). Members give what they can afford - the average donation is around £12.00 but it varies a lot and every donation helps big or small.
Since launching in 2009, 38 Degrees has also received some money from charitable trusts and foundations. Thank you to the Isvara Foundation, The Funding Network, the Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Barrow Cadbury Fund and UnLtd for supporting our work.
If you'd like to chip in, the easiest way is to make a donation online.
How do we spend your money?
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 specific purpose, and then aren't able to do the thing we've specified or something very similar, we'll get in touch to explain why and offer you a refund.
For example, in April 2010, 38 Degrees members in Cornwall donated money to pay for newspaper adverts in local papers highlighting a local election candidate's opposition to bringing in rules to ban secret lobbying. At the last minute all the local papers refused to carry the ads for "legal reasons". So we got back in touch with members who'd donated explaining the situation and explaining how they could get their money back.
What things cost 38 Degrees money?
38 Degrees is a lean operation. We currently have just 15 staff supported by office-based volunteers, working out of a budget office in East London, mainly on cheap and/or second hand computers.
Our monthly costs vary a bit from month to month depending on what campaigns we’re running and how much we have received in donations - for example, we spent many times more than usual in February and March 2012 because 38 degrees members donated over £300,000 to pay for billboard ads asking David Cameron to rethink his plans for the NHS.
A usual month costs in the region of £50,000 - £55,000, and looks something like this:
- £10,000 to £15,000 - campaign tactics e.g. online advertising of campaigns, stunts, newspaper ads, printing a petition, posting letters to MPs, hiring in expert lawyers to go through a government proposal in fine detail, etc
- £7,000 Web site running costs e.g powerful servers that can cope with tens of thousands of people all logging on at once to email their MP, building new action tools, security advisers to make sure it's all 100% secure, design work to make everything as easy to use as possible
- £25,000 - staff salaries and volunteer expenses for campaigning - researching issues, communicating with members, plotting strategies, making alliances, writing emails and web pages, organising tactics, etc
- £8,000 - overheads such as rent, electricity, computers, software, paperclips and staff time on things other than campaigning like consulting members, fundraising, governance, book keeping.
Who checks your accounts?
We have our accounts audited on an annual basis by Sayer Vincent, a recognised specialist in auditing charities and not-for-profit organisations. We post the full audited accounts online.
Sayer Vincent also conducted an audit of our 2011-2012 accounts. You can see a copy of the full audited 2011-2012 accounts here.
Here's an excerpt from our 2011-12 accounts (page 2) of what we spent money on for the year to September 2012:
We grew in this period from 900,000 members to 1,100,000 members, who collectively took action over 4,500,000 times. 38 Degrees members organised over 600 local events, including discussions, petition hand ins, dinners and local walks. We spent a total of £1,105,402.
Our main activity in this period was campaigning, which cost £997,255. We also undertook fundraising work, which cost £71,154. Organisational governance cost £36,633.
Campaigning work related to the following areas:
- Fairer Society: £101,798
- Stop Rupert Murdoch: £6,354
- Cross campaign - polling, consultation, “Campaigns By You”: £52,3395
- NHS: £626,438
- Save our Forests: £27,106
- Wildlife/Environment: £98,454
- Fundraising: £71,514
- Governance: £36,633
What happened to my donation?
If you donated to fund a particular tactic we’ll let you know how the money has been spent on the blog (blog.38degrees.org.uk) or via email.
Security of donations
We use 128 bit SSL technology to secure your donation, just like a bank does. This means that all the details are encrypted. We use PayPal, the market leader of online bank transactions, to process your donations for one-off donations. We use SecureDebit to process and manage direct debits.
We have a refund policy in case you make a donation in error. If you contact us within 7 days of making the donation we will return it to you within 40 days without charge.
We aim to be transparent and accountable about how we spend your money. If you have any questions, or suggestions on how we can improve please contact us.