|Key people||David Babbs (executive director), Blanche Jones (campaigns director), Maddy Carroll (campaigns director)|
|Method(s)||petitions, lobbying MPs, newspaper advertising campaigns, meetings|
38 Degrees is a British not-for-profit political-activism organisation that campaigns on a diverse range of issues, such as the environment, climate change, the National Health Service (NHS), democratic media ownership, child poverty and political reform. The organisation claims to have over one million members. It describes itself as "progressive" and claims to "campaign for fairness, defend rights, promote peace, preserve the planet and deepen democracy in the UK".
38 Degrees says it was inspired by groups like MoveOn in the United States, GetUp! in Australia and Avaaz globally. These organisations all use the internet to mobilise people and connect them and their governments. 38 Degrees says that an organisation based on a similar model was needed in the UK.
The organisation launched on 26 May 2009. Founders included Gordon Roddick, co-founder of The Body Shop, Henry Tinsley, ex-chairman of Green & Black's chocolate, and David Babbs, current 38 Degrees Executive Director.
38 Degrees is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. It was previously registered as Progressive Majority.
The Executive Director is David Babbs, who signs off some emails, appears in the media and frequently speaks at local 38 Degrees events. 
Babbs was formerly Head of Activism at Friends of the Earth where he was responsible for the Big Ask Campaign. Babbs also previously worked at People & Planet. Babbs describes his motivation for campaigning as coming from "a gut feeling that things could be better, politically, socially, and environmentally and that the reason they’re not is largely due to the conscious actions of powerful people rather than due to bad luck or any sort of natural order. Campaigning together is how we work together to challenge that and change things.".
The Chair of the Board is Gordon Roddick, who is best known as co-founder of The Body Shop along with his wife, Anita Roddick. Gordon Roddick is also associated with a number of other causes including the Big Issue.
38 Degrees describes itself as a people-powered and multi-issue movement. It aims to empower UK citizens by providing easy ways for them to take action on the issues they care about, e.g., climate change, human rights and poverty.
38 Degrees claims "it’s 38 Degrees members who set priorities and we decide on what we campaign on together." They publish the results of their membership polls on their website.
Campaigning techniques include both online methods, such as online petitions, and offline methods, such as calling an MP or visiting a surgery. 38 Degrees has also fundraised from its membership to commission legal advice and to run advertising campaigns.
38 Degrees have diversified their campaign methods and encouraged members to meet up with each other in different venues around the UK. The NHS CCG campaign is a prime example of this, it has seen members meet up to discuss and plan local campaign actions with a view to meet Clinical Commissioning Groups representatives.
Local 38 Degrees NHS groups have no formal structure unless members present at the initial meeting decide otherwise. They can choose to work with neighbouring 38 Degrees groups or an external group that is sympathetic to the local campaign. There is no doctrine that binds members to certain roles or campaign tactics. To this end, local 38 Degrees groups work semi-autonomously and communicate with the main organisation to share information or request assistance, though they are not obliged to.
38 Degrees has also started organising public meetings in various locations around the UK, focused on their "stop the gagging law" campaign. The local MP and 38 Degrees director David Babbs usually speak at these meetings alongside local 38 Degrees members. 
Campaigns By You
38 Degrees built an experimental platform where campaign ideas are chosen, refined and managed by a particular 38 Degrees member. The member acts as the contact and executor of the campaign. The platform can be used by any member and the prerequisite is a clear idea, which often has a local issue as a focal point. The 38 Degrees member gets to choose the issue and then use Campaigns By You platform (CBY) to collect signatures on a digital petition. CBY was developed to give members an opportunity to kick start a campaign in addition to shaping and participating in a preexisting one.
- "Call on the Government to stand up to ATOS". 38 Degrees launched an e-petition in August 2012 addressed to Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Department of Work and Pensions, to demand that the government fine Atos every time it misses its targets or makes serious mistakes, and to make the disability tests fairer, especially for people whose symptoms change over time.
- Proposed sale of state-owned forests. In October 2010, Caroline Spelman – Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – announced plans to sell off publicly owned forest and woodland in England. 38 Degrees launched a petition against the selling off of forests, raising concerns about loss of public access and impact on conservation. 38 Degrees members paid for an opinion poll which showed that 84% of the public were opposed to the government plans, and funded national newspaper adverts condemning the proposal. The 38 Degrees petition passed 500,000 signatures on 11 February 2011. 38 Degrees' campaign against forest privatisation has been praised by environmentalist Jonathon Porritt who contrasted their clear stance and responsiveness to member concerns with the "betrayal" of other green groups.
- Tax avoidance. On 5 January 2011, 38 Degrees ran a series of member-funded adverts in national newspapers, challenging George Osborne for his record on tackling tax dodging, highlighting an alleged £120 billion lost in unpaid tax annually and Osborne's own involvement in a tax dodge. The adverts were timed to coincide with a rise in VAT from 17.5% to 20%. They were printed in the Independent and the Guardian, while the Daily Telegraph, Metro and the Daily Mail refused to run them.
- "Stand up for the NHS". 38 Degrees members campaigned against the closure of NHS Direct – closure plans which were subsequently scaled back although ministers denied this was because of public pressure. 38 Degrees members also organised a series of public meetings around England in January 2011 to highlight concerns with National Health Service (NHS) reforms proposed by Andrew Lansley. In April 2011, some commentators attributed the government's decision to pause its NHS reforms to pressure from 38 Degrees members. In September 2011, 38 Degrees members donated to commission legal advice on revised plans for the NHS, which led to leading Lib Dem peer Shirley Williams declaring that "this flawed bill threatens the very future of the NHS". In March 2012, 38 Degrees members donated to run billboard advertisements against the NHS reforms in the run-up to the London mayoral election.
- "Stop the Internet snooping plan". 38 Degrees is working with Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary David Davis MP to campaign against the Communications Data Bill which would extend the state power to monitor citizens' Internet use.
- "Rip-off gas and electricity bills". 38 Degrees teamed up with consumer action group Which? to organise a collective switching project called The Big Switch. This aimed to secure cheaper deals on gas and electricity bills by negotiating on behalf of thousands of customers at once. 38 Degrees claimed this project was a success, stating that "200,000 households will be offered an average saving of £123 a year. An estimated 35,000 households, currently on the worst value tariffs, could reduce their bills by over £200."
- "Protect the BBC". 38 Degrees was heavily involved in the successful campaign to save BBC radio six music from closure in 2010. They have subsequently campaigned for the BBC to remain free from political interference, campaigning against Boris Johnson's demand that the next director-general of the BBC be a supporter of the Conservative Party.
- "Stop Rupert Murdoch". 38 Degrees campaigned against attempts by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to acquire a 100% stake in BSkyB. This campaign was successful in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
- Issues surrounding the Copenhagen Climate Summit. In December 2009, 38 Degrees staged a Climate Question Time where members quizzed Ed Miliband – then Secretary of State for Environment and Climate Change – live on a mass-conference call.
- Recall law. A campaign calling for the right of voters to force a by-election if they lose trust in their Member of Parliament.
- House repossessions. A campaign launched with the Big Issue to freeze repossessions during the recession. Every year in the UK, 75,000 homes face repossession.
38 Degrees is credited with:
- Playing a key role in persuading the UK government to drop plans to privatise England's forests in February 2011.
- Helping block the closure of Lewisham Hospital, by raising money to fund a legal challenge of the decision by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in August 2013 
- Helping force the abandonment of a plan to build a 8000-cow "super-dairy" in Nocton, Lincolnshire, in June 2010 
- In September 2011, 38 Degrees was named "Best UK Internet NGO" by the Oxford Internet Institute.
Controversies and criticism
- 38 Degrees director David Babbs was the subject of a controversial interview by Sky News anchorwoman Kay Burley who was accused of aggressively interrupting Babbs and telling him to leave a protest about electoral reform and to instead "go home and watch it on Sky News". The term "sack Kay Burley" subsequently trended on Twitter and hundreds of complaints were made to Ofcom.
- Dominic Raab (Conservative MP) criticised 38 Degrees for allowing members to send "clone emails" to MPs via its website. Raab stated he would lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office about 38 Degrees using his parliamentary email address. It remains possible to email Raab via the 38 Degrees website.
- A number of government politicians strongly criticised 38 Degrees members for their actions campaigning against changes to the NHS. Lord Tyler Liberal Democrat, described 38 Degrees members as "rent a mob". In 2011 Transport Minister Simon Burns MP described 38 Degrees members as "almost zombie like".
- 38 Degrees has been accused of "alarmism" and "scaremongering" by government ministers who disagree with their critique of the 2013 Lobbying Bill, which 38 Degrees has dubbed the "gagging law"
- Some people have accused 38 Degrees of claiming credit for numerous 'successes' that have actually been achieved by other people or campaigning groups.
- Some sources have accused 38 Degrees of being left-wing and of having links to the Labour Party. The website 38 Degrees debunked, which is run by a Conservative councillor states that "Although 38 Degrees professes to be 'not connected with any political parties' it is intensely political as are its campaigns. On first sight its position seems to be a mixture of mainstream Social Democratic and Green". Conservative MP Robert Halfon described 38 Degrees as "a mass database of centrist/floating voters, albeit with a sizeable minority from the centre left..[which is]...controlled by leftists". 38 Degrees has strongly denied these claims.
- Some disability rights campaigners have criticised 38 Degrees for failing to do more to campaign against changes to disability benefits. One disabled blogger, David Gillon, highlighted the fundamental tension between campaigns to protect minorities and the 38 Degrees method of choosing campaigns through member polls: "An organisation that builds its identity around its democratic mechanisms needs those mechanisms to be accessible to all, but the truth is that they aren’t. The near insurmountable difficulties disabled people have faced in getting support in the 38 Degrees votes on where to campaign next are just one aspect of that problem; any demonised minority, Travellers for instance, is going to face the same issues." A guest post from Gillon on the 38 Degrees website provoked a fierce discussion.
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