38 Degrees show the way with grassroots fundraising

The chief executive of a fledgling progressive grass-roots movement sent an email out to its membership thanking them for their engagement and highlighting its success - proving that President Obama's crowdsourcing funding model can work in the UK.

A fledgling progressive grassroots movement, 38 degrees, are leading the way with grassroots fundraising modelled on the successful tactics of President Obama. Eighteen months after its launch, the chief executive of 38 Degrees, David Babbs, said the progressive left-wing campaign group now boasts more than 200,000 members, has taken 1.1 million actions, and raised more than £120,000 in funds.

Although the numbers may be small at this stage, the emerging success of 38 Degrees, who provide regular contributions to Left Foot Forward, shows that Obama’s funding model, which raised around $500m for his presidential campaign through small internet donations, does have the potential for the progressive movement in the UK.

Mr Babbs said:

“We’ve played an important role in some significant campaign wins – including getting Boris Johnson to fund Rape Crisis Centres in London, securing a commitment from the government to introduce a statutory register lobbyists, making sure the Iraq inquiry was held in public, and saving BBC 6 Music from closure.”

Earlier this year, 38 Degrees were in the news after newly-elected Conservative MP Dominic Raab threatened to refer the group to the Information Commissioner and when Sky News viewers called on news anchor Kay Burley to be sacked following her hectoring of Mr Babbs in a live interview.

Mr Babbs said that despite the challenging fundraising environment, the organisation was now comfortably standing on its “own two feet”.

He added:

“38 Degrees has I think now proved that it can work and play an important role in the UK progressive landscape – there is so much more we could do, and more quickly, if we had the resources.”

This good news follows on from the launch of their latest digital campaign – to prevent Rupert Murdoch’s take-over of BSkyB and support a substantial review of the News International’s buyout. 38 Degrees are urging constituents to email their MPs to support the review of the deal ordered yesterday by business secretary Vince Cable. This ties in with their wider campaign to protect media plurality and the integrity of the BBC.

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