Case Study

38 Degrees and Refugees Welcome

During the European refugee crisis of 2016, 38 Degrees used an Effort to build and demonstrate local support for welcoming refugees to communities across the United Kingdom. Early in the crisis, they noticed a couple of small petitions on their ControlShift-powered Campaigns By You site asking local communities to commit to taking in refugees. These campaigns had some activity, but not a ton.

Then everything changed with the story of young refugee Alan Kurdi’s tragic drowning, which shifted the narrative to one of human tragedy. In response, 38 Degrees decided to launch a large campaign demonstrating public support for welcoming refugees in communities across the country. Using the original petitions as templates, they created an Effort that allowed members to launch campaigns where they lived — from huge cities to tiny villages — calling on local councils to tell the national government that they were ready and waiting to house refugees.

Refugees welcome in cities across the U.K.

All it took was a Facebook post for dozens of petitions to go live. After that, 38 Degrees automatically added petitions for each parliamentary constituency and blasted their email list to recruit signers and campaign leaders. In the end, they generated over 600 local campaigns with over 138,000 signatures.

The Effort was a huge success. 38 Degrees partnered with another organization to offer training and support to the local leaders they identified. By providing the opportunity to create lots of local campaigns under the same banner, not only did they show the broad public support for taking in refugees, but they actually persuaded many local councils to adopt formal resolutions of support.


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