In this ten-part series, we’ve broken down the simple steps anybody can use to effectively turn their ideas into action. We'll explore how a petition is formulated, supported and presented.
But first, let’s dig into Petitions 101: Why do we need them, and how do they work?
A petition, put simply, is a list of names and signatures compiled together to show popular support for a cause. By demonstrating public support, petitions give clout to an issue that could otherwise go overlooked by government or business. Whether you are looking to change a law or a behavior — or just raise awareness for an issue — petitions are an easy and inexpensive way to get the word out.
Petitions have a long history of bringing about significant changes. In the U.S., a petition demanding an end to slavery gathered 130,000 signatures and helped start turning the wheels of Congress toward ending slavery.
Care2’s online powerhouse, ThePetitionSite.com, is transforming our definition of activism by making petitions more accessible to the public and easier to support and share.
Online petitions are easier to create and more effective than ever before. When can a petition make a difference: Human/animal rights? Corporate policy? Environmental issues? Yes, yes, and yes.
“Almost any time you see something that you think should be changed, a petition could help make a difference,”
—Jen Johnson, Manager of Member Activism at Care2
“Online virality has breathed new life into petitions. It has never been easier to attract attention to causes that matter. The tools at our disposal allow us to reach more people and make a greater impact than in days past.”
—Julie Mastrine, Activism Marketing and Social Media Manager
One person’s voice is rarely enough to influence a large government body or company. That's why we need petitions:
“Online petitions allow us to harness the power of features like social networks, hashtags, and trending topics, to ensure as many people as possible can see and lend support to your cause.”
Each campaign is different, but if you’re thinking of starting your own petition you should follow these three steps:
Remember, the goals of a petition are to drum up support, to introduce the population to your cause, and to show policy makers that there are others who back your requests for change. We give you all the tools you need, but only YOU can breathe life into the issues that matter most to you and your community.
Do you have a cause to share with others? Is there an issue you are passionate about? Start a petition today!
In Part Two, we’ll explain the questions you should ask yourself to determine whether or not your cause is “petition worthy.” Click here for more tips and tricks on how to share and promote the causes you care about most!
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