042: Turning Small Actions into Big Wins with Change.org

changebigChange.org is the largest website for petitions on the internet with over 100 million users. Petitions can be a powerful way to engage an audience and draw attention to an important issue in the world. We interview Meghan Teich, the west coast client manager about the best way for nonprofits to leverage the platform. Meghan shares tips about petitions that work and how to maximize an audience that you might build through a petition.

Can online petitions make a difference? 100m users later, @change thinks so #NPtech Click To Tweet



How Change.org Works


3 Elements for Creating a Petition

These are the steps and basic advice on creating a petition from Change.org:

1. Title of the Petition

  • Write a great headline, keeping it short and to the point
    Example: “Buy organic, free-range eggs for your restaurants”
    Not: “Stop the inhumane treatment of chickens in battery farms that are force-fed…”
  • Focus on the solution
    Example: “Raise the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15 an hour”
    Not: “Stop rising income inequality in Minneapolis”
  • Communicate urgency
    Example: “Approve life-saving medication for my daughter’s insurance before it’s too late”

2. Choose the Decision Maker

  • Choose someone who can give you what you want
    You might need to do some research to find the right person who can make or influence the decision.
  • Don’t go straight to the top
    You might see faster results if you choose a more junior person who is petitioned less often than more recognizable figures.
  • Choose someone you can work with
    Your petition is most likely to win by reaching an agreement with your decision maker.

3. Tell the Story

  • The goal is to inspire your readers to act
  • Describe the people involved and the problem they are facing
    Readers are most likely to take action when they understand who is affected.
  • Describe the solution
    Explain what needs to happen and who can make the change. Make it clear what happens if you win or lose.
  • Make it personal
    Readers are more likely to sign and support your petition if it’s clear why you care.
  • Respect others
    Don’t bully, use hate speech, threaten violence or make things up.

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