How to Create a Care2 Petition: Identifying Your Problem and Selecting a Target

This is the first post in a series of five explaining the ins and outs of creating a petition, from what to write in your petition text to advanced promotion and activism techniques. This series is a how-to guide for creating a successful petition and helping it reach its highest potential.

We notice injustice around us every day: whether it’s neglect from our local government, mistreatment of animals, shortcomings in the healthcare system, or countless other issues. But individuals work to create change all the time — on their own, or with the support of others rallying with them.

Online petitions offer one of the most effective ways to incite change. So when you spot an injustice, how do you determine if a petition is the appropriate response, and if so, who has the power to make the change you want to see?

With more than 27 million members, Care2 is the largest community of activists on the web. Starting a petition on Care2 allows you to connect with a huge community of forward-thinking members who could offer support and fuel your cause to victory.

The First Steps to Starting a Petition:

1. Identify the problem or injustice.

2. What solution are you hoping to achieve with your petition?

3. Answer the following questions: is a petition the appropriate response to this problem? Will public pressure and support from others sway the people involved? If the answer is yes, move to step 4.

4. Find out who has the power to make this solution happen — is it your city council, a CEO, a Congressional representative, someone else? This individual or group will be the target of your petition. This is the person you’ll send your signatures to when you’re ready.

Sometimes it can be tricky to find the appropriate target. Often, people who want to see changes in city, state or federal laws will incorrectly target the president or prime minister, or even more vague, government officials.¯ Remember: Be specific! Find the names of members of your city council, your Congressional representative, or a particular federal government agency. Do some digging to find out which person or group really has the authority to make a change. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to get a response from your petition.

How to Identify the Appropriate Petition Target — Key Questions:

1. Who is the key decision-maker in this issue?

2. Is your decision-maker receptive to petitions? If you’re targeting a member of Congress for example, they may be bombarded with so many letters that they won’t be the best target. If that’s the case, we go to question #3…

3. Who has the power to influence that decision maker? Could you start with a local office or smaller agency? If you want to get President Obama’s attention, is there a top adviser or department that you can target instead that would be more likely to respond?

4. Is this person/organization accessible, so that you can potentially deliver the petition signatures via email, or even in person?

The more research you conduct on the issue, the easier it will be to choose a target. It could be the CEO of a company, a city council, school board, or local government agency. The important thing is that they are the people with the means to make the change you want to see.

How Care2 Members Have Done It:

Care2 member Phyllis Tietjen of Snoot, Texas was outraged at the Texas Department of Transportation’s proposal to uproot 500-year-old trees to make room for a highway. She targeted a Care2 petition at TxDOT, gathered more than 69,000 signatures, was very vocal about the issue in her community, and ultimately she won!

Liz Hennigar of Nova Scotia wouldn’t sit by and let her local wildlife park euthanize two sister bears to make room for younger animals. She gathered signatures on a Care2 petition and sent it to the Director of Wildlife/CEO, who was prompted to reverse the decision.

Joanna Mechlinski was horrified when Leawood, Kansas city officials tried to take down a nine-year-old boy’s little public lending library he operated in his front yard. She targeted the city council with her petition, and it ultimately decided to allow the boy to share his books.

What are you waiting for?

We’re all fed up with the injustice we see in the world. It can be easy to sit by and wring our hands. But Care2 members have something in common: we don’t just sit by. We work to create positive change. We have the power to take a stand against these injustices — amazing things happen when people who care work together.

Take a minute right now to think about one thing you most want to change, and who can do something about it. After that, all that’s left is to head to the petition create tool and get started. With a lot of passion and a little strategy, anyone can create and win a petition campaign on Care2.

457 comments

Peggy B
Peggy B3 hours ago

Noted

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Lesa D
Lesa D3 days ago

thank you Emily...

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Jack Y
Jack Y10 days ago

thanks

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Peggy B
Peggy B25 days ago

TYFS

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Lesa D
Lesa Dabout a month ago

thank you Emily...

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

TY

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

TYFS

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 months ago

Thank you

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Lesa D
Past Member 3 months ago

thank you Emily...

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Peggy B
Peggy B3 months ago

More new blogs please

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