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Change Made Easier

Want to make a change in the world? Is there a policy or corporate decision you disagree with and believe that you could collect enough signatures on a petition to reverse it? Up until a few years ago you would either have to stand in the entrance of your local supermarket, or go door to door to collect signatures for your petition. As someone who has tried going door to door before, I know that this method can be very time consuming and ineffective. Luckily, the website Change.org has made creating a successful and effective petition campaign painless.

Going Door-to-Door Petitioning Can Be Time Consuming and Ineffective

Change.org was started in 2007 by Standford University classmates Ben Rattray and Mark Dimas as a free social enterprise to empower people in changing their communities. Before becoming a petition site, Rattray and Dimas experimented in social fundraising, group volunteerism, and virtual political action groups until they came upon the idea of making Change.org a site for petitions in 2010. Since then, Change.org has been a contributing factor in many successful community campaigns including; getting Bank of America to cancel a new debit charge, getting the National Park Service to reinstate a water bottle ban(see my previous article A Water Bottle Story), and Seventeen Magazines recent policy change that they will no longer Photoshop images of their models.

According to the Change.org tips page, running a successful campaign can be done in three steps. The first step is to create your free online petition via Change.org. The second step is to  promote your campaign through your social networks and social media( ex. Facebook or twitter), and the third step is to talk to your decision makers. Change.org then breaks down each of these steps and provides tips on how to complete each step effectively. 

Each petition page includes a signature counter tracking the campaigns progress, a description of the campaign, a sample petition letter, explanations of support by signers, and a place to follow the petitions progress.  When you sign a petition you have the option to choose whether you want your signature displayed publicly or not.  Though your email is required for signature, Change.org promises not to sell or distribute the signers email address. Change.org also monitors all petitions for spammers and fake signatures.

For those of you who don’t have a campaign of your own but would like to support or read about other people’s petitions, Change.org is a very easy website to browse  You can look through featured petitions, search by keyword, or browse by topic. Some ENN blog related topic categories include Animals, Environment ,and Sustainable Food

Change.org is an excellent tool for anyone interested in being a catalyst for political and social change.  By using society’s current obsession with social media and the internet, Change.org allows site users to have a real impact. I recommend checking out Change.org to all ENN readers. Not every petition on Change.org has been a success (there must be thousands of incomplete petitions) but they probably made it a lot further then without the sight.

Door-to-Door via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

  • Jul 13th, 2012 at 11:10 | #1

    I actually just signed a petition on that site created by a 14-year-old girl urging teen magazines to stop photoshopping images to make women look unrealistically flawless. It’s a great site, something everyone should check out.

  • Jonathan Ambuchi Sila
    Jul 15th, 2012 at 03:50 | #2

    I have been getting the updates on ENN and for sure I have been motivated and I have started my own program of planting trees. I begun on my farm and have planted more than 700 and now my immediate neighbours have also begun planting and I need to encourage all my village members to do that. How do I get assited so as to empower the whole village and expand to all the neighbourhood? A tree is a great friend of man. Fire wood is now a problem to many consumers. What had been planted has been consumed without replacement. Soon there will be no trees for building, there will be no firewood, there will be no rain, water will not be there as well, the life of animals and people will be in danger. I live at the slopes of mount elgon the greatest water catchment.
    Please advise me as to any procedure. My Contact is as follows:- Tel +254 734 273336 e-mail: alphacomfbo@live.com/ambuchi2002@yahoo.com

  • Jonathan Ambuchi Sila
    Jul 15th, 2012 at 04:10 | #3

    Any one interested to work with our organization on environment, health, human women rights and food security is most welcome. Feel free to contact us. By phone and by email. Phone +254 734 273336 Email ambuchi2002@yahoo.com or alphacomfbo@live.com. “TOGETHER WE CAN”
    Jonathan Ambuchi Sila

  • Jul 17th, 2012 at 08:08 | #4

    Very useful and interesting service. I entered it and at once found many-many topics I would like to sign under. Plz, use it, hope it will change this wprld for better.

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