Engage & Grow Your Support Base

Keep your signers energized as your campaign grows

So you have 100 signers. Great job! Now what? Here's how to build excitement and attract more supporters to your campaign for change.

Six Ways To Energize & Grow Your Support Base

  •   Ask signers to get involved

    In addition to posting updates on your petition page, ask your signers to share your petition with their friends. Just imagine how fast you can grow your campaign if each person who signed your petition passes it on to three, four or even five others. Your decision maker will really take notice!

    Here are some other ways your supporters can help:

      Ask supporters to email five of their friends with a link to the petition, or use Facebook's share tools to post on their walls.

      Spread the word.
      Do your supporters have personal ties to the issue? Ask them to post their stories on their Tumblrs or blogs.

      Show up.
      Invite supporters to a petition delivery, rally or event about your campaign.

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    Create another “moment” in your campaign

    The best campaigns aren’t just a single push or a deadline, but have many peaks and times to rally support and draw attention to your Change.org petition. They can be built in to the campaign timeline, like reaching a goal or a deadline. They can be external, like connecting to a national or local holiday. A moment can be a reaction to a news story in support or against your cause.

    Photo credit DPS Parents
      EXAMPLE: Denver Parents Choose a High-Profile Deadline

      Denver parents started an petition on Change.org to convince the public  school district to delay the start of school. Thousands of parents signed, and the group planned a new "moment" -- an upcoming School Board meeting. The high-profile deadline,  plus the knowledge that parents were going to deliver the petition, attracted reporters and news outlets. This added pressure on the School Board to respond.

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    Post news stories and campaign milestones

    By sharing news stories or blog posts about your campaign on your petition page and on Facebook, you can show potential supporters that your issue matters. For people who have already joined your campaign, seeing your progress helps reinforce and validate their support of the issue. They can say, “I was a part of making that happen!”

    Set up a Google alert to monitor news for mentions of your campaign, and consider posting about -- and celebrating -- these milestones:

    Reaching a signature goal.
    Let supporters know when you're celebrating the first 100 signatures, the first week of signatures or that you've surpassed an initial goal. You can always set a higher goal once you've reached your benchmark.

    Media coverage.
    Post with links to blogs or news stories about your campaign. Add analysis about why this will help your campaign make change.

    Major updates.
    Share progress, or setbacks, that supporters will care about. This could be a copy of your decision maker's response, recaps of recent meetings or previews of next steps.

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    • Tell a personal story

      People identify with stories they can relate to on a personal level, as opposed to wonky, dry facts and figures. If you're worried that your campaign seems complicated, wonky, or impersonal, share how it connects to real people. Does your campaign come from your own life experience, or does it affect other people's lives? Tell those stories so that supporters can connect on a personal level. 

      Photo credit Ryan Carroll

        EXAMPLE: A Mom Of Four Tells a Personal Story

        Ryan Carroll needed surgery for a debilitating hip condition known as FAI, but her insurance company wouldn't cover it. To convince Aetna, she started a petition on Change.org with a balance of compelling personal details and medical background information. After Ryan  gathered more than 1,000 signatures, Aetna agreed to cover her  surgery and changed their policy to permanently cover the procedure for others as well.

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      Leverage high-profile signers

      When influential people sign your petition or speak out about it, that's a great opportunity to build some momentum. Celebrities, entertainers and well-known political figures regularly sign and endorse petitions on Change.org, which can cause ripples of attention and media coverage.

      But high-profile signers don't have to be as famous as Desmond Tutu, Lucy Liu, or Oprah -- think local! Who in your community, issue area or online space might endorse your petition and draw more attention to it? Do a quick brainstorm on people who can be helpful to your cause, from local officials to community groups to academics.

      Photo credit IMDB
        EXAMPLE: Actress Lends Her Voice To Apple Campaign

        When Delly, a Congolese native, started a petition asking Apple to make a conflict-free iPhone, actress Emmanuelle Chriqui announced her support via her Twitter account. Delly and his supporters thanked Chriqui and issued a news release, which meant coverage of the petition in celebrity blogs and magazines.

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      Declare victory!

      Knowing when to declare victory is an important part of your campaign. Not only is declaring victory a good time for celebration, it publicises any promises or pledges your decision maker may have made, keeping them accountable. Victory also motivates your supporters to start campaigns of their own.

    • Here are some questions to ask when you're deciding whether or not to end your campaign.

        Declaring Victory: Common Questions

        Has the decision maker done what I've asked them to do?
        If they haven't done it to the letter, have they made a significant change?
        Has my campaign gone as far as it will go?
        Are there any dates or events coming up where my campaign will likely be re-energized?

    • When you declare victory, be sure to close the petition, send a message to your supporters (click 'Send Message to Participants' on your petition page) and reach out to reporters who may have covered your campaign. Be sure to leave an update on your petition, so that people who click on your petition link later will get the most updated information.

      And finally, have fun! Record a thank-you video for your supporters and your decision maker, and share your story with everyone you meet. You're a change-maker!

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      Go To The Next Campaign Tool: Get The Story To Media