Terms of Service

Last updated: Jan 13, 2016

January 13, 2016: We’ve made some updates to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to support some new products and features you’ll see on Change.org in 2016. We’ve highlighted the changes for you below.


Change.org’s mission is to empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see. We're an open platform because we believe more change happens when people with different backgrounds and perspectives can participate in the conversation. We do need rules to keep our platforms safe for you, us and the community. These Terms of Service outline rights and responsibilities related to our platform and services.

Table of Contents

These Terms of Service cover your activities on Change.org, our platform that enables people to create the change they want to see, and Change Politics, our platform that empowers voters to make informed election decisions (“platforms”). These platforms allow people to start and promote “campaigns”, which include petitions and fundraisers on Change.org, candidate questions and endorsements on Change Politics and related actions like creating and sharing content via our platforms and third-party sites and services.

  1. User accounts

    You need an account for most activities on our platforms. Keep your password somewhere safe, because you’re responsible for all activity associated with your profile. If you suspect someone else is using your account, let us know by contacting our Help Desk. You have to be at least 13 years or older to use Change.org.

    When you sign or create a petition or contribute to a fundraiser via our platform, a Change.org account is created for you. All your campaign activities are then tied to this account.

    To use Change Politics, you have to create a separate Change Politics account. All your activities, such as endorsing a candidate or submitting a question to a candidate are then tied to your account.

    When setting up your account, you must provide accurate and complete information, including a valid email address. You have complete responsibility for your account and everything that happens on your account, including for any harm or damage (to us or anyone else) caused by someone using your account without your permission. This means you need to be careful with your password. You may not transfer your account to someone else or use someone else’s account without their permission. Inform us immediately upon learning that someone else may be using your account without your permission by contacting us through our Help Center.

    Our platforms are for people who are at least 13 years of age. If you are younger than 13 you may not set up an account by yourself, but we encourage you to invite a parent or guardian to create a campaign about areas of interest to you. If we discover that you have created an account and you are younger than 13, we will terminate your account. In order to create or contribute to a fundraiser campaign, you must be at least 18 years of age. For more information, see Fundraiser campaigns, below.

  2. User content rules

    You’re responsible for what you post on our platforms. You should keep your campaigns and other content you upload in line with all Community Guidelines and the law, and respect the intellectual property rights of others. It’s not something we want to do, but we can terminate your account for repeated or major offenses.

    Follow our Community Guidelines: When posting content you must follow the Community Guidelines that are applicable to the product or feature you are using.

    Abide by the law and respect rights of others: You cannot post any campaign or content that violates applicable local or national laws of your country, or international laws or regulations. If your fundraising initiative is not legitimate, don’t start it. You are solely responsible for any campaign, content, and actions you post or take via the platforms and their consequences.

    Enforcement by Change.org: If we are put on notice that your campaign or content violates the law or the rights of others (for example, if it is established that it is defamatory or violates privacy, intellectual property or publicity rights or others, or is funding an illegal activity), if we discover that your campaign or content violates our Community Guidelines, or if we believe your campaign or content is inappropriate or objectionable, we may remove it from our platforms, or we may make edits to bring your content into compliance. In the vast majority of cases, we will notify you and try to work with you to fix the issue before we take any of these actions (but we are not obligated to do so).

    Change.org has discretion in enforcing these Terms. We may terminate or suspend your permission to use our platforms and services or disable your account at any time, and with or without notice, for any material or repeated violation of these Terms, your failure to pay any fees when due, upon the request of law enforcement or government agencies, for extended periods of inactivity, for unexpected technical issues or problems, or for engagement by you in fraudulent or illegal activities. Upon any such termination we may delete your account, passwords and content and we may prevent you from further access to the platforms and use of our services. Your content may still be available on the platforms even if your account is terminated or suspended. You agree that we will have no liability to you or any third party for termination of your account, removal of your content or blocking of your access to our platforms and services.

  3. Posting user content

    You retain ownership of content you post to our platforms, but you should make sure you’re allowed to share it. We’re allowed to make versions of your content publicly available to anyone through any media, and others can do the same. Be sure to make backups of your work too.

    The content you submit on the platforms is not confidential: Any content you submit or post on the platforms is likely to be publicly available, including all petitions you create, your comments to any petitions you signed and the questions you submit to candidates (on our websites, in apps and in social media pages). If you are concerned about other Change.org or Change Politics community members or people you don’t know seeing a particular message or other content of yours, please do not post it. If you do not wish to have your name publicly displayed in connection with a particular petition, you may select the option not to display your signature publicly. Please check out our Privacy Policy for more details on information we collect and share when you use the platforms.

    The content you post (including photos) remains yours, and you also allow us to reuse and share it: By submitting and posting content, you do not lose any ownership rights you may have over your content. However, you authorize us to share this content with anyone, distribute it on any platform and in any media, and to make modifications or edits to it as we see fit (e.g. for clarity or optimization purposes). For example, we may shorten a petition title for it to appear on our homepage, reformat a petition for a video highlighting petition victories, or share the content with interested media. You also authorize us to allow others to do the same with your content. In legal language, by submitting or posting content on or through the platforms, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display, and distribute your content in any and all media or distribution methods (existing now or later developed). This includes making your content available to other companies, organizations, or individuals who partner with Change.org for the syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication of content on other media. You represent and warrant that you have all the rights, power, and authority necessary to authorize us to use any content that you submit. You also agree to all such uses of your content with no compensation paid to you.

    Sharing campaigns and other actions: Except in very limited circumstances where we’ll expressly ask you not to, we encourage you to link to, post to social media and third party services, such as Facebook or Twitter, share via email, or otherwise copy and share individual petitions and campaigns of interest to you, or your candidate endorsements or questions you post or upvote, but only for informational, non-commercial purposes. If you share another user’s petitions, questions, or other content, you may not make any modifications, and you may not remove any attributions. When you post content to any third party service through the features and functionalities of our platforms (such as our apps or API), you will be subject to the terms of that third party service. If you want to remove any petition or content from a third party service, you should contact that third party service and request removal directly from them.

    No user content storage: We are not a content-archiving service. We do not promise to store or make available on our platforms any content that you or other users may post for any length of time. You are solely responsible for keeping backups of everything you post on the platforms.

  4. Fundraiser campaigns

    If you start or support a fundraiser on Change.org, it’s your responsibility to keep the promises you make to contributors, and to do due diligence on campaigns before contributing. We don’t endorse any fundraisers that users start on Change.org.

    Through our Change.org platform, we offer petition starters the ability to raise funds to support their Change.org petition, which may include initiatives like raising funds for printing petition signatures, organizing a signature delivery event, advertising the petition, or donating to a cause related to the petition.

    If you start a fundraiser campaign and accept contributions from other Change.org users, you are legally bound towards those other members to deliver on any promise you make in connection with your fundraiser campaign. If you are unable to deliver on any such promises, and if there are disputes between you and the users who have contributed to your fundraiser, you will have sole responsibility to reach a settlement with the members, which may include refunds. Change.org may assist in resolutions of disputes between fundraisers and contributors, for example by sharing their mutual contact information, but is under no obligation to do so.

    If you are raising funds on behalf of a third party individual or organization, you represent and warrant that you are authorized to do so.

    Change.org may charge service fees for the hosting and administration of your fundraiser. You will be required to agree to such service fees upon the creation of your fundraiser.

    Credit card payment processing services are provided by Stripe. Upon setting up a fundraiser, you agree to Stripe’s Connected Account Agreement which includes the Stripe Terms of Service. This includes your obligation to provide Stripe accurate and complete information as requested for the processing of contribution payments. Stripe will store certain information about you. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.

    Any perks or gifts you give or accept to receive in connection with a fundraiser campaign is the sole responsibility of the starter of the fundraiser and the contributor. Change.org will not facilitate and disclaims any responsibility in connection with any gifts or perks.

    Any contributions or gifts you may receive via the fundraiser feature on our platform may constitute taxable income for you. You are solely responsible for the payment of any taxes you owe as a result of your fundraising activities on Change.org. Change.org may be obligated to report taxable income to the relevant tax authorities.

    If you make contributions to fundraisers of others, you are solely responsible for making any investigation and getting all information you may deem necessary before making the payment. Change.org does not endorse or provide warranties of any kind regarding fundraisers of its users.

    Refunds are to be agreed between the starter of the fundraiser campaign and the contributor. In a very limited number of cases, Change.org may intervene and withdraw funds from the fundraiser account to refund contributors, for example if Change.org determines that the fundraiser does not comply with our Community Guidelines or other rules under these Terms.

  5. Open platform

    Campaigns on our platforms represent the many opinions of millions of people. We don’t take responsibility for their views, nor do we monitor content for legality or accuracy. You’ll find links to other sites on our platforms - once you leave us, we’re not responsible for all the wild, wacky and wonderful things that can happen out there.

    We are not responsible for the content or actions of our users, and we do not monitor user campaigns or content: Campaigns or content posted by users come from people, organizations, political candidates, and other various sources. We make no promises about the reliability of any source or the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of any user campaign or content, nor do we endorse any political candidates, campaigns, or petitions or support any views, opinions, endorsements, recommendations, or advice that may be posted by users. You acknowledge that certain users may have commercial interests in their campaigns. We do not monitor or review petitions, fundraiser campaigns, or other content submitted by users, or evaluate them for compliance with foreign or domestic laws and regulations. You therefore use the Change.org and Change Politics services and rely on any content you find at your own risk.

    If you find any campaign or other user content that violates our Community Guidelines, please use the “Report a policy violation” function on each petition page or file a Help Center Request.

    Links out: When you use our platforms, you will find links to other websites that we don’t own or control. We are not responsible for the content or any other aspect of these third party sites, including their collection of information about you. You should also read their terms and conditions and privacy policies.

  6. Our rights

    We own the Change.org and Change Politics platforms including the website, present or future apps and services, and things like our logos, API, code, and content created by our employees - don’t mess with those!

    All right, title, and interest in and to the Change.org and Change Politics platforms and services including our website, our existing or future applications, our APIs, databases, and the content our employees or partners submit or provide through our services (but excluding content provided by users) are and will remain the exclusive property of Change.org and its licensors. Our platforms and services are protected by copyright, trademark, and other laws of both the United States and foreign countries. Nothing gives you a right to use the Change.org name or any of the Change.org or Change Politics trademarks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. Any feedback, comments, or suggestions you may provide regarding Change.org, Change Politics, or the services is entirely voluntary and we will be free to use such feedback, comments, or suggestions as we see fit and without any obligation to you.

    You may not do any of the following while accessing or using the platforms and services:

    1. access, tamper with, or use non-public areas of the platform, Change.org’s computer systems, or the technical delivery systems of Change.org’s service providers.
    2. disable, interfere with, or try to circumvent any of the features of the platforms related to security or probe, scan, or test the vulnerability of any of our systems.
    3. copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, reverse assemble, or otherwise attempt to discover any source code of the Change.org or Change Politics platforms or services.
    4. access or search or attempt to access or search our platforms by any means (automated or otherwise) other than through our currently available search functionalities that are provided via our website, mobile apps, or API (and only pursuant to those API terms and conditions). Crawling the Change.org site is permissible if done in accordance with the provisions of the robots.txt file; however, scraping the services, platforms, and databases is expressly prohibited unless authorized in a written agreement between you and Change.org.
    5. in any way use the Change.org or Change Politics services to send altered, deceptive, or false source-identifying information (such as sending email communications falsely appearing as Change.org); or interfere with, or disrupt, (or attempt to do so), the access of any user, host, or network, including, without limitation, sending a virus, overloading, flooding, spamming, mail-bombing the platforms or services, or in any other manner interfering with or creating an undue burden on the services.
  7. Purchases, donations and fundraiser contributions

    We work with a different company to process payments so we can stay focused on improving our platforms, and empowering people to create change. When you make a payment, you agree to use a valid payment method.

    We may provide you the ability to purchase promotional items related to petitions and campaigns (for example our Promoted Petitions), make a charitable donation to a third party organization, contribute to a fundraiser, or purchase other products or services.

    We work with Stripe, a credit card payment processing company to process all credit card transactions. If you participate in a fundraising campaign, or if you make a payment for services, Stripe will store on our behalf certain information about you. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.

    You agree that, for all purchase, donation, or contribution transactions, (a) you will not use an invalid or unauthorized payment method; (b) you will be charged using the payment method you designate; and (c) all transactions are final and non-refundable (unless otherwise determined by Change.org in its sole discretion). You understand and acknowledge that payments made to Change.org are not tax-deductible as charitable donations. Charitable donations to qualified tax-exempt organizations made through our platforms may be tax-deductible. Please review any relevant terms and conditions of the receiving organization when making a donation.

    If you make a purchase, donation, or contribution through our platform, you agree to pay the applicable fee or amount in accordance with any pricing and payment terms presented to you for that purchase donation or contribution. All amounts do not include taxes, and you are responsible for paying any applicable taxes. You are also responsible for paying applicable standard credit card processing fees.

  8. Copyright infringement

    If you think someone’s infringing your copyright on our platforms, let us know.

    If you believe that one of our users has violated your copyright, you should notify our copyright agent in writing. In order for us to take action, you must do the following in your notice:

    1. identify your copyrighted work that you believe is being infringed
    2. identify the item on our service that you think is infringing your work and include sufficient information about where the material is located (for example, a URL or link to a relevant page) so that we can easily find it
    3. provide us with a way to contact you, such as your address, telephone number, or e-mail
    4. provide a statement that you believe in good faith that the item you have identified as infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law to be used on the platform
    5. provide a statement that the information you provide in your notice is accurate, and that (under penalty of perjury), you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner whose work is being infringed

    Here is the contact information for our copyright agent:

    Copyright Enforcement
    Change.org, Inc.
    548 Market Street Private Mailbox 29993
    San Francisco, CA 94104-5401
    Phone: (415) 236-3829
    Fax: (415) 520-2154
    Email:copyright@change.org

  9. More legal stuff to protect us

    The possibilities for what people may do with a free, online platform that people everywhere can use to create change are endless. Like other platforms where people can post content, these Terms give us legal protection from the countless things that could happen.

    While we’re working hard to build amazing free platforms for people everywhere, we can’t make you any promises that it will always work perfectly or that we’ll maintain all our services forever.

    No waiver, assignment: If we waive any of our rights in any particular instance, it does not mean that we are waiving our rights generally or in the future. If we do not enforce all our rights all of the time under these Terms, it does not mean that we are waiving our rights, and we may decide to enforce them at a later date. These Terms, and any rights and licenses granted under these Terms, may not be transferred or assigned by you, but may be assigned by us to another company or person without restriction. We won’t be liable to you for any delay or failure to perform any obligation we have under these Terms if the delay or failure is due to events which are beyond our reasonable control, including but not limited to any strike, blockade, war, act of terrorism, riot, natural disaster, failure or diminishment of power or of telecommunications or data networks or services, or refusal of approval or a license by a government agency.

    As is service: Use of the Change.org and Change Politics platforms is at your own risk. The platforms (including the content you find on it) are provided on an “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” basis. Change.org and its affiliates, suppliers, partners, and agents expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

    Furthermore, Change.org and its affiliates, suppliers, partners and agents make no warranty that (i) its platforms or any products or services provided through the platforms will meet your requirements; (ii) the platforms will be uninterrupted, timely, secure or error-free or that Change.org will fix any errors; (iii) you will obtain any specific results from use of the platforms; or (iv) any campaign or content on the platforms are accurate, complete, reliable, current or error-free. Any content obtained through use of the platforms is obtained at your own discretion and risk and Change.org shall not be responsible for any damage caused to your computer or data or for any bugs, viruses, Trojan horses or other destructive code resulting from use of the platforms or any content obtained from the platformsWhen you contribute to a fundraising campaign through our platform, you do so at your own risk and we do not guarantee the quality, safety, morality or legality of any fundraising campaign. Some states do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so the above exclusion may not apply to you. You may also have other legal rights, which vary from state to state.

    No guarantee of service: We may decide to cease making available the Change.org platforms, apps or services or any portion of the services at any time and for any reason. Under no circumstances will Change.org or its affiliates, suppliers, partners or agents be held liable for any damages due to such interruptions or lack of availability.

    Limitation of liability: To the fullest extent permitted under law, Change.org and its affiliates, suppliers, partners and agents have no obligation or liability (whether arising in contract, warranty, tort (including negligence), product liability, or otherwise) for any indirect, incidental, special, punitive, or consequential damages or liabilities (including, but not limited to, any loss of data or content, revenue or profit, or personal injury or death) arising from or related to your use of the platforms, service, or any content provided by or through the platforms or service, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages in advance. This limitation applies to damages arising from (i) your use or inability to use the platforms and access the services; (ii) cost of procurement of substitute products or services; (iii) unauthorized access to or alteration or distribution of content you submit through the platforms; (iv) third party content made available to you through the platforms(v) any loss or damage as a result of contributions to a fundraising campaign on Change.org or (vi) any other matter relating to any aspect of the platforms and service, including the website, the API, any present or future apps, email communications, and Change.org content on third party sites. Some countries and states do not allow the limitation or exclusion of incidental, consequential, or other types of damages, so some of the above limitations may not apply to you.

    Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, Change.org's liability and the liability of each of its affiliates, suppliers, partners, and agents to you or any third parties under any circumstance is limited to the greater of one hundred dollars ($100) or the amount you have paid us in the past twelve (12) months.

    Indemnity: You agree to indemnify, defend (if we so request), and hold harmless Change.org and its affiliates, suppliers, partners, and agents from and against any claims, demands, losses, damages, or expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising from the content you post or submit, your use of and connection to the Change.org and Change Politics websites, applications, API, and any other aspect of the platforms or services, your violation of these Terms or your violation of any rights of any third-party. Your indemnification obligation will survive the termination of these Terms and your use of the platforms and services.

    Binding Agreement: By using the platforms you agree to abide by these Terms and our Petition Guidelines, and you consent to Change.org collecting, using, and sometimes sharing information about you as stated in our Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. If you are accepting these terms and policies and using our services on behalf of a company, organization, government, or other legal entity, you represent and warrant that you are authorized to do so.

  10. Dispute resolution

    One of the principles behind Change.org is that people can interact with decision makers directly and come to solutions together. If you have a serious disagreement with a decision we make, let’s agree to sort it out with each other before we make claims in court.

    Change.org is a U.S.-based company and these Terms are governed by laws of the state of California and the United States of America, without regard to their conflict of law principles. If a court having proper authority decides that any portion of these terms, policies and guidelines is invalid, only the part that is invalid will not apply and the rest will still be in effect. The official language of these Terms is English. If there is a conflict between the English language version and any translation, the English language version will prevail.

    In the event of any dispute, claim, question, or disagreement arising from or relating to these Terms or an alleged breach thereof, whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise, between you and us, we shall use our respective best efforts to settle the dispute. If a dispute arises, the complaining party shall provide written notice to the other party in a document specifically entitled “Notice of Dispute,” specifically setting forth the precise nature of the dispute. Please mail any Notice of Dispute to our head office at:

    Dispute Resolution
    Change.org, Inc.
    548 Market Street Private Mailbox 29993
    San Francisco, CA 94104-5401
    USA

    You can also contact our Help Desk at https://help.change.org/ to let us know you have mailed your Notice of Dispute.

    Following Change.org’s receipt of the Notice of Dispute, the parties shall consult and negotiate with each other in good faith and, recognizing their mutual interest, attempt to reach a just and equitable solution of the dispute that is satisfactory to both parties. If the parties are unable to reach a resolution of the dispute through this dispute resolution mechanism within 90 days of the receipt of the Initial Notice of Dispute, then any subsequent claim, legal proceedings, or litigation arising in connection with the Change.org services will be brought solely in the federal or state courts located in San Francisco County, California, United States, and you consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in such courts and waive any objection as to inconvenient forum.

  11. Government terms

    We understand that US government entities that create official accounts on our platforms may have restrictions related to these terms.

    Federal, state or local government entities in the United States may create Decision Maker or elected official accounts on Change.org and Change Politics. We acknowledge that these types of account holders may not be able to accept all of the provisions of our Terms of Service. In particular, for US federal agencies, the governing law of these Terms of Service will be the laws of the United States of America, without regard to its conflicts of law principles and, in the absence of federal law and to the extent permitted under federal law, the laws of the State of California, without regard to its conflicts of law principles. In addition, indemnification provisions in our Terms of Service apply to Federal, state, or local government entities in the United States only to the extent permitted by such entities’ jurisdiction’s laws.

  12. How to contact us

    The best way to get in touch with us is to email our Help Center. You could send us a letter, but we have to say we don’t love snail mail - we are a tech company, after all.

    We’d love to hear your questions, concerns, and feedback about this policy. If you have any suggestions for us, feel free to let us know by contacting our Help Desk at https://help.change.org/ or writing to the following address:

    Change.org, Inc.
    548 Market Street Private Mailbox #29993
    San Francisco, CA 94104-5401
    USA

    Thanks for supporting change in your community - we can't wait to see what you'll change next!