HOW TO CAMPAIGN

Learn how to start and run an effective digital campaign

Mainstream media is a testament to the fact that blackness is under attack. OrganizeFor is Color Of Change’s commitment to ensuring that Black people from New Orleans to Portland have the tools necessary to define what’s happening in our communities and shape the ways in which we hold key decision makers accountable for their choices. OrganizeFor is designed to promote actions that make the world a more tolerant and less hostile place for Black people by building power digitally and connecting you with other folks who share similar values and interests.

In an era when Black communities are being crushed under militarized policing and legalized unaccountability, an epoch where hate speech is celebrated, it’s critical that we use the internet and social media channels to deploy content raising awareness and support for causes that improve the quality of life for Black people. OrganizeFor is a digital campaigning tool that positions you to fight back and win for justice. Watch the videos to learn more about how you can join the movement and launch your digital petition today!

Campaign faqs

Quick start
Enter petition details

Starting a petition on OrganizeFor can be quick and simple if you know what issue you want to address and who makes the decisions around that issue.

Click the Start a petition button and enter the following details:

  • Title - Engage your audience with a title that let’s folks know what’s going down

  • Decision Maker - Name who’s responsible for solving the problem

  • Demand - Explain what the decision maker can do immediately to solve the problem

  • Share your story - Spill the tea and tell folks why they should take action with you

Enter your info

Complete the personal information section so that we can reach out to you to strategize about how you can win your campaign.

Collect Signatures

social icons

Share your petition with your folks!

GETTING STARTED
What is a digital petition campaign?

A DIGITAL PETITION is an online organizing tool that you can use to bring other people together to pressure decision-makers to implement a specific change needed in your community.

PETITIONS are written documents that have been used throughout our country’s history by everyday people like you. A petition seeks a specific action from an authority figure who has power over whether or not that specific action will occur. For example, you may write a petition asking your local City Council representative to stop a new private prison from being built and instead invest that money in city schools YOU can make a difference by ASKING OTHERS TO JOIN YOU to insist that justice be served around a specific issue.

A DIGITAL PETITION CAMPAIGN is a structured, creative effort to share the petition on a variety of online channels to engage other people in supporting the petitioner’s demand given a specific time and goals. A digital petition campaign focuses on expanding the reach of an individual’s efforts through the power of online social networks. It may also include offline actions that increase pressure on the decision maker.

Why should I start a digital petition campaign?

You should start a digital petition because you want to challenge the status quo. Real change doesn’t happen unless someone’s willing to fight for what they believe is right. Starting a digital petition campaign is a way to take strategic action with others towards making justice real in the lives of Black people and all people in your community.

If you are already organizing with others on the ground around a specific issue - starting a digital petition campaign can expand and amplify the efforts of the collective and individual members of your campaign.

How do I start a digital petition campaign on OrganizeFor.org?

Starting a digital petition is quick and easy if you know what you’re trying to achieve. Click the “START YOUR PETITION” button and the prompts will guide you through the process.

Create a short title that grabs a reader’s attention. Then define whom you’re petitioning, what you want them to do and why this matters for Black folks.

We also recommend that you read through the rest of this HOW TO CAMPAIGN page to help you develop a powerful digital petition as the foundation of your online campaign..

BUILDING YOUR CAMPAIGN

What are the elements of an effective digital petition campaign on OrganizeFor.org?

For a digital petition campaign to be effective on OrganizeFor.org it needs to include the following elements:

  1. A CLEAR DEMAND: What is the specific change that you want to see in the world? [e.g. Drop charges on the students who have been wrongfully suspended and rescind the discriminatory part of the dress code that is disproportionately affecting Black students.]
  2. AN APPROPRIATE TARGET(S): the target has to actually have the power to make the change you want to see happen. [e.g. the local school board]
  3. A STRONG THEORY OF CHANGE AND STRATEGY: This is an ‘if then’ statement that describes cause and effect between your goal and plan to make it happen. A strong theory of change is typically accompanied by a strategy that outlines how you will reach your goal. [e.g. If hundreds of parents, family and community members support this petition, we can deliver the signatures at next month’s school board meeting and show our united support for equal treatment for all students regardless of race or culture - including hairstyles. We will attract local press to the board meeting which will pressure the board members to change the discriminatory policy]
  4. IDENTIFY A CAMPAIGN LEADER: A good petition leader will be someone that has a strong connection to the issues addressed in the petition. Ideally, that person is you! [e.g. As a resident of this town whose nieces and nephews attend our schools I am representing my family and others who are concerned that our children are not being treated fairly.]
  5. A COMPELLING NARRATIVE/CONTENT: Stories are what draw people in and allow them connect with others. A strong story for an OrganizeFor petition should focus on an issue that negatively impacts Black people and communities as the basis for the petition demand, and starts with a powerful introduction sentence and a good hook. [e.g. Read this petition for a good example of a powerful narrative that centers the impact on Black communities]
How do I go from sensing something is wrong or unjust in my community to developing an effective digital petition goal?

Thank you for your commitment to seeking justice for your community. Use this guide to help you define the issue and explain to others what’s at stake to engage a broader audience.

What should I expect when I start a digital petition campaign?

Your first goal is to hit 100 signatures. Share right away with your friends, followers and networks to get started! Once you get 100 signatures, Color Of Change staff will review your petition and send a test email to Color Of Change members to see how they respond.

If Color Of Change members in the test group sign your petition, we’ll keep sending it out to larger and larger groups of members. Very relevant or timely petitions will be shared on the Color Of Change Facebook and Twitter accounts. You may receive a call or email from a Color Of Change staff member to talk about your petition.

In the meantime, read the next section on “ENGAGING OTHERS TO WIN ON YOUR CAMPAIGN”. Think about what else you can do to make the TARGET feel that pressure and bring those ideas to life!

ENGAGING OTHERS

Why do I need to engage others to win on a digital petition campaign?

Winning on an OrganizeFor digital petition campaign means creating a more tolerable and less hostile world for Black people. Decision makers must feel public pressure to make hard choices. You should strive to engage others in order to influence the decision-maker to change something. There is nothing like hundreds or thousands of signers on a petition to get a decision-maker’s attention! The more people that you get to virtually “stand with you” by signing the petition, the more potential press you could attract. With news coverage decision- makers are put on the spot. They don’t want to tell thousands of people that they are going to disappoint them. Public pressure encourages the target to comply with the demands of the petition.

How do I get people involved in my digital petition campaign (e.g. online organizing, outreach, and getting petition signatures)?

Engaging people in digital campaigns takes strategic planning. Here are 5 TIPS TO ENGAGING others towards victory on your petition campaign: