Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I start a petition?
You shouldn’t need a Super PAC or multimillion-dollar nonprofit to make change in your community. Petitions are a crucial tool for raising awareness and can be a powerful building block for organizing winning campaigns.
We want you to speak in your authentic voice about the issues that matter to you. Petitions are a great way to rally support around an issue and appeal to decision-makers. Not only that, MoveOn might be able to support your campaign by sending it out to members and strategizing with you on possible next steps for your campaign.
Thousands of people are starting petitions to support the issues that matter to them. Most petition creators are regular people who want to make their voices heard. Start your own petition right now. It will take just a few minutes.
What happens after I create my petition?
Once you start your petition, you’ll see it live on the website, and you’ll be able to start sharing the link right away to help it grow. After it reaches at least 10 signatures, it will be reviewed by volunteers, may be made searchable on MoveOn’s website, and could even be shared with other MoveOn members in your area or who care about your issue.
To help take your petition to the next level, you’ll also gain access to free organizing tools to email your supporters and deliver your petition. If you have any questions, reach out to us at email@example.com.
How do I run a petition campaign?
Thanks for creating a petition. To find out information about managing a petition campaign, you can visit our Campaign Tips page here:
How do I stay anonymous when I create a petition?
We’ve found that petitions from real names are more popular with MoveOn members and get more signatures, so we recommend that you use your first name and last initial.
If you don’t feel comfortable using your real name, you can use a different name, initials, or title for the contact name on the petition. Several authors use a name that reflects their campaign. You can also create an account just for the petition with the separate name and a different email address, rather than your personal one. If you choose to remain anonymous, we encourage you to make a note on your petition so members of the public and media are aware.
Additionally, please remember the email address you use for your account will be the “reply to” email when you send any updates. So we again encourage you to use a unique email address for the petition if you want to further protect your identity.
How do I share my petition?
Thank you for creating a petition. After you create your petition campaign, you will see three blue buttons to share your petition by Email, Facebook, and Twitter. Once you click on one of those choices, you will be able to post your petition.
I am not able to create a petition on my computer.
We suggest you update your current browser or try using a different web browser in case the problem is a compatibility issue with your current web browser.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
- Which web browser do you use (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.)? Which version (such as 10, 42, etc.)?
- Are you able to replicate the problem? If so, can you take a screenshot for us? What is the precise error message that you’re getting?
- Any additional information you can provide us will help us diagnose the problem faster.
I am having problems uploading my photos.
You can try uploading the photo as a JPG file, if you’re not using that file format now.
You can also change the photo size by cropping the photo in your photo software. You can replace the old photo with the cropped (smaller-size) photo.
How do I start a petition if I’m not in the U.S.?
MoveOn does not have a system to host or promote petitions outside of the United States. If a global reach is important for your petition, we recommend that you try the Avaaz petition platform:
For petitions created by those in the U.S. and where you anticipate needing only signers based here, the process is very simple. Just go to the MoveOn Petitions creation page at this link:
Can I edit my petition after it’s live?
You can edit the petition information, including the petition statement text, as long as no one else has signed your petition.
To make changes to your petition, log in to your Petition Account at this link:
Select the petition campaign to edit. On the webpage of the petition, in the upper black bar, there is a link labeled “Edit Content.” When you click on that link, the page will bring up your petition ready to make changes. After you make those changes, just click on the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.
Your petition will return to the Review queue but will continue to be active online.
How do I change the goal for the number of signatures?
We assign each petition a starting goal of 50 signatures and then automatically increase the goal each time the previous signature goal has been reached.
Through our work, we have found that re-upping the goal in this manner is most inspiring for folks to sign and share a petition, because they feel the goal is reachable. That’s why the goal is adjusted automatically as your petition grows.
When will my petition be approved?
Once you create a petition. It will be reviewed by a MoveOn volunteer when it has 10 signatures. If approved, it will be accessible through the “Search for Petitions” box on the homepage and will no longer have the gold banner at the top. Here is the link to the website:
Can this petition tool be used to place my campaign on an election ballot?
While online petitions are an excellent way to build communities and demonstrate people power, our petition tool cannot be used for official petition gathering, such as being placed on an election ballot. We don’t verify that people are registered voters or that they live in the district.
It would be best to contact your local elections office for details, as the rules can differ by jurisdiction.