Petitions aren’t new—they’re as old as the ancient prophets crying out for justice (think Moses asking Pharoah to let his people go).
But now the Internet offers us radically powerful tools to attract and mobilize thousands of people, all around the world, at lightning speed (or however long it takes your Time Warner Cable to load).
We provide a digital toolset and more so you can make change harder, better, faster, stronger.
At Groundswell, we’re different than other places you can start or run campaigns:
Want a taste of our petition support? We recently did a webinar with Standing on the Side of Love on how to start and run a petition. Fast forward to 35:04 for our campaign coaching with Susan Leslie, Director of Congregational Advocacy and witness at the UUA:
When you reach out to us, we can help you:
✔ Set a campaign goal and figure out the right target
✔ Create a campaign timeline
✔ Review and provide edits or suggestions to your petition text
✔ Come up with a plan for sharing the campaign with your email lists, social media followers, and other networks
✔ Strategize campaign escalation and next steps
✔ Plan your outreach to the media
✔ Plan your petition delivery
How do I start a petition?
You can get started easily and for free here action.groundswell-movement.org – just click “Start a Campaign.”
There are four fields:
Then you pick your category:
And set your location – is it a local or national campaign.
Voila, you’re done! Your campaign will be up and you can start sharing the link for people to sign on. The whole thing won’t take you more than 60 seconds if you already have your campaign text ready.
Can you help me on my campaign?
Yes, that’s what we’re here for. The petitions that have done the best on the Groundswell platform have been ones where our team helps out.
Will you send my petition to the Groundswell list?
We’ll do our best. The Groundswell list is about 200,000 people of faith who have taken action on different justice issues. So if we think your campaign is a good match for a part of the list – we’ll send them an email about your petition. This can get hundreds or thousands of new signers on your petition!
Why do you provide this free online toolset?
Honestly, it started as an experiment. We thought: What if we provide an easy-to-use change-makers toolset for free to people of faith working for justice in the world? The response has been amazing. Just check out some of the great campaigns that have been started. From economic justice to LGBT equality to immigration to racial justice – the toolset has proven to be a game-changer.
What’s my role in a campaign?
People are hungry for a world free from suffering, oppression, and discrimination, where every person can live a fulfilling and meaningful life and contribute their unique gifts. That’s where you come in. You’re out there on the frontlines, advocating for change in your communities, city, state, and country. We’re here to support your leadership.
What happens to the people who sign onto my campaign?
You get to organize them! The toolset has a free email tool, so you can send them updates on your work for justice. We can brainstorm ideas together. Also, we (the Groundswell team) might email your signers other campaigns that we think they’ll be interested in. It’s our way of building intersectional, multifaith movements for justice.
What do you mean by ‘building multifaith movements for justice’?
A small group of faith leaders in Kentucky was working on immigration reform. We shared their campaign with dozens of people of faith and clergy in their area who had taken action on other justice campaigns. It helped them get the word out, get more people involved, and grow their campaign momentum.
We believe the greatest social challenges of our time are interconnected. We cannot realize racial equality in the U.S. without addressing religious bigotry, securing dignity for immigrants, and ending violence against women and girls, for example. The tools and resources we provide aim to build solidarity across “issues” so that we stand up for one another’s causes as our own. We hope to model a new approach to movement building where distributed open-source activism can thrive. This movement, and the toolset to build your part of it, is yours.
Have campaigns on the site been successful?
Yes! Scroll up to check out some of our success stories.
I’m interested. What’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Check out our Talk to Us page. Drop us an email and we can go from there. Personally, we think a great first step after an email intro is getting on the phone to hear about what you’re doing!