9 Reasons your Nonprofit Should use Online Petitions

9 Reasons your Nonprofit Should use Online Petitions

Raising money for your organization requires more than just including a ‘donate’ button on your website. There are so many tools available for organizations to cut down on overhead while still reaching the right constituents, but how do you determine which of these are for you? Maybe you’ve overlooked a whole group of tools because you didn’t think they were right for your type of organization.

Luckily we have friends like PICnet who shared with us these 9 tips on why online petitions are great for all nonprofit organizations, not just advocacy groups.

Here are nine reasons why you should consider online petitions:

Educate Potential Supporters

Your petition appeal gives a clear, short snapshot of what your organization cares about and the change you are visualizing without having to find your About Page or read your Mission Statement.

Petitions are Easy Ways to Build your Mailing List

Signing a petition requires little effort on behalf of visitors and doesn’t require them to reach for their wallets. If you’re using the right petition tool, signing the petition efficiently adds them to your mailing list so you can continue the conversation over time through targeted communications that can lead to higher levels of engagement.

Petitions can go Viral

This is obviously not a guarantee, but if your petition does goes viral, it will radically expand your reach and accelerate the list that you’re building. Due to the clear and easy “sign this now” call to action, petitions make for ideal content to share with friends over social networks.

Mobile Friendly Content

Clear and easy calls to action like “sign this now” also translate into quick actions people can take from their smartphone on the go. Many tools are also optimized for mobile and tablets, making this even easier.

Quick to Create and Publish

If you’ve got a title, an image, and a bit of text, you’ve got the makings of a petition. Throw in a nonprofit-accidental-techie-friendly petition tool that makes publishing your petition quick and easy, and you’ve got a perfect strategy for generating calls to action in response to breaking news and mobilizing supporters around a hot issue.

Target Audiences

Trying to mobilize individuals in a particular demographic, a specific neighborhood, or around a particular sub-issue? Petitions can provide a simple and effective way to target your efforts. By targeting smaller audiences you can also test messages to see which has the greatest impact with you constituents.


If someone has signed your petition, they’re letting you know their down with your mission and care enough to let you know it. Asking them to donate toward your efforts around the same issue as the petition as part of a confirmation message or email can be an effective strategy for raising revenue.

News Content

Petition campaigns create their own news. They also allow you to share how your organization has been progressing towards your goal, any major milestones you’ve hit, and invite your supporters to participate in additional events.

Conversation Starters

The same qualities that make petitions great news generators allow them to be perfect conversation starters with those who sign them.

Email supporters those same regular updates you’re posting to your blog and social media channels and encourage them to share through their own social media channels. Be sure to reward and publicly recognize those who generate the most buzz as this creates a positive feedback loop that leverages success to bring in more success.

For more examples of how a petition could help your nonprofit organization, please see the full post over on PICnet’s blog.


The Connected Cause is a place for experts in the nonprofit online space to share perspective, offer guidance and promote best practices for using today’s technology effectively. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of collaborative thought leadership for the nonprofit industry.


  1. Susan Kenna Wright

    Petitions are also a great way to let constituents feel engaged and for them to assess their level of commitment to the cause.

  2. I’ve worked with many organizations that struggle with data entry surrounding petitions. Using online tools can really help streamline processes.

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