Chicken, women’s figure skating, and whose brand you’re building with your nonprofit’s online petition

Back in late January, I signed a petition for a cause I believe in, sponsored by an organization I care about. I posted an article recounting how the entire branding of the experience wasn’t associated with the organization or the cause but with the well-known petition site hosting the form.

That led to a simple question for those using online petitions:

Are you building your own brand or someone else’s with your online petition solution?

Nearly three months after that signing, the question is all the more relevant after the seventeen follow up emails I’ve received.

Those seventeen emails were about chicken from China, retirement for a phone company employee, women’s figure skating, a three strikes law, a request for a public inquiry in Canada, a clemency request to the President on behalf of an imprisoned mother, notices of petitions Facebook friends of mine have signed, and a list of jobs open at the well-known petition site.

Seventeen emails over ten weeks.

Exactly zero from the organization whose petition I signed.

Nada were at all related to the cause I believe in and for which I signed the petition. It wasn’t about chicken or ice skating or retirement or three strikes or Canada or clemency. I wasn’t interested in what friends on Facebook have signed. I’m not looking for a new job with the well-known petitions service. Now, mind you, some of those could be worthwhile causes. Some are likely great organizations.

But I dare anyone to explain how signing a petition to enfranchise the citizens of D.C. has anything to do with chicken from China or women’s figure skating.

Do you need to change your online petitions service? Interested in how online petitions can benefit your nonprofit even if you’re not an advocacy organization?

Register for one of our free upcoming Building your non-profit’s mailing list with online petitions webinars to learn the questions you should ask when selecting a service and strategies you can use to connect with more supporters and donors:

1:00 PM – 1:30 PM, Thursday, April 17th: Register 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM, Thursday, May 15th: Register 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM, Thursday, June 19th: Register

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at 1:31 pm and is filed under advocacy, petitions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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