Petitions are one of the most powerful activism tools ever invented.
Online petitions are special because they allow everyone to give their opinion a voice instantly.
Every registered voter can start a petition for their own neighborhood, place, province, state, country, or for every group that was joined.
OpinionFirst helps you to get your petition signed. The platform provides you absolutely unique advantages to hosting your petition that can't be found elsewhere:
With OpinionFirst you can create and publish a well-prepared petition in minutes. It's easy, quick, and free.
OpinionFirst voters and guests are informed and can immediately sign your petition. You instantly reach every day more people that are engaged and that will be offered the opportunity to sign your petition. It is not necessary to start from scratch with your own website, paperwork, database...
Every signatory can reach all their friends and social media networks (Facebook, Twitter...) with a simple push of a button! Wow, what a viral power. A good petition can quickly reach thousands of people.
And there is more:
This constantly gives your petition attention. All views, proposals, and comments around a topic are published on OpinionFirst. Search engines will direct people to that topic. You do not have to fight for attention with only your own campaign website.
We have quick translation tools available so that people can read your petition in their own language. Sometimes it is important to translate a petition in order to be able to count on international support!
You can promote and link directly to your own petition campaign website page on the OpinionFirst platform.
OpinionFirst widgets allow you to publish your petition on your own petition campaign website or any other website! Results, preferences and other information can be published with widgets as well.
Double the chance to have your petition signed!
It is 'and' not 'or'. Why not try?
Our DemocracyFirst Foundation develops attributes, structures, and technologies that facilitate and stimulate democratic decision-making processes. As such, we have developed extensive knowledge and experience on how to make petitions and campaigns successful. Depending on your requirements, budget, and objectives we can develop, implement, and manage your entire petition campaign! Mail us and we will contact you to see how we can make your petition successful.
OpinionFirst provides you with all the tools possible to stay in control with a democratic petition! What does that mean for your petition? Our approach:
Often petition initiators start their petition campaign to collect many signatures to stop a plan from happening or against something that is already happening. This makes sense but it does not give the petition initiators control. The outcome can often be disappointing. The situation remains unchanged or at best the original plan you started your petition against is slightly changed and then still is implemented. Frustration all around!
On OpinionFirst can also submit your petition as a proposal! Your petition is about an alternative proposal, plan, or initiative. Your proposal can be anything you see as the best solution. Also doing nothing can be a proposal. Now people do not sign against something, but they vote in favor of the alternative solution that you propose. With their vote, they support your petition ànd acknowledge your proposal. With OpinionFirst you stay in full control!
You hear that petitions may not represent the public because they are solicited (What is the opinion of those that did not sign?). Or that petitions may not educate the people signing. Or that they may be used for misinformation or fear. Or that the required number of signatures was not reached. Or that... Many arguments of policymakers who do not respect that people should have a free voice and influence on matters that concern them.
On OpinionFirst your petition is always fully based on democratic principles. You are in full control to describe your favorite plan or situation. Your petition can be compared to other proposals for the same topic and can even be voted against. Everyone has full freedom to inform themselves and vote or sign for their preferred proposal. Policymakers have no longer any excuses if their plan is voted against or does not get a majority. With OpinionFirst you are completely sure what citizens, employees or members prefer.
Imagine there is an issue in your neighborhood or in the place you are living that needs change. The authorities do not respond and a petition is started. You and a team of likely-minded start a petition campaign to collect signatures to change the situation. You hope that all your neighbors or citizens of the place you are living in are voting for your petition.
You take the same steps offline ànd online. However, OpinionFirst offers something extra! Everyone outside of your neighborhood or place can respond as well by giving their 'support' vote to your petition. This is not a full signature or vote, but it gives your petition extra influence. Those 'outsiders' can also give your neighborhood or place their advice, views, and recommendations to help solve the issue. You are not alone.
If you are not convinced by now that OpinionFirst is the best platform to get your petition signed, then tell us where we are going wrong!
We advise you to read the standards and guidelines on how to write a valid and successful petition below.
OpinionFirst is a worldwide platform. Consequently, it is important to inform the right people about your petition. Who should sign your petition? Which citizens, employees or members does it concern? OpinionFirst gives you a 'place' or 'group' suggestion, which you can change if needed.
Now that is clear who should receive your petition, let's create it:
What is your petition about? Select an existing OpinionFirst topic or start a new topic if that is not possible.
Express your petition in a clear, complete, and concise way in order to attract the maximum number of signatures. Make sure you have read all the existing proposals and petitions on an existing topic before adding a petition. This helps to prevent duplicates and ensures better voting results.
We recommend a catchy, not too long title. Your title is never against something! It should state what you propose should be done.
Start your petition by giving a brief summary. With this text you attract signatures. It appears in invitations by e-mail, in petition listings, and in other places, so use the most important keywords.
Subsequently, you indicate on behalf of whom you post your petition and you can give background information, evidence, arguments, references, and advantages of what you propose.
Some people include a personal story here. Remember that people won’t always know that much about the issue you’re petitioning about, so explain why you want action and what problem it solves.
You immediately can start promoting your petition with a click on the blue button.
If you can't write a brief summary or have no arguments for a constructive petition, then use a "Statement"!
For quality reasons we ask you to have 1 or more people sign your petition before it will become publicly visible for everyone.
The greater the number of signatures that you acquire through continuous attention and promotion, the more your petition will convince the authorities or management. On OpinionFirst you can start a petition for any neighborhood, place, country, or group.
A response not only depends on the number of signatures. It also is directly related to the level of democratic leadership of the authorities or management. Furthermore, there are different levels of response. In England, for example, the government will respond at 10,000 signatures to a petition and at 100,000 signatures, a petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
Opinion leaders and ambassadors for a petition can press for action from government, parliamentary bodies, councils or boards based on the number of signatures or votes visible on OpinionFirst. The DemocracyFirst Foundation can also press for action on your behalf and all kinds of combinations are possible.
A petition is always related to a topic. A petition is a proposal or request that runs for 6 months. This places greater demands on you and your team than submitting a proposal. The challenge is to reach your desired number of signatures within that period. After the deadline, the petition remains available as a proposal to be voted on.
There are all kinds of petitions. Like most things in life, petitions come in all flavors. Some are successful, gathering tens of thousands of signatures, and national media attention. Some disappear almost without a trace, maybe getting a few signatures from the immediate circle of friends and family, but never really catching on.
Naturally, you want people to take your petition seriously. What makes a petition successful is difficult to say. Some of it is timing. Some of it is just luck. Still, there are a few principles or guidelines for writing a valid and successful petition:
It's important to state your proposal concisely and at the start of the petition. What is your solution or goal? Although a good petition can include a certain amount of background and context, the first paragraph should make it absolutely clear what the petition hopes to achieve.
If you want people to take your petition seriously, then you need to spell-check your petition and to put in the time to make sure your petition sounds serious and professional. Let others read it upfront!
It is recommended to have more people review your petition before publishing. More ideas and thoughts could clarify your petition before publishing it. Other eyes read differently.
Your petition should be ambitious, but realistic. The change you are advocating should be concrete and achievable. If visitors to your petition think you're just shooting for the moon, they're unlikely to sign the petition, even if they support the cause.
It's important to make your point, but it's also important to do so politely. Potential signers are turned off by rude or offensive petitions, even if they're sympathetic to the goals you're trying to achieve. The best petitions sound reasonable, intelligent, and willing to acknowledge other points of view.
It's important to remember that the Internet, one of the most powerful activism tools ever invented, is at your disposal. You may wonder if your voice will ever be heard. But online petitions are special precisely because they allow everyone to have a voice.
Our moderators maintain the quality of OpinionFirst. They are warned if something isn't decent and or does not comply with the 'Rights and Responsibilities' or our standards. They may decide to remove any contribution if it's:
You can help us meet OpinionFirst's standards by immediately reporting any abuse under 'About' which can always be found with every contribution.
A petition can be edited until someone other than yourself signed the petition.
A petition can be removed until someone other than yourself signed the petition.
Registered voters can warn our moderators if a petition is not appropriate or does not comply with the 'Rights and Responsibilities'.
Once you publish your petition, you can immediately start promoting it with a click on the share icon. You have many possibilities to promote your petition!