This guide is intended to show activists how to create an online petition.



The petition is a tool that has been used by activists for years. In the past, the petition has taken the form of a written request for action that is accompanied by a collection of signatures. Contemporarily, however, activists are opting for online petitions.



What online petition platform should I use?

How do online petitions work?

How do I promote my online petition?

How can I promote my online petition offline?


Choosing a platform

Fortunately, there are many free petition-hosting platforms for activists to choose from:


Petition Online Canada


Online Petition


With a wealth of petition-hosting sites to choose from, any activist’s eventual decision on a platform comes to be a matter of personal preference.


The workings

Essentially, an online petition is a petition that is hosted on a website. Similar to a tradition petition, supporters are able to add their ‘signature’ — in the form of a name or email address. Once an adequate number of signatures have been collected, the petition’s results may be emailed.



Undoubtedly, the most successful petitions are those which enlist the largest number of supporters. As such, the promotion of any petition is crucial to its eventual success.

In most cases, petition-hosting websites provide creators with a unique link for their petition. Therefore, in order to publicize a petition, activists should consider emailing the link to their contacts. Activists should also consider posting the link on their blog or website. At the same time, activists should also circulate the link via social media channels — Twitter, Facebook, etc.

If you happen to have a budget for your campaign, you may want to consider purchasing advertising space from Google or Facebook. Such advertisements may help you to reach like-minded individuals.


Offline promotion

Despite the fact that your petition is hosted on the web, your promotion efforts should not be confined to the online realm. Interestingly, your offline promotional efforts may prove to be especially helpful in enlisting support for your cause — especially if it happens to be a local issue.

In order to engage potential offline supporters, activists should consider approaching local media outlets about the issue at hand and the online petition underway. Further, activists may want to consider posting leaflets advertising the online petition. It is recommended that leaflets feature tear-away tabs with a link to the online petition.