How to Start a Movement

Starting a movement requires thinking creatively about large issues and then breaking them down into targeted, winnable petitions. When you’re ready to start a movement, you’ll need a movement objective and description:


Tip: Make your movement description aspirational and action oriented

Your description will serve as the public introduction to your movement. Open up your description by sharing a big inspirational goal.

MTV’s election movement opens up with: "Join MTV’s Elect This and disrupt the stale and predictable presidential election coverage by putting the focus on the issues that matter most to you." 

The decision to change presidential election coverage is ambitious and aspirational. The use of the word "disrupt" is both inspirational and action-oriented.

How to Add Images to Your Movement Page

Once you click "Get started," your movement page will be generated. Near the top of your movement page, click "Edit." You’ll be presented with an option to and add a photo or video and a hero image.


Tip: Add a compelling hero image

The hero image will be a visitor’s first impression of your movement. Select a visually compelling high-quality image to set the tone. The hero image featured on ACLU’s movement to protect LGBT rights shows action and and emotion.


The hero image on Malala Yousafzai’s movement for girls’ education takes it a step further by adding text over an image. The text provides a focal point as well as a social media tool.


How to Grow Your Movement

There are two ways you can grow the number of petitions in your movement. The first approach is to add existing petitions to your movement. When you click the “Invite petitions” button on your movement page, you’ll be presented with a search box.


Type in keywords to search for petitions you’d like to add and invite petitions to join your movement.

The second method for increasing the number of petitions on your movement is to invite others to start new petitions. Some users find petition creation daunting, so to make the process less intimidating, you can create a template.

Tip: Customize a template to make it easy for new petitions to be created

Click “edit” on your movement page. Scroll down to the section labelled “petition templates” and click “Create a template.” 


You’ll be taken to a page that outlines a process similar to that of creating a petition. Except instead of publishing a petition, you’ll be publishing a template.

When Rise wanted to rapidly grow their sexual assault survivor rights movement, they created a template that makes it extremely easy for anyone to start a petition [screenshot below]. All a petition starter needs to do is to choose a decision maker, upload a photo, and add their state name to the petition title and description.


How to Engage Your Movement Supporters

We now have public updates that show up on a movement page. This will trigger an email to all of your followers. Here’s the composer, which lets you add images and videos, format your text, and add hyperlinks.


Public updates show up on the petition page under the “movement update” section.


They also have their own URL and page.

You can also use the Twitter or Facebook share buttons near the top of your movement page to post your movement to your friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. You can add a personal message to the post.

In addition to sharing your movement on your own social media profiles, you can:

  • Join Facebook groups related to your movement topic and share it there
  • Join online message boards related to your topic
  • Link to your movement in the comments section of related news articles
  • Tweet directly at influencers and ask them to retweet.