Start A Petition Drive
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A Petition Drive - The Fast-Track to Success!

Our  Petition
Read the Petition
Sign the Petition
Starting a Petition Drive

Getting Signatures
Petition Handout
Aim for 77,500  signatures

Our No-Kill Effort
Rancho Seeks No-Kill Director
County is History!
RC to Go No-Kill!
No-Kill Eval OK'd

No Kill Info
Definition of No-Kill
When the Cages Are Full
Impossible You Say?

No Kill Resources

Shelter Law                 
No-Kill Resources

So you want to start a petition drive in your own city? Well here's some ideas for you.

1) Start the process rolling by having your volunteers meet at a specific location on a day that is best for your group and when you'll find the most people out and about. The object is to get as many signatures for your petition as possible and to find new members of the public willing to help you do the same. This event helps jump-start the process. If you leave it to volunteers to go out on their own, some might never get started. Others may be shy and not know what to do or say. A group effort will give most people the necessary incentive. Consider having a contest, the winner being the team getting the most signatures. If you want to give out an award, possibilities include a free meal, a computer-generated certificate or a handmade ribbon.

2) Get as many people as you can to help out, including teens, friends, students and other organizations. Your volunteers do not have to be members of your cause, as long as they are willing to follow your instructions.

3) Prepare what you want your volunteers to say when they approach potential signers. For an example script, click here Also, brainstorm with your volunteers what they would say and make a long list of places you can go over the next few months to collect signatures.

4) Discuss with volunteers how to accept rejection, because there surely will be some. It is important to accept 'nos' politely without argument, issue a smile and move on. Your time is precious and there's enough people who will say 'yes' to meet your goal. 

5) Once you've established several locations, make a date for everyone to meet. Divide into teams of 2-3 people. Cover different shopping centers, malls, and superstores (like Wal-Mart and Cosco) - wherever there will be a lot of traffic. Make sure you spread your volunteers out for maximum production. You can meet at the end of the day and compare experiences and results.

6) Make sure volunteers come prepared. Ask everyone to wear comfortable shoes and suggest a visor and sunglasses if it will be hot. They may be on their feet for hours. Have each volunteer bring their own clipboard, several working pens, water and snacks.

7) Each volunteer should also have a sign-up sheet to get the names and phone numbers of people who are especially interested in helping you. If you can get them to pass out petitions too, your signature numbers will multiply quickly. Be sure to bring lots of copies of petitions to give out along with lots of extra signature pages.

8) Set up a card table and banner that states your cause in big letters but few words.  Bring an attraction, if possible. Animals can help you get a lot of attention but only do so if they are of the right temperament so they can enjoy the occasion. Make sure they are adequately fed, hydrated and shaded. If animals are shy or nervous do not bring them. Consider alternative attractions like a mime, a clown, costumes, music, a balloon-maker for kids, helium balloons tied to your table, wearing funny hats or signs on your chest with your message- anything that draws attention and curiosity your way.

9) Have handouts! Don't stop at just getting signatures. Seize the opportunity to gain supporters for your group, both as members and contributors of money or goods. Make flyers that explain your organization's purpose and include contact information such as your phone, email address and website. Make sure to bring at least 50-100 handouts per volunteer. For a sample handout, click here. The pictures on our flyer were taken off the local pound's website. Hopefully these animals will be adopted as a result.

10) One of your most important objectives should be to get others to hand out petitions for you. You can multiply your signatures exponentially by making this a primary focus. If you get 5 petitions signed with 25 signatures per petition, and give out 5 additional petitions to five individuals who get them signed and they give out 5 more petitions which are signed, you will end up with 3,875 signatures. If 19 other volunteers do the same, you will have 77,500 signatures! See this chart.

11) For maximum success, make it clear that this is not a sitting job. No matter what attractions your table offers, most people who would have signed, will not do so unless you approach them. Volunteers should be on their feet asking passers-by, "Excuse, me. Will you please sign...".  This is truly where the saying applies, "If you don't ask, you won't get!"

12) Have your volunteers give you back the signed signature pages with their name on a sheet of paper stapled to the page so you know who gave you each sheet. Create a special form for this information. There should be one book where all original signature pages are kept in.

13) Don't stop there! Arrange more drives on a regular basis and  encourage individuals to continue going out on their own. Call your volunteers frequently and ask them how things are going and if they have completed signature pages you can collect. Pick them up as soon as possible so they are neither damaged or lost. For your movement, their value is gold!

No-Kill NOW!  P.O. Box 217,  Etiwanda, CA 91739-0217
Home Defining No-Kill No-Kill Resources Shelter Law


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