What is this?
YouPower is a tool from Democracy for America designed to allow you to start, run and win your own campaign on just about anything.
It can be big or small, local or national. YouPower is about empowering individuals, groups and organizations to create real and permanent good. If you have an idea to make your community, your school, your local playground or the planet a better place, we build YouPower to help you win. For more about DFA - check us out here.
What can I run a campaign on?
What have you noticed that needs fixing? Where do you see an opportunity for positive change? Your campaign need not be limited to particular issues or locations. Your audience can be your neighbors or other Americans all across the country.
When starting a campaign the most important step is to get the ball rolling - don't worry about getting everything 100% right. Even experienced, professional campaigners make mistakes and often change tack as things develop. You don't need to be an expert to launch a campaign; you just need to be willing to learn new things along the way.
What can't I campaign on?
We expect we'll probably see campaigns we don't agree with, campaigns that might seem a bit random and or just plain kooky. That's fine with us, as long as it's not defamatory, discriminatory, or illegal.
It comes down to this: does your campaign promote or incite violence? Does it promote bullying, or advocate discrimination based on someone's gender, sex, religion, ethnicity, nationality or sexual orientation? Is it defamatory? No? Excellent. We're all good.
Democracy for America is an organization built on progressive values, so you won't see us promoting any campaigns that are designed to advance the conservative agenda or attack issues and positions we hold dear. We reserve the right to use our judgment and take something down if it crosses a line of common decency or conflicts with DFA's values.
How do you decide which campaigns go on the homepage?
A number of factors contribute to what campaigns are highlighted on the homepage. These include campaigns that are on the edge of winning, campaigns that have shown rapid growth and campaigns that are particularly timely.
Besides starting a petition, what else can I do in my campaign?
You can start a petition, share it with your network and communicate further with your supporters via email.
YouPower also helps you take your campaign to the street. For instance, you can download a blank copy of your petition, collect signatures in person and then enter your data easily into the system. You can also download a finished copy of your petition to print and deliver to your target.
You can access all of these features from the manage page.
This is a tool that allows anyone, anywhere to take a campaign from start to finish.
Can I cancel my petition?
How will signing petitions make a difference?
Petitions provide a useful snapshot of the level of public support for an issue and put forward a list of people who all share a common commitment or concern. And they don't always need a big number to make a big impact - think about a local issue where a petition of 20 neighbors on one street would require someone to sit up and take notice.
Petitions can be the catalyst for conversations that change how people think conversations -- whether the people you're trying to reach are your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, church groups, schools, fellow consumers, political representatives or business leaders. Petitions are most effective when you make a point of delivering your petition to your target in a personal, high-profile or creative way, explaining why supporters feel the way they do.
I'm loving this and I want to learn more. Where do I go from here?
Ah, grasshopper. You have understood the principles of campaigning 101 and are ready for more advanced teaching? Excellent.
Here's the thing. Sometimes your campaign is won pretty quickly, and that's an amazing feeling. Other times, a campaign needs a movement of supporters behind it to really succeed, particularly when the barriers to change are high.
And that's when you need to build a movement.
Movements are diverse groups of people who probably have different skills, professions and interests but are united around a common purpose. These individuals can communicate why an issue is important to them and will often experiment together with different tactics over time to build power and instigate long lasting change.
You can't build a movement alone. A movement is born from a team of people with complementary strengths and diverse skill sets. Real movements grow through collaboration and skill sharing, and while some may step forward more naturally to be leaders, everyone has a part to play.
To build a movement, you need to find other people who care about the issue, but have different skills from you. If you're a great writer, find someone who's good at accounting. If you're not a "people person," find someone who is. Build and invest in those personal relationships to ensure your team is strong and diverse.
I no longer wish to receive updates on a campaign I signed up to. How do I unsubscribe?
It's sad to see you go, but you can unsubscribe by clicking the 'unsubscribe' link in site emails you receive.