Petitions entice people to indicate their support for your cause. A well-crafted petition not only acts as an effective rallying cry, but captures supporter information to help you build your list and further your organization’s goals.
For more information about how to best use this powerful tool, download our free eBook, The Essential Guide to Online Advocacy for Nonprofits.
Let’s take a moment to look at the various components you see when you first select the Petitions tab.
Petitions Insight - This area will be blank at first, but will populate over time as the number of petitions grow.
You’ll notice the Timeline in the header of the Petition Insight window. This enables you view reported information for a specific date range.
Moderate Comments Button - By default, Petition pages are moderated. This button enables you to view and moderate comments submitted by supporters who have signed the petition. Click the button to open the Comments window, where you can see comments that are Waiting for Moderation, Approved Comments, and Rejected Comments. The Status pull down to the right of the Waiting for Moderation table enables you to Post (approve) or Hide (reject) messages. See Petition Commenting below for information about configuring petition moderation.
Petitions List and the Search Field - These allow you to quickly search by a Petition’s Reference Name or Description, or delete selected forms.
Step 1: Getting Started
- Click Activities from the left navigation bar > Petitions tab > +Create a Petition button to the right of the screen.
- The Basics tab is selected by default. Fill out the fields. See Activity "Basics" for more information.
- Click the Next: Compose >> button at the bottom-right of the window. The compose window will open.
Step 2: Compose
Salsa Engage features pre-defined form layouts to simplify form creation. While their Rows and Elements are pre-defined, they are also editable in the Compose step. The Form Element or Multi-step Form Element is central to any Petition. See Visual Editor for Activities and Messaging for detailed information about these Elements.
- Select a layout.
Note, Once you've made your Layout selection and move on to the Composition tab, you will not be able to change the layout. If you find that the layout you've chosen isn't what you need, you'll need to start over with a new form. Before you give up on the layout you chose, keep in mind that you have plenty of editing choices in the Compose tab. If you need to, you can go back to the Setup page and select the cogwheel icon in the lower left-hand corner to bring up the Delete option.
- Click the Next: Composer >> button. The second Compose window will appear, in which you can add and change form content.
- Enable third-party analytics if you wish. Click here for more information about third-party analytics.
- In the form itself, add content, add images, and add additional Elements. (If you selected the Blank template you will have to add Elements before you can add or create content.) To add additional elements, click the Elements tab at the top right of the screen. See the Visual Editor for Activities and Messaging section for detailed information about Elements.
Pro Tip: The best way to learn what options are available for elements that are already on the form is to hover over any element you are interested in, click the pencil icon, and experiment with the various options.
- When you have the form set up the way you want it, click Save Settings >>. If you cancel out (X) before saving your changes, not of your changes will be saved.
Elements Unique to Petitions
The following elements are found only in Petition activities.
- Signatures - Displays the name and comments of form signatories and provides the option to add a call to action as will as the option to allow or disallow comments and moderate comments.
- Tracker - Enables you to track how many supporters have signed your petition. It features the following options:
- How many signatures do you need to collect - This is the total number of signatures that you want to collect. The percent complete number is relative to the number you enter here.
- We'll let you know when you hit certain milestones. How often would you like to be notified of your progress? - This feature works by percentage. For example, if you select 10%, you'll be notified when your petition is 10% complete and every time an additional 10% is completed. (In other words, you be notified when your petition is 10%, 20%, 30%, etc., completed.)
- How would you like your goal tracker to be displayed on the petition page? - You can choose a horizontal or vertical orientation.
Step 3: Set Up Autoresponders
Select an autoresponder option. See the Autoresponders page for additional information.
Step 4: Publish
Publish your form after you have it set up the way you want. Click here for more information. When you select Publish This Form, the page will be rendered, a URL hot link will be generated, and widgets will be created.You can also see the available date, which shows when the page was published and made available for use. Most importantly, the form WILL BE LIVE.
Widgets for External Web Pages
After you publish, Salsa Engage generates widgets that enable you to add a donate button or your donate form to any web page that you own.
Note: You'll probably need admin level access to your website to use this widget code.
Click here for more information.
Step 5: Analyze Results
Towards the top of the page, your newly-published Petition will have spawned a new menu item, See the Results. This menu gives you all the helpful metrics to evaluate your petition's reach. See Performance Statistics for Actions and Messages for detailed information.