If you want to create a new petition for a campaign, first select the New Petition option from the menu bar on the left of the screen (or click the Start A Fire logo in the top-right hand corner). 

The petition builder 

This takes you to the petition builder, where you will be asked to give the petition a name. The boxes at the top tell you how far you are through the petition builder process.  

First give your petition a name.

This will be visible to all users who can login to your Start A Fire account. Users can see the name of the petition in the privacy policy too, so give it a name that would make sense to a member of the public! 

The petition slug

The petition slug will be the link that users will share to access the petition.
For instance, if you enter, the-best-petition, the link to your petition could look like:


Remember, as the petition is a URL, it can only contain characters that can be work in a hyperlink. Hyphens will work. 

Select which campaign this is for...

Every petition, like every newsletter, has to live inside a campaign. If you want to know why, find out more about how actions are organised in Start A Fire.

Select the campaign this petition will be part of. This will help you organise your petitions and newsletters. 

Once you are happy with this, click SUBMIT and move to the next page. 

Select the petition target 

Petition targets are who the petition is directed at. For instance, it could be aimed at politicians, or a group of local decision makers, or a single individual such as a company CEO.

You have two choices either Politicians or Individuals

If you select, you can select any group of politicians in the Start A Fire database.
If you want to target a single politician, it may be better to use the Individual target to target that politician directly.
Individual will also allow you to send the petition to a group of people.

Selecting Politicians

If you select Politicians, you will have the following options:

Select a country - this is a dropdown of all the countries that Start A Fire has data for. 

Select Politicians - allows you to select a sub-group of politicians in each country (for instance, Members of the House of Lords in the UK). 

Then the form asks, If the user doesn't have a matching politician, who should we send their email to?

This gives you the option to enter a Default Target Name and a Default Target Email. 

For example: you are running a petition to ask Scottish MSPs to back more spending on education, yet someone from Wales signs, this field will make sure the person signing the petition still has their voice heard and their signature passed onto someone with authority (the Scottish Education Minister).  

We will explain the options for batched deliveries below...  

Selecting Individuals 

For individuals, the choices are easier. You just enter the name of the target individual or the group ("Board of Directors of ACME Co"). 

Then in the email field you can enter either a single email address who will receive the emails, or a group list of emails who you want to petition. If you want to use a group, separate the emails using a comma, for example:
joe.bloggs@acme-company.co, CEO@acme-company.co, amy.press@acme-company.co

We will explain the options for batched deliveries below...  

Batched or individual emails? 

Start A Fire allows you to customise when the system sends emails to the petition target. 

No: Individual emails
You may want the petition target to receive a new email every single time the petition is signed. This is how most e-campaigning platforms work, however it risks annoying whoever you are petitioning, which may not be helpful? 

Sometimes, for instance with political campaigning, you will want to send individual emails so the politician knows how many people feel passionately about this issue - as their email inbox fills with messages from their constituents.

Yes: Batched emails
If you batch emails, then the target of your petition (or targets) will receive one email when you decide to send that email. It is the electronic version of handing a petition in person. The target of your petition will receive a single email with the names of everyone who has signed the petition and a note that the recipient can reply to everyone who has signed the petition simply by responding to this email.

Dear Joe Bloggs,
ACME Company needs to reduce the cost of bird seed by 25%.

A. Bird, 10 Duke Street, Wichita
A. Nother, 5 Long Street,   

You can find out more about batched emails in this article. 

Tell us how many signatures you want to achieve...

If you have off line signatures you can add them in the box on the left, which asks you how many signatures this petition is starting with.

For example: you gather 500 written signatures at a street stall, you can start your petition with 500 signatures. 

Then you need to set how many signatures you want to collect. For instance, you may have the goal of collecting 1,000 signatures for this petition. If you reach this figure, you can edit this figure at any point to increase the number of signatures you require. 

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