From improving animal welfare to protecting women’s rights, prohibiting book banning in public schools to supporting life-saving medical research, there are many causes one can support in an effort to make the world a better place—if you know where to begin. Care2 has made finding that beginning easy, bringing millions of concerned citizens together to create an online community taking positive action for change one signature at a time.
Making the World a Better Place
“Care2 has always had a simple mission: to help make the world a better place,” Julie Mastrine, the organization’s manager of brand marketing and PR told RewardExpert. “Our CEO, Randy Paynter, had this idea that extraordinary things can happen with people who care take action together. So, when he saw the power of the Internet, he knew that the power to mobilize the world was at hand.”
Paynter launched Care2 from his tiny apartment in 1998. Since then, the community has grown to more than 40 million members and has collected more than 590 million signatures.
“Thousands of petitions are created on the site each month,” Mastrine continued. “We’re the world’s largest social network for good.”
Advocating for Change
By definition, petitions are formal written requests, typically signed by many people, that appeal to one or more authorities to take a particular action in regard to a specific cause.
“Petitions are vital from an advocacy perspective,” Mastrine explained. “They represent a groundswell of public opinion and signal to journalists, leaders, CEOs, politicians and other decision makers that there is something that needs to be done or changed.”
The petitions posted on Care2 address almost any topic one can imagine, running the gamut from education and human rights issues to corporate accountability and the environment.
“Anyone can browse petitions started by Care2 members and nonprofit partners on our petition site,” Mastrine continued. “Of particular interest to world travelers will be our international petitions. There is a popular one right now to stop the South Korean dog meat festival. There’s also a petition to end rainforest deforestation by stopping government mandated demands for biofuels. We have a petition asking Canada to increase funding for refugee legal aid as well as a petition to ban shark finning in Singapore.”
Encouraging Continuous Activism
While it’s possible to visit Care2 and sign a single petition on a cause close to your heart, the organization created Butterfly Credits to encourage continuous activism among its members. One earns Butterfly Credits by taking action on Care2’s websites. For example, if you create a petition, you earn 100 credits. Signing an activist’s petition earns 50, while leaving a comment on a website article earns 20.
“Our members can redeem those credits on the site and devote them to a good cause like bottle feeding a kitten, planting a tree, or providing clean drinking water,” Mastrine said. “What that actually means is that Care2 donates to a nonprofit organization that does those things on the ground.”
According to Care2 data, Butterfly Credits have bottle fed 224,186 kittens, planted 596,736 trees and provided 956,949 days of safe water so far.
Start a Petition for Free
Whether you want to address a local issue or a global problem, creating your own petition on Care2 is simple.
“Anyone can start a petition for free,” Mastrine stated. “Just visit www.Care2.com and look for the big button that says, ‘Start a Petition.’ From there, choose a category, enter a title and add a few paragraphs explaining the issue and what you are hoping to get done.”
The Care2 team regularly reviews new petitions.
“When we see one with a lot of potential or that addresses a hard-hitting issue that aligns with our company, we will reach out to the author and give them help promoting it. This includes editing the petition, adding photos, alerting the media, posting it on social media, and planning delivery,” he said.
“They are a really powerful force for people to make a difference in the world, whether they are seasoned activists or just dipping their toes into advocacy,” Mastrine said. “Petitions are a core tenant of democracy because they represent people power.