Step 2:

Start A Petition and Plan Your Campaign

Start a petition

Launching a petition is a great way to get things moving and start building momentum.

Here’s a free tool to use that will stick you on the divestment map for others to find.

Planning the campaign doesn’t need to be complicated, but there are some resources for team building and campaign planning if you need them now or further down the line.

Petitions are a really useful way to demonstrate that there is wide support for your campaign.

The Fossil Free petition tool lets you set up your own petition, which will be added to the campaign map for others to see.


Crucially, the tool also lets you email and keep in touch with the people who have signed the petition to update them on campaign events, progress and actions.

Bear in mind ‘launching’ the campaign (which can be through a petition, an event or action) may be a media opportunity and outreach moment in itself (like this great piece in the local press from Fossil Free Southwark).

Planning your campaign

A bit of thinking and research at the beginning can highlight key allies and avenues to explore and give the campaign direction, but strategy and planning should be revisited and revised as you go along and the campaign develops, do not get too bogged down at the start.

To come up with a strategy you’ll need to ask: what do we want to happen, who can make it happen and what are the actions and allies needed to get there? To make a campaign plan it’s all about which actions you’re going to do first, what next and how.

Top tips:

    • What does success look like? Talk this through with your team, and come up with a shared idea of success.
    • Who can make it happen? You’ll need to do a bit of research on who the decision makers are for your institution. You can use this bullseye sheet to map them, and their key influencers, out.
    • Who influences them? Writing out all the groups, organisations on a power mapping chart is really helpful for thinking who your allies might be, and who to work with.
    • What actions to take? You’ll need tactics and activities that work for you at different stages of the campaign. There are examples further on in the guide, and some more thoughts on tactics here if useful.
    • When? Timing is important, and a campaign calendar with significant local and general movement events always helps planning forward and keeping up momentum.
    • Putting it all together!? You’ll then have to make decisions about what to do first and how to do it. Mapping out your assets – what you’ve got and what you need – can help.

Here’s a great presentation from the Oxford local government campaign about their strategy so far, and this Campaign Strategy Guide talks things through in more detail if you need it.

You may want to delve deeper into strategy and planning, and the Change Agency have loads of resources and tools to help.