Working with petitions

AbleOrganizer offers tools for petitions. This feature provides petition pages where individuals can add their digital signature. There are also privacy controls available for signatories to protect their identity.

How it works

  1. You create petition forms within AbleOrganizer's form builder.
  2. You create petition pages and associate petition forms with them.
  3. You set your petition up to collect signatures and / or send targeted e-mails each time a petition is signed.
  4. When someone fills out a petition form, the system generates a thank you message and displays a thank you page.
  5. AbleOrganizer records the petition as part of someone's contact record.
  6. AbleOrganizer provides details about petition activity within reports.

Petition forms

Petition forms are built through AbleOrganizer's online form builder. This tool provides a drag-and-drop interface for authoring forms used to allow people to sign petitions through an online form. It also allows people to take advantage of private or public signatures, and keeps this information organized in an easy-to-understand fashion.

If you have installed all of the sample content for AbleOrganizer, you will find a variety of examples of online petition registration forms you can use as examples for your site. You can also create your own forms from scratch using the form builder.

Authoring a petition registration form

When authoring an petition form, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself how signing petitions will work.

  • Should signatories have privacy controls or should all signatures be disclosed publicly?
  • Should people be able to leave a personal message as part of their signature?
  • What data should be collected as part of the signature? Name, e-mail, phone number?

In order to provide a flexible way to display a count of signatures, a special pseudo-field is required. Be sure to add "CRM Core Petition" to your petition profile and enable the petition signature count field.

[[{"fid":"275388bc-73f1-4b0d-8d08-40ed961b0411","view_mode":"colorbox","fields":{"format":"colorbox","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"tagName":"A","src":"undefined","type":"media","attributes":{"class":"colorbox media-element file-colorbox","title":"petition-field.png"}}]]

Click to expand


The settings page for a petition form

On the settings page, you will want to make sure you include a message thanking signatories. You might want to ensure your form redirects to the proper page for thanking people after record their signature. In case you missed it, there's documentation for how to do this within the form builder.

When you create a petition form, the settings page will include controls similar to the ones displayed in the following screenshot.

[[{"fid":"0be7e22f-a919-4889-9321-a1ae5df540cd","view_mode":"colorbox","fields":{"format":"colorbox","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"tagName":"A","src":"undefined","type":"media","attributes":{"class":"colorbox media-element file-colorbox","title":"petition-settings.png"}}]]

Click to expand


Within this screen, you will want to take note of the following items.

  • Redirect Path. This is the page users will be redirected to after adding their signature to a petition.
  • Message to users. This message will be displayed as a site message to users on the thank you page. It is not the content of the thank you page itself.

Petition pages

Once you have created a petition form, it can be associated with any piece of content in your website. To create an online petition page, you will want to use the on-line petition content type, available from the content creation page.

Configuring the default form

    There are several default settings you can use to control petition forms in your website.

    When you have a petition form you are happy with for general use, go to the petition admin screen to set some defaults. You will see a widget similar to the following screenshot.

    [[{"fid":"9cf0450d-ddf9-40b3-a53d-5d20d8b49c3e","view_mode":"colorbox","fields":{"format":"colorbox","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"tagName":"A","src":"undefined","type":"media","attributes":{"class":"colorbox media-element file-colorbox","title":"petition-profile.png"}}]]

    Click to expand


    Petition Settings

    A petition has some specific settings you can configure. You will see a widget similar to the following within the form for creating a new petition.

    [[{"fid":"de49c290-1a6f-4632-805d-401f48880a31","view_mode":"colorbox","fields":{"format":"colorbox","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"tagName":"A","src":"undefined","type":"media","attributes":{"class":"colorbox media-element file-colorbox","title":"petition-form-settings.png"}}]]

    Click to expand


    These settings allow you to override the several settings associated with petitions.

    • Show signatories will display a tab on a petition node containing a list of petition signatories.
    • Goal will display a target counter above the signature form on petition pages. E.g. 8 of 20 signatures received.
    • Petition signatory e-mail will use the chosen e-mail template for sending to signatories.
    • Petition target e-mail will use the selected e-mail template for targeted e-mail messages.

    This widget allows you to automatically associate petition forms with petition pages by default when they are created in your site. Select a petition form from the drop down and save the page to use the selected form each time you create new petitions.

    [[{"fid":"f0a601b9-abd9-43ca-b57c-4e91ade2c2b7","view_mode":"colorbox","fields":{"format":"colorbox","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"tagName":"A","src":"undefined","type":"media","attributes":{"class":"colorbox media-element file-colorbox","title":"petition-form-overrides.png"}}]]

    Click to expand


    These settings allow you to override the several settings associated with petitions.

    • Form label will add a title above the form when it is embedded inline in a piece of content. E.g. the body field.

    Targeted petitions

    Targeted petitions allow you to send an e-mail to to specific people or organizations every time a signature is collected. The settings look like the screenshot below.

    [[{"fid":"c7e82ff1-8efb-4c42-84c3-f676605f542d","view_mode":"colorbox","fields":{"format":"colorbox","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"tagName":"A","src":"undefined","type":"media","attributes":{"class":"colorbox media-element file-colorbox","title":"petition-targeted.png"}}]]

    Click to expand


    These settings allow you to enable and configure targeted petition e-mails.

    • Send targeted e-mails is the master control for enabling targeted e-mails.
    • Email targets is the list of e-mails which will receive the targeted e-mails.
    • Target e-mail subject sets the subject of the targeted e-mail.

    In order to configure the mail templates, you will need to create or modify a "Rule set" in the rules admin interface.

    Thank you pages and e-mails

    When someone signs a petition, AbleOrganizer can generate e-mails and direct people to thank you pages thanking them for getting involved. You can personalize the experience using web-based administrative tools that let people know you appreciate their support.

    Thank you pages

    The thank you page for a petition page is configured within AbleOrganizer's form builder on the settings page for each form. You can redirect users to any path in your website to say thanks. To create a thank you page, go to the content creation page in your site and simple create a new page.

    Configuring e-mails

    AbleOrganizer can generate personalized HTML e-mails to signatories. Go to the Petition Configuration Page to select the e-mail template you wish to use by default. This will set a default e-mail message that will be used for saying thank you to signatories.

    When creating a new petition page, you can select thank you messages that are different from the default one. Just look for the CRM Core Petition widget, which includes a drop down that will list all rules tagged for use as petition messages.

    Customizing e-mails

    AbleOrganizer is capable of storing multiple e-mail templates for thanking signatories. You can find a list of the rules for sending thank you e-mails on the rules administration screen. This screen includes a complete list of rules configured for the system. The petition feature ships with a rule titled 'CRM Core Petition Thank You Message' for sending thank you messages to contacts. 

    You can control the contents of this message by clicking the edit link next to the title, and clicking the edit link on the resulting page. Look for the field labelled 'The mail's message HTML body,' this contains the contents of the message that will be included in the message. Feel free to edit the contents.

    To create multiple petition e-mail templates, instead of editing this rule, simply select the link to clone it instead. This will create a copy of the default mailing message you can customize to create new messages.

    Petition activity type

    Anytime a petition is signed, an activity is created which records the signature. It records several important data points, such as the date & time, the source, the petition page, the personal message and the users privacy preference. An example activity is show below.

    [[{"fid":"11e8ea3c-1d1e-4a1b-8760-ed349de00f40","view_mode":"colorbox","fields":{"format":"colorbox","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"tagName":"A","src":"undefined","type":"media","attributes":{"class":"colorbox media-element file-colorbox","title":"petition-activity.png"}}]]


    The petitions module includes a number of basic reports that can be customized, extended and used as templates for creating your own custom reports.

    Most reports include additional summary reports, providing additional details related to each category of information. 

    Petition reports

    Additional reports

    In addition to the standard reports that ship with the petition feature, petition organizers have access to an signatory report that is available from outside the CRM section of your site. Look for the 'Signatories' tab when viewing a petition you have created. This will provide a list of all public signatures.

    Customizing petition reports

    The petition reports included in AbleOrganizer can be customized and extended using the petition reports settings page. This page provides you with controls allowing you to edit the colors used to generate charts, the presence of labels / legends, and the appearance of different types of charts. The default settings created on this page can be overriden by specific reports throughout the system.

    Individual reports are built as views or panels within Drupal, and the platform provides tools for customizing the layout, contents and settings for individual report components.