The Petitions application allows you to run online petitions about issues that affect your community or organisation. The signatures are gathered in a digital format that can be downloaded to your computer then emailed or printed.
You can run several petitions at the same time. Visitors are presented with a list of open petitions which they can choose to sign if they wish. Members of your site can apply for a petition, which will appear on your site if you approve it.
To enable the application, go to the Content Management tab of the administration pages, then go to the Applications page, and click the Enable button next to Petitions.
Once enabled, you can get to the administration pages for the application in one of two ways:
- Click Manage Petitions on the public pages of the Petitions application on your website (you must be logged in as an administrator to see the button).
- From within the administration pages for the website, go to the Content Management tab, and click on Petitions in the Site Map.
After creation, a Petition goes through several states. The states make it easier for you to keep track where you are with your petitions if you have several of them.
Awaiting Approval - when a member of your site applies for a petition, it starts in this state and must be approved before it appears on your website. If you create the petition yourself it is automatically approved and starts life in the Ready state.
Ready - immediately after creation. The petition is ready to start but is not yet accepting signatures. Visitors to your website cannot see it.
Accepting Signatures - visitors to your website can sign the petition.
Awaiting Submission - visitors can no longer sign your petition, though they can see it on the website. You have not yet submitted the signatures to the intended recipient.
Concluded - the petition is finished, and you have submitted the signatures. Visitors can still see the petition on the website but cannot sign it.
Archived - the same as Concluded, but visitors can no longer see the petition.
You can switch a petition from one state to another at any time, or you can setup a schedule to automatically switch the status at a predefined date in the future.
Creating a Petition
- Go to the administration pages for the Petitions application.
- Click Create a Petition.
- Enter the name of the principal petitioner (defaults to your own name).
- Enter the name and description of the petition.
- Optionally enter a starting date - at this time the petition will automatically switch state from Ready to Accepting Signatures.
- Optionally enter a closing date - at this time the petition will automatically switch state from Accepting Signatures to Awaiting Submission.
- Click OK. You will now see the new petition in the list of petitions. It will be created in the Ready state.
From the list of petitions you can change the name and description, approve and unapprove, change the state, setup a schedule, or download the signatures as a CSV file.
Changing the Name and Description
- Click on the name of the petition, or on the edit icon
- Change the details and click OK.
Approving and Unapproving
Unapproved petitions will have Awaiting Approval in the Petition State column. To approve simply click on Approve.
Changing States and Schedules
The Schedule button allows you to setup a schedule for automatic changing of state, and lets you instantly change the state. Once you have clicked the button you will see a list of states. The state in bold is the current one.
The buttons are:
Make Current - immediately changes the petition to that state.
Schedule ... Date - lets you set a day on which the petition will automatically switch to that state.
The Petitions application allows you to download a CSV file of the signatures. This can be loaded in to Excel or any other spreadsheet program. From there you can print out the list.
- Click on Download Signatures next to the petition.
- Choose a suitable location to save the file, or load it into a spreadsheet.
- The detail contained in the CSV file is a unique signature id number, the name of the person signing, their address, and their postcode.
To configure the permissions, go to the administration pages for your website, select the Content Management tab, and then the Applications page. Click the Permissions button next to the Petitions application in the list. For further details of how to use Permissions, see the Permissions section of the manual.
- Users with Admin permission can manage all petitions.
- Users with Edit permission can apply for a petition.
- ALL website visitors, regardless of permission, can sign petitions.