Impact and Sustainability

Nearly every hour of every day,’s tools power a victory for change somewhere in the world. The potential we have for accelerating this impact is immense: with 150 million users, growing by more than one million new users a week, we are just beginning to see what’s possible when people everywhere have access to the tools needed to mobilize for change.

Yet in order to fully realize this potential, we need to do more than continue to scale our user base; we also need to scale our revenue and get to sustainability as a company in order to serve our users over the long-term.

The best business model for any mission-driven company is one in which greater social impact is intimately tied with greater revenue generation, so that increased impact automatically generates more revenue that can then power more impact, in a virtuous cycle.

This isn’t easy to achieve, and we haven’t done enough to develop this type of business model – until now. 

This is why earlier this summer we announced that we would be launching a suite of new products that would tie revenue generation more closely to the impact of people using our platform. These tools – an expanded Promoted Petitions product that enables signers to chip in to promote campaigns to a wider audience, a new Monthly Subscription product that brings our users ever-closer to by offering them the chance to contribute financially to the platform and on behalf of issues they care about, and a Crowdfunding tool that enables petition starters to raise money to help win their campaigns – will give our users the ability to increase their impact through financial contributions that will simultaneously generate the scaled revenue we need to grow our platform.

We’re already seeing the potential scale of these products – we just surpassed 500,000 people paying to promote petitions on the site – and we are now structuring the organization around them and sharpening our focus on the key things that will drive our continued growth and help us reach sustainability.

In doing this, we have made the very difficult decision to part ways with a group of remarkable teammates we are lucky to have had drive our mission, and who have helped impact the lives of millions of our users. These colleagues helped build into the platform we have today, and all that we achieve going forward will only be possible because of their work. This transition is no fault of their own, and any organization would be lucky to work with them in the future. Our commitment is to do everything we can to support them in their next steps, and to work fiercely every day to build upon the foundations they have helped create.

As we announced earlier this summer, we have also set up the Foundation, and in the coming months will be transitioning our country operations in the global south into this foundation. Our teams in Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe have made massive impact, and having a foundation structure will provide greater flexibility to support and scale these operations in the future. In addition to the Foundation’s work focused on issues like women’s and girls empowerment, the foundation will also serve as a platform that enables us to launch many more country operations over time – including in the Middle East and Africa, regions we have not yet penetrated.

Together, these changes will put us on a path toward realizing the potential we have as an organization: providing ever-better tools and support for local and global movements, funded by user-aligned revenue that grows our resources and enables us to serve the next hundred million users.

The path to that goal won’t be easy to travel, and we won’t be perfect in our navigation. But in service of our users and all of the people who have dedicated part of their lives to advancing our mission, it’s a goal we will continue to pursue with all that we have.

Written by
Ben Rattray
September 1, 2016 7:20 pm