|Formation||February 7, 2007|
Change.org is a website operated by Change.org, Inc., a for profit and certified B Corporation incorporated in Delaware, whose businesses include hosting sponsored campaigns. Organizations like Amnesty International and the Humane Society pay the site to host their petitions. Its stated mission is to "empower anyone, anywhere to start, join, and win campaigns for social change." In addition, "millions of people sign petitions on Change.org each month on thousands of issues, winning campaigns every day to advance change locally and globally." Popular topics of Change.org petitions are economic and criminal justice, human rights, education, the environment, animals, health, and sustainable food.
Change.org was launched on February 7, 2007 by current CEO Ben Rattray, with the support of current CTO Mark Dimas and Adam Cheyer. As of February 2012, the site has 100 employees with offices on 4 continents. By the end of 2012, Rattray stated "he plans to have offices in 20 countries and to operate in several more languages, including Arabic and Chinese."
In 2008, the organization partnered with MySpace to create an index of crowdsourced ideas for implementation by the incoming presidency of Barack Obama, drawing comparisons to similar approaches by change.gov.
In 2010, Change.org helped to inaugurate Blog Action Day.
In 2011, Change.org claimed it was the subject of a distributed denial of service attack by "Chinese hackers", and that the alleged attack was apparently related to its petition to the Chinese government to release artist Ai Weiwei.
In 2012, Arizona State University decided to block access to Change.org in response to a petition created by student Eric Haywood protesting "rising tuition costs at the school." ASU officials claimed that "Change.org is a spam site" and the blocking was conducted "to protect the use of our limited and valuable network resources for legitimate academic, research, and administrative uses." In response, Internet Campaign Director Josh Levy of the Free Press, stated that "disabling access to any lawful site violates the spirit and principles of Net Neutrality, chills academic freedom, and possibly rises to the level of a First Amendment violation."
It was reported on April 5th, 2012 that Change.org hit 10 million members, and is currently the fastest-growing social action platform on the web. They are currently receiving 500 new petitions per day. 
In the U.S. 
On March 8, 2012, a petition entitled "Prosecute the killer of our son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin" was posted on Change.org. The petition received over 2.2 million signatures – at that time the largest number of signatures for any campaign in Change.org's history. The petition called for the prosecution of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, who, on February 26, 2012, shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, a suburb of Orlando. Zimmerman, armed with a 9 mm gun, said he was acting in self-defense against the unarmed teenager, and he was set free the night of the killing without being charged. Social media technology (including Change.org's petition) played a pivotal role in spreading awareness about the killing. On April 11, 2012, George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, and is expected[update] to stand trial in mid-2013.
On October 1, 2011, Molly Katchpole, a "22 year old nanny with two jobs" in Washington DC, started a petition on Change.org "asking Bank of America and their CEO Bryan Moynihan to drop its unexpected new $5/month banking fee" for debit card customers. Less than one month later, 300,000 signatures were collected and resulted in Bank of America formally announcing to drop the new banking fee. President Barack Obama signed the petition, US Senator Durbin, Illinois (D) responded to Bank of America and the petition on Twitter, and it prompted Congress to "look at legislation for out-of-control banking fees."
In December 2011, a fourth-grade class in Brookline, MA launched the "Lorax Petition Project" through Change.org requesting Universal Studios to include more of an environmental message on their website and trailer for their upcoming movie The Lorax, a classic Dr. Seuss children's story. The website and trailer lacked the important message from the book, "to help the environment." They collected over 57,000 signatures (including Edward Norton's), and on January 26, 2012, Universal Studios updated the website "with the environmental message the kids had requested."
On February 2, 2012, a petition on Change.org started by Stef Gray, a 23-year-old graduate in New York, received around 110,000 signers (as of Feb 5, 2012) in response to Sallie Mae, the "nation's largest private student-loan provider", which resulted in the company changing their forbearance fee policy.
In Germany 
Also in 2012, Philip Matesanz, a 21-year-old German university student, started a petition to allow third party recording tools for YouTube. To date, this petition has garnered approximately 4.3 million signatures, which is now the largest number of signatures in the history of Change.org. 
In Spain 
In February 2013, over one million people had signed the petition calling for the entire Spanish government to resign, a figure equivalent to around 2% of the total population of Spain. The call was motivated by an unprecedented corruption scandal involving the majority of key leaders of the Party, including the Prime Minister himself.
Business model 
Under certain conditions signatures and other private information including email addresses can be found by search engines. Change.org operates a system for signature hiding, which works only if the user has an account on Change.org, but it does not work if the signature was forged or appears on another site operated by Change.org, PetitionOnline. That has drawn heavy criticism from (unintended) users, as in addition even multiple support requests on both the Change.org and PetitionOnline helpdesks are answered with great delay, if at all. Any support on PetitionOnline seems to have ended.
There has been debate and criticismaround the fact that Change.org is a for-profit business despite using the .org domain suffix rather than the commercial .com. The site has been accused of fooling their users and hiding the fact that they are "a for-profit entity that has an economic incentive to get people to sign petitions".
Change.org is being deliberately deceitful through the use of the change.org name. I'd suspect that the average change.org user does not know that Change.org is a for-profit corporation, and that the corporation plans on using the contact information being provided to them to earn revenue.
Change.org has also been accused of selling the personal data provided by the users to third-party companies that hire their services, gaining money at the expense of the users.
See also 
- "Change.org B Corp listing".
- Alter, Jonthan. "For Change.org, a Better World Is Clicks Away". Blomberg.
- "About Change.org". Change.org.
- Nick Gonzalez (February 7, 2007). "Social Networking For Change(.org)". TechCrunch.
- Veneziani, Vince (2007-02-07). "Social Networking For Change(.org)". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- Nicholas Kristof (February 4, 2012). "'After Recess - Change the World'". NY Times.
- Sarah Lai Stirland (November 25, 2008). "Change.org Crowdsources An Agenda For Incoming Administration". Wired.
- Branigan, Tania (April 20, 2011). "Ai Weiwei campaign website 'victim of Chinese hackers'". Guardian.
- Joffe-Walt, Benjamin. "Chinese Hackers Attack Change.org Platform in Reaction to Ai Weiwei Campaign". Change.org.
- Josh Levy (February 3, 2012). "'Arizona State Censors Change.org'". Huffington Post.
- Lardinois, Frederic. April 5th, 2012. "Change.org Hits 10 Million Members, Now The “Fastest-Growing Social Action Platform On The Web” 
- Alexandra Topping (Sunday 13 May 2012). "Trayvon Martin petition site Change.org comes to UK". The Guardian.
- Leo Kelion (14 May 2012). "Change.org petition site targets UK campaigners". BBC News.
- "Prosecute the killer of our son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin". Change.org.
- "'Tell Bank of America: No $5 Debit Card Fees". Change.org.
- "'Universal Pictures: Let the Lorax Speak for the Trees!'". Change.org.
- Nicholas Kristof (February 4, 2012). "'After Recess - Change the World'". NY Times.
- Tamar Lewin (2 February 2012). "'Sallie Mae To Change Forebearance Fee Policy'". NY Times.
- "'@Youtube & @GoogleDE : Allow third party recording tools for YouTube #FreedomOnYoutube'". change.org.
- Mui, Ylan M. "Change.org emerges as influential advocate on issues from bullying to bank fees". Washington Post.
- Courtney E. Martin (2 November 2011). "'You Are the NOW of Now!' The Future of (Online) Feminism". The Nation.
- "I want my name off of this petition immediately! : The Change.org Help Desk". Change.org. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Wade Rathke (20 June 2012). "Is Change.org about Real Change or Just Pocket Change?". Chief Organizer Blog. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Change Dot Biz". The Information Diet. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.