Wednesday, November 2, 2011

3 Simple Ways to Change Anything : A Lesson from Molly Katchpole

Molly Katchpole showing her cut up Bank
of America Debit card. (via
This afternoon I received a call from Tanya Rivera of WFMY News 2, an anchor for our local CBS affiliate, and she was interested in 3 simple things I could share that could effect change locally and globally using social media.

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about 22 year old "David" Molly Katchpole, a DC graduate of Roger Williams University who is working two jobs and living pay check to paycheck. She started a petition to address the outrageous $5 per month debit card fee the "Goliath" Bank of America wanted to implement in 2012.

Molly just couldn't believe that after receiving billions of U.S. taxpayer funds in the great bank bailout and touting a 6.2 billion dollar profit last quarter alone that Bank of America would have the gall to charge a $5.00 monthly fee for simply using a debit card to access her own hard earned money. I myself was shocked to learn that this fee was waived for those clients who had more than $20,000 in combined deposits or who had a mortgage with BofA - effectively targeting only the lowest income clients who could least afford the fee.

Molly and the 306,894 people who signed her petition WON! Bank of America has published a statement saying that they would no longer pursue the $5.00 Debit card fee. Many, including Molly, have stated that regardless of this new statement - they will no longer choose big banks, but instead choose local credit unions and as Move Your Money folks would say 'invest in Main Street not Wall Street.'

Molly has proven that you don't have to have high price lawyers or be a political or social media heavy weight to take on big business - you just have to have the focus to stand up for what you believe, a cause that will appeal to a wide audience and an internet connection! In her own words "David can still conquer Goliath."

Want to make a difference? Here are 3 Simple Ways to Change Anything:

1. Identify your cause for action : Understand the issue and have a clear goal of what you want to achieve. Don't be disappointed if the hideous pink flamingos you would like to see removed from your neighbors yard doesn't get the support that say . . . trying to Protect the Roanoke River's Clean Water from Uranium Mining does. Understand that successful campaigns appeal to a broad range of people, and it will take your time and attention to be successful.

2. Create a petition : Concentrate your efforts in a central location. Change.Org is a great place to create your petition and educate people on why your cause needs their support. Once you have your petition created it will be your hub of information and will need to be continually monitored. (Useful tips on creating a successful online petition)

3. Mobilize your efforts : With social media, getting your word out is easier than you may think! With email, social networking sites, blogs etc. there are numerous ways to easily spread the word about your cause. If you truly want your petition to gain ground, be sure to continually reach out to the community by commenting on blog posts, liking, sharing and tweeting with the supporters of your cause.

What ways have you made a difference in your community using social media?

Do you sign online petitions? If so what compels you to sign and support them?

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