Ben Rattray is the founder and CEO of the online petition website Change.org, which he founded in 2007. Rattray was included in the 2012 Time 100 list of the world's most influential people and listed in BusinessWeek as one of America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2011..
Rattray the handsome homecoming king in high school, wanted to become an investment banker, then retire at age 35 and go into politics. Rattray attended Stanford Univeristy studying politcal science and ecomonics, changed career path after one of his brother revelealed he was gay and dealing with with homosexual equal rights.
Rattray launched Change.org from his house in 2007. The site has gone through multiple iterations, starting as a social network for social activism, changing into a blogging platform, then transitioning to a petition platform in 2011.
The goal of Change.org, is to "change the balance of power between individuals and large organizations. In 2011, the company had become profitable. It took five years to grow his business. In February 2012, Change.org was "growing more each month than the total we had in the first four years", with more than 10,000 petitions being started each month on the site, and that in 2011 the company's employees had grown from 20 to 100 employees.
The most popular causes on Change.org: Stop global warming is No. 1. Improve public schools, save Darfur and support universal health care are the other most popular causes.
The site generates money from 1% of all donations, and we charge for premium services to nonprofits that allow them to brand their network and add additional features to their community. Since May we raised $46,000 in donations.
Change.org is the web's leading platform for social change, empowering anyone, anywhere to start petitions that make a difference. Rattray created a platform for us to make specific demands for banks to change their debit-card fees. This spring, Trayvon Martin's mother wrote an amazing narrative on the site that got her son's story out there, which helped build solidarity with her family and kept pressure on the police and attention on the case. We can all remember people wearing hoodies all over social media and how justice was served.
Now Change.org is expanding into other countries, making its website available in different languages and finding solutions for people who live where the Internet might not be widely available or where protests are stopped by governments
As Michael Jackson song, Man in the Mirror, Make that change with Change.org