Avaaz is emblematic of a modern civic organization leveraging the modern technology to promote global activism. Avaaz, specifically, uses the tools provided by the internet to facilitate communication among its 46 million members, spread across the globe. Over the years, the use of emails to exchange and share information has gained popularity with Avaaz’s members. Other tools used by Avaaz include online public petitions, videos, and email-your-leader tools.
Apart from its members, non-Avaaz’s members can initiate petitions. Anybody wishing to launch a petition can use the “start your own petition” tool available on the group’s website. The tool is straightforward: requesting input information such as petition title, the target of the petition, and the reasons for starting the petition. Once such information is keyed into the tool, the petitioner inputs their email, and they are good to go.
However, not all petitions are admissible. Avaaz has measures in place to sieve out worthy petitions from those that need further tuning. On receiving a petition, a team of Avaaz’s specialists sends out tester emails to selected members. Based on the input of the members, a petition is opened up for all members, or the team of specialists suggests a correction as they deem it necessary.
So far, Avaaz has supported what it calls “progressive causes.” They include advocating for action on climate change, challenging Monsanto, and fostering a hospitable global culture for refugees. And Avaaz has emerged victorious in most of its battles. For instance, the group was instrumental in initiating and maintaining the momentum that culminated in the signing of the Paris Agreement. The agreement, whose implementation will commence in 2020, seeks to minimize the global emissions of greenhouse gases.
Avaaz came to life in 2007. Several like-minded organizations and individuals founded the group. They include Res Publica, MoveOn.org, and Service Employees International Union. Individual co-founders include Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Sam Barrati, etc. Ricken Patel is the serving president and CEO of Avaaz.
Avaaz hardly accepts donations from foundations or corporations. The group relies on its members, who have so far donated over $20 million. The donation from individual members should not exceed $5,000. Avaaz, as some people refer to it, is the voice of the people.