A prolific civic group, Avaaz was established in 2007 and has its headquarters in New York. It has earned recognition for its relentless efforts in championing for an array of causes, ranging from human rights to wildlife rights, as well as advocating for the enforcement of environmental conservation policies. According to the Guardian, a respected newspaper, Avaaz is the most popular online activist movement on the internet, primarily because it has a global audience.
Avaaz is the brainchild of two civic groups, MoveON.org and Res Publica. In conjunction with a few individual activists, the idea of Avaaz was brought to fruition. The Service Employees International Union also played a key role in the establishment of Avaaz. Currently, the organization is under the leadership of Ricken Patel, who was among the pioneering members.
In the first two years after inception, Avaaz’ operations were run by money sourced from charitable organizations and willing corporate institutions. This, however, came to an end in 2009. Since then, the group has been relying on the benevolence of its members and sympathizers, who have raised an enormous $20 million up to date. A strict rule that sets the maximum donation cap at $5000 has also been enforced.
Activism campaigns are run by independent campaigner’s located in various parts of the globe. Once a member voices a discrepancy, it is emailed to the campaigners to assess its gravity. If it has weight, the group employs various means to voice the grievances including public petitions on the internet and emailing the concerned parties. Also, the mass action may be enacted if the situation at hand demands such measures. To protect its supporters, Avaaz consults legal advisors before engaging in physical demonstrations.
According to Ricken Patel, Avaaz is not bound by certain objectives. Rather, their main purpose is to create an almost ideal world. Faithful to their mission, Avaaz has supported several progressive causes such as refugees and climate change, in a bid to achieve idealism.
For further information follow Avaaz on Twitter.