Avaaz is a civic organization that promotes global activism dealing with issues like human rights, animal rights, climate change, poverty, corruption and conflict. The U.S.-based organization was launched in 2007 and is considered the most powerful and largest online activist network. The name Avaaz means ‘voice’ or ‘song’ in Persian. It was chosen because not only is the organization a voice for the downtrodden, many Indo-European languages have similar sounding words with similar meanings. Avaaz also shares a similar root to the English word voice.
Avaaz.org was co-founded by Res Publica, a group of public sector professional promoting deliberative democracy, civic virtue and good governance, the American progressive public policy advocacy organization MoveOn.org and the Service Employees International Union. The organization provides leadership, funding, ideas and strategy for global campaigns on behalf of the less fortunate and the oppressed. Ricken Patel, Tom Pravda, Tom Perriello, the former Virginia congressman, Eli Pariser, MoveOn’s Executive Director, progressive Australian entrepreneur David Madden, Purpose.com co-founder Jeremy Heimans and Andrea Woodhouse were some of the individuals that co-founded Avaaz. To know more click here.
Since 2009, the organization hasn’t accepted donations from corporations or foundations. Avaaz also doesn’t accept donations of over $5,000. Still, the organization has raised more than $20 million through gifts from its members. Avaaz uses the money to organize media-friendly stunts, rallies, sit-ins, phone-ins, advertisements and other activities to draw attention to problems taking place worldwide. Campaign teams located in over 30 countries promote the organization’s consciousness-raising campaigns using email, online public petitions, email-your-leader tools, videos and more. Flickr Photos.
Members can suggest problems that deserve attention and teams of specialists organize and guide the campaigns. Avaaz’s mission is to help create the caring, progressive world most people worldwide want. The organization has hosted international campaigns related to issues in Libya, Syria, Russia, the U.S., Brazil and elsewhere.