The impressive thing about Avaaz is not that it has developed into the world’s largest online social activist network – it’s the undeniable fact that Avaaz is getting solid, measurable results in the real world and creating change that is making the world a better place.
What exactly is Avaaz? It was founded in 2007 through a partnership of several groups and individuals. The principal founders were Res Publica and Moveon.org, two organizations that already had impressive track records for developing positive social change and performing life-giving projects on the ground. Another founder was the Service Employees International Union.
As indicated, Avaaz operates on a robust Internet platform that makes it easy for any person in any country in the world to quickly get involved in making positive changes to local communities. Some people are deeply concerned about climate change, for example. Other want to do something to alleviate poverty. Others are fighting political oppression or perhaps want take direct action to bring aid and comfort to refugees fleeing war torn locations.
No matter what the cause, Avaaz serves as a central point of action that’s just a few clicks away on a keyboard. Avaaz is deeply committed to a grassroots model – it raises millions of dollars every year, but only by accepting small donations from hundreds of thousands of people. It takes no donation larger than $5,000 – this makes it impossible for Avaaz to be co-opted by wealthy special interests and greedy giant corporations.
The name Avaaz is highly significant. It basically means “voice” as influenced by a variety of languages. That’s what Avvaz does: It provides a voice to millions of people around the world and lets them know that anyone and everyone can pitch in, help and truly do something real to make the world a better place.