Avaaz was established in January 2007 to promote worldwide activism on crucial issues such as human rights, corruption, conflict, poverty, animal rights, and climate change. This United States based civic organization originated in New York. The organization was founded by groups such as Eli Pariser and Res Publica. The Service Employees International Union also supported Avaaz as a founding partner. The individuals who co-founded it were Tom Pravda, Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, David Madden, Andrea Woodhouse, Eli Pariser, and Jeremy Heimans.
According to the Guardian, Avaaz Organization is the world’s most powerful and largest online activist network. The name Avaaz originated from a Persian word âvâz, which means voice or a song. Avaaz stopped accepting donations from corporations and organizations since 2009. The members are not allowed to pay more than $5,000. The main source of their funds is the contribution from the individual members who have managed to raise more than twenty million dollars.
Ricken Patel is the president of the board at Avaaz. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in politics, philosophy, and economics (PPE) from Oxford University.He advanced his studies at the Harvard University where he graduated with a master’s degree in public policy. Before joining Avaaz, Patel worked for International Crisis Group and MoveOn.Org. These two organizations equipped him with the knowledge needed to run Avaaz.
Avaaz International campaigns are supervised by a team of campaigners spread out in more than 30 countries. The campaigners communicate to the members through email. The main campaign techniques include videos and public petitions. When necessary, Avaaz consults commissions and advertisement legal advice to make informed decisions on the best ways to propel the campaigns. The members are allowed to make suggestions for the campaign, which are complemented by the counsel of a team of professionals. Once a suggestion is agreed upon, it is tested among a few members, and if the response is good, it is opened to all the members.
According to Patel, the main aim of Avaaz is to unite idealists in the world. The latest campaign was the one against Donald Trump. Currently, Avaaz has approximately 45 million members globally.