Established in 2007, Avaaz is a non-profit organization originating in New York that focuses on activism efforts around the globe. With its name deriving from a word meaning “song” or “voice”, the organization has promoted awareness on issues such as climate change, animal rights, and poverty. The groups MoveOn.org and Res Publica were both instrumental in creating Avaaz, with additional backing from the Service Employees International Union. In addition to activism, Avaaz also supports independent journalism in areas of conflict.
The campaigning conducted by Avaaz consists of a team that manages the strategies in over 30 different countries. They work to create activism in various regions of the world by reaching out to members via email, spearheading online public petitions, and expediting the process of contacting local leaders. Areas that have seen influence by Avaaz include the United Kingdom, Brazil, and India. Though the campaign ideas are primarily suggested by community members, other specialists weigh in on what efforts to pursue.
Operating without profit incentive, Avaaz relies heavily on its base of thousands of volunteers to carry out the petitions and campaigns that are created. This group works in 15 different languages and on six of the world’s continents, with tasks that include calling or emailing government officials to stress concerns and organizing rally events. Since 2009, Avaaz has been able to exist exclusively on the generosity of individuals and continues to do so at the present time.
Notable efforts from Avaaz include the petition from 2012 that contributed towards freedom of content on the internet without intervention from government censorship or corporate manipulation. This petition received 2.8 million signatures and has been one of the most successful displays of activism from the group. Avaaz was also actively involved in campaigning to shift away from fossil fuels in the Paris Climate Accord.