If you do any research looking for the world’s largest activist organization, you will find the name Avaaz. Founded just seven years ago, Avaaz already has more than 44 million members and is active in 194 countries on all four continents.
How did Avaaz become so large in such a short while, and why do millions of people join Avaaz every year?
Internet-based — Avaaz became so large so fast not only because its founders had a well-thought-out plan, but also because it is Internet-based.
This has allowed it to recruit members and donations in most countries on the planet, and given it a global reach like no other activist network before it.
Grass-roots activism — Avaaz has taken the idea of grass-roots activism and expanded it from a local concept to a global one. Anyone can become a member of the site, and each person’s voice has just the same power as every other member’s.
As Avaaz refuses to accept donations from corporations or governments, it is a completely independent organization. Its members decide on the issues the organization targets, not corporations and not governments, and no outside body has the power to prevent it from doing so.
Working with like-minded organizations — Avaaz does not stand alone, however, as it works and funds other like-minded organizations around the world.
This is because the founders believe, if a local organization can do a better job than Avaaz when targeting an issue, they should be allowed to do so and should be funded by Avaaz so that they can.
Not single-issue oriented — While most other activist organizations concentrate on just one issue, Avaaz does not limit itself.
Instead it focuses on everything from human rights to animal rights, free speech to conflict issues and everything in between.
This means becoming a member of the organization is attractive to both single-issue activists and those that want to make a difference in a wide variety of areas.
For more information follow Avaaz on Twitter.