If you have ever been involved in an online campaign to create positive social change somewhere around the world, you have probably heard of Avaaz.
Named as one of the most powerful online activist organizations in the world by a British newspaper, Avaaz has only been in existence for 10 years yet already has almost 44 million members.
How did Avaaz become so powerful so quickly, and how is it able to effect global change on a social level so fast?
Setting up Avaaz — Avaaz was co-founded in 2017 by Ricken Patel, various other individuals and a couple of community organizations. It was set up to have small teams based around the world that then organize around specific social issues in their community.
It quickly evolved to be an online platform available in 17 languages, and with its decisions partially made by its members.
As so much power in decision-making was put into the hands of members, these members feel ownership in the organization. This not only motivates them to keep working with it, but also to encourage their friends to get involved.
Online activism is fast — Avaaz also set up its online website so that the minute a new social issue is targeted, a system of targeting members, politicians and the news media goes into effect.
That means within 24 hours of a new targeted issue appearing on the Avaaz website, tens of millions of people around the world are aware of it. Members are joining the campaign, the news media is reporting on it and politicians are realizing people care as their offices are being contacted.
Multi-targeting the issues — Avaaz organizes online petitions to let people know about the issues they feel are important, but it does not just stick to online campaigns.
The organization also runs media campaigns to let journalists know what is happening, and organizes offline protests targeting elected officials or corporations around the world.
All of these things mean more and more people become involved with the organization, and its ability to effect social change on a global level increases.