‘Avaaz' is the word for ‘voice' in some European, Asian and Middle Eastern languages. Avaaz.org works to return the voice of citizens through creating centralized national campaigns around the world. A core team of four continents oversee the ten million members in 193 countries.
They operate in 14 different languages with a staff of 50 people in 2011. Issues of campaigns can be regional, national or global concerns and their actions are equally as varied. From lobbying, to direct action, event organizing to petitions, Avaaz helps its members organize, get funding and get attention to issues vital to democracy, human rights, climate change, poverty and corruption. Specializing in social media (facebook and twitter) and online organizing, Avaaz.org brings activists across the world together to mobilize for specific causes.
Founded in January 2007, with help from various public service unions and public policy advocacy groups, Avaaz.org is now mostly funded by contributions from members, leaving the organization driven by its membership. Since 2009 they have refused to take donations from foundations or corporations and have not accepted contributions greater than $5,000.
Campaign ideas are managed by team leaders in 30 countries who take suggestions from members. If a campaign idea has sufficient potential, a ‘tester' email about it is sent to 10,000 Avaaz.org members. Once the campaign is well received, it's opened to all Avaaz.org members. Members choose which campaigns they want to be involved in, allowing for diversity within the organization.
In 2009 Avaaz.org helped co-ordinate more than 2,600 events in 135 countries around the world for their global climate change wake up call.
In 2010 Avaaz.org submitted a petition of 450,000 signatures to the speaker's of Uganda's parliament against a proposed law that would sentence gay Ugandans to death.
Thanks to recent donations, Avaaz.org is currently working to get internet modems and communication devices to citizen journalists in Syria, Yemen and Libya.
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