Avaaz is an online activist network that has made the news over the last few years due to its ability to effect change on an international level.
The organization has almost 45 million members, and alerts them every time a new social or political issue comes up that they feel needs to be changed. Issues range from human rights to animal welfare, political justice to actions on poverty and conflict.
How does Avaaz use its membership base to change the world? In just a few simple steps.
Petitions — The most popular way for Avaaz members to get involved with issues is to sign an online petition that targets an elected official.
These petitions are uploaded to the Avaaz website every day, and all Avaaz members have to do is sign them. Once a certain number of signatures is reached, Avaaz delivers the petition to the relevant person and then follows it up with a media campaign.
Media campaigns — Avaaz raises money from its membership that is then spent on media campaigns. These campaigns target specific newspapers, television shows, Internet-based vloggers and influential journalists, and inform them about an important issue and what Avaaz is doing about it.
The various forms of media will often write about or broadcast news about the issue, thus giving Avaaz even more political clout and pulling in even more people to fight for the cause.
Demonstrations — If Avaaz feels as though even more attention can be brought to an issue by organizing an offline demonstration, its members are notified and asked to agree to be there.
In the past, some of Avaaz’ demonstrations have been enormous, numbering tens of thousands of people. These demonstrations take place all over the world, with Avaaz members in specific cities showing up to have their voices heard.
Avaaz has caused changes to be made on a huge number of issues over the last few years, including on the environment, on women’s rights, human rights, gay rights, animal rights and on the way governments deal with conflict zones.
In future years, as their membership grows even more, they are expected to have an even bigger impact.
For more information on Avaaz follow them on Twitter.