Avaaz came into existence in 2007. The group’s purpose is to bring people together from around the world to make a difference regarding human rights and environmental concerns. Avaaz was founded when MoveOn.org, the Service Employees International Union and Res Publica came together with several individuals to promote the idea that people could be empowered to achieve good in the world. Avaaz allows people to make a bigger difference together than they could make individually. When people from around the world are all focused upon bringing attention to an important issue, the media will give more attention to the cause, and action may be taken.
Campaigns can be targeted in order to have the greatest impact for the greatest amount of good. The way that campaigns are chosen is through member activism. Members of Avaaz are continually being polled as to the issues that they believe should receive the group’s attention. The ideas that come out on top of member polls are then tested by 10,000 Avaaz members who are chosen at random. If this group of 10,000 members gives their endorsement to a campaign or cause, then the entire membership is informed of the endeavor.
Avaaz is able to use petitions and media attention to help promote the campaign for change. Avaaz is not funded by large donors, political groups or corporations. All funding is provided for the work that Avaaz undertakes by the members of the group. Some of the campaigns that Avaaz is currently engaged in include working to stop pesticides that are known to harm bees and working to create large marine wildlife reserves. In the past, Avaaz has had member campaigns opposing President Trump’s election and working to stop media company mergers.