If you have been involved in any kind of online activism, you will probably have heard of Avaaz. Currently the world’s largest and some say most powerful activist network, Avaaz has almost 45 million members and adds hundreds of thousands more every month.
How did Avaaz become this big and this powerful? By using tactics its founder, Ricken Patel, learned while working for the International Crisis Group in Africa and Afghanistan and by volunteering for MoveOn.org.
Setting up teams on six continents — Avaaz set up small core teams of employees on each continent. These teams overseas local, national and international campaigns, organize demonstrations and media campaigns, and get local people involved.
Rather than stay in the U.S. where it is based, Avaaz went out to the world and asked the world to help.
Campaigns in 17 languages — Avaaz runs its campaigns in 17 languages, including English. That means there is almost always a language someone who wants to get involved will understand.
They work on any issue — Where many activist networks are single-issue oriented, Avaaz works on any issue whether it is human rights, animal rights, climate change, poverty, the environment or conflict.
This means there is always something a prospective member would be interested in getting involved in.
Avaaz involves its members — Rather than just deciding which issues will be targeted, Avaaz asks its members which issues it thinks are important.
When a new issue is being considered, the organization polls 10,000 randomly chosen members and asks them if they think it should be looked at or ignored. What those 10,000 members say goes.
The issue is then kicked off to the rest of Avaaz’s 44 million members, who already know a large group of their own voted on this, so they know it must be important.
For more information follow Avaaz on Twitter.