If you are even remotely familiar with global activism, you have probably heard of Avaaz. After all, when it comes to an online activist network with tens of millions of members and the ability to effect massive change, there is no-one bigger.
Considering Avaaz has only been in existence for seven years, though, how did this independent organization become so large? What is the Avaaz secret to success in the world of global activism?
The Avaaz insistence on independence — One of the main things that has helped Avaaz grow so fast is its refusal to accept money from corporations or governmental bodies.
When would-be members see this, it helps them believe in the authenticity of the organization, and that in turn makes them want to join it.
As for Avaaz, its refusal to take money from organizations that will then want to control it has allowed it to go in the direction it wants to go in, and act on any issue it deems is important.
The Avaaz network — As soon as it was started, Avaaz founders set out to create a presence on all six continents. Just a few years later, they had staff, volunteers or members in 194 countries and a website that is now available in 15 languages.
This insistence on being accessible to as many people as possible has not only impacted its ability to grow quickly, but has also brought attention to issues in countries that may not otherwise ever have been noticed.
The immediacy of an Avaaz response — Members stay connected to Avaaz due to the organization keeping things fast-paced and constantly new.
As soon as a new issue in crisis is noticed, Avaaz goes to work. Petitions are set up on the website, an email campaign to its membership begins, offline demonstrations are organized if necessary and phone-in campaigns to government officials start.
Members, who are generally socially aware people, know there will always be an important issue to act upon and that keeps their interest in Avaaz alive.
For more information follow Avaaz on Twitter.