To understand what Avaaz does, or what it’s purpose is, one needs only to look at the origin of its name. Avaaz, in Persian, means voice. It also is a word similar to voice in many other languages in Asian, European and Middle Eastern languages. Their purpose follows, then, to be a voice for the issues that exist on a local, national, international and global scale.
Using the Internet to mobilize and organize, Avaaz gives activists everywhere the place and support they require to have their movement be a success. What issues do they support? Primarily ones considered to be progressive or liberal. The decision to support these issues, however, comes from the members or activists themselves. Avaaz puts issues in a poll-form and asks its members (a random sample of members) to vote on an issue. The one who receives the most support is then pushed forward, and activists begin work on whatever form of activism they think best fits the issue at hand.
Specifically, Avaaz promotes nonviolent forms of protest and activism. Their methods revolve around sit-ins, rallies, phone-ins, and media friendly stunts. Some of these stunts, for example, was placing pigs made of cardboard and placing them on the doorstep of the World Health Organization to demand an investigation into the link between swine flu and pig farms. Recently, they’ve also aided in the civil uprising in Syria and even coordinate the evacuation of Paul Conroy, a British Photographer, from Homs. Activists were lost in this evacuation.
If there is an activist movement happening, it is likely organized by Avaaz.
Part of the credibility of an activist or movement organization depends on its method of funding. Avaaz refuses donations from corporations and foundations and only accepts small donations from its members. Avaaz seeks to empower its members.