Avaaz, which means “voice” in various languages, is a United States-based civic advocacy group that empowers millions of people in the world to act on pressing global, regional, and national issues such as corruption, poverty, conflict, and climate change. Since its founding in 2007, Avaaz has become an online pressure group to be reckoned with, and its rapid growth is just one part of what makes it entirely different from campaigning organizations or traditional charities.
Its model of online organizing allows individual efforts, however small, to be quickly combined into a powerful collective force. Part of its achievement is down to the ease with which you can participate in the process. Once you log on to Avaaz’s website and get a petition that interests you, adding your voice to it is as simple as keying in your email address. You can also spread a campaign you are fond of by clicking on the social media tabs, which in turn posts the information about the petition on your Twitter feed or Facebook wall.
Avaaz’s members submit campaign ideas, and once an idea is accepted, it passes through a rigorous selection process. First, they send a tester email to a random selection of 10,000 members in selected a country. If at least 10 percent of the chosen group does not open the email, the idea gets discarded.
Emails that pass this process are then tested for content and must have around 40 percent conversion rate. At least two in five of those who opened the email must click through the website for it to go viral.
A promising campaign will encourage more than 80 percent of the selected group to sign the petition, and emails that achieve this ratio are then rolled out to the entire membership of Avaaz in the relevant country.
More info on Avaaz can be found by following them on Twitter.