*[Enwl-eng] Avaaz and the March of Democracy

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Dec 22, 2011, 4:29:04 PM12/22/11
to Bellona Enwl-eng

Dear friends,

Something big is happening. From Tahrir Square to Wall St., from
staggeringly brave Avaaz citizen journalists in Syria to millions
ofcitizens winning campaign after campaign online, democracy is stirring.
Not the media-circus, corrupt, vote-every-4-years democracy of the past.
Something much, much deeper. Deep within ourselves, we are realizing our
own power to build the world we all dream of.

The march of democracy is sweeping the world, and everywhere it's rising,
Avaaz is there. Together, we've played a central role in winning massive
anti-corruption campaigns from Brazil to India to Italy, halting mogul
Rupert Murdoch's march to world domination, winning major environmental
victories from saving whales to protecting oceans, breaking the blackouts
on Arab spring uprisings, and providing vital funding and protection to
democracy groups from Zimbabwe to Burma to Syria.

There are now 10 million of us, and more and more, we're winning. In over
1000 campaigns and counting, we're actually building the world that most
people want. And we're just getting started.

It's amazing, but until recently just 10,000 of us made our entire
community possible with a small weekly donation of just $3 or $5 (the price
of a cup of coffee), that funds all of Avaaz's core expenses. But to seize
this moment and win it, we need to accelerate -- and to do that we looking
to double our number of weekly 'sustainers' before the end of the year,
doubling our capacity to do everything we do. Already, we're 60% of the way
there! Click below to join the march of democracy, and buy the world a cup
of coffee:


Making a small but steady weekly contribution enables Avaaz to plan
responsibly around long term costs like our tiny but awesome staff team,
our website and technology, and the security of our systems (this can get
pricey when our campaigns are taking on shady characters!). It also means
we have the ability to respond immediately to crises as they occur and jump
on opportunities for action without delay.

A very small donation of $3 or $5 per week from 10,000 more sustainers
would enable our community to expand all our work next year, helping to
save lives in humanitarian emergencies, protect the environment and
wildlife, support democracy and fight corruption, push for peace and reduce

Donating to Avaaz has a double-impact -- because our donations not only
make change now by empowering particular campaigns, every contribution
builds our community that will be making change for decades to come. It's
an investment with both immediate and long term results for our children's
and our planet's future. Click here to contribute:


Fundraising is often a problem for social change organizations. Government
or corporate funding would profoundly threaten our mission. Funding from
large donors also often comes with strings attached. And high-pressure
tactics like telemarketing, postal mail, or direct on-the-street programmes
often cost nearly as much as they raise! That's why the Avaaz model -
online, people-powered donations - is the best way in the world to power an
engine of social change, and a huge part of our community's promise.

If we can multiply the number of sustainers we have, it will take our
community, and our impact, to a whole new level. I can't wait.

I know that donating is an act of hope, and of trust. I feel a huge and
serious sense of responsibility to be a steward of that hope, and my team
and I are deeply committed to respecting the trust you place in us with
your hope, time, and resources. It's a special thing we're building here,
and if we can keep believing in each other, anything is possible.

With hope and gratitude for this amazing community,

Ricken Patel

PS - In case you're mulling it over, here's 11 more reasons to donate to
Avaaz :)

Reason 1 – What we do Works

With more than 10 million members in every nation of the world, able to
mobilize at a moment's notice to pressing needs and opportunities, Avaaz
works –- together we've saved lives in Haiti and Burma, reversed government
policies from Brazil to Japan, and won victories on international treaties
from banning cluster bombs to preserving oceans. Former UK Prime Minister
Gordon Brown says of Avaaz "You have driven forward the idealism of the
world... do not underestimate your impact on leaders," while the Economist
says Avaaz is "poised to deliver a deafening wake up call to world
leaders," and Al Gore says "Avaaz is inspiring, and has already made a
difference." We're only 5 years old and growing fast, and the more our
members get involved and donate, the more impact we have.

Make a donation here:

Reason 2 – An Avaaz donation is an investment with permanent social change

With Avaaz, our donations fund high impact campaigns that also recruit more
people. More people means more donations, and more impact. So you're not
only achieving a particular change with your donation, you're helping grow
a community with new members that will multiply your donation many times
over, and be a permanent and ever-increasing source of change. It's a
tremendous philanthropic value to have this kind of double and permanent

Reason 3 – We have no bureaucracy

Avaaz is a massive network of citizens, but our organization is absolutely
tiny – just 35 full time campaigners with operational and technology
support. Most large global NGOs have hundreds or even thousands of staff.
Our small size means we have no time for red tape, layers of management, or
being focused on anything but getting results.

Reason 4 – We're regularly audited, and fiscally responsible

There's a lot of fear out there about misuse of donated money. Most of the
fear is misplaced – most organizations are filled with good people trying
to do good things. With Avaaz you can be sure – partly because we're
required by law to be audited every 12 months. This audit thoroughly checks
every aspect of our books and financial practices. We've been audited 4
times since we launched and every time been given a squeaky clean bill of
health (for details, click here:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/avaaz_expenses_and_financial_information/?decfr ).

Reason 5 – We have a world-class team that does outstanding work

Campaigning, advocacy and social change are a serious and demanding
business – the more competent the team, the more impact our donations have.
Avaaz attracts some of the best campaigners and advocates in the world.
Many of our campaign directors joined us after being CEOs of successful
multi-million dollar advocacy organizations, and most have degrees from the
top universities in the world.

Donate now:

Reason 6 – We're 100% Independent

Avaaz takes absolutely no money from governments or corporations. This is
hugely important to ensuring that our voice is exclusively determined by
the values of our members, and not by any large funder or agenda. While we
received initial seed grants from partner organizations and charitable
organizations, almost 100% of the Avaaz budget now comes from small online
donations. This means that the only agenda we have to follow is the
people's agenda.

Reason 7 – We pass the money on when it makes sense, and give to the best

Avaaz has donated almost $5 million to other organizations, because we saw
them as better placed than us to have impact on a particular issue. For
example, we've granted $1.6 million to Burmese monks and aid groups, and
$1.3 million to Haitian aid organizations. The way we support organizations
is important too. Most foundations have endless process and constraints
that make them slow, bureaucratic and risk averse in supporting advocacy.
Avaaz finds the best people and organizations and doesn't micromanage
them – we just empower them to do what they know best.

Reason 8 – We're political (this really matters)

Most charities offer tax deductibility for donations. But this means that
they are, in a way, partially tax-payer funded, and governments use that to
place a very thick set of rules on what they can and can't do. Chief among
them is restricting what they can say to criticize, support, or oppose a
politician. Avaaz is very rare in that our donations are not tax
deductible, leaving us 100% free to say and do whatever we need to to get
leaders to listen to people. Since so many important issues are won and
lost in the political realm, this makes us much more effective than
advocacy groups that shy away from speaking out politically.

Reason 9 – We go where the greatest needs and opportunities are

Most organizations focus on a single issue over a long period of time. This
is very important to do, but that can mean that when desperate needs or
amazing opportunities for social change arise, they get ignored because
everyone is working on their own issue. Avaaz campaigns target the most
urgent needs and opportunities, showing up just when a powerful burst of
citizens' attention is needed most. We work continuously with top quality
partners in the areas we campaign on, and all describe Avaaz as an amazing
added value to their work.

Click to donate:

Reason 10 – Democratic accountability is hard-wired into our model

The Avaaz model of campaigning is people-powered. Our priorities are set at
annual and weekly levels by polls of our membership and every campaign we
run is first polled with members. No matter how much work we put into
developing a campaign, if it fails to get the greenlight from members, we
don't run it. So on a day to day basis, how we spend the donations we
receive is determined directly by members.

Reason 11 – There's no other organization like us

Avaaz is the world's first and only massive, high-tech, people-powered,
multi-issue, genuinely global advocacy organization. In a world where the
problems we face are consistently global, and the solutions to them
increasingly require global democratic action, Avaaz is uniquely placed to
effect change. No other organization can rapidly mobilize large-scale,
coordinated democratic pressure in over 150 countries within 24 hours. A
new model of internet-based, people-powered politics has changed politics
in several countries, and Avaaz is taking that proven model global. The
result is already the largest global online movement in history, and we're
just getting started.

Make a secure donation to Avaaz:

To contact Avaaz, please do not reply to this email. Instead, write to us
via the form at http://www.avaaz.org/en/contact. You can also call us at
+1-888-922-8229 (US).

From: "Ricken Patel - Avaaz.org" <av...@avaaz.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 11:09 PM
Subject: Avaaz and the March of Democracy


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