Non-profit

Avaaz Foundation

Logo Avaaz (link)
Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

20-5050267

DUNS Number:

00-960-9136

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $20,269,105
Expenses: $17,129,692
Assets: $11,771,106

Formation:

2007

CEO:

Ricken Patel

CEO's Salary:

$253,201

Avaaz is a left-of-center international campaigning organization and online pressure co-founded in 2007 by liberal online activist groups Res Publica and Moveon.org, along with several individuals, including former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), Eli Pariser, and Ricken Patel. Patel is the organization’s president and CEO. [1] The organization signed a petition supporting the Green New Deal. [2]

The group is member-funded, relying on small donations from its members, [3] the highest percentage of whom are based in Brazil and France. [4]

Avaaz uses online campaigns, which can be created by members, to advocate for left-progressive issues, which range from climate change to censorship, among many others. Avaaz claims to shift the group’s agenda annually after tallying results of a poll that it creates and sends to its members. [5]

Founding

Avaaz was co-founded in 2007 by liberal online activist groups Res Publica and Moveon.org, along with Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser, Andrea Woodhouse, Jeremy Heimans, and David Madden. [6]

Campaigns

Avaaz uses online campaigns to advocate and mobilize for progressive issues, which include environmentalism, human rights, Palestinian statehood, and censorship, among many others. Avaaz claims that its priorities are redefined annually, based on a poll results from its members. [7] These polls are created by Avaaz staff, based on member suggestions, but may be phrased in a way that favors Avaaz’s own interests. This method has even been criticized by Naomi Colvin, an activist involved with the left-progressive Occupy Movement, as being “not nearly as democratic as they might like to think.” [8]

Campaigns active in April 2020 include one demanding that Facebook should issue public corrections to supposed “fake news” and stating that “[d]isinformation like this has the power to turn protests violent, destroy trust in our democracies and make us hate, even kill each other.” [9] Another campaign to “Protect Half our Planet” fatalistically announces in all bold that “every insect on the planet is on track to be wiped out” and seeks 2.5 million signatures. [10]

The “Save the World Health Organization” campaign condemns President Donald Trump before simply declaring “It’s sickening.” This campaign goes on to threaten that without this petition being supported, in bold, “tens of thousands of people could die,” and seeks 1.5 million signatures.” [11]

Studies

Avaaz devotes part of its website to a page with its press releases, which includes “reports” based on Avaaz’s own investigations. 2020 reports included a claim that YouTube is “promoting climate denial to millions,” “misinformation from the US” is causing an anti-vaccine epidemic in Brazil, and that Facebook has over 150 million views of what Avaaz is calling a “political fake news problem.” [12]

Funding

Avaaz has been “member-funded” since 2009, relying on individual online donations, and claims that it “simply [doesn’t] accept funds from governments or corporations.” [13] Before 2009, Avaaz was funded by contributions from various foundations. [14]

Avaaz’s website claims to have 55 million members in 194 countries,[15] and then on a different page claims to have over 60 million members. [16] According to its FAQ’s, Avaaz’s largest membership base is in Brazil and France. [17]

In 2018, Avaaz reported nearly $26 million in contributions on its federal nonprofit tax return. Because Avaaz is set up as a social-welfare group, donations are not tax deductible. [18]

Political Donations

In 2017 Avaaz contributed $380,000 to co-founder Tom Perriello’s unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Virginia and $5,000 to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. [19]

The Center for Responsive Politics reports that Avaaz made $519,117 in independent expenditures against Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. [20]

People

Alice Jay is a campaign director for Avaaz, and formerly worked for the United Nations and other international charities. [21]

Andrea Woodhouse is a co-founder of Avaaz. Woodhouse is currently a senior social development specialist for the World Bank and formerly served as a consultant to the United Nations. [22]

Andrew Slack is a campaign director at Avaaz, and formerly was a fellow with the left-progressive groups Ashoka, Civic Hall, and New Leaders Council (NLC). [23]

Dalia Hashad was a campaign director for Avaaz from 2011-2018. Hashad is a former director of the USA Program for Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), a former advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and a former co-host and co-executive producer of Law and Disorder Radio. [24]

Daniel Auron was a campaign director for Avaaz from 2014-2019. Auron is a former consultant at the United Nations and former program officer at the NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. [25]

David Madden is a co-founder of Avaaz, a co-founder of Purpose, and a co-founder of GetUp!.

Emma Ruby-Sachs is the former deputy director of Avaaz, a position held from 2010-2019. Ruby-Sachs is currently the executive director of SumofUs. [26]

Heather Reddick is the chief operating officer at Avaaz, the former international operations director of Students for a Free Tibet, and the former national operations director of the League of Young Voters. [27]

Iain Keith was a campaign director for Avaaz from 2013 through 2019, after serving as a senior campaigner and global campaigner, starting in 2006. Currently, Keith is the Director of the Climate Emergency Coalition Group (CECG), a financially sponsored project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA). [28]

Jeremy Heimans is a co-founder of Avaaz, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Purpose, and the founder of GetUp! He served as chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Civic Participation. [29]

Nataliya (Natasha) Rovenskaya is a global campaigns and tech lead at Avaaz. Rovenskaya formerly served as the Russia program coordinator for the Ford Foundation. [30]

Oscar Soria is a campaign director for Avaaz. Soria is a former director of media for WWF International, a former brand manager for Greenpeace, and former campaign advisor for Amnesty International. [31]

Ricken Patel is a co-founder, president, and CEO of Avaaz. Patel formerly worked for the International Crisis Group, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Res Publica. Patel has been named a “Peace Leader” by the Simons Foundation, was voted “Ultimate Gamechanger in Politics” in 2009 by the left-leaning Huffington Post, and is a Principal Signatory of Global Zero. [32] Patel sits on the board of Namati [33] and the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) Advisory Council,[34] and formerly sat on the advisory board of J Street. [35]

Tom Perriello, a Democratic politician, former U.S. Representative, Obama administration State Department official, unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Virginia, and Open Society Foundations officer is a co-founder of Avaaz. [36]

Tom Pravda is a co-founder of Avaaz and Res Publica, a former advisor for the U.S. Department of State, and former consultant for the United Nations. [37]

References

  1. “Avaaz Facts.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://secure.avaaz.org/page/en/pressfaq/. ^
  2. ”Green New Deal Hub.” Influence Watch. https://www.influencewatch.org/hub/green-new-deal/. ^
  3. “About.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://avaaz.org/page/en/about/. ^
  4. “Avaaz Facts.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://secure.avaaz.org/page/en/pressfaq/. ^
  5. “About.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://avaaz.org/page/en/about/. ^
  6. “Avaaz Facts.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://secure.avaaz.org/page/en/pressfaq/. ^
  7. “About.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://avaaz.org/page/en/about/. ^
  8. Ball, James. “Avaaz: can online campaigning reinvent politics?” The Guardian, January 15, 2013. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/15/avaaz-online-campaigning-reinvent-politics. ^
  9. “Facebook: Issue corrections to fake news!” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 26, 2020. https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/correct_the_record_loc/?fpbr. ^
  10. “World Leaders: Protect Half Our Planet.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 26, 2020. https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/protect_half_our_planet_loc_2019/?fpbr. ^
  11. “Save The World Health Organization.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 26, 2020.  https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/save_the_who_loc/?slideshow. ^
  12. “Media.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 26, 2020.  https://avaaz.org/page/en/media/. ^
  13. “About.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://avaaz.org/page/en/about/. ^
  14. “Profile: Global campaign group Avaaz.” BBC News, February 29, 2012. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-17199253. ^
  15. “Home.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://avaaz.org/page/en/. ^
  16. “About.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://avaaz.org/page/en/about/. ^
  17. “Avaaz Facts.” Avaaz.org, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://secure.avaaz.org/page/en/pressfaq/. ^
  18. Avaaz Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part VIII, Line 1f. ^
  19. Avaaz Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Schedule C, Part I-C, Line 5. ^
  20. “Avaaz Foundation.” The Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/indexpend.php?cmte=C90016213&cycle=2016&txt=. ^
  21. Ball, James. “Avaaz: can online campaigning reinvent politics?” The Guardian, January 15, 2013. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/15/avaaz-online-campaigning-reinvent-politics. ^
  22. “Andrea Woodhouse.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreawoodhouse/. ^
  23. “Andrew Slack.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewcraigslack/. ^
  24. “Dalia Hashad.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalia-hashad-52b94b13/. ^
  25. “Danny Auron.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danny-auron-b7165135/. ^
  26. “Emma Ruby-Sachs.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-ruby-sachs-458b5aa/. ^
  27. “Heather Reddick.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherreddick/. ^
  28. “Iain Keith.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/iainkeith/. ^
  29. “Jeremy Heimans.” Purpose Campaigns, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.purpose.com/team/jeremy-heimans/. ^
  30. “Nataliya (Natasha) Rovenskaya.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nrovenskaya/. ^
  31. “Oscar Soria.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/oscarsoria/. ^
  32. “Ricken Patel.” The Simons Foundation. Accessed April 23, 2020. http://www.thesimonsfoundation.ca/peace-leaders/ricken-patel. ^
  33. “Ricken Patel.” Namati, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://namati.org/people/ricken-patel/. ^
  34. “Our sustainability governance.” Unilever, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/our-strategy/our-sustainability-governance/index.html. ^
  35. “Blazing a New Path.” J Street, December 2008. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://jstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Jst2008_Report_FINAL_PRINT.pdf. ^
  36. “New Leadership for Our U.S. Programs.” Open Society Foundations. October 10, 2018. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/press-releases/foundations-strengthen-work-promote-open-society-values-united-states?utm_campaign=osftwacct&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co. ^
  37. “Tom Pravda.” LinkedIn, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-pravda-a087141/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Tom Perriello
    Co-Founder

Supported Movements

  1. Green New Deal (GND)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 2007

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $20,269,105 $17,129,692 $11,771,106 $531,936 N $19,292,302 $659 $924 $631,641
    2016 Dec Form 990 $18,007,920 $17,945,802 $9,235,573 $1,135,816 N $18,151,037 $52,841 $794 $205,259 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $22,808,171 $22,360,741 $9,291,235 $1,253,596 N $23,426,612 $0 $423 $178,513 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $19,368,355 $18,856,723 $8,077,466 $487,257 N $20,136,398 $0 $881 $183,117 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $14,647,766 $11,516,159 $7,574,447 $495,870 N $14,545,459 $0 $100 $183,171 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $11,607,363 $10,199,554 $4,162,035 $215,065 N $11,611,547 $0 $42 $178,287 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $7,519,028 $6,904,050 $2,769,840 $230,679 N $7,549,626 $0 $68 $166,056 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Avaaz Foundation

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    NEW YORK, NY 10003-3305